Middlemarch Revisited


It's difficult to say whether George Eliot meant for such passages as the one that follows to be as amusing as they presently are, but I can see her, quill in hand, pressing her lips together as she writes to supress an unseemly and unwomanly giggle.

from Middlemarch
George Eliot

[Dorothea has justed announced to her engagement to Mr. Casaubon to her sister Celia. Celia reflects:]

She never could have thought that she should feel as she did. There was something funereal in the whole affair, and Mr. Casaubon seemed to be the officiating clergyman, about whom it would be indecent to make remarks.

And later, another bon-bon:

[referring to Casaubon's pronouncement of love]

No speech could have been more thoroughly honest in its intention: the frigid rhetoric at the end was as sincere as the bark of a dog, or the cawing of an amorous rook. Would it not be rash to conclude that there was no passion behind those sonnets to Delia which strike us as the thin music of a mandolin?

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on November 2, 2006 9:08 AM.

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