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Title: Critical Miscellanies (Vol 3 of 3) - The Life of George Eliot
Author: Morley, John, 1838-1923
Language: English
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Essay 4: The Life of George Eliot




On Literary Biography                                    93

As a mere letter-writer will not rank among the famous
masters                                                  96

Mr. Myers's Essay                                       100

Letter to Mr. Harrison                                  107

Hebrew her favourite study                              112

Limitless persistency in application                    113

Romola                                                  114

Mr. R.W. Mackay's _Progress of the Intellect_           120

The period of her productions, 1856-1876                124

Mr. Browning                                            125

An æsthetic not a doctrinal teacher                     126

Disliked vehemence                                      130

Conclusion                                              131


The illustrious woman who is the subject of these volumes makes a remark
to her publisher which is at least as relevant now as it was then. Can
nothing be done, she asks, by dispassionate criticism towards the reform
of our national habits in the matter of literary biography? 'Is it
anything short of odious that as soon as a man is dead his desk should
be raked, and every insignificant memorandum which he never meant for
the public be printed for the gossiping amusement of people too idle to
reread his books?' Autobiography, she says, at least saves a man or a
woman that the world is curious about, from the publication of a string
of mistakes called Memoirs. Even to autobiography, however, she
confesses her deep repugnance unless it can be written so as to involve
neither self-glorification nor impeachment of others--a condition, by
the way, with which hardly any, save Mill's, can be said to comply. 'I
like,' she proceeds, 'that _He being dead yet speaketh_ should have
quite another meaning than that' (iii. 226, 297, 307). She shows the
same fastidious apprehension still more clearly in another way. 'I have
destroyed almost all my friends' letters to me,' she says, 'because they
were only intended for my eyes, and could only fall into the hands of
persons who knew little of the writers if I allowed them to remain till
after my death. In proportion as I love every form of piety--which is
venerating love--I hate hard curiosity; and, unhappily, my experience
has impressed me with the sense that hard curiosity is the more common
temper of mind' (ii. 286). There is probably little difference among us
in respect of such experience as that.

[Footnote 1: _George Eliot's Life_. By J.W. Cross. Three volumes.
Blackwood and Sons. 1885.]

Much biography, perhaps we might say most, is hardly above the level of
that 'personal talk,' to which Wordsworth sagely preferred long barren
silence, the flapping of the flame of his cottage fire, and the
under-song of the kettle on the hob. It would not, then, have much
surprised us if George Eliot had insisted that her works should remain
the only commemoration of her life. There be some who think that those
who have enriched the world with great thoughts and fine creations,
might best be content to rest unmarked 'where heaves the turf in many a
mouldering heap,' leaving as little work to the literary executor,
except of the purely crematory sort, as did Aristotle, Plato,
Shakespeare, and some others whose names the world will not willingly
let die. But this is a stoic's doctrine; the objector may easily retort
that if it had been sternly acted on, we should have known very very
little about Dr. Johnson, and nothing about Socrates.

This is but an ungracious prelude to some remarks upon a book, which
must be pronounced a striking success. There will be very little dispute
as to the fact that the editor of these memorials of George Eliot has
done his work with excellent taste, judgment, and sense. He found no
autobiography nor fragment of one, but he has skilfully shaped a kind of
autobiography by a plan which, so far as we know, he is justified in
calling new, and which leaves her life to write itself in extracts from
her letters and journals. With the least possible obtrusion from the
biographer, the original pieces are formed into a connected whole 'that
combines a narrative of day-to-day life with the play of light and shade
which only letters written in serious moods can give.' The idea is a
good one, and Mr. Cross deserves great credit for it. We may hope that
its success will encourage imitators. Certainly there are drawbacks. We
miss the animation of mixed narrative. There is, too, a touch of
monotony in listening for so long to the voice of a single speaker
addressing others who are silent behind a screen. But Mr. Cross could
not, we think, have devised a better way of dealing with his material:
it is simple, modest, and effective.

George Eliot, after all, led the life of a studious recluse, with none
of the bustle, variety, motion, and large communication with the outer
world, that justified Lockhart and Moore in making a long story of the
lives of Scott and Byron. Even here, among men of letters, who were also
men of action and of great sociability, are not all biographies too
long? Let any sensible reader turn to the shelf where his Lives repose;
we shall be surprised if he does not find that nearly every one of them,
taking the present century alone, and including such splendid and
attractive subjects as Goethe, Hume, Romilly, Mackintosh, Horner,
Chalmers, Arnold, Southey, Cowper, would not have been all the better
for judicious curtailment. Lockhart, who wrote the longest, wrote also
the shortest, the Life of Burns; and the shortest is the best, in spite
of defects which would only have been worse if the book had been bigger.
It is to be feared that, conscientious and honourable as his self-denial
has been, even Mr. Cross has not wholly resisted the natural and
besetting error of the biographer. Most people will think that the
hundred pages of the Italian tour (vol. ii.), and some other not very
remarkable impressions of travel, might as well or better have been left

As a mere letter-writer, George Eliot will not rank among the famous
masters of what is usually considered especially a woman's art. She was
too busy in serious work to have leisure for that most delightful way of
wasting time. Besides that, she had by nature none of that fluency,
rapidity, abandonment, pleasant volubility, which make letters amusing,
captivating, or piquant. What Mr. Cross says of her as the mistress of a
_salon_, is true of her for the most part as a correspondent:--'Playing
around many disconnected subjects, in talk, neither interested nor
amused her much. She took things too seriously, and seldom found the
effort of entertaining compensated by the gain' (iii. 335). There is the
outpouring of ardent feeling for her friends, sobering down, as life
goes on, into a crooning kindliness, affectionate and honest, but often
tinged with considerable self-consciousness. It was said of some one
that his epigrams did honour to his heart; in the reverse direction we
occasionally feel that George Eliot's effusive playfulness does honour
to her head. It lacks simplicity and _verve_. Even in an invitation to
dinner, the words imply a grave sense of responsibility on both sides,
and sense of responsibility is fatal to the charm of familiar

As was inevitable in one whose mind was so habitually turned to the
deeper elements of life, she lets fall the pearls of wise speech even in
short notes. Here are one or two:--

'My own experience and development deepen every day my conviction that
our moral progress may be measured by the degree in which we sympathise
with individual suffering and individual joy.'

