Page:Eliot - Middlemarch, vol. IV, 1872.djvu/184

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knew of the loan, believed it to be a bribe, and believed that he took it as a bribe.

Poor Lydgate, his mind struggling under the terrible clutch of this revelation, was all the while morally forced to take Mr Bulstrode to the Bank, send a man off for his carriage, and wait to accompany him home.

Meanwhile the business of the meeting was despatched, and fringed off into eager discussion among various groups concerning this affair of Bulstrode—and Lydgate.

Mr Brooke, who had before heard only imperfect hints of it, and was very uneasy that he had "gone a little too far" in countenancing Bulstrode, now got himself fully informed, and felt some benevolent sadness in talking to Mr Farebrother about the ugly light in which Lydgate had come to be regarded. Mr Farebrother was going to walk back to Lowick.

"Step into my carriage," said Mr Brooke. "I am going round to see Mrs Casaubon. She was to come back from Yorkshire last night. She will like to see me, you know."

So they drove along, Mr Brooke chatting with good-natured hope that there had not really been anything black in Lydgate's behaviour—a young