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Title: George Eliot's Life, Vol. II (of 3) - as related in her Letters and Journals
Author: Eliot, George, 1819-1880
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "George Eliot's Life, Vol. II (of 3) - as related in her Letters and Journals" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



Transcriber's Note:

This is Volume II of a three volume set:

  Volume I--Unknown
  Volume II--Famous
  Volume III--Sunset

A combined index to the entire set is located at the end of Volume III.

Narrative content written by J. Cross and material quoted from writers
other than George Eliot are interspersed throughout the text. Their
content is placed in block quotes.

Remaining transcriber's notes are located at the end of the text.

       *       *       *       *       *



GEORGE ELIOT'S LIFE

VOL. II.--FAMOUS


"OUR FINEST HOPE IS FINEST MEMORY"


[Illustration: Portrait of George Eliot. Engraved by G. J. Stodart.]



            GEORGE ELIOT'S LIFE
  _as related in her Letters and Journals_

     ARRANGED AND EDITED BY HER HUSBAND
                J. W. CROSS

             WITH ILLUSTRATIONS

        IN THREE VOLUMES.--VOLUME II


                 NEW YORK
     HARPER & BROTHERS, FRANKLIN SQUARE



GEORGE ELIOT'S WORKS.

_LIBRARY EDITION._

     ADAM BEDE. Illustrated. 12mo, Cloth, $1.25.

     DANIEL DERONDA. 2 vols., 12mo, Cloth, $2.50.

     ESSAYS and LEAVES FROM A NOTE-BOOK. 12mo, Cloth, $1.25.

     FELIX HOLT, THE RADICAL. Illustrated. 12mo, Cloth, $1.25.

     MIDDLEMARCH. 2 vols., 12mo, Cloth, $2.50.

     ROMOLA. Illustrated. 12mo, Cloth, $1.25.

     SCENES OF CLERICAL LIFE, and SILAS MARNER. Illustrated. 12mo,
     Cloth, $1.25.

     THE IMPRESSIONS OF THEOPHRASTUS SUCH. 12mo, Cloth, $1.25.

     THE MILL ON THE FLOSS. Illustrated. 12mo, Cloth, $1.25.


PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK.

HARPER & BROTHERS _will send any of the above volumes by mail, postage
prepaid, to any part of the United States or Canada, on receipt of the
price. For other editions of George Eliot's works published by Harper
& Brothers see advertisement at end of third volume_.



CONTENTS OF VOL. II.


     CHAPTER VIII.
     JANUARY, 1858, TO DECEMBER, 1858.

       Success of "Scenes of Clerical Life"--"Adam Bede"   Page 1


     CHAPTER IX.
     JANUARY, 1859, TO MARCH, 1860.

       "The Mill on the Floss"                                 58


     CHAPTER X.
     MARCH TO JUNE, 1860.

       First Journey to Italy                                 120


     CHAPTER XI.
     JULY, 1860, TO DECEMBER, 1861.

       "Silas Marner"--"Romola" begun                         185


     CHAPTER XII.
     JANUARY, 1862, TO DECEMBER, 1865.

       "Romola"--"Felix Holt"                                 238


     CHAPTER XIII.
     JANUARY, 1866, TO DECEMBER, 1866.

       Tour in Holland and on the Rhine                       303



ILLUSTRATIONS TO VOL. II.


     PORTRAIT OF GEORGE ELIOT.
       Engraved by G. J. Stodart                  _Frontispiece._

     THE PRIORY--DRAWING-ROOM                    _To face p._ 266

     FAC-SIMILE OF GEORGE ELIOT'S HAND-WRITING         "      280



GEORGE ELIOT'S LIFE.



CHAPTER VIII.


[Sidenote: Journal, 1858.]

_Jan. 2._--George has returned this evening from a week's visit to
Vernon Hill. On coming up-stairs he said, "I have some very pretty
news for you--something in my pocket." I was at a loss to conjecture,
and thought confusedly of possible opinions from admiring readers,
when he drew the _Times_ from his pocket--to-day's number, containing
a review of the "Scenes of Clerical Life." He had happened to ask a
gentleman in the railway carriage, coming up to London, to allow him
to look at the _Times_, and felt quite agitated and tremulous when his
eyes alighted on the review. Finding he had time to go into town
before the train started, he bought a copy there. It is a highly
favorable notice, and, as far as it goes, appreciatory.

When G. went into town he called at Nutt's, and Mrs. Nutt said to him,
"I think you don't know our curate. _He_ says the author of 'Clerical
Scenes' is a High Churchman; for though Mr. Tryan is said to be Low
Church, his feelings and _actions_ are those of a High Churchman."
(The curate himself being of course High Church.) There were some
pleasant scraps of admiration also gathered for me at Vernon Hill.
Doyle happening to mention the treatment of children in the stories,
Helps said, "Oh, he is a great writer!"

I wonder how I shall feel about these little details ten years hence,
if I am alive. At present I value them as grounds for hoping that my
writing may succeed, and so give value to my life; as indications that
I can touch the hearts of my fellow-men, and so sprinkle some precious
grain as the result of the long years in which I have been inert and
suffering. But at present fear and trembling still predominate over
hope.

_Jan. 5._--To-day the "Clerical Scenes" came in their two-volume
dress, looking very handsome.

_Jan. 8._--News of the subscription--580, with a probable addition of
25 for Longmans. Mudie has taken 350. When we used to talk of the
probable subscription, G. always said, "I dare say it will be 250!"
(The final number subscribed for was 650.)

I ordered copies to be sent to the following persons: Froude, Dickens,
Thackeray, Tennyson, Ruskin, Faraday, the author of "Companions of my
Solitude," Albert Smith, Mrs. Carlyle.

On the 20th of January I received the following letter from Dickens:

[Sidenote: Letter from Charles Dickens to George Eliot, 17th Jan.
1858.]

         "TAVISTOCK HOUSE, LONDON, _Monday, 17th Jan. 1858_.

     "MY DEAR SIR,--I have been so strongly affected by the two
     first tales in the book you have had the kindness to send me,
     through Messrs. Blackwood, that I hope you will excuse my
     writing to you to express my admiration of their
     extraordinary merit. The exquisite truth and delicacy, both
     of the humor and the pathos of these stories, I have never
     seen the like of; and they have impressed me in a manner that
     I should find it very difficult to describe to you, if I had
     the impertinence to try.

     "In addressing these few words of thankfulness to the creator
     of the Sad Fortunes of the Rev. Amos Barton, and the sad
     love-story of Mr. Gilfil, I am (I presume) bound to adopt the
     name that it pleases that excellent writer to assume. I can
     suggest no better one: but I should have been strongly
     disposed, if I had been left to my own devices, to address
     the said writer as a woman. I have observed what seemed to me
     such womanly touches in those moving fictions, that the
     assurance on the title-page is insufficient to satisfy me
     even now. If they originated with no woman, I believe that no
     man ever before had the art of making himself mentally so
     like a woman since the world began.

     "You will not suppose that I have any vulgar wish to fathom
     your secret. I mention the point as one of great interest to
     me--not of mere curiosity. If it should ever suit your
     convenience and inclination to show me the face of the man,
     or woman, who has written so charmingly, it will be a very
     memorable occasion to me. If otherwise, I shall always hold
     that impalpable personage in loving attachment and respect,
     and shall yield myself up to all future utterances from the
     same source, with a perfect confidence in their making me
     wiser and better.--Your obliged and faithful servant and
     admirer,

                                           "CHARLES DICKENS.

     "GEORGE ELIOT, ESQ."

[Sidenote: Journal, 1858.]

_Jan. 21._--To-day came the following letter from Froude:

[Sidenote: Letter from J. A. Froude to George Eliot, 17th Jan. 1858.]

     "NORTHDOWN HOUSE, BIDEFORD, _17th Jan. 1858_.

     "DEAR SIR,--I do not know when I have experienced a more
     pleasant surprise than when, on opening a book parcel two
     mornings ago, I found it to contain 'Scenes of Clerical
     Life,' 'From the author.' I do not often see _Blackwood_; but
     in accidental glances I had made acquaintance with 'Janet's
     Repentance,' and had found there something extremely
     different from general magazine stories. When I read the
     advertisement of the republication, I intended fully, at my
     leisure, to look at the companions of the story which had so
     much struck me, and now I find myself sought out by the
     person whose workmanship I had admired, for the special
     present of it.

     "You would not, I imagine, care much for flattering speeches,
     and to go into detail about the book would carry me farther
     than at present there is occasion to go. I can only thank you
     most sincerely for the delight which it has given me; and
     both I myself, and my wife, trust that the acquaintance which
     we seem to have made with you through your writings may
     improve into something more tangible. I do not know whether I
     am addressing a young man or an old--a clergyman or a layman.
     Perhaps, if you answer this note, you may give us some
     information about yourself. But at any rate, should business
     or pleasure bring you into this part of the world, pray
     believe that you will find a warm welcome if you will accept
     our hospitality.--Once more, with my best thanks, believe me,
     faithfully yours,

                                              J. A. FROUDE."

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 17th Jan. 1858.]

I have long ceased to feel any sympathy with mere antagonism and
destruction; and all crudity of expression marks, I think, a
deficiency in subtlety of thought as well as in breadth of moral and
poetic feeling. Mr. William Smith, the author of "Thorndale," is an
old acquaintance of Mr. Lewes's. I should say an old _friend_, only I
don't like the too ready use of that word. Mr. Lewes admires and
esteems him very highly. He is a very accomplished man--a bachelor,
with a small independent income; used to write very effective articles
on miscellaneous subjects in _Blackwood_. I shall like to know what
you think of "Thorndale." I don't know whether you look out for
Ruskin's books whenever they appear. His little book on the "Political
Economy of Art" contains some magnificent passages, mixed up with
stupendous specimens of arrogant absurdity on some economical points.
But I venerate him as one of the great teachers of the day. The grand
doctrines of truth and sincerity in art, and the nobleness and
solemnity of our human life, which he teaches with the inspiration of
a Hebrew prophet, must be stirring up young minds in a promising way.
The two last volumes of "Modern Painters" contain, I think, some of
the finest writing of the age. He is strongly akin to the sublimest
part of Wordsworth--whom, by-the-bye, we are reading with fresh
admiration for his beauties and tolerance for his faults. Our present
plans are: to remain here till about the end of March, then to go to
Munich, which I long to see. We shall live there several months,
seeing the wonderful galleries in leisure moments. Our living here is
so much more expensive than living abroad that we save more than the
expenses of our journeying; and as our work can be as well done there
as here for some months, we lay in much more capital, in the shape of
knowledge and experience, by going abroad.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1858.]

_Jan. 18._--I have begun the "Eumenides," having finished the
"Choephoræ." We are reading Wordsworth in the evening. At least G. is
reading him to me. I am still reading aloud Miss Martineau's History.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 21st Jan. 1858.]

I am sure you will be interested in Dickens's letter, which I enclose,
begging you to return it as soon as you can, and not to allow any one
besides yourself and Major Blackwood to share in the knowledge of its
contents. There can be no harm, of course, in every one's knowing that
Dickens admires the "Scenes," but I should not like any more specific
allusion made to the words of a private letter. There can hardly be
any climax of approbation for me after this; and I am so deeply moved
by the finely felt and finely expressed sympathy of the letter, that
the iron mask of my _incognito_ seems quite painful in forbidding me
to tell Dickens how thoroughly his generous impulse has been
appreciated. If you should have an opportunity of conveying this
feeling of mine to him in any way, you would oblige me by doing so.
By-the-bye, you probably remember sending me, some months ago, a
letter from the Rev. Archer Gurney--a very warm, simple-spoken
letter--praising me for qualities which I most of all care to be
praised for. I should like to send him a copy of the "Scenes," since I
could make no acknowledgment of his letter in any other way. I don't
know his address, but perhaps Mr. Langford would be good enough to
look it out in the Clergy List.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1858.]

_Jan. 23._--There appeared a well-written and enthusiastic article on
"Clerical Scenes" in the _Statesman_. We hear there was a poor
article in the _Globe_--of feebly written praise--the previous week,
but beyond this we have not yet heard of any notices from the press.

_Jan. 26._--Came a very pleasant letter from Mrs. Carlyle, thanking
the author of "Clerical Scenes" for the present of his book, praising
it very highly, and saying that her husband had promised to read it
when released from his mountain of history.

[Sidenote: Letter from Mrs. Carlyle to George Eliot, 21st Jan. 1858.]

                   "5 CHEYNE ROW, CHELSEA, _21st Jan. 1858_.

     "DEAR SIR,--I have to thank you for a surprise, a pleasure,
     and a--consolation (!) all in one book! And I do thank you
     most sincerely. I cannot divine what inspired the good
     thought to send _me_ your book; since (if the name on the
     title-page be your real name) it could not have been personal
     regard; there has never been a George Eliot among my friends
     or acquaintance. But neither, I am sure, could _you_ divine
     the circumstances under which I should read the book, and the
     particular benefit it should confer on me! I read it--at
     least the first volume--during one of the most (physically)
     wretched nights of my life--sitting up in bed, unable to get
     a wink of sleep for fever and sore throat--and it helped me
     through that dreary night as well--better than the most
     sympathetic helpful friend watching by my bedside could have
     done!

     "You will believe that the book needed to be something more
     than a 'new novel' for me; that I _could_ at my years, and
     after so much reading, read it in positive torment, and be
     beguiled by it of the torment! that it needed to be the one
     sort of book, however named, that still takes hold of me,
     and that grows rarer every year--a _human_ book--written out
     of the heart of a live man, not merely out of the brain of an
     author--full of tenderness and pathos, without a scrap of
     sentimentality, of sense without dogmatism, of earnestness
     without twaddle--a book that makes one _feel friends_ at once
     and for always with the man or woman who wrote it!

     "In guessing at why you gave me this good gift, I have
     thought amongst other things, 'Oh, perhaps it was a delicate
     way of presenting the novel to my husband, he being over head
     and ears in _history_.' If that was it, I compliment you on
     your _tact_! for my husband is much likelier to read the
     'Scenes' on _my_ responsibility than on a venture of his
     own--though, as a general rule, never opening a novel, he has
     engaged to read this one whenever he has some leisure from
     his present task.

     "I hope to know some day if the person I am addressing bears
     any resemblance in external things to the idea I have
     conceived of him in my mind--a man of middle age, with a
     wife, from whom he has got those beautiful _feminine_ touches
     in his book--a good many children, and a dog that he has as
     much fondness for as I have for my little Nero! For the
     rest--not just a clergyman, but brother or first cousin to a
     clergyman! How ridiculous all this _may_ read beside the
     reality. Anyhow--I honestly confess I am very curious about
     you, and look forward with what Mr. Carlyle would call 'a
     good, healthy, genuine desire' to shaking hands with you some
     day.--In the meanwhile, I remain, your obliged

                                           JANE W. CARLYLE."

[Sidenote: Journal, 1858.]

_Jan. 30._--Received a letter from Faraday, thanking me very
gracefully for the present of the "Scenes." Blackwood mentions, in
enclosing this letter, that Simpkin & Marshall have sent for twelve
additional copies--the first sign of a move since the subscription.
The other night we looked into the life of Charlotte Brontë, to see
how long it was before "Jane Eyre" came into demand at the libraries,
and we found it was not until six weeks after publication. It is just
three weeks now since I heard news of the subscription for my book.

[Sidenote: Letter from M. Faraday to George Eliot, 28th Jan. 1858.]

                       "ROYAL INSTITUTION, _28th Jan. 1858_.

     "SIR,--I cannot resist the pleasure of thanking you for what
     I esteem a great kindness: the present of your thoughts
     embodied in the two volumes you have sent me. They have been,
     and will be again, a very pleasant relief from mental
     occupation among my own pursuits. Such rest I find at times
     not merely agreeable, but essential.--Again thanking you, I
     beg to remain, your very obliged servant,
                                                 M. FARADAY.

     "GEORGE ELIOT, Esq., &c., &c."

[Sidenote: Journal, 1858.]

_Feb. 3._--Gave up Miss Martineau's History last night, after reading
some hundred pages in the second volume. She has a sentimental,
rhetorical style in this history which is fatiguing and not
instructive. But her history of the Reform movement is very
interesting.

_Feb. 4._--Yesterday brought the discouraging news, that though the
book is much talked of, it moves very slowly. Finished the
"Eumenides." Bessie Parkes has written asking me to contribute to the
_Englishwoman's Journal_--a new monthly which, she says, "We are
beginning with £1000, and great social interest."

_Feb. 16._--To-day G. went into the City and saw Langford, for the
sake of getting the latest news about our two books--his "Sea-side
Studies" having been well launched about a fortnight or ten days ago,
with a subscription of 800. He brought home good news. The "Clerical
Scenes" are moving off at a moderate but steady pace. Langford
remarked, that while the press had been uniformly favorable, not one
_critical_ notice had appeared. G. went to Parker's in the evening,
and gathered a little gossip on the subject. Savage, author of the
"Falcon Family," and now editor of the _Examiner_, said he was reading
the "Scenes"--had read some of them already in _Blackwood_--but was
now reading the volume. "G. Eliot was a writer of great merit." A
barrister named Smythe said he had seen "the Bishop" reading them the
other day. As a set-off against this, Mrs. Schlesinger "Couldn't bear
the book." She is a regular novel reader; but hers is the first
unfavorable opinion we have had.

_Feb. 26._--We went into town for the sake of seeing Mr. and Mrs.
Call, and having our photographs taken by Mayall.

_Feb. 28._--Mr. John Blackwood called on us, having come to London for
a few days only. He talked a good deal about the "Clerical Scenes" and
George Eliot, and at last asked, "Well, am I to see George Eliot this
time?" G. said, "Do you wish to see him?" "As he likes--I wish it to
be quite spontaneous." I left the room, and G. following me a moment,
I told him he might reveal me. Blackwood was kind, came back when he
found he was too late for the train, and said he would come to
Richmond again. He came on the following Friday and chatted very
pleasantly--told us that Thackeray spoke highly of the "Scenes," and
said _they were not written by a woman_. Mrs. Blackwood is _sure_ they
are not written by a woman. Mrs. Oliphant, the novelist, too, is
confident on the same side. I gave Blackwood the MS. of my new novel,
to the end of the second scene in the wood. He opened it, read the
first page, and smiling, said, "This will do." We walked with him to
Kew, and had a good deal of talk. Found, among other things, that he
had lived two years in Italy when he was a youth, and that he admires
Miss Austen.

Since I wrote these last notes several encouraging fragments of news
about the "Scenes" have come to my ears--especially that Mrs. Owen
Jones and her husband--two very different people--are equally
enthusiastic about the book. But both have detected the woman.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 2d March, 1858.]

Perhaps we may go to Dresden, perhaps not: we leave room for the
_imprévu_, which Louis Blanc found so sadly wanting in Mr. Morgan's
millennial village. You are among the exceptional people who say
pleasant things to their friends, and don't feel a too exclusive
satisfaction in their misfortunes. We like to hear of your interest in
Mr. Lewes's books--at least, _I_ am very voracious of such details. I
keep the pretty letters that are written to him; and we have had some
really important ones from the scientific big-wigs about the "Sea-side
Studies." The reception of the book in that quarter has been quite
beyond our expectations. Eight hundred copies were sold at once. There
is a great deal of close hard work in the book, and every one who
knows what scientific work is necessarily perceives this; happily
many have been generous enough to express their recognition in a
hearty way.

I enter so deeply into everything you say about your mother. To me
that old, old popular truism, "We can never have but one mother," has
worlds of meaning in it, and I think with more sympathy of the
satisfaction you feel in at last being allowed to wait on her than I
should of anything else you could tell me. I wish we saw more of that
sweet human piety that feels tenderly and reverently towards the aged.
[_Apropos_ of some incapable woman's writing she adds.] There is
something more piteous almost than soapless poverty in this
application of feminine incapacity to literature. We spent a very
pleasant couple of hours with Mr. and Mrs. Call last Friday. It was
worth a journey on a cold dusty day to see two faces beaming kindness
and happiness.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 26th March, 1858.]

I enclose a letter which will interest you. It is affecting to see how
difficult a matter it often is for the men who would most profit by a
book to purchase it, or even get a reading of it, while stupid Jopling
of Reading or elsewhere thinks nothing of giving a guinea for a work
which he will simply put on his shelves.

[Sidenote: Letter to Charles Bray, March, 1858.]

When do you bring out your new poem? I presume you are already in the
sixth canto. It is true you never told me you intended to write a
poem, nor have I heard any one say so who was likely to know.
Nevertheless I have quite as active an imagination as you, and I don't
see why I shouldn't suppose you are writing a poem as well as you
suppose that I am writing a novel. Seriously, I wish you would not set
rumors afloat about me. They are injurious. Several people, who seem
to derive their notions from Ivy Cottage,[1] have spoken to me of a
supposed novel I was going to bring out. Such things are damaging to
me.

[Sidenote: Letter to Charles Bray, 31st March, 1858.]

Thanks for your disclaimer. It shows me that you take a right view of
the subject. There is no undertaking more fruitful of absurd mistakes
than that of "guessing" at authorship; and as I have never
communicated to any one so much as an _intention_ of a literary kind,
there can be none but imaginary data for such guesses. If I withhold
anything from my friends which it would gratify them to know, you will
believe, I hope, that I have good reasons for doing so, and I am sure
those friends will understand me when I ask them to further my
object--which is not a whim but a question of solid interest--by
complete silence. I can't afford to indulge either in vanity or
sentimentality about my work. I have only a trembling anxiety to do
what is in itself worth doing, and by that honest means to win very
necessary profit of a temporal kind. "There is nothing hidden that
shall not be revealed" in due time. But till that time comes--till I
tell you myself, "This is the work of my hand and brain"--don't
believe anything on the subject. There is no one who is in the least
likely to know what I can, could, should, or would write.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1858.]

_April 1, 1858._--Received a letter from Blackwood containing warm
praise of "Adam Bede," but wanting to know the rest of the story in
outline before deciding whether it should go in the Magazine. I wrote
in reply refusing to tell him the story.

On Wednesday evening, April 7th, we set off on our journey to Munich,
and now we are comfortably settled in our lodgings, where we hope to
remain three months at least. I sit down in my first leisure moments
to write a few recollections of our journey, or rather of our
twenty-four hours' stay at Nürnberg; for the rest of our journey was
mere endurance of railway and steamboat in cold and sombre weather,
often rainy. I ought to except our way from Frankfort to Nürnberg,
which lay for some distance--until we came to Bamberg--through a
beautifully varied country. Our view both of Würzburg and Bamberg, as
we hastily snatched it from our railway carriage, was very
striking--great old buildings, crowning heights that rise up boldly
from the plain in which stand the main part of the towns. From Bamberg
to Nürnberg the way lay through a wide rich plain sprinkled with
towns. We had left all the hills behind us. At Bamberg we were joined
in our carriage by a pleasant-looking elderly couple, who spoke to
each other and looked so affectionately that we said directly, "Shall
we be so when we are old?" It was very pretty to see them hold each
other's gloved hands for a minute like lovers. As soon as we had
settled ourselves in our inn at Nürnberg--the Baierische Hof--we went
out to get a general view of the town. Happily it was not raining,
though there was no sun to light up the roof and windows.

[Sidenote: Journal, April, 1858.]

How often I had thought I should like to see Nürnberg, and had
pictured to myself narrow streets with dark quaint gables! The reality
was not at all like my picture, but it was ten times better. No sombre
coloring, except the old churches: all was bright and varied, each
_façade_ having a different color--delicate green, or buff, or pink,
or lilac--every now and then set off by the neighborhood of a rich
reddish brown. And the roofs always gave warmth of color with their
bright red or rich purple tiles. Every house differed from its
neighbor, and had a physiognomy of its own, though a beautiful family
likeness ran through them all, as if the burghers of that old city
were of one heart and one soul, loving the same delightful outlines,
and cherishing the same daily habits of simple ease and enjoyment in
their balcony-windows when the day's work was done.

The balcony window is the secondary charm of the Nürnberg houses; it
would be the principal charm of any houses that had not the Nürnberg
roofs and gables. It is usually in the centre of the building, on the
first floor, and is ornamented with carved stone or wood, which
supports it after the fashion of a bracket. In several of these
windows we saw pretty family groups--young fair heads of girls or of
little children, with now and then an older head surmounting them. One
can fancy that these windows are the pet places for family joys--that
papa seats himself there when he comes home from the warehouse, and
the little ones cluster round him in no time. But the glory of the
Nürnberg houses is the roofs, which are no blank surface of mere
tiling, but are alive with lights and shadows, cast by varied and
beautiful lines of windows and pinnacles and arched openings. The
plainest roof in Nürnberg has its little windows lifting themselves up
like eyelids, and almost everywhere one sees the pretty hexagonal
tiles. But the better houses have a central, open sort of pavilion in
the roof, with a pinnacle surmounted by a weathercock. This pavilion
has usually a beautifully carved arched opening in front, set off by
the dark background which is left by the absence of glass. One
fancies the old Nürnbergers must have gone up to these pavilions to
smoke in the summer and autumn days. There is usually a brood of small
windows round this central ornament, often elegantly arched and
carved. A wonderful sight it makes to see a series of such roofs
surmounting the tall, delicate-colored houses. They are always
high-pitched, of course, and the color of the tiles was usually of a
bright red. I think one of the most charming vistas we saw was the
Adler-Gasse, on the St. Lorenz side of the town. Sometimes, instead of
the high-pitched roof, with its pavilion and windows, there is a
richly ornamented gable fronting the street; and still more frequently
we get the gables at right angles with the street at a break in the
line of houses.

Coming back from the Burg we met a detachment of soldiers, with their
band playing, followed by a stream of listening people; and then we
reached the market-place, just at the point where stands "The
Beautiful Fountain"--an exquisite bit of florid Gothic which has been
restored in perfect conformity with the original. Right before us
stood the Frauen-Kirche, with its fine and unusual _façade_, the chief
beauty being a central chapel used as the choir, and added by Adam
Krafft. It is something of the shape of a mitre, and forms a beautiful
gradation of ascent towards the summit of _façade_. We heard the organ
and were tempted to enter, for this is the one Catholic Church in
Nürnberg. The delicious sound of the organ and voices drew us farther
and farther in among the standing people, and we stayed there I don't
know how long, till the music ceased. How the music warmed one's
heart! I loved the good people about me, even to the soldier who stood
with his back to us, giving us a full view of his close-cropped head,
with its pale yellowish hair standing up in bristles on the crown, as
if his hat had acted like a forcing-pot. Then there was a little baby
in a close-fitting cap on its little round head, looking round with
bright black eyes as it sucked its bit of bread. Such a funny little
complete face--rich brown complexion and miniature Roman nose. And
then its mother lifted it up that it might see the rose-decked altar,
where the priests were standing. How music, that stirs all one's
devout emotions, blends everything into harmony--makes one feel part
of one whole which one loves all alike, losing the sense of a separate
self. Nothing could be more wretched as art than the painted St.
Veronica opposite me, holding out the sad face on her miraculous
handkerchief. Yet it touched me deeply; and the thought of the Man of
Sorrows seemed a very close thing--not a faint hearsay.

We saw Albert Dürer's statue by Rauch, and Albert Dürer's house--a
striking bit of old building, rich dark-brown, with a truncated gable
and two wooden galleries running along the gable end. My best wishes
and thanks to the artists who keep it in repair and use it for their
meetings. The vistas from the bridges across the muddy Pegnitz, which
runs through the town, are all quaint and picturesque; and it was here
that we saw some of the _shabbiest_-looking houses--almost the only
houses that carried any suggestion of poverty, and even here it was
doubtful. The town has an air of cleanliness and well-being, and one
longs to call one of those balconied apartments one's own home, with
their flower-pots, clean glass, clean curtains, and transparencies
turning their white backs to the street. It is pleasant to think there
is such a place in the world where many people pass peaceful lives.

On arriving at Munich, after much rambling, we found an advertisement
of "Zwei elegant möblirte Zimmer," No. 15 Luitpold Strasse; and to our
immense satisfaction found something that looked like cleanliness and
comfort. The bargain was soon made--twenty florins per month. So here
we came last Tuesday, the 13th April. We have been taking sips of the
Glyptothek and the two Pinacotheks in the morning, not having settled
to work yet. Last night we went to the opera--Fra Diavolo--at the
Hof-Theatre. The theatre ugly, the singing bad. Still, the orchestra
was good, and the charming music made itself felt in spite of German
throats. On Sunday, the 11th, we went to the Pinacothek, straight into
the glorious Rubens Saal. Delighted afresh in the picture of "Samson
and Delilah," both for the painting and character of the figures.
Delilah, a magnificent blonde, seated in a chair, with a transparent
white garment slightly covering her body, and a rich red piece of
drapery round her legs, leans forward, with one hand resting on her
thigh, the other, holding the cunning shears, resting on the chair--a
posture which shows to perfection the full, round, living arms. She
turns her head aside to look with sly triumph at Samson--a tawny
giant, his legs caught in the red drapery, shorn of his long locks,
furious with the consciousness that the Philistines are upon him, and
that this time he cannot shake them off. Above the group of malicious
faces and grappling arms a hand holds a flaming torch. Behind Delilah,
and grasping her arm, leans forward an old woman, with hard features
full of exultation.

This picture, comparatively small in size, hangs beside the "Last
Judgment," and in the corresponding space, on the other side of the
same picture, hangs the sublime "Crucifixion." Jesus alone, hanging
dead on the Cross, darkness over the whole earth. One can desire
nothing in this picture--the grand, sweet calm of the dead face, calm
and satisfied amidst all the traces of anguish, the real, livid flesh,
the thorough mastery with which the whole form is rendered, and the
isolation of the supreme sufferer, make a picture that haunts one like
a remembrance of a friend's death-bed.

_April 12 (Monday)._--After reading Anna Mary Howitt's book on Munich
and Overbeck on Greek art, we turned out into the delicious sunshine
to walk in the Theresien Wiese, and have our first look at the
colossal "Bavaria," the greatest work of Schwanthaler. Delightful it
was to get away from the houses into this breezy meadow, where we
heard the larks singing above us. The sun was still too high in the
west for us to look with comfort at the statue, except right in front
of it, where it eclipsed the sun; and this front view is the only
satisfactory one. The outline made by the head and arm on a side view
is almost painfully ugly. But in front, looking up to the beautiful,
calm face, the impression it produces is sublime. I have never seen
anything, even in ancient sculpture, of a more awful beauty than this
dark, colossal head, looking out from a background of pure, pale-blue
sky. We mounted the platform to have a view of her back, and then
walking forward, looked to our right hand and saw the snow-covered
Alps! Sight more to me than all the art in Munich, though I love the
_art_ nevertheless. The great, wide-stretching earth and the
all-embracing sky--the birthright of us all--are what I care most to
look at. And I feel intensely the new beauty of the sky here. The blue
is so exquisitely clear, and the wide streets give one such a broad
canopy of sky. I felt more inspirited by our walk to the Theresien
Platz than by any pleasure we have had in Munich.

_April 16._--On Wednesday we walked to the Theresien Wiese to look at
the "Bavaria" by sunset, but a shower came on and drove us to take
refuge in a pretty house built near the Ruhmeshalle, whereby we were
gainers, for we saw a charming family group: a mother with her three
children--the eldest a boy with his book, the second a three-year-old
maiden, the third a sweet baby-girl of a year and a half; two dogs,
one a mixture of the setter and pointer, the other a turn-spit; and a
relation or servant ironing. The baby cried at the sight of G. in
beard and spectacles, but kept her eyes turning towards him from her
mother's lap, every now and then seeming to have overcome her fears,
and then bursting out crying anew. At last she got down and lifted the
table-cloth to peep at his legs, as if to see the monster's nether
parts.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 17th April, 1858.]

We have been just to take a sip at the two Pinacotheks and at the
Glyptothek. At present the Rubens Saal is what I most long to return
to. Rubens gives me more pleasure than any other painter, whether that
is right or wrong. To be sure, I have not seen so many pictures, and
pictures of so high a rank, by any other great master. I feel sure
that when I have seen as much of Raphael I shall like him better; but
at present Rubens, more than any one else, 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 aping of passion! What a grand,
glowing, forceful thing life looks in his pictures--the men such
grand-bearded, grappling beings, fit to do the work of the world; the
women such real mothers. We stayed at Nürnberg only twenty-four hours,
and I felt sad to leave it so soon. A pity the place became
Protestant, so that there is only one Catholic church where one can go
in and out as one would. We turned into the famous St. Sebald's for a
minute, where a Protestant clergyman was reading in a cold, formal way
under the grand Gothic arches. Then we went to the Catholic church,
the Frauen-Kirche, where the organ and voices were giving forth a
glorious mass; and we stood with a feeling of brotherhood among the
standing congregation till the last note of the organ had died out.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1858.]

_April 23._--Not being well enough to write, we determined to spend
our morning at the Glyptothek and Pinacothek. A glorious morning--all
sunshine and blue sky. We went to the Glyptothek first, and delighted
ourselves anew with the "Sleeping Faun," the "Satyr and Bacchus," and
the "Laughing Faun" (Fauno colla Macchia). Looked at the two young
satyrs reposing with the pipe in their hands--one of them charming in
the boyish, good-humored beauty of the face, but both wanting finish
in the limbs, which look almost as if they could be produced by a
turning-machine. But the conception of this often-repeated figure is
charming: it would make a garden seem more peaceful in the sunshine.
Looked at the old Silenus too, which is excellent. I delight in these
figures, full of droll animation, flinging some nature, in its broad
freedom, in the eyes of small-mouthed, mincing narrowness.

We went into the modern Saal also, glancing on our way at the
Cornelius frescoes, which seem to me stiff and hideous. An Adonis, by
Thorwaldsen, is very beautiful.

Then to the Pinacothek, where we looked at Albert Dürer's portrait
again, and many other pictures, among which I admired a group by
Jordaens: "A satyr eating, while a peasant shows him that he can blow
hot and cold at the same time;" the old grandmother nursing the child,
the father with the key in his hand, with which he has been amusing
baby, looking curiously at the satyr, the handsome wife, still more
eager in her curiosity, the quiet cow, the little boy, the dog and
cat--all are charmingly conceived.

_April 24._--As we were reading this afternoon Herr Oldenbourg came
in, invited us to go to his house on Tuesday, and chatted pleasantly
for an hour. He talked of Kaulbach, whom he has known very intimately,
being the publisher of the "Reineke Fuchs." The picture of the "Hunnen
Schlacht" was the first of Kaulbach's on a great scale. It created a
sensation, and the critics began to call it a "Weltgeschichtliches
Bild." Since then Kaulbach has been seduced into the complex,
wearisome, symbolical style, which makes the frescoes at Berlin
enormous puzzles.

When we had just returned from our drive in the Englische Garten,
Bodenstedt pleasantly surprised us by presenting himself. He is a
charming man, and promises to be a delightful acquaintance for us in
this strange town. He chatted pleasantly with us for half an hour,
telling us that he is writing a work, in five volumes, on the
"Contemporaries of Shakspeare," and indicating the nature of his
treatment of the Shakspearian drama--which is historical and
analytical. Presently he proposed that we should adjourn to his house
and have tea with him; and so we turned out all together in the bright
moonlight, and enjoyed his pleasant chat until ten o'clock. His wife
was not at home, but we were admitted to see the three sleeping
children--one a baby about a year and a half old, a lovely waxen
thing. He gave the same account of Kaulbach as we had heard from
Oldenbourg; spoke of Genelli as superior in genius, though he has not
the fortune to be recognized; recited some of Hermann Lingg's poetry,
and spoke enthusiastically of its merits. There was not a word of
detraction about any one--nothing to jar on one's impression of him as
a refined, noble-hearted man.

_April 27._--This has been a red-letter day. In the morning Professor
Wagner took us over his "Petrifacten Sammlung," giving us interesting
explanations; and before we left him we were joined by Professor
Martius, an animated, clever man, who talked admirably, and invited us
to his house. Then we went to Kaulbach's studio, talked with him, and
saw with especial interest the picture he is preparing as a present to
the New Museum. In the evening, after walking in the Theresien Wiese,
we went to Herr Oldenbourg's, and met Liebig the chemist, Geibel and
Heyse the poets, and Carrière, the author of a work on the
Reformation. Liebig is charming, with well-cut features, a low, quiet
voice, and gentle manners. It was touching to see his hands, the nails
black from the roots, the skin all grimed.

Heyse is like a painter's poet, ideally beautiful; rather brilliant in
his talk, and altogether pleasing. Geibel is a man of rather coarse
texture, with a voice like a kettledrum, and a steady determination to
deliver his opinions on every subject that turned up. But there was a
good deal of ability in his remarks.

_April 30._--After calling on Frau Oldenbourg, and then at Professor
Bodenstedt's, where we played with his charming children for ten
minutes, we went to the theatre to hear Prince Radziwill's music to
the "Faust." I admired especially the earlier part, the Easter morning
song of the spirits, the Beggar's song, and other things, until after
the scene in Auerbach's cellar, which is set with much humor and
fancy. But the scene between Faust and Marguerite is bad--"Meine Ruh
ist hin" quite pitiable, and the "König im Thule" not good. Gretchen's
second song, in which she implores help of the Schmerzensreiche,
touched me a good deal.

_May 1._--In the afternoon Bodenstedt called, and we agreed to spend
the evening at his house--a delightful evening. Professor Löher,
author of "Die Deutschen in America," and another much younger
_Gelehrter_, whose name I did not seize, were there.

_May 2._--Still rainy and cold. We went to the Pinacothek, and looked
at the old pictures in the first and second Saal. There are some very
bad and some fine ones by Albert Dürer: of the latter, a full length
figure of the Apostle Paul, with the head of Mark beside him, in a
listening attitude, is the one that most remains with me. There is a
very striking "Adoration of the Magi," by Johannes van Eyck, with much
merit in the coloring, perspective, and figures. Also, "Christ
carrying his Cross," by Albert Dürer, is striking. "A woman raised
from the dead by the imposition of the Cross" is a very elaborate
composition, by Böhms, in which the faces are of first-rate
excellence.

In the evening we went to the opera and saw the "Nord Stern."

_May 10._--Since Wednesday I have had a wretched cold and cough, and
been otherwise ill, but I have had several pleasures nevertheless. On
Friday, Bodenstedt called with Baron Schack to take us to Genelli's,
the artist of whose powers Bodenstedt had spoken to us with
enthusiastic admiration. The result to us was nothing but
disappointment; the sketches he showed us seemed to us quite destitute
of any striking merit. On Sunday we dined with Liebig, and spent the
evening at Bodenstedt's, where we met Professor Bluntschli, the
jurist, a very intelligent and agreeable man, and Melchior Meyr, a
maker of novels and tragedies, otherwise an ineffectual personage.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 10th May, 1858.]