'If there is one attitude more odious to me than any other of the many
attitudes of "knowingness," it is that air of lofty superiority to the
vulgar. She will soon find out that I am a very commonplace woman.'

'It so often happens that others are measuring us by our past self
while we are looking back on that self with a mixture of disgust and

The following is one of the best examples, one of the few examples, of
her best manner:--

     I have been made rather unhappy by my husband's impulsive
     proposal about Christmas. We are dull old persons, and your two
     sweet young ones ought to find each Christmas a new bright bead
     to string on their memory, whereas to spend the time with us
     would be to string on a dark shrivelled berry. They ought to have
     a group of young creatures to be joyful with. Our own children
     always spend their Christmas with Gertrude's family; and we have
     usually taken our sober merry-making with friends out of town.
     Illness among these will break our custom this year; and thus
     _mein Mann_, feeling that our Christmas was free, considered how
     very much he liked being with you, omitting the other side of the
     question--namely, our total lack of means to make a suitably
     joyous meeting, a real festival, for Phil and Margaret. I was
     conscious of this lack in the very moment of the proposal, and
     the consciousness has been pressing on me more and more painfully
     ever since. Even my husband's affectionate hopefulness cannot
     withstand my melancholy demonstration. So pray consider the
     kill-joy proposition as entirely retracted, and give us something
     of yourselves only on simple black-letter days, when the Herald
     Angels have not been raising expectations early in the morning.

This is very pleasant, but such pieces are rare, and the infirmity of
human nature has sometimes made us sigh over these pages at the
recollection of the cordial cheeriness of Scott's letters, the high
spirits of Macaulay, the graceful levity of Voltaire, the rattling
dare-devilry of Byron. Epistolary stilts among men of letters went out
of fashion with Pope, who, as was said, thought that unless every period
finished with a conceit, the letter was not worth the postage. Poor
spirits cannot be the explanation of the stiffness in George Eliot's
case, for no letters in the English language are so full of playfulness
and charm as those of Cowper, and he was habitually sunk in gulfs deeper
and blacker than George Eliot's own. It was sometimes observed of her,
that in her conversation, _elle s'écoutait quand elle parlait_--she
seemed to be listening to her own voice while she spoke. It must be
allowed that we are not always free from an impression of
self-listening, even in the most caressing of the letters before us.

This is not much better, however, than trifling. I daresay that if a
lively Frenchman could have watched the inspired Pythia on the sublime
tripod, he would have cried, _Elle s'écoute quand elle parle_. When
everything of that kind has been said, we have the profound
satisfaction, which is not quite a matter of course in the history of
literature, of finding after all that the woman and the writer were one.
The life does not belie the books, nor private conduct stultify public
profession. We close the third volume of the biography, as we have so
often closed the third volume of her novels, feeling to the very core
that in spite of a style that the French call _alambiqué_, in spite of
tiresome double and treble distillations of phraseology, in spite of
fatiguing moralities, gravities, and ponderosities, we have still been
in communion with a high and commanding intellect and a great nature. We
are vexed by pedantries that recall the _précieuses_ of the Hôtel
Rambouillet, but we know that she had the soul of the most heroic women
in history. We crave more of the Olympian serenity that makes action
natural and repose refreshing, but we cannot miss the edification of a
life marked by indefatigable labour after generous purposes, by an
unsparing struggle for duty, and by steadfast and devout fellowship with
lofty thoughts.

Those who know Mr. Myers's essay on George Eliot will not have forgotten
its most imposing passage:--

     I remember how at Cambridge, I waited with her once in the
     Fellows' Garden of Trinity, on an evening of rainy May; and she,
     stirred somewhat beyond her wont, and taking as her text the
     three words which have been used so often as the inspiring
     trumpet-calls of men,--the words _God_, _Immortality_,
     _Duty_,--pronounced, with terrible earnestness, how inconceivable
     was the _first_, how unbelievable the _second_, and yet how
     peremptory and absolute the _third_. Never, perhaps, had sterner
     accents affirmed the sovereignty of impersonal and unrecompensing
     law. I listened, and night fell; her grave, majestic countenance
     turned toward me like a Sibyl's in the gloom; it was as though
     she withdrew from my grasp, one by one, the two scrolls of
     promise, and left me the third scroll only, awful with inevitable

To many, the relation which was the most important event in George
Eliot's life will seem one of those irretrievable errors which reduce
all talk of duty to a mockery. It is inevitable that this should be so,
and those who disregard a social law have little right to complain. Men
and women whom in every other respect it would be monstrous to call bad,
have taken this particular law into their own hands before now, and
committed themselves to conduct of which 'magnanimity owes no account to
prudence.' But if they had sense and knew what they were about, they
have braced themselves to endure the disapproval of a majority
fortunately more prudential than themselves. The world is busy, and its
instruments are clumsy. It cannot know all the facts; it has neither
time nor material for unravelling all the complexities of motive, or for
distinguishing mere libertinage from grave and deliberate moral
misjudgment; it is protecting itself as much as it is condemning the
offenders. On all this, then, we need have neither sophistry nor cant.
But those who seek something deeper than a verdict for the honest
working purpose of leaving cards and inviting to dinner, may feel, as
has been observed by a contemporary writer, that men and women are more
fairly judged, if judge them we must, by the way in which they bear the
burden of an error than by the decision that laid the burden on their
lives. Some idea of this kind was in her own mind when she wrote to her
most intimate friend in 1857, 'If I live five years longer, the positive
result of my existence on the side of truth and goodness will outweigh
the small negative good that would have consisted in my not doing
anything to shock others' (i. 461). This urgent desire to balance the
moral account may have had something to do with that laborious sense of
responsibility which weighed so heavily on her soul, and had so
equivocal an effect upon her art. Whatever else is to be said of this
particular union, nobody can deny that the picture on which it left a
mark was an exhibition of extraordinary self-denial, energy, and
persistency in the cultivation and the use of great gifts and powers for
what their possessor believed to be the highest objects for society and

A more perfect companionship, one on a higher intellectual level, or of
more sustained mental activity, is nowhere recorded. Lewes's mercurial
temperament contributed as much as the powerful mind of his consort to
prevent their seclusion from degenerating into an owlish stagnation. To
the very last (1878) he retained his extraordinary buoyancy. 'Nothing
but death could quench that bright flame. Even on his worst days he had
always a good story to tell; and I remember on one occasion in the
drawing-room at Witley, between two bouts of pain, he sang through with
great _brio_, though without much voice, the greater portion of the
tenor part in the _Barber of Seville_, George Eliot playing his
accompaniment, and both of them thoroughly enjoying the fun' (iii. 334).
All this gaiety, his inexhaustible vivacity, the facility of his
transitions from brilliant levity to a keen seriousness, the readiness
of his mental response, and the wide range of intellectual
accomplishments that were much more than superficial, made him a source
of incessant and varied stimulation. Even those, and there were some,
who thought that his gaiety bordered on flippancy, that his genial
self-content often came near to shockingly bad taste, and that his
reminiscences of poor Mr. Fitzball and the green-room and all the rest
of the Bohemia in which he had once dwelt, were too racy for his
company, still found it hard to resist the alert intelligence with which
he rose to every good topic, and the extraordinary heartiness and
spontaneity with which the wholesome spring of human laughter was
touched in him.

