Chapters 48 – 50
Isabel asks her friends to check on Ralph, who is preparing to leave Rome for England; Henrietta not only checks on him, but she plans to escort him and care for him all the way. Casper Goodwood will travel with him, too, because it is what Isabel desires. She declares Ralph her best friend, and he states that it was because of her that he wanted to live. Now he is useless.
For some reason, Osmond was interested in Mr. Goodwood, and spent a great deal speaking to him about private, personal issues concerning Isabel. Goodwood “at times had wished Osmond were dead, and would have liked to kill him…” He even considered Osmond demoniac in his ideas.
In private conversation, Goodwood reveals to Isabel that he still loves her; he knows of her unhappiness even though she tried to hide it.
|Nicole Kidman as Isabel in The Portrait of a Lady, 1996|
Then the witch returns, Madame Merle, and throws a tantrum because Lord Warburton left to England. “…let us have him!” she demands. Merle provokes Isabel with her insolent, insulting words, and it is apparent to Isabel that Merle was behind the match making of Osmond and herself. Isabel ponders if Merle is wicked. I don’t think it is even questionable.
Finally, Countess Gemini arrives in Rome and spends time with Isabel. While visiting the Coliseum with Pansy, Isabel runs into Mr. Rosier; he has sold his bibelots (collection) and acquired some money, which he believes may please Osmond. But Isabel tells him it will not matter.
Not too much later, Pansy tells Isabel that she is being sent back to the convent. Osmond gives a long-winded justification why he chose to send her back, while Countess Gemini bravely speaks out against her brother.
To be continued…