Mr. Bulstrode prepares to leave Middlemarch. He has been tormented by the idea that Mrs. Bulstrode might think he is a murderer and plans to tell her the whole truth one day, though perhaps not until his deathbed. He has been very doting to Mrs. Bulstrode, whose hair has turned white from distress. He plans to sell all the land he owns in Middemarch, and asks his wife if there’s anything she’d like him to do before they go.
Mr. and Mrs. Bulstrode’s marriage is far from perfect, especially considering the enormous secret that Bulstrode is now keeping from his wife. However, they are also proof that it is possible to have a marriage that is both loving and flawed.
Mrs. Bulstrode thinks about it and asks if they could help Lydgate and Rosamond, who are also leaving the area. However, Bulstrode explains that Lydgate will not accept any further help from him. He then suggests that instead they could resurrect the old plan of installing Fred in Stone Court. He tells Mrs. Bulstrode that she must propose it to Caleb Garth herself and assure him that he won’t need to make any arrangements with Mr. Bulstrode.
At this point in the novel, loose strands of the narrative begin to be tied together. While not a conventional happy ending in any sense, there are glimmers of happiness that emerge through the characters’ accepting their fates and showing small acts of kindness to one another.