Lewes had plenty of egotism, not to give it a more unamiable name, but
it never mastered his intellectual sincerity. George Eliot describes him
as one of the few human beings she has known who will, in the heat of an
argument, see, and straightway confess, that he is in the wrong, instead
of trying to shift his ground or use any other device of vanity. 'The
intense happiness of our union,' she wrote to a friend, 'is derived in a
high degree from the perfect freedom with which we each follow and
declare our own impressions. In this respect I know _no_ man so great as
he--that difference of opinion rouses no egotistic irritation in him,
and that he is ready to admit that another argument is the stronger the
moment his intellect recognises it' (ii. 279). This will sound very easy
to the dispassionate reader, because it is so obviously just and proper,
but if the dispassionate reader ever tries, he may find the virtue not
so easy as it looks. Finally, and above all, we can never forget in
Lewes's case how much true elevation and stability of character was
implied in the unceasing reverence, gratitude, and devotion with which
for five-and-twenty years he treated her to whom he owed all his
happiness, and who most truly, in his own words (ii. 76), had made his
life a new birth.

The reader will be mistaken if he should infer from such passages as
abound in her letters that George Eliot had any particular weakness for
domestic or any other kind of idolatry. George Sand, in _Lucrezia
Floriani_, where she drew so unkind a picture of Chopin, has described
her own life and character as marked by 'a great facility for illusions,
a blind benevolence of judgment, a tenderness of heart that was
inexhaustible; consequently great precipitancy, many mistakes, much
weakness, fits of heroic devotion to unworthy objects, enormous force
applied to an end that was wretched in truth and fact, but sublime in
her thought.' George Eliot had none of this facility. Nor was general
benignity in her at all of the poor kind that is incompatible with a
great deal of particular censure. Universal benevolence never lulled an
active critical faculty, nor did she conceive true humility as at all
consisting in hiding from an impostor that you have found him out. Like
Cardinal Newman, for whose beautiful passage at the end of the
_Apologia_ she expresses such richly deserved admiration (ii. 387), she
unites to the gift of unction and brotherly love a capacity for giving
an extremely shrewd nip to a brother whom she does not love. Her
passion for Thomas-a-Kempis did not prevent her, and there was no reason
why it should, from dealing very faithfully with a friend, for instance
(ii. 271); from describing Mr. Buckle as a conceited, ignorant man; or
castigating Brougham and other people in slashing reviews; or otherwise
from showing that great expansiveness of the affections went with a
remarkably strong, hard, masculine, positive, judging head.

The benefits that George Eliot gained from her exclusive companionship
with a man of lively talents were not without some compensating
drawbacks. The keen stimulation and incessant strain, unrelieved by
variety of daily intercourse, and never diversified by participation in
the external activities of the world, tended to bring about a loaded,
over-conscious, over-anxious state of mind, which was not only not
wholesome in itself, but was inconsistent with the full freshness and
strength of artistic work. The presence of the real world in his life
has, in all but one or two cases, been one element of the novelist's
highest success in the world of imaginative creation. George Eliot had
no greater favourite than Scott, and when a series of little books upon
English men of letters was planned, she said that she thought that
writer among us the happiest to whom it should fall to deal with Scott.
But Scott lived full in the life of his fellow-men. Even of Wordsworth,
her other favourite, though he was not a creative artist, we may say
that he daily saturated himself in those natural elements and effects,
which were the material, the suggestion, and the sustaining inspiration
of his consoling and fortifying poetry. George Eliot did not live in the
midst of her material, but aloof from it and outside of it. Heaven
forbid that this should seem to be said by way of censure. Both her
health and other considerations made all approach to busy sociability in
any of its shapes both unwelcome and impossible. But in considering the
relation of her manner of life to her work, her creations, her
meditations, one cannot but see that when compared with some writers of
her own sex and age, she is constantly bookish, artificial, and
mannered. She is this because she fed her art too exclusively, first on
the memories of her youth, and next from books, pictures, statues,
instead of from the living model, as seen in its actual motion. It is
direct calls and personal claims from without that make fiction alive.
Jane Austen bore her part in the little world of the parlour that she
described. The writer of _Sylvia's Lovers_, whose work George Eliot
appreciated with unaffected generosity (i. 305), was the mother of
children, and was surrounded by the wholesome actualities of the family.
The authors of _Jane Eyre_ and _Wuthering Heights_ passed their days in
one long succession of wild, stormy, squalid, anxious, and miserable
scenes--almost as romantic, as poetic, and as tragic, to use George
Eliot's words, as their own stories. George Sand eagerly shared, even to
the pitch of passionate tumult and disorder, in the emotions, the
aspirations, the ardour, the great conflicts and controversies of her
time. In every one of these, their daily closeness to the real life of
the world has given a vitality to their work which we hardly expect that
even the next generation will find in more than one or two of the
romances of George Eliot. It may even come to pass that their position
will be to hers as that of Fielding is to Richardson in our own day.

In a letter to Mr. Harrison, which is printed here (ii. 441), George
Eliot describes her own method as 'the severe effort of trying to make
certain ideas thoroughly incarnate, as if they had revealed themselves
to me first in the flesh and not in the spirit.' The passage recalls a
discussion one day at the Priory in 1877. She was speaking of the
different methods of the poetic or creative art, and said that she began
with moods, thoughts, passions, and then invented the story for their
sake, and fitted it to them; Shakespeare, on the other hand, picked up a
story that struck him, and then proceeded to work in the moods,
thoughts, passions, as they came to him in the course of meditation on
the story. We hardly need the result to convince us that Shakespeare
chose the better part.

