BOOK VII. TWO TEMPTATIONS.
63. CHAPTER LXIII.
"Ay, by God! and the best too," said Mr. Standish.
"My friend Vincy didn't half like the marriage, I know that,"
said Mr. Chichely. "HE wouldn't do much. How the relations
on the other side may have come down I can't say." There was an
emphatic kind of reticence in Mr. Chichely's manner of speaking.
"Oh, I shouldn't think Lydgate ever looked to practice for a living,"
said Mr. Toller, with a slight touch of sarcasm, and there the subject
This was not the first time that Mr. Farebrother had heard hints of
Lydgate's expenses being obviously too great to be met by his practice,
but he thought it not unlikely that there were resources or expectations
which excused the large outlay at the time of Lydgate's marriage,
and which might hinder any bad consequences from the disappointment
in his practice. One evening, when he took the pains to go
to Middlemarch on purpose to have a chat with Lydgate as of old,
he noticed in him an air of excited effort quite unlike his usual easy
way of keeping silence or breaking it with abrupt energy whenever
he had anything to say. Lydgate talked persistently when they were
in his work-room, putting arguments for and against the probability
of certain biological views; but he had none of those definite
things to say or to show which give the waymarks of a patient
uninterrupted pursuit, such as he used himself to insist on,
saying that "there must be a systole and diastole in all inquiry,"
and that "a man's mind must be continually expanding and shrinking
between the whole human horizon and the horizon of an object-glass."
That evening he seemed to be talking widely for the sake of resisting
any personal bearing; and before long they went into the drawing room,
where Lydgate, having asked Rosamond to give them music, sank back
in his chair in silence, but with a strange light in his eyes.
"He may have been taking an opiate," was a thought that crossed
Mr. Farebrother's mind--"tic-douloureux perhaps--or medical worries."