Our life here is very agreeable--full of pleasant novelty, although we
take things quietly and observe our working hours just as if we were
at Richmond. People are so kind to us that we feel already quite at
home, sip _baierisch Bier_ with great tolerance, and talk bad German
with more and more _aplomb_. The place, you know, swarms with
professors of all sorts--all _gründlich_, of course, and one or two of
them great. There is no one we are more charmed with than Liebig. Mr.
Lewes had no letter to him--we merely met him at an evening party; yet
he has been particularly kind to us, and seems to have taken a
benevolent liking to me. We dined with him and his family yesterday,
and saw how men of European celebrity may put up with greasy cooking
in private life. He lives in very good German style, however; has a
handsome suite of apartments, and makes a greater figure than most of
the professors. His manners are charming--easy, graceful, benignant,
and all the more conspicuous because he is so quiet and low spoken
among the loud talkers here. He looks best in his laboratory, with his
velvet cap on, holding little phials in his hand, and talking of
Kreatine and Kreatinine in the same easy way that well-bred ladies
talk scandal. He is one of the professors who has been called here by
the present king--Max--who seems to be a really sensible man among
kings; gets up at five o'clock in the morning to study, and every
Saturday evening has a gathering of the first men in science and
literature, that he may benefit by their opinions on important
subjects. At this _Tafel-rund_ every man is required to say honestly
what he thinks; every one may contradict every one else; and if the
king suspects any one of a polite insincerity, the too polished man is
invited no more. Liebig, the three poets--Geibel, Heyse, and
Bodenstedt--and Professor Löher, a writer of considerable mark, are
always at the _Tafel-rund_ as an understood part of their functions;
the rest are invited according to the king's direction. Bodenstedt is
one of our best friends here--enormously instructed, after the fashion
of Germans, but not at all stupid with it.

We were at the Siebolds' last night to meet a party of celebrities,
and, what was better, to see the prettiest little picture of married
life--the great comparative anatomist (Siebold) seated at the piano in
his spectacles playing the difficult accompaniments to Schubert's
songs, while his little round-faced wife sang them with much taste and
feeling. They are not young. Siebold is gray, and probably more than
fifty; his wife perhaps nearly forty; and it is all the prettier to
see their admiration of each other. She said to Mr. Lewes, when he
was speaking of her husband, "Ja, er ist ein netter Mann, nicht
wahr?"[2]

We take the art in very small draughts at present--the German hours
being difficult to adjust to our occupations. We are obliged to dine
at _one!_ and of course when we are well enough must work till then.
Two hours afterwards all the great public exhibitions are closed,
except the churches. I _cannot_ admire much of the modern German art.
It is for the most part elaborate lifelessness. Kaulbach's great
compositions are huge charades; and I have seen nothing of his equal
to his own "Reineke Fuchs." It is an unspeakable relief, after staring
at one of his pictures--the "Destruction of Jerusalem," for example,
which is a regular child's puzzle of symbolism--to sweep it all out of
one's mind--which is very easily done, for nothing grasps you in
it--and call up in your imagination a little Gerard Dow that you have
seen hanging in a corner of one of the cabinets. We have been to his
_atelier_, and he has given us a proof of his "Irrenhaus,"[3] a
strange sketch, which he made years ago--very terrible and powerful.
He is certainly a man of great faculty, but is, I imagine, carried out
of his true path by the ambition to produce "Weltgeschichtliche
Bilder," which the German critics may go into raptures about. His
"Battle of the Huns," which is the most impressive of all his great
pictures, was the first of the series. He painted it simply under the
inspiration of the grand myth about the spirits of the dead warriors
rising and carrying on the battle in the air. Straightway the German
critics began to smoke furiously that vile tobacco which they call
_æsthetik_, declared it a "Weltgeschichtliches Bild," and ever since
Kaulbach has been concocting these pictures in which, instead of
taking a single moment of reality and trusting to the infinite
symbolism that belongs to all nature, he attempts to give you at one
view a succession of events--each represented by some group which may
mean "Whichever you please, my little dear."

I must tell you something else which interested me greatly, as the
first example of the kind that has come under my observation. Among
the awful mysterious names, hitherto known only as marginal references
whom we have learned to clothe with ordinary flesh and blood, is
Professor Martius (Spix and Martius), now an old man, and rich after
the manner of being rich in Germany. He has a very sweet wife--one of
those women who remain pretty and graceful in old age--and a family of
three daughters and one son, all more than grown up. I learned that
she is Catholic, that her daughters are Catholic, and her husband and
son Protestant--the children having been so brought up according to
the German law in cases of mixed marriage. I can't tell you how
interesting it was to me to hear her tell of her experience in
bringing up her son conscientiously as a Protestant, and then to hear
her and her daughters speak of the exemplary priests who had shown
them such tender fatherly care when they were in trouble. They are the
most harmonious, affectionate family we have seen; and one delights in
such a triumph of human goodness over the formal logic of theorists.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1858.]

_May 13._--Geibel came and brought me the two volumes of his poems,
and stayed chatting for an hour. We spent the evening quietly at
home.

_May 14._--After writing, we went for an hour to the Pinacothek, and
looked at some of the Flemish pictures. In the afternoon we called at
Liebig's, and he went a long walk with us--the long chain of snowy
mountains in the hazy distance. After supper I read Geibel's "Junius
Lieder."

_May 15._--Read the 18th chapter of "Adam Bede" to G. He was much
pleased with it. Then we walked in the Englische Garten, and heard the
band, and saw the Germans drinking their beer. The park was lovely.

_May 16._--We were to have gone to Grosshesselohe with the Siebolds,
and went to Frühstück with them at 12, as a preliminary. Bodenstedt
was there to accompany us. But heavy rain came on, and we spent the
time till 5 o'clock in talking, hearing music, and listening to
Bodenstedt's "Epic on the destruction of Novgorod." About seven,
Liebig came to us and asked us to spend the evening at his house. We
went and found Voelderndorff, Bischoff and his wife, and Carrière and
Frau.

_May 20._--As I had a feeble head this morning, we gave up the time to
seeing pictures, and went to the _Neue Pinacothek_. A "Lady with
Fruit, followed by three Children," pleased us more than ever. It is
by Wichmann. The two interiors of Westminster Abbey by Ainmueller
admirable. Unable to admire Rothmann's Greek Landscapes, which have a
room to themselves. Ditto Kaulbach's "Zerstörung von Jerusalem."

We went for the first time to see the collection of porcelain
paintings, and had really a rich treat. Many of them are admirable
copies of great pictures. The sweet "Madonna and Child," in Raphael's
early manner; a "Holy Family," also in the early manner, with a
Madonna the exact type of the St. Catherine; and a "Holy Family" in
the later manner, something like the Madonna Delia Sedia, are all
admirably copied. So are two of Andrea del Sarto's--full of tenderness
and calm piety.

_May 23._--Through the cold wind and white dust we went to the
Jesuits' Church to hear the music. It is a fine church in the
Renaissance style, the vista terminating with the great altar very
fine, with all the crowd of human beings covering the floor. Numbers
of men!

In the evening we went to Bodenstedt's, and saw his wife for the first
time--a delicate creature who sang us some charming Bavarian
_Volkslieder_. On Monday we spent the evening at Löher's--Baumgarten,
_ein junger Historiker_, Oldenbourg, and the Bodenstedts meeting us.

Delicious _Mai-trank_, made by putting the fresh _Waldmeister_--a
cruciferous plant with a small white flower, something like Lady's
Bedstraw--into mild wine, together with sugar, and occasionally other
things.

_May 26._--This evening I have read aloud "Adam Bede," chapter xx. We
have begun Ludwig's "Zwischen Himmel und Erde."

_May 27._--We called on the Siebolds to-day, then walked in the
Theresien Wiese, and saw the mountains gloriously. Spent the evening
at Prof. Martius's, where Frau Erdl played Beethoven's Andante and the
Moonlight Sonata admirably.

_May 28._--We heard from Blackwood this morning. Good news in general,
but the sale of our books not progressing at present.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 28th May, 1858.]

It is invariably the case that when people discover certain points of
coincidence in a fiction with facts that happen to have come to their
knowledge, they believe themselves able to furnish a key to the whole.
That is amusing enough to the author, who knows from what widely
sundered portions of experience--from what a combination of subtle,
shadowy suggestions, with certain actual objects and events, his story
has been formed. It would be a very difficult thing for me to furnish
a key to my stories myself. But where there is no exact memory of the
past, any story with a few remembered points of character or of
incident may pass for a history.

We pay for our sight of the snowy mountains here by the most
capricious of climates. English weather is steadfast compared with
Munich weather. You go to dinner here in summer and come away from it
in winter. You are languid among trees and feathery grass at one end
of the town, and are shivering in a hurricane of dust at the other.
This inconvenience of climate, with the impossibility of dining (well)
at any other hour than one o'clock is not friendly to the
stomach--that great seat of the imagination. And I shall never advise
an author to come to Munich except _ad interim_. The great Saal, full
of Rubens's pictures, is worth studying; and two or three precious
bits of sculpture, and the sky on a fine day, always puts one in a
good temper--it is so deliciously clear and blue, making even the
ugliest buildings look beautiful by the light it casts on them.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1858.]

_May 30._--We heard "William Tell"--a great enjoyment to me.

_June 1._--To Grosshesselohe with a party. Siebold and his wife, Prof.
Löher, Fräulein von List, Fräulein Thiersch, Frau von Schaden and her
pretty daughter. It was very pretty to see Siebold's delight in
nature--the Libellulæ, the Blindworm, the crimson and black Cicadæ,
the Orchidæ. The strange whim of Schwanthaler's--the Burg von
Schwaneck--was our destination.

_June 10._--For the last week my work has been rather scanty owing to
bodily ailments. I am at the end of chapter xxi., and am this morning
going to begin chapter xxii. In the interim our chief pleasure had
been a trip to Starnberg by ourselves.

_June 13._--This morning at last free from headache, and able to
write. I am entering on my history of the birthday with some fear and
trembling. This evening we walked, between eight and half-past nine,
in the Wiese, looking towards Nymphenburg. The light delicious--the
west glowing; the faint crescent moon and Venus pale above it; the
larks filling the air with their songs, which seemed only a little way
above the ground.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 14th June, 1858.]

Words are very clumsy things. I like less and less to handle my
friends' sacred feelings with them. For even those who call themselves
intimate know very little about each other--hardly ever know just
_how_ a sorrow is felt, and hurt each other by their very attempts at
sympathy or consolation. We can bear no hand on our bruises. And so I
feel I have no right to say that I know _how_ the loss of your
mother--"the only person who ever leaned on you"--affects you. I only
know that it must make a deeply-felt crisis in your life, and I know
that the better from having felt a great deal about my own mother and
father, and from having the keenest remembrance of all that
experience. But for this very reason I know that I can't measure what
the event is to you; and if I were near you I should only kiss you and
say nothing. People talk of the feelings dying out as one gets older;
but at present my experience is just the contrary. All the serious
relations of life become so much more real to me--pleasure seems so
slight a thing, and sorrow and duty and endurance so great. I find the
least bit of real human life touch me in a way it never did when I was
younger.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1858.]

_June 17._--This evening G. left me to set out on his journey to
Hofwyl to see his boys.

_June 18._--Went with the Siebolds to Nymphenburg; called at Professor
Knapp's, and saw Liebig's sister, Frau Knapp--a charming,
gentle-mannered woman, with splendid dark eyes.

_June 22._--Tired of loneliness, I went to the Frau von Siebold,
chatted with her over tea, and then heard some music.

_June 23._--My kind little friend (Frau von Siebold) brought me a
lovely bouquet of roses this morning, and invited me to go with them
in the evening to the theatre to see the new comedy, the "Drei
Candidaten," which I did: a miserably poor affair.

_June 24._--G. came in the evening, at 10 o'clock--after I had
suffered a great deal in thinking of the possibilities that might
prevent him from coming.

_June 25._--This morning I have read to G. all I have written during
his absence, and he approves it more than I expected.

_July 7._--This morning we left Munich, setting out in the rain to
Rosenheim by railway. The previous day we dined, and sat a few hours
with the dear, charming Siebolds, and parted from them with
regret--glad to leave Munich, but not to leave the friends who had
been so kind to us. For a week before I had been ill--almost a luxury,
because of the love that tended me. But the general languor and sense
of depression produced by Munich air and way of life was no luxury,
and I was glad to say a last good-bye to the quaint pepper-boxes of
the Frauen-Kirche.

[Sidenote: Munich to Dresden, 1858.]

At the Rosenheim station we got into the longest of omnibuses, which
took us to the _Gasthof_, where we were to dine and lunch, and then
mount into the _Stell-wagen_, which would carry us to Prien, on the
borders of the Chiem See. Rosenheim is a considerable and rather
quaint-looking town, interrupted by orchards and characterized in a
passing glance by the piazzas that are seen everywhere fronting the
shops. It has a grand view of the mountains, still a long way off. The
afternoon was cloudy, with intermittent rain, and did not set off the
landscape. Nevertheless, I had much enjoyment in this four or five
hours' journey to Prien. The little villages, with picturesque, wide
gables, projecting roofs, and wooden galleries--with abundant
orchards--with felled trunks of trees and stacks of fir-wood, telling
of the near neighborhood of the forest--were what I liked best in this
ride.

We had no sooner entered the steamboat to cross the Chiem See than it
began to rain heavily, and I kept below, only peeping now and then at
the mountains and the green islands, with their monasteries. From the
opposite bank of the See we had a grand view of the mountains, all
dark purple under the clouded sky. Before us was a point where the
nearer mountains opened and allowed us a view of their more distant
brethren receding in a fainter and fainter blue--a marsh in the
foreground, where the wild-ducks were flying. Our drive from this end
of the lake to Traunstein was lovely--through fertile, cultivated
land, everywhere married to bits of forest. The green meadow or the
golden corn sloped upward towards pine woods, or the bushy greenness
seemed to run with wild freedom far out into long promontories among
the ripening crops. Here and there the country had the aspect of a
grand park from the beautiful intermingling of wood and field, without
any line of fence.

Then came the red sunset, and it was dark when we entered Traunstein,
where we had to pass the night. Among our companions in the day's
journey had been a long-faced, cloaked, slow and solemn man, whom
George called the author of "Eugene Aram," and I Don Quixote, he was
so given to serious remonstrance with the vices he met on the road. We
had been constantly deceived in the length of our stages--on the
principle, possibly, of keeping up our spirits. The next morning there
was the same tenderness shown about the starting of the _Stell-wagen_:
at first it was to start at seven, then at half-past, then when
another _Wagen_ came with its cargo of passengers. This was too much
for Don Quixote; and when the stout, red-faced _Wirth_ had given him
still another answer about the time of starting, he began, in slow and
monotonous indignation, "Warum lügen sie so? Sie werden machen dass
kein Mensch diesen Weg kommen wird,"[4] etc. Whereupon the _Wirth_
looked red-faced, stout, and unwashed as before, without any
perceptible expression of face supervening.

The next morning the weather looked doubtful, and so we gave up
going to the König See for that day, determining to ramble on the
Mönchsberg and enjoy the beauties of Salzburg instead. The morning
brightened as the sun ascended, and we had a delicious ramble on the
Mönchsberg--looking down on the lovely, peaceful plain, below the
grand old Untersberg, where the sleeping Kaiser awaits his
resurrection in that "good time coming;" watching the white mist
floating along the sides of the dark mountains, and wandering under
the shadow of the plantation, where the ground was green with
luxuriant hawkweed, as at Nymphenburg, near Munich. The outline of the
castle and its rock is remarkably fine, and reminded us of Gorey in
Jersey. But we had a still finer view of it when we drove out to
Aigen. On our way thither we had sight of the Watzmann, the highest
mountain in Bavarian Tyrol--emerging from behind the great shoulder of
the Untersberg. It was the only mountain within sight that had snow on
its summit. Once at Aigen, and descended from our carriage, we had a
delicious walk, up and up, along a road of continual steps, by the
course of the mountain-stream, which fell in a series of cascades over
great heaps of bowlders; then back again, by a round-about way, to our
vehicle and home, enjoying the sight of old Watzmann again, and the
grand mass of Salzburg Castle on its sloping rock.

We encountered a _table-d'hôte_ acquaintance who had been to
Berchtesgaden and the König See, driven through the salt-mine, and had
had altogether a perfect expedition on this day, when we had not had
the courage to set off. Never mind! we had enjoyed our day.

We thought it wisest the next morning to renounce the König See, and
pursue our way to Ischl by the _Stell-wagen_. We were fortunate enough
to secure two places in the _coupé_, and I enjoyed greatly the quiet
outlook, from my comfortable corner, on the changing landscape--green
valley and hill and mountain; here and there a picturesque Tyrolese
village, and once or twice a fine lake.

The greatest charm of charming Ischl is the crystal Traun, surely the
purest of streams. Away again early the next morning in the _coupé_ of
the _Stell-wagen_, through a country more and more beautiful--high,
woody mountains sloping steeply down to narrow, fertile, green
valleys, the road winding amongst them so as to show a perpetual
variety of graceful outlines where the sloping mountains met in the
distance before us. As we approached the Gmunden See the masses became
grander and more rocky, and the valley opened wider. It was Sunday,
and when we left the _Stell-wagen_ we found quite a crowd in Sunday
clothes standing round the place of embarkation for the steamboat that
was to take us along the lake. Gmunden is another pretty place at the
head of the lake, but apart from this one advantage inferior to Ischl.
We got on to the slowest of railways here, getting down at the station
near the falls of the Traun, where we dined at the pleasant inn, and
fed our eyes on the clear river again hurrying over the rocks. Behind
the great fall there is a sort of inner chamber, where the water
rushes perpetually over a stone altar. At the station, as we waited
for the train, it began to rain, and the good-natured looking woman
asked us to take shelter in her little station-house--a single room
not more than eight feet square, where she lived with her husband and
two little girls all the year round. The good couple looked more
contented than half the well-lodged people in the world. He used to be
a _drozchky_ driver; and after that life of uncertain gains, which had
many days quite penniless and therefore dinnerless, he found his
present position quite a pleasant lot.

On to Linz, when the train came, gradually losing sight of the
Tyrolean mountains and entering the great plain of the Danube. Our
voyage the next day in the steamboat was unfortunate: we had incessant
rain till we had passed all the finest parts of the banks. But when we
had landed, the sun shone out brilliantly, and so our entrance into
Vienna, through the long suburb, with perpetual shops and odd names
(Prschka, for example, which a German in our omnibus thought not at
all remarkable for consonants!) was quite cheerful. We made our way
through the city and across the bridge to the Weissen Ross, which was
full; so we went to the Drei Rosen, which received us. The sunshine
was transient; it began to rain again when we went out to look at St.
Stephen's, but the delight of seeing that glorious building could not
be marred by a little rain. The tower of this church is worth going to
Vienna to see.

The aspect of the city is that of an inferior Paris; the shops have an
elegance that one sees nowhere else in Germany; the streets are clean,
the houses tall and stately. The next morning we had a view of the
town from the Belvedere Terrace; St. Stephen's sending its exquisite
tower aloft from among an almost level forest of houses and
inconspicuous churches. It is a magnificent collection of pictures at
the Belvedere; but we were so unfortunate as only to be able to see
them once, the gallery being shut up on the Wednesday; and so, many
pictures have faded from my memory, even of those which I had time to
distinguish. Titian's Danae was one that delighted us; besides this I
remember Giorgione's Lucrezia Borgia, with the cruel, cruel eyes; the
remarkable head of Christ; a proud Italian face in a red garment, I
think by Correggio; and two heads by Denner, the most wonderful of all
his wonderful heads that I have seen. There is an Ecce Homo by Titian
which is thought highly of, and is splendid in composition and color,
but the Christ is abject, the Pontius Pilate vulgar: amazing that they
could have been painted by the same man who conceived and executed the
Christo della Moneta! There are huge Veroneses, too, splendid and
interesting.

The Liechtenstein collection we saw twice, and that remains with me
much more distinctly--the room full of Rubens's history of Decius,
more magnificent even than he usually is in color; then his glorious
Assumption of the Virgin, and opposite to it the portraits of his two
boys; the portrait of his lovely wife going to the bath with brown
drapery round her; and the fine portraits by Vandyke, especially the
pale, delicate face of Wallenstein, with blue eyes and pale auburn
locks.

Another great pleasure we had at Vienna--next after the sight of St.
Stephen's and the pictures--was a visit to Hyrtl, the anatomist, who
showed us some of his wonderful preparations, showing the vascular and
nervous systems in the lungs, liver, kidneys, and intestinal canal of
various animals. He told us the deeply interesting story of the loss
of his fortune in the Vienna revolution of '48. He was compelled by
the revolutionists to attend on the wounded for three days' running.
When at last he came to his house to change his clothes he found
nothing but four bare walls! His fortune in Government bonds was
burned along with the house, as well as all his precious collection
of anatomical preparations, etc. He told us that since that great
shock his nerves have been so susceptible that he sheds tears at the
most trifling events, and has a depression of spirits which often
keeps him silent for days. He only received a very slight sum from
Government in compensation for his loss.

One evening we strolled in the Volksgarten and saw the "Theseus
killing the Centaur," by Canova, which stands in a temple built for
its reception. But the garden to be best remembered by us was that at
Schönbrunn, a labyrinth of stately avenues with their terminal
fountains. We amused ourselves for some time with the menagerie here,
the lions especially, who lay in dignified sleepiness till the
approach of feeding-time made them open eager eyes and pace
impatiently about their dens.

We set off from Vienna in the evening with a family of Wallachians as
our companions, one of whom, an elderly man, could speak no German,
and began to address G. in Wallachian, as if that were the common
language of all the earth. We managed to sleep enough for a night's
rest, in spite of intense heat and our cramped positions, and arrived
in very good condition at Prague in the fine morning.

Out we went after breakfast, that we might see as much as possible of
the grand old city in one day; and our morning was occupied chiefly in
walking about and getting views of striking exteriors. The most
interesting things we saw were the Jewish burial-ground (the Alter
Friedhof) and the old synagogue. The Friedhof is unique--with a wild
growth of grass and shrubs and trees, and a multitude of quaint tombs
in all sorts of positions, looking like the fragments of a great
building, or as if they had been shaken by an earthquake. We saw a
lovely dark-eyed Jewish child here, which we were glad to kiss in all
its dirt. Then came the sombre old synagogue, with its smoked groins,
and lamp forever burning. An intelligent Jew was our _cicerone_, and
read us some Hebrew out of the precious old book of the law.

After dinner we took a carriage and went across the wonderful bridge
of St. Jean Nepomuck, with its avenue of statues, towards the
Radschin--an ugly, straight-lined building, but grand in effect from
its magnificent site, on the summit of an eminence crowded with old,
massive buildings. The view from this eminence is one of the most
impressive in the world--perhaps as much from one's associations with
Prague as from its visible grandeur and antiquity. The cathedral close
to the Radschin is a melancholy object on the outside--left with
unfinished sides like scars. The interior is rich, but sadly confused
in its ornamentation, like so many of the grand old churches--hideous
altars of bastard style disgracing exquisite Gothic columns--cruellest
of all in St. Stephen's at Vienna!

We got our view from a _Damen Stift_[5] (for ladies of family),
founded by Maria Theresa, whose blond beauty looked down on us from a
striking portrait. Close in front of us, sloping downwards, was a
pleasant orchard; then came the river, with its long, long bridge and
grand gateway; then the sober-colored city, with its surrounding plain
and distant hills. In the evening we went to the theatre--a shabby,
ugly building--and heard Spohr's Jessonda.

[Sidenote: Dresden, 1858.]

The next morning early by railway to Dresden--a charming journey, for
it took us right through the Saxon Switzerland, with its castellated
rocks and firs. At four o'clock we were dining comfortably at the
Hotel de Pologne, and the next morning (Sunday) we secured our
lodgings--a whole apartment of six rooms, all to ourselves, for 18_s._
per week! By nine o'clock we were established in our new home, where
we were to enjoy six weeks' quiet work, undisturbed by visits and
visitors. And so we did. We were as happy as princes--are not--George
writing at the far corner of the great _salon_, I at my _Schrank_ in
my own private room, with closed doors. Here I wrote the latter half
of the second volume of "Adam Bede" in the long mornings that our
early hours--rising at six o'clock--secured us. Three mornings in the
week we went to the Picture Gallery from twelve till one. The first
day we went was a Sunday, when there is always a crowd in the Madonna
Cabinet. I sat down on the sofa opposite the picture for an instant,
but a sort of awe, as if I were suddenly in the living presence of
some glorious being, made my heart swell too much for me to remain
comfortably, and we hurried out of the room. On subsequent mornings we
always came in, the last minutes of our stay, to look at this
sublimest picture, and while the others, except the Christo della
Moneta and Holbein's Madonna, lost much of their first interest, this
became harder and harder to leave. Holbein's Madonna is very
exquisite--a divinely gentle, golden haired blonde, with eyes cast
down, in an attitude of unconscious, easy grace--the loveliest of all
the Madonnas in the Dresden Gallery except the Sistine. By the side
of it is a wonderful portrait by Holbein, which I especially enjoyed
looking at. It represents nothing more lofty than a plain, weighty man
of business, a goldsmith; but the eminently fine painting brings out
all the weighty, calm, good sense that lies in a first-rate character
of that order.

We looked at the Zinsgroschen (Titian's), too, every day, and after
that at the great painter's Venus, fit for its purity and sacred
loveliness to hang in a temple with Madonnas. Palma's Venus, which
hangs near, was an excellent foil, because it is pretty and pure in
itself; but beside the Titian it is common and unmeaning.

Another interesting case of comparison was that between the original
Zinsgroschen and a copy by an Italian painter, which hangs on the
opposite wall of the cabinet. This is considered a fine copy, and
would be a fine picture if one had never seen the original; but all
the finest effects are gone in the copy.

The four large Correggios hanging together--the _Nacht_; the Madonna
with St. Sebastian, of the smiling graceful character, with the little
cherub riding astride a cloud; the Madonna with St. Hubert; and a
third Madonna, very grave and sweet--painted when he was
nineteen--remained with me very vividly. They are full of life, though
the life is not of a high order; and I should have surmised, without
any previous knowledge, that the painter was among the first masters
of _technique_. The Magdalen is sweet in conception, but seems to have
less than the usual merit of Correggio's pictures as to painting. A
picture we delighted in extremely was one of Murillo's--St. Rodriguez,
fatally wounded, receiving the Crown of Martyrdom. The attitude and
expression are sublime, and strikingly distinguished from all other
pictures of saints I have ever seen. He stands erect in his scarlet
and white robes, with face upturned, the arms held simply downward,
but the hands held open in a receptive attitude. The silly cupid-like
angel holding the martyr's crown in the corner spoils all.

I did not half satisfy my appetite for the rich collection of Flemish
and Dutch pictures here--for Teniers, Ryckart, Gerard Dow, Terburg,
Mieris, and the rest. Rembrandt looks great here in his portraits, but
I like none of the other pictures by him; the Ganymede is an offence.
Guido is superlatively odious in his Christs, in agonized or ecstatic
attitudes--much about the level of the accomplished London beggar.
Dear, grand old Rubens does not show to great advantage, except in the
charming half-length Diana returning from Hunting, the Love Garden,
and the sketch of his Judgment of Paris.

The most popular Murillo, and apparently one of the most popular
Madonnas in the gallery, is the simple, sad mother with her child,
without the least divinity in it, suggesting a dead or sick father,
and imperfect nourishment in a garret. In that light it is touching. A
fellow-traveller in the railway to Leipzig told us he had seen this
picture in 1848 with nine bullet holes in it! The firing from the
hotel of the Stadt Rom bore directly on the Picture Gallery.

Veronese is imposing in one of the large rooms--the Adoration of the
Magi, the Marriage at Cana, the Finding of Moses, etc., making grand
masses of color on the lower part of the walls; but to me he is
ignoble as a painter of human beings.

It was a charming life--our six weeks at Dresden. There were the
open-air concerts at the Grosser Garten and the Brühl'sche Terrace;
the Sommer Theater, where we saw our favorite comic actor Merbitz; the
walks into the open country, with the grand stretch of sky all round;
the Zouaves, with their wondrous make-ups as women; Räder, the
humorous comedian at the Sink'sche Bad Theater; our quiet afternoons
in our pleasant _salon_--all helping to make an agreeable fringe to
the quiet working time.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 28th July, 1858.]

Since I wrote to you last I have lived through a great deal of
exquisite pleasure. First an attack of illness during our last week at
Munich, which I reckon among my pleasures because I was nursed so
tenderly. Then a fortnight's unspeakable journey to Salzburg, Ischl,
Linz, Vienna, Prague, and finally Dresden, which is our last
resting-place before returning to Richmond, where we hope to be at the
beginning of September. Dresden is a proper climax; for all other art
seems only a preparation for feeling the superiority of the Madonna di
San Sisto the more. We go three days a week to the gallery, and every
day--after looking at other pictures--we go to take a parting draught
of delight at Titian's Zinsgroschen and the _Einzige_ Madonna. In
other respects I am particularly enjoying our residence here--we are
so quiet, having determined to know no one and give ourselves up to
work. We both feel a happy change in our health from leaving Munich,
though I am reconciled to our long stay there by the fact that Mr.
Lewes gained so much from his intercourse with the men of science
there, especially Bischoff, Siebold, and Harless. I remembered your
passion for autographs, and asked Liebig for his on your account. I
was not sure that you would care enough about the handwriting of
other luminaries; for there is such a thing as being European and yet
obscure--a fixed star visible only from observatories.

You will be interested to hear that I saw Strauss at Munich. He came
for a week's visit before we left. I had a quarter of an hour's chat
with him alone, and was very agreeably impressed by him. He looked
much more serene, and his face had a far sweeter expression, than when
I saw him in that dumb way at Cologne. He speaks with very choice
words, like a man strictly truthful in the use of language. Will you
undertake to tell Mrs. Call from me that he begged me to give his
kindest remembrances to her and to her father,[6] of whom he spoke
with much interest and regard as his earliest English friend? I dare
not begin to write about other things or people that I have seen in
these crowded weeks. They must wait till I have you by my side again,
which I hope will happen some day.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1858.]

From Dresden, one showery day at the end of August, we set off to
Leipzig, the first stage on our way home. Here we spent two nights; had
a glimpse of the old town with its fine market; dined at Brockhaus's;
saw the picture-gallery, carrying away a lasting delight in Calame's
great landscapes and De Dreux's dogs, which are far better worth seeing
than De la Roche's "Napoleon at Fontainebleau"--considered the glory of
the gallery; went with Victor Carus to his museum and saw an Amphioxus;
and finally spent the evening at an open-air concert in Carus's
company. Early in the morning we set off by railway, and travelled
night and day till we reached home on the 2d September.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 5th Sept. 1858.]

Will you not write to the author of "Thorndale" and express your
sympathy? He is a very diffident man, who would be susceptible to that
sort of fellowship; and one should give a gleam of happiness where it
is possible. I shall write you nothing worth reading for the next
three months, so here is an opportunity for you to satisfy a large
appetite for generous deeds. You can write to me a great many times
without getting anything worth having in return.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 6th Oct. 1858.]

Thanks for the verses on Buckle. I'm afraid I feel a malicious delight
in them, for he is a writer who inspires me with a personal dislike;
not to put too fine a point on it, he impresses me as an irreligious,
conceited man.

Long ago I had offered to write about Newman, but gave it up again.

     The second volume of "Adam Bede" had been sent to Blackwood
     on 7th September, the third had followed two months later,
     and there are the following entries in the Journal in
     November:

[Sidenote: Journal, 1858.]

_Nov. 1._--I have begun Carlyle's "Life of Frederic the Great," and
have also been thinking much of my own life to come. This is a moment
of suspense, for I am awaiting Blackwood's opinion and proposals
concerning "Adam Bede."

_Nov. 4._--Received a letter from Blackwood containing warm praise of
my third volume, and offering £800 for the copyright of "Adam Bede"
for four years. I wrote to accept.

_Nov. 10._--Wilkie Collins and Mr. Pigott came to dine with us after a
walk by the river. I was pleased with Wilkie Collins--there is a
sturdy uprightness about him that makes all opinion and all occupation
respectable.

_Nov. 16._--Wrote the last word of "Adam Bede" and sent it to Mr.
Langford. _Jubilate._

[Sidenote: History of "Adam Bede."]

The germ of "Adam Bede" was an anecdote told me by my Methodist Aunt
Samuel (the wife of my father's younger brother)--an anecdote from her
own experience. We were sitting together one afternoon during her
visit to me at Griff, probably in 1839 or 1840, when it occurred to
her to tell me how she had visited a condemned criminal--a very
ignorant girl, who had murdered her child and refused to confess; how
she had stayed with her praying through the night, and how the poor
creature at last broke out into tears and confessed her crime. My aunt
afterwards went with her in the cart to the place of execution; and
she described to me the great respect with which this ministry of hers
was regarded by the official people about the jail. The story, told by
my aunt with great feeling, affected me deeply, and I never lost the
impression of that afternoon and our talk together; but I believe I
never mentioned it, through all the intervening years, till something
prompted me to tell it to George in December, 1856, when I had begun
to write the "Scenes of Clerical Life." He remarked that the scene in
the prison would make a fine element in a story; and I afterwards
began to think of blending this and some other recollections of my
aunt in one story, with some points in my father's early life and
character. The problem of construction that remained was to make the
unhappy girl one of the chief _dramatis personæ_, and connect her with
the hero. At first I thought of making the story one of the series of
"Scenes," but afterwards, when several motives had induced me close
these with "Janet's Repentance," I determined on making what we always
called in our conversation "My Aunt's Story" the subject of a long
novel, which I accordingly began to write on the 22d October, 1857.

The character of Dinah grew out of my recollections of my aunt, but
Dinah is not at all like my aunt, who was a very small, black-eyed
woman, and (as I was told, for I never heard her preach) very vehement
in her style of preaching. She had left off preaching when I knew her,
being probably sixty years old, and in delicate health; and she had
become, as my father told me, much more gentle and subdued than she
had been in the days of her active ministry and bodily strength, when
she could not rest without exhorting and remonstrating in season and
out of season. I was very fond of her, and enjoyed the few weeks of
her stay with me greatly. She was loving and kind to me, and I could
talk to her about my inward life, which was closely shut up from those
usually round me. I saw her only twice again, for much shorter
periods--once at her own home at Wirksworth, in Derbyshire, and once
at my father's last residence, Foleshill.

The character of Adam and one or two incidents connected with him were
suggested by my father's early life; but Adam is not my father any
more than Dinah is my aunt. Indeed, there is not a single portrait in
Adam Bede--only the suggestions of experience wrought up into new
combinations. When I began to write it, the only elements I had
determined on, besides the character of Dinah, were the character of
Adam, his relation to Arthur Donnithorne, and their mutual relations
to Hetty--_i.e._, to the girl who commits child-murder--the scene in
the prison being, of course, the climax towards which I worked.
Everything else grew out of the characters and their mutual
relations. Dinah's ultimate relation to Adam was suggested by George,
when I had read to him the first part of the first volume: he was so
delighted with the presentation of Dinah, and so convinced that the
reader's interest would centre in her, that he wanted her to be the
principal figure at the last. I accepted the idea at once, and from
the end of the third chapter worked with it constantly in view.

The first volume was written at Richmond, and given to Blackwood in
March. He expressed great admiration of its freshness and vividness,
but seemed to hesitate about putting it in the Magazine, which was the
form of publication he as well as myself had previously contemplated.
He still _wished_ to have it for the Magazine, but desired to know the
course of the story. At _present_ he saw nothing to prevent its
reception in "Maga," but he would like to see more. I am uncertain
whether his doubts rested solely on Hetty's relation to Arthur, or
whether they were also directed towards the treatment of Methodism by
the Church. I refused to tell my story beforehand, on the ground that
I would not have it judged apart from my _treatment_, which alone
determines the moral quality of art; and ultimately I proposed that
the notion of publication in "Maga" should be given up, and that the
novel should be published in three volumes at Christmas, if possible.
He assented.

I began the second volume in the second week of my stay at Munich,
about the middle of April. While we were at Munich George expressed
his fear that Adam's part was too passive throughout the drama, and
that it was important for him to be brought into more direct collision
with Arthur. This doubt haunted me, and out of it grew the scene in
the wood between Arthur and Adam; the fight came to me as a
_necessity_ one night at the Munich opera, when I was listening to
"William Tell." Work was slow and interrupted at Munich, and when we
left I had only written to the beginning of the dance on the Birthday
Feast; but at Dresden I wrote uninterruptedly and with great enjoyment
in the long, quiet mornings, and there I nearly finished the second
volume--all, I think, but the last chapter, which I wrote here in the
old room at Richmond in the first week of September, and then sent the
MS. off to Blackwood. The opening of the third volume--Hetty's
journey--was, I think, written more rapidly than the rest of the book,
and was left without the slightest alteration of the first draught.
Throughout the book I have altered little; and the only cases I think
in which George suggested more than a verbal alteration, when I read
the MS. aloud to him, were the first scene at the Farm, and the scene
in the wood between Arthur and Adam, both of which he recommended me
to "space out" a little, which I did.

When, on October 29, I had written to the end of the love-scene at the
Farm between Adam and Dinah, I sent the MS. to Blackwood, since the
remainder of the third volume could not affect the judgment passed on
what had gone before. He wrote back in warm admiration, and offered
me, on the part of the firm, £800 for four years' copyright. I
accepted the offer. The last words of the third volume were written
and despatched on their way to Edinburgh, November the 16th, and now
on the last day of the same month I have written this slight history
of my book. I love it very much, and am deeply thankful to have
written it, whatever the public may say to it--a result which is
still in darkness, for I have at present had only four sheets of the
proof. The book would have been published at Christmas, or rather
early in December, but that Bulwer's "What will he do with it?" was to
be published by Blackwood at that time, and it was thought that this
novel might interfere with mine.

     The manuscript of "Adam Bede" bears the following
     inscription: "To my dear husband, George Henry Lewes, I give
     the MS. of a work which would never have been written but for
     the happiness which his love has conferred on my life."

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 25th Nov. 1858.]

I shall be much obliged if you will accept for me Tauchnitz's offer of
£30 for the English reprint of "Clerical Scenes." And will you also be
so good as to desire that Tauchnitz may register the book in Germany,
as I understand that is the only security against its being translated
without our knowledge; and I shudder at the idea of my books being
turned into hideous German by an incompetent translator.

I return the proofs by to-day's post. The dialect must be toned down
all through in correcting the proofs, for I found it impossible to
keep it subdued enough in writing. I am aware that the spelling which
represents a dialect perfectly well to those who know it by the ear,
is likely to be unintelligible to others. I hope the sheets will come
rapidly and regularly now, for I dislike lingering, hesitating
processes.

Your praise of my ending was very warming and cheering to me in the
foggy weather. I'm sure, if I have written well, your pleasant letters
have had something to do with it. Can anything be done in America for
"Adam Bede?" I suppose not--as my name is not known there.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1858.]

_Nov. 25._--We had a visit from Mr. Bray, who told us much that
interested us about Mr. Richard Congreve, and also his own affairs.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Bray, 26th Nov. 1858.]