The influence of her reserved fashion of daily life was heightened by
the literary exclusiveness which of set purpose she imposed upon
herself. 'The less an author hears about himself,' she says, in one
place, 'the better.' 'It is my rule, very strictly observed, not to
read the criticisms on my writings. For years I have found this
abstinence necessary to preserve me from that discouragement as an
artist, which ill-judged praise, no less than ill-judged blame, tends to
produce in us.' George Eliot pushed this repugnance to criticism beyond
the personal reaction of it upon the artist, and more than disparaged
its utility, even in the most competent and highly trained hands. She
finds that the diseased spot in the literary culture of our time is
touched with the finest point by the saying of La Bruyère, that 'the
pleasure of criticism robs us of the pleasure of being keenly moved by
very fine things' (iii. 327). 'It seems to me,' she writes (ii. 412),
'much better to read a man's own writings than to read what others say
about him, especially when the man is first-rate and the others
third-rate. As Goethe said long ago about Spinoza, "I always preferred
to learn from the man himself what _he_ thought, rather than to hear
from some one else what he ought to have thought."' As if the scholar
will not always be glad to do both, to study his author and not to
refuse the help of the rightly prepared commentator; as if even Goethe
himself would not have been all the better acquainted with Spinoza if he
could have read Mr. Pollock's book upon him. But on this question Mr.
Arnold has fought a brilliant battle, and to him George Eliot's heresies
may well be left.

On the personal point whether an author should ever hear of himself,
George Eliot oddly enough contradicts herself in a casual remark upon
Bulwer. 'I have a great respect,' she says, 'for the energetic industry
which has made the most of his powers. He has been writing diligently
for more than thirty years, constantly improving his position, and
profiting by the lessons of public opinion and of other writers' (ii.
322). But if it is true that the less an author hears about himself the
better, how are these salutary 'lessons of public opinion' to penetrate
to him? 'Rubens,' she says, writing from Munich in 1858 (ii. 28), 'gives
me more pleasure than any other painter whether right or wrong. More
than any one else he makes me feel that painting is a great art, and
that he was a great artist. His are such real breathing men and women,
moved by passions, not mincing, and grimacing, and posing in mere
imitation of passion.' But Rubens did not concentrate his intellect on
his own ponderings, nor shut out the wholesome chastenings of praise and
blame, lest they should discourage his inspiration. Beethoven, another
of the chief objects of George Eliot's veneration, bore all the rough
stress of an active and troublesome calling, though of the musician, if
of any, we may say, that his is the art of self-absorption.

Hence, delightful and inspiring as it is to read this story of diligent
and discriminating cultivation, of accurate truth and real erudition and
beauty, not vaguely but methodically interpreted, one has some of the
sensations of the moral and intellectual hothouse. Mental hygiene is apt
to lead to mental valetudinarianism. 'The ignorant journalist,' may be
left to the torment which George Eliot wished that she could inflict on
one of those literary slovens whose manuscripts bring even the most
philosophic editor to the point of exasperation: 'I should like to stick
red-hot skewers through the writer, whose style is as sprawling as his
handwriting.' By all means. But much that even the most sympathetic
reader finds repellent in George Eliot's later work might perhaps never
have been, if Mr. Lewes had not practised with more than Russian rigour
a censorship of the press and the post-office which kept every
disagreeable whisper scrupulously from her ear. To stop every draft with
sandbags, screens, and curtains, and to limit one's exercise to a drive
in a well-warmed brougham with the windows drawn up, may save a few
annoying colds in the head, but the end of the process will be the
manufacture of an invalid.

Whatever view we may take of the precise connection between what she
read, or abstained from reading, and what she wrote, no studious man or
woman can look without admiration and envy on the breadth, variety,
seriousness, and energy, with which she set herself her tasks and
executed them. She says in one of her letters, 'there is something more
piteous almost than soapless poverty in the application of feminine
incapacity to literature' (ii. 16). Nobody has ever taken the
responsibilities of literature more ardently in earnest. She was
accustomed to read aloud to Mr. Lewes three hours a day, and her
private reading, except when she was engaged in the actual stress of
composition, must have filled as many more. His extraordinary alacrity
and her brooding intensity of mind prevented these hours from being that
leisurely process in slippers and easy-chair which passes with many for
the practice of literary cultivation. Much of her reading was for the
direct purposes of her own work. The young lady who begins to write
historic novels out of her own head will find something much to her
advantage if she will refer to the list of books read by George Eliot
during the latter half of 1861, when she was meditating _Romola_ (ii.
325). Apart from immediate needs and uses, no student of our time has
known better the solace, the delight, the guidance that abide in great
writings. Nobody who did not share the scholar's enthusiasm could have
described the blind scholar in his library in the adorable fifth chapter
of _Romola_; and we feel that she must have copied out with keen gusto
of her own those words of Petrarch which she puts into old Bardo's
mouth--'_Libri medullitus delectant, colloquuntur, consulunt, et viva
quadam nobis atque arguta familiaritate junguntur._'

As for books that are not books, as Milton bade us do with 'neat repasts
of wine,' she wisely spared to interpose them oft. Her standards of
knowledge were those of the erudite and the savant, and even in the
region of beauty she was never content with any but definite
impressions. In one place in these volumes, by the way, she makes a
remark curiously inconsistent with the usual scientific attitude of her
mind. She has been reading Darwin's _Origin of Species_, on which she
makes the truly astonishing criticism that it is 'sadly wanting in
illustrative facts,' and that 'it is not impressive from want of
luminous and orderly presentation' (ii. 43-48). Then she says that 'the
development theory, and all other explanation of processes by which
things came to be, produce a feeble impression compared with the mystery
that lies under processes.' This position it does not now concern us to
discuss, but at least it is in singular discrepancy with her strong
habitual preference for accurate and quantitative knowledge, over vague
and misty moods in the region of the unknowable and the unreachable.

George Eliot's means of access to books were very full. She knew French,
German, Italian, and Spanish accurately. Greek and Latin, Mr. Cross
tells us, she could read with thorough delight to herself; though after
the appalling specimen of Mill's juvenile Latinity that Mr. Bain has
disinterred, the fastidious collegian may be sceptical of the
scholarship of prodigies. Hebrew was her favourite study to the end of
her days. People commonly supposed that she had been inoculated with an
artificial taste for science by her companion. We now learn that she
took a decided interest in natural science long before she made Mr.
Lewes's acquaintance, and many of the roundabout pedantries that
displeased people in her latest writings, and were set down to his
account, appeared in her composition before she had ever exchanged a
word with him.

