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by George Eliot
Middlemarch Book 8, Chapter 76 Summary
Lydgate goes to Lowick Manor, at Dorothea's request, to discuss the new hospital with her. When he arrives, he tells her not to count on him for his continued help or advice at the hospital, because he might have to leave town. Dorothea immediately tells him that she has never believed the gossip about him, and asks him to tell her everything so that she can help to vindicate him. Lydgate feels oddly comforted. It's the first time anyone has told him that they believed in him. So he tells her the whole story, up to and including the fact that the housekeeper had given Raffles brandy against his orders. But any other doctor in town would have given brandy as well as opium, so that's not evidence against him. It's that Bulstrode gave him a lot of money right before the guy died – it just looks bad. She offers to give him the money to repay Bulstrode, and also to take over funding the hospital on a larger scale than Bulstrode had. Her offer would make it possible for him to stay in Middlemarch and to clear his good name. Lydgate is so encouraged by her generosity and openness that he decides to tell her about his problems with Rosamond, too. Rosamond, he says, is dead set against staying in Middlemarch. He adds that she doesn't believe in him, but says that it's his fault for not being open enough with her. Dorothea offers to go and see her, and reassure her that her husband still has friends and supporters in the town.
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