Even after Lydgate’s debts are paid, Rosamond remains unhappy. She is terribly disappointed with her marriage, and to cheer herself up she used to fantasize about Will Ladislaw being in love with her. Now that Will is gone, she dreams of moving to London, where she is convinced everything would be better. Just before the town meeting, she receives a letter from Will saying he will have to come to Middlemarch soon and that he looks forward to seeing her and Lydgate. She is so happy that (without consulting Lydgate) she decides to host a small party and sends out invitations.
This passage goes back in time a little bit; Rosamond does not know about the Bulstrode scandal. However, her ignorance of this disaster does not mean that she is happy. The strain that Lydgate’s debt has put on their marriage has proven to be an impossible burden, made worse by the fact that Rosamond once again avoids confronting reality and instead chooses to escape into fantasies about Will.
Every person Rosamond invites says they can’t come. Lydgate finds out and demands that Rosamond stop inviting people over. Rosamond is angry, but doesn’t believe that anything new has happened to prompt this restriction. Later, Mr. Vincy and Mrs. Vincy tell her everything. Mr. Vincy says he doesn’t believe that Lydgate has caused anyone any harm, but that it would be best if he and Rosamond left Middlemarch anyway. Rosamond is horrified, feeling that this is the worst thing that could have happened to her.
Rosamond has spent so much time fixated on preserving her and Lydgate’s aspirational class status, yet she is now faced with far more serious damage to their reputation. Of course, this should put her earlier stress about seeming adequately wealthy and high-ranking into perspective, but that doesn’t seem likely.
Back at home, Rosamond is furious not only at Lydgate’s involvement in the scandal, but also that he didn’t tell her about it. Lydgate immediately notices Rosamond’s change in disposition and realizes that she knows everything. Lydgate expects her to say that she doesn’t believe the rumors, but she says nothing. Lydgate is shocked by her selfishness. Just as he begins to speak, Rosamond asks if he will now finally be willing to move to London. Lydgate says nothing and leaves the room. Rosamond resolves to tell Will everything when he comes to visit.
This encounter is important for its contrast to the scene between Mr. and Mrs. Bulstrode. Bulstrode has committed a far greater crime than Lydgate has, and yet Mrs. Bulstrode still chose to stand by him. Rosamond, however, can’t forgive Lydgate for getting mixed up in the scandal even though it was not really his fault. This suggests that she does not truly love him.