Mrs. Dalloway: Chapter 9 - Summary

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Lunch at Lady Bruton’s House.

      Now Rezia and Septimus are coming to their home and it is half-past one. At this very moment Hugh Whitbread goes to the Lunchon of Lady Bruton. Hugh is a man who is very conscious of his importance. He is a magnificent man and always walks in a magnificent manner. “He had been afloat on the cream of English society, for fifty-five years”. He has a little job at court but he does it efficiently. He is well connected with Prime Minister and feels proud of it. He knows Lady Bruton for twenty years and always brings for her a bunch of flowers whenever he goes to lunch with her. But Lady Bruton prefers Richard Dalloway because he has been very kind to her in the past and because he could write very fine letters. She has invited him on this particular day to write an important letter. Both Hugh Whitbread and Richard Dalloway reach there at the same time.

      Lady Bruton is a conservative of a family of Generals. She herself is like a General, a warrior, proud and very dignified. She is a perfect Mayfair hostess, polite and hospitable. She takes more interest in politics than in public. She has never liked Clarissa’s habit of discriminating between one perfect gentleman and another.

      At lunch they converse about Peter Walsh, his love for Clarissa, her rejection of him, his visit of India, his failures etc. Richard Dalloway seems to like Peter very much. Lady Brouton had called them to help her in drafting a letter to the Times regarding the emigration of the young people born of respectable parents, and settling them with a fair project of doing well in Canada. But she exaggerates and lacks the sense of proportion because emigration is to her only the obvious and sublime conception, not to others.

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