The Portrait of a Lady
by Henry James
The Portrait of a Lady Chapter 33 Summary
- Isabel goes to breakfast and prepares to tell Mrs. Touchett the shocking news.
- Mrs. Touchett, not one to be shocked, already knows – apparently, with her innate meddling radar, she could just feel it in the air. She disapproves, and blames Madame Merle for betraying her.
- Isabel doesn’t see what Madame Merle has to do with anything (come on, Isabel).
- Mrs. Touchett complains that there is no reason to marry Osmond; he has neither name nor fortune.
- Isabel rather snootily responds that she doesn’t need to explain herself, and, even if she wanted to, she wouldn’t know how. Yeah, that sounds like love to us.
- Mrs. Touchett asks Isabel whether Ralph would have changed her mind. Isabel says that Ralph would disagree with anyone she chose to marry.
- Isabel tells Mrs. Touchett about Caspar visiting and leaving within one day.
- Two days later, Ralph arrives. Isabel waits for Mrs. Touchett to tell him, and for Ralph to bring up the engagement with her, but he does not.
- Ralph is hurt and saddened – the person he found the most intriguing has let him down.
- Ralph hopes to dissuade Isabel from going through with her engagement.
- Osmond has been meeting up with Isabel outside of Palazzo Crescentini every day. They walk in a quiet park together.
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