Study Guide

The Moonstone Second Period, Narrative 1, Chapter 5

By Wilkie Collins

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Second Period, Narrative 1, Chapter 5

  • Miss Clack is about to jump out and explained to Godfrey why she's there, but just then, Rachel comes into the room.
  • She asks him why he's in the drawing room, instead of in the library.
  • Godfrey laughs, and says that Miss Clack is in the library.
  • Rachel agrees that they're better off in the drawing room.
  • After overhearing this, Miss Clack decides to stay concealed, and eavesdrop.
  • He starts sweet-talking her, but she reminds him that they'd agreed to remain cousins and friends, and nothing more.
  • He says that he can't help but hope that she might soften towards him and learn to love him in the future.
  • He even says that his charitable work has become a huge nuisance to him!
  • (Imagine how little Miss Clack liked to overhear that!)
  • Rachel tells him that she is miserable, because she has loved someone who isn't worthy to be loved, but that, even so, she still loves him.
  • She adds that she's never spoken a word of this to anyone, least of all to the person she loves.
  • Then she bursts into tears, and Godfrey throws his arms around her, and asks her to marry him.
  • She says he must be crazy, since she's just told him that she loves someone else.
  • But he says that doesn't matter – he'd be happy to have her affection and respect, if she can't love him.
  • He keeps wheedling, and she finally agrees!
  • Miss Clack is shocked and appalled, especially when…(the horror!)… he KISSES her.
  • Rachel then tells Godfrey not to tell Lady Verinder until she's better.
  • She's about to go open the curtains where Miss Clack is hidden, when Samuel, the footman, comes in.
  • He says that Rachel should come immediately, because Lady Verinder has fainted.
  • Godfrey goes, too, of course, leaving Miss Clack to exit alone, without being seen.
  • They get to Lady Verinder's room, and find that she has died.
  • And, as Miss Clack realizes, she died without giving her the money she'd promised to give her, instead of leaving it to her in her will.

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