BOOK III. WAITING FOR DEATH.
29. CHAPTER XXIX.
Dorothea appealed to her husband, and he made a silent sign of approval.
So Mr. Lydgate was sent for and he came wonderfully soon, for the
messenger, who was Sir James Chettam's man and knew Mr. Lydgate, met him
leading his horse along the Lowick road and giving his arm to Miss Vincy.
Celia, in the drawing-room, had known nothing of the trouble till
Sir James told her of it. After Dorothea's account, he no longer
considered the illness a fit, but still something "of that nature."
"Poor dear Dodo--how dreadful!" said Celia, feeling as much grieved
as her own perfect happiness would allow. Her little hands were clasped,
and enclosed by Sir James's as a bud is enfolded by a liberal calyx.
"It is very shocking that Mr. Casaubon should be ill; but I never
did like him. And I think he is not half fond enough of Dorothea;
and he ought to be, for I am sure no one else would have had him--
do you think they would?"
"I always thought it a horrible sacrifice of your sister,"
said Sir James.
"Yes. But poor Dodo never did do what other people do, and I think
she never will."
"She is a noble creature," said the loyal-hearted Sir James.
He had just had a fresh impression of this kind, as he had seen
Dorothea stretching her tender arm under her husband's neck and
looking at him with unspeakable sorrow. He did not know how much
penitence there was in the sorrow.
"Yes," said Celia, thinking it was very well for Sir James to say so,
but HE would not have been comfortable with Dodo. "Shall I go
to her? Could I help her, do you think?"
"I think it would be well for you just to go and see her before
Lydgate comes," said Sir James, magnanimously. "Only don't stay long."