Chapter the Eleventh – Chapter the Twentieth: The next couple of chapters follow the arrival of Mr. Haredale, as well as the conversation between him and Mr. Chester. As far as I can tell, the two old men never liked each other (for some reason, which I’m sure will be revealed later). They do not want Edward (Mr. Chester’s son) to carry on a relationship with Miss Emma Haredale (Mr. Haredale’s niece). I like both Mr. Chester and Haredale – the former for his humorous creepiness, the latter for his strong, silent personality. Their personalities are so different, in fact, that it is no wonder they can’t get along. Hugh also begins to play a larger role in the storyline, and seems to be a bit of a creepy (which is my word today), loser rascal.
Hugh by Phiz.
The next part shows that Joe has taken his only day off to spend with Dolly. I think this part, concerning the flowers he has brought Dolly, is hilarious:
“ ‘Well, well!’ said the locksmith. ‘We must be patient, Joe, and bear with old folks’ foibles. How’s the mare, Joe? Does she do the four miles an hour as easily as ever? Ha, ha, ha! Does she, Joe? Eh!—What have we there, Joe—a nosegay!’
‘A very poor one, sir—I thought Miss Dolly—’
‘No, no,’ said Gabriel, dropping his voice, and shaking his head, ‘not Dolly. Give ’em to her mother, Joe. A great deal better give ’em to her mother. Would you mind giving ’em to Mrs Varden, Joe?’
‘Oh no, sir,’ Joe replied, and endeavouring, but not with the greatest possible success, to hide his disappointment. ‘I shall be very glad, I’m sure.’
‘That’s right,’ said the locksmith, patting him on the back. ‘It don’t matter who has ’em, Joe?’
‘Not a bit, sir.’—Dear heart, how the words stuck in his throat!
‘Come in,’ said Gabriel. ‘I have just been called to tea. She’s in the parlour.’
‘She,’ thought Joe. ‘Which of ’em I wonder—Mrs or Miss?’ The locksmith settled the doubt as neatly as if it had been expressed aloud, by leading him to the door, and saying, ‘Martha, my dear, here’s young Mr Willet.’
Now, Mrs Varden, regarding the Maypole as a sort of human mantrap, or decoy for husbands; viewing its proprietor, and all who aided and abetted him, in the light of so many poachers among Christian men; and believing, moreover, that the publicans coupled with sinners in Holy Writ were veritable licensed victuallers; was far from being favourably disposed towards her visitor. Wherefore she was taken faint directly; and being duly presented with the crocuses and snowdrops, divined on further consideration that they were the occasion of the languor which had seized upon her spirits. ‘I’m afraid I couldn’t bear the room another minute,’ said the good lady, ‘if they remained here. Would you excuse my putting them out of window?’
Joe begged she wouldn’t mention it on any account, and smiled feebly as he saw them deposited on the sill outside. If anybody could have known the pains he had taken to make up that despised and misused bunch of flowers!—“ – Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens, p. 117 -118
Joe gets caught spending the whole time with the Vardens and Dolly (who he doesn’t get a chance to talk to) – which I’m not sure what he thought would happen, But I guess he couldn’t woo her in her family’s presence. He leaves dejected, thinking Dolly doesn’t like him.
Edward Chester’s character becomes a little more developed in Chapter the Fifteenth. He tells his father that he loves Miss Haredale, and Chester basically says that Emma is not good enough for Edward. When I was writing this review, I got a little confused because I was unsure whether Chester really thought Emma was not good enough for Edward (“Ned”, as Mr. Chester calls him), or if it was just because he doesn’t like Mr. Haredale that he does not want them together. I asked my sister, and as she put it, Chester doesn’t think Emma is enough for Edward because she is Haredale’s niece.
The stranger from the road earlier in the story makes another appearance in the story by following Mary Rudge to her house. Mary seems to be frightened by the man, and doesn’t seem to know him which means, I think, that the stranger Gabriel has been concerned about being at her house is different from this one. Later, Dolly delivers a letter from Edward to Emma and is almost stopped by Mr. Haredale. Had it not been for Dolly’s bravery in not handing over the letter, Haredale would not have been impressed and not let her pass.
Dolly and Miss Haredale by Phiz.
I love the sections about Joe, Dolly, and the Vardens. The parts with the “stranger” are a little confusing because I wonder if I’m missing some implication somewhere. But even if I am, the mystery should be unraveled later. I also semi-like the parts with Mr. Chester and Mr. Haredale. Why only semi? Well, I like their characters but I find myself losing interest in the passages concerning their storylines.
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