Chapter LX: Perspective
Esther falls ill after her mother’s death and is attended by Woodcourt. Mr. Jarndyce decides to remain in London for a long while, so that Esther can be near Ada and Richard. Since Woodcourt is also looking out for Richard and Ada, Mr. Jarndyce invites Allan’s mother, Mrs. Woodcourt to stay with them. Woodcourt decides against going to sea, and Mr. Jarndyce gets him a post in Yorkshire, caring for the poor, which he will resume in some months.
Richard is now full time in the court, like Miss Flite. Miss Flite makes Richard her executor, as she had made Gridley before. She has also added two birds to her collection called Wards in Jarndyce. Richard looks more and more ill, and Ada says his only bright times are with Allan Woodcourt. She is afraid Richard will not live to see the child she is carrying.
Commentary on Chapter LX
Esther says of Richard’s decline: “There is a ruin of youth which is not like age” (p. 622). He is all nerves, and Ada cannot cheer him. Ada had hoped to be some influence on him, but she says that “I would have married him just the same” (p. 624). Ada is the noble wife who wants her husband to see no trouble in her face, though she sees him at his worst. In this time, both Esther and Woodcourt keep close to the young couple. Mr. Jarndyce is not allowed to visit.