BOOK VI. THE WIDOW AND THE WIFE.
58. CHAPTER LVIII.
"For there can live no hatred in thine eye,
Therefore in that I cannot know thy change:
In many's looks the false heart's history
Is writ in moods and frowns and wrinkles strange:
But Heaven in thy creation did decree
That in thy face sweet love should ever dwell:
Whate'er thy thoughts or thy heart's workings be
Thy looks should nothing thence but sweetness tell."
At the time when Mr. Vincy uttered that presentiment about Rosamond,
she herself had never had the idea that she should be driven to make
the sort of appeal which he foresaw. She had not yet had any
anxiety about ways and means, although her domestic life had been
expensive as well as eventful. Her baby had been born prematurely,
and all the embroidered robes and caps had to be laid by in darkness.
This misfortune was attributed entirely to her having persisted
in going out on horseback one day when her husband had desired her
not to do so; but it must not be supposed that she had shown temper
on the occasion, or rudely told him that she would do as she liked.
What led her particularly to desire horse-exercise was a visit from
Captain Lydgate, the baronet's third son, who, I am sorry to say,
was detested by our Tertius of that name as a vapid fop "parting
his hair from brow to nape in a despicable fashion" (not followed
by Tertius himself), and showing an ignorant security that he knew
the proper thing to say on every topic. Lydgate inwardly cursed his
own folly that he had drawn down this visit by consenting to go to his
uncle's on the wedding-tour, and he made himself rather disagreeable
to Rosamond by saying so in private. For to Rosamond this visit
was a source of unprecedented but gracefully concealed exultation.
She was so intensely conscious of having a cousin who was a baronet's
son staying in the house, that she imagined the knowledge of what
was implied by his presence to be diffused through all other minds;
and when she introduced Captain Lydgate to her guests, she had
a placid sense that his rank penetrated them as if it had been
an odor. The satisfaction was enough for the time to melt away
some disappointment in the conditions of marriage with a medical man
even of good birth: it seemed now that her marriage was visibly
as well as ideally floating her above the Middlemarch level, and the
future looked bright with letters and visits to and from Quallingham,
and vague advancement in consequence for Tertius. Especially as,
probably at the Captain's suggestion, his married sister, Mrs. Mengan,
had come with her maid, and stayed two nights on her way from town.
Hence it was clearly worth while for Rosamond to take pains with
her music and the careful selection of her lace.