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by George Eliot
Middlemarch Book 5, Chapter 43 Summary
Dorothea has decided to go to Middlemarch on her own to visit Mr. Lydgate and ask if Casaubon's symptoms had changed. She feels bad asking for information behind his back, but she's afraid that he's gotten sicker and is hiding it from her. Lydgate isn't home, but Mrs. Lydgate is. Dorothea has never met Rosamond, but asks to come in and wait for Lydgate. Rosamond is happy to have "Mrs. Casaubon" come to visit. She's proud of her new house, and proud of the fact that she was welcomed with honor by Mr. Lydgate's rich uncles. Dorothea goes into the house and shakes hands with Rosamond, apologizing for the intrusion and asking if she might wait for Lydgate if she thinks he'll be home soon. Will Ladislaw steps out of the background and offers to fetch Lydgate from the hospital. Dorothea doesn't want to spend any more time with Will than she has to, knowing that it would make her husband unhappy if he found out, so she says she'll go herself. On her way to the hospital, she reflects that it's odd that Will is hanging out with Lydgate's pretty wife in his absence, and then remembers that he'd hung out with her in Casaubon's absence, too. She wonders whether she'd been wrong about Will, somehow. Will, meanwhile, sees that she's upset about something, and is angry – he thinks that Casaubon has been persuading her that he's below her, now that he works for a newspaper. Will says goodbye to Rosamond rather grouchily, and leaves. Lydgate comes home. Rosamond asks him about Mrs. Casaubon, and he says that she only wanted to ask about her husband's health. He adds that Dorothea has promised to give a big sum of money to the new fever hospital.
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