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by George Eliot

Middlemarch Book 8, Chapter 83 Summary

  • Dorothea is trying to read at home, but she can't concentrate.
  • After a while, Miss Noble comes in.
  • Will Ladislaw sent her, she says, because he's afraid that he's offended Dorothea, and wants to see her for a few minutes.
  • He's waiting outside.
  • Dorothea can't refuse.
  • Miss Noble leaves, and sends Will in.
  • Will at first tells her about the Bulstrode affair, and the new information about his mother's side of the family.
  • Dorothea doesn't think worse of him for that, of course.
  • And then Will says that he was never "untrue" to her, and she believes it.
  • A storm is brewing outside, and a tremendous bolt of lightning is like "the terror of a hopeless love" (8.83.34).
  • Will says that he shouldn't have said so much – he meant to leave without telling her how much he loved her, since they will always be divided.
  • Then they smooch.
  • They sit together for a few minutes, and then Will jumps up and says that he has to go, since they can never be married.
  • Finally Dorothea tells him that they could. Her own fortune is seven hundred pounds a year, and that's more than enough – she doesn't need the additional nineteen hundred from Casaubon's fortune.

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