by William Makepeace Thackeray
Vanity Fair Chapter 37 Summary
READ THE BOOK: Chapter 37
The Subject continued
- In London, the Crawleys go right back to living off credit without paying anything to anyone.
- Mr. Raggles, who used to be Miss Crawley's butler before Bowls, now owns a house that he rents out to Becky and Rawdon. He also provides all their food (he runs a food shop nearby) and whenever they have company, he acts as their butler while his wife does the cooking.
- Wow. Becky can talk miles around anyone and basically just relies on that to keep from paying anyone who works for her.
- It's a good system, right? For everyone except all the people who go broke under it. Think about it – the Crawleys aren't paying Raggles but he still has to pay the house mortgage, the taxes, the insurance, and so on and so forth. Soon enough he's going to run out of money.
- But obviously Becky doesn't care about this. She is busy trying to get into the upper ranks of society.
- It's hard. The men like her because she's hot and funny. But the women really don't – maybe for the same reason, and also because she's so low-born. And it's the women who really hold the keys to society.
- At first, the women's insults to Becky make Rawdon furious. But Becky tells him that getting mad will solve nothing.
- She's good at keeping him calm. He was seeing red after Miss Crawley's death because she left him nothing at all. But Becky made him relax and thus accomplished two things: 1) his credit remained good and he wasn't arrested for debt, since everyone assumed he got an inheritance; and 2) he kept up a relationship with Pitt, who now has all the money and could be helpful.
- More than that, Becky wrote Pitt a letter (pretending that it was actually Rawdon writing) saying all nice things and wanting to be friends with him, Lady Jane, and their new son. Pitt and Jane were touched but have yet to actually meet with Becky and Rawdon in London.
- Meanwhile, Becky keeps having little dinner parties just for men at her house. Rawdon plays cards with them and usually wins, but he is totally bored of this life.
- Becky comes up with the idea of hiring a companion for herself. That way Rawdon won't have to be around, but Becky can still have a bunch of dudes over without it being improper.
- One of her new visitors is a marquis, Lord Steyne. He's a really, really high-ranking guy who personally knows the royal family. Also, he's very clearly a gross, amoral, highly unpleasant man.
- OK, so while Becky is leading this fun social life, what's happening with Rawdon Jr.?
- Well, he's certainly not getting any mommy attention, that's for sure. He just stays upstairs in his room, raised by a nanny. Becky sees him once a week, tops. When he is little, he half-worships her as a kind of goddess, but as he gets older...not so much.
- Still, Rawdon really loves him and spends many hours playing with him and taking him out.
- One day, Rawdon is taking Rawdon Jr. on a pony ride in the park when they meet another little boy about the same age with his grandfather.
- Turns out this is Mr. Sedley, and the little boy is George Jr. The boys share the pony, while Rawdon and Mr. Sedley talk a little bit about Waterloo, the army, and George Osborne.
READ THE BOOK: Chapter 37
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