by: George Eliot

Book VII: Chapters 63-67

Between the two extremes lies Farebrother. He doesn't leave the course of his life entirely to chance, but neither does he attempt to determine every event in it. Bulstrode thinks he can stack the deck dealt to him, while Lydgate disdains that the notion that the deck even exists. Fred prefers to be a consummate gambler with his life by refusing to take any direct course of action about his life, such as settling on a profession. Farebrother makes educated gambles. His skill as a whist player is well-known, and he generally comes out ahead most of the time. He acknowledges that his lot is the result of a combination of his own determined decisions and the whims of chance.

As a woman, Rosamond cannot obtain a loan officially, so she tries to get one through informal channels. However, the men she asks decline to deal in financial matters with a woman. Although her secret attempts to get a loan may appear selfish and underhanded, Lydgate's stubborn refusal to ask his friends for help is not exactly responsible either. He waits until the last minute to ask Bulstrode, after the debt has grown to a thousand pounds. Rosamond is unable to help, because men do not believe women should be involved in money matters, even though her own support depends on it. Lydgate stubbornly refuses to take her suggestions. They never reach a compromise, so the conflict and resentment escalate on both sides.