All who knew her well enough were aware that she had what Mr. Cross
describes as 'limitless persistency in application.' This is an old
account of genius, but nobody illustrates more effectively the infinite
capacity of taking pains. In reading, in looking at pictures, in playing
difficult music, in talking, she was equally importunate in the search,
and equally insistent on mastery. Her faculty of sustained concentration
was part of her immense intellectual power. 'Continuous thought did not
fatigue her. She could keep her mind on the stretch hour after hour; the
body might give way, but the brain remained unwearied' (iii. 422). It is
only a trifling illustration of the infection of her indefatigable
quality of taking pains, that Lewes should have formed the important
habit of rewriting every page of his work, even of short articles for
Reviews, before letting it go to the press. The journal shows what sore
pain and travail composition was to her. She wrote the last volume of
_Adam Bede_ in six weeks; she 'could not help writing it fast, because
it was written under the stress of emotion.' But what a prodigious
contrast between her pace and Walter Scott's twelve volumes a year! Like
many other people of powerful brains, she united strong and clear
general retentiveness with a weak and untrustworthy verbal memory. 'She
never could trust herself to write a quotation without verifying it.'
'What courage and patience,' she says of some one else, 'are wanted for
every life that aims to produce anything,' and her own existence was one
long and painful sermon on that text.

Over few lives have the clouds of mental dejection hung in such heavy
unmoving banks. Nearly every chapter is strewn with melancholy words. 'I
cannot help thinking more of your illness than of the pleasure in
prospect--according to my foolish nature, which is always prone to live
in past pain.' The same sentiment is the mournful refrain that runs
through all. Her first resounding triumph, the success of _Adam Bede_,
instead of buoyancy and exultation, only adds a fresh sense of the
weight upon her future life. 'The self-questioning whether my nature
will be able to meet the heavy demands upon it, both of personal duty
and intellectual production--presses upon me almost continually in a way
that prevents me even from tasting the quiet joy I might have in the
_work done_. I feel no regret that the fame, as such, brings no
pleasure; but it _is_ a grief to me that I do not constantly feel strong
in thankfulness that my past life has vindicated its uses.'

_Romola_ seems to have been composed in constant gloom. 'I remember my
wife telling me, at Witley,' says Mr. Cross, 'how cruelly she had
suffered at Dorking from working under a leaden weight at this time. The
writing of _Romola_ ploughed into her more than any of her other books.
She told me she could put her finger on it as marking a well-defined
transition in her life. In her own words, "I began it a young woman--I
finished it an old woman."' She calls upon herself to make 'greater
efforts against indolence and the despondency that comes from too
egoistic a dread of failure.' 'This is the last entry I mean to make in
my old book in which I wrote for the first time at Geneva in 1849. What
moments of despair I passed through after that--despair that life would
ever be made precious to me by the consciousness that I lived to some
good purpose! It was that sort of despair that sucked away the sap of
half the hours which might have been filled by energetic youthful
activity; and the same demon tries to get hold of me again whenever an
old work is dismissed and a new one is being meditated' (ii. 307). One
day the entry is: 'Horrible scepticism about all things paralysing my
mind. Shall I ever be good for anything again? Ever do anything again?'
On another, she describes herself to a trusted friend as 'a mind
morbidly desponding, and a consciousness tending more and more to
consist in memories of error and imperfection rather than in a
strengthening sense of achievement.' We have to turn to such books as
Bunyan's _Grace Abounding_ to find any parallel to such wretchedness.

Times were not wanting when the sun strove to shine through the gloom,
when the resistance to melancholy was not wholly a failure, and when, as
she says, she felt that Dante was right in condemning to the Stygian
marsh those who had been sad under the blessed sunlight. 'Sad were we in
the sweet air that is gladdened by the sun, bearing sluggish smoke in
our hearts; now lie we sadly here in the black ooze.' But still for the
most part sad she remained in the sweet air, and the look of pain that
haunted her eyes and brow even in her most genial and animated moments,
only told too truly the story of her inner life.

That from this central gloom a shadow should spread to her work was
unavoidable. It would be rash to compare George Eliot with Tacitus, with
Dante, with Pascal. A novelist--for as a poet, after trying hard to
think otherwise, most of us find her magnificent but unreadable--as a
novelist bound by the conditions of her art to deal in a thousand
trivialities of human character and situation, she has none of their
severity of form. But she alone of moderns has their note of sharp-cut
melancholy, of sombre rumination, of brief disdain. Living in a time
when humanity has been raised, whether formally or informally, into a
religion, she draws a painted curtain of pity before the tragic scene.
Still the attentive ear catches from time to time the accents of an
unrelenting voice, that proves her kindred with those three mighty
spirits and stern monitors of men. In George Eliot, a reader with a
conscience may be reminded of the saying that when a man opens Tacitus
he puts himself in the confessional. She was no vague dreamer over the
folly and the weakness of men, and the cruelty and blindness of destiny.
Hers is not the dejection of the poet who 'could lie down like a tired
child, And weep away this life of care,' as Shelley at Naples; nor is it
the despairing misery that moved Cowper in the awful verses of the
_Castaway_. It was not such self-pity as wrung from Burns the cry to
life, 'Thou art a galling load, Along a rough, a weary road, To wretches
such as I;' nor such general sense of the woes of the race as made Keats
think of the world as a place where men sit and hear each other groan,
'Where but to think is to be full of sorrow, And leaden-eyed despairs.'
She was as far removed from the plangent reverie of Rousseau as from the
savage truculence of Swift. Intellectual training had given her the
spirit of order and proportion, of definiteness and measure, and this
marks her alike from the great sentimentalists and the sweeping
satirists. 'Pity and fairness,' as she beautifully says (iii. 317), 'are
two little words which, carried out, would embrace the utmost delicacies
of the moral life.' But hers is not seldom the severe fairness of the
judge, and the pity that may go with putting on the black cap after a
conviction for high treason. In the midst of many an easy flowing page,
the reader is surprised by some bitter aside, some judgment of intense
and concentrated irony with the flash of a blade in it, some biting
sentence where lurks the stern disdain and the anger of Tacitus, and
Dante, and Pascal. Souls like these are not born for happiness.