I am very grateful to you for sending me a few authentic words from
your own self. They are unspeakably precious to me. I mean that quite
literally, for there is no putting into words any feeling that has
been of long growth within us. It is easy to say how we love _new_
friends, and what we think of them, but words can never trace out all
the fibres that knit us to the old. I have been thinking of you
incessantly in the waking hours, and feel a growing hunger to know
more precise details about you. I am of a too sordid and anxious
disposition, prone to dwell almost exclusively on fears instead of
hopes, and to lay in a larger stock of resignation than of any other
form of confidence. But I try to extract some comfort this morning
from my consciousness of this disposition, by thinking that nothing is
ever so bad as my imagination paints it. And then I know there are
incommunicable feelings within us capable of creating our best
happiness at the very time others can see nothing but our troubles.
And so I go on arguing with myself, and trying to live inside _you_
and looking at things in all the lights I can fancy you seeing them
in, for the sake of getting cheerful about you in spite of Coventry.

[Sidenote: Letter to Charles Bray, Christmas Day, 1858.]

The well-flavored mollusks came this morning. It was very kind of you;
and if you remember how fond I am of oysters, your good-nature will
have the more pleasure in furnishing my _gourmandise_ with the treat.
I have a childish delight in any little act of genuine friendliness
towards us--and yet not childish, for how little we thought of
people's goodness towards us when we were children. It takes a good
deal of experience to tell one the rarity of a thoroughly
disinterested kindness.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 28th Dec. 1858.]

I see with you entirely about the preface: indeed I had myself
anticipated the very effects you predict. The deprecatory tone is not
one I can ever take willingly, but I am conscious of a shrinking sort
of pride which is likely to warp my judgment in many personal
questions, and on that ground I distrusted my own opinion.

Mr. Lewes went to Vernon Hill yesterday for a few days' change of air,
but before he went he said, "Ask Mr. Blackwood what he thinks of
putting a mere advertisement at the beginning of the book to this
effect: As the story of 'Adam Bede' will lose much of its effect if
the development is foreseen, the author requests those critics who may
honor him with a notice to abstain from telling the story." I write my
note of interrogation accordingly "?"

Pray do not begin to read the second volume until it is all in print.
There is necessarily a lull of interest in it to prepare for the
crescendo. I am delighted that you like my Mrs. Poyser. I'm very sorry
to part with her and some of my other characters--there seems to be so
much more to be done with them. Mr. Lewes says she gets better and
better as the book goes on; and I was certainly conscious of writing
her dialogue with heightening gusto. Even in our imaginary worlds
there is the sorrow of parting.

I hope the Christmas weather is as bright in your beautiful Edinburgh
as it is here, and that you are enjoying all other Christmas pleasures
too without disturbance.

I have not yet made up my mind what my next story is to be, but I
must not lie fallow any longer when the new year is come.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1858.]

_Dec. 25 (Christmas Day)._--George and I spent this wet day very
happily alone together. We are reading Scott's life in the evenings
with much enjoyment. I am reading through Horace in this pause.

_Dec. 31._--The last day of the dear old year, which has been full of
expected and unexpected happiness. "Adam Bede" has been written, and
the second volume is in type. The first number of George's "Physiology
of Common Life"--a work in which he has had much happy occupation--is
published to-day; and both his position as a scientific writer and his
inward satisfaction in that part of his studies have been much
heightened during the past year. Our double life is more and more
blessed--more and more complete.

     I think this chapter cannot more fitly conclude than with the
     following extract from Mr. G. H. Lewes's Journal, with which
     Mr. Charles Lewes has been good enough to furnish me:

     _Jan. 28, 1859._--Walked along the Thames towards Kew to meet
     Herbert Spencer, who was to spend the day with us, and we
     chatted with him on matters personal and philosophical. I owe
     him a debt of gratitude. My acquaintance with him was the
     brightest ray in a very dreary, _wasted_ period of my life. I
     have given up all ambition whatever, lived from hand to
     mouth, and thought the evil of each day sufficient. The
     stimulus of his intellect, especially during our long walks,
     roused my energy once more and revived my dormant love of
     science. His intense theorizing tendency was contagious, and
     it was only the stimulus of a _theory_ which could then have
     induced me to work. I owe Spencer another and a deeper debt.
     It was through him that I learned to know Marian--to know her
     was to love her--and since then my life has been a new birth.
     To her I owe all my prosperity and all my happiness. God
     bless her!


_SUMMARY._

JANUARY, 1858, TO DECEMBER, 1858.

     _Times_ reviews "Scenes of Clerical Life"--Helps's
     opinion--Subscription to the "Scenes"--Letter from Dickens,
     18th Jan. 1858--Letter from Froude, 17th Jan.--Letter to
     Miss Hennell--Mr. Wm. Smith, author of
     "Thorndale"--Ruskin--Reading the "Eumenides" and
     Wordsworth--Letter to John Blackwood on Dickens's
     Letter--Letter from Mrs. Carlyle--Letter from
     Faraday--"Clerical Scenes" moving--John Blackwood calls, and
     George Eliot reveals herself--Takes MS. of first part of
     "Adam Bede"--Letters to Charles Bray on reports of
     authorship--Visit to Germany--Description of Nürnberg--The
     Frauen-Kirche--Effect of the music--Albert Dürer's
     house--Munich--Lodgings--Pinacothek--Rubens--Crucifixion--Theresien
     Wiese--Schwanthaler's "Bavaria"--The Alps--Letter to Miss
     Hennell--Contrast between Catholic and Protestant
     worship--Glyptothek--Pictures--Statues--Cornelius
     frescoes--Herr Oldenburg--Kaulbach--Bodenstedt--Professor
     Wagner--Martius--Liebig--Geibel--Heyse--Carrière--Prince
     Radziwill's "Faust"--Professor Löher--Baron
     Schack--Genelli--Professor Bluntschli--Letter to Miss
     Hennell--Description of Munich life--Kaulbach's pictures--The
     Siebolds--The Neue Pinacothek--Pictures and porcelain
     painting--Mme. Bodenstedt--Letter to Blackwood--Combinations
     of artist in writing--Hears "William Tell"--Expedition to
     Grosshesselohe--Progress with "Adam Bede"--Letter to Miss
     Hennell on death of her mother--Mr. Lewes goes to
     Hofwyl--Frau Knapp--Mr. Lewes returns--Leave Munich for
     Traunstein--Salzburg--Ischl--Linz--By Danube to Vienna--St.
     Stephen's--Belvedere pictures--Liechtenstein
     collection--Hyrtl the anatomist--Prague--Jewish burial-ground
     and the old synagogue--To Dresden--Latter half of second
     volume of "Adam Bede" written--First impression of Sistine
     Madonna--The Tribute money--Holbein's Madonna--The
     Correggios--Dutch school--Murillo--Letter to Miss
     Hennell--Description of life at Dresden--Health
     improved--Mention of Strauss at Munich--Dresden to
     Leipzig--Home to Richmond--Letter to Miss Hennell--Opinion of
     Buckle--Blackwood offers £800 for "Adam Bede"--Wilkie Collins
     and Mr. Pigott--History of "Adam Bede"--Letter to Charles
     Bray--Disinterested kindness--Letter to Blackwood suggesting
     preface to "Adam Bede"--Reading Scott's Life and
     Horace--Review of year--Extract from G. H. Lewes's Journal.

FOOTNOTES:

[1] The Brays' new house.

[2] He is really a charming man, is he not?

[3] Picture of interior of a Lunatic Asylum.

[4] "Why do you tell such lies? The result of it will be that no one
will travel this way."

[5] Charitable Institution for Ladies.

[6] Dr. Brabant.



CHAPTER IX.


[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_Jan. 12._--We went into town to-day and looked in the "Annual
Register" for cases of _inundation_. Letter from Blackwood to-day,
speaking of renewed delight in "Adam Bede," and proposing 1st Feb. as
the day of publication. Read the article in yesterday's _Times_ on
George's "Sea-side Studies"--highly gratifying. We are still reading
Scott's life with great interest; and G. is reading to me Michelet's
book "De l'Amour."

_Jan. 15._--I corrected the last sheets of "Adam Bede," and we
afterwards walked to Wimbledon to see our new house, which we have
taken for seven years. I hired the servant--another bit of business
done: and then we had a delightful walk across Wimbledon Common and
through Richmond Park homeward. The air was clear and cold--the sky
magnificent.

_Jan. 31._--Received a check for £400 from Blackwood, being the first
instalment of the payment for four years' copyright of "Adam Bede."
To-morrow the book is to be subscribed, and Blackwood writes very
pleasantly--confident of its "great success." Afterwards we went into
town, paid money into the bank, and ordered part of our china and
glass towards house-keeping.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 31st Jan. 1859.]

Enclosed is the formal acknowledgment, bearing my signature, and with
it let me beg you to accept my thanks--_not_ formal but heartfelt--for
the generous way in which you have all along helped me with words and
with deeds.

The impression "Adam Bede" has made on you and Major Blackwood--of
whom I have always been pleased to think as concurring with your
views--is my best encouragement, and counterbalances, in some degree,
the depressing influences to which I am peculiarly sensitive. I
perceive that I have not the characteristics of the "popular author,"
and yet I am much in need of the warmly expressed sympathy which only
popularity can win.

A good subscription would be cheering, but I can understand that it is
not decisive of success or non-success. Thank you for promising to let
me know about it as soon as possible.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_Feb. 6._--Yesterday we went to take possession of Holly Lodge,
Wandsworth, which is to be our dwelling, we expect, for years to come.
It was a deliciously fresh bright day--I will accept the omen. A
letter came from Blackwood telling me the result of the subscription
to "Adam Bede," which was published on the 1st: 730 copies, Mudie
having taken 500 on the publisher's terms--_i.e._, ten per cent. on
the sale price. At first he had stood out for a larger reduction, and
would only take 50, but at last he came round. In this letter
Blackwood told me the first _ab extra_ opinion of the book, which
happened to be precisely what I most desired. A cabinet-maker (brother
to Blackwood's managing clerk) had read the sheets, and declared that
the writer must have been brought up to the business, or at least had
listened to the workmen in their workshop.

_Feb. 12._--Received a cheering letter from Blackwood, saying that he
finds "Adam Bede" making just the impression he had anticipated among
his own friends and connections, and enclosing a parcel from Dr. John
Brown "to the author of 'Adam Bede.'" The parcel contained "Rab and
his Friends," with an inscription.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 13th Feb. 1859.]

Will you tell Dr. John Brown that when I read an account of "Rab and
his Friends" in a newspaper, I wished I had the story to read at full
length; and I thought to myself the writer of "Rab" would perhaps like
"Adam Bede."

When you have told him this, he will understand the peculiar pleasure
I had on opening the little parcel with "Rab" inside, and a kind word
from Rab's friend. I have read the story twice--once aloud, and once
to myself, very slowly, that I might dwell on the pictures of Rab and
Ailie, and carry them about with me more distinctly. I will not say
any commonplace words of admiration about what has touched me so
deeply; there is no adjective of that sort left undefiled by the
newspapers. The writer of "Rab" _knows_ that I must love the grim old
mastiff with the short tail and the long dewlaps--that I must have
felt present at the scenes of Ailie's last trial.

Thanks for your cheering letter. I will be hopeful--if I can.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 19th Feb. 1859.]

You have the art of writing just the sort of letters I care
for--sincere letters, like your own talk. We are tolerably settled
now, except that we have only a temporary servant; and I shall not be
quite at ease until I have a trustworthy woman who will manage without
incessant dogging. Our home is very comfortable, with far more of
vulgar indulgences in it than I ever expected to have again; but you
must not imagine it a snug place, just peeping above the holly
bushes. Imagine it rather as a tall cake, with a low garnish of holly
and laurel. As it is, we are very well off, with glorious breezy
walks, and wide horizons, well ventilated rooms, and abundant water.
If I allowed myself to have any longings beyond what is given, they
would be for a nook quite in the country, far away from
palaces--Crystal or otherwise--with an orchard behind me full of old
trees, and rough grass and hedge-row paths among the endless fields
where you meet nobody. We talk of such things sometimes, along with
old age and dim faculties, and a small independence to save us from
writing drivel for dishonest money. In the mean time the business of
life shuts us up within the environs of London and within sight of
human advancements, which I should be so very glad to believe in
without seeing.

Pretty Arabella Goddard we heard play at Berlin--play the very things
you heard as a _bonne bouche_ at the last--none the less delightful
from being so unlike the piano playing of Liszt and Clara Schumann,
whom we had heard at Weimar--both great, and one the greatest.

Thank you for sending me that authentic word about Miss Nightingale. I
wonder if she would rather rest from her blessed labors, or live to go
on working? Sometimes, when I read of the death of some great,
sensitive human being, I have a triumph in the sense that they are at
rest; and yet, along with that, such deep sadness at the thought that
the rare nature is gone forever into darkness, and we can never know
that our love and reverence can reach him, that I seem to have gone
through a personal sorrow when I shut the book and go to bed. I felt
in that way the other night when I finished the life of Scott aloud
to Mr. Lewes. He had never read the book before, and has been deeply
stirred by the picture of Scott's character, his energy and steady
work, his grand fortitude under calamity, and the spirit of strict
honor to which he sacrificed his declining life. He loves Scott as
well as I do.

We have met a pleasant-faced, bright-glancing man, whom we set down to
be worthy of the name, Richard Congreve. I am curious to see if our
_Ahnung_ will be verified.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Bray, 24th Feb. 1859.]

One word of gratitude to _you_ first before I write any other letters.
Heaven and earth bless you for trying to help me. I have been
blasphemous enough sometimes to think that I had never been good and
attractive enough to win any little share of the honest, disinterested
friendship there is in the world: one or two examples of late had
given that impression, and I am prone to rest in the least agreeable
conviction the premisses will allow. I need hardly tell you what I
want, you know it so well: a servant who will cause me the least
possible expenditure of time on household matters. I wish I were not
an anxious, fidgety wretch, and could sit down content with dirt and
disorder. But anything in the shape of an _anxiety_ soon grows into a
monstrous vulture with me, and makes itself more present to me than my
rich sources of happiness--such as too few mortals are blessed with.
You know me. Since I wrote this, I have just had a letter from my
sister Chrissey--ill in bed, consumptive--regretting that she ever
ceased to write to me. It has ploughed up my heart.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 24th Feb. 1859.]

Mrs. Carlyle's ardent letter will interest and amuse you. I reckon it
among my best triumphs that she found herself "in charity with the
whole human race" when she laid the book down. I want the philosopher
himself to read it, because the _pre_-philosophic period--the
childhood and poetry of his life--lay among the furrowed fields and
pious peasantry. If he _could_ be urged to read a novel! I should
like, if possible, to give him the same sort of pleasure he has given
me in the early chapters of "Sartor," where he describes little
Diogenes eating his porridge on the wall in sight of the sunset, and
gaining deep wisdom from the contemplation of the pigs and other
"higher animals" of _Entepfuhl_.

Your critic was _not_ unjustly severe on the "Mirage Philosophy"--and
I confess the "Life of Frederic" was a painful book to me in many
respects; and yet I shrink, perhaps superstitiously, from any written
or spoken word which is as strong as my inward criticism.

I needed your letter very much--for when one lives apart from the
world, with no opportunity of observing the effect of books except
through the newspapers, one is in danger of sinking into the foolish
belief that the day is past for the recognition of genuine, truthful
writing, in spite of recent experience that the newspapers are no
criterion at all. One such opinion as Mr. Caird's outweighs a great
deal of damnatory praise from ignorant journalists.

It is a wretched weakness of my nature to be so strongly affected by
these things; and yet how is it possible to put one's best heart and
soul into a book and be hardened to the result--be indifferent to the
proof whether or not one has really a vocation to speak to one's
fellow-men in that way? Of course one's vanity is at work; but the
main anxiety is something entirely distinct from vanity.

You see I mean you to understand that my feelings are very
respectable, and such as it will be virtuous in you to gratify with
the same zeal as you have always shown. The packet of newspaper
notices is not come yet. I will take care to return it when it _has_
come.

The best news from London hitherto is that Mr. Dallas is an
enthusiastic admirer of Adam. I ought to except Mr. Langford's
reported opinion, which is that of a person who has a voice of his
own, and is not a mere echo.

Otherwise, Edinburgh has sent me much more encouraging breezes than
any that have come from the sweet South. I wonder if all your other
authors are as greedy and exacting as I am. If so, I hope they
appreciate your attention as much. Will you oblige me by writing a
line to Mrs. Carlyle for me. I don't like to leave her second letter
(she wrote a very kind one about the "Clerical Scenes") without any
sort of notice. Will you tell her that the sort of effect she declares
herself to have felt from "Adam Bede" is just what I desire to
produce--gentle thoughts and happy remembrances; and I thank her
heartily for telling me, so warmly and generously, what she has felt.
That is not a pretty message: revise it for me, pray, for I am weary
and ailing, and thinking of a sister who is slowly dying.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 25th Feb. 1859.]

The folio of notices duly came, and are returned by to-day's post. The
friend at my elbow ran through them for me, and read aloud some
specimens to me, some of them ludicrous enough. The _Edinburgh
Courant_ has the ring of sincere enjoyment in its tone; and the writer
there makes himself so amiable to me that I am sorry he has fallen
into the mistake of supposing that Mrs. Poyser's original sayings are
remembered proverbs! I have no stock of proverbs in my memory; and
there is not one thing put into Mrs. Poyser's mouth that is not fresh
from my own mint. Please to correct that mistake if any one makes it
in your hearing.

I have not ventured to look into the folio myself; but I learn that
there are certain threatening marks, in ink, by the side of such stock
sentences as "best novel of the season," or "best novel we have read
for a long time," from such authorities as the _Sun_, or _Morning
Star_, or other orb of the newspaper firmament--as if these sentences
were to be selected for reprint in the form of advertisement. I
shudder at the suggestion. Am I taking a liberty in entreating you to
keep a sharp watch over the advertisements, that no hackneyed puffing
phrase of this kind may be tacked to my book? One sees them garnishing
every other advertisement of trash: surely no being "above the rank of
an idiot" can have his inclination coerced by them? and it would gall
me, as much as any trifle could, to see my book recommended by an
authority who doesn't know how to write decent English. I believe that
your taste and judgment will concur with mine in the conviction that
no quotations of this vulgar kind can do credit to a book; and that
unless something looking like the real opinion of a tolerably educated
writer, in a respectable journal, can be given, it would be better to
abstain from "opinions of the press" altogether. I shall be grateful
to you if you will save me from the results of any agency but your
own--or at least of any agency that is not under your rigid criticism
in this matter.

Pardon me if I am overstepping the author's limits in this expression
of my feelings. I confide in your ready comprehension of the
irritable class you have to deal with.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_Feb. 26._--Laudatory reviews of "Adam Bede" in the _Athenæum_,
_Saturday_, and _Literary Gazette_. The _Saturday_ criticism is
characteristic: Dinah is not mentioned!

The other day I received the following letter, which I copy, because I
have sent the original away:

[Sidenote: Letter from E. Hall to George Eliot.]

     "To the Author of 'Adam Bede,'

                                  "CHESTER ROAD, SUNDERLAND.

     "DEAR SIR,--I got the other day a hasty read of your 'Scenes
     of Clerical Life,' and since that a glance at your 'Adam
     Bede,' and was delighted more than I can express; but being a
     poor man, and having enough to do to make 'ends meet,' I am
     unable to get a read of your inimitable books.

     "Forgive, dear sir, my boldness in asking you to give us a
     cheap edition. You would confer on us a great boon. I can get
     plenty of trash for a few pence, but I am sick of it. I felt
     so different when I shut your books, even though it was but a
     kind of 'hop-skip-and-jump' read.

     "I feel so strongly in this matter that I am determined to
     risk being thought rude and officious, and write to you.

     "Many of my working brethren feel as I do, and I express
     their wish as well as my own. Again asking your forgiveness
     for intruding myself upon you, I remain, with profoundest
     respect, yours, etc.,
                                                  "E. HALL."

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 26th Feb. 1859.]

I have written to Chrissey, and shall hear from her again. I think her
writing was the result of long, quiet thought--the slow return of a
naturally just and affectionate mind to the position from which it had
been thrust by external influence. She says: "My object in writing to
you is to tell you how very sorry I have been that I ceased to write,
and neglected one who, under all circumstances, was kind to me and
mine. _Pray believe_ me when I say it will be the greatest comfort I
can receive to know that you are _well_ and _happy_. Will you write
once more?" etc. I wrote immediately, and I desire to avoid any word
of reference to anything with which she associates the idea of
alienation. The past is abolished from my mind. I only want her to
feel that I love her and care for her. The servant trouble seems less
mountainous to me than it did the other day. I was suffering
physically from unusual worrit and muscular exertion in arranging the
house, and so was in a ridiculously desponding state. I have written
no end of letters in answer to servants' advertisements, and we have
put our own advertisement in the _Times_--all which amount of force,
if we were not philosophers and therefore believers in the
conservation of force, we should declare to be lost. It is so pleasant
to know these high doctrines--they help one so much. Mr. and Mrs.
Richard Congreve have called on us. We shall return the call as soon
as we can.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_March 8._--Letter from Blackwood this morning saying that "'Bedesman'
has turned the corner and is coming in a winner." Mudie has sent for
200 additional copies (making 700), and Mr. Langford says the West End
libraries keep sending for more.

_March 14._--My dear sister wrote to me about three weeks ago, saying
she regretted that she had ever ceased writing to me, and that she has
been in a consumption for the last eighteen months. To-day I have a
letter from my niece Emily, telling me her mother had been taken
worse, and cannot live many days.

_March 14._--Major Blackwood writes to say "Mudie has just made up his
number of 'Adam Bede' to 1000. Simpkins have sold their subscribed
number, and have had 12 to-day. Every one is talking of the book."

_March 15._--Chrissey died this morning at a quarter to 5.

_March 16._--Blackwood writes to say I am "a popular author as well as
a great author." They printed 2090 of "Adam Bede," and have disposed
of more than 1800, so that they are thinking about a second edition. A
very feeling letter from Froude this morning. I happened this morning
to be reading the 30th Ode, B. III. of Horace--"Non omnis moriar."

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 17th March, 1859.]

The news you have sent me is worth paying a great deal of pain for,
past and future. It comes rather strangely to me, who live in such
unconsciousness of what is going on in the world. I am like a deaf
person, to whom some one has just shouted that the company round him
have been paying him compliments for the last half hour. Let the best
come, you will still be the person outside my own home who _first_
gladdened me about "Adam Bede;" and my success will always please me
the better because you will share the pleasure.

Don't think I mean to worry you with many such requests--but will you
copy for me the enclosed short note to Froude? I know you will, so I
say "thank you."

[Sidenote: Letter to J. A. Froude from George Eliot.]

     DEAR SIR,--My excellent friend and publisher, Mr. Blackwood,
     lends me his pen to thank you for your letter, and for his
     sake I shall be brief.

     Your letter has done me real good--the same sort of good as
     one has sometimes felt from a silent pressure of the hand and
     a grave look in the midst of smiling congratulations.

     I have nothing else I care to tell you that you will not have
     found out through my books, except this one thing: that, so
     far as I am aware, you are only the _second_ person who has
     shared my own satisfaction in Janet. I think she is the least
     popular of my characters. You will judge from that, that it
     was worth your while to tell me what you felt about her.

     I wish I could help you with words of equal value; but, after
     all, am I not helping you by saying that it was well and
     generously done of you to write to me?--Ever faithfully
     yours,

                                               GEORGE ELIOT.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 21st March, 1859.]

It was worth your while to write me those feeling words, for they are
the sort of things that I keep in my memory and feel the influence of
a long, long while. Chrissey's death has taken from the possibility of
many things towards which I looked with some hope and yearning in the
future. I had a very special feeling towards her--stronger than any
third person would think likely.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_March 24._--Mr. Herbert Spencer brought us word that "Adam Bede" had
been quoted by Mr. Charles Buxton in the House of Commons: "As the
farmer's wife says in 'Adam Bede,' 'It wants to be hatched over again
and hatched different.'"

_March 26._--George went into town to-day and brought me home a budget
of good news that compensated for the pain I had felt in the coldness
of an old friend. Mr. Langford says that Mudie "thinks he must have
another hundred or two of 'Adam'--has read the book himself, and is
delighted with it." Charles Reade says it is "the finest thing since
Shakespeare"--placed his finger on Lisbeth's account of her coming
home with her husband from their marriage--praises enthusiastically
the style--the way in which the author handles the Saxon language.
Shirley Brooks also delighted. John Murray says there has never been
such a book. Mr. Langford says there must be a second edition, in 3
vols., and they will print 500: whether Mudie takes more or not, they
will have sold all by the end of a month. Lucas delighted with the
book, and will review it in the _Times_ the first opportunity.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 30th March, 1859.]

I should like you to convey my gratitude to your reviewer. I see well
he is a man whose experience and study enable him to relish parts of
my book, which I should despair of seeing recognized by critics in
London back drawing-rooms. He has gratified me keenly by laying his
finger on passages which I wrote either with strong feeling or from
intimate knowledge, but which I had prepared myself to find entirely
passed over by reviewers. Surely I am not wrong in supposing him to be
a clergyman? There was one exemplary lady Mr. Langford spoke of, who,
after reading "Adam," came the next day and bought a copy both of that
and the "Clerical Scenes." I wish there may be three hundred matrons
as good as she! It is a disappointment to me to find that "Adam" has
given no impulse to the "Scenes," for I had sordid desires for money
from a second edition, and had dreamed of its coming speedily.

About my new story, which will be a novel as long as "Adam Bede," and
a sort of companion picture of provincial life, we must talk when I
have the pleasure of seeing you. It will be a work which will require
time and labor.

Do write me good news as often as you can. I owe thanks to Major
Blackwood for a very charming letter.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 10th April, 1859.]

The other day I received a letter from an old friend in Warwickshire,
containing some striking information about the author of "Adam Bede."
I extract the passage for your amusement:

"I want to ask you if you have read 'Adam Bede,' or the 'Scenes of
Clerical Life,' and whether you know that the author is Mr.
Liggins?... A deputation of dissenting parsons went over _to ask him
to write for the 'Eclectic,'_ and they found him washing his
slop-basin at a pump. He has no servant, and does everything for
himself; but one of the said parsons said that he inspired them with a
reverence that would have made any impertinent question impossible.
The son of a baker, of no mark at all in his town, so that it is
possible you may not have heard of him. You know he calls himself
'George Eliot.' It sounds strange to hear the _Westminster_ doubting
whether he is a woman, when _here he is so well known_. But I am glad
it has mentioned him. _They say he gets no profit out of 'Adam Bede,'
and gives it freely to Blackwood, which is a shame._ We have not read
him yet, but the extracts are irresistible."

Conceive the real George Eliot's feelings, conscious of being a base
worldling--not washing his own slop-basin, and _not_ giving away his
MS.! not even intending to do so, in spite of the reverence such a
course might inspire. I hope you and Major Blackwood will enjoy the
myth.

Mr. Langford sent me a letter the other day from Miss Winkworth, a
grave lady, who says she never reads novels, except a few of the most
famous, but that she has read "Adam" three times running. One likes to
know such things--they show that the book tells on people's hearts,
and may be a real instrument of culture. I sing my Magnificat in a
quiet way, and have a great deal of deep, silent joy; but few authors,
I suppose, who have had a real success, have known less of the flush
and the sensations of triumph that are talked of as the accompaniments
of success. I think I should soon begin to believe that _Liggins_
wrote my books--it is so difficult to believe what the world does
_not_ believe, so easy to believe what the world keeps repeating.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 11th April, 1859.]

The very day you wrote we were driving in an open carriage from Ryde
to the Sandrock Hotel, taking in a month's delight in the space of
five hours. Such skies--such songs of larks--such beds of primroses!
_I_ am quite well now--set up by iron and quinine, and polished off by
the sea-breezes. I have lost my _young_ dislike to the spring, and am
as glad of it as the birds and plants are. Mr. Lewes has read "Adam
Bede," and is as dithyrambic about it as others appear to be, so _I_
must refresh my soul with it now as well as with the spring-tide. Mr.
Liggins I remember as a vision of my childhood--a tall, black-coated,
genteel young clergyman-in-embryo.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 15th April, 1859.]

Mr. Lewes is "making himself into four" in writing answers to
advertisements and other exertions which he generously takes on
himself to save me. A model husband!

We both like your literal title, "Thoughts in Aid of Faith," very
much, and hope to see a little book under that title before the year
is out--a book as thorough and effective in its way as "Christianity
and Infidelity."

_Re_writing is an excellent process, frequently both for the book and
its author; and to prevent you from grudging the toil, I will tell you
that so old a writer as Mr. Lewes now _re_writes everything of
_importance_, though in all the earlier years of his authorship he
would never take that trouble.

We are so happy in the neighborhood of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Congreve.
She is a sweet, intelligent, gentle woman. I already love her: and his
fine, beaming face does me good, like a glimpse of an Olympian.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_April 17._--I have left off recording the history of "Adam Bede" and
the pleasant letters and words that came to me--the success has been
so triumphantly beyond anything I had dreamed of that it would be
tiresome to put down particulars. Four hundred of the second edition
(of 750) sold in the first week, and twenty besides ordered when there
was not a copy left in the London house. This morning Hachette has
sent to ask my terms for the liberty of translation into French. There
was a review in the _Times_ last week, which will naturally give a new
stimulus to the sale; and yesterday I sent a letter to the _Times_
denying that Mr. Liggins is the author, as the world and Mr. Anders
had settled it. But I must trust to the letters I have received and
preserved for giving me the history of the book if I should live long
enough to forget details.

Shall I ever write another book as true as "Adam Bede?" The weight of
the future presses on me, and makes itself felt even more than the
deep satisfaction of the past and present.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 20th April, 1859.]

This myth about Liggins is getting serious, and must be put a stop to.
We are bound not to allow sums of money to be raised on a false
supposition of this kind. Don't you think it would be well for _you_
to write a letter to the _Times_, to the effect that, as you find in
some stupid quarters my letter has not been received as a _bonâ-fide_
denial, you declare Mr. Liggins not to be the author of "Clerical
Scenes" and "Adam Bede;" further, that any future applications to you
concerning George Eliot will not be answered, since that writer is not
in need of public benevolence. Such a letter might save us from future
annoyance and trouble, for I am rather doubtful about Mr. Liggins's
character. The last report I heard of him was that he spent his time
in smoking and drinking. I don't know whether that is one of the data
for the Warwickshire logicians who have decided him to be the author
of my books.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_April 29._--To-day Blackwood sent me a letter from Bulwer, which I
copy because I have to send back the original, and I like to keep in
mind the generous praise of one author for another.

[Sidenote: Letter from E. B. Lytton to John Blackwood.]

                                 "MALVERN, _April 24, 1859_.

     "MY DEAR SIR,--I ought long since to have thanked you for
     'Adam Bede.' But I never had a moment to look at it till
     arriving here, and ordered by the doctors to abstain from all
     'work.'

     "I owe the author much gratitude for some very pleasing
     hours. The book indeed is worthy of great admiration. There
     are touches of beauty in the conception of human character
     that are exquisite, and much wit and much poetry embedded in
     the 'dialect,' which nevertheless the author over-uses.

     "The style is remarkably good whenever it is English and not
     provincial--racy, original, and nervous.

     "I congratulate you on having found an author of such
     promise, and published one of the very ablest works of
     fiction I have read for years.--

     Yours truly,
                                                    E. B. L.

     "I am better than I was, but thoroughly done up."

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_April 29._--Finished a story--"The Lifted Veil"--which I began one
morning at Richmond as a resource when my head was too stupid for more
important work.

Resumed my new novel, of which I am going to rewrite the two first
chapters. I shall call it provisionally "The Tullivers," for the sake
of a title _quelconque_, or perhaps "St. Ogg's on the Floss."

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 29th April, 1859.]

Thank you for sending me Sir Edward Lytton's letter, which has given
me real pleasure. The praise is doubly valuable to me for the sake of
the generous feeling that prompted it. I think you judged rightly
about writing to the _Times_. I would abstain from the remotest
appearance of a "dodge." I am anxious to know of any _positive_ rumors
that may get abroad; for while I would willingly, if it were
possible--which it clearly is not--retain my _incognito_ as long as I
live, I can suffer no one to bear my arms on his shield.

There is _one_ alteration, or rather an addition--merely of a
sentence--that I wish to make in the 12_s._ edition of "Adam Bede."
It is a sentence in the chapter where Adam is making the coffin at
night, and hears the willow wand. Some readers seem not to have
understood what I meant--namely, that it was in Adam's peasant blood
and nurture to believe in this, and that he narrated it with awed
belief to his dying day. That is not a fancy of my own brain, but a
matter of observation, and is, in my mind, an important feature in
Adam's character. There is nothing else I wish to touch. I will send
you the sentence some day soon, with the page where it is to be
inserted.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_May 3._--I had a letter from Mrs. Richard Congreve, telling me of her
safe arrival, with her husband and sister,[7] at Dieppe. This new
friend, whom I have gained by coming to Wandsworth, is the chief charm
of the place to me. Her friendship has the same date as the success of
"Adam Bede"--two good things in my lot that ought to have made me less
sad than I have been in this house.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 4th May, 1859.]

Your letter came yesterday at tea-time, and made the evening happier
than usual. We had thought of you not a little as we listened to the
howling winds, especially as the terrible wrecks off the Irish coast
had filled our imaginations disagreeably. _Now_ I can make a charming
picture of you all on the beach, except that I am obliged to fancy
_your_ face looking still too languid after all your exertion and
sleeplessness. I remember the said face with peculiar vividness, which
is very pleasant to me. "Rough" has been the daily companion of our
walks, and wins on our affections, as other fellow mortals do, by a
mixture of weaknesses and virtues--the weaknesses consisting chiefly
in a tendency to become invisible every ten minutes, and in a
forgetfulness of reproof, which, I fear, is the usual accompaniment of
meekness under it. All this is good discipline for us selfish
solitaries, who have been used to stroll along, thinking of nothing
but ourselves.

We walked through your garden to-day, and I gathered a bit of your
sweetbrier, of which I am at this moment enjoying the scent as it
stands on my desk. I am enjoying, too, another sort of sweetness,
which I also owe to you--of that subtle, haunting kind which is most
like the scent of my favorite plants--the belief that you do really
care for me across the seas there, and will associate me continually
with your home. Faith is not easy to me, nevertheless I believe
everything you say and write.

Write to me as often as you can--that is, as often as you feel any
prompting to do so. You were a dear presence to me, and will be a
precious thought to me all through your absence.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_May 4._--To-day came a letter from Barbara Bodichon, full of joy in
my success, in the certainty that "Adam Bede" was mine, though she had
not read more than extracts in reviews. This is the first delight in
the book as _mine_, over and above the fact that the book is good.

[Sidenote: Letter to Madame Bodichon, 5th May, 1859.]

God bless you, dearest Barbara, for your love and sympathy. You are
the first friend who has given any symptom of knowing me--the first
heart that has recognized me in a book which has come from my heart of
hearts. But keep the secret solemnly till I give you leave to tell it;
and give way to no impulses of triumphant affection. You have sense
enough to know how important the _incognito_ has been, and we are
anxious to keep it up a few months longer. Curiously enough my old
Coventry friends, who have certainly read the _Westminster_ and the
_Times_, and have probably by this time read the book itself, have
given no sign of recognition. But a certain Mr. Liggins, whom rumor
has fixed on as the author of my books, and whom _they_ have believed
in, has probably screened me from their vision. I am a very blessed
woman, am I not, to have all this reason for being glad that I have
lived? I have had no time of exultation; on the contrary, these last
months have been sadder than usual to me, and I have thought more of
the future and the much work that remains to be done in life than of
anything that has been achieved. But I think your letter to-day gave
me more joy--more heart-glow--than all the letters or reviews or other
testimonies of success that have come to me since the evenings when I
read aloud my manuscript to my dear, dear husband, and he laughed and
cried alternately, and then rushed to me to kiss me. He is the prime
blessing that has made all the rest possible to me, giving me a
response to everything I have written--a response that I could confide
in, as a proof that I had not mistaken my work.

[Sidenote: Letter to Major Blackwood, 6th May, 1859.]

You must not think me too soft-hearted when I tell you that it would
make me uneasy to leave Mr. Anders without an assurance that his
apology is accepted. "Who with repentance is not satisfied," etc.;
that doctrine is bad for the sinning, but good for those sinned
against. Will you oblige me by allowing a clerk to write something to
this effect in the name of the firm?--"We are requested by George
Eliot to state, in reply to your letter of the 16th, that he accepts
your assurance that the publication of your letter to the reviewer of
'Adam Bede' in the _Times_ was unintentional on your part."

Yes, I _am_ assured now that "Adam Bede" was worth writing--worth
living through long years to write. But now it seems impossible to me
that I shall ever write anything so good and true again. I have
arrived at faith in the past, but not at faith in the future.

A friend in Algiers[8] has found me out--"will go to the stake on the
assertion that I wrote 'Adam Bede'"--simply on the evidence of a few
extracts. So far as I know, this is the first case of detection on
purely internal evidence. But the secret is safe in that quarter.

I hope I shall have the pleasure of seeing you again during some visit
that you will pay to town before very long. It would do me good to
have you shake me by the hand as the ascertained George Eliot.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_May 9._--We had a delicious drive to Dulwich, and back by Sydenham.
We stayed an hour in the gallery at Dulwich, and I satisfied myself
that the St. Sebastian is no exception to the usual "petty prettiness"
of Guido's conceptions. The Cuyp glowing in the evening sun, the
Spanish beggar boys of Murillo, and Gainsborough's portrait of Mrs.
Sheridan and her sister, are the gems of the gallery. But better than
the pictures was the fresh greenth of the spring--the chestnuts just
on the verge of their flowering beauty, the bright leaves of the
limes, the rich yellow-brown of the oaks, the meadows full of
buttercups. We saw for the first time Clapham Common, Streatham
Common, and Tooting Common--the two last like parks rather than
commons.

_May 19._--A letter from Blackwood, in which he proposes to give me
another £400 at the end of the year, making in all £1200, as an
acknowledgment of "Adam Bede's" success.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 19th May, 1859.]

Mrs. Congreve is a sweet woman, and I feel that I have acquired a
friend in her--after recently declaring that we would never have any
_friends_ again, only _acquaintances_.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 21st May, 1859.]

Thank you: first, for acting with that fine integrity which makes part
of my faith in you; secondly, for the material sign of that integrity.
I don't know which of those two things I care for most--that people
should act nobly towards me, or that I should get honest money. I
certainly care a great deal for the money, as I suppose all anxious
minds do that love independence and have been brought up to think debt
and begging the two deepest dishonors short of crime.

I look forward with quite eager expectation to seeing you--we have so
much to say. Pray give us the first day at your command. The
excursion, as you may imagine, is not ardently longed for in this
weather, but when "merry May" is quite gone, we may surely hope for
some sunshine; and then I have a pet project of rambling along by the
banks of a river, not without artistic as well as hygienic purposes.

Pray bring me all the Liggins Correspondence. I have an amusing letter
or two to show you--one from a gentleman who has sent me his works;
happily the only instance of the kind. For, as Charles Lamb complains,
it is always the people whose books _don't_ sell who are anxious to
send them to one, with their "foolish autographs" inside.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 21st May, 1859.]

