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The Black Prince

Iris Murdoch

Part Two of Bradley Pearson's Story, 1

Part One of Bradley Pearson's Story, 5

Part Two of Bradley Pearson's Story, 1, page 2

page 1 of 2

From the beginning of part to through Julian's invitation to dinner


After the Hamlet tutorial, Bradley decides that he is totally in love with Julian. The next morning, he lies on his carpet trying to smell her presence from the day before and dreaming of her. He comments that love is a form of truth, that gives a sense of the eternal in the same way that religion and art do. In order to maintain this truth within him, Bradley vows to keep his love for Julian secret. In its secrecy, the love will remain pure and true, thereby always warming his soul with the light of truth.

Bradley accepts a lunch proposal from his friend, Hartbourne. As he is walking out the door, he meets Rachel. She wants to talk and retrieve Julian's copy of Hamlet, which Julian forgot. Bradley wants to keep this precious copy for himself, so he makes an excuse about needing it. He insists that Rachel accompany him on some errands. They first stop in a stationary store, but after Rachel insists on talking, they head to a pub. Rachel tells Bradley that she does not want him to think that she throws herself at men. Furthermore, she would like to remain his close special friend and encourage the loving relationship between them. Bradley fully agrees, but is not listening to her because he is thinking about Julian. Rachel notices that he is distracted. When he gets up to leave for his lunch date with Hartbourne, Rachel stays behind in the pub.

Bradley and Hartbourne have a happy lunch during which they gossip about Bradley's old job. On the way home, Bradley stops at a bookstore and orders the collected volumes of Arnold's books, because in his cheer he decides to give them another try. When Bradley gets home, Roger, Priscilla's husband, is there. He has brought Priscilla's jewels and clothing. He asks Bradley to inform Priscilla that he wants a divorce. Bradley lies and says that he told Priscilla about Roger's affair. Marigold is also there. She looks pregnant, and Bradley treats them both so kindly that they think he is either drunk or nutty.

Bradley goes to Christian's to bring Priscilla her jewels. Priscilla looks old, but is calm. She is not pleased about the jewelry because she has decided to return to Roger. Bradley bluntly informs her that Roger wants a divorce. Priscilla goes into hysterics. Francis appears to counsel her and Christian and Bradley retire to another room. Bradley's happiness even has made him friendly towards Christian. She is delighted that his coldness has melted. She tells him that she would like to try and rekindle their love. Bradley is not really listening to her, but agrees to talk it over later. As Christian leans over to kiss him, Arnold walks into the room. He does not look happy to see Bradley and Christian so close. Bradley greets Arnold cheerfully saying he is planning to reread all of Arnold's books. Bradley then heads home, giving Francis Marloe five pounds on the way.

The next morning, Bradley still feels happy, but is trying to figure out what to do about his overwhelming love. Both Christian and Arnold call and want to speak privately with him. He agrees to go to Christian's later that night and talk to them both. After they call, Bradley goes out and buys a series of small presents for Julian. Later that afternoon, Julian herself calls, asking if she can come by sometime to pick up her copy of Hamlet. Bradley says yes. Then he spontaneously asks if she is free for dinner.

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