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MonkeyNotes-Middlemarch by George Eliot
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Chapter 79

Summary

Will arrives later, to find Lydgate unaware of his earlier visit. He is told that Rosamond is ill, having been worried about their problems Lydgate explains the nature of their problems to him and cautions him about being included in the sordid story. Will jokes bitterly about it, thinking that here was one more addition to the barriers between himself and Dorothea. He does not speak of Bulstrode’s offer of money, being sensitive to Lydgate’s own acceptance of money, and the consequences. Lydgate tells him of Dorothea’s loyal support and help, but admits sadly that he sees no alternative to settling in London. Both are dejected, feeling themselves "yielding to the small solicitations of circumstance, which is a commoner history of perdition than any single momentous bargain."


Notes

The mood is one of despairing weakness, when the two friends pity each other, each feeling the other’s grudging compromise of their hopes and ideals. George Eliot refers yet again to the kind of wrongdoing, which is not a dramatic act of crime but a gradual giving in to circumstances.

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