The Mayor of Casterbridge

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Lucetta Templeman Character Analysis

a young woman from Jersey who had a brief relationship with Michael Henchard when he traveled to her town on business. Lucetta nursed Henchard when he fell ill in Jersey, and, despite her innocent love for him, their interactions caused a scandal. Henchard returned to Casterbridge, having told Lucetta of his lost wife. Lucetta wrote a series of love letters to Henchard, and, once she hears that Mrs. Henchard has died, she moves to Casterbridge, having recently inherited a large fortune. In Casterbridge, she takes Elizabeth-Jane into her home and attempts to renew her relationship with Henchard, only to fall in love with Donald Farfrae instead. In order to protect herself from Henchard and his ability to reveal their secret history, she marries Farfrae without anyone’s knowledge. Henchard threatens to reveal their secret, but Lucetta meets him at the Ring and begs for his mercy. However, Jopp reveals the secret instead. The villagers publically shame Lucetta with the skimmington, and she eventual dies from the emotional strain of possibly losing her husband’s love.

Lucetta Templeman Quotes in The Mayor of Casterbridge

The The Mayor of Casterbridge quotes below are all either spoken by Lucetta Templeman or refer to Lucetta Templeman. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of The Mayor of Casterbridge published in 2003.
Chapter 25 Quotes

"I will love him!" she cried passionately; "as for him--he's hot-tempered and stern, and it would be madness to bind myself to him knowing that. I won't be a slave to the past--I'll love where I choose!"

Related Characters: Lucetta Templeman (speaker), Michael Henchard, Donald Farfrae
Page Number: 177
Explanation and Analysis:

Lucetta appears in Casterbridge after Susan’s death and meets Elizabeth-Jane, as well as Henchard, whom she once loved. At first, Elizabeth-Jane is unaware of the connection between Henchard and Lucetta, but when she comes to understand it she and her father agree for once: Lucetta is duty-bound to Henchard because she confessed her love to him and publically displayed her affection. Lucetta’s feelings change when she meets Farfrae and when she witnesses Henchard’s true character, which she refers to as “hot-tempered” and “stern.” After Henchard forces Lucetta to promise to marry him by threatening that he will otherwise reveal their past relationship, Lucetta must make a pivotal decision.

In this passage, Lucetta is torn between the emotion she feels in the present and her sense of duty to actions in the past. Tension between past and present, in which the past influences the present, is a common motif in this novel. Henchard and Susan feel guilt about the past and let it guide their actions in the present. Lucetta rejects this—throwing away her sense of duty to Henchard—and chooses to follow romantic love for Farfrae. She says she won’t be “a slave to the past,” as she believes that to live according to the past leads to unhappiness. It is certainly true that Elizabeth-Jane, guided by feelings of duty, is unhappy. Lucetta rejects duty in favor of happiness, partly because of romantic love and partly because she sees Henchard’s poor character and feels it would be “madness” to marry him.

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Chapter 29 Quotes

Married him?" said Henchard at length. "My good--what, married him whilst--bound to marry me?" "It was like this," she explained, with tears in her eyes and quavers in her voice; "don't--don't be cruel! I loved him so much, and I thought you might tell him of the past--and that grieved me! And then, when I had promised you, I learnt of the rumor that you had--sold your first wife at a fair like a horse or cow! How could I keep my promise after hearing that?”

Related Characters: Michael Henchard (speaker), Lucetta Templeman (speaker), Donald Farfrae
Page Number: 209
Explanation and Analysis:

The truth of Henchard’s treatment of Susan in the past is revealed to the occupants of Casterbridge when the furmity-woman is on trial. One consequence of this is Henchard’s further decline in popularity, and another is Lucetta’s secret marriage to Farfrae. Lucetta confesses the truth to Henchard with “tears in her eyes” and a “quaver in her voice.” Her emotions may be the result of fear of Henchard’s reaction, guilt over her actions, or an attempt to gain his sympathy for her plight. She implores him to not be cruel and to attempt to understand that she saw herself released from her promise once she learned the truth about his past.

