BOOK VIII. SUNSET AND SUNRISE.
78. CHAPTER LXXVIII.
And then Will went out of the house, Martha never knowing that he
had been in.
After he was gone, Rosamond tried to get up from her seat, but fell
back fainting. When she came to herself again, she felt too ill
to make the exertion of rising to ring the bell, and she remained
helpless until the girl, surprised at her long absence, thought for
the first time of looking for her in all the down-stairs rooms.
Rosamond said that she had felt suddenly sick and faint, and wanted
to be helped up-stairs. When there she threw herself on the bed
with her clothes on, and lay in apparent torpor, as she had done
once before on a memorable day of grief.
Lydgate came home earlier than he had expected, about half-past five,
and found her there. The perception that she was ill threw every
other thought into the background. When he felt her pulse,
her eyes rested on him with more persistence than they had done
for a long while, as if she felt some content that he was there.
He perceived the difference in a moment, and seating himself
by her put his arm gently under her, and bending over her said,
"My poor Rosamond! has something agitated you?" Clinging to him
she fell into hysterical sobbings and cries, and for the next hour
he did nothing but soothe and tend her. He imagined that Dorothea
had been to see her, and that all this effect on her nervous system,
which evidently involved some new turning towards himself,
was due to the excitement of the new impressions which that visit