       *       *       *       *       *

This is not the occasion for an elaborate discussion of George Eliot's
place in the mental history of her time, but her biography shows that
she travelled along the road that was trodden by not a few in her day.
She started from that fervid evangelicalism which has made the base of
many a powerful character in this century, from Cardinal Newman
downwards. Then with curious rapidity she threw it all off, and embraced
with equal zeal the rather harsh and crude negations which were then
associated with the _Westminster Review_. The second stage did not last
much longer than the first. 'Religious and moral sympathy with the
historical life of man,' she said (ii. 363), 'is the larger half of
culture;' and this sympathy, which was the fruit of her culture, had by
the time she was thirty become the new seed of a positive faith and a
semi-conservative creed. Here is a passage from a letter of 1862 (she
had translated Strauss, we may remind ourselves, in 1845, and Feuerbach
in 1854):--

     Pray don't ask me ever again not to rob a man of his religious
     belief, as if you thought my mind tended to such robbery. I have
     too profound a conviction of the efficacy that lies in all
     sincere faith, and the spiritual blight that comes with no-faith,
     to have any negative propagandism in me. In fact, I have very
     little sympathy with Freethinkers as a class, and have lost all
     interest in mere antagonism to religious doctrines. I care only
     to know, if possible, the lasting meaning that lies in all
     religious doctrine from the beginning till now (ii. 243).

Eleven years later the same tendency had deepened and gone farther:--

     All the great religions of the world, historically considered,
     are rightly the objects of deep reverence and sympathy--they are
     the record of spiritual struggles, which are the types of our
     own. This is to me preeminently true of Hebrewism and
     Christianity, on which my own youth was nourished. And in this
     sense I have no antagonism towards any religious belief, but a
     strong outflow of sympathy. Every community met to worship the
     highest Good (which is understood to be expressed by God) carries
     me along in its main current; and if there were not reasons
     against my following such an inclination, I should go to church
     or chapel, constantly, for the sake of the delightful emotions of
     fellowship which come over me in religious assemblies--the very
     nature of such assemblies being the recognition of a binding
     belief or spiritual law, which is to lift us into willing
     obedience and save us from the slavery of unregulated passion or
     impulse. And with regard to other people, it seems to me that
     those who have no definite conviction which constitutes a
     protesting faith, may often more beneficially cherish the good
     within them and be better members of society by a conformity
     based on the recognised good in the public belief, than by a
     nonconformity which has nothing but negatives to utter. _Not_, of
     course, if the conformity would be accompanied by a consciousness
     of hypocrisy. That is a question for the individual conscience to
     settle. But there is enough to be said on the different points of
     view from which conformity may be regarded, to hinder a ready
     judgment against those who continue to conform after ceasing to
     believe in the ordinary sense. But with the utmost largeness of
     allowance for the difficulty of deciding in special cases, it
     must remain true that the highest lot is to have definite beliefs
     about which you feel that 'necessity is laid upon you' to declare
     them, as something better which you are bound to try and give to
     those who have the worse (iii. 215-217).

These volumes contain many passages in the same sense--as, of course,
her books contain them too. She was a constant reader of the Bible, and
the _Imitatio_ was never far from her hand. 'She particularly enjoyed
reading aloud some of the finest chapters of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and St.
Paul's Epistles. The Bible and our elder English poets best suited the
organ-like tones of her voice, which required for their full effect a
certain solemnity and majesty of rhythm.' She once expressed to a
younger friend, who shared her opinions, her sense of the loss which
they had in being unable to practise the old ordinances of family
prayer. 'I hope,' she says, 'we are well out of that phase in which the
most philosophic view of the past was held to be a smiling survey of
human folly, and when the wisest man was supposed to be one who could
sympathise with no age but the age to come' (ii. 308).

For this wise reaction she was no doubt partially indebted, as so many
others have been, to the teaching of Comte. Unquestionably the
fundamental ideas had come into her mind at a much earlier period, when,
for example, she was reading Mr. R.W. Mackay's _Progress of the
Intellect_ (1850, i. 253). But it was Comte who enabled her to
systematise these ideas, and to give them that 'definiteness,' which, as
these pages show in a hundred places, was the quality that she sought
before all others alike in men and their thoughts. She always remained
at a respectful distance from complete adherence to Comte's scheme, but
she was never tired of protesting that he was a really great thinker,
that his famous survey of the Middle Ages in the fifth volume of the
_Positive Philosophy_ was full of luminous ideas, and that she had
thankfully learned much from it. Wordsworth, again, was dear to her in
no small degree on the strength of such passages as that from the
_Prelude_, which is the motto of one of the last chapters of her last

          The human nature with which I felt
          That I belonged and reverenced with love,
          Was not a persistent presence, but a spirit
          Diffused through time and space, with aid derived
          Of evidence from monuments, erect,
          Prostrate, or leaning towards their common rest
          In earth, _the widely scattered wreck sublime_
          _Of vanished nations_.

Or this again, also from the _Prelude_ (see iii. 389):--

                                  There is
          One great society alone on earth:
          The noble Living and the noble Dead.

Underneath this growth and diversity of opinion we see George Eliot's
oneness of character, just, for that matter, as we see it in Mill's long
and grave march from the uncompromising denials instilled into him by
his father, then through Wordsworthian mysticism and Coleridgean
conservatism, down to the pale belief and dim starlight faith of his
posthumous volume. George Eliot was more austere, more unflinching, and
of ruder intellectual constancy than Mill. She never withdrew from the
position that she had taken up, of denying and rejecting; she stood to
that to the end: what she did was to advance to the far higher
perception that denial and rejection are not the aspects best worth
attending to or dwelling upon. She had little patience with those who
fear that the doctrine of protoplasm must dry up the springs of human
effort. Any one who trembles at that catastrophe may profit by a
powerful remonstrance of hers in the pages before us (iii. 245-250, also

     The consideration of molecular physics is not the direct ground
     of human love and moral action, any more than it is the direct
     means of composing a noble picture or of enjoying great music.
     One might as well hope to dissect one's own body and be merry in
     doing it, as take molecular physics (in which you must banish
     from your field of view what is specifically human) to be your
     dominant guide, your determiner of motives, in what is solely
     human. That every study has its bearing on every other is true;
     but pain and relief, love and sorrow, have their peculiar history
     which make an experience and knowledge over and above the swing
     of atoms.

