The day after Casaubon's burial, Sir James and Mr. Brooke discuss a codicil to his will. Casaubon has forbidden Dorothea to marry Will Ladislaw. Sir James demands that Brooke send Ladislaw out of the country, but Brooke says that he can't ship Will off like a head of cattle. They resolve to keep the codicil a secret from Dorothea, but they fear that gossip will soon endanger Dorothea's reputation.

Dorothea insists that she look through Casaubon's papers. She wants to find some clue about the unspecified promise he wanted of her. Celia reveals the details of the codicil. If Dorothea were to marry Will, she would be stripped of Casaubon's property. The knowledge that Casaubon viewed her with suspicion embitters Dorothea.

Lydgate tells Dorothea to consider allowing Farebrother to take over the parish at Lowick instead of Tyke. He mentions Farebrother's gambling and says that an additional income would relieve him of the need to engage in such an activity. He mentions that Will is a friend of Farebrother's household, especially Miss Noble. Lydgate doesn't know that he has mentioned the strongest reason against Farebrother rather than the strongest recommendation in bringing up Will Ladislaw's association with him.

Will doesn't know of Casaubon's codicil. He only knows that Brooke arranges for him to be at Tipton Grange as little as possible. He concludes that Dorothea's friends want him to stay away on her account. He wonders if they view him with suspicion. He despairs at the growing chasm between them and considers leaving the neighborhood, but he wants to coach Brooke for the Parliamentary elections.

Brooke gives an election speech. He notices an effigy of himself held above the shoulders of the crowd. The hecklers befuddle him, and the speech ends in disaster. The hecklers pelt both the effigy and Brooke himself with eggs until Brooke flees. Brooke informs Will that he is out of a job, because he is selling the Pioneer. Will suspects that Brooke's friends have urged Brooke to be rid of him.

Farebrother learns that he is to have the Lowick parish. His mother, aunt, and sister urge him to court Mary Garth now that he has sufficient income to marry. Fred, having taken his degree, requests that Farebrother ask Mary if there is any chance that she would marry him.