The - The "precise and...

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Unformatted text preview: The "precise and inflexible" engagement ritual begins. Newland, May, and her mother go to old Mrs. Mingott's house, where the pleasantries turn to the family blessing, the engagement ring, and the wedding day. During this conversation, Ellen and Julius Beaufort unexpectedly arrive. Ellen extends an impromptu invitation to Newland to come visit her; however, Newland privately thinks she shouldn't ask an engaged man to call on a married woman. The next evening, Mr. Sillerton Jackson dines at the Archer's and spreads gossipy information with his acerbic tongue. He criticizes Ellen for walking up Fifth Avenue during fashionable hours with Julius Beaufort, a married man. Totally out of character, Newland takes up Ellen's defense, saying that her bad marriage was a matter of poor luck. Later, in the study when the men are alone, Jackson reveals that Ellen was allegedly living with her...
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