Lucetta’s motivation for her secret marriage shows in two ways that the past cannot ever be entirely overcome, overlooked, or forgiven. First, she is unable to think that Henchard might have changed in twenty-five years. She sees the actions of his past as a permanent mark of his character. She speaks of his actions in the most horrifying terms, equating his sale of his wife to treating her like a horse or cow. This is an accurate assessment, but one that overlooks Henchard’s later reunion with and kindness toward Susan and Elizabeth-Jane. Henchard’s past has come back to haunt him, preventing him from being with this woman he loves and wants to marry. Second, Lucetta’s secret marriage shows that she believes the past connection between herself and Henchard will mark her unfavorably in the present. She married Farfrae quickly because she worried that he would see her in a negative light if he learned of her past, just as she sees Henchard in a negative light because of his past.

Chapter 34 Quotes

The truth was that, as may be divined, he had quite intended to effect a grand catastrophe at the end of this drama by reading out the name, he had come to the house with no other thought. But sitting here in cold blood he could not do it. Such a wrecking of hearts appalled even him. His quality was such that he could have annihilated them both in the heat of action; but to accomplish the deed by oral poison was beyond the nerve of his enmity.

Related Characters: Michael Henchard, Donald Farfrae, Lucetta Templeman
Page Number: 244
Explanation and Analysis:

Henchard plans to tell Farfrae of his past romantic connection with Lucetta in the hope of turning Farfrae against his wife and poisoning their relationship. To this end, he reads some of Lucetta’s letters aloud to Farfrae, pretending he simply wants to share these stories with a friend. Farfrae isn’t suspicious of his actions, and is indulgent of a friend’s oddity in reading old love letters. Henchard finds that he cannot, in a calm and measured way, reveal the hurtful truth by reading Lucetta’s name aloud at the end of one of the letters. This quote shows a key aspect of Henchard’s character. He could have “annihilated them both in the heat of action,” meaning he is capable of great cruelty in moments of heightened emotion, but he cannot be cruel when his emotions are not stirred. In this calm atmosphere, when he is not provoked by Farfrae, it is “beyond the nerve of his enmity” to inflict great pain. “Enmity” means hostility, which he feels towards both Farfrae and Lucetta, and the “nerve of his enmity” describes what Henchard is capable of doing due to his hatred.

This passage draws an important distinction about Henchard's character. Henchard is more likely to be self-destructive than destructive to others, because he cannot inflict pain “in cold blood.” Hurting others often requires forethought, but Henchard mostly lashes out when emotional, and his anger is often public, which turns other people against his anger to hurt himself more than anyone else.

Chapter 40 Quotes

When within a few yards of Farfrae's he saw the door gently opened, and a servant raise her hand to the knocker, to untie the piece of cloth which had muffled it. He went across, the sparrows in his way scarcely flying up from the road-litter, so little did they believe in human aggression at so early a time.
"Why do you take off that?" said Henchard. She turned in some surprise at his presence, and did not answer for an instant or two. Recognizing him, she said,
"Because they may knock as loud as they will; she will never hear it any more."

Related Characters: Michael Henchard (speaker), Lucetta Templeman
Page Number: 285
Explanation and Analysis:

Lucetta falls sick after she witnesses the villagers of Casterbridge publically reveal the truth about and mock her amorous past with Henchard. Henchard fearfully awaits news of Lucetta’s condition, only to learn that she has died when the muffler on the door knocker is removed. Henchard’s way of learning about Lucetta’s death is a poignant metaphor for suffering. The knocker was muffled to protect the dying woman from any stressful sounds, but it is removed once “she will never hear it any more.” While alive, Lucetta suffered from external interference—gossip and rumors about her, Henchard’s threats, and the skimmington-ride. She overheard Henchard reading her letters aloud to her husband. What she could hear and witness brought Lucetta much suffering in life, as the knocking of the doorbell might. Once dead, Lucetta won’t be able to hear anymore, neither the door knocker nor any of the vicious rumors that impacted her life.

