Page:Eliot - Middlemarch, vol. II, 1872.djvu/277

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267
BOOK IV.—THREE LOVE PROBLEMS.

never forsook him even when he spoke without his waistcoat and cravat—

"I have had the gratification of meeting my former acquaintance, Dr Spanning, to-day, and of being praised by one who is himself a worthy recipient of praise. He spoke very handsomely of my late tractate on the Egyptian Mysteries,—using, in fact, terms which it would not become me to repeat." In uttering the last clause, Mr Casaubon leaned over the elbow of his chair, and swayed his head up and down, apparently as a muscular outlet instead of that recapitulation which would not have been becoming.

"I am very glad you have had that pleasure," said Dorothea, delighted to see her husband less weary than usual at this hour. "Before you came I had been regretting that you happened to be out to-day."

"Why so, my dear?" said Mr Casaubon, throwing himself backward again.

"Because Mr Ladislaw has been here; and he has mentioned a proposal of my uncle's which I should like to know your opinion of." Her husband she felt was really concerned in this question. Even with her ignorance of the world she had a vague impression that the position offered to