Although both Strether and Madame de Vionnet were prepared for the confrontation, Strether was "the more prepared of the two, inasmuch as, for all her cleverness, she couldn't produce on the spot — and it was surprising — an account of the motive of her note." Madame de Vionnet berates herself for what must seem to Strether her "selfish and vulgar" position, releasing him from his promise to help her any further: "I won't ask you to raise your little finger for me again." She tells him that she does, however, care how she appears to him.Madame de Vionnet asks him to stay in Paris, asking him, "Where is your 'home' moreover now? . . . I've upset everything in your mind . . . in your sense of . . . all the decencies and possibilities." But finally she asks, "When is it you say you go?"
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