BOOK III. WAITING FOR DEATH.
31. CHAPTER XXXI.
But this agreeable holiday freedom with which Lydgate hovered
about the flower of Middlemarch, could not continue indefinitely.
It was not more possible to find social isolation in that town
than elsewhere, and two people persistently flirting could
by no means escape from "the various entanglements, weights,
blows, clashings, motions, by which things severally go on."
Whatever Miss Vincy did must be remarked, and she was perhaps the more
conspicuous to admirers and critics because just now Mrs. Vincy,
after some struggle, had gone with Fred to stay a little while at
Stone Court, there being no other way of at once gratifying old
Featherstone and keeping watch against Mary Garth, who appeared a less
tolerable daughter-in-law in proportion as Fred's illness disappeared.
Aunt Bulstrode, for example, came a little oftener into Lowick
Gate to see Rosamond, now she was alone. For Mrs. Bulstrode had
a true sisterly feeling for her brother; always thinking that he
might have married better, but wishing well to the children.
Now Mrs. Bulstrode had a long-standing intimacy with Mrs. Plymdale.
They had nearly the same preferences in silks, patterns for underclothing,
china-ware, and clergymen; they confided their little troubles
of health and household management to each other, and various little
points of superiority on Mrs. Bulstrode's side, namely, more decided
seriousness, more admiration for mind, and a house outside the town,
sometimes served to give color to their conversation without dividing
them--well-meaning women both, knowing very little of their own motives.
Mrs. Bulstrode, paying a morning visit to Mrs. Plymdale, happened to
say that she could not stay longer, because she was going to see
"Why do you say `poor Rosamond'?" said Mrs. Plymdale, a round-eyed
sharp little woman, like a tamed falcon.
"She is so pretty, and has been brought up in such thoughtlessness.
The mother, you know, had always that levity about her, which makes
me anxious for the children."
"Well, Harriet, if I am to speak my mind," said Mrs. Plymdale,
with emphasis, "I must say, anybody would suppose you and
Mr. Bulstrode would be delighted with what has happened,
for you have done everything to put Mr. Lydgate forward."