We don't think of going to the festival, not for want of power to
enjoy Handel--there are few things that I care for more in the way of
music than his choruses, performed by a grand orchestra--but because
we are neither of us fit to encounter the physical exertion and
inconveniences. It is a cruel thing the difficulty and dearness of
getting any music in England--concerted music, which is the only music
I care for much now. At Dresden we could have thoroughly enjoyable
instrumental music every evening for two-pence; and I owed so many
thoughts and inspirations of feeling to that stimulus.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_May 27._--Blackwood came to dine with us on his arrival in London,
and we had much talk. A day or two before he had sent me a letter from
Professor Aytoun, saying that he had neglected his work to read the
first volume of "Adam Bede;" and he actually sent the other two
volumes out of the house to save himself from temptation. Blackwood
brought with him a correspondence he has had with various people about
Liggins, beginning with Mr. Bracebridge, who will have it that Liggins
is the author of "Adam Bede" in spite of all denials.

_June 5._--Blackwood came, and we concocted two letters to send to the
_Times_, in order to put a stop to the Liggins affair.

[Sidenote: Letter to Major Blackwood, 6th June, 1859.]

The "Liggins business" _does_ annoy me, because it subjects you and
Mr. John Blackwood to the reception of insulting letters, and the
trouble of writing contradictions. Otherwise, the whole affair is
really a subject for a Molière comedy--"The Wise Men of Warwickshire,"
who might supersede "The Wise Men of Gotham."

The letter you sent me was a very pleasant one from Mrs. Gaskell,
saying that since she came up to town she has had the compliment paid
her of being suspected to have written "Adam Bede." "I have hitherto
denied it; but really, I think, that as you want to keep your real
name a secret, it would be very pleasant for me to blush acquiescence.
Will you give me leave?"

I hope the inaccuracy with which she writes my name is not
characteristic of a genius for fiction, though I once heard a German
account for the bad spelling in Goethe's early letters by saying that
it was "genial"--their word for whatever is characteristic of genius.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 8th June, 1859.]

I was glad you wrote to me from Avignon of all the places you have
visited, because Avignon is one of my most vivid remembrances from out
the dimness of ten years ago. Lucerne would be a strange region to me
but for Calame's pictures. Through them I have a vision of it, but of
course when I see it 'twill be another Luzern. Mr. Lewes obstinately
nurses the project of carrying me thither with him, and depositing me
within reach of you while he goes to Hofwyl. But at present I say
"No." We have been waiting and waiting for the skies to let us take a
few days' ramble by the river, but now I fear we must give it up till
all the freshness of young summer is gone. July and August are the two
months I care least about for leafy scenery.

However, we are kept at home this month partly by pleasures: the
Handel Festival, for which we have indulged ourselves with tickets,
and the sight of old friends--Mrs. Bodichon among the rest, and for
her we hope to use your kind loan of a bedroom. We are both of us in
much better condition than when you said good-bye to us, and I have
many other sources of gladness just now--so I mean to make myself
disagreeable no longer by caring about petty troubles. If one could
but order cheerfulness from the druggist's! or even a few doses of
coldness and distrust, to prevent one from foolish confidence in one's
fellow-mortals!

I want to get rid of this house--cut cables and drift about. I dislike
Wandsworth, and should think with unmitigated regret of our coming
here if it were not for you. But you are worth paying a price for.

There! I have written about nothing but ourselves this time! _You_ do
the same, and then I think I will promise ... not to write again, but
to ask you to go on writing to me without an answer.

How cool and idle you are this morning! I am warm and busy, but
always, at all temperatures, yours affectionately.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_June 20._--We went to the Crystal Palace to hear the "Messiah," and
dined afterwards with the Brays and Sara Hennell. I told them I was
the author of "Adam Bede" and "Clerical Scenes," and they seemed
overwhelmed with surprise. This experience has enlightened me a good
deal as to the ignorance in which we all live of each other.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 24th June, 1859.]

There is always an after sadness belonging to brief and interrupted
intercourse between friends--the sadness of feeling that the
blundering efforts we have made towards mutual understanding have only
made a new veil between us--still more, the sadness of feeling that
some pain may have been given which separation makes a permanent
memory. We are quite unable to represent ourselves truly. Why should
we complain that our friends see a false image? I say this because I
am feeling painfully this morning that, instead of helping you when
you brought before me a matter so deeply interesting to you, I have
only blundered, and that I have blundered, as most of us do, from too
much egoism and too little sympathy. If my mind had been more open to
receive impressions, instead of being in over-haste to give them, I
should more readily have seen what your object was in giving me that
portion of your MS., and we might have gone through the necessary part
of it on Tuesday. It seems no use to write this now, and yet I can't
help wanting to assure you that if I am too imperfect to do and feel
the right thing at the right moment, I am not without the slower
sympathy that becomes all the stronger from a sense of previous
mistake.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 27th June, 1859.]

I am told peremptorily that I am to go to Switzerland next month, but
now I have read your letter, I can't 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.

We shall not arrive at Lucerne till the 12th, at the earliest, I
imagine, so I hope we are secured from the danger of alighting
precisely on the days of your absence. That would be cruel, for I
shall only be left at Lucerne for three days. You must positively have
nothing more interesting to do than to talk to me and let me look at
you. Tell your sister I shall be all ears and eyes and no tongue, so
she will find me the most _amiable_ of conversers.

I think it must be that the sunshine makes your absence more
conspicuous, for this place certainly becomes drearier to me as the
summer advances. The dusty roads are all longer, and the shade is
farther off. No more now about anything--except that Mr. Lewes
commands me to say he has just read the "Roman Empire of the West"
with much interest, and is going now to flesh his teeth in the
"Politique" (Auguste Comte's).

[Sidenote: Letter to the Brays, Monday evening, end of June, 1859.]

     "DEAR FRIENDS,--All three of you--thanks for your packet of
     heartfelt kindness. That is the best of your kindness--there
     is no sham in it. It was inevitable to me to have that
     outburst when I saw you for a little while after the long
     silence, and felt that I must tell you then or be
     forestalled, and leave you to gather the truth amidst an
     inextricable mixture of falsehood. But I feel that the
     influence of talking about my books, even to you and Mrs.
     Bodichon, has been so bad to me that I should like to be able
     to keep silence concerning them for evermore. If people were
     to buzz round me with their remarks, or compliments, I should
     lose the repose of mind and truthfulness of production
     without which no good, healthy books can be written. Talking
     about my books, I find, has much the same malign effect on me
     as talking of my feelings or my religion.

     "I should think Sara's version of my brother's words
     concerning 'Adam Bede' is the correct one--_'that there are
     things in it about my father'_ (_i.e._, being interpreted,
     things my father told us about his early life), not
     'portrait' of my father. There is not a single portrait in
     the book, nor will there be in any future book of mine. There
     are portraits in the 'Clerical Scenes;' but that was my first
     bit of art, and my hand was not well in. I did not know so
     well how to manipulate my materials. As soon as the Liggins
     falsehood is annihilated, of course there will be twenty new
     ones in its place; and one of the first will be that I was
     not the sole author. The only safe thing for my mind's
     health is to shut my ears and go on with my work.

[Sidenote: Letter to Charles Bray, 5th July, 1859.]

     "Thanks for your letters. They have given me one
     pleasure--that of knowing that Mr. Liggins has not been
     _greatly_ culpable--though Mr. Bracebridge's statement, that
     only 'some small sums' have been collected, does not accord
     with what has been written to Mr. Blackwood from other
     counties. But 'O, I am sick!' Take no more trouble about
     me--and let every one believe--as they will, in spite of your
     kind efforts--_what they like to believe_. I can't tell you
     how much melancholy it causes me that people are, for the
     most part, so incapable of comprehending the state of mind
     which cares for that which is essentially human in all forms
     of belief, and desires to exhibit it under all forms with
     loving truthfulness. Freethinkers are scarcely wider than the
     orthodox in this matter--they all want to see themselves and
     their own opinions held up as the true and the lovely. On the
     same ground that an idle woman, with flirtations and
     flounces, likes to read a French novel, because she can
     imagine herself the heroine, grave people, with opinions,
     like the most admirable character in a novel to be their
     mouth-piece. If art does not enlarge men's sympathies, it
     does nothing morally. I have had heart-cutting experience
     that _opinions_ are a poor cement between human souls: and
     the only effect I ardently long to produce by my writings is,
     that those who read them should be better able to _imagine_
     and to _feel_ the pains and the joys of those who differ from
     themselves in everything but the broad fact of being
     struggling, erring, human creatures.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 6th July, 1859.]

     "We shall not start till Saturday, and shall not reach
     Lucerne till the _evening_ of the 11th. There is a project of
     our returning through Holland, but the attractions of Lucerne
     are sure to keep us there as long as possible. We have given
     up Zurich in spite of Moleschott and science. The other day I
     said to Mr. Lewes, 'Every now and then it comes across me,
     like the recollection of some precious little store laid by,
     that there is Mrs. Congreve in the world.' That is how people
     talk of you in your absence."

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_July 9._--We started for Switzerland. Spent a delightful day in
Paris. To the Louvre first, where we looked chiefly at the Marriage at
Cana, by Paul Veronese. This picture, the greatest I have seen of his,
converted me to high admiration of him.

_July 12._--Arrived at Lucerne in the evening. Glad to make a home at
the charming Schweizerhof on the banks of the Lake. G. went to call on
the Congreves, and in the afternoon Mrs. Congreve came to chat with
us. In the evening we had a boat on the Lake.

_July 13._--G. set off for Hofwyl at five o'clock, and the three next
days were passed by me in quiet chat with the Congreves and quiet
resting on my own sofa.

_July 19._--Spent the morning in Bâle, chiefly under the
chestnut-trees, near the Cathedral, I reading aloud Flourens's sketch
of Cuvier's labors. In the afternoon to Paris.

_July 21._--Holly Lodge, Wandsworth. Found a charming letter from
Dickens, and pleasant letters from Blackwood; nothing to annoy us.
Before we set off we had heard the excellent news that the fourth
edition of "Adam Bede" (5000) had all been sold in a fortnight. The
fifth edition appeared last week.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Bray, 23d July, 1859.]

We reached here last evening, and though I was a good deal overdone in
getting to Lucerne, I have borne the equally rapid journey back
without headache--a proof that I am strengthened. I had three quiet
days of talk with the Congreves at Lucerne, while Mr. Lewes went to
Hofwyl. Mrs. Congreve is one of those women of whom there are
few--rich in intelligence, without pretension, and quivering with
sensibility, yet calm and quiet in her manners.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 23d July, 1859.]

I thank you for your offer about the money for "Adam," but I have
intentions of stern thrift, and mean to want as little as possible.
When "Maggie" is done, and I have a month or two of leisure, I should
like to transfer our present house, into which we were driven by haste
and economy, to some one who likes houses full of eyes all round him.
I long for a house with some shade and grass close round it--I don't
care how rough--and the sight of Swiss houses has heightened my
longing. But at present I say Avaunt to all desires.

While I think of it, let me beg of you to mention to the
superintendent of your printing-office, that in case of another
reprint of "Adam," I beg the word "sperrit" (for "spirit") may be
particularly attended to. Adam never said "speerit," as he is made to
do in the cheaper edition, at least in one place--his speech at the
birthday dinner. This is a small matter, but it is a point I care
about.

Words fail me about the not impossible Pug, for some compunction at
having mentioned my unreasonable wish will mingle itself paradoxically
with the hope that it may be fulfilled.

I hope we shall have other interviews to remember this time next year,
and that you will find me without aggravated symptoms of the "author's
malady"--a determination of talk to my own books, which I was
alarmingly conscious of when you and the Major were here. After all, I
fear authors must submit to be something of monsters--not quite
simple, healthy human beings; but I will keep my monstrosity within
bounds if possible.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Bray, 26th July, 1859.]

The things you tell me are just such as I need to know--I mean about
the help my book is to the people who read it. The weight of my 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_.
Buoyancy and exultation, I fancy, are out of the question when one has
lived so long as I have. But I am the better for every word of
encouragement, and am helped over many days by such a note as yours. I
often think of my dreams when I was four or five and twenty. I thought
then how happy fame would make me! 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 and given me reason for gladness that such an
unpromising woman-child was born into the world. I ought not to care
about small annoyances, and it is chiefly egoism that makes them
annoyances. I had quite an _enthusiastic_ letter from Herbert Spencer
the other day about "Adam Bede." He says he feels the better for
reading it--really words to be treasured up. I can't bear the idea of
appearing further in the papers. And there is no one now except
people who would not be convinced, though one rose from the dead, to
whom any statement _apropos_ of Liggins would be otherwise than
superfluous. I dare say some "investigator" of the Bracebridge order
will arise after I am dead and revive the story--and perhaps posterity
will believe in Liggins. Why not? A man a little while ago wrote a
pamphlet to prove that the Waverley novels were chiefly written, not
by Walter Scott, but by Thomas Scott and his wife Elizabeth. The main
evidence being that several people thought Thomas cleverer than
Walter, and that in the list of the Canadian regiment of Scots to
which Thomas belonged many of the _names_ of the Waverley novels
occurred--among the rest _Monk_--and in "Woodstock" there is a
_General Monk_! The writer expected to get a great reputation by his
pamphlet, and I think it might have suggested to Mr. B. his style of
critical and historical inference. I must tell you, _in confidence_,
that Dickens has written to me the noblest, most touching words about
"Adam"--not hyperbolical compliments, but expressions of deep feeling.
He says the reading made an epoch in his life.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 30th July, 1859.]

Pug is come! come to fill up the void left by false and narrow-hearted
friends. I see already that he is without envy, hatred, or
malice--that he will betray no secrets, and feel neither pain at my
success nor pleasure in my chagrin. I hope the photograph does justice
to his physiognomy. It is expressive: full of gentleness and
affection, and radiant with intelligence when there is a savory morsel
in question--a hopeful indication of his mental capacity. I distrust
all intellectual pretension that announces itself by obtuseness of
palate!

I wish you could see him in his best _pose_--when I have arrested him
in a violent career of carpet-scratching, and he looks at me with
fore-legs very wide apart, trying to penetrate the deep mystery of
this arbitrary, not to say capricious, prohibition. He is snoring by
my side at this moment, with a serene promise of remaining quiet for
any length of time; he couldn't behave better if he had been expressly
educated for me. I am too lazy a lover of dogs and all earthly things
to like them when they give me much trouble, preferring to describe
the pleasure other people have in taking trouble.

Alas! the shadow that tracks all earthly good--the possibility of
loss. One may lose one's faculties, which will not always fetch a high
price; how much more a _Pug_ worth unmentionable sums--a PUG which
some generous-hearted personage in some other corner of Great Britain
than Edinburgh may even now be sending emissaries after, being bent on
paying the kindest, most delicate attention to a sensitive mortal not
sufficiently reticent of wishes.

All I can say of that generous-hearted personage No. 2 is, that I wish
he may get--somebody else's Pug, not mine. And all I will say of the
sensitive, insufficiently reticent mortal No. 2 is, that I hope he may
be as pleased and as grateful as George Eliot.

[Sidenote: Letter to Charles L. Lewes, 30th July, 1859.]

I look forward to playing duets with you as one of my future
pleasures; and if I am able to go on working, I hope we shall afford
to have a fine grand-piano. I have none of Mozart's Symphonies, so
that you can be guided in your choice of them entirely by your own
taste. I know Beethoven's Sonata in E flat well; it is a very charming
one, and I shall like to hear you play it. That is one of my
luxuries--to sit still and hear some one playing my favorite music;
so that you may able sure you will find willing ears to listen to the
fruits of your industrious practising.

There are ladies in the world, not a few, who play the violin, and I
wish I were one of them, for then we could play together sonatas for
the piano and violin, which make a charming combination. The violin
gives that _keen edge_ of tone which the piano wants.

I like to know that you were gratified by getting a watch so much
sooner than you expected; and it was the greater satisfaction to me to
send it you, because you had earned it by making good use of these
precious years at Hofwyl. It is a great comfort to your father and me
to think of that, for we, with our old grave heads, can't help talking
very often of the need our boys will have for all sorts of good
qualities and habits in making their way through this difficult life.
It is a world, you perceive, in which cross-bows _will_ be _launisch_
sometimes, and frustrate the skill of excellent marksmen--how much
more of lazy bunglers?

The first volume of the "Physiology of Common Life" is just published,
and it is a great pleasure to see so much of your father's hard work
successfully finished. He has been giving a great deal of labor to the
numbers on the physiology of the nervous system, which are to appear
in the course of two or three months, and he has enjoyed the labor in
spite of the drawback of imperfect health, which obliges him very
often to leave the desk with a hot and aching head. It is quite my
worst trouble that he has so much of this discomfort to bear; and we
must all try and make everything else as pleasant to him as we can, to
make up for it.

Tell Thornton he shall have the book he asks for, if possible--I mean
the book of moths and butterflies; and tell Bertie I expect to hear
about the wonderful things he has done with his pocket-knife. Tell him
he is equipped well enough to become king of a desert island with that
pocket-knife of his; and if, as I think I remember, it has a corkscrew
attached, he would certainly have more implements than he would need
in that romantic position.

We shall hope to hear a great deal of your journey, with all its haps
and mishaps. The mishaps are just as pleasant as the haps when they
are past--that is one comfort for tormented travellers.

You are an excellent correspondent, so I do not fear you will flag in
writing to me; and remember, you are always giving a pleasure when you
write to me.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_Aug. 11._--Received a letter from an American--Mr. J. C.
Evans--asking me to write a story for an American periodical. Answered
that I could not write one for less than £1000, since, in order to do
it, I must suspend my actual work.

[Sidenote: Letter to Madame Bodichon, 11th Aug. 1859.]

I do wish much to see more of human life: how can one see enough in
the short years one has to stay in the world? But I meant that at
present my mind works with the most freedom and the keenest sense of
poetry in my remotest past, and there are many strata to be worked
through before I can begin to use, _artistically_, any material I may
gather in the present. Curiously enough, _apropos_ of your remark
about "Adam Bede," there is much less "out of my own life" in that
book--_i.e._, the materials are much more a combination from
imperfectly known and widely sundered elements than the "Clerical
Scenes." I'm so glad you have enjoyed these--so thankful for the words
you write me.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_Aug. 12._--Mr. J. C. Evans wrote again, declaring his willingness to
pay the £1000, and asking for an interview to arrange preliminaries.

_Aug. 15._--Declined the American proposition, which was to write a
story of twelve parts (weekly parts) in the _New York Century_ for
£1200.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 15th Aug. 1859.]

I have re-read your whole proof, and feel that every serious reader
will be impressed with the indications of real truth-seeking and
heart-experience in the tone. Beginnings are always troublesome. Even
Macaulay's few pages of introduction to his Introduction in the
English History are the worst bit of writing in the book. It was no
trouble to me to read your proof, so don't talk as if it had been.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_Aug. 17._--Received a letter from Blackwood, with check for £200 for
second edition of "Clerical Scenes."

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 17th Aug. 1859.]

I'm glad my story cleaves to you. At present I have no hope that it
will affect people as strongly as "Adam" has done. The characters are
on a lower level generally, and the environment less romantic. But my
stories grow in me like plants, and this is only in the leaf-bud. I
have faith that the flower will come. Not enough faith, though, to
make me like the idea of beginning to print till the flower is fairly
out--till I know the end as well as the beginning.

Pug develops new charms every day. I think, in the prehistoric period
of his existence, before he came to me, he had led a sort of Caspar
Hauser life, shut up in a kennel in Bethnal Green; and he has had to
get over much astonishment at the sight of cows and other rural
objects on a large scale, which he marches up to and surveys with the
gravity of an "Own Correspondent," whose business it is to observe.
He has absolutely no bark; but, _en revanche_, he sneezes powerfully,
and has speaking eyes, so the _media_ of communication are abundant.
He sneezes at the world in general, and he looks affectionately at me.

I envy you the acquaintance of a genuine non-bookish man like Captain
Speke. I wonder when men of that sort will take their place as heroes
in our literature, instead of the inevitable "genius?"

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_Aug. 20._--Letter from the troublesome Mr. Quirk of Attleboro, still
wanting satisfaction about Liggins. I did not leave it unanswered,
because he is a friend of Chrissey's, but G. wrote for me.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 20th Aug. 1859.]

Our great difficulty is _Time_. I am little better than a sick nigger
with the lash behind him at present. If we go to Penmaenmawr we shall
travel all through by night, in order not to lose more than one day;
and we shall pause at Lichfield on our way back. To pause at Coventry
would be a real pleasure to me; but I think, even if we could do it on
our way home, it would be better economy to wait until the sense of
hurry is past, and make it a little reward for work done. The going to
the coast seems to be a wise measure, quite apart from indulgence. We
are both so feeble; but otherwise I should have kept my resolution and
remained quiet here for the next six months.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_Aug. 25._--In the evening of this day we set off on our journey to
Penmaenmawr. We reached Conway at half-past three in the morning; and
finding that it was hopeless to get a bed anywhere, we walked about
the town till the morning began to dawn, and we could see the outline
of the fine old castle's battlemented walls. In the morning we went to
Llandudno, thinking that might suit us better than Penmaenmawr. We
found it ugly and fashionable. Then we went off to Penmaenmawr, which
was beautiful to our hearts' content--or rather discontent--for it
would not receive us, being already filled with visitors. Back again
in despair to Conway, where we got temporary lodgings at one of the
numerous Joneses. This particular Jones happened to be honest and
obliging, and we did well enough for a few days in our in-door life,
but out-of-doors there were cold winds and rain. One day we went to
Abergele and found a solitary house called Beach House, which it
seemed possible we might have at the end of a few days. But no! And
the winds were so cold on this northerly coast that George was not
sorry, preferring rather to take flight southward. So we set out again
on 31st, and reached Lichfield about half-past five. Here we meant to
pass the night, that I might see my nieces--dear Chrissey's orphan
children--Emily and Kate. I was much comforted by the sight of them,
looking happy, and apparently under excellent care in Miss Eborall's
school. We slept at the "Swan," where I remember being with my father
and mother when I was a little child, and afterwards with my father
alone, in our last journey into Derbyshire. The next morning we set
off again, and completed our journey to Weymouth. Many delicious walks
and happy hours we had in our fortnight there. A letter from Mr.
Langford informed us that the subscription for the sixth edition of
"Adam Bede" was 1000. Another pleasant incident was a letter from my
old friend and school-fellow, Martha Jackson, asking if the author of
"Adam Bede" was _her_ Marian Evans.

_Sept. 16._--We reached home, and found letters awaiting us--one from
Mr. Quirk, finally renouncing Liggins!--with tracts of an
ultra-evangelical kind for me, and the Parish Mag., etc., from the
Rev. Erskine Clark of St. Michael's, Derby, who had written to me to
ask me to help him in this sort of work.

[Sidenote: Letter to Madame Bodichon, 17th Sept. 1859.]

I have just been reading, with deep interest and heart-stirring, the
article on the Infant Seamstresses in the _Englishwoman's Journal_. I
am one among the grateful readers of that moving description--moving
because the writer's own soul was moved by love and pity in the
writing of it. These are the papers that will make the "Journal" a
true organ with a _function_. I am writing at the end of the day, on
the brink of sleep, too tired to think of anything but that picture of
the little sleeping slop-worker who had pricked her tiny finger so.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_Sept. 18._--A volume of devotional poetry from the authoress of
"Visiting my Relations," with an inscription admonishing me not to be
beguiled by the love of money. _In much anxiety and doubt about my new
novel._

_Oct. 7._--Since the last entry in my Journal various matters of
interest have occurred. Certain "new" ideas have occurred to me in
relation to my novel, and I am in better hope of it. At Weymouth I had
written to Blackwood to ask him about terms, supposing I published in
"Maga." His answer determined me to decline. On Monday, the 26th, we
set out on a three days' journey to Lincolnshire and back--very
pleasant and successful both as to weather and the object I was in
search of. A less pleasant business has been a correspondence with a
_crétin_--a Warwickshire magistrate, who undertakes to declare the
process by which I wrote my books--and who is the chief propagator and
maintainer of the story that Liggins is at the bottom of the
"Clerical Scenes" and "Adam Bede." It is poor George who has had to
conduct the correspondence, making his head hot by it, to the
exclusion of more fructifying work. To-day, in answer to a letter from
Sara, I have written her an account of my interviews with my Aunt
Samuel. This evening comes a letter from Miss Brewster, full of
well-meant exhortation.

[Sidenote: Letter to Charles L. Lewes, 7th Oct. 1859.]

The very best bit of news I can tell you to begin with is that your
father's "Physiology of Common Life" is selling remarkably well, being
much in request among medical students. You are not to be a medical
student, but I hope, nevertheless, you will by-and-by read the work
with interest. There is to be a new edition of the "Sea-side Studies"
at Christmas, or soon after--a proof that this book also meets with a
good number of readers. I wish you could have seen to-day, as I did,
the delicate spinal cord of a dragon-fly--like a tiny thread with tiny
beads on it--which your father had just dissected! He is so
wonderfully clever now at the dissection of these delicate things, and
has attained this cleverness entirely by devoted practice during the
last three years. I hope _you_ have some of his resolution and
persistent regularity in work. I think you have, if I may judge from
your application to music, which I am always glad to read of in your
letters. I was a very idle practiser, and I often regret now that when
I had abundant time and opportunity for hours of piano playing I used
them so little. I have about eighteen Sonatas and Symphonies of
Beethoven, I think, but I shall be delighted to find that you can play
them better than I can. I am very sensitive to blunders and wrong
notes, and instruments out of tune; but I have never played much from
ear, though I used to play from memory a great deal. The other evening
Mr. Pigott, whom you remember, Mr. Redford, another friend of your
father's, and Mr. Wilkie Collins dined with us, and we had a charming
musical evening. Mr. Pigott has a delicious tenor voice, and Mr.
Redford a fine barytone. The latter sings "Adelaide," that exquisite
song of Beethoven's, which I should like you to learn. Schubert's
songs, too, I especially delight in; but, as you say, they are
difficult.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 10th Oct. 1859.]

It is pleasant to have to tell you that Mr. Bracebridge has been at
last awakened to do the right thing. This morning came a letter
enclosing the following to me:

"Madame, I have much pleasure on receiving your declaration that
'etc., etc.,' in replying that I frankly accept your declaration as
the truth, and I shall repeat it if the contrary is again asserted to
me."

This is the first symptom we have had from him of common-sense. I am
very thankful--for it ends transactions with him.

Mr. Lewes is of so sensitive a temperament, and so used to feeling
more angry and more glad on my behalf than his own, that he has been
made, several mornings, quite unable to go on with his work by this
irritating correspondence. It is all my fault, for if he didn't see in
the first instance that I am completely upset by anything that arouses
unloving emotions, he would never feel as he does about outer sayings
and doings. No one is more indifferent than he is to what is said
about himself. No more about my business, let us hope, for a long
while to come!

The Congreves are settled at home again now--blessing us with the
sight of kind faces--Mr. Congreve beginning his medical course.

Delicious confusion of ideas! Mr. Lewes, walking in Wandsworth, saw a
good woman cross over the street to speak to a blind man. She accosted
him with, "Well, _I_ knew you, _though you are dark_!"

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 16th Oct. 1859.]

I wish you had read the letter you enclosed to me; it is really
curious. The writer, an educated person, asks me to perfect and extend
the benefit "Adam Bede" has "conferred on society" by writing a
_sequel_ to it, in which I am to tell all about Hetty after her
reprieve, "Arthur's efforts to obtain the reprieve, and his desperate
ride after obtaining it--Dinah on board the convict ship--Dinah's
letters to Hetty--and whatever the author might choose to reveal
concerning Hetty's years of banishment. Minor instances of the
incompleteness which induces an unsatisfactory feeling may be alleged
in the disposal of the _locket and earrings_--which everybody expects
to re-appear--and in the incident of the pink silk neckerchief, of
which all would like to hear a little more!!"

I do feel more than I ought about outside sayings and doings, and I
constantly rebuke myself for all that part of my susceptibility, which
I know to be weak and egoistic; still what is said about one's art is
not merely a personal matter--it touches the very highest things one
lives for. _Truth_ in art is so startling that no one can believe in
it as art, and the specific forms of religious life which have made
some of the grandest elements in human history are looked down upon as
if they were not within the artist's sympathy and veneration and
intensely dramatic reproduction. "I do well to be angry" on that
ground, don't I? The simple fact is, that I never saw anything of my
aunt's writing, and Dinah's words came from me "as the tears come
because our heart is full, and we can't help them."

If you were living in London instead of at Edinburgh, I should ask you
to read the first volume of "Sister Maggie" at once, for the sake of
having your impression, but it is inconvenient to me to part with the
MS. The great success of "Adam" makes my writing a matter of more
anxiety than ever. I suppose there is a little sense of responsibility
mixed up with a great deal of pride. And I think I should worry myself
still more if I began to print before the thing is essentially
complete. So on all grounds it is better to wait. How clever and
picturesque the "Horsedealer in Syria" is! I read him with keen
interest, only wishing that he saw the seamy side of things rather
less habitually. Excellent Captain Speke can't write so well, but one
follows him out of grave sympathy. That a man should live through such
things as that beetle in his ear! Such papers as that make the
_specialité_ of _Blackwood_--one sees them nowhere else.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_Oct. 16._--Yesterday came a pleasant packet of letters: one from
Blackwood, saying that they are printing a seventh edition of "Adam
Bede" (of 2000), and that "Clerical Scenes" will soon be exhausted. I
have finished the first volume of my new novel, "Sister Maggie;" have
got my legal questions answered satisfactorily, and when my headache
has cleared off must go at it full speed.

_Oct. 25._--The day before yesterday Herbert Spencer dined with us. We
have just finished reading aloud "Père Goriot"--a hateful book. I have
been reading lately and have nearly finished Comte's "Catechism."

_Oct. 28._--Received from Blackwood a check for £400, the last payment
for "Adam Bede" in the terms of the agreement. But in consequence of
the great success, he proposes to pay me £800 more at the beginning of
next year. Yesterday Smith, the publisher, called to make propositions
to G. about writing in the _Cornhill Magazine_.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 28th Oct. 1859.]

I beg that you and Major Blackwood will accept my thanks for your
proposal to give me a further share in the success of "Adam Bede,"
beyond the terms of our agreement, which are fulfilled by the second
check for £400, received this morning. Neither you nor I ever
calculated on half such a success, thinking that the book was too
quiet, and too unflattering to dominant fashion, ever to be very
popular. I hope that opinion of ours is a guarantee that there is
nothing hollow or transient in the reception "Adam" has met with.
Sometimes when I read a book which has had a great success, and am
unable to see any valid merits of an artistic kind to account for it,
I am visited with a horrible alarm lest "Adam," too, should ultimately
sink into the same class of outworn admirations. But I always fall
back on the fact that no shibboleth and no vanity is flattered by it,
and that there is no novelty of mere form in it which can have
delighted simply by startling.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_Nov. 10._--Dickens dined with us to-day, for the first time, and
after he left I went to the Congreves, where George joined me, and we
had much chat--about George Stephenson, religion, etc.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 11th Nov. 1859.]

A very beautiful letter--beautiful in feeling--that I have received
from Mrs. Gaskell to-day, prompts me to write to you and let you know
how entirely she has freed herself from any imputation of being
unwilling to accept the truth when it has once clearly presented
itself as truth. Since she has known "on authority" that the two books
are mine, she has re-read them, and has written to me, apparently on
the prompting they gave in that second reading: very sweet and noble
words they are that she has written to me. Yesterday Dickens dined
with us, on _his_ return from the country. That was a great pleasure
to me: he is a man one can thoroughly enjoy talking to--there is a
strain of real seriousness along with his keenness and humor.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 14th Nov. 1859.]

The Liggins affair is concluded so far as any _action_ of ours is
concerned, since Mr. Quirk (the inmost citadel, I presume) has
surrendered by writing an apology to Blackwood, saying he now believes
he was imposed on by Mr. Liggins. As to Miss Martineau, I respect her
so much as an authoress, and have so pleasant a recollection of her as
a hostess for three days, that I wish that distant impression from
herself and her writings to be disturbed as little as possible by mere
personal details. Anything she may do or say or feel concerning me
personally is a matter of entire indifference: I share her bitterness
with a large number of far more blameless people than myself. It can
be of no possible benefit to me, or any one else, that I should know
more of those things, either past, present, or to come. "I do owe no
man anything" except to write honestly and religiously what comes from
my inward promptings; and the freer I am kept of all knowledge of that
comparatively small circle who mingle personal regards or hatred with
their judgment or reception of my writings, the easier it will be to
keep my motives free from all indirectness and write truly.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_Nov. 18._--On Monday Dickens wrote, asking me to give him, after I
have finished my present novel, a story to be printed in _All the Year
Round_--to begin four months after next Easter, and assuring me of my
own terms. The next day G. had an interview by appointment with Evans
(of Bradbury & Evans), and Lucas, the editor of _Once a Week_, who,
after preliminary pressing of G. himself to contribute, put forward
their wish that I should give them a novel for their Magazine. They
were to write and make an offer, but have not yet done so. We have
written to Dickens, saying that _time_ is an insurmountable obstacle
to his proposition, as he puts it.

I am reading Thomas à Kempis.

_Nov. 19._--Mr. Lockhart Clarke and Mr. Herbert Spencer dined with us.

_Nov. 22._--We have been much annoyed lately by Newby's advertisement
of a book called "Adam Bede, Junior," a sequel; and to-day Dickens has
written to mention a story of the tricks which are being used to push
the book under the pretence of its being mine. One librarian has been
forced to order the book against his will, because the public have
demanded it. Dickens is going to put an article on the subject in
_Household Words_, in order to scarify the rascally bookseller.

_Nov. 23._--We began Darwin's book on "The Origin of Species"
to-night. Though full of interesting matter, it is not impressive,
from want of luminous and orderly presentation.

_Nov. 24._--This morning I wrote the scene between Mrs. Tulliver and
Wakem. G. went into town and saw young Evans (of Bradbury & Evans),
who agreed that it would be well to have an article in _Punch_ on this
scoundrelly business of "Adam Bede, Junior." A divine day. I walked
out, and Mrs. Congreve joined me. Then music, "Arabian Nights," and
Darwin.

_Nov. 25._--I am reading old Bunyan again, after the long lapse of
years, and am profoundly struck with the true genius manifested in the
simple, vigorous, rhythmic style.

[Sidenote: Letter to the Brays, 25th Nov. 1859.]

Thanks for _Bentley_. Some one said the writer of the article on "Adam
Bede" was a Mr. Mozeley, a clergyman, and a writer in the _Times_; but
these reports about authorship are as often false as true. I think it
is, on the whole, the best review we have seen, unless we must except
the one in the _Revue des Deux Mondes_, by Emile Montégut. I don't
mean to read _any_ reviews of my next book; so far as they would
produce any effect, they would be confusing. Everybody admires
something that somebody else finds fault with; and the miller with his
donkey was in a clear and decided state of mind compared with the
unfortunate writer who should set himself to please all the world of
review writers. I am compelled, in spite of myself, to be annoyed with
this business of "Adam Bede, Junior." You see I am well provided with
thorns in the flesh, lest I should be exalted beyond measure. To part
with the copyright of a book which sells 16,000 in one year--to have a
Liggins and an unknown writer of one's "Sequel" all to one's self--is
excellent discipline.

We are reading Darwin's book on Species, just come out after long
expectation. It is an elaborate exposition of the evidence in favor of
the Development Theory, and so makes an epoch. Do you see how the
publishing world is going mad on periodicals? If I could be seduced by
such offers, I might have written three poor novels, and made my
fortune in one year. Happily, I have no need to exert myself when I
say "Avaunt thee, Satan!" Satan, in the form of bad writing and good
pay, is not seductive to me.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_Nov. 26._--Letter from Lucas, editor of _Once a Week_, anxious to
come to terms about my writing for said periodical.

[Sidenote: Letter to Charles L. Lewes, 26th Nov. 1859.]

It was very pretty and generous of you to send me a nice long letter
out of your turn, and I think I shall give you, as a reward, other
opportunities of being generous in the same way for the next few
months, for I am likely to be a poor correspondent, having my head and
hands full.

We have the whole of Vilmar's "Literatur Geschichte," but not the
remainder of the "Deutsche Humoristik." I agree with you in liking the
history of German literature, especially the earlier ages--the
birth-time of the legendary poetry. Have you read the "Nibelungenlied"
yet?

Whereabouts are you in algebra? It would be very pleasant to study it
with you, if I could possibly find time to rub up my knowledge. It is
now a good while since I looked into algebra, but I was very fond of
it in old days, though I dare say I never went so far as you have now
gone. Tell me your latitude and longitude.

I have no memory of an autumn so disappointing as this. It is my
favorite season. I delight especially in the golden and red tints
under the purple clouds. But this year the trees were almost stripped
of their leaves before they had changed color--dashed off by the winds
and rain. We have had _no_ autumnal beauty.

I am writing at night--very tired--so you must not wonder if I have
left out words, or been otherwise incoherent.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_Nov. 29._--Wrote a letter to the _Times_, and to Delane about Newby.

[Sidenote: Letter to Madame Bodichon, 5th Dec. 1859.]

I took no notice of the extract you sent me from a letter of Mrs.
Gaskell's, being determined not to engage in any writing on the topic
of my authorship, except such as was absolutely demanded of us. But
since then I have had a very beautiful letter from Mrs. Gaskell, and I
will quote some of her words, because they do her honor, and will
incline you to think more highly of her. She begins in this way:
"Since I heard, on authority, that you were the author of 'Scenes of
Clerical Life' and 'Adam Bede,' I have read them again, and I must
once more tell you how earnestly, fully, and _humbly_ I admire them. I
never read anything so complete and beautiful in fiction in my life
before." Very sweet and noble of her, was it not? She went on to speak
of her having held to the notion of Liggins, but she adds, "I was
never such a goose as to believe that books like yours were a mosaic
of real and ideal." The "Seth Bede" and "Adam Bede, Junior," are
speculations of those who are always ready to fasten themselves like
leeches on a popular fame. Such things must be endured: they are the
shadow to the bright fact of selling 16,000 in one year. As to the
silly falsehoods and empty opinions afloat in some petty circles, I
have quite conquered my temporary irritation about them--indeed, I
feel all the more serene now for that very irritation; it has
impressed on me more deeply how entirely the rewards of the artist lie
apart from everything that is narrow and personal: there is no peace
until that lesson is thoroughly learned. I shall go on writing from
my inward promptings--writing what I love and believe, what I feel to
be true and good, if I can only render it worthily--and then leave all
the rest to take its chance: "As it was in the beginning, is now, and
ever shall be" with those who are to produce any art that will
lastingly touch the generations of men. We have been reading Darwin's
book on the "Origin of Species" just now: it makes an epoch, as the
expression of his thorough adhesion, after long years of study, to the
Doctrine of Development--and not the adhesion of an anonym like the
author of the "Vestiges," but of a long-celebrated naturalist. The
book is sadly wanting in illustrative facts--of which he has collected
a vast number, but reserves them for a future book, of which this
smaller one is the _avant-coureur_. This will prevent the work from
becoming popular as the "Vestiges" did, but it will have a great
effect in the scientific world, causing a thorough and open discussion
of a question about which people have hitherto felt timid. So the
world gets on step by step towards brave clearness and honesty! But to
me the Development Theory, and all other explanations of processes by
which things came to be, produce a feeble impression compared with the
mystery that lies under the processes. It is nice to think of you
reading our great, great favorite Molière, while, for the present, we
are not taking him down from the shelves--only talking about him, as
we do very often. I get a good deal of pleasure out of the sense that
some one I love is reading and enjoying my best-loved writers. I think
the "Misanthrope" the finest, most complete production _of its kind_
in the world. I know you enjoy the "sonnet" scene, and the one between
Arsinoé and Célimène.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, Monday evening, 5th Dec.
1859.]

