Study Guide

The Moonstone Second Period, Narrative 1, Chapter 7

By Wilkie Collins

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Second Period, Narrative 1, Chapter 7

  • Miss Clack doesn't see Rachel at all for a month after Lady Verinder's death.
  • Lady Verinder has made her brother-in-law, Mr. Ablewhite, Rachel's guardian in her will, until Rachel turns twenty-one or until she gets married.
  • Mr. Ablewhite knows that Rachel is engaged to Godfrey and is happy about it.
  • In the meantime, Rachel doesn't want to stay at the house in London, because it reminds her of her mother's death, and the house in Yorkshire reminds her of the Moonstone.
  • So, Mr. Ablewhite proposes that Rachel stay in a rented house in Brighton (a seaside town) for a while with Mrs. Ablewhite, and Godfrey will be able to join them easily from London by train whenever they need him.
  • Mrs. Ablewhite is too lazy to take care of finding a rental house or hiring servants for it, so she asks Miss Clack to do it.
  • Miss Clack talks to Rachel before going to Brighton and finds that Rachel has changed a lot since her mother's death.
  • For one thing, Rachel is a lot more polite to Miss Clack.
  • She even apologizes for having been disrespectful to her in the past.
  • Miss Clack is delighted, and plans to make a real Christian out of Rachel.
  • She goes to Brighton to hire the servants, making sure that they're all good, solid Christians.
  • She even puts religious books and tracts on the table in the house so that Rachel will see them when she arrives.
  • Mr. Bruff accompanies Rachel and Mrs. Ablewhite to Brighton and stays for dinner.
  • Miss Clack is not happy – she doesn't think Mr. Bruff is a good influence on Rachel.
  • Miss Clack takes Rachel to church the next morning, and the sermon is over an hour long and gives Rachel a headache.
  • Instead of going to the second service that afternoon, Rachel goes for a walk with Mr. Bruff.
  • When they get back, she looks thoughtful.
  • She doesn't eat any supper.
  • The next morning, Miss Clack goes into Rachel's bedroom with a cup of tea before breakfast.
  • Rachel seems to be lost in her own thoughts.
  • Miss Clack wants to know what Mr. Bruff said to her, and tries to steer the conversation in that direction.
  • Rachel won't say much about it, except that she's grateful to Mr. Bruff for giving her some news.
  • Miss Clack then says something about Rachel's engagement to Godfrey Ablewhite.
  • Rachel interrupts her, saying that she's not going to marry Godfrey.
  • Miss Clack is shocked, but Rachel won't explain.
  • She just says to wait and see.
  • Miss Clack goes out for a walk.
  • When she gets back, she meets Godfrey Ablewhite.
  • He seems very glad to see her, and seems like his old self.
  • Miss Clack asks if he's seen Rachel.
  • Yes, he's seen Rachel. And yes, she's broken off the engagement.
  • But he seems very calm about it and promises to explain.

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