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Chapter 37

One day, there is an announcement that a royal personage will be passing through town, and the town is giddy in preparation for the brief arrival. Henchard hopes to be a part of the town's official welcome, but Farfrae the Mayor turns down his request, citing that he is no longer a part of the Council. Henchard is infuriated and schemes to plan his own special welcome. That morning, Henchard takes a drink and emerges at the town's gathering wearing an old wrinkled costume and carrying a dilapidated flag. He elbows his way to the front of the crowd, irritated to see how smitten Lucetta is with her husband. When the royal arrives, Henchard emerges from the crowd and swaggers over to him, but Farfrae quickly intervenes. Henchard attempts to fight back but he gives way and leaves. Lucetta is quick to scorn Henchard, unaware that Henchard helped Farfrae find his footing when he first arrived in Casterbridge. Lucetta is mostly disappointed that the moment has been tainted.
After the short ceremony, several locals linger to converse. One mentions the budding beauty of Elizabeth-Jane. Another brings up the subject of the impending skimmity-ride, but there are fleeting doubts in the party since it will undoubtedly cause the ridiculed subjects great embarrassment. One man, Christopher Coney, concludes that if they fear the humiliation will be too great, they will warn Farfrae. Though Farfrae was initially well-liked by the townspeople, his new status and wealth had curtailed their affections for him. The planners of the skimmity-ride are meanwhile in the depths of preparations, and for Jopp personally, it will not just be a joke but his revenge.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapters 1 and 2
Chapters 3 and 4
Chapters 5 and 6
Chapters 7 and 8
Chapters 9 and 10
Chapters 11, 12, and 13
Chapters 14 and 15
Chapter 16
Chapters 17 and 18
Chapters 19 and 20
Chapters 21 and 22
Chapters 23 and 24
Chapters 25 and 26
Chapter 27
Chapters 28 and 29
Chapters 30 and 31
Chapters 32 and 33
Chapter 34
Chapters 35 and 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapters 40 and 41
Chapters 42 and 43
Chapter 44
Chapter 45


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