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MonkeyNotes-Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy
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There are things about Fancy's character that trouble Dick. Even though they are secretly engaged, she still flirts with other men. She also seems to take undue pleasure in dressing to please others rather than him. He decides he will teach her a lesson by making her worry about his feelings. Whenever he is ready to distance himself as punishment, Fancy apologizes for her vanity, and Dick melts.

On the day he is to meet Fancy's father to ask for her hand in marriage, Dick prepares himself carefully. In spite of his efforts, her father tells him bluntly that he is not good enough for Fancy and that she is too wealthy to wed a plain carrier. Heart-broken, Dick agrees and sadly returns home. Fancy, however, is not so easily defeated. When tears fail to move her father, she resorts to the age-old trick of languishing away for love. She does not eat, at least not so that her father can notice; and she also pines and sighs. The ruse works, and her father reluctantly finds himself begging her to marry Dick. The date is set for the coming midsummer.

On the day that Fancy is to begin playing the organ in church, she puts her hair in curls and dresses herself more lavishly than ever before. Dick is sorry to see her dress so beautifully when she knows he will not be present to see her play, for he has to attend the funeral of a friend. On his way home after the funeral, Dick walks through the rain to get one last glimpse of his beloved before he retires. Although she greets him, she does not encourage him to give her a kiss. Later, when she sees the vicar approaching through the rain, she greets him warmly. Knowing nothing of her betrothal to Dick, Maybold has decided to ask for Fancy's hand in marriage. She accepts his proposal, which comes as a surprise, even to her.


The next morning Dick meets Maybold on the road. Still thinking himself betrothed, Dick shyly tells the vicar of his coming marriage to Fancy. Although the vicar is shocked, he says nothing, leaving Dick ignorant of Fancy's faithlessness. Maybold then writes a note to Fancy, telling her that she cannot honorably forsake Dick. Before his note is delivered, he receives a letter from Fancy. It states that she had been momentarily swayed by his proposal and the prospect of a more cultured and elegant life; but she has come to her senses and now begs to withdraw her acceptance of his proposal, because she has loved and still loves another.

Fancy and Dick's marriage day arrives. The wedding is an event of great celebration, marred only by the vicar's refusal to perform the ceremony. After the wedding Dick tells his bride that they must never keep a secret from one another. Fancy replies that they will share everything in the future, but she plans never to tell Dick about her past acceptance of the vicar's proposal. As the novel ends, a nightingale laughs in the background.

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MonkeyNotes-Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy
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