This is the moment when Hetty shifts from recollection to projection, from dwelling upon random past encounters with the smooth-handed young Squire who has turned her empty head and won her frilly, silly heart, to projecting and even engineering future encounters.

This story is nothing if not the tale of small, insignificant steps, taken by two quite superficial people, leading to unimagined consequences.  And, as the author later tells us, ‘consequences are unpitying’. 

‘… whereabout in the Chase she should see him coming towards her, how she should put her new rose-coloured ribbon on, which he had never seen, and what he would say to her to make her return his glance – a  glance which she would be living through in her memory, over and over again, all the rest of the day.’

Source: George Eliot, Adam Bede (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985 (1859)), p. 145

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