     With regard to the pains and limitations of one's personal lot, I
     suppose there is not a single man or woman who has not more or
     less need of that stoical resignation which is often a hidden
     heroism, or who, in considering his or her past history, is not
     aware that it has been cruelly affected by the ignorant or
     selfish action of some fellow-being in a more or less close
     relation of life. And to my mind there can be no stronger motive
     than this perception, to an energetic effort that the lives
     nearest to us shall not suffer in a like manner from _us_.

     As to duration and the way in which it affects your view of the
     human history, what is really the difference to your imagination
     between infinitude and billions when you have to consider the
     value of human experience? Will you say that since your life has
     a term of threescore years and ten, it was really a matter of
     indifference whether you were a cripple with a wretched skin
     disease, or an active creature with a mind at large for the
     enjoyment of knowledge, and with a nature which has attracted
     others to you?

For herself, she remained in the position described in one of her
letters in 1860 (ii. 283):--'I have faith in the working out of higher
possibilities than the Catholic or any other Church has presented; and
those who have strength to wait and endure are bound to accept no
formula which their whole souls--their intellect, as well as their
emotions--do not embrace with entire reverence. The highest calling and
election is _to do without opium_, and live through all our pain with
conscious, clear-eyed endurance.' She would never accept the common
optimism. As she says here:--'Life, though a good to men on the whole,
is a doubtful good to many, and to some not a good at all. To my thought
it is a source of constant mental distortion to make the denial of this
a part of religion--to go on pretending things are better than they

Of the afflicting dealings with the world of spirits, which in those
days were comparatively limited to the untutored minds of America, but
which since have come to exert so singular a fascination for some of the
most brilliant of George Eliot's younger friends (see iii. 204), she
thought as any sensible Philistine among us persists in thinking to this

     If it were another spirit aping Charlotte Brontë--if here and
     there at rare spots and among people of a certain temperament, or
     even at many spots and among people of all temperaments, tricksy
     spirits are liable to rise as a sort of earth-bubbles and set
     furniture in movement, and tell things which we either know
     already or should be as well without knowing--I must frankly
     confess that I have but a feeble interest in these doings,
     feeling my life very short for the supreme and awful revelations
     of a more orderly and intelligible kind which I shall die with an
     imperfect knowledge of. If there were miserable spirits whom we
     could help--then I think we should pause and have patience with
     their trivial-mindedness; but otherwise I don't feel bound to
     study them more than I am bound to study the special follies of a
     peculiar phase of human society. Others, who feel differently,
     and are attracted towards this study, are making an experiment
     for us as to whether anything better than bewilderment can come
     of it. At present it seems to me that to rest any fundamental
     part of religion on such a basis is a melancholy misguidance of
     men's minds from the true sources of high and pure emotion (iii.

The period of George Eliot's productions was from 1856, the date of her
first stories, down to 1876, when she wrote, not under her brightest
star, her last novel of _Daniel Deronda_. During this time the great
literary influences of the epoch immediately preceding had not indeed
fallen silent, but the most fruitful seed had been sown. Carlyle's
_Sartor_ (1833-1834), and his _Miscellaneous Essays_ (collected, 1839),
were in all hands; but he had fallen into the terrible slough of his
Prussian history (1858-1865), and the last word of his evangel had gone
forth to all whom it concerned. _In Memoriam_, whose noble music and
deep-browed thought awoke such new and wide response in men's hearts,
was published in 1850. The second volume of _Modern Painters_, of which
I have heard George Eliot say, as of _In Memoriam_ too, that she owed
much and very much to it, belongs to an earlier date still (1846), and
when it appeared, though George Eliot was born in the same year as its
author, she was still translating Strauss at Coventry. Mr. Browning, for
whose genius she had such admiration, and who was always so good a
friend, did indeed produce during this period some work which the adepts
find as full of power and beauty as any that ever came from his pen. But
Mr. Browning's genius has moved rather apart from the general currents
of his time, creating character and working out motives from within,
undisturbed by transient shadows from the passing questions and answers
of the day.

The romantic movement was then upon its fall. The great Oxford movement,
which besides its purely ecclesiastical effects, had linked English
religion once more to human history, and which was itself one of the
unexpected outcomes of the romantic movement, had spent its original
force, and no longer interested the stronger minds among the rising
generation. The hour had sounded for the scientific movement. In 1859
was published the _Origin of Species_, undoubtedly the most far-reaching
agency of the time, supported as it was by a volume of new knowledge
which came pouring in from many sides. The same period saw the
important speculations of Mr. Spencer, whose influence on George Eliot
had from their first acquaintance been of a very decisive kind. Two
years after the _Origin of Species_ came Maine's _Ancient Law_, and that
was followed by the accumulations of Mr. Tylor and others, exhibiting
order and fixed correlation among great sets of facts which had hitherto
lain in that cheerful chaos of general knowledge which has been called
general ignorance. The excitement was immense. Evolution, development,
heredity, adaptation, variety, survival, natural selection, were so many
patent pass-keys that were to open every chamber.

George Eliot's novels, as they were the imaginative application of this
great influx of new ideas, so they fitted in with the moods which those
ideas had called up. 'My function,' she said (iii. 330), 'is that of the
æsthetic, not the doctrinal teacher--the rousing of the nobler emotions
which make mankind desire the social right, not the prescribing of
special measures, concerning which the artistic mind, however strongly
moved by social sympathy, is often not the best judge.' Her influence in
this direction over serious and impressionable minds was great indeed.
The spirit of her art exactly harmonised with the new thoughts that were
shaking the world of her contemporaries. Other artists had drawn their
pictures with a strong ethical background, but she gave a finer colour
and a more spacious air to her ethics by showing the individual passions
and emotions of her characters, their adventures and their fortunes, as
evolving themselves from long series of antecedent causes, and bound up
with many widely operating forces and distant events. Here, too, we find
ourselves in the full stream of evolution, heredity, survival, and fixed
inexorable law.

This scientific quality of her work may be considered to have stood in
the way of her own aim. That the nobler emotions roused by her writings
tend to 'make mankind desire the social right' is not to be doubted; but
we are not sure that she imparts peculiar energy to the desire. What she
kindles is not a very strenuous, aggressive, and operative desire. The
sense of the iron limitations that are set to improvement in present and
future by inexorable forces of the past, is stronger in her than any
intrepid resolution to press on to whatever improvement may chance to be
within reach if we only make the attempt. In energy, in inspiration, in
the kindling of living faith in social effort, George Sand, not to speak
of Mazzini, takes a far higher place.

