At present I have to make the new settler Lydgate better known to any one interested in him than he could possibly be even to those who had seen the most of him since his arrival in Middlemarch.
It was said of him, that Lydgate could do anything he liked, but he had certainly not yet liked to do anything remarkable.
Considering that statistics had not yet embraced a calculation as to the number of ignorant or canting doctors which absolutely must exist in the teeth of all changes, it seemed to Lydgate that a change in the units was the most direct mode of changing the numbers.
Lydgate was not blind to the dangers of such friction, but he had plenty of confidence in his resolution to avoid it as far as possible: being seven-and-twenty, he felt himself experienced.
Lydgate was ambitious above all to contribute towards enlarging the scientific, rational basis of his profession.
All these things might be alleged against Lydgate, but then, they are the periphrases of a polite preacher, who talks of Adam, and would not like to mention anything painful to the pew-renters.
For those who want to be acquainted with Lydgate it will be good to know what was that case of impetuous folly, for it may stand as an example of the fitful swerving of passion to which he was prone, together with the chivalrous kindness which helped to make him morally lovable.
Three days afterwards Lydgate was at his galvanism again in his Paris chambers, believing that illusions were at an end for him.
Middlemarch, in fact, counted on swallowing Lydgate and assimilating him very comfortably.