Dorothea and Lydgate are discussing the new hospital.
Lydgate explains that it's very important for the town to have this new fever hospital, but, because it's being funded mostly by Bulstrode, a lot of prominent townspeople are against it – Bulstrode isn't popular in certain circles.
And some of the other medical men are against it, because they disapprove of Lydgate's new-fangled scientific methods.
Dorothea thinks that it all sounds very petty, and agrees to help fund the hospital.
She likes helping people, and thinks that this will be a good way to do it.