This passage uses the detail about the sparrows in the street to again bring nature in close relationship to the life and death of humans. The presence of the sparrows, and their calm lack of fear, places them near Lucetta’s death, but unaware of it. Nature is unconcerned with human suffering. At the same time, the sparrows might fear “human aggression,” which shows that humans and nature certainly do impact each other.

Chapter 41 Quotes

“That performance of theirs killed her, but kept me alive!”

Related Characters: Michael Henchard (speaker), Lucetta Templeman
Related Symbols: The Effigies
Page Number: 294
Explanation and Analysis:

Henchard realizes that witnessing the effigy from the skimmington-ride has saved him, whereas witnessing the effigy of herself killed Lucetta. This is the type of irony that appears multiple times in the novel: the same event can have the opposite effect for different characters, and characters can completely reverse situations in life. While Hardy is certainly rather heavy-handed in the ironies of his plotting, his characters also witness these ironies within the plot itself: particularly Henchard, as in this passage. Henchard is awed by these ironies, and his reaction is due to his sense that something beyond his control is occurring. Irony often seems like fate because the reversal or change is so dramatic and complete. And yet despite this fatalistic quality of many of the events in this book, there are always other explanations provided for these events, such as the choices characters make or chance events of nature. 

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Lucetta Templeman Character Timeline in The Mayor of Casterbridge

