Page:Eliot - Middlemarch, vol. IV, 1872.djvu/185

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fellow whom he had seen to be quite above the common mark, when he brought a letter from his uncle Sir Godwin. Mr Farebrother said little: he was deeply mournful: with a keen perception of human weakness, he could not be confident that under the pressure of humiliating needs Lydgate had not fallen below himself.

When the carriage drove up to the gate of the Manor, Dorothea was out on the gravel, and came to greet them.

"Well, my dear," said Mr Brooke, "we have just come from a meeting—a sanitary meeting, you know."

"Was Mr Lydgate there?" said Dorothea, who looked full of health and animation, and stood with her head bare under the gleaming April lights. "I want to see him and have a great consultation with him about the Hospital. I have engaged with Mr Bulstrode to do so."

"Oh, my dear," said Mr Brooke, "we have been hearing bad news—bad news, you know."

They walked through the garden towards the churchyard gate, Mr Farebrother wanting to go on to the parsonage; and Dorothea heard the whole sad story.

She listened with deep interest, and begged to