Page:Eliot - Middlemarch, vol. IV, 1872.djvu/19

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9
BOOK VII.—TWO TEMPTATIONS.

keeps her aloof from him. When Lydgate was taking part in the conversation, she never looked towards him any more than if she had been a sculptured Psyche modelled to look another way: and when, after being called out for an hour or two, he re-entered the room, she seemed unconscious of the fact, which eighteen months before would have had the effect of a numeral before ciphers. In reality, however, she was intensely aware of Lydgate's voice and movements; and her pretty good-tempered air of unconsciousness was a studied negation by which she satisfied her inward opposition to him without compromise of propriety. When the ladies were in the drawing-room after Lydgate had been called away from the dessert, Mrs Farebrother, when Rosamond happened to be near her, said—"You have to give up a great deal of your husband's society, Mrs Lydgate."

"Yes, the life of a medical man is very arduous: especially when he is so devoted to his profession as Mr Lydgate is," said Rosamond, who was standing, and moved easily away at the end of this correct little speech.

"It is dreadfully dull for her when there is no company," said Mrs Vincy, who was seated at the old lady's side. "I am sure I thought so when