The timeline below shows where the character Lucetta Templeman appears in The Mayor of Casterbridge. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 18
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...woman in Jersey whom he had thought he would never hear from again. This woman, Lucetta, apologizes for her past behavior of pestering him with letters of passion and frustration and... (full context)
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Henchard is moved by Lucetta’s letter and vows that if he is ever in a position to carry out the... (full context)
Chapter 21
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...Elizabeth-Jane negative reply, the woman realizes she never gave her name and introduces herself as Miss Templeman . (full context)
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Miss Templeman arranges for Elizabeth-Jane to arrive at her house and move in at six that evening.... (full context)
Chapter 22
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...explained by the events of the previous evening. Henchard had then received a letter from Lucetta. In this letter, Lucetta wrote that she had heard of Susan’s death and felt in... (full context)
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...evening, he inquired after Miss La Sueur (the last name by which he had known Lucetta) and heard that only Miss Templeman had arrived. Henchard wondered if Lucetta had come into... (full context)
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Henchard’s excitement and hopes for Lucetta are greatly increased by her letters and he sets out that very night to visit... (full context)
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Earlier in the evening when Elizabeth-Jane arrived at High-Place Hall, she had joined Lucetta in the drawing room where the other woman endeavored to entertain her with some card... (full context)
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The next day, Lucetta dresses for Henchard’s visit and waits for him all day. She does not tell Elizabeth-Jane... (full context)
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Lucetta is disappointed that Henchard did not visit, despite having spent the day so nearby in... (full context)
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Lucetta starts to cry as she realizes that she has prevented Henchard from visiting by inviting... (full context)
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As soon as Elizabeth-Jane has departed, Lucetta writes to Henchard explaining that she has sent Elizabeth-Jane away that morning so that he... (full context)
Chapter 23
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...that he is calling upon Miss Henchard, and did not mean to so surprise her. Lucetta encourages the man, who she learns is Mr. Farfrae, to stay and sit now that... (full context)
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...Elizabeth-Jane. His recent business success has made him aware that he can afford to marry. Lucetta and Farfrae comment upon the busy market scene. Lucetta says that she will look for... (full context)
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Farfrae and Lucetta observe a disagreement occurring outside of the window. A farmer is hiring an elderly worker,... (full context)
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Lucetta tells him his offer is kind-hearted when he returns to her drawing room. Outside the... (full context)
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As Farfrae leaves, Lucetta says eagerly that he should not heed any gossip he may hear about her in... (full context)
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...Henchard calls with the message that he is only able to make a brief visit. Lucetta tells her maid to send him away that day with the excuse that she has... (full context)
Chapter 24
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On every Saturday market day, Lucetta and Elizabeth-Jane are inevitably at home, watching from their windows the maneuvers of Farfrae in... (full context)
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Two new purchases arrive on the same day: a brightly colored dress ordered by Lucetta and new farming machine, which the two ladies see from their window. The pair decides... (full context)
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Lucetta and Elizabeth-Jane meet Farfrae who is inspecting the machine, which was purchased at his recommendation.... (full context)
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As night falls, Lucetta and Elizabeth-Jane continue to watch the scene outside their house. Elizabeth-Jane bemoans the fact that,... (full context)
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After seeing how Farfrae acted around Lucetta, Elizabeth-Jane pays special attention to Lucetta’s actions and discovers a time when she leaves and... (full context)
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Elizabeth-Jane refuses to pass any sort of judgment on the situation described or to advise Lucetta about what she ought to do. Elizabeth-Jane is not fooled by Lucetta’s pretense that her... (full context)
Chapter 25
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Farfrae calls upon Lucetta, and while Lucetta insists that Elizabeth-Jane join them, Elizabeth-Jane is fully aware that she is... (full context)
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Henchard, meanwhile, has found his affections for Lucetta increasing due to her inaccessibility and her growing beauty. Having realized that ignoring her is... (full context)
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Henchard says his proposal of their marriage will silence the gossip in Lucetta’s home town of Jersey, and Lucetta angrily replies that she did nothing wrong in Jersey,... (full context)
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...by the man himself, passes by the window, and if Henchard had been looking at Lucetta’s face at that moment, he would have seen the love shining there. Henchard, however, does... (full context)
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After Henchard leaves, Lucetta passionately exclaims that she will not be a slave to the past by binding herself... (full context)
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Elizabeth-Jane observes both Farfrae and Henchard’s love for Lucetta and her own invisibleness in comparison. She feels that such a situation is reasonable in... (full context)
Chapter 26
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...Henchard looks up from reading a letter before asking about this woman, and because of Lucetta’s dramatically altered situation, Farfrae does not suspect them to be one and the same. And... (full context)
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Henchard seeks another meeting with Lucetta and at this visit he intentionally mentions Farfrae’s name in order to see her reaction.... (full context)
