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The Mill on the Floss
by George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss Book 6, Chapter 1 Summary
A Duet in Paradise It’s a brand new character! We meet Stephen Guest – rich, young, attractive, and currently flirting with Lucy Deane. The two banter for a while and discuss Lucy’s dog, Minny. Stephen steals Lucy’s scissors. Turns out they are both friends with Philip Wakem. It’s a small world after all. Lucy tells Stephen some big news: her cousin (Maggie) is coming to stay with her. We learn that two years have elapsed since Mr. Tulliver died, and Maggie has been working elsewhere as a governess. Lucy gives Stephen the Reader’s Digest version of the Tulliver’s dispute with the Wakems. We also learn that Mrs. Deane has died and that Mrs. Tulliver now lives with Lucy and manages the house for her. Having seen Mrs. Tulliver, Stephen assumes that Maggie will look and act just like her. Lucy finds this hilarious and lets Stephen think the completely wrong thing about Maggie. She plans to introduce him to Maggie and shock him. The two then play and sing a duet together on the piano. Good times. They flirt some more and Stephen agrees to come by in a few days to meet Maggie. After Stephen leaves, Lucy paces around excitedly – she’s falling for Stephen and she’s excited that the Tullivers will soon be reunited. We learn that Stephen likes Lucy for rather superficial reasons and the idea that the two of them will get married isn’t really surprising.
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