BOOK III. WAITING FOR DEATH.
31. CHAPTER XXXI.
How will you know the pitch of that great bell
Too large for you to stir? Let but a flute
Play 'neath the fine-mixed metal listen close
Till the right note flows forth, a silvery rill.
Then shall the huge bell tremble--then the mass
With myriad waves concurrent shall respond
In low soft unison.
Lydgate that evening spoke to Miss Vincy of Mrs. Casaubon,
and laid some emphasis on the strong feeling she appeared to have
for that formal studious man thirty years older than herself.
"Of course she is devoted to her husband," said Rosamond,
implying a notion of necessary sequence which the scientific
man regarded as the prettiest possible for a woman; but she
was thinking at the same time that it was not so very melancholy
to be mistress of Lowick Manor with a husband likely to die soon.
"Do you think her very handsome?"
"She certainly is handsome, but I have not thought about it,"
"I suppose it would be unprofessional," said Rosamond, dimpling.
"But how your practice is spreading! You were called in before
to the Chettams, I think; and now, the Casaubons."
"Yes," said Lydgate, in a tone of compulsory admission. "But I
don't really like attending such people so well as the poor.
The cases are more monotonous, and one has to go through more fuss
and listen more deferentially to nonsense."
"Not more than in Middlemarch," said Rosamond. "And at least you go
through wide corridors and have the scent of rose-leaves everywhere."
"That is true, Mademoiselle de Montmorenci," said Lydgate,
just bending his head to the table and lifting with his fourth finger
her delicate handkerchief which lay at the mouth of her reticule,
as if to enjoy its scent, while he looked at her with a smile.