BOOK VIII. SUNSET AND SUNRISE.
85. CHAPTER LIXXV.
A few days afterwards, when she had returned from a visit to
her brother's, she began to speak to her husband on a subject
which had for some time been in her mind.
"I SHOULD like to do something for my brother's family,
Nicholas; and I think we are bound to make some amends to Rosamond
and her husband. Walter says Mr. Lydgate must leave the town,
and his practice is almost good for nothing, and they have very little
left to settle anywhere with. I would rather do without something
for ourselves, to make some amends to my poor brother's family."
Mrs. Bulstrode did not wish to go nearer to the facts than in the phrase
"make some amends;" knowing that her husband must understand her.
He had a particular reason, which she was not aware of, for wincing
under her suggestion. He hesitated before he said--
"It is not possible to carry out your wish in the way you propose,
my dear. Mr. Lydgate has virtually rejected any further service
from me. He has returned the thousand pounds which I lent him.
Mrs. Casaubon advanced him the sum for that purpose. Here is
The letter seemed to cut Mrs. Bulstrode severely. The mention of
Mrs. Casaubon's loan seemed a reflection of that public feeling which
held it a matter of course that every one would avoid a connection
with her husband. She was silent for some time; and the tears fell
one after the other, her chin trembling as she wiped them away.
Bulstrode, sitting opposite to her, ached at the sight of that
grief-worn face, which two months before had been bright and blooming.
It had aged to keep sad company with his own withered features.
Urged into some effort at comforting her, he said--
"There is another means, Harriet, by which I might do a service
to your brother's family, if you like to act in it. And it would,
I think, be beneficial to you: it would be an advantageous way
of managing the land which I mean to be yours."
She looked attentive.