In opposition to most people who love to _read_ Shakspeare, I like to
see his plays acted better than any others; his great tragedies thrill
me, let them be acted how they may. I think it is something like what
I used to experience in old days in listening to uncultured
preachers--the emotions lay hold of one too strongly for one to care
about the medium. Before all other plays I find myself cold and
critical, seeing nothing but actors and "properties." I like going to
those little provincial theatres. One's heart streams out to the poor
devils of actors who get so little clapping, and will go home to so
poor a supper. One of my pleasures lately has been hearing repeatedly
from my Genevese friends M. and Mme. d'Albert, who were so good to me
during my residence with them. M. d'Albert had read the "Scenes of
Clerical Life" before he knew they were mine, and had been so much
struck with them that he had wanted to translate them. One likes to
feel old ties strengthened by fresh sympathies. The _Cornhill
Magazine_ is going to lead off with great spirit, and promises to
eclipse all the other new-born periodicals. Mr. Lewes is writing a
series of papers for it--"Studies in Animal Life"--which are to be
subsequently published in a book. It is quite as well that your book
should not be ready for publication just yet. February is a much
better time than Christmas. I shall be one of your most eager
readers--for every book that comes from the heart of hearts does me
good, and I quite share your faith that what you yourself feel so
deeply and find so precious will find a home in some other minds. Do
not suspect that I impose on you the task of writing letters to answer
my _dilettante_ questions. "Am I on a bed of roses?" I have four
children to correspond with--the three boys in Switzerland, and Emily
at Lichfield.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1859.]

_Dec. 15._--Blackwood proposes to give me for "The Mill on the Floss"
£2000 for 4000 copies of an edition at 31_s._ 6_d._, and after the
same rate for any more that may be printed at the same price: £150 for
1000 at 12_s._, and £60 for 1000 at 6_s._ I have accepted.

_Dec. 25._--Christmas-day. We all, including Pug, dined with Mr. and
Mrs. Congreve, and had a delightful day. Mr. Bridges was there too.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Bray, 30th Dec. 1859.]

I don't like Christmas to go by without sending you a greeting, though
I have really nothing to say beyond that. We spent our Christmas-day
with the Congreves, shutting up our house and taking our servant and
Pug with us. And so we ate our turkey and plum-pudding in very social,
joyous fashion with those charming friends. Mr. Bridges was there too.

We are meditating flight to Italy when my present work is done, as our
last bit of vagrancy for a long, long while. We shall only stay two
months, doing nothing but absorb.

I don't think I have anything else to tell, except that we, being very
happy, wish all mortals to be in like condition, and especially the
mortals we know in the flesh. Human happiness is a web with many
threads of pain in it--that is always _sub auditum_--Twist ye, twine
ye, even so, etc., etc.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 3d Jan. 1860.]

I never before had so pleasant a New Year's greeting as your letter
containing a check for £800, for which I have to thank you to-day. On
every ground--including considerations that are not at all of a
monetary kind--I am deeply obliged to you and to Major Blackwood for
your liberal conduct in relation to "Adam Bede."

As, owing to your generous concession of the copyright of "Adam Bede,"
the three books will be henceforth on the same footing, we shall be
delivered from further discussion as to terms.

We are demurring about the title. Mr. Lewes is beginning to prefer
"The House of Tulliver; or, Life on the Floss," to our old notion of
"Sister Maggie." "The Tullivers; or, Life on the Floss," has the
advantage of slipping easily off the lazy English tongue, but it is
after too common a fashion ("The Newcomes," "The Bertrams," etc.,
etc.). Then there is "The Tulliver Family; or, Life on the Floss."
Pray meditate, and give us your opinion.

I am very anxious that the "Scenes of Clerical Life" should have every
chance of impressing the public with its existence: first, because I
think it of importance to the estimate of me as a writer that "Adam
Bede" should not be counted as my only book; and secondly, because
there are ideas presented in these stories about which I care a good
deal, and am not sure that I can ever embody again. This latter reason
is my private affair, but the other reason, if valid, is yours also. I
must tell you that I had another cheering letter to-day besides yours:
one from a person of mark in your Edinburgh University,[9] full of the
very strongest words of sympathy and encouragement, hoping that my
life may long be spared "to give pictures of the deeper life of this
age." So I sat down to my desk with a delicious confidence that my
audience is not made up of reviewers and literary clubs. If there is
any truth in me that the world wants, nothing will hinder the world
from drinking what it is athirst for. And if there is no needful truth
in me, let me, howl as I may in the process, be hurled into the Dom
Daniel, where I wish all other futile writers to sink.

Your description of the "curling" made me envy you the sight.

[Sidenote: Letter to Charles L. Lewes, 4th Jan. 1860.]

The sun is shining with us too, and your pleasant letter made it seem
to shine more brightly. I am not going to be expansive in this
appendix to your father's chapter of love and news, for my head is
tired with writing this morning--it is not so young as yours, you
know, and, besides, is a feminine head, supported by weaker muscles
and a weaker digestive apparatus than that of a young gentleman with a
broad chest and hopeful whiskers. I don't wonder at your being more
conscious of your attachment to Hofwyl now the time of leaving is so
near. I fear you will miss a great many things in exchanging Hofwyl,
with its snowy mountains and glorious spaces, for a very moderate home
in the neighborhood of London. You will have a less various, more
arduous life: but the time of _Entbehrung_ or _Entsagung_ must begin,
you know, for every mortal of us. And let us hope that we shall
all--father and mother and sons--help one another with love.

What jolly times you have had lately! It did us good to read of your
merrymaking.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 6th Jan. 1860.]

"The Mill on the Floss" be it then! The only objections are, that the
mill is not _strictly_ on the Floss, being on its small tributary, and
that the title is of rather laborious utterance. But I think these
objections do not deprive it of its advantage over "The Tullivers;
or, Life on the Floss"--the only alternative, so far as we can see.
Pray give the casting-vote.

Easter Monday, I see, is on the 8th April, and I wish to be out by the
middle or end of March. Illness apart, I intend to have finished Vol.
III. by the beginning of that month, and I hope no obstacle will
impede the rapidity of the printing.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1860.]

_Jan. 11._--I have had a very delightful letter of sympathy from
Professor Blackie of Edinburgh, which came to me on New Year's
morning, and a proposal from Blackwood to publish a third edition of
"Clerical Scenes" at 12_s._ George's article in the _Cornhill
Magazine_--the first of a series of "Studies in Animal Life"--is much
admired, and in other ways our New Year opens with happy omens.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 12th Jan. 1860.]

Thank you for letting me see the specimen advertisements; they have
helped us to come to a decision--namely, for "The Mill on the Floss."

I agree with you that it will be well not to promise the book in
March--not because I do not desire and hope to be ready, but because I
set my face against all pledges that I am not _sure_ of being able to
fulfil. The third volume is, I fancy, always more rapidly written than
the rest. The third volume of "Adam Bede" was written in six weeks,
even with headaching interruptions, because it was written under a
stress of emotion, which first volumes cannot be. I will send you the
first volume of "The Mill" at once. The second is ready, but I would
rather keep it as long as I can. Besides the advantage to the book of
being out by Easter, I have another reason for wishing to have done in
time for that. We want to get away for two months to Italy, if
possible, to feed my mind with fresh thoughts, and to assure ourselves
of that fructifying holiday before the boys are about us, making it
difficult for us to leave home. But you may rely on it that no amount
of horse-power would make me _hurry_ over my book, so as not to do my
best. If it is written fast, it will be because I can't help writing
it fast.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1860.]

_Jan. 16._--Finished my second volume this morning, and am going to
send off the MS. of the first volume to-morrow. We have decided that
the title shall be "The Mill on the Floss." We have been reading
"Humphrey Clinker" in the evenings, and have been much disappointed in
it, after the praise of Thackeray and Dickens.

_Jan. 26._--Mr. Pigott, Mr. Redford, and Mr. F. Chapman dined with us,
and we had a musical evening. Mrs. Congreve and Miss Bury[10] joining
us after dinner.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 28th Jan. 1860.]

Thanks for your letter of yesterday, with the Genevese enclosure. No
promise, alas! of smallest watch expressing largest admiration, but a
desire for "permission to translate."

I have been invalided for the last week, and, of course, am a prisoner
in the castle of Giant Despair, who growls in my ear that "The Mill on
the Floss" is detestable, and that the last volume will be the climax
of that general detestableness. Such is the elation attendant on what
a self-elected lady correspondent of mine from Scotland calls my
"exciting career!"

I have had a great pleasure this week. Dr. Inman of Liverpool has
dedicated a new book ("Foundation for a New Theory and Practice of
Medicine") "to G. H. Lewes, as an acknowledgment of benefit received
from noticing his close observation and clear inductive reasoning in
'Sea-side Studies' and the 'Physiology of Common Life.'"

That is really gratifying, coming from a _physician_ of some
scientific mark, who is _not_ a personal friend.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1860.]

_Feb. 4._--Came this morning a letter from Blackwood announcing the
despatch of the first eight sheets of proof of "The Mill on the
Floss," and expressing his delight in it. To-night G. has read them,
and says, "_Ganz famos!_" Ebenezer!

_Feb. 23._--Sir Edward Lytton called on us. Guy Darrell in _propriâ
personâ_.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 23d Feb. 1860.]

Sir Edward Lytton called on us yesterday. The conversation lapsed
chiefly into monologue, from the difficulty I found in making him
hear, but under all disadvantages I had an agreeable impression of his
kindness and sincerity. He thinks the two defects of "Adam Bede" are
the dialect and Adam's marriage with Dinah; but, of course, I would
have my teeth drawn rather than give up either.

Jacobi told Jean Paul that unless he altered the _dénouement_ of his
Titan he would withdraw his friendship from him; and I am preparing
myself for your lasting enmity on the ground of the tragedy in my
third volume. But an unfortunate duck can only lay blue eggs, however
much white ones may be in demand.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1860.]

_Feb. 29._--G. has been in the town to-day, and has agreed for £300
for "The Mill on the Floss" from Harpers of New York. This evening,
too, has come a letter from Williams & Norgate, saying that Tauchnitz
will give £100 for the German reprint; also, that "Bede Adam" is
translated into Hungarian.

_March 5._--Yesterday Mr. Lawrence, the portrait-painter, lunched with
us, and expressed to G. his wish to take my portrait.

_March 9._--Yesterday a letter from Blackwood, expressing his strong
delight in my third volume, which he had read to the beginning of
"Borne on the tide." To-day young Blackwood called, and told us, among
other things, that the last copies of "Clerical Scenes" had gone
to-day--twelve for export. Letter came from Germany, announcing a
translation of G.'s "Biographical History of Philosophy."

_March 11._--To-day the first volume of the German translation of
"Adam Bede" came. It is done by Dr. Frese, the same man who translated
the "Life of Goethe."

_March 20._--Professor Owen sent me his "Palæontology" to-day. Have
missed two days of work from headache, and so have not yet finished my
book.

_March 21._--Finished this morning "The Mill on the Floss," writing
from the moment when Maggie, carried out on the water, thinks of her
mother and brother. We hope to start for Rome on Saturday, 24th.

                _Magnificat anima mea!_

     The manuscript of "The Mill on the Floss" bears the following
     inscription:

     "To my beloved husband, George Henry Lewes, I give this MS.
     of my third book, written in the sixth year of our life
     together, at Holly Lodge, South Field, Wandsworth, and
     finished 21st March, 1860."

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 22d March, 1860.]

Your letter yesterday morning helped to inspire me for the last eleven
pages, if they have any inspiration in them. They were written in a
_furor_, but I dare say there is not a word different from what it
would have been if I had written them at the slowest pace.

We expect to start on Saturday morning, and to be in Rome by Palm
Sunday, or else by the following Tuesday. Of course we shall write to
you when we know what will be our address in Rome. In the meantime
news will gather.

I don't mean to send "The Mill on the Floss" to any one except to
Dickens, who has behaved with a delicate kindness in a recent matter,
which I wish to acknowledge.

I am grateful and yet rather sad to have finished--sad that I shall
live with my people on the banks of the Floss no longer. But it is
time that I should go and absorb some new life and gather fresh ideas.


_SUMMARY._

JANUARY, 1859, TO MARCH, 1860.

     Looking for cases of _inundation_ in _Annual Register_--New
     House--Holly Lodge, Wandsworth--Letter to John
     Blackwood--George Eliot fears she has not characteristics of
     "the popular author"--Subscription to "Adam Bede" 730
     copies--Appreciation by a cabinet-maker--Dr. John Brown sends
     "Rab and his Friends" with an inscription--Letter to
     Blackwood thereon--Tries to be hopeful--Letters to Miss
     Hennell--Description of Holly Lodge--Miss
     Nightingale--Thoughts on death--Scott--Mrs. Clarke
     writes--Mr. and Mrs. Congreve--Letter to Mrs. Bray on effects
     of anxiety--Mrs. Clarke dying--Letter to John
     Blackwood--Wishes Carlyle to read "Adam Bede"--"Life of
     Frederic" painful--Susceptibility to newspaper
     criticism--Edinburgh more encouraging than London--Letter to
     Blackwood to stop puffing notices--Letter from E. Hall,
     working-man, asking for cheap editions--Sale of "Adam
     Bede"--Death of Mrs. Clarke--1800 copies of "Adam Bede"
     sold--Letter to Blackwood--Awakening to fame--Letter to
     Froude--Mrs. Poyser quoted in House of Commons by Mr. Charles
     Buxton--Opinions of Charles Reade, Shirley Brooks, and John
     Murray--Letter to John Blackwood--Warwickshire correspondent
     insists that Liggins is author of "Adam Bede"--Not flushed
     with success--Visit to Isle of Wight--Letter to Miss Hennell
     on rewriting, and pleasure in Mr. and Mrs. Congreve--Letter
     to _Times_, denying that Liggins is the author--Letter to
     Blackwood--The Liggins myth--Letter from Bulwer--Finished
     "The Lifted Veil"--Writing "The Tullivers"--Mrs.
     Congreve--Letter to Mrs. Congreve--Faith in her--Letter from
     Madame Bodichon--Reply breathing joy in sympathy--Letter to
     Major Blackwood--Mr. Anders's apology for the Liggins
     business--"Adam Bede" worth writing--Dulwich
     gallery--Blackwood gives £400 more in acknowledgment of "Adam
     Bede's" success--Letter to Miss Hennell on Mrs. Congreve--On
     difficulty of getting cheap music in England--Professor
     Aytoun on "Adam Bede"--Letter to Major
     Blackwood--Liggins--Mrs. Gaskell--Letter to Mrs.
     Congreve--Dislike of Wandsworth--To Crystal Palace to hear
     "Messiah," and reveals herself to Brays as author of "Adam
     Bede"--Letter to Brays--Bad effect of talking of her
     books--Letter to Charles Bray--Melancholy that her writing
     does not produce effect intended--Letter to Mrs. Congreve--To
     Switzerland by Paris--At Schweizerhof, Lucerne, with
     Congreves--Mr. Lewes goes to Hofwyl--Return to Richmond by
     Bâle and Paris--Fourth edition of "Adam Bede" (5000) sold in
     a fortnight--Letter to Mrs. Bray on Mrs. Congreve--On the
     effect of her books and fame--Herbert Spencer on "Adam
     Bede"--Pamphlet to prove that Scott's novels were written by
     Thomas Scott--Letter from Dickens on "Adam Bede" referred
     to--Letter to John Blackwood on "Pug"--Letter to Charles
     Lewes--"The Physiology of Common Life"--American proposition
     for a story for £1200--Letter to Madame Bodichon--Distance
     from experience artistically necessary--Letter to John
     Blackwood--Development of stories--Visit to
     Penmaenmawr--Return by Lichfield to Weymouth--Sixth edition
     of "Adam Bede"--Back to Richmond--Anxiety about new
     novel--Journey to Gainsboro', Lincolnshire--Letter to Miss
     Hennell--End of Liggins business--Letter to John Blackwood--A
     correspondent suggests a sequel to "Adam
     Bede"--Susceptibility to outside opinion--Seventh edition of
     "Adam Bede"--Blackwood proposes to pay £800 beyond the
     bargain for success of "Adam Bede"--Dickens dines at Holly
     Lodge--Letter to Miss Hennell--Quotes letter from Mrs.
     Gaskell--Miss Martineau--Dickens asks for story for _All the
     Year Round_--"Adam Bede, Junior"--Reading Darwin on "Origin
     of Species"--Bunyan--Letter to Mr. Bray--Article on "Adam
     Bede" in _Bentley_--In _Revue des Deux Mondes_, by Emile
     Montégut--Reviews generally--16,000 of "Adam Bede" sold in
     year--Darwin's book--Letter to Charles Lewes--Mentions
     fondness of algebra--Letter to Madame Bodichon quoting Mrs.
     Gaskell's letter--Rewards of the artist lie apart from
     everything personal--Darwin's book--Molière--Letter to Miss
     Hennell--Likes to see Shakspeare acted--Hears from M. and
     Mme. d'Albert--_Cornhill Magazine_--Blackwood's terms for
     "Mill on the Floss"--Christmas-day with Congreves--Letter of
     sympathy from Professor Blackie--Third edition of "Clerical
     Scenes"--Letters to Blackwood--Thanks for concession of
     copyright of "Adam Bede"--Title of new novel
     considered--Suggestion of the "Mill on the Floss"
     accepted--The third volume of "Adam Bede" written in six
     weeks--Depression with the "Mill"--Sir Edward Lytton--"Adam
     Bede" translated into Hungarian and German--"Mill on the
     Floss" finished--Letter to Blackwood--Sad at finishing--Start
     for Italy.

FOOTNOTES:

[7] Miss Emily Bury, now Mrs. Geddes.

[8] Madame Bodichon.

[9] Professor Blackie.

[10] Mrs. Congreve's sister.



CHAPTER X.


[Sidenote: Italy, 1860.]

We have finished our journey to Italy--the journey I had looked
forward to for years, rather with the hope of the new elements it
would bring to my culture than with the hope of immediate pleasure.
Travelling can hardly be without a continual current of
disappointment, if the main object is not the enlargement of one's
general life, so as to make even weariness and annoyances enter into
the sum of benefit. One great deduction to me from the delight of
seeing world-famous objects is the frequent double consciousness which
tells me that I am not enjoying the actual vision enough, and that,
when higher enjoyment comes with the reproduction of the scenes in my
imagination, I shall have lost some of the details, which impress me
too feebly in the present, because the faculties are not wrought up
into energetic action.

I have no other journal than the briefest record of what we did each
day, so I shall put down my recollections whenever I happen to have
leisure and inclination--just for the sake of making clear to myself
the impressions I have brought away from our three months' travel.

The first striking moment in our journey was when we arrived, I think
about eleven o'clock at night, at the point in the ascent of the Mont
Cenis where we were to quit the diligences and take to the sledges.
After a hasty drink of hot coffee in the roadside inn, our large
party--the inmates of three diligences--turned out into the starlight
to await the signal for getting into the sledges. That signal seemed
to be considerably on in the future--to be arrived at through much
confusion of luggage-lifting, voices, and leading about of mules. The
human bustle and confusion made a poetic contrast with the sublime
stillness of the starlit heavens spread over the snowy table-land and
surrounding heights. The keenness of the air contributed strongly to
the sense of novelty; we had left our every-day, conventional world
quite behind us, and were on a visit to Nature in her private home.

Once closely packed in our sledge, congratulating ourselves that,
after all, we were no more squeezed than in our diligence, I gave
myself up to as many naps as chose to take possession of me, and
actually slept without very considerable interruption till we were
near the summit of the mighty pass. Already there was a faint hint of
the morning in the starlight, which showed us the vast, sloping
snow-fields as we commenced the descent. I got a few glimpses of the
pure, far-stretching whiteness before the sharpening edge of cold
forced us to close the window. Then there was no more to be seen till
it was time to get out of the sledge and ascend the diligence once
more; not, however, without a preliminary struggle with the wind,
which fairly blew me down on my slippery standing-ground. The rest of
our descent showed us fine, varied scenes of mountain and ravine till
we got down at Susa, where breakfast and the railway came as a
desirable variety after our long mountain journey and long fast. One
of our companions had been a gigantic French soldier, who had in
charge a bag of government money. He was my _vis-à-vis_ for some time,
and cramped my poor legs not a little with his precious bag, which he
would by no means part from.

The approach to Turin by the railway gave us a grand view of snowy
mountains surrounding the city on three sides. A few hours of rest
spent there could leave no very vivid impression. A handsome street,
well broken by architectural details, with a glimpse of snowy
mountains at the end of the vista, colonnades on each side, and flags
waving their bright colors in sign of political joy, is the image that
usually rises before me at the mention of Turin. I fancy the said
street is the principal one, but in our walk about the town we saw
everywhere a similar character of prosperous, well-lodged town
existence--only without the colonnades and without the balconies and
other details, which make the principal street picturesque. This is
the place that Alfieri lived in through many of his young follies,
getting tired of it at last for the Piedmontese pettiness of which it
was the centre. And now, eighty years later, it is the centre of a
widening life which may at last become the life of resuscitated Italy.
At the railway station, as we waited to take our departure for Genoa,
we had a sight of the man whose name will always be connected with the
story of that widening life--Count Cavour--"imitant son portrait,"
which we had seen in the shops, with unusual closeness. A man pleasant
to look upon, with a smile half kind, half caustic; giving you
altogether the impression that he thinks of "many matters," but thanks
Heaven and makes no boast of them. He was there to meet the Prince de
Carignan, who was going to Genoa on his way towards Florence by the
same train as ourselves. The prince is a notability with a thick
waist, bound in by a gold belt, and with a fat face, predominated over
by a large mustache--"Non ragionam di lui." The railway journey from
Turin was chiefly distinguished by dust; but I slept through the
latter half, without prejudice, however, to the satisfaction with
which I lay down in a comfortable bedroom in the Hotel Feder.

In Genoa again on a bright, warm spring morning! I was here eleven
years ago, and the image that visit had left in my mind was
surprisingly faithful, though fragmentary. The outlook from our hotel
was nearly the same as before--over a low building with a colonnade,
at the masts of the abundant shipping. But there was a striking change
in the interior of the hotel. It was like the other, a palace adapted
to the purposes of an inn; but be-carpeted and be-furnished with an
exaggeration of English fashion.

We lost no time in turning out, after breakfast, into the morning
sunshine. George was enchanted with the aspect of the place, as we
drove or walked along the streets. It was his first vision of anything
corresponding to his preconception of Italy. After the Adlergasse, in
Nürnberg, surely no streets can be more impressive than the Strada
Nuova and Strada Nuovissima, at Genoa. In street architecture I can
rise to the highest point of the admiration given to the Palladian
style. And here in these chief streets of Genoa the palaces have two
advantages over those of Florence: they form a series, creating a
general impression of grandeur of which each particular palace gets
the benefit; and they have the open gateway, showing the _cortile_
within--sometimes containing grand stone staircases. And all this
architectural splendor is accompanied with the signs of actual
prosperity. Genova la Superba is not a name of the past merely.

We ascended the tower of Santa Maria di Carignano to get a panoramic
view of the city, with its embosoming hills and bay--saw the
cathedral, with its banded black-and-white marble--the churches of the
Annunziata and San Ambrogio, with their wealth of gilding and rich
pink-brown marbles--the Palazzo Rosso, with its collection of
eminently forgettable pictures--and the pretty gardens of the Palazzo
Doria, with their flourishing green close against the sea.

A drive in the direction of the Campo Santo, along the dry, pebbly bed
of the river, showed us the terraced hills planted with olives, and
many picturesque groups of the common people with mules or on carts;
not to mention what gives beauty to every corner of the inhabited
world--the groups of children squatting against walls or trotting
about by the side of their elders or grinning together over their
play.

One of the personages we were pleased to encounter in the streets here
was a quack--a Dulcamara--mounted on his carriage and holding forth
with much _brio_ before proceeding to take out the tooth of a negro,
already seated in preparation.

We left Genoa on the second evening--unhappily, a little too long
after sundown, so that we did not get a perfect view of the grand city
from the sea. The pale starlight could bring out no color. We had a
prosperous passage to Leghorn.

Leghorn on a brilliant, warm morning, with five or six hours before us
to fill as agreeably as possible! Of course, the first thought was to
go to Pisa, but the train would not start till eleven; so, in the
meantime, we took a drive about the prosperous-looking town, and saw
the great reservoir which receives the water brought from the distant
mountains; a beautiful and interesting sight--to look into the glassy
depth and see columns and grand arches reflected as if in mockery and
frustration of one's desire to see the bottom. But in one corner the
light fell so as to reveal that reality instead of the beautiful
illusion. On our way back we passed the Hebrew synagogue, and were
glad of our coachman's suggestion that we should enter, seeing it was
the Jews' Sabbath.

At Pisa we took a carriage and drove at once to the cathedral, seeing
as we went the well-looking lines of building on each side of the
Arno.

A wonderful sight is that first glimpse of the cathedral, with the
leaning campanile on one side and the baptistery on the other, green
turf below, and a clear, blue sky above! The structure of the
campanile is exquisitely light and graceful--tier above tier of small
circular arches, supported by delicate, round pillars narrowing
gradually in circumference, but very slightly, so that there is no
striking difference of size between the base and summit. The campanile
is all of white marble, but the cathedral has the bands of black and
white, softened in effect by the yellowing which time has given to the
white. There is a family likeness among all these structures: they all
have the delicate little colonnades and circular arches. But the
baptistery has stronger traits of the Gothic style in the pinnacles
that crown the encircling colonnade.

After some dusty delay outside the railway station we set off back
again to Livorno, and forthwith got on board our steamboat again--to
awake next morning (being Palm-Sunday) at Civita Vecchia. Much waiting
before we were allowed to land; and again much waiting for the clumsy
process of "visiting" our luggage. I was amused while sitting at the
_Dogana_, where almost every one was cross and busy, to see a dog
making his way quietly out with a bone in his mouth.

Getting into our railway carriage, our _vis-à-vis_--a stout, amiable,
intelligent Livornian, with his wife and son, named Dubreux--exclaimed,
"C'en est fini d'un peuple qui n'est pas capable de changer une bêtise
comme ça!" George got into pleasant talk with him, and his son, about
Edinburgh and the scientific men there--the son having been there for
some time in order to go through a course of practical science. The
father was a naturalist--an entomologist, I think.

It was an interesting journey from Civita Vecchia to Rome: at first, a
scene of rough, hilly character, then a vast plain, frequently marshy,
crowded with asphodels, inhabited by buffaloes; here and there a
falcon or other slow, large-winged bird floating and alighting.

At last we came in sight of Rome, but there was nothing imposing to be
seen. The chief object was what I afterwards knew to be one of the
aqueducts, but which I then, in the vagueness of my conceptions,
guessed to be the ruins of baths. The railway station where we
alighted looked remote and countrified; only the omnibuses and one
family carriage were waiting, so that we were obliged to take our
chance in one of the omnibuses--that is, the chance of finding no
place left for us in the hotels. And so it was. Every one wanted to go
to the Hotel d'Angleterre, and every one was disappointed. We, at
last, by help of some fellow-travellers, got a small room _au
troisième_ at the Hotel d'Amérique; and as soon as that business was
settled we walked out to look at Rome--not without a rather heavy load
of disappointment on our minds from the vision we had of it from the
omnibus windows. A weary length of dirty, uninteresting streets had
brought us within sight of the dome of St. Peter's, which was not
impressive, seen in a peeping, makeshift manner, just rising above the
houses; and the Castle of St. Angelo seemed but a shabby likeness of
the engravings. Not one iota had I seen that corresponded with my
preconceptions.

Our hotel was in the Strada Babuino, which leads directly from the
Piazza del Popolo to the Piazza di Spagna. We went to the latter for
our first walk, and arriving opposite the high, broad flights of stone
steps which lead up to the Trinità di Monte, stopped for the first
time with a sense that here was something not quite common and ugly.
But I think we got hardly any farther, that evening, than the tall
column at the end of the piazza, which celebrates the final settlement
by Pius IX. of the Virgin's Immaculate Conception. Oh, yes; I think we
wandered farther among narrow and ugly streets, and came into our
hotel again still with some dejection at the probable relation our
"Rome visited" was to bear to our "Rome unvisited."

Discontented with our little room at an extravagant height of stairs
and price, we found and took lodgings the next day in the Corso
opposite St. Carlo, with a well-mannered Frenchman named Peureux and
his little, dark, Italian wife--and so felt ourselves settled for a
month. By this time we were in better spirits; for in the morning we
had been to the Capitol (Campidoglio, the modern variant for
Capitolium), had ascended the tower, and had driven to the Coliseum.
The scene, looking along the Forum to the Arch of Titus, resembled
strongly that mixture of ruined grandeur with modern life which I had
always had in my imagination at the mention of Rome. The approach to
the Capitol from the opposite side is also impressive: on the right
hand the broad, steep flight of steps leading up to the Church and
Monastery of Ara Coeli, placed, some say, on the site of the Arx; in
the front a less steep flight of steps _à cordon_ leading to that
lower, flatter portion of the hill which was called the
_Intermontium_, and which now forms a sort of piazza, with the
equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius in the centre, and on three sides
buildings designed, or rather modified, by Michael Angelo--on the left
the Museum, on the right the Museo dei Conservatori, and, on the side
opposite the steps, the building devoted to public offices (Palazzo
dei Senatori), in the centre of which stands the tower. On each hand,
at the summit of the steps, are the two Colossi, less celebrated but
hardly less imposing in their calm grandeur than the Colossi of the
Quirinal. They are strangely streaked and disfigured by the blackening
weather; but their large-eyed, mild might gives one a thrill of awe,
half like what might have been felt by the men of old who saw the
divine twins watering their steeds when they brought the news of
victory.

Perhaps the world can hardly offer a more interesting outlook than
that from the tower of the Capitol. The eye leaps first to the
mountains that bound the Campagna--the Sabine and Alban Hills and the
solitary Soracte farther on to the left. Then, wandering back across
the Campagna, it searches for the Sister Hills, hardly distinguishable
now as hills. The Palatine is conspicuous enough, marked by the ruins
of the Palace of the Cæsars, and rising up beyond the extremity of the
Forum. And now, once resting on the Forum, the eye will not readily
quit the long area that begins with the Clivus Capitolinus and extends
to the Coliseum--an area that was once the very focus of the world.
The Campo Vaccino, the site probably of the Comitium, was this first
morning covered with carts and animals, mingling a simple form of
actual life with those signs of the highly artificial life that had
been crowded here in ages gone by: the three Corinthian pillars at the
extremity of the Forum, said to have belonged to the Temple of Jupiter
Stator; the grand temple of Antoninus and Faustina; the white arch of
Titus; the Basilica of Constantine; the temple built by Adrian, with
its great, broken granite columns scattered around on the green,
rising ground; the huge arc of the Coliseum and the arch of
Constantine.

The scenes of these great relics remained our favorite haunt during
our stay at Rome; and one day, near the end of it, we entered the
enclosure of the Clivus Capitolinus and the excavated space of the
Forum. The ruins on the Clivus--the façade of massive columns on the
right, called the temple of Vespasian; the two Corinthian columns,
called the temple of Saturn, in the centre; and the arch of Septimius
Severus on the left--have their rich color set off by the luxuriant
green, clothing the lower masonry, which formed the foundations of the
crowded buildings on this narrow space, and, as a background to them
all, the rough solidity of the ancient wall forming the back of the
central building on the Intermontium, and regarded as one of the few
remains of Republican constructions. On either hand, at another angle
from the arch, the ancient road forming the double ascent of the
Clivus is seen, firm and level, with its great blocks of pavement. The
arch of Septimius Severus is particularly rich in color; and the
poorly executed bas-reliefs of military groups still look out in the
grotesque completeness of attitude and expression, even on the sides
exposed to the weather. From the Clivus a passage, underneath the
present road, leads into the Forum, whose immense pinkish granite
columns lie on the weather-worn white marble pavement. The column of
Phocas, with its base no longer "buried," stands at the extreme corner
nearest the Clivus; and the three elegant columns of the temple (say
some) of Jupiter Stator, mark the opposite extremity; between lie
traces, utterly confused to all but erudite eyes, of marble steps and
of pedestals stripped of their marble.

Let me see what I most delighted in, in Rome. Certainly this drive
from the Clivus to the Coliseum was, from first to last, one of the
chief things; but there are many objects and many impressions of
various kinds which I can reckon up as of almost equal interest: the
Coliseum itself, with the view from it; the drive along the Appian Way
to the tomb of Cecilia Metella, and the view from thence of the
Campagna bridged by the aqueduct; the baths of Titus, with the
remnants of their arabesques, seen by the light of torches, in the now
damp and gloomy spaces; the glimpse of the Tarpeian rock, with its
growth of cactus and rough herbage; the grand, bare arch brickwork of
the Palace of the Cæsars rising in huge masses on the Palatine; the
theatre of Marcellus bursting suddenly into view from among the
crowded mean houses of the modern city, and still more the Temple of
Minerva and Temple of Nerva, also set in the crowded city of the
present; and the exterior of the Pantheon, if it were not marred by
the Papal belfries--these are the traces of ancient Rome that have
left the strongest image of themselves in my mind. I ought not to
leave out Trajan's column, and the forum in which it stands; though
the severe cold tint of the gray granite columns, or fragments of
columns, gave this forum rather a dreary effect to me. For vastness
there is perhaps nothing more impressive in Rome than the Baths of
Caracalla, except the Coliseum; and I remember that it was among them
that I first noticed the lovely effect of the giant fennel, luxuriant
among the crumbling brickwork.

Among the ancient sculptures I think I must place on a level the
Apollo, the Dying Gladiator, and the Lateran Antinous: they affected
me equally in different ways. After these I delighted in the Venus of
the Capitol, and the Kissing Children in the same room; the Sophocles
at the Lateran Museum; the Nile; the black, laughing Centaur at the
Capitol; the Laughing Faun in the Vatican; and the _Sauroktonos_, or
Boy with the Lizard, and the sitting statue called Menander. The Faun
of Praxiteles, and the old Faun with the infant Bacchus, I had already
seen at Munich, else I should have mentioned them among my first
favorites. Perhaps the greatest treat we had at the Vatican was the
sight of a few statues, including the Apollo, by torchlight--all the
more impressive because it was our first sight of the Vatican. Even
the mere hurrying along the vast halls, with the fitful torchlight
falling on the innumerable statues and busts and bas-reliefs and
sarcophagi, would have left a sense of awe at these crowded, silent
forms which have the solemnity of suddenly arrested life. Wonderfully
grand these halls of the Vatican are; and there is but one complaint
to be made against the home provided for this richest collection of
antiquities--it is that there is no historical arrangement of them,
and no catalogue. The system of classification is based on the history
of their collection by the different popes, so that for every other
purpose but that of securing to each pope his share of glory, it is a
system of helter-skelter.

Of Christian Rome, St. Peter's is, of course, the supreme wonder. The
piazza, with Bernini's colonnades, and the gradual slope upward to the
mighty temple, gave me always a sense of having entered some
millennial new Jerusalem, where all small and shabby things were
unknown. But the exterior of the cathedral itself is even ugly; it
causes a constant irritation by its partial concealment of the dome.
The first impression from the interior was, perhaps, at a higher pitch
than any subsequent impression, either of its beauty or vastness; but
then, on later visits, the lovely marble, which has a tone at once
subdued and warm, was half-covered with hideous red drapery. There is
hardly any detail one cares to dwell on in St. Peter's. It is
interesting, for once, to look at the mosaic altar-pieces, some of
which render with marvellous success such famous pictures as the
Transfiguration, the Communion of St. Jerome, and the Entombment or
Disentombment of St. Petronilla. And some of the monuments are worth
looking at more than once, the chief glory of that kind being Canova's
Lions. I was pleased one day to watch a group of poor people looking
with an admiration that had a half-childish terror in it at the
sleeping lion, and with a sort of daring air thrusting their fingers
against the teeth of the waking "mane-bearer."

We ascended the dome near the end of our stay, but the cloudy horizon
was not friendly to our distant view, and Rome itself is ugly to a
bird's-eye contemplation. The chief interest of the ascent was the
vivid realization it gave of the building's enormous size, and after
that the sight of the inner courts and garden of the Vatican.

Our most beautiful view of Rome and the Campagna was one we had much
earlier in our stay, before the snow had vanished from the mountains;
it was from the terrace of the Villa Pamfili Doria.

Of smaller churches I remember especially Santa Maria degli Angeli, a
church formed by Michael Angelo by additions to the grand hall in the
Baths of Diocletian--the only remaining hall of ancient Rome; and the
Church of San Clemente, where there is a chapel painted by Masaccio,
as well as a perfect specimen of the ancient enclosure near the
tribune, called the presbytery, with the _ambones_ or pulpits from
which the lessons and gospel were read. Santa Maria Maggiore is an
exquisitely beautiful basilica, rich in marbles from a pagan temple;
and the reconstructed San Paolo fuori le Mura is a wonder of wealth
and beauty, with its lines of white-marble columns--if one could
possibly look with pleasure at such a perverted appliance of money and
labor as a church built in an unhealthy solitude. After St. Peter's,
however, the next great monument of Christian art is the Sistine
Chapel; but since I care for the chapel solely for the sake of its
ceiling, I ought rather to number it among my favorite paintings than
among the most memorable buildings. Certainly this ceiling of Michael
Angelo's is the most wonderful fresco in the world. After it come
Raphael's School of Athens and Triumph of Galatea, so far as Rome is
concerned. Among oil-paintings there I like best the Madonna di
Foligno, for the sake of the cherub who is standing and looking
upward; the Perugino also, in the Vatican, and the pretty
Sassoferrato, with the clouds budding angels; at the Barberini Palace,
Beatrice Cenci, and Una Schiava, by Titian; at the Sciarra Palace, the
Joueurs de Violon, by Raphael, another of Titian's golden-haired
women, and a sweet Madonna and Child with a bird, by Fra Bartolomeo;
at the Borghese Palace, Domenichino's Chase, the Entombment, by
Raphael, and the Three Ages--a copy of Titian, by Sassoferrato.

