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The next evening Lord Warburton goes to the opera where he looks for Isabel and the others. He sees Isabel sitting in the opera box with Gilbert Osmond and feels sick at the sight. He meets Ralph on the stairs. Ralph looks dejected and tells him he feels very low. He stays only a short time with the others and then leaves.
Gilbert Osmond asks Isabel about Lord Warburton. She tells him Lord Warburton is irreproachable. Henrietta Stackpole adds information about his wealth and his ideas. Isabel indicates that she is not interested in Lord Warburton, though she likes him. Ralph ironically notes Isabelís tendency to call Warburton "poor Lord Warburton" is a way of coping with having hurt him.
Lord Warburton finds Isabel a day later and tells her he plans to leave Rome early since he canít do as she has asked him to do-- not talk about his wish to marry her. She is by turns cold to him and kind to him. He leaves. As she is sitting alone looking at the Roman statues around her, Gilbert Osmond comes up. He asks her about Lord Warburton. She indicates the Lord Warburton has been gone for some time. He thinks to himself that it will be good to have Isabel among his "collection of choice objects" since she has turned down a British noble. He has always been peeved at fate for not having made him a noble, so he likes the idea of winning a woman who turned one down.
Volume 2 begins on an ominous note as Isabel Archer says good- bye to the noble Lord Warburton and turns to Gilbert Osmond and he, for his part, thinks to himself the ignoble thought that he will be happy to add Isabel to his collection of rare treasures. Since he has always felt cheated by the universe for not having given him an English dukedom, he can gloat about the thought that his wife turned an English peer down.