Study Guide

Vanity Fair Chapter 25

By William Makepeace Thackeray

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Chapter 25

In which all the Principal Personages think fit to leave Brighton

  • Dobbin puts on his best Becky face to try to fake Amelia out about how dangerous the deployment to Belgium will really be (hiding the fact that it will be super dangerous and possibly fatal).
  • Becky figures out that Dobbin wants Amelia almost immediately. Dobbin freaks her out, though, because he's too honest and upright to fall for her shenanigans.
  • Finally, Dobbin gives George the letter from his father. Except – psych! – it's not from his father at all, but from his father's lawyer! And it says that he's totally cut off except for the small inheritance he gets from his mother's estate!
  • George gets mad at Dobbin for not doing the business end of his marriage better and for rushing things along in the first place. He claims to be worried about the money for the sake of Amelia. But seriously, Mr. Diamond Shirt Pin, no one believes that you care much for anyone other than your precious self.
  • Becky decides to go to Belgium with Rawdon's regiment. He is the aide-de-camp (a kind of military valet/personal assistant) to General Tufto, so he won't be as much in harm's way. It turns out that George has been playing cards and billiards for money with Rawdon – and has of course been losing. Becky has kept George playing by flirting with him and inflating his ego, which is not that hard to do.
  • Amelia is vaguely jealous of Becky and sad that two weeks into the marriage George already wants to hang out with some other woman.
  • George tells Amelia about the letter from Mr. Osborne's lawyer, and she's sort of excited to be poor with him. He is all patronizing about her naivety. She decides to go to Belgium with the regiment too.
  • Becky makes Rawdon get all the money George owes him as soon as possible. It turns out to be quite a bit, but since honor is at stake, George pays up.
  • Meanwhile, Becky and Rawdon have been having side dealings with Miss Crawley and Briggs, who are still in Brighton.
  • Mrs. Bute runs the show for some time, but suddenly Mr. Bute falls from his horse and breaks his collarbone, so she has to rush back home to take care of him. Miss Crawley is free, which makes everyone in her house happy, including her. Becky sees her chance.
  • Becky first meets up with Briggs on the beach and fills her in how Mrs. Bute set her and Rawdon up to fall in love and get married in the first place. Then Becky does a whole romantic thing about Rawdon and how much she loves him. Briggs eats this up, and Becky knows she will tell Miss Crawley everything.
  • The next day, she makes Rawdon write his aunt a letter. Becky dictates the letter, since Rawdon isn't really much of a writer. Or a reader. Or a thinker.
  • The letter is full of nice hopes for reconciliation and some sad thoughts about the fact that the military campaign might well be fatal.
  • When Miss Crawley gets the letter, she immediately realizes that Rawdon could never have written such a thing, since "He never wrote to me without asking for money in his life, and all his letters are full of bad spelling, and dashes, and bad grammar" (25.83).
  • Still, she agrees to briefly see Rawdon. He meets her when she is out for a walk, they exchange some pleasantries, but then he feels guilty and doesn't follow her into her house. When he tells Becky that he didn't go in, she calls him a moron, and he gets sort of scarily angry at this.
  • Meanwhile, Miss Crawley is growing more and more paranoid about how everyone is just out for her money and wants her dead. She writes Rawdon a note telling him that she has left him something at her lawyer's office (presumably money) to make him and Becky leave Brighton.
  • When they get to the lawyer's office, they are expecting two hundred pounds but only get twenty. It's such a mean and horrible joke that it actually makes Becky laugh out loud.

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