BOOK VIII. SUNSET AND SUNRISE.
82. CHAPTER LXXXII.
"My grief lies onward and my joy behind."
Exiles notoriously feed much on hopes, and are unlikely to stay
in banishment unless they are obliged. When Will Ladislaw exiled
himself from Middlemarch he had placed no stronger obstacle to his
return than his own resolve, which was by no means an iron barrier,
but simply a state of mind liable to melt into a minuet with other
states of mind, and to find itself bowing, smiling, and giving
place with polite facility. As the months went on, it had seemed
more and more difficult to him to say why he should not run down
to Middlemarch--merely for the sake of hearing something about Dorothea;
and if on such a flying visit he should chance by some strange
coincidence to meet with her, there was no reason for him to be
ashamed of having taken an innocent journey which he had beforehand
supposed that he should not take. Since he was hopelessly
divided from her, he might surely venture into her neighborhood;
and as to the suspicious friends who kept a dragon watch over her--
their opinions seemed less and less important with time and change
And there had come a reason quite irrespective of Dorothea, which seemed
to make a journey to Middlemarch a sort of philanthropic duty.
Will had given a disinterested attention to an intended settlement
on a new plan in the Far West, and the need for funds in order to
carry out a good design had set him on debating with himself whether
it would not be a laudable use to make of his claim on Bulstrode,
to urge the application of that money which had been offered to himself
as a means of carrying out a scheme likely to be largely beneficial.
The question seemed a very dubious one to Will, and his repugnance
to again entering into any relation with the banker might have made
him dismiss it quickly, if there had not arisen in his imagination
the probability that his judgment might be more safely determined
by a visit to Middlemarch.