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Will has been like an exile in London. Hence when a plan for a new settlement in the West comes up, he tells himself he needs to go to Middlemarch to think over taking up Bulstrode’s old offer. Immediately on arrival, he goes to Lydgate’s house, and his "familiar little world" is shattered. After this he roams around restlessly, unsure of what steps to take. Next, he decides to visit the Lydgates, as a friendship could not end so abruptly. Rosamond is cold, Lydgate innocently friendly. Then she slips him note with his teacup, which explain her actions on meeting Dorothea. Will reads it in his room. He is both excited and nervous, not knowing how much her feelings have been altered.
The chief obstacle to Will’s reunion with Dorothea has been removed. For the Lydgates, no such happy ending is possible and they struggle on in their unequal marriage.
Dramatic images are used. Will feels his limbs are lopped off. He is saved from a wreck but on an unknown island.