It was certainly not the business of an artist to form judgments in the
sphere of practical politics, but George Eliot was far too humane a
nature not to be deeply moved by momentous events as they passed. Yet
her observations, at any rate after 1848, seldom show that energy of
sympathy of which we have been speaking, and these observations
illustrate our point. We can hardly think that anything was ever said
about the great civil war in America, so curiously far-fetched as the
following reflection:--'My best consolation is that an example on so
tremendous a scale of the need for the education of mankind through the
affections and sentiments, as a basis for true development, will have a
strong influence on all thinkers, and be a check to the arid narrow
antagonism which in some quarters is held to be the only form of liberal
thought' (ii. 335).

In 1848, as we have said, she felt the hopes of the hour in all their
fulness. To a friend she writes (i. 179):--'You and Carlyle (have you
seen his article in last week's _Examiner?_) are the only two people who
feel just as I would have them--who can glory in what is actually great
and beautiful without putting forth any cold reservations and
incredulities to save their credit for wisdom. I am all the more
delighted with your enthusiasm because I didn't expect it. I feared that
you lacked revolutionary ardour. But no--you are just as
_sans-culottish_ and rash as I would have you. You are not one of those
sages whose reason keeps so tight a rein on their emotions that they are
too constantly occupied in calculating consequences to rejoice in any
great manifestation of the forces that underlie our everyday existence.

'I thought we had fallen on such evil days that we were to see no really
great movement--that ours was what St. Simon calls a purely critical
epoch, not at all an organic one; but I begin to be glad of my date. I
would consent, however, to have a year clipt off my life for the sake
of witnessing such a scene as that of the men of the barricades bowing
to the image of Christ, 'who first taught fraternity to men.' One
trembles to look into every fresh newspaper lest there should be
something to mar the picture; but hitherto even the scoffing newspaper
critics have been compelled into a tone of genuine respect for the
French people and the Provisional Government. Lamartine can act a poem
if he cannot write one of the very first order. I hope that beautiful
face given to him in the pictorial newspaper is really his: it is worthy
of an aureole. I have little patience with people who can find time to
pity Louis Philippe and his moustachioed sons. Certainly our decayed
monarchs should be pensioned off: we should have an hospital for them,
or a sort of zoological garden, where these worn-out humbugs may be
preserved. It is but justice that we should keep them, since we have
spoiled them for any honest trade. Let them sit on soft cushions, and
have their dinner regularly, but, for heaven's sake, preserve me from
sentimentalising over a pampered old man when the earth has its millions
of unfed souls and bodies. Surely he is not so Ahab-like as to wish that
the revolution had been deferred till his son's days: and I think the
shades of the Stuarts would have some reason to complain if the
Bourbons, who are so little better than they, had been allowed to reign
much longer.'

The hopes of '48 were not very accurately fulfilled, and in George Eliot
they never came to life again. Yet in social things we may be sure that
undying hope is the secret of vision.

There is a passage in Coleridge's _Friend_ which seems to represent the
outcome of George Eliot's teaching on most, and not the worst, of her
readers:--'The tangle of delusions,' says Coleridge, 'which stifled and
distorted the growing tree of our well-being has been torn away; the
parasite weeds that fed on its very roots have been plucked up with a
salutary violence. To us there remain only quiet duties, the constant
care, the gradual improvement, the cautious and unhazardous labours of
the industrious though contented gardener--to prune, to strengthen, to
engraft, and one by one to remove from its leaves and fresh shoots the
slug and the caterpillar.' Coleridge goes farther than George Eliot,
when he adds the exhortation--'Far be it from us to undervalue with
light and senseless detraction the conscientious hardihood of our
predecessors, or even to condemn in them that vehemence to which the
blessings it won for us leave us now neither temptation nor pretext.'

George Eliot disliked vehemence more and more as her work advanced. The
word 'crudity,' so frequently on her lips, stood for all that was
objectionable and distasteful. The conservatism of an artistic moral
nature was shocked by the seeming peril to which priceless moral
elements of human character were exposed by the energumens of progress.
Their impatient hopes for the present appeared to her rather
unscientific; their disregard of the past very irreverent and impious.
Mill had the same feeling when he disgusted his father by standing up
for Wordsworth, on the ground that Wordsworth was helping to keep alive
in human nature elements which utilitarians and innovators would need
when their present and particular work was done. Mill, being free from
the exaltations that make the artist, kept a truer balance. His famous
pair of essays on Bentham and Coleridge were published (for the first
time, so far as our generation was concerned) in the same year as _Adam
Bede_, and I can vividly remember how the 'Coleridge' first awoke in
many of us, who were then youths at Oxford, that sense of truth having
many mansions, and that desire and power of sympathy with the past, with
the positive bases of the social fabric, and with the value of
Permanence in States, which form the reputable side of all
conservatisms. This sentiment and conviction never took richer or more
mature form than in the best work of George Eliot, and her stories
lighted up with a fervid glow the truths that minds of another type had
just brought to the surface. It was this that made her a great moral
force at that epoch, especially for all who were capable by intellectual
training of standing at her point of view. We even, as I have said,
tried hard to love her poetry, but the effort has ended less in love
than in a very distant homage to the majestic in intention and the
sonorous in execution. In fiction, too, as the years go by, we begin to
crave more fancy, illusion, enchantment, than the quality of her genius
allowed. But the loftiness of her character is abiding, and it passes
nobly through the ordeal of an honest biography. 'For the lessons,' says
the fine critic already quoted, 'most imperatively needed by the mass of
men, the lessons of deliberate kindness, of careful truth, of unwavering
endeavour,--for these plain themes one could not ask a more convincing
teacher than she whom we are commemorating now. Everything in her aspect
and presence was in keeping with the bent of her soul. The deeply-lined
face, the too marked and massive features, were united with an air of
delicate refinement, which in one way was the more impressive because it
seemed to proceed so entirely from within. Nay, the inward beauty would
sometimes quite transform the external harshness; there would be moments
when the thin hands that entwined themselves in their eagerness, the
earnest figure that bowed forward to speak and hear, the deep gaze
moving from one face to another with a grave appeal,--all these seemed
the transparent symbols that showed the presence of a wise, benignant
soul.' As a wise, benignant soul George Eliot will still remain for all
right-judging men and women.

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large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
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+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.