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Tender is the Night

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Chapters 4-7

Summary Chapters 4-7


The Divers head south to their villa on the Riviera. They live comfortably with few interruptions, spending a great deal of time with their children, until they go to visit Mary North. After her husband's death, Mary remarried Hosain, the Conte di Minghetti, a wealthy man from southwestern Asia. Dick gets drunk to relieve the boredom of their stay. Through a misunderstanding about their child's bath, the Divers inadvertently insult Hosain's sister, whom they mistook for a maid. Mary, furious, demands an apology, but instead Dick insults her for being so boring.

After an altercation with their drunken cook back at their villa, who accused Dick of drinking too much and threatened him with a knife, the Divers' marriage reaches a low point. Rather than confronting the problem, Dick decides to obnoxiously board the boat of one of their acquaintances. On the boat, Dick drinks heavily and offends an English woman, Lady Caroline, while Nicole finds Tommy Barban and they talk through the night. Tommy drives the couple home and stays the night.

In the morning, Nicole gives Tommy the family's whole bottle of cough medicine despite Dick's objections. That morning she overhears two gardeners discussing an affair one of them had had with a young woman, after which the Divers receive letters from both Rosemary and Tommy.

The following morning the Divers go to the beach together and find Rosemary. They go out in a boat with some of Rosemary's friends and Dick tries to impress the starlet with a trick he was once able to do on the water-skis, riding with a man on his shoulders. Despite his best efforts, Dick can no longer perform the trick. Mary North appears and snubs the Divers, but even that cannot cause Dick to tumble too far in Rosemary's estimation. They continue to flirt, even in the face of Nicole's obvious anger.

Rosemary senses Nicole's anger and tries to change the subject to the Divers' children. She asks the younger girl, Topsy, if she wants to be an actress. Nicole rebukes Rosemary for even suggesting it, storms away back to her villa and sends a provocative letter to Tommy Barban.

The Divers spend that evening with their children, but feel estranged from one another. Upon returning from shopping the following morning, Nicole discovers that Dick has gone to Provence to spend some time alone. Tommy Barban calls and says that he is coming to see Nicole.

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