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MonkeyNotes-Middlemarch by George Eliot
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Chapter 33

Summary

Mary sits by the old manís bed after midnight. She finds it peaceful after all the visitorsí demands and their unwanted presence all day. From herself, she has no expectations of any inheritance, and doubts whatever Fredís hopes will be fulfilled. At three oíclock, the old man calls her to his side. He asks her to open his trunk and remove, his will as he had made two. He wants her to destroy one of them Mary refuses to do anything, which will make her an object of suspicion. She insists he should call in all those present as witness, or wait till morning for his lawyer. Featherstone tries to bribe her with cash. She rejects it, she tries to soothe him but he is too angry and frustrated. Finally, he subsides. A little later, Mary looks at him and realizes he is dead. Fittingly, he lies lying on a pile of gold and Notes.


Notes

The old miser who has relied on manipulation of his relatives is finally frustrated by it. Having prepared two wills to keep everyone guessing, he is unable at last to make his choice felt. This incident is also a test of Maryís ethical values. She could have surrendered in the hope of helping Fred, or enriching herself, but she does not. In spite of her doubts, she is true to her principles. Featherstoneís death ends Book III "Waiting for Death." In the series of parallel characters and incidents in the novel, the death of Featherstone, and the anticipated one of Casaubon are important for the way they affect the major characters. Both men are rich; hence their disposal of their property is central to the events in the plot.

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