We should have regretted entirely our efforts to get to Rome during
the Holy Week, instead of making Florence our first resting-place, if
we had not had the compensation for wearisome, empty ceremonies and
closed museums in the wonderful spectacle of the illumination of St.
Peter's. That, really, is a thing so wondrous, so magically beautiful,
that one can't find in one's heart to say it is not worth doing. I
remember well the first glimpse we had as we drove out towards it, of
the outline of the dome like a new constellation on the black sky. I
thought _that_ was the final illumination, and was regretting our
tardy arrival, from the _détour_ we had to make, when, as our carriage
stopped in front of the cathedral, the great bell sounded, and in an
instant the grand illumination flashed out and turned the outline of
stars into a palace of gold. Venus looked out palely.

One of the finest positions in Rome is the Monte Cavallo (the
Quirinal), the site of the pope's palace, and of the fountain against
which are placed the two Colossi--the Castor and Pollux, ascribed,
after a lax method of affiliation, to Phidias and Praxiteles. Standing
near this fountain one has a real sense of being on a hill; city and
distant ridge stretching below. Close by is the Palazzo Rospigliosi,
where we went to see Guido's Aurora.

Another spot where I was struck with the view of modern Rome (and
_that_ happened rarely) was at San Pietro in Vincoli, on the
Esquiline, where we went to see Michael Angelo's Moses. Turning round
before one enters the church, a palm-tree in the high foreground
relieves very picturesquely the view of the lower distance. The Moses
did not affect me agreeably; both the attitude and the expression of
the face seemed to me, in that one visit, to have an exaggeration that
strained after effect without reaching it. The failure seemed to me of
this kind: Moses was an angry man trying to frighten the people by his
mien, instead of being rapt by his anger, and terrible without
self-consciousness. To look at the statue of Christ, after the other
works of Michael Angelo at Rome, was a surprise; in this the fault
seems to incline slightly to the namby-pamby. The Pietà in St. Peter's
has real tenderness in it.

The visit to the Farnesina was one of the most interesting among our
visits to Roman palaces. It is here that Raphael painted the Triumph
of Galatea, and here this wonderful fresco is still bright upon the
wall. In the same room is a colossal head, drawn by Michael Angelo
with a bit of charcoal, by way of _carte-de-visite_, one day that he
called on Daniele di Volterra, who was painting detestably in this
room, and happened to be absent. In the entrance-hall, preceding the
Galatea room, are the frescoes by Raphael representing the story of
Cupid and Psyche; but we did not linger long to look at them, as they
disappointed us.

We visited only four artists' studios in Rome: Gibson's, the sculptor;
Frey's, the landscape painter; Riedel's, genre painter, and
Overbeck's. Gibson's was entirely disappointing to me, so far as his
own sculptures are concerned; except the Cacciatore, which he sent to
the Great Exhibition, I could see nothing but feeble imitations of the
antique--no spontaneity and no vigor. Miss Hosmer's Beatrice Cenci is
a pleasing and new conception; and her little Puck a bit of humor that
one would like to have if one were a grand seigneur.

Frey is a very meritorious landscape painter--finished in execution
and poetic in feeling. His Egyptian scenes--the Simoon, the Pair in
the Light of Sunset, and the Island of Philæ--are memorable pictures;
so is the View of Athens, with its blue, island-studded sea. Riedel
interested us greatly with his account of the coincidence between the
views of light and colors at which he had arrived through his artistic
experience, and Goethe's theory of colors, with which he became
acquainted only after he had thought of putting his own ideas into
shape for publication. He says the majority of painters continue their
work when the sun shines from the north--they paint with _blue_ light.

But it was our visit to Overbeck that we were most pleased not to have
missed. The man himself is more interesting than his pictures: a
benevolent calm and quiet conviction breathes from his person and
manners. He has a thin, rather high-nosed face, with long gray hair,
set off by a maroon velvet cap, and a gray scarf over his shoulders.
Some of his cartoons pleased me: one large one of our Saviour passing
from the midst of the throng who were going to cast him from the brow
of the hill at Capernaum--one foot resting on a cloud borne up by
cherubs; and some smaller round cartoons representing the Parable of
the Ten Virgins, and applying it to the function of the artist.

We drove about a great deal in Rome, but were rather afflicted in our
drives by the unending walls that enclose everything like a garden,
even outside the city gates. First among our charming drives was that
to the Villa Pamfili Doria--a place which has the beauties of an
English park and gardens, with views such as no English park can show;
not to speak of the columbarium or ancient Roman burying-place, which
has been disinterred in the grounds. The compactest of all
burying-places must these columbaria be: little pigeon-holes, tier
above tier, for the small urns containing the ashes of the dead. In
this one traces of peacocks and other figures in fresco, ornamenting
the divisions between the rows, are still visible. We sat down in the
sunshine by the side of the water, which is made to fall in a cascade
in the grounds fronting the house, and then spreads out into a
considerable breadth of mirror for the plantation on the slope which
runs along one side of it. On the opposite side is a broad, grassy
walk, and here we sat on some blocks of stone, watching the little
green lizards. Then we walked on up the slope on the other side, and
through a grove of weird ilexes, and across a plantation of tall
pines, where we saw the mountains in the far distance. A beautiful
spot! We ought to have gone there again.

Another drive was to the Villa Albani, where, again, the view is
grand. The precious sculptures once there are all at Munich now; and
the most remarkable remnants of the collection are the bas-relief of
Antinous, and the Æsop. The Antinous is the least beautiful of all the
representations of that sad loveliness that I have seen--be it said in
spite of Winckelmann; attitude and face are strongly Egyptian. In an
outside pavilion in the garden were some interesting examples of Greek
masks.

Our journey to Frascati by railway was fortunate. The day was fine,
except, indeed, for the half hour that we were on the heights of
Tusculum, and longed for a clear horizon. But the weather was so
generally gloomy during our stay in Rome that we were "thankful for
small mercies" in the way of sunshine. I enjoyed greatly our excursion
up the hill on donkey-back to the ruins of Tusculum--in spite of our
loquacious guide, who exasperated George. The sight of the Campagna on
one side, and of Mount Algidus, with its snow-capped fellows, and
Mount Albano, with Rocca di Papa on its side, and Castel Gandolfo
below on the other side, was worth the trouble--to say nothing of the
little theatre, which was the most perfect example of an ancient
theatre I had then seen in that pre-Pompeian period of my travels.
After lunching at Frascati we strolled out to the Villa Aldobrandini,
and enjoyed a brighter view of the Campagna in the afternoon sunlight.
Then we lingered in a little croft enclosed by plantations, and
enjoyed this familiar-looking bit of grass with wild-flowers perhaps
more, even, than the greatest novelties. There are fine plantations on
the hill behind the villa, and there we wandered till it was time to
go back to the railway. A literally grotesque thing in these
plantations is the opening of a grotto in the hillside, cut in the
form of a huge Greek comic mask. It was a lovely walk from the town
downward to the railway station--between the olive-clad slopes looking
towards the illimitable plain. Our best view of the aqueducts was on
this journey, but it was the tantalizing sort of view one gets from a
railway carriage.

Our excursion to Tivoli, reserved till nearly the end of our stay,
happened on one of those cruel, seductive days that smile upon you at
five o'clock in the morning, to become cold and cloudy at eight, and
resolutely rainy at ten. And so we ascended the hill through the
vast, venerable olive grove, thinking what would be the effect of
sunshine among those gray, fantastically twisted trunks and boughs;
and paddled along the wet streets under umbrellas to look at the
Temple of the Sibyl, and to descend the ravine of the waterfalls. Yet
it was enjoyable; for the rain was not dense enough to shroud the near
view of rock and foliage. We looked for the first time at a rock of
Travertine, with its curious petrified vegetable forms, and lower down
at a mighty cavern, under which the smaller cascade rushes--an awful
hollow in the midst of huge, rocky masses. But--rain, rain, rain! No
possibility of seeing the Villa of Hadrian, chief wonder of Tivoli:
and so we had our carriage covered up and turned homeward in despair.

The last week of our stay we went for the first time to the
picture-gallery of the Capitol, where we saw the famous Guercino--the
Entombment of Petronilla--which we had already seen in mosaic at St.
Peter's. It is a stupendous piece of painting, about which one's only
feeling is that it might as well have been left undone. More
interesting is the portrait of Michael Angelo, by himself--a deeply
melancholy face. And there is also a picture of a bishop, by Giovanni
Bellini, which arrested us a long while. After these, I remember most
distinctly Veronese's Europa, superior to that we afterwards saw at
Venice; a delicious mythological Poussin, all light and joy; and a
Sebastian, by Guido, exceptionally beautiful among the many detestable
things of his in this gallery.

The Lateran Museum, also, was a sight we had neglected till this last
week, though it turned out to be one of the most memorable. In the
classical museum are the great Antinous, a Bacchus, and the
Sophocles; besides a number of other remains of high interest,
especially in the department of architectural decoration. In the
museum of Christian antiquities there are, besides sculptures, copies
of the frescoes in the Catacombs--invaluable as a record of those
perishable remains. If we ever go to Rome again the Lateran Museum
will be one of the first places I shall wish to revisit.

We saw the Catacombs of St. Calixtus, on the Appian Way--the long,
dark passages, with great oblong hollows in the rock for the bodies
long since crumbled, and the one or two openings out of the passages
into a rather wider space, called chapels, but no indications of
paintings or other detail--our monkish guide being an old man, who
spoke with an indistinct grunt that would not have enlightened us if
we had asked any questions. In the church through which we entered
there is a strangely barbarous reclining statue of St. Sebastian, with
arrows sticking all over it.

A spot that touched me deeply was Shelley's grave. The English
cemetery in which he lies is the most attractive burying-place I have
seen. It lies against the old city walls, close to the Porta San Paolo
and the pyramid of Caius Cestius--one of the quietest spots of old
Rome. And there, under the shadow of the old walls on one side, and
cypresses on the other, lies the _Cor cordium_, forever at rest from
the unloving cavillers of this world, whether or not he may have
entered on other purifying struggles in some world unseen by us. The
grave of Keats lies far off from Shelley's, unshaded by wall or trees.
It is painful to look upon, because of the inscription on the stone,
which seems to make him still speak in bitterness from his grave.[11]

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 4th April, 1860.]

A wet day for the first time since we left Paris! That assists our
consciences considerably in urging us to write our letters on this
fourth day at Rome, for I will not pretend that writing a letter, even
to you, can be anything more alluring than a duty when there is a blue
sky over the Coliseum and the Arch of Constantine, and all the other
marvels of this marvellous place. Since our arrival, in the middle of
Sunday, I have been gradually rising from the depth of disappointment
to an intoxication of delight; and that makes me wish to do for you
what no one ever did for me--warn you that you must expect no grand
impression on your first entrance into Rome, at least, if you enter it
from Civita Vecchia. My heart sank, as it would if you behaved
shabbily to me, when I looked through the windows of the omnibus as it
passed through street after street of ugly modern Rome, and in that
mood the dome of St. Peter's and the Castle of St. Angelo--the only
grand objects on our way--could only look disappointing to me. I
believe the impression on entering from the Naples side is quite
different; there one must get a glimpse of the broken grandeur and
Renaissance splendor that one associates with the word "Rome." So keep
up your spirits in the omnibus when your turn comes, and believe that
you will mount the Capitol the next morning, as we did, and look out
on the Forum and the Coliseum, far on to the Alban mountains, with
snowy Apennines behind them, and feel--what I leave you to imagine,
because the rain has left off, and my husband commands me to put on my
bonnet. (Two hours later.) Can you believe that I have not had a
headache since we set out? But I would willingly have endured more
than one to be less anxious than I am about Mr. Lewes's health. Now
that we are just come in from our walk to the Pantheon he is obliged
to lie down with terrible oppression of the head; and since we have
been in Rome he has been nearly deaf on one side. That is the dark
"crow that flies in heaven's sweetest air" just now; everything else
in our circumstances here is perfect. We are glad to have been driven
into apartments, instead of remaining at the hotel, as we had
intended; for we enjoy the abundance of room and the quiet that belong
to this mode of life, and we get our cooking and all other comforts in
perfection at little more than a third of the hotel prices. Most of
the visitors to Rome this season seem to come only for a short stay;
and, as apartments can't be taken for less than a month, the hotels
are full and the lodgings are empty. Extremely unpleasant for the
people who have lodgings to let, but very convenient for us, since we
get excellent rooms in a good situation for a moderate price. We have
a good little landlady, who can speak nothing but Italian, so that she
serves as a _parlatrice_ for us, and awakens our memory of Italian
dialogue--a memory which consists chiefly of recollecting Italian
words without knowing their meaning, and English words without knowing
the Italian for them.

I shall tell you nothing of what we have seen. Have you not a husband
who has seen it all, and can tell you much better? Except, perhaps,
one sight which might have had some interest for him, namely, Count
Cavour, who was waiting with other eminences at the Turin station to
receive the Prince de Carignan, the new Viceroy of Tuscany. A really
pleasant sight--not the prince, who is a large, stout "mustache,"
squeezed in at the waist with a gold belt, looking like one of those
dressed-up personages who are among the chessmen that the Cavours of
the world play their game with. The pleasant sight was Count Cavour,
in plainest dress, with a head full of power, mingled with _bonhomie_.
We had several fellow-travellers who belonged to Savoy, and were full
of chagrin at the prospect of the French annexation. Our most
agreeable companion was a Baron de Magliano, a Neapolitan who has
married a French wife with a large fortune, and has been living in
France for years, but has now left his wife and children behind for
the sake of entering the Sardinian army, and, if possible, helping to
turn out the Neapolitan Bourbons. I feel some stirrings of the
insurrectionary spirit myself when I see the red pantaloons at every
turn in the streets of Rome. I suppose Mrs. Browning could explain to
me that this is part of the great idea nourished in the soul of the
modern saviour, Louis Napoleon, and that for the French to impose a
hateful government on the Romans is the only proper sequence to the
story of the French Revolution.

Oh, the beautiful men and women and children here! Such wonderful
babies with wise eyes! such grand-featured mothers nursing them! As
one drives along the streets sometimes, one sees a madonna and child
at every third or fourth upper window; and on Monday a little crippled
girl, seated at the door of a church, looked up at us with a face full
of such pathetic sweetness and beauty that I think it can hardly leave
me again. Yesterday we went to see dear Shelley's tomb, and it was
like a personal consolation to me to see that simple outward sign that
he is at rest, where no hatred can ever reach him again. Poor Keats's
tombstone, with that despairing, bitter inscription, is almost as
painful to think of as Swift's.

And what have you been doing, being, or suffering in these long twelve
days? While we were standing with weary impatience in the custom-house
at Civita Vecchia, Mr. Congreve was delivering his third lecture, and
you were listening. And what else? _Friday._--Since I wrote my letter
we have not been able to get near the post-office. Yesterday was taken
up with seeing ceremonies, or, rather, with waiting for them. I knelt
down to receive the pope's blessing, remembering what Pius VII. said
to the soldier--that he would never be the worse for the blessing of
an old man. But, altogether, these ceremonies are a melancholy, hollow
business, and we regret bitterly that the Holy Week has taken up our
time from better things. I have a cold and headache this morning, and
in other ways am not conscious of improvement from the pope's
blessing. I may comfort myself with thinking that the King of Sardinia
is none the worse for the pope's curse. It is farcical enough that the
excommunication is posted up at the Church of St. John Lateran, out of
everybody's way, and yet there are police to guard it.

[Sidenote: Italy, 1860.]

How much more I have to write about Rome! How I should like to linger
over every particular object that has left an image in my memory! But
here I am only to give a hasty sketch of what we saw and did at each
place at which we paused in our three months' life in Italy.

It was on the 29th of April that we left Rome, and on the morning of
the 30th we arrived at Naples--under a rainy sky, alas! but not so
rainy as to prevent our feeling the beauty of the city and bay, and
declaring it to surpass all places we had seen before. The weather
cleared up soon after our arrival at the Hotel des Étrangers, and
after a few days it became brilliant, showing us the blue sea, the
purple mountains, and bright city, in which we had almost disbelieved
as we saw them in the pictures. Hardly anything can be more lovely
than Naples seen from Posilippo under a blue sky: the irregular
outline with which the town meets the sea, jutting out in picturesque
masses, then lifted up high on a basis of rock, with the grand Castle
of St. Elmo and the monastery on the central height crowning all the
rest; the graceful outline of purple Vesuvius rising beyond the Molo,
and the line of deeply indented mountains carrying the eye along to
the Cape of Sorrento; and, last of all, Capri sleeping between sea and
sky in the distance. Crossing the promontory of Posilippo, another
wonderful scene presents itself: white Nisida on its island rock; the
sweep of bay towards Pozzuoli; beyond that, in fainter colors of
farther distance, the Cape of Miseno and the peaks of Ischia.

Our first expedition was to Pozzuoli and Miseno, on a bright, warm
day, with a slipshod Neapolitan driver, whom I christened Baboon, and
who acted as our charioteer throughout our stay at Naples. Beyond
picturesque Pozzuoli, jutting out with precipitous piles of building
into the sea, lies Baiæ. Here we halted to look at a great circular
temple, where there was a wonderful echo that made whispers circulate
and become loud on the opposite side to that on which they were
uttered. Here, for our amusement, a young maiden and a little old man
danced to the sound of a tambourine and fife. On our way to Baiæ we
had stopped to see the Lake Avernus, no longer terrible to behold, and
the amphitheatre of Cumæ, now grown over with greensward, and fringed
with garden stuff.

From Baiæ we went to Miseno--the Misenum where Pliny was stationed
with the fleet--and looked out from the promontory on the lovely isles
of Ischia and Procida. On the approach to this promontory lies the
Piscina Mirabilis, one of the most striking remains of Roman building.
It is a great reservoir, into which one may now descend dryshod and
look up at the lofty arches festooned with delicate plants, while the
sunlight shoots aslant through the openings above. It was on this
drive, coming back towards Pozzuoli, that we saw the Mesembryanthemum
in its greatest luxuriance--a star of amethyst with its golden tassel
in the centre. The amphitheatre at Pozzuoli is the most interesting in
Italy after the Coliseum. The seats are in excellent preservation, and
the subterranean structures for water and for the introduction of wild
beasts are unique. The temple of Jupiter Serapis is another remarkable
ruin, made more peculiar by the intrusion of the water, which makes
the central structure, with its great columns, an island to be
approached by a plank bridge.

In the views from Capo di Monte--the king's summer residence--and from
St. Elmo one enjoys not only the view towards the sea, but the wide,
green plain sprinkled with houses and studded with small towns or
villages, bounded on the one hand by Vesuvius, and shut in, in every
other direction, by the nearer heights close upon Naples, or by the
sublimer heights of the distant Apennines. We had the view from St.
Elmo on a clear, breezy afternoon, in company with a Frenchman and his
wife, come from Rome with his family after a two years' residence
there--worth remembering for the pretty bondage the brusque, stern,
thin father was under to the tiny, sickly looking boy.

It was a grand drive up to Capo di Monte--between rich plantations,
with glimpses, as we went up, of the city lying in picturesque
irregularity below; and as we went down, in the other direction, views
of distant mountain rising above some pretty accident of roof or
groups of trees in the foreground.

One day we went, from this drive, along the Poggio Reale to the
cemetery--the most ambitious burying-place I ever saw, with building
after building of elaborate architecture, serving as tombs to various
_Arci-confraternità_ as well as to private families, all set in the
midst of well-kept gardens. The humblest kind of tombs there were long
niches for coffins, in a wall bordering the carriage-road, which are
simply built up when the coffin is once in--the inscription being
added on this final bit of masonry. The lines of lofty sepulchres
suggested to one very vividly the probable appearance of the Appian
Way when the old Roman tombs were in all their glory.

Our first visit to the Museo Borbonico was devoted to the sculpture,
of which there is a precious collection. Of the famous Balbi family,
found at Herculaneum, the mother, in grand drapery, wound round her
head and body, is the most unforgetable--a really grand woman of
fifty, with firm mouth and knitted brow, yet not unbenignant. Farther
on in this transverse hall is a Young Faun with the Infant Bacchus--a
different conception altogether from the fine Munich statue, but
delicious for humor and geniality. Then there is the Aristides--more
real and speaking and easy in attitude even than the Sophocles at
Rome. Opposite is a lovely Antinous, in no mythological character, but
in simple, melancholy beauty. In the centre of the deep recess, in
front of which these statues are placed, is the colossal Flora, who
holds up her thin dress in too finicking a style for a colossal
goddess; and on the floor--to be seen by ascending a platform--is the
precious, great mosaic representing the Battle of the Issus, found at
Pompeii. It is full of spirit, the _ordonnance_ of the figures is very
much after the same style as in the ancient bas-reliefs, and the
colors are still vivid enough for us to have a just idea of the
effect. In the halls on each side of this central one there are
various Bacchuses and Apollos, Atlas groaning under the weight of the
Globe, the Farnese Hercules, the Toro Farnese, and, among other things
less memorable, a glorious Head of Jupiter.

The bronzes here are even more interesting than the marbles. Among
them there is Mercury Resting, the Sleeping Faun, the little Dancing
Faun, and the Drunken Faun snapping his fingers, of which there is a
marble copy at Munich, with the two remarkable Heads of Plato and
Seneca.

But our greatest treat at the Museo Borbonico could only be enjoyed
after our visit to Pompeii, where we went, unhappily, in the company
of some Russians whose acquaintance G. had made at the _table d'hôte_.
I hope I shall never forget the solemnity of our first entrance into
that silent city, and the walk along the street of tombs. After seeing
the principal houses we went, as a proper climax, to the Forum, where,
among the lines of pedestals and the ruins of temples and tribunal, we
could see Vesuvius overlooking us; then to the two theatres, and
finally to the amphitheatre.

This visit prepared us to enjoy the collection of _piccoli bronzi_, of
paintings and mosaics at the Museo. Several of the paintings have
considerable positive merit. I remember particularly a large one of
Orestes and Pylades, which in composition and general conception
might have been a picture of yesterday. But the most impressive
collection of remains found at Pompeii and Herculaneum is that of the
ornaments, articles of food and domestic utensils, pieces of bread,
loaves with the bakers' names on them, fruits, corn, various seeds,
paste in the vessel, imperfectly mixed, linen just wrung in washing,
eggs, oil consolidated in a glass bottle, wine mixed with the lava,
and a piece of asbestos; gold lace, a lens, a lantern with sides of
talc, gold ornaments of Etruscan character, patty-pans (!), moulds for
cakes; ingenious portable cooking apparatus, urn for hot water,
portable candelabrum, to be raised or lowered at will, bells, dice,
theatre-checks, and endless objects that tell of our close kinship
with those old Pompeians. In one of the rooms of this collection there
are the Farnese cameos and engraved gems, some of them--especially of
the latter--marvellously beautiful, complicated, and exquisitely
minute in workmanship. I remember particularly one splendid yellow
stone engraved with an elaborate composition of Apollo and his chariot
and horses--a masterpiece of delicate form.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 5th May, 1860.]

We left Rome a week ago, almost longing, at last, to come southward in
search of sunshine. Every one likes to boast of peculiar experience,
and we can boast of having gone to Rome in the very worst spring that
has been known for the last twenty years. Here, at Naples, we have had
some brilliant days, though the wind is still cold, and rain has often
fallen heavily in the night. It is the very best change for us after
Rome; there is comparatively little art to see, and there is nature in
transcendent beauty. We both think it the most beautiful place in the
world, and are sceptical about Constantinople, which has not had the
advantage of having been seen by us. That is the fashion of
travellers, as you know: for you must have been bored many times in
your life by people who have insisted on it that you _must_ go and see
the thing _they_ have seen--there is nothing like it. We shall bore
you in that way, I dare say--so prepare yourself. Our plan at present
is to spend the next week in seeing Pæstum, Amalfi, Castellamare, and
Sorrento, and drinking in as much of this Southern beauty, in a quiet
way, as our souls are capable of absorbing.

The calm blue sea, and the mountains sleeping in the afternoon light,
as we have seen them to-day from the height of St. Elmo, make one feel
very passive and contemplative, and disinclined to bustle about in
search of meaner sights. Yet I confess Pompeii, and the remains of
Pompeian art and life in the Museum, have been impressive enough to
rival the sea and sky. It is a thing never to be forgotten--that walk
through the silent city of the past, and then the sight of utensils
and eatables and ornaments and half-washed linen and hundreds of other
traces of life so startlingly like our own in its minutest details,
suddenly arrested by the fiery deluge. All that you will see some day,
and with the advantage of younger eyes than mine.

We expect to reach Florence (by steamboat, alas!) on the 17th, so that
if you have the charity to write to me again, address to me there.

We thought the advance to eighteen in the number of hearers was very
satisfactory, and rejoiced over it. The most solid comfort one can
fall back upon is the thought that the business of one's life--the
work at home after the holiday is done--is to help in some small,
nibbling way to reduce the sum of ignorance, degradation, and misery
on the face of this beautiful earth. I am writing at night--Mr. Lewes
is already asleep, else he would say, "Send my kind regards to them
all." We have often talked of you, and the thought of seeing you again
makes the South Fields look brighter in our imagination than they
could have looked from the dreariest part of the world if you had not
been living in them.

[Sidenote: Italy, 1860.]

The pictures at Naples are worth little: the Marriage of St.
Catherine, a small picture by Correggio; a Holy Family, by Raphael,
with a singularly fine St. Ann, and Titian's Paul the Third, are the
only paintings I have registered very distinctly in all the large
collection. The much-praised frescoes of the dome in a chapel of the
cathedral, and the oil-paintings over the altars, by Domenichino and
Spagnoletto, produced no effect on me. Worth more than all these are
Giotto's frescoes in the choir of the little old Church of
l'Incoronata, though these are not, I think, in Giotto's ripest
manner, for they are inferior to his frescoes in the Santa Croce at
Florence--more uniform in the type of face.

We went to a Sunday-morning service at the cathedral, and saw a
detachment of silver busts of saints ranged around the tribune, Naples
being famous for gold and silver sanctities.

When we had been a week at Naples we set off in our carriage with
Baboon on an expedition to Pæstum, arriving the first evening at
Salerno--beautiful Salerno, with a bay as lovely, though in a
different way, as the bay of Naples. It has a larger sweep; grander
piles of rocky mountain on the north and northeast; then a stretch of
low plain, the mountains receding; and, finally, on the south, another
line of mountain coast extending to the promontory of Sicosa.

From Salerno we started early in the morning for Pæstum, with no
alloy to the pleasure of the journey but the dust, which was capable
of making a simoon under a high wind. For a long way we passed through
a well-cultivated plain, the mountains on our left and the sea on our
right; but farther on came a swampy, unenclosed space of great extent,
inhabited by buffaloes, who lay in groups, comfortably wallowing in
the muddy water, with their grand, stupid heads protruding
horizontally.

On approaching Pæstum, the first thing one catches sight of is the
Temple of Vesta, which is not beautiful either for form or color, so
that we began to tremble lest disappointment were to be the harvest of
our dusty journey. But the fear was soon displaced by almost rapturous
admiration at the sight of the great Temple of Neptune--the finest
thing, I verily believe, that we had yet seen in Italy. It has all the
requisites to make a building impressive: First, _form_. What perfect
satisfaction and repose for the eye in the calm repetition of those
columns; in the proportions of height and length, of front and sides;
the right thing is _found_--it is not being sought after in uneasy
labor of detail or exaggeration. Next, _color_. It is built of
Travertine, like the other two temples; but while they have remained,
for the most part, a cold gray, this Temple of Neptune has a rich,
warm, pinkish brown, that seems to glow and deepen under one's eyes.
Lastly, _position_. It stands on the rich plain, covered with long
grass and flowers, in sight of the sea on one hand, and the sublime
blue mountains on the other. Many plants caress the ruins; the
acanthus is there, and I saw it in green life for the first time; but
the majority of the plants on the floor, or bossing the architrave,
are familiar to me as home flowers--purple mallows, snapdragons, pink
hawksweed, etc. On our way back we saw a herd of buffaloes clustered
near a pond, and one of them was rolling himself in the water like a
gentleman enjoying his bath.

The next day we went in the morning from Salerno to Amalfi. It is an
unspeakably grand drive round the mighty rocks with the sea below; and
Amalfi itself surpasses all imagination of a romantic site for a city
that once made itself famous in the world. We stupidly neglected
seeing the cathedral, but we saw a macaroni-mill and a paper-mill from
among the many that are turned by the rushing stream, which, with its
precipitous course down the ravine, creates an immense water-power;
and we climbed up endless steps to the Capuchin Monastery, to see
nothing but a cavern where there are barbarous images and a small
cloister with double Gothic arches.

Our way back to La Cava gave us a repetition of the grand drive we had
had in the morning by the coast, and beyond that an inland drive of
much loveliness, through Claude-like scenes of mountain, trees, and
meadows, with picturesque accidents of building, such as single round
towers, on the heights. The valley beyond La Cava, in which our hotel
lay, is of quite paradisaic beauty; a rich, cultivated spot, with
mountains behind and before--those in front varied by ancient
buildings that a painter would have chosen to place there; and one of
pyramidal shape, steep as an obelisk, is crowned by a monastery,
famous for its library of precious MSS. and its archives. We arrived
too late for everything except to see the shroud of mist gather and
gradually envelop the mountains.

In the morning we set off, again in brightest weather, to Sorrento,
coasting the opposite side of the promontory to that which we had
passed along the day before, and having on our right hand Naples and
the distant Posilippo. The coast on this side is less grand than on
the Amalfi side, but it is more friendly as a place for residence. The
most charming spot on the way to Sorrento, to my thinking, is Vico,
which I should even prefer to Sorrento, because there is no town to be
traversed before entering the ravine and climbing the mountain in the
background. But I will not undervalue Sorrento, with its orange-groves
embalming the air, its glorious sunsets over the sea, setting the gray
olives aglow on the hills above us, its walks among the groves and
vineyards out to the solitary coast. One day of our stay there we took
donkeys and crossed the mountains to the opposite side of the
promontory, and saw the Siren Isles--very palpable, unmysterious bits
of barren rock now. A great delight to me, in all the excursions round
about Naples, was the high cultivation of the soil and the sight of
the vines, trained from elm to elm, above some other precious crop
carpeting the ground below. On our way back to Naples we visited the
silent Pompeii again. That place had such a peculiar influence over me
that I could not even look towards the point where it lay on the plain
below Vesuvius without a certain thrill.

Amid much dust we arrived at Naples again on Sunday morning, to start
by the steamboat for Leghorn on the following Tuesday. But before I
quit Naples I must remember the Grotto of Posilippo, a wonderful
monument of ancient labor; Virgil's tomb, which repaid us for a steep
ascent only by the view of the city and bay; and a villa on the way to
Posilippo, with gardens gradually descending to the margin of the sea,
where there is a collection of animals, both stuffed and alive. It
was there we saw the flying-fish, with their lovely blue fins.

One day and night voyage to Civita Vecchia, and another day and night
to Leghorn--wearisome to the flesh that suffers from nausea even on
the summer sea! We had another look at dear Pisa under the blue sky,
and then on to Florence, which, unlike Rome, looks inviting as one
catches sight from the railway of its cupolas and towers and its
embosoming hills--the greenest of hills, sprinkled everywhere with
white villas. We took up our quarters at the Pension Suisse, and on
the first evening we took the most agreeable drive to be had round
Florence--the drive to Fiesole. It is in this view that the eye takes
in the greatest extent of green, billowy hills, besprinkled with white
houses, looking almost like flocks of sheep; the great, silent,
uninhabited mountains lie chiefly behind; the plain of the Arno
stretches far to the right. I think the view from Fiesole the most
beautiful of all; but that from San Miniato, where we went the next
evening, has an interest of another kind, because here Florence lies
much nearer below, and one can distinguish the various buildings more
completely. It is the same with Bellosguardo, in a still more marked
degree. What a relief to the eye and the thought, among the huddled
roofs of a distant town, to see towers and cupolas rising in abundant
variety, as they do at Florence! There is Brunelleschi's mighty dome,
and close by it, with its lovely colors not entirely absorbed by
distance, Giotto's incomparable Campanile, beautiful as a jewel.
Farther on, to the right, is the majestic tower of the Palazzo
Vecchio, with the flag waving above it; then the elegant Badia and the
Bargello close by; nearer to us the grand Campanile of Santo Spirito
and that of Santa Croce; far away, on the left, the cupola of San
Lorenzo and the tower of Santa Maria Novella; and, scattered far and
near, other cupolas and campaniles of more insignificant shape and
history.

Even apart from its venerable historical glory, the exterior of the
Duomo is pleasant to behold when the wretched, unfinished _façade_ is
quite hidden. The soaring pinnacles over the doors are exquisite; so
are the forms of the windows in the great semicircle of the apsis; and
on the side where Giotto's Campanile is placed, especially, the white
marble has taken on so rich and deep a yellow that the black bands
cease to be felt as a fault. The entire view on this side, closed in
by Giotto's tower, with its delicate pinkish marble, its delicate
Gothic windows with twisted columns, and its tall lightness carrying
the eye upward, in contrast with the mighty breadth of the dome, is a
thing not easily to be forgotten. The Baptistery, with its paradisaic
gates, is close by; but, except in those gates, it has no exterior
beauty. The interior is almost awful, with its great dome covered with
gigantic early mosaics--the pale, large-eyed Christ surrounded by
images of paradise and perdition. The interior of the cathedral is
comparatively poor and bare; but it has one great beauty--its colored
lanceolate windows. Behind the high-altar is a piece of sculpture--the
last under Michael Angelo's hand, intended for his own tomb, and left
unfinished. It represents Joseph of Arimathea holding the body of
Jesus, with Mary, his mother, on one side, and an apparently angelic
form on the other. Joseph is a striking and real figure, with a hood
over the head.

For external architecture it is the palaces, the old palaces of the
fifteenth century, that one must look at in the streets of Florence.
One of the finest was just opposite our hotel, the Palazzo Strozzi,
built by Cronaca; perfect in its massiveness, with its iron cressets
and rings, as if it had been built only last year. This is the palace
that the Pitti was built to outvie (so tradition falsely pretends),
and to have an inner court that would contain it. A wonderful union is
that Pitti Palace of cyclopean massiveness with stately regularity.
Next to the Pitti, I think, comes the Palazzo Riccardi--the house of
the Medici--for size and splendor. Then that unique Laurentian
library, designed by Michael Angelo; the books ranged on desks in
front of seats, so that the appearance of the library resembles that
of a chapel with open pews of dark wood. The precious books are all
chained to the desk; and here we saw old manuscripts of exquisite
neatness, culminating in the Virgil of the fourth century, and the
Pandects, said to have been recovered from oblivion at Amalfi, but
falsely so said, according to those who are more learned than
tradition. Here, too, is a little chapel covered with remarkable
frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli.

Grander still, in another style, is the Palazzo Vecchio, with its
unique _cortile_, where the pillars are embossed with arabesque and
floral tracery, making a contrast in elaborate ornament with the large
simplicity of the exterior building. Here there are precious little
works in ivory by Benvenuto Cellini, and other small treasures of art
and jewelry, preserved in cabinets in one of the great upper chambers,
which are painted all over with frescoes, and have curious inlaid
doors showing buildings or figures in wooden mosaic, such as is often
seen in great beauty in the stalls of the churches. The great
council-chamber is ugly in its ornaments--frescoes and statues in bad
taste all round it.

Orcagna's Loggia de' Lanzi is disappointing at the first glance, from
its sombre, dirty color; but its beauty grew upon me with longer
contemplation. The pillars and groins are very graceful and chaste in
ornamentation. Among the statues that are placed under it there is not
one I could admire, unless it were the dead body of Ajax with the
Greek soldier supporting it. Cellini's Perseus is fantastic. The
Bargello, where we went to see Giotto's frescoes (in lamentable
condition) was under repair, but I got glimpses of a wonderful inner
court, with heraldic carvings and stone stairs and gallery.

Most of the churches in Florence are hideous on the outside--piles of
ribbed brickwork awaiting a coat of stone or stucco--looking like
skinned animals. The most remarkable exception is Santa Maria Novella,
which has an elaborate facing of black and white marble. Both this
church and San Lorenzo were under repair in the interior,
unfortunately for us; but we could enter Santa Maria so far as to see
Orcagna's frescoes of Paradise and Hell. The Hell has been repainted,
but the Paradise has not been maltreated in this way; and it is a
splendid example of Orcagna's powers--far superior to his frescoes in
the Campo Santo at Pisa. Some of the female forms on the lowest range
are of exquisite grace. The splendid chapel in San Lorenzo, containing
the tombs of the Medici, is ugly and heavy, with all its precious
marbles; and the world-famous statues of Michael Angelo on the tombs
in another smaller chapel--the Notte, the Giorno, and the
Crepuscolo--remained to us as affected and exaggerated in the
original as in copies and casts.

The two churches we frequented most in Florence were Santa Croce and
the Carmine. In this last are the great frescoes of Masaccio--chief
among them the Raising of the Dead Youth. In the other are Giotto's
frescoes revealed from under the whitewash by which they were long
covered, like those in the Bargello. Of these the best are the
Challenge to Pass through the Fire, in the series representing the
history of St. Francis, and the rising of some saint (unknown to me)
from his tomb, while Christ extends his arms to receive him above, and
wondering venerators look on, on each side. There are large frescoes
here of Taddeo Gaddi's also, but they are not good; one sees in him a
pupil of Giotto, and nothing more. Besides the frescoes, Santa Croce
has its tombs to attract a repeated visit; the tombs of Michael
Angelo, Dante, Alfieri, and Machiavelli. Even those tombs of the
unknown dead under our feet, with their effigies quite worn down to a
mere outline, were not without their interest. I used to feel my heart
swell a little at the sight of the inscription on Dante's
tomb--"Onorate l'altissimo poeta."

In the Church of the Trinità also there are valuable frescoes by the
excellent Domenico Ghirlandajo, the master of Michael Angelo. They
represent the history of St. Francis, and happily the best of them is
in the best light; it is the death of St. Francis, and is full of
natural feeling, with well-marked gradations from deepest sorrow to
indifferent spectatorship.

The frescoes I cared for most in all Florence were the few of Fra
Angelico's that a _donna_ was allowed to see, in the Convent of San
Marco. In the chapter-house, now used as a guard-room, is a large
Crucifixion, with the inimitable group of the fainting mother, upheld
by St. John and the younger Mary, and clasped round by the kneeling
Magdalene. The group of adoring, sorrowing saints on the right hand
are admirable for earnest truthfulness of representation. The Christ
in this fresco is not good, but there is a deeply impressive original
crucified Christ outside in the cloisters; St. Dominic is clasping the
cross and looking upward at the agonized Saviour, whose real, pale,
calmly enduring face is quite unlike any other Christ I have seen.

I forgot to mention, at Santa Maria Novella, the chapel which is
painted with very remarkable frescoes by Simone Memmi and Taddeo
Gaddi. The best of these frescoes is the one in which the Dominicans
are represented by black and white dogs--_Domini Canes_. The human
groups have high merit for conception and lifelikeness; and they are
admirable studies of costume. At this church, too, in the sacristy, is
the Madonna della Stella,[12] with an altar-step by Fra
Angelico--specimens of his minuter painting in oil. The inner part of
the frame is surrounded with his lovely angels, with their seraphic
joy and flower-garden coloring.