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...poor circumstances, and readily accepts the job. Jopp is the only other person who knows Lucetta’s origin in Jersey, having lived there when Henchard did business in that area. (full context)
Chapter 27
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...their workers take on the dispute between Henchard and Farfrae. One September evening, Elizabeth-Jane and Lucetta hear angry voices outside and discover a collision between two wagons in the narrow street,... (full context)
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Henchard arrives and, seeing the state of his wagon, yells at Farfrae’s man. Elizabeth-Jane and Lucetta run down into the street, and Lucetta says that they saw it all, and that... (full context)
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...old woman to be held the next day. After agreeing to this, Henchard knocks at Lucetta’s door only to be told that she cannot see him that evening, as she has... (full context)
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...are walking and overhears their conversation. He hears Farfrae’s expression of his strong feelings and Lucetta’s commitment to him, although she asks if they might not always live in Casterbridge, should... (full context)
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Lucetta returns and Henchard presses her about her connection to him, alluding to their past in... (full context)
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Lucetta bitterly agrees, and had she settled upon any man other than Farfrae, Henchard might have... (full context)
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After Henchard leaves, Elizabeth-Jane asks Lucetta how Henchard can have this much power over her, and why she calls him Michael,... (full context)
Chapter 28
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Lucetta sees a large crowd around the Town Hall that day and asks her servant what... (full context)
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Lucetta tells Elizabeth-Jane that she plans to go to Port-Bredy, to the seaside, for a few... (full context)
Chapter 29
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Lucetta walks along the road. Before turning back, she peers into the distance, looking for any... (full context)
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Lucetta and Elizabeth-Jane see a barn off the road, but as soon as they turn toward... (full context)
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Henchard consoles a frantic Lucetta, saying that he has returned the favor of saving her, as she once saved him... (full context)
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...happened and he gives her a ride back to town. Although they see Henchard and Lucetta ahead of them, Farfrae does not hurry his horse in order to catch up with... (full context)
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Henchard and Lucetta’s conversation on the walk back begins with Henchard’s apology for his insistence the other evening... (full context)
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...Grower expects money, which Henchard cannot yet pay, given his financial situation. Henchard hopes that Lucetta will go with him before Mr. Grower to confirm their engagement, which will show that... (full context)
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Henchard bursts out angrily that Lucetta would marry Farfrae while bound in agreement to him. Lucetta says she knew she had... (full context)
Chapter 30
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Farfrae’s plans to move, as he discussed with his servants, are a transition to joining Lucetta in High-Place Hall. Lucetta greets him upon on his arrival, and tells him that she... (full context)
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Lucetta reminds Elizabeth-Jane of the story she told her about her “friend,” but the younger woman... (full context)
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Elizabeth-Jane says that she ought to marry Henchard, given how far they are entangled. If Lucetta cannot marry Henchard, Elizabeth-Jane feels that the only other possibility is for her to remain... (full context)
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Lucetta, overcome, shows Elizabeth-Jane the ring on her finger, at which Elizabeth-Jane happily assumes that Lucetta... (full context)
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...her netting skills will earn enough money to support her. She leaves a note for Lucetta and departs. The town is celebrating the news of the marriage, and debating whether or... (full context)
Chapter 32
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...is gazing into the water when Jopp arrives and greets him. Jopp tells Henchard that Lucetta and Farfrae have moved into their new house, which is Henchard old house. Farfrae has... (full context)
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...from Henchard’s old home, is now in close proximity to the lives of Farfrae and Lucetta. Elizabeth-Jane avoids looking across the street as much as possible, as she occupies herself with... (full context)
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...as he works, must see Farfrae coming and going from his old home and from Lucetta inside. (full context)
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...Farfrae’s replacement of himself in reputation, location, and love festers in his mind. He feels Lucetta’s loss far more desperately than he had ever felt interest in her when he could... (full context)
Chapter 33
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...will offer a hymn. Henchard looks outside and sees Farfrae passing in the street with Lucetta on his arm. (full context)
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...a cursed man who dies and leaves little prosperity or happiness behind him. Farfrae and Lucetta pass by again and Henchard, indicating Farfrae, says that he is the man they’ve been... (full context)
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...the yard and works with him in order to do so. After a few days, Lucetta happens to stumble upon Henchard and Elizabeth-Jane working together. Henchard says to Lucetta that humble... (full context)
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The next day, Henchard receives a note from Lucetta asking him not to speak to her in such a way when she has done... (full context)
Chapter 34
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...that she has something to tell him about Henchard and did not want to alarm Lucetta by calling at the house. She says that she fears Henchard will insult or harm... (full context)
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When Farfrae returns home that evening, he is visibly troubled. He confesses to Lucetta that he is worried about and confused by Henchard’s hatred of him. He says that... (full context)
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Farfrae and Lucetta are discussing this plan when the current mayor, a Mr. Vatt, arrives at their house.... (full context)
