in Dr. Wortle's School

Chapter 19 – “Nobody has Condemned You Here”

Mr. Peacocke as a hero

Mrs. Peacocke admits that different circumstances could have made her first husband a better man, but she also asserts that Ferdinand Lefroy could never have been a “hero” like Mr. Peacocke.  Through his faithfulness and determination, the quiet Classical scholar has become a quasi-Classical mythological figure in Mrs. Peacocke’s estimation.  [RR 2014]


Mrs. Peacocke’s conscience

Mrs. Peacocke explains to Mrs. Wortle that “to the best of [her] conscience” Mr. Peacocke is her husband and that she is not ashamed of herself.  Mrs. Peacocke’s words recall both her conversation with her husband in Chapter 9 (see commentary) and Mr. Peacocke’s quotation of Horace in Chapter 8 (see commentary).  Though Horace is not quoted directly here, Mrs. Peacocke again echoes the Horatian sentiment.  [RR 2014]