Last of all the churches we visited San Michele, which had been one of
the most familiar to us on the outside, with its statues in niches,
and its elaborate Gothic windows, designed by the genius of Orcagna.
The great wonder of the interior is the shrine of white marble made to
receive the miracle-working image which first caused the consecration
of this mundane building, originally a corn-market. Surely this shrine
is the most wonderful of all Orcagna's productions; for the beauty of
the reliefs he deserves to be placed along with Nicolo Pisano, and for
the exquisite Gothic design of the whole he is a compeer of Giotto.

For variety of treasures the Uffizi Gallery is pre-eminent among all
public sights in Florence; but the variety is in some degree a cause
of comparative unimpressiveness, pictures and statues being crowded
together and destroying each other's effect. In statuary it has the
great Niobe group; the Venus de Medici; the Wrestlers; the admirable
statue of the Knife-Sharpener, supposed to represent the flayer of
Marsyas; the Apollino; and the Boy taking a Thorn out of his Foot;
with numerous less remarkable antiques. And besides these it has what
the Vatican has not--a collection of early Italian sculpture, supreme
among which is Giovanni di Bologna's Mercury.[13] Then there is a
collection of precious drawings; and there is the cabinet of gems,
quite alone in its fantastic, elaborate minuteness of workmanship in
rarest materials; and there is another cabinet containing ivory
sculptures, cameos, intaglios, and a superlatively fine Niello, as
well as Raffaelle porcelain. The pictures here are multitudinous, and
among them there is a generous proportion of utterly bad ones. In the
entrance gallery, where the early paintings are, is a great Fra
Angelico--a Madonna and Child--a triptych, the two side compartments
containing very fine figures of saints, and the inner part of the
central frame a series of unspeakably lovely angels.[14] Here I always
paused with longing, trying to believe that a copyist there could make
an imitation angel good enough to be worth buying. Among the other
paintings that remain with me, after my visit to the Uffizi, are the
portrait of Leonardo da Vinci, by himself; the portrait of Dante, by
Filippino Lippi;[15] the Herodias of Luini; Titian's Venus, in the
Tribune; Raphael's Madonna and Child with the Bird; and the portrait
falsely called the Fornarina; the two remarkable pictures by Ridolfo
Ghirlandajo; and the Salutation, by Albertinelli, which hangs
opposite; the little prince in pink dress, with two recent teeth, in
the next room, by Angelo Bronzino (No. 1155); the small picture of
Christ in the Garden, by Lorenzo Credi; Titian's Woman with the Golden
Hair, in the Venetian room; Leonardo's Medusa head; and Michael
Angelo's ugly Holy Family--these, at least, rise up on a rapid
retrospect. Others are in the background; for example, Correggio's
Madonna adoring the Infant Christ, in the Tribune.

For pictures, however, the Pitti Palace surpasses the Uffizi. Here the
paintings are more choice and not less numerous. The Madonna della
Sedia leaves me, with all its beauty, impressed only by the grave gaze
of the Infant; but besides this there is another Madonna of
Raphael--perhaps the most beautiful of all his earlier ones--the
Madonna del Gran Duca, which has the sweet grace and gentleness of its
sisters without their sheeplike look. Andrea del Sarto is seen here in
his highest glory of oil-painting. There are numerous large pictures
of his--Assumptions and the like--of great technical merit; but better
than all these I remember a Holy Family, with a very fine St. Ann,
and the portraits of himself and his fatal, auburn-haired wife. Of
Fra Bartolomeo there is a Pietà of memorable expression,[16] a Madonna
enthroned with saints, and his great St. Mark. Of Titian, a Marriage
of St. Catherine, of supreme beauty; a Magdalen, failing in
expression; and an exquisite portrait of the same woman, who is
represented as Venus at the Uffizi. There is a remarkable group of
portraits by Rubens--himself, his brother, Lipsius, and Grotius--and a
large landscape by him. The only picture of Veronese's that I remember
here is a portrait of his wife when her beauty was gone. There is a
remarkably fine sea-piece by Salvator Rosa; a striking portrait of
Aretino, and a portrait of Vesalius, by Titian; one of Inghirami, by
Raphael; a delicious, rosy baby--future cardinal--lying in a silken
bed;[17] a placid, contemplative young woman, with her finger between
the leaves of a book, by Leonardo da Vinci;[18] a memorable portrait
of Philip II., by Titian; a splendid Judith, by Bronzino; a portrait
of Rembrandt, by himself, etc., etc.

Andrea del Sarto is seen to advantage at the Pitti Palace; but his
_chef-d'oeuvre_ is a fresco, unhappily much worn--the Madonna del
Sacco--in the cloister of the Annunziata.

For early Florentine paintings the most interesting collection is that
of the Accademia. Here we saw a Cimabue, which gave us the best idea
of his superiority over the painters who went before him: it is a
colossal Madonna enthroned. And on the same wall there is a colossal
Madonna by Giotto, which is not only a demonstration that he surpassed
his master, but that he had a clear vision of the noble in art. A
delightful picture--very much restored, I fear--of the Adoration of
the Magi made me acquainted with Gentile da Fabriano. The head of
Joseph in this picture is masterly in the delicate rendering of the
expression; the three kings are very beautiful in conception; and the
attendant group, or rather crowd, shows a remarkable combination of
realism with love of the beautiful and splendid.

There is a fine Domenico Ghirlandajo--the Adoration of the Shepherds;
a fine Lippo Lippi; and an Assumption, by Perugino, which I like well
for its cherubs and angels, and for some of the adoring figures below.
In the smaller room there is a lovely Pietà by Fra Angelico; and there
is a portrait of Fra Angelico himself by another artist.

One of our drives at Florence, which I have not mentioned, was that to
Galileo's Tower, which stands conspicuous on one of the hills close
about the town. We ascended it for the sake of looking out over the
plain from the same spot as the great man looked from, more than two
centuries ago. His portrait is in the Pitti Palace--a grave man with
an abbreviated nose, not unlike Mr. Thomas Adolphus Trollope.

One fine day near the end of our stay we made an expedition to
Siena--that fine old town built on an abrupt height overlooking a
wide, wide plain. We drove about a couple of hours or more, and saw
well the exterior of the place--the peculiar piazza or campo in the
shape of a scallop-shell, with its large old Palazzo _publico_, the
Porta Ovile and Porta Romana, the archbishop's palace, and the
cemetery. Of the churches we saw only the cathedral, the Chapel of St.
John the Baptist, and San Domenico. The cathedral has a highly
elaborate Gothic façade, but the details of the upper part are
unsatisfactory--a square window in the centre shocks the eye, and the
gables are not slim and aspiring enough. The interior is full of
interest: there is the unique pavement in a sort of marble Niello,
presenting Raffaellesque designs by Boccafumi, carrying out the
example of the older portions, which are very quaint in their drawing;
there is a picture of high interest in the history of early art--a
picture by Guido of Siena, who was rather earlier than Cimabue; fine
carved stalls and screens in dark wood; and in an adjoining chapel a
series of frescoes by Pinturicchio, to which Raphael is said to have
contributed designs and workmanship, and wonderfully illuminated old
choir-books. The Chapel of St. John the Baptist has a remarkable
Gothic façade, and a baptismal font inside, with reliefs wrought by
Ghiberti and another Florentine artist. To San Domenico we went for
the sake of seeing the famous Madonna by Guido da Siena; I think we
held it superior to any Cimabue we had seen. There is a considerable
collection of the Siennese artists at the Accademia, but the school
had no great genius equal to Giotto to lead it. The Three Graces--an
antique to which Canova's modern triad bears a strong resemblance in
attitude and style--are also at the Accademia.

An interesting visit we made at Florence was to Michael Angelo's
house--Casa Buonarotti--in the Via Ghibellina. This street is striking
and characteristic: the houses are all old, with broad eaves, and in
some cases with an open upper story, so that the roof forms a sort of
pavilion supported on pillars. This is a feature one sees in many
parts of Florence. Michael Angelo's house is preserved with great
care by his descendants--only one could wish their care had not been
shown in giving it entirely new furniture. However, the rooms are the
same as those he occupied, and there are many relics of his presence
there--his stick, his sword, and many of his drawings. In one room
there is a very fine Titian of small size--the principal figure a
woman fainting.

The Last Supper--a fresco believed to be by Raphael--is in a room at
the Egyptian Museum.[19] The figure of Peter--of which, apparently,
there exists various sketches by Raphael's hand--is memorable.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 18th May, 1860.]

Things really look so threatening in the Neapolitan kingdom that we
begin to think ourselves fortunate in having got our visit done.
Tuscany is in the highest political spirits for the moment, and of
course Victor Emanuel stares at us at every turn here, with the most
loyal exaggeration of mustache and intelligent meaning. But we are
selfishly careless about dynasties just now, caring more for the
doings of Giotto and Brunelleschi than for those of Count Cavour. On a
first journey to the greatest centres of art one must be excused for
letting one's public spirit go to sleep a little. As for me, I am
thrown into a state of humiliating passivity by the sight of the great
things done in the far past--it seems as if life were not long enough
to learn, and as if my own activity were so completely dwarfed by
comparison that I should never have courage for more creation of my
own. There is only one thing that has an opposite and stimulating
effect: it is the comparative rarity, even here, of great and truthful
art, and the abundance of wretched imitation and falsity. Every hand
is wanted in the world that can do a little genuine, sincere work.

We are at the quietest hotel in Florence, having sought it out for the
sake of getting clear of the stream of English and Americans, in which
one finds one's self in all the main tracks of travel, so that one
seems at last to be in a perpetual, noisy picnic, obliged to be civil,
though with a strong inclination to be sullen. My philanthropy rises
several degrees as soon as we are alone.

[Sidenote: Letter to Major Blackwood, 27th May, 1860.]

I am much obliged to you for writing at once, and so scattering some
clouds which had gathered over my mind in consequence of an indication
or two in Mr. John Blackwood's previous letter. The _Times_ article
arrived on Sunday. It is written in a generous spirit, and with so
high a degree of intelligence that I am rather alarmed lest the
misapprehensions it exhibits should be due to my defective
presentation, rather than to any failure on the part of the critic. I
have certainly fulfilled my intention very badly if I have made the
Dodson honesty appear "mean and uninteresting," or made the payment of
one's debts appear a contemptible virtue in comparison with any sort
of "Bohemian" qualities. So far as my own feeling and intention are
concerned, no one class of persons or form of character is held up to
reprobation or to exclusive admiration. Tom is painted with as much
love and pity as Maggie; and I am so far from hating the Dodsons
myself that I am rather aghast to find them ticketed with such very
ugly adjectives. We intend to leave this place on Friday (3d), and in
four days after that we shall be at Venice, in a few days from that
time at Milan, and then, by a route at present uncertain, at Berne,
where we take up Mr. Lewes's eldest boy, to bring him home with us.

We are particularly happy in our weather, which is unvaryingly fine
without excessive heat. There has been a crescendo of enjoyment in our
travels; for Florence, from its relation to the history of modern art,
has roused a keener interest in us even than Rome, and has stimulated
me to entertain rather an ambitious project, which I mean to be a
secret from every one but you and Mr. John Blackwood.

Any news of "Clerical Scenes" in its third edition? Or has its
appearance been deferred? The smallest details are acceptable to
ignorant travellers. We are wondering what was the last good article
in _Blackwood_, and whether Thackeray has gathered up his slack reins
in the _Cornhill_. Literature travels slowly even to this Italian
Athens. Hawthorne's book is not to be found here yet in the Tauchnitz
edition.

[Sidenote: Italy, 1860.]

We left Florence on the evening of the 1st of June, by diligence,
travelling all night and until eleven the next morning to get to
Bologna. I wish we could have made that journey across the Apennines
by daylight, though in that case I should have missed certain grand,
startling effects that came to me in my occasional wakings. Wonderful
heights and depths I saw on each side of us by the fading light of the
evening. Then, in the middle of the night, while the lightning was
flashing and the sky was heavy with threatening storm-clouds, I waked
to find the six horses resolutely refusing or unable to move the
diligence--till, at last, two meek oxen were tied to the axle, and
their added strength dragged us up the hill. But one of the strangest
effects I ever saw was just before dawn, when we seemed to be high up
on mighty mountains, which fell precipitously, and showed us the
awful, pale horizon far, far below.

The first thing we did at Bologna was to go to the Accademia, where I
confirmed myself in my utter dislike of the Bolognese school--the
Caraccis and Domenichino _et id genus omne_--and felt some
disappointment in Raphael's St. Cecilia. The pictures of Francia here,
to which I had looked forward as likely to give me a fuller and higher
idea of him, were less pleasing to me than the smaller specimens of
him that I had seen in the Dresden and other galleries. He seems to me
to be more limited even than Perugino; but he is a faithful,
painstaking painter, with a religious spirit. Agostino Caracci's
Communion of St. Jerome is a remarkable picture, with real feeling in
it--an exception among all the great pieces of canvas that hang beside
it. Domenichino's figure of St. Jerome is a direct plagiarism from
that of Agostino; but in other points the two pictures are quite
diverse.

The following morning we took a carriage and were diligent in visiting
the churches. San Petronio has the melancholy distinction of an
exquisite Gothic façade, which is carried up only a little way above the
arches of the doorways; the sculptures on these arches are of wonderful
beauty. The interior is of lofty, airy, simple Gothic, and it contains
some curious old paintings in the various side-chapels--pre-eminent
among which are the great frescoes by the so-called Buffalmacco. The
Paradise is distinguished in my memory by the fact that the blessed are
ranged in seats like the benches of a church or chapel. At Santa
Cecilia--now used as a barrack or guard-room--there are two frescoes by
Francia, the Marriage and Burial of St. Cecilia, characteristic, but
miserably injured. At the great Church of San Domenico the object of
chief interest is the tomb of the said saint, by the ever-to-be-honored
Nicolo Pisano. I believe this tomb was his first great work, and very
remarkable it is; but there is nothing on it equal to the Nativity on
the pulpit at Pisa. On this tomb stands a lovely angel, by Michael
Angelo. It is small in size, holding a small candle-stick, and is a work
of his youth; it shows clearly enough how the feeling for grace and
beauty were strong in him, only not strong enough to wrestle with his
love of the grandiose and powerful.

The ugly, painful leaning towers of Bologna made me desire not to look
at them a second time; but there are fine bits of massive palatial
building here and there in the colonnaded streets. We trod the court
of the once famous university, where the arms of the various scholars
ornament the walls above and below an interior gallery. This building
is now, as far as I could understand, a communal school, and the
university is transported to another part of the town.

We left Bologna in the afternoon, rested at Ferrara for the night, and
passed the Euganean Mountains on our left hand as we approached Padua
in the middle of the next day.

After dinner and rest from our dusty journeying we took a carriage and
went out to see the town, desiring most of all to see Giotto's Chapel.
We paused first, however, at the great Church of San Antonio, which is
remarkable both externally and internally. There are two side chapels
opposite each other, which are quite unique for contrasted effect. On
the one hand is a chapel of oblong form, covered entirely with white
marble _relievi_, golden lamps hanging from the roof; while opposite
is a chapel of the same form, covered with frescoes by Avanzi, the
artist who seems to have been the link of genius between Giotto and
Masaccio. Close by, in a separate building, is the Capella di San
Giorgio, also covered with Avanzi's frescoes; and here one may study
him more completely, because the light is better than in the church.
He has quite a Veronese power of combining his human groups with
splendid architecture.

The Arena Chapel stands apart, and is approached, at present, through
a pretty garden. Here one is uninterruptedly with Giotto. The whole
chapel was designed and painted by himself alone; and it is said that,
while he was at work on it, Dante lodged with him at Padua. The nave
of the chapel is in tolerably good preservation, but the apsis has
suffered severely from damp. It is in this apsis that the lovely
Madonna, with the Infant at her breast, is painted in a niche, now
quite hidden by some altar-piece or woodwork, which one has to push by
in order to see the tenderest bit of Giotto's painting. This chapel
must have been a blessed vision when it was fresh from Giotto's
hand--the blue, vaulted roof; the exquisite bands of which he was so
fond, representing inlaid marble, uniting roof and walls, and forming
the divisions between the various frescoes which cover the upper part
of the wall. The glory of Paradise at one end, and the histories of
Mary and Jesus on the two sides; and the subdued effect of the series
of monochromes representing the Virtues and Vices below.

There is a piazza with a plantation and circular public walk, with
wildly affected statues of small and great notorieties, which remains
with one as a peculiarity of Padua; in general the town is merely old
and shabbily Italian, without anything very specific in its aspect.

From Padua to Venice!

It was about ten o'clock on a moonlight night--the 4th of June--that
we found ourselves apparently on a railway in the midst of the sea; we
were on the bridge across the Lagoon. Soon we were in a gondola on the
Grand Canal, looking out at the moonlit buildings and water. What
stillness! What beauty! Looking out from the high window of our hotel
on the Grand Canal I felt that it was a pity to go to bed. Venice was
more beautiful than romances had feigned.

And that was the impression that remained, and even deepened, during
our stay of eight days. That quiet which seems the deeper because one
hears the delicious dip of the oar (when not disturbed by clamorous
church bells) leaves the eye in full liberty and strength to take in
the exhaustless loveliness of color and form.

We were in our gondola by nine o'clock the next morning, and, of
course, the first point we sought was the Piazza di San Marco. I am
glad to find Ruskin calling the Palace of the Doges one of the two
most perfect buildings in the world; its only defects, to my feeling,
are the feebleness or triviality of the frieze or cornice, and the
want of length in the Gothic windows with which the upper wall is
pierced. This spot is a focus of architectural wonders; but the palace
is the crown of them all. The double tier of columns and arches, with
the rich sombreness of their finely outlined shadows, contrast
satisfactorily with the warmth and light and more continuous surface
of the upper part. Even landing on the Piazzetta, one has a sense, not
only of being in an entirely novel scene, but one where the ideas of a
foreign race have poured themselves in without yet mingling
indistinguishably with the pre-existent Italian life. But this is felt
yet more strongly when one has passed along the Piazzetta and arrived
in front of San Marco, with its low arches and domes and minarets. But
perhaps the most striking point to take one's stand on is just in
front of the white marble guard-house flanking the great tower--the
guard-house with Sansovino's iron gates before it. On the left is San
Marco, with the two square pillars from St. Jean d'Acre standing as
isolated trophies; on the right the Piazzetta extends between the
Doge's Palace and the Palazzo Reale to the tall columns from
Constantinople; and in front is the elaborate gateway leading to the
white marble Scala di Giganti, in the courtyard of the Doge's Palace.
Passing through this gateway and up this staircase, we entered the
gallery which surrounds the court on three sides, and looked down at
the fine sculptured vase-like wells below. Then into the great Sala,
surrounded with the portraits of the doges; the largest oil-painting
here--or perhaps anywhere else--is the Gloria del Paradiso, by
Tintoretto, now dark and unlovely. But on the ceiling is a great Paul
Veronese--the Apotheosis of Venice--which looks as fresh as if it were
painted yesterday, and is a miracle of color and composition--a
picture full of glory and joy of an earthly, fleshly kind, but without
any touch of coarseness or vulgarity. Below the radiant Venice on her
clouds is a balcony filled with upward-looking spectators; and below
this gallery is a group of human figures with horses. Next to this
Apotheosis, I admire another Coronation of Venice on the ceiling of
another Sala, where Venice is sitting enthroned above the globe with
her lovely face in half shadow--a creature born with an imperial
attitude. There are other Tintorettos, Veroneses, and Palmas in the
great halls of this palace; but they left me quite indifferent, and
have become vague in my memory. From the splendors of the palace we
crossed the Bridge of Sighs to the prisons, and saw the horrible,
dark, damp cells that would make the saddest life in the free light
and air seem bright and desirable.

The interior of St. Mark's is full of interest, but not of beauty; it
is dark and heavy, and ill-suited to the Catholic worship, from the
massive piers that obstruct the view everywhere, shut out the sight of
ceremony and procession, as we witnessed at our leisure on the day of
the great procession of Corpus Christi. But everywhere there are
relics of gone-by art to be studied, from mosaics of the Greeks to
mosaics of later artists than the Zuccati; old marble statues,
embrowned like a meerschaum pipe; amazing sculptures in wood;
Sansovino doors, ambitious to rival Ghiberti's; transparent alabaster
columns; an ancient Madonna, hung with jewels, transported from St.
Sophia, in Constantinople; and everywhere the venerable pavement, once
beautiful with its starry patterns in rich marble, now deadened and
sunk to unevenness, like the mud floor of a cabin.

Then outside, on the archway of the principal door, there are
sculptures of a variety that makes one renounce the study of them in
despair at the shortness of one's time--blended fruits and foliage,
and human groups and animal forms of all kinds. On our first morning
we ascended the great tower, and looked around on the island city and
the distant mountains and the distant Adriatic. And on the same day we
went to see the Pisani palace--one of the grand old palaces that are
going to decay. An Italian artist who resides in one part of this
palace interested us by his frank manner, and the glimpse we had of
his domesticity with his pretty wife and children. After this we saw
the Church of San Sebastiano, where Paul Veronese is buried, with his
own paintings around, mingling their color with the light that falls
on his tombstone. There is one remarkably fine painting of his here:
it represents, I think, some saints going to martyrdom, but, apart
from that explanation, is a composition full of vigorous, spirited
figures, in which the central ones are two young men leaving some
splendid dwelling, on the steps of which stands the mother, pleading
and remonstrating--a marvellous figure of an old woman with a bare
neck.

But supreme among the pictures at Venice is the Death of Peter the
Martyr,[20] now happily removed from its original position as an
altar-piece, and placed in a good light in the sacristy of San
Giovanni and Paolo (or San Zani Polo, as the Venetians conveniently
abbreviate it). In this picture, as in that of the Tribute-money at
Dresden, Titian seems to have surpassed himself, and to have reached
as high a point in expression as in color. In the same sacristy there
was a Crucifixion, by Tintoretto, and a remarkable Madonna with
Saints, by Giovanni Bellini; but we were unable to look long away from
the Titian to these, although we paid it five visits during our stay.
It is near this church that the famous equestrian statue stands, by
Verocchio.

Santa Maria della Salute, built as an _ex voto_ by the Republic on the
cessation of the plague, is one of the most conspicuous churches in
Venice, lifting its white cupolas close on the Grand Canal, where it
widens out towards the Giudecca.

Here there are various Tintorettos, but the only one which is not
blackened so as to be unintelligible is the _Cena_, which is
represented as a bustling supper party, with attendants and sideboard
accessories, in thoroughly Dutch fashion! The great scene of
Tintoretto's greatness is held to be the Scuola di San Rocco, of which
he had the painting entirely to himself, with his pupils; and here one
must admire the vigor and freshness of his conceptions, though I saw
nothing that delighted me in expression, and much that was
preposterous and ugly. The Crucifixion here is certainly a grand work,
to which he seems to have given his best powers; and among the smaller
designs, in the two larger halls, there were several of thorough
originality--for example, the Annunciation, where Mary is seated in a
poor house, with a carpenter's shop adjoining; the Nativity, in the
upper story of a stable, of which a section is made so as to show the
beasts below; and the Flight into Egypt, with a very charming
(European) landscape. In this same building of San Rocco there are
some exquisite iron gates, a present from Florence, and some
singularly painstaking wood-carving, representing, in one compartment
of wainscot, above the seats that surrounded the upper hall, a
bookcase filled with old books, an inkstand and pen set in front of
one shelf _à s'y méprendre_.

But of all Tintoretto's paintings the best preserved, and perhaps the
most complete in execution, is the Miracle of St. Mark, at the
Accademia. We saw it the oftener because we were attracted to the
Accademia again and again by Titian's Assumption, which we placed next
to Peter the Martyr among the pictures at Venice.

For a thoroughly rapt expression I never saw anything equal to the
Virgin in this picture; and the expression is the more remarkable
because it is not assisted by the usual devices to express spiritual
ecstasy, such as delicacy of feature and temperament, or pale
meagreness. Then what cherubs and angelic heads bathed in light! The
lower part of the picture has no interest; the attitudes are
theatrical; and the Almighty above is as unbeseeming as painted
Almighties usually are; but the middle group falls short only of the
Sistine Madonna.

Among the Venetian painters Giovanni Bellini shines with a mild,
serious light that gives one an affectionate respect towards him. In
the Church of the Scalzi there is an exquisite Madonna by
him--probably his _chef-d'oeuvre_--comparable to Raphael's for
sweetness.

And Palmo Vecchio, too, must be held in grateful reverence for his
Santa Barbara, standing in calm, grand beauty above an altar in the
Church of Santa Maria Formosa. It is an almost unique presentation of
a hero-woman, standing in calm preparation for martyrdom, without the
slightest air of pietism, yet with the expression of a mind filled
with serious conviction.

We made the journey to Chioggia, but with small pleasure, on account
of my illness, which continued all day. Otherwise that long floating
over the water, with the forts and mountains looking as if they were
suspended in the air, would have been very enjoyable. Of all dreamy
delights that of floating in a gondola along the canals and out on the
Lagoon is surely the greatest. We were out one night on the Lagoon
when the sun was setting, and the wide waters were flushed with the
reddened light. I should have liked it to last for hours; it is the
sort of scene in which I could most readily forget my own existence
and feel melted into the general life.

Another charm of evening-time was to walk up and down the Piazza of
San Marco as the stars were brightening and look at the grand, dim
buildings, and the flocks of pigeons flitting about them; or to walk
on to the Bridge of La Paglia and look along the dark canal that runs
under the Bridge of Sighs--its blackness lit up by a gaslight here and
there, and the plash of the oar of blackest gondola slowly advancing.

One of our latest visits was to the Palazzo Mamfrini, where there are
still the remains of a magnificent collection of pictures--remains
still on sale.

The young proprietor was walking about transacting business in the
rooms as we passed through them--a handsome, refined-looking man. The
chief treasure left--the Entombment, by Titian--is perhaps a superior
duplicate of the one in the Louvre. After this we went to a private
house (once the house of Bianca Capello) to see a picture which the
joint proprietors are anxious to prove to be a Leonardo da Vinci. It
is a remarkable--an unforgetable--picture. The subject is the Supper
at Emmaus; and the Christ, with open, almost tearful eyes, with loving
sadness spread over the regular beauty of his features, is a
masterpiece. This head is _not_ like the Leonardo sketch at Milan; and
the rest of the picture impressed me strongly with the idea that it is
of German, not Italian, origin. Again, the head is not like that of
Leonardo's Christ in the National Gallery--it is far finer, to my
thinking.

Farewell, lovely Venice! and away to Verona, across the green plains
of Lombardy, which can hardly look tempting to an eye still filled
with the dreamy beauty it has left behind. Yet I liked our short stay
at Verona extremely. The Amphitheatre had the disadvantage of coming
after the Coliseum and the Pozzuoli Amphitheatre, and would bear
comparison with neither; but the Church of San Zenone was equal in
interest to almost any of the churches we had seen in Italy. It is a
beautiful specimen of Lombard architecture, undisguised by any modern
barbarisms in the interior; and on the walls--now that they have been
freed from their coat of whitewash--there are early frescoes of high
historical value, some of them--apparently of the Giotto
school--showing a remarkable striving after human expression. More
than this, there is in one case an under layer of yet older frescoes,
partly laid bare, and showing the lower part of figures in mummy-like
degradation of drawing; while above these are the upper portion of the
later figures in striking juxtaposition with the dead art from which
they had sprung with the vitality of a hidden germ. There is a very
fine crypt to the church, where the fragments of some ancient
sculptures are built in wrong way upwards.

This was the only church we entered at Verona; for we contented
ourselves with a general view of the town, driving about to get _coups
d'oeil_ of the fine old walls, the river, the bridges, and surrounding
hills, and mounting up to a high terrace for the sake of a bird's-eye
view; this, with a passing sight of the famous tombs of the Scaligers,
was all gathered in our four or five hours at Verona.

Heavy rain came on our way to Milan, putting an end to the brilliant
weather we had enjoyed ever since our arrival at Naples. The line of
road lies through a luxuriant country, and I remember the picturesque
appearance of Bergamo--half of it on the level, half of it lifted up
on the green hill.

In this second visit of mine to Milan my greatest pleasures were the
Brera Gallery and the Ambrosian Library, neither of which I had seen
before. The cathedral no longer satisfied my eye in its exterior; and
though the interior has very grand effects, there are still disturbing
elements.

At the Ambrosian Library we saw MSS. surpassing in interest any even of
those we had seen in the Laurentian Library at Florence--illuminated
books, sacred and secular, a little Koran, rolled up something after the
fashion of a measuring-tape, private letters of Tasso, Galileo, Lucrezia
Borgia, etc., and a book full of Leonardo da Vinci's engineering
designs. Then, up-stairs, in the picture-gallery, we saw a delicious
Holy Family by Luini, of marvellous perfection in its execution, the
Cartoon for Raphael's School of Athens, and a precious collection of
drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and Michael Angelo. Among Leonardo's are
amazingly grotesque faces, full of humor; among Michael Angelo's is the
sketch of the unfortunate Biagio, who figures with ass's ears, in the
lower corner of the Last Judgment.

At the Brera, among a host of pictures to which I was indifferent,
there were several things that delighted me. Some of Luini's
frescoes--especially the burial or transportation of the body of St.
Catherine by angels--some single figures of young cherubs, and Joseph
and Mary going to their Marriage; the drawing in pastel by Leonardo of
the Christ's head, supposed to be a study for the _Cena_; the Luini
Madonna among trellises--an exquisite oil-painting; Gentile Bellini's
picture of St. Mark preaching at Alexandria; and the Sposalizio by
Raphael.

At the Church of San Maurizio Maggiore we saw Luini's power tested by
an abundant opportunity. The walls are almost covered with frescoes by
him; but the only remarkable felicity he has is his female figures,
which are eminently graceful. He has not power enough for a
composition of any high character.

We visited, too, the interesting old Church of San Ambrogio, with its
court surrounded by cloisters, its old sculptured pulpit, chair of St.
Ambrose, and illuminated choir-books; and we drove to look at the line
of old Roman columns, which are almost the solitary remnant of
antiquity left in this ancient city--ancient, at least, in its name
and site.

We left Milan for Como on a fine Sunday morning, and arrived at
beautiful Bellagio by steamer in the evening. Here we spent a
delicious day--going to the Villa Somma Riva in the morning, and in
the evening to the Serbellone Gardens, from the heights of which we
saw the mountain-peaks reddened with the last rays of the sun. The
next day we reached lovely Chiavenna, at the foot of the Splügen Pass,
and spent the evening in company with a glorious mountain torrent,
mountain peaks, huge bowlders, with rippling miniature torrents and
lovely young flowers among them, and grassy heights with rich Spanish
chestnuts shadowing them. Then, the next morning, we set off by post
and climbed the almost perpendicular heights of the Pass--chiefly in
heavy rain that would hardly let us discern the patches of snow when
we reached the table-land of the summit. About five o'clock we reached
grassy Splügen and felt that we had left Italy behind us. Already our
driver had been German for the last long post, and now we had come to
a hotel where host and waiters were German. Swiss houses of dark wood,
outside staircases and broad eaves, stood on the steep, green, and
flowery slope that led up to the waterfall; and the hotel and other
buildings of masonry were thoroughly German in their aspect. In the
evening we enjoyed a walk between the mountains, whose lower sides
down to the torrent bed were set with tall, dark pines. But the climax
of grand--nay, terrible--scenery came the next day as we traversed the
Via Mala.

After this came open green valleys, dotted with white churches and
homesteads. We were in Switzerland, and the mighty wall of the
Valtelline Alps shut us out from Italy on the 21st of June.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 23d June, 1860, from Berne.]

Your letter to Florence reached me duly, and I feel as if I had been
rather unconscionable in asking for another before our return; but to
us, who have been seeing new things every day, a month seems so long a
space of time that we can't help fancying there must be a great
accumulation of news for us at the end of it.

We had hoped to be at home by the 25th; but we were so enchanted with
Venice that we were seduced into staying there a whole week instead of
three or four days, and now we must not rob the boys of their two
days' holiday with us.

We have had a wonderful journey. From Florence we went to Bologna,
Ferrara, and Padua, on our way to Venice; and from Venice we have come
by Verona, Milan, and Como, and across the Splügen to Zurich, where we
spent yesterday, chiefly in the company of Moleschott the
physiologist--an interview that has helped to sharpen Mr. Lewes's
appetite for a return to his microscope and dissecting-table. We ought
to be forever ashamed of ourselves if we don't work the better for
this great holiday. We both feel immensely enriched with new ideas and
new veins of interest.

I don't think I can venture to tell you what my great project is by
letter, for I am anxious to keep it secret. It will require a great
deal of study and labor, and I am athirst to begin.

As for "The Mill," I am in repose about it now I know it has found its
way to the great public. Its comparative rank can only be decided
after some years have passed, when the judgment upon it is no longer
influenced by the recent enthusiasm about "Adam," and by the fact that
it has the misfortune to be written by me instead of by Mr. Liggins. I
shall like to see Bulwer's criticism, if you will be kind enough to
send it me; but I particularly wish _not_ to see any of the newspaper
articles.


_SUMMARY._

MARCH TO JUNE, 1860.--FIRST JOURNEY TO ITALY.

     Crossing Mont Cenis by night in diligence--Turin--Sees Count
     Cavour--Genoa--Leghorn--Pisa--Civita Vecchia--Disappointment
     with first sight of Rome--Better spirits after visit to
     Capitol--View from Capitol--Points most struck with in
     Rome--Sculpture at Capitol--Sculpture at Vatican first seen
     by torchlight--St. Peter's--Other churches--Sistine
     Chapel--Paintings--Illumination of St.
     Peter's--Disappointment with Michael Angelo's Moses--Visits
     to artists' studios--Riedel and Overbeck--Pamfili Doria
     Gardens--Frascati--Tivoli--Pictures at Capitol--Lateran
     Museum--Shelley's and Keats's graves--Letter to Mrs.
     Congreve--Pope's blessing--Easter ceremonies--From Rome to
     Naples--Description--Museo Borbonico--Visit to
     Pompeii--Solemnity of street of tombs--Letter to Mrs.
     Congreve--From Naples to Salerno and Pæstum--Temple of
     Vesta--Temple of Neptune fulfils expectations--Amalfi--Drive
     to Sorrento--Back to Naples--By steamer to Leghorn--To
     Florence--Views from Fiesole and Bellosguardo--The
     Duomo--Baptistery--Palaces--Churches--Dante's
     tomb--Frescoes--Pictures at the Uffizi--Pictures at the
     Pitti--Pictures at the Accademia--Expedition to Siena--Back
     to Florence--Michael Angelo's house--Letter to
     Blackwood--Dwarfing effect of the past--Letter to Major
     Blackwood on _Times'_ criticism of "The Mill on the Floss,"
     and first mention of an Italian novel--Leave Florence for
     Bologna--Churches and pictures--To Padua by Ferrara--The
     Arena Chapel--Venice by moonlight--Doge's Palace--St.
     Mark's--Pictures--Scuola di San Rocco--Accademia--Gondola to
     Chioggia--From Venice to Verona--Milan--Brera Gallery and
     Ambrosian Library--Disappointment with
     cathedral--Bellagio--Over Splügen to Switzerland--Letter to
     Blackwood--Saw Moleschott at Zurich--Home by Berne and
     Geneva.

FOOTNOTES:

[11] "Here lies one whose name was writ in water."

[12] Now in cell No. 33 in the Museo di San Marco.

[13] Now in the Museo Nazionale.

[14] Now in Sala Lorenzo Monaco, Uffizi.

[15] The only portraits of Dante in the Uffizi are No. 1207 in the
room opening out of the Tribune, by an unknown painter (Scuola
Toscana); and No. 553, in the passage to the Pitti--also by an unknown
painter.

[16] No. 81. Pitti Gallery.

[17] No. 49, by Tiberio Titti. Pitti Gallery.

[18] No. 140. Pitti Gallery.

[19] No. 56 Via de Faenza, Capella di Foligno.

[20] Since burned.



CHAPTER XI.


[Sidenote: Journal, 1860.]

_July 1._--We found ourselves at home again, after three months of
delightful travel. From Berne we brought our eldest boy Charles, to
begin a new period in his life, after four years at Hofwyl. During our
absence "The Mill on the Floss" came out (April 4), and achieved a
greater success than I had ever hoped for it. The subscription was
3600 (the number originally printed was 4000); and shortly after its
appearance, Mudie having demanded a second thousand, Blackwood
commenced striking off 2000 more, making 6000. While we were at
Florence I had the news that these 6000 were all sold, and that 500
more were being prepared. From all we can gather, the votes are rather
on the side of "The Mill" as a better book than "Adam."

[Sidenote: Letter to Madame Bodichon, 1st July, 1860.]

We reached home by starlight at one o'clock this morning; and I write
in haste, fear, and trembling lest you should already be gone to
Surrey. You know what I should like--that you and your husband should
come to us the first day possible, naming any hour and conditions. We
would arrange meals and everything else as would best suit you. Of
course I would willingly go to London to see _you_, if you could not
come to me. But I fear lest neither plan should be practicable, and
lest this letter should have to be sent after you. It is from your
note only that I have learned your loss.[21] It has made me think of
you with the sense that there is more than ever a common fund of
experience between us. But I will write nothing more now. I am almost
ill with fatigue, and have only courage to write at all because of my
anxiety not to miss you.

Affectionate regards from both of _us_ to both of _you_.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 2d July, 1860.]

I opened your letters and parcel a little after one o'clock on Sunday
morning, for that was the unseasonable hour of our return from our
long, long journey. Yesterday was almost entirely employed in feeling
very weary indeed, but this morning we are attacking the heap of small
duties that always lie before one after a long absence.

It is pleasant to see your book[22] fairly finished after all delays
and anxieties; but I will say nothing to you about _that_ until I have
read it. I shall read it the first thing before plunging into a course
of study which will take me into a different region of thought.

We have had an unspeakably delightful journey--one of those journeys
that seem to divide one's life in two, by the new ideas they suggest
and the new veins of interest they open. We went to Geneva, and spent
two days with my old, kind friends, the d'Alberts--a real pleasure to
me, especially as Mr. Lewes was delighted with "Maman," as I used to
call Madame d'Albert. She is as bright and upright as ever; the ten
years have only whitened her hair--a change which makes her face all
the softer in coloring.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 3d July, 1860.]

We did not reach home till past midnight on Saturday, when you, I
suppose, had already become used to the comfort of having fairly got
through your London season. Self-interest, rightly understood of
course, prompts us to a few virtuous actions in the way of
letter-writing to let the few people we care to hear from know at once
of our whereabouts; and you are one of the first among the few.

At Berne Mr. Lewes supped with Professors Valentin and Schiff, two
highly distinguished physiologists, and I was much delighted to find
how much attention and interest they had given to his views in the
"Physiology of Common Life."

A French translation of "Adam Bede," by a Genevese gentleman[23] well
known to me, is now in the press; and the same translator has
undertaken "The Mill on the Floss." He appears to have rendered "Adam"
with the most scrupulous care. I think these are all the incidents we
gathered on our homeward journey that are likely to interest you.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 7th July, 1860.]

