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.