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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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