Humor in Middlemarch


Because I'm having it delivered section by section and reading only a small amount in a day, I'm able to pause over things that I might otherwise bound over in order to get to the next page. I can see the virtue and delight of serialization. Now let's just see if I can make it to the end of the book.

Given how badly I expect everything to turn out for everyone, it's very pleasant to have a reasonably light introduction to the matter:

from Middlemarch
George Eliot

"Is any one else coming to dine besides Mr. Casaubon?"

"Not that I know of."

"I hope there is some one else. Then I shall not hear him eat his soup

"What is there remarkable about his soup-eating?"

"Really, Dodo, can't you hear how he scrapes his spoon? And he always
blinks before he speaks. I don't know whether Locke blinked, but I'm
sure I am sorry for those who sat opposite to him if he did."

"Celia," said Dorothea, with emphatic gravity, "pray don't make any
more observations of that kind."

"Why not? They are quite true," returned Celia, who had her reasons
for persevering, though she was beginning to be a little afraid.

"Many things are true which only the commonest minds observe."

"Then I think the commonest minds must be rather useful. I think it is
a pity Mr. Casaubon's mother had not a commoner mind: she might have
taught him better." Celia was inwardly frightened, and ready to run away,
now she had hurled this light javelin.

At this point the exceedingly self-absorbed and tedious Dorothea has received and accepted an offer of marriage from the wan, grey, and spindly Mr. Casaubon. The name is like one of those out of Fielding and makes one wonder, what is so "bon" about this particular "Cause." Indeed one could see embedded the French phrase "cause si bon." Yech!

Dorothea richly deserves Casaubon; however, poor Mr. Casaubon has not, to this point, done anything that seems to merit so stringent a disciplinary measure. Dorothea, puritan shrew-in-training, seems likely to make things unpleasant for all.

Bookmark and Share



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 30, 2006 9:08 AM.

How to Study was the previous entry in this blog.

The Fatal Flaw of Thomas Cahill is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll