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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Our deeds still travel with us from afar, and what we have been makes us what we are.

Middlemarch, Book VII - Two Temptations by George Eliot (Marian Evans)

Spoiler Alert: Plot Summary
- Farebrother thanks Lydgate for his help in securing the living. Brutally rebuffed. Trouble continues between Lydgate and Rosamond over their lack of funds; he wants to sell the house, Rosamond intervenes.
- Rosamond writes to Godwin Lydgate, L's uncle, behind L's back; Godwin refuses to help; L furious with R.
- Fred catches L at Green Dragon betting; reins himself in; pulls out L. Farebrother pulls Fred aside and tells him to try to deserve Mary's affections.
- Bulstrode pulls his money, influence out of the hospital project; Dorothea may step in; she's in Yorkshire; L asks Bulstrode for the money, Bulstrode tells him to go bankrupt. (BURN!)
- Raffles is kicked out by B; B makes plans to get the hell outta dodge; Fred/Mary might benefit if B leaves his property.
- Raffles confesses Bulstrode's secret to Garth; Garth quit's Bulstrode's employ; Raffles falls ill; Bulstrode takes him in.
- Lydgate and Rosy are miserable; she plans to go stay with her parents.
- Bulstrode may or may not have caused Raffles' death; unexpectedly changes his mind and gives L the thousand pounds he needs to pay off his debt; L becomes uneasy about the strange turnaround in Raffles' health and his recent death.
- Bulstrode's secret gets out; town suspects the loan to Lydgate was a bribe; public asks Bulstrode to resign.
- Lydgate's reputation is sullied by association; Dorothea finds out and plans to defend him.
Spoiler Over: Continue Here

Ta dah! I'm sure you're not following all these twists and turns too well, but never fear! It's almost done! Just one (pht!) book left. Can't come all the way to Russia, not play Russian roulette!

Here are some bits I enjoyed:

Smattering of the lovely conversation between R and L re:their debts:
Lydgate: "Is it possible to make you understand what the consequences will be? Is it of any use for me to tell you again why we must try to part with the house?"
  'It is not necessary for you to tell me again,' said Rosamond, in a voice that fell and trickled like cold water-drops. 'I remembered what you said.'

Fred, on finding himself back at the gambling establishment, The Green Dragon:
"Fred had been rewarding resolution by a little laxity of late...And now, Mary being out of the way for a little while, Fred, like any other strong dog who cannot slip his collar, had pulled up the staple of his chain and made a small escape, not of course meaning to go fast or far." hehee, aww, Fred!

Reference to the Hulks
-When the public finds out about Bulstrode, they say they'd sooner associate with a man from the Hulks than with Bulstrode, which reminds me of good ole' Abel Magwitch, who you may recall was indeed a man from the Hulks!

Passages I particularly liked:
- Lydgate, on the precarious state of his marriage:"It was as if a fracture in a delicate crystal had begun, and he was afraid of any movement that might make it fatal."

- "Poor Rosamond for months had begun to associate her husband with feelings of disappointment, and the terribly inflexible relation of marriage had lost its charm of encouraging delightful dreams."

- Bulstrode, on his fear of being found out: "It was as if he had had a loathsome dream and could not shake off its images with their hateful kindred of sensations - as if on all the pleasant surroundings of his life a dangerous reptile had left his slimy traces."

So close now! 12 stitches in! Onwards to the close!

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