I have finished my first rather rapid reading of your book, and now I
thank you for it: not merely for the special gift of the volume and
inscription, but for that of which many others will share the benefit
with me--the "thoughts" themselves.

So far as my reading in English books of similar character extends,
yours seems to me quite unparalleled in the largeness and insight with
which it estimates Christianity as an "organized experience"--a grand
advance in the moral development of the race.

I especially delight in the passage, p. 105, beginning, "And how can
it be otherwise," and ending with, "formal rejection of it."[24] On
this and other supremely interesting matters of thought--perhaps I
should rather say of experience--your book has shown me that we are
much nearer to each other than I had supposed. At p. 174, again, there
is a passage beginning, "These sentiments," and ending with
"heroes,"[25] which, for me, expresses the one-half of true human
piety. That thought is one of my favorite altars where I oftenest go
to contemplate, and to seek for invigorating motive.

Of the work as a whole I am quite incompetent to judge on a single
cursory reading. I admire--I respect--the breadth and industry of mind
it exhibits; and I should be obliged to give it a more thorough study
than I can afford at present before I should feel warranted to urge,
in the light of a criticism, my failure to perceive the logical
consistency of your language in some parts with the position you have
adopted in others. In many instances your meaning is obscure to me, or
at least lies wrapped up in more folds of abstract phraseology than I
have the courage or the industry to open for myself. I think you told
me that some one had found your treatment of great questions
"cold-blooded." I am all the more delighted to find, for my own part,
an unusual fulness of sympathy and heart experience breathing
throughout your book. The ground for that epithet perhaps lay in a
certain professorial tone which could hardly be avoided, in a work
filled with criticism of other people's theories, except by the
adoption of a simply personal style of presentation, in which you
would have seemed to be looking up at the oracles, and trying to
reconcile their doctrines for your own behoof, instead of appearing to
be seated in a chair above them. But you considered your own plan more
thoroughly than any one else can have considered it for you; and I
have no doubt you had good reasons for preferring the more impersonal
style.

Mr. Lewes sends his kind regards, and when Du Bois Reymond's book on
Johannes Müller, with other preoccupations of a like thrilling kind,
no longer stand in the way, he will open _his_ copy of the "Thoughts
in Aid of Faith." He has felt a new interest aroused towards it since
he has learned something about it from me and the reviewer in the
_Westminster_.

Madame Bodichon, who was here the other day, told me that Miss
Nightingale and Miss Julia Smith had mentioned their pleasure in your
book; but you will hear further news of all that from themselves.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 9th July, 1860.]

I return Sir Edward Lytton's critical letter, which I have read with
much interest. On two points I recognize the justice of his criticism.
First, that Maggie is made to appear too passive in the scene of
quarrel in the Red Deeps. If my book were still in MS. I should--now
that the defect is suggested to me--alter, or rather expand, that
scene. Secondly, that the tragedy is not adequately prepared. This is
a defect which I felt even while writing the third volume, and have
felt ever since the MS. left me. The _Epische Breite_ into which I was
beguiled by love of my subject in the two first volumes, caused a want
of proportionate fulness in the treatment of the third, which I shall
always regret.

The other chief point of criticism--Maggie's position towards
Stephen--is too vital a part of my whole conception and purpose for me
to be converted to the condemnation of it. If I am wrong there--if I
did not really know what my heroine would feel and do under the
circumstances in which I deliberately placed her, I ought not to have
written this book at all, but quite a different book, if any. If the
ethics of art do not admit the truthful presentation of a character
essentially noble, but liable to great error--error that is anguish to
its own nobleness--then, it seems to me, the ethics of art are too
narrow, and must be widened to correspond with a widening psychology.

But it is good for me to know how my tendencies as a writer clash with
the conclusions of a highly accomplished mind, that I may be warned
into examining well whether my discordance with those conclusions may
not arise rather from an idiosyncrasy of mine than from a conviction
which is argumentatively justifiable.

I hope you will thank Sir Edward on my behalf for the trouble he has
taken to put his criticism into a form specific enough to be useful. I
feel his taking such trouble to be at once a tribute and a kindness.
If printed criticisms were usually written with only half the same
warrant of knowledge, and with an equal sincerity of intention, I
should read them without fear of fruitless annoyance.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Bray, 10th July, 1860.]

The little envelope with its address of "Marian" was very welcome, and
as Mr. Lewes is sending what a Malaproprian friend once called a
"missile" to Sara, I feel inclined to slip in a word of
gratitude--less for the present than for the past goodness, which came
back to me with keener remembrance than ever when we were at Genoa and
at Como--the places I first saw with you. How wretched I was then--how
peevish, how utterly morbid! And how kind and forbearing you were
under the oppression of my company. I should like you now and then to
feel happy in the thought that you were always perfectly good to me.
That I was not good to you is my own disagreeable affair; the bitter
taste of that fact is mine, not yours.

Don't you remember Bellagio? It is hardly altered much except in the
hotels, which the eleven years have wondrously multiplied and
bedizened for the accommodation of the English. But if I begin to
recall the things we saw in Italy, I shall write as long a letter as
Mr. Lewes's, which, by-the-bye, now I have read it, seems to be
something of a "missile" in another sense than the Malaproprian. But
Sara is one of the few people to whom candor is acceptable as the
highest tribute. And private criticism has more chance of being
faithful than public. We must have mercy on critics who are obliged to
make a figure in printed pages. They must by all means say striking
things. Either we should not read printed criticisms at all (_I
don't_), or we should read them with the constant remembrance that
they are a fugitive kind of work which, in the present stage of human
nature, can rarely engage a very high grade of conscience or ability.
The fate of a book, which is not entirely ephemeral, is never decided
by journalists or reviewers of any but an exceptional kind. Tell Sara
her damnation--if it ever comes to pass--will be quite independent of
Nationals and Westminsters. Let half a dozen competent people read her
book, and an opinion of it will spread quite apart from either praise
or blame in reviews and newspapers.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Bray, Tuesday evening, July, 1860.]

Our big boy is a great delight to us, and makes our home doubly
cheery. It is very sweet as one gets old to have some young life about
one. He is quite a passionate musician, and we play Beethoven duets
with increasing appetite every evening. The opportunity of hearing
some inspiring music is one of the chief benefits we hope for to
counterbalance our loss of the wide common and the fields.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Bray, 14th July, 1860.]

We shall certainly read the parts you suggest in the "Education of the
Feelings,"[26] and I dare say I shall read a good deal more of it,
liking to turn over the leaves of a book which I read first in our old
drawing-room at Foleshill, and then lent to my sister, who, with a
little air of maternal experience, pronounced it "very sensible."

There is so much that I want to do every day--I had need cut myself
into four women. We have a great extra interest and occupation just
now in our big boy Charlie, who is looking forward to a Government
examination, and wants much help and sympathy in music and graver
things. I think we are quite peculiarly blest in the fact that this
eldest lad seems the most entirely lovable human animal of seventeen
and a half that I ever met with or heard of: he has a sweetness of
disposition which is saved from weakness by a remarkable sense of
duty.

We are going to let our present house, if possible--that is, get rid
of it altogether on account of its inconvenient situation--other
projects are still in a floating, unfixed condition. The water did not
look quite so green at Como--perhaps, as your remark suggests, because
there was a less vivid green to be reflected from my personality as I
looked down on it. I am eleven years nearer to the sere and yellow
leaf, and my feelings are even more autumnal than my years. I have
read no reviews of the "Mill on the Floss" except that in the _Times_
which Blackwood sent me to Florence. I abstain not from
superciliousness, but on a calm consideration of the probable
proportion of benefit on the one hand, and waste of thought on the
other. It was certain that in the notices of my first book, after the
removal of my _incognito_, there would be much _ex post facto_ wisdom,
which could hardly profit me since _I_ certainly knew who I was
beforehand, and knew also that no one else knew who had not been
told.

[Sidenote: Letter to Charles Bray, 18th July, 1860.]

We are quite uncertain about our plans at present. Our second boy,
Thornie, is going to leave Hofwyl, and to be placed in some more
expensive position, in order to the carrying on of his education in a
more complete way, so that we are thinking of avoiding for the present
any final establishment of ourselves, which would necessarily be
attended with additional outlay. Besides, these material cares draw
rather too severely on my strength and spirits. But until Charlie's
career has taken shape we frame no definite projects.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 6th Aug. 1860.]

If Cara values the article on Strikes in the _Westminster Review_, she
will be interested to know--if she has not heard it already--that the
writer is _blind_. I dined with him the other week, and could hardly
keep the tears back as I sat at table with him. Yet he is cheerful and
animated, accepting with graceful quietness all the minute attentions
to his wants that his blindness calls forth. His name is Fawcett, and
he is a Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. I am sitting for my
portrait--for the last time, I hope--to Lawrence, the artist who drew
that chalk-head of Thackeray, which is familiar to you.

[Sidenote: Letter to Madame Bodichon, Friday, Aug. 1860.]

I know you will rejoice with us that Charlie has won his place at the
Post-office, having been at the head of the list in the examination.
The dear lad is fairly launched in life now.

[Sidenote: Letter to Madame Bodichon, Saturday evening, Aug. 1860.]

I am thoroughly vexed that we didn't go to Lawrence's to-day. We made
an effort, but it was raining too hard at the only time that would
serve us to reach the train. That comes of our inconvenient situation,
so far off the railway; and alas! no one comes to take our house off
our hands. We may be forced to stay here after all.

One of the things I shall count upon, if we are able to get nearer
London, is to see more of your schools and other good works. That
would help me to do without the fields for many months of the year.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 27th Aug. 1860.]

I am very sorry that anything I have written should have pained you.
_That_, certainly, is the result I should seek most to avoid in the
very slight communication which we are able to keep up--necessarily
under extremely imperfect acquaintance with each other's present self.

My first letter to you about your book, after having read it through,
was as simple and sincere a statement of the main impressions it had
produced on me as I knew how to write in few words. My second letter,
in which I unhappily used a formula in order to express to you, in
briefest phrase, my difficulty in discerning the justice of your
_analogical_ argument, _as I understood it_, was written from no other
impulse than the desire to show you that I did not neglect your
abstract just sent to me. The said formula was entirely deprived of
its application by the statement in your next letter that you used the
word "essence" in another sense than the one hitherto received in
philosophical writing, on the question as to the nature of our
knowledge; and the explanation given of your meaning in your last
letter shows me--unless I am plunging into further mistake--that you
mean nothing but what I fully believe. My offensive formula was
written under the supposition that your conclusion meant something
which it apparently did _not_ mean. It is probable enough that I was
stupid; but I should be distressed to think that the discipline of
life had been of so little use to me as to leave me with a tendency
to leap at once to the attitude of a critic, instead of trying first
to be a learner from every book written with sincere labor.

Will you tell Mr. Bray that we are quitting our present house in order
to be _nearer_ town for Charlie's sake, who has an appointment in the
Post-office, and our time will be arduously occupied during the next
few weeks in arrangements to that end, so that our acceptance of the
pleasant proposition to visit Sydenham for a while is impossible. We
have advertised for a house near Regent's Park, having just found a
gentleman and lady ready to take our present one off our hands. They
want to come in on quarter-day, so that we have no time to spare.

I have been reading this morning for my spiritual good Emerson's "Man
the Reformer," which comes to me with fresh beauty and meaning. My
heart goes out with venerating gratitude to that mild face, which I
dare say is smiling on some one as beneficently as it one day did on
me years and years ago.

Do not write again about opinions on large questions, dear Sara.
The liability to mutual misconception which attends such
correspondence--especially in my case, who can only write with
brevity and haste--makes me dread it greatly; and I think there is
no benefit derivable to you to compensate for the presence of that
dread in me. You do not know me well enough as I _am_ (according to
the doctrine of development which you have yourself expounded) to
have the materials for interpreting my imperfect expressions.

I think you would spare yourself some pain if you would attribute to
your friends a larger comprehension of ideas, and a larger
acquaintance with them, than you appear to do. I should imagine that
many of them, or at least _some_ of them, share with you, much more
fully than you seem to suppose, in the interest and hope you derive
from the doctrine of development, with its geometrical progression
towards fuller and fuller being. Surely it is a part of human piety we
should all cultivate, not to form conclusions, on slight and dubious
evidence, as to other people's "tone of mind," or to regard particular
mistakes as a proof of general moral incapacity to understand us. I
suppose such a tendency (to large conclusions about others) is part of
the original sin we are all born with, for I have continually to check
it in myself.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 28th Aug. 1860.]

I think I must tell you the secret, though I am distrusting my power
to make it grow into a published fact. When we were in Florence I was
rather fired with the idea of writing an historical romance--scene,
Florence; period, the close of the fifteenth century, which was marked
by Savonarola's career and martyrdom. Mr. Lewes has encouraged me to
persevere in the project, saying that I should probably do something
in historical romance rather different in character from what has been
done before. But I want first to write another English story, and the
plan I should like to carry out is this: to publish my next English
novel when my Italian one is advanced enough for us to begin its
publication a few months afterwards in "Maga." It would appear without
a name in the Magazine, and be subsequently reprinted with the name of
George Eliot. I need not tell you the wherefore of this plan. You know
well enough the received phrases with which a writer is greeted when
he does something else than what was expected of him. But just now I
am quite without confidence in my future doings, and almost repent of
having formed conceptions which will go on lashing me now until I have
at least tried to fulfil them.

I am going to-day to give my last sitting to Lawrence, and we were
counting on the Major's coming to look at the portrait and judge of
it. I hope it will be satisfactory, for I am quite set against going
through the same process a second time.

We are a little distracted just now with the prospect of removal from
our present house, which some obliging people have at last come to
take off our hands.

[Sidenote: Letter to Madame Bodichon, 5th Sept. 1860.]

My fingers have been itching to write to you for the last week or
more, but I have waited and waited, hoping to be able to tell you that
we had decided on our future house. This evening, however, I have been
reading your description of Algiers, and the desire to thank you for
it moves me too strongly to be resisted. It is admirably written, and
makes me _see_ the country. I am so glad to think of the deep draughts
of life you get from being able to spend half your life in that fresh,
grand scenery. It must make London and English green fields all the
more enjoyable in their turn.

As for us, we are preparing to renounce the delights of roving, and to
settle down quietly, as old folks should do, for the benefit of the
young ones. We have let our present house.

Is it not cheering to have the sunshine on the corn, and the prospect
that the poor people will not have to endure the suffering that comes
on them from a bad harvest? The fields that were so sadly beaten down
a little while ago on the way to town are now standing in fine yellow
shocks.

I wish you could know how much we felt your kindness to Charley. He is
such a dear good fellow that nothing is thrown away upon him.

Write me a scrap of news about yourself, and tell me how you and the
doctor are enjoying the country. I shall get a breath of it in that
way. I think I love the fields and shudder at the streets more and
more every month.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1860.]

_Sept. 27._--To-day is the third day we have spent in our new home
here at 10 Harewood Square. It is a furnished house, in which we do
not expect to stay longer than six months at the utmost. Since our
return from Italy I have written a slight tale, "Mr. David Faux,
Confectioner" ("Brother Jacob"), which G. thinks worth printing.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 27th Sept. 1860.]

The precious check arrived safely to-day. I am much obliged to you for
it, and also for the offer to hasten further payments. I have no
present need of that accommodation, as we have given up the idea of
buying the house which attracted us, dreading a step that might fetter
us to town, or to a more expensive mode of living than might
ultimately be desirable. I hope Mr. Lewes will bring us back a good
report of Major Blackwood's progress towards re-established health. In
default of a visit from him, it was very agreeable to have him
represented by his son,[27] who has the happy talent of making a
morning call one of the easiest, pleasantest things in the world.

I wonder if you know who is the writer of the article in the _North
British_, in which I am reviewed along with Hawthorne. Mr. Lewes
brought it for me to read this morning, and it is so unmixed in its
praise that if I had any friends I should be uneasy lest a friend
should have written it.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 16th Oct. 1860.]

Since there is no possibility of my turning in to see you on my walk,
as in the old days, I cannot feel easy without writing to tell you my
regret that I missed you when you came. In changing a clearer sky for
a foggy one we have not changed our habits, and we walk after lunch,
as usual; but I should like very much to stay indoors any day with the
expectation of seeing you, if I could know beforehand of your coming.
It is rather sad not to see your face at all from week to week, and I
hope you know that I feel it so. But I am always afraid of falling
into a disagreeable urgency of invitation, since we have nothing to
offer beyond the familiar, well-worn entertainment of our own society.
I hope you and Mr. Congreve are quite well now and free from cares.
Emily, I suppose, is gone with the sunshine of her face to Coventry.
There is sadly little sunshine except that of young faces just now.
Still we are flourishing, in spite of damp and dismalness. We were
glad to hear that the well-written article in the _Westminster_ on the
"Essays and Reviews" was by your friend Mr. Harrison.[28] Though I
don't quite agree with his view of the case, I admired the tone and
style of the writing greatly.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 19th Oct. 1860.]

There is no objection to Wednesday but this--that it is our day for
hearing a course of lectures, and the lecture begins at eight. Now,
since you can't come often, we want to keep you as long as we can, and
we have a faint hope that Mr. Congreve might be able to come from his
work and dine with us and take you home. But if that were impossible,
could you not stay all night? There is a bed ready for you. Think of
all that, and if you can manage to give us the longer visit, choose
another day when our evening will be unbroken. I will understand by
your silence that you can only come for a shorter time, and that you
abide by your plan of coming on Wednesday. I am really quite hungry
for the sight of you.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 2d Nov. 1860.]

I agree with you in preferring to put simply "New Edition;" and I see,
too, that the practice of advertising numbers is made vulgar and
worthless by the doubtful veracity of some publishers, and the low
character of the books to which they affix this supposed guarantee of
popularity. _Magna est veritas_, etc. I can't tell you how much
comfort I feel in having publishers who believe that.

You have read the hostile article in the _Quarterly_, I dare say. I
have not seen it; but Mr. Lewes's report of it made me more cheerful
than any review I have heard of since "The Mill" came out. You remember
Lord John Russell was once laughed at immensely for saying that he felt
confident he was right, because all parties found fault with him. I
really find myself taking nearly the same view of my position, with the
Freethinkers angry with me on one side and the writer in the
_Quarterly_ on the other--_not_ because my representations are
untruthful, but because they are impartial--because I don't _load_ my
dice so as to make their side win. The parenthetical hint that the
classical quotations in my books might be "more correctly printed," is
an amusing sample of the grievance that belongs to review-writing in
general, since there happens to be only _one_ classical quotation in
them all--the Greek one from the Philoctetes in "Amos Barton."
By-the-bye, will you see that the readers have not allowed some error
to creep into that solitary bit of pedantry?

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 13th Nov. 1860.]

I understand your paradox of "expecting disappointments," for that is
the only form of hope with which I am familiar. I should like, for
your sake, that you should rather see us in our _own_ house than in
this; for I fear your carrying away a general sense of _yellow_ in
connection with us--and I am sure that is enough to set you against
the thought of us. There are some staring yellow curtains which you
will hardly help blending with your impression of our moral
sentiments. In our own drawing-room I mean to have a paradise of
greenness. I have lately re-read your "Thoughts," from the beginning
of the "Psychical Essence of Christianity" to the end of the "History
of Philosophy," and I feel my original impression confirmed--that the
"Psychical Essence" and "General Review of the Christian System" are
the most valuable portions. I think you once expressed your regret
that I did not understand the analogy you traced between Feuerbach's
theory and Spencer's. I don't know what gave you that impression, for
_I_ never said so. I see your meaning distinctly in that parallel. If
you referred to something in Mr. Lewes's letter, let me say, once for
all, that you must not impute _my_ opinions to _him_ nor _vice versâ_.
The intense happiness of our union 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 egoistic irritation in him, and that
he is ready to admit that another argument is the stronger the moment
his intellect recognizes it. I am glad to see Mr. Bray contributing
his quota to the exposure of that odious trickery--spirit-rapping. It
was not headache that I was suffering from when Mr. Bray called, but
extreme languor and unbroken fatigue from morning to night--a state
which is always accompanied in me, psychically, by utter
self-distrust and despair of ever being equal to the demands of life.
We should be very pleased to hear some news of Mr. and Mrs. Call. I
feel their removal from town quite a loss to us.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1860.]

_Nov. 28._--Since I last wrote in this Journal I have suffered much
from physical weakness, accompanied with mental depression. The loss
of the country has seemed very bitter to me, and my want of health and
strength has prevented me from working much--still worse, has made me
despair of ever working well again. I am getting better now by the
help of tonics, and shall be better still if I could gather more
bravery, resignation, and simplicity of striving. In the meantime my
cup is full of blessings: my home is bright and warm with love and
tenderness, and in more material, vulgar matters we are very
fortunate.

Last Tuesday--the 20th--we had a pleasant evening. Anthony Trollope
dined with us, and made me like him very much by his straightforward,
wholesome _Wesen_. Afterwards Mr. Helps came in, and the talk was
extremely agreeable. He told me the queen had been speaking to him in
great admiration of my books--especially "The Mill on the Floss." It
is interesting to know that royalty can be touched by that sort of
writing, and I was grateful to Mr. Helps for his wish to tell me of
the sympathy given to me in that quarter.

To-day I have had a letter from M. d'Albert, saying that at last the
French edition of "Adam Bede" is published. He pleases me very much by
saying that he finds not a sentence that he can retrench in the first
volume of "The Mill."

I am engaged now in writing a story--the idea of which came to me
after our arrival in this house, and which has thrust itself between
me and the other book I was meditating. It is "Silas Marner, the
Weaver of Raveloe." I am still only at about the 62d page, for I have
written slowly and interruptedly.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 7th Dec. 1860.]

The sight of sunshine usually brings you to my mind, because you are
my latest association with the country; but I think of you much
oftener than I see the sunshine, for the weather in London has been
more uninterruptedly dismal than ever for the last fortnight.
Nevertheless _I_ am brighter; and since I believe your goodness will
make that agreeable news to you, I write on purpose to tell it.
Quinine and steel have at last made me brave and cheerful, and I
really don't mind a journey up-stairs. If you had not repressed our
hope of seeing you again until your sister's return, I should have
asked you to join us for the Exeter Hall performance of the "Messiah"
this evening, which I am looking forward to with delight. The Monday
Popular Concerts at St. James's Hall are our easiest and cheapest
pleasures. I go in my bonnet; we sit in the shilling places in the
body of the hall, and hear to perfection for a shilling! That is
agreeable when one hears Beethoven's quartets and sonatas. Pray bear
in mind that these things are to be had when you are more at liberty.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1860.]

_Dec. 17._--We entered to-day our new home--16 Blandford Square--which
we have taken for three years, hoping by the end of that time to have
so far done our duty by the boys as to be free to live where we list.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 20th Dec. 1860.]

Your vision of me as "settled" was painfully in contrast with the
fact. The last virtue human beings will attain, I am inclined to
think, is scrupulosity in promising and faithfulness in fulfilment. We
are still far off our last stadium of development, and so it has come
to pass that, though we were in the house on Monday last, our
curtains are not up and our oilcloth is not down. Such is life, seen
from the furnishing point of view! I can't tell you how hateful this
sort of time-frittering work is to me, who every year care less for
houses and detest shops more. To crown my sorrows, I have lost my
pen--my old, favorite pen, with which I have written for eight
years--at least, it is not forth-coming. We have been reading the
proof of Mr. Spencer's second part, and I am supremely gratified by
it, because he brings his argument to a point which I did not
anticipate from him. It is, as he says, a result of his riper thought.
After all the bustle of Monday I went to hear Sims Reeves sing
"Adelaide"--that _ne plus ultra_ of passionate song--and I wish you
had been there for one quarter of an hour, that you might have heard
it too.

[Sidenote: Letter to Madame Bodichon, 26th Dec. 1860.]

The bright point in your letter is that you are in a happy state of
mind yourself. For the rest, we must wait, and not be impatient with
those who have their inward trials, though everything outward seems to
smile on them. It seems to those who are differently placed that the
time of freedom from strong ties and urgent claims must be very
precious for the ends of self-culture and good, helpful work towards
the world at large. But it hardly ever is so. As for the forms and
ceremonies, I feel no regret that any should turn to them for comfort
if they can find comfort in them; sympathetically I enjoy them myself.
But 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.

We have no sorrow just now, except my constant inward "worrit" of
unbelief in any future of good work on my part. Everything I do seems
poor and trivial in the doing; and when it is quite gone from me, and
seems no longer my own, then I rejoice in it and think it fine. That
is the history of my life.

I have been wanting to go to your school again, to refresh myself with
the young voices there, but I have not been able to do it. My walks
have all been taken up with shopping errands of late; but I hope to
get more leisure soon.

We both beg to offer our affectionate remembrances to the doctor. Get
Herbert Spencer's new work--the two first quarterly parts. It is the
best thing he has done.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1860.]

_Dec. 31._--This year has been marked by many blessings, and, above
all, by the comfort we have found in having Charles with us. Since we
set out on our journey to Italy on 25th March, the time has not been
fruitful in work: distractions about our change of residence have run
away with many days; and since I have been in London my state of
health has been depressing to all effort.

May the next year be more fruitful!

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 12th Jan. 1861.]

I am writing a story which came _across_ my other plans by a sudden
inspiration. I don't know at present whether it will resolve itself
into a book short enough for me to complete before Easter, or whether
it will expand beyond that possibility. It seems to me that nobody
will take any interest in it but myself, for it is extremely unlike
the popular stories going; but Mr. Lewes declares that I am wrong, and
says it is as good as anything I have done. It is a story of
old-fashioned village life, which has unfolded itself from the merest
millet-seed of thought. I think I get slower and more timid in my
writing, but perhaps worry about houses and servants and boys, with
want of bodily strength, may have had something to do with that. I
hope to be quiet now.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1861.]

_Feb. 1._--The first month of the New Year has been passed in much
bodily discomfort, making both work and leisure heavy. I have reached
page 209 of my story, which is to be in one volume, and I want to get
it ready for Easter, but I dare promise myself nothing with this
feeble body.

The other day I had charming letters from M. and Mme. d'Albert, saying
that the French "Adam" goes on very well, and showing an appreciation
of "The Mill" which pleases me.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 6th Feb. 1861.]

I was feeling so ill on Friday and Saturday that I had not spirit to
write and thank you for the basket of eggs--an invaluable present. I
was particularly grateful this morning at breakfast, when a fine large
one fell to my share.

On Saturday afternoon we were both so utterly incapable that Mr. Lewes
insisted on our setting off forthwith into the country. But we only
got as far as Dorking, and came back yesterday. I felt a new creature
as soon as I was in the country; and we had two brilliant days for
rambling and driving about that lovely Surrey. I suppose we must keep
soul and body together by occasional flights of this sort; and don't
you think an occasional flight to town will be good for you?

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 8th Feb. 1861.]

I have destroyed almost all my friends' letters to me, 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. But enough of that. The
reminders I am getting from time to time of Coventry distress have
made me think very often yearningly and painfully of the friends who
are more immediately affected by it, and I often wonder if more
definite information would increase or lessen my anxiety for them.
Send me what word you can from time to time, that there may be some
reality in my image of things round your hearth.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 15th Feb. 1861.]

I send you by post to-day about two hundred and thirty pages of MS. I
send it because, in my experience, printing and its preliminaries have
always been rather a slow business; and as the story--if published at
Easter at all--should be ready by Easter week, there is no time to
lose. We are reading "Carlyle's Memoirs" with much interest; but, so
far as we have gone, he certainly does seem to me something of a
"Sadducee"--a very handsome one, judging from the portrait. What a
memory and what an experience for a novelist! But, somehow, experience
and finished faculty rarely go together. Dearly beloved Scott had the
greatest combination of experience and faculty, yet even he never made
the most of his treasures, at least in his _mode_ of presentation.
Send us better news of Major Blackwood, if you can. We feel so old and
rickety ourselves that we have a peculiar interest in invalids. Mr.
Lewes is going to lecture for the Post-office this evening, by Mr.
Trollope's request. I am rather uneasy about it, and wish he were well
through the unusual excitement.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 16th Feb. 1861.]

I have been much relieved by Mr. Lewes having got through his lecture
at the Post-office[29] with perfect ease and success, for I had feared
the unusual excitement for him. _I_ am better. I have not been working
much lately; indeed, this year has been a comparatively idle one. I
think my _malaise_ is chiefly owing to the depressing influence of
town air and town scenes. The Zoological Gardens are my one outdoor
pleasure now, and we can take it several times a week, for Mr. Lewes
has become a fellow.

My love is often visiting you. Entertain it well.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 20th Feb. 1861.]

I am glad to hear that Mr. Maurice impressed you agreeably. If I had
strength to be adventurous on Sunday I should go to hear him preach as
well as others. But I am unequal to the least exertion or
irregularity. My only pleasure away from our own hearth is going to
the Zoological Gardens. Mr. Lewes is a fellow, so we turn in there
several times a week; and I find the birds and beasts there most
congenial to my spirit. There is a Shoebill, a great bird of grotesque
ugliness, whose topknot looks brushed up to a point with an exemplary
deference to the demands of society, but who, I am sure, has no idea
that he looks the handsomer for it. I cherish an unrequited attachment
to him.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 23d Feb. 1861.]

If you are in London this morning, in this fine, dun-colored fog, you
know how to pity me. But I feel myself wicked for implying that I have
any grievances. Only last week we had a circular from the clergyman at
Attleboro, where there is a considerable population entirely dependent
on the ribbon-trade, telling us how the poor weavers are suffering
from the effects of the Coventry strike. And these less-known,
undramatic tales of want win no wide help, such as has been given in
the case of the Hartley colliery accident.

Your letter was a contribution towards a more cheerful view of things,
for whatever may be the minor evils you hint at, I know that Mr.
Congreve's better health, and the satisfaction you have in his doing
effective work, will outweigh them. We have had a Dr. Wyatt here
lately, an Oxford physician, who was much interested in hearing of Mr.
Congreve again, not only on the ground of Oxford remembrances, but
from having read his writings.

I was much pleased with the affectionate respect that was expressed in
all the notices of Mr. Clough[30] that I happened to see in the
newspapers. They were an indication that there must be a great deal of
private sympathy to soothe poor Mrs. Clough, if any soothing is
possible in such cases. That little poem of his which was quoted in
the _Spectator_ about parted friendships touched me deeply.

You may be sure we are ailing, but I am ashamed of dwelling on a
subject that offers so little variety.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 24th Feb. 1861.]

I don't wonder at your finding my story, as far as you have read it,
rather sombre; indeed, I should not have believed that any one would
have been interested in it but myself (since Wordsworth is dead) if
Mr. Lewes had not been strongly arrested by it. But I hope you will
not find it at all a sad story, as a whole, since it sets--or is
intended to set--in a strong light the remedial influences of pure,
natural human relations. The Nemesis is a very mild one. I have felt
all through as if the story would have lent itself best to metrical
rather than to prose fiction, especially in all that relates to the
psychology of Silas; except that, under that treatment, there could
not be an equal play of humor. It came to me first of all quite
suddenly, as a sort of legendary tale, suggested by my recollection of
having once, in early childhood, seen a linen-weaver with a bag on his
back; but, as my mind dwelt on the subject, I became inclined to a
more realistic treatment.

My chief reason for wishing to publish the story now is that I like my
writings to appear in the order in which they are written, because
they belong to successive mental phases, and when they are a year
behind me I can no longer feel that thorough identification with them
which gives zest to the sense of authorship. I generally like them
better at that distance, but then I feel as if they might just as well
have been written by somebody else. It would have been a great
pleasure to me if Major Blackwood could have read my story. I am very
glad to have the first part tested by the reading of your nephew and
Mr. Simpson, and to find that it can interest them at all.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1861.]

_March 10._--Finished "Silas Marner," and sent off the last thirty
pages to Edinburgh.

[Sidenote: Letter to the Brays, 19th Mch. 1861, from Hastings.]

Your letter came to me just as we were preparing to start in search of
fresh air and the fresh thoughts that come with it. I hope you never
doubt that I feel a deep interest in knowing all facts that touch you
nearly. I should like to think that it was some small comfort to Cara
and you to know that, wherever I am, there is one among that number of
your friends--necessarily decreasing with increasing years--who enter
into your present experience with the light of memories; for kind
feeling can never replace fully the sympathy that comes from memory.
My disposition is so faultily anxious and foreboding that I am not
likely to forget anything of a saddening sort.

Tell Sara we saw Mr. William Smith, author of "Thorndale," a short
time ago, and he spoke of her and her book with interest; he thought
her book "suggestive." He called on us during a visit to London, made
for the sake of getting married. The lady is, or rather was, a Miss
Cumming, daughter of a blind physician of Edinburgh. He said they had
talked to each other for some time of the "impossibility" of marrying,
because they were both too poor. "But," he said, "it is dangerous,
Lewes, to talk even of the impossibility." The difficulties gradually
dwindled, and the advantages magnified themselves. She is a nice
person, we hear; and I was particularly pleased with _him_--he is
modest to diffidence, yet bright and keenly awake.

I am just come in from our first good blow on the beach, and have that
delicious sort of numbness in arms and legs that comes from walking
hard in a fresh wind.

"Silas Marner" is in one volume. It was quite a sudden inspiration
that came across me in the midst of altogether different meditations.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 30th Mch. 1861.]

The latest number I had heard of was three thousand three hundred, so
that your letter brought me agreeable information. I am particularly
gratified, because this spirited subscription must rest on my
character as a writer generally, and not simply on the popularity of
"Adam Bede." There is an article on "The Mill" in _Macmillan's
Magazine_ which is worth reading. I cannot, of course, agree with the
writer in all his regrets; if I could have done so I should not have
written the book I did write, but quite another. Still, it is a
comfort to me to read any criticism which recognizes the high
responsibilities of literature that undertakes to represent life. The
ordinary tone about art is that the artist may do what he will,
provided he pleases the public.

I am very glad to be told--whenever you can tell me--that the major is
not suffering heavily. I know so well the preciousness of those smiles
that tell one the mind is not held out of all reach of soothing.

We are wavering whether we shall go to Florence this spring or wait
till the year and other things are more advanced.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Peter Taylor, 1st April, 1861.]

It gave me pleasure to have your letter, not only because of the kind
expressions of sympathy it contains, but also because it gives me an
opportunity of telling you, after the lapse of years, that I remember
gratefully how you wrote to me with generous consideration and belief
at a time when most persons who knew anything of me were disposed
(naturally enough) to judge me rather severely. Only a woman of rare
qualities would have written to me as you did on the strength of the
brief intercourse that had passed between us.

It was never a trial to me to have been cut off from what is called
the world, and I think I love none of my fellow-creatures the less for
it; still, I must always retain a peculiar regard for those who showed
me any kindness in word or deed at that time, when there was the least
evidence in my favor. The list of those who did so is a short one, so
that I can often and easily recall it.

For the last six years I have ceased to be "Miss Evans" for any one
who has personal relations with me--having held myself under all the
responsibilities of a married woman. I wish this to be distinctly
understood; and when I tell you that we have a great boy of eighteen
at home, who calls me "mother," as well as two other boys, almost as
tall, who write to me under the same name, you will understand that
the point is not one of mere egoism or personal dignity, when I
request that any one who has a regard for me will cease to speak of me
by my maiden name.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 4th April, 1861.]

I am much obliged to you for your punctuality in sending me my
precious check. I prize the money fruit of my labor very highly as the
means of saving us dependence, or the degradation of writing when we
are no longer able to write well, or to write what we have not written
before.

Mr. Langford brought us word that he thought the total subscription
(including Scotland and Ireland) would mount to five thousand five
hundred. That is really very great. And letters drop in from time to
time, giving me words of strong encouragement, especially about "The
Mill;" so that I have reason to be cheerful, and to believe that where
one has a large public, one's words must hit their mark. If it were
not for that, special cases of misinterpretation might paralyze me.
For example, pray notice how one critic attributes to me a disdain for
Tom; as if it were not _my_ respect for Tom which infused itself into
my reader; as if he could have respected Tom if I had not painted him
with respect; the exhibition of the right on both sides being the very
soul of my intention in the story. However, I ought to be satisfied if
I have roused the feeling that does justice to both sides.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Peter Taylor, 6th April, 1861.]

I feel more at ease in omitting formalities with you than I should
with most persons, because I know you are yourself accustomed to have
other reasons for your conduct than mere fashion, and I believe you
will understand me without many words when I tell you what Mr. Lewes
felt unable to explain on the instant when you kindly expressed the
wish to see us at your house; namely, that I have found it a necessity
of my London life to make the rule of _never_ paying visits. Without a
carriage, and with my easily perturbed health, London distances would
make any other rule quite irreconcilable for me with any efficient use
of my days; and I am obliged to give up the _few_ visits which would
be really attractive and fruitful in order to avoid the _many_ visits
which would be the reverse. It is only by saying, "I never pay
visits," that I can escape being ungracious or unkind--only by
renouncing all social intercourse but such as comes to our own
fireside, that I can escape sacrificing the chief objects of my life.

I think it very good of those with whom I have much fellow-feeling, if
they will let me have the pleasure of seeing them without their
expecting the usual reciprocity of visits; and I hope I need hardly
say that you are among the visitors who would be giving me pleasure in
this way. I think your imagination will supply all I have left unsaid,
all the details that run away with our hours when our life extends at
all beyond our own homes; and I am not afraid of your misinterpreting
my stay-at-home rule into churlishness.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 18th April, 1861.]

We went to hear Beethoven's "Mass in D" last night, and on Wednesday
to hear Mendelssohn's "Walpurgis Nacht" and Beethoven's "Symphony in
B," so that we have had two musical treats this week; but the
enjoyment of such things is much diminished by the gas and bad air.
Indeed, our long addiction to a quiet life, in which our daily walk
among the still grass and trees was a _fête_ to us, has unfitted us
for the sacrifices that London demands. Don't think about reading
"Silas Marner" just because it is come out. I hate _obligato_ reading
and _obligato_ talk about my books. _I never send them to any one_,
and never wish to be spoken to about them, except by an
unpremeditated, spontaneous prompting. They are written out of my
deepest belief, and, as well as I can, for the great public, and every
sincere, strong word will find its mark in that public. Perhaps the
annoyance I suffered (referring to the Liggins' affair) has made me
rather morbid on such points; but, apart from my own weaknesses, I
think the less an author hears about himself the better. Don't mistake
me: I am writing a general explanation, _not_ anything applicable to
you.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1861.]

_April 19._--We set off on our second journey to Florence, through
France and by the Cornice Road. Our weather was delicious, a little
rain, and we suffered neither from heat nor from dust.

[Sidenote: Letter to Charles L. Lewes, 25th April, 1861.]

We have had a paradisaic journey hitherto. It does one good to look at
the Provençals--men and women. They are quite a different race from
the Northern French--large, round-featured, full-eyed, with an
expression of _bonhomie_, calm and suave. They are very much like the
pleasantest Italians. The women at Arles and Toulon are remarkably
handsome. On Tuesday morning we set out about ten on our way to Nice,
hiring a carriage and taking post-horses. The sