Study Guide

Middlemarch Book 6, Chapter 58

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Book 6, Chapter 58

  • Rosamond has had a miscarriage, and Lydgate's medical opinion is that it's because she went horseback riding while he was out, when he told her she shouldn't.
  • She went because Lydgate's cousin, Captain Lydgate (the son of the rich baronet uncle), was visiting them,
  • Lydgate didn't much like his cousin, because the cousin is a dumb lug.
  • But Rosamond is proud of the fact that her husband's relatives are aristocratic, and wanted to show him off by going horseback riding with him while Lydgate was at work.
  • So she went in spite of her husband's warnings, but the horse got startled when a tree fell down, she fell, and eventually had her miscarriage.
  • Lydgate could hardly be angry with her in that condition, so nothing is said on the subject between them.
  • Lydgate has other things to concern him – they owe money all over town for the fancy furniture in their new house and the expensive food for the dinner parties they've given.
  • He'd always thought that worrying about money was a vulgar thing to do, but now that he doesn't have enough to pay the bills he can understand it.
  • He's decided to tell Rosamond all about it, and he's afraid of how she'll react.
  • When he gets home and finds Will Ladislaw there, singing with Rosamond, he's not so happy.
  • Will has already said goodbye to Dorothea, but hasn't left town yet.
  • He's not remotely jealous of Will, but he had business to talk over with Rosamond.
  • Will's no dummy, and can tell that Lydgate wants to be alone with Rosamond, so he takes off.
  • Rosamond thinks Lydgate's being terribly unpleasant and rude.
  • He tells her that they have to have all of their furniture and things inventoried for security against the debt they owe.
  • She wants him to ask her father for money, but he refuses, and tells her not to go, either.
  • She thinks he's behaving very badly, and wishes she had never married him.
  • She's unswervingly polite about it, though, and aside from a few tears, hardly complains.
  • But she's so cold and distant with him that it breaks his heart.
  • She says that when the inventory people come the next day, she'll go to her parents' house.
  • He urges her to stay at home to deal with it so that they won't have to tell the servants. She agrees, but acts like a martyr about it.

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