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Lucetta is very troubled from that evening onward. Imprudently, she asks Henchard when she next encounters... (full context)
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...that the letters are most likely still in a safe in his old home, where Lucetta and Farfrae now live. Henchard is already furious about his mistaken information on Farfrae’s willful... (full context)
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...papers from the safe, having had some alcohol beforehand to prepare himself. He inquires after Lucetta and learns she is already in bed. Henchard asks Farfrae if he remembers the woman... (full context)
Chapter 35
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Lucetta had retired upstairs that evening, but she had not gone to sleep. As the time... (full context)
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Lucetta sits on her bed, waiting, unable to undress or move in her state of anxiety.... (full context)
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The next day, Lucetta wonders how to parry Henchard’s next attack. She considers telling Farfrae the truth, but is... (full context)
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Lucetta prepares for the meeting with Henchard by wearing her drabbest clothes and attempting to heighten... (full context)
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When Henchard says he is sorry to see her looking so ill, Lucetta says that he is the cause. She begs him to not ruin her happiness and... (full context)
Chapter 36
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As Lucetta arrives at home after her secret meeting with Henchard, Jopp stops her outside. He asks... (full context)
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...the parcel he is supposed to deliver, he wonders about the connection between Henchard and Lucetta. He was aware in Jersey that there was some sort of connection between them. Inspired... (full context)
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...read, the identities of the main players are revealed. The furmity-woman feels she has saved Lucetta from a bad marriage. Nance Mockridge says the letters are a good foundation for a... (full context)
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...letters that night, at the late hour. Jopp delivers the letters the next morning and Lucetta promptly burns them, grateful than no evidence of her unlucky situation with Henchard remains. (full context)
Chapter 37
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...with a small union jack flag and a large rosette. She surveys the scene, noting Lucetta seated at the front of the chairs set up for ladies. Lucetta is watching her... (full context)
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Mrs. Blowbody, a lady sitting next to Lucetta, asks whether Henchard wasn’t once Farfrae’s patron when he first arrived in Casterbridge. Lucetta exclaims... (full context)
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...will occur that very night, so as to stand in sharp contrast to Farfrae and Lucetta’s prominence that day. For Jopp, the plan is not a joke, but his means of... (full context)
Chapter 38
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...of the royal personage, he stood behind the stand where the ladies sat. He overheard Lucetta deny to Mrs. Blowbody that he had ever helped Farfrae. Returning home, he meets Jopp.... (full context)
Chapter 39
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...rerouted him. Farfrae wishes to think over the situation with Henchard, and to not encounter Lucetta or act immediately without thought given the seriousness of the situation. The note about his... (full context)
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...from their friends and neighbors who enjoy the event. They also take no precautions on Lucetta’s behalf, believing there to be some truth in the scandal, and feeling she ought to... (full context)
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At about eight o’clock, Lucetta is sitting in her drawing room when she overhears a distant hubbub. This does not... (full context)
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The one maid exclaims that the female figure is dressed exactly as Lucetta was dressed when she sat in the front row for a performance at the Town... (full context)
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Elizabeth-Jane attempts again to shut the window and block out the skimmington-ride. Lucetta shrieks that Farfrae will see it and never love her again, which will kill her.... (full context)
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...house to see what is happening. Eventually, the servants reappear. The doctor is called and Lucetta is carried to her bed. The doctor arrives and says Lucetta’s fit is serious, in... (full context)
Chapter 40
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...tries to see Elizabeth-Jane and learns that she is not at her home, but with Lucetta at Farfrae’s. Henchard calls there and learns how ill Lucetta is, and that Farfrae is... (full context)
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...to do something for Farfrae’s good. He asks Elizabeth-Jane, who is at the house, how Lucetta is doing. Elizabeth-Jane says that she fears the townsfolk have killed Lucetta. Henchard reflects on... (full context)
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...home to Jopp’s cottage. Jopp’s face is anxious as he mentions the bad news of Lucetta’s illness, but Henchard does not suspect his part in it. Jopp says that a man,... (full context)
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...see his misinterpretation of Henchard’s motives. Another doctor is sent for, and Farfrae stays by Lucetta’s side throughout the night. He doesn’t hear the details of the skimmington-ride, as the news... (full context)
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Henchard calls at Farfrae’s throughout the night, to check on Lucetta’s condition, but also to see Elizabeth-Jane. Every other hope and connection having been removed from... (full context)
Chapter 41
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Not long after Henchard learns of Lucetta’s death, he is sitting up at home when Elizabeth-Jane arrives. She gives him the news,... (full context)
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...water Henchard’s effigy from the skimmington-ride. Henchard says that the performance of the skimmington-ride killed Lucetta, but saved his life. (full context)
Chapter 42
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...leaders of the skimmington-ride is tempered by his realization that to make too much of Lucetta’s history will harm himself and Henchard, as well. The outcome of the event is therefore... (full context)
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With time, Farfrae is able to put Lucetta’s life and death into perspective, realizing that with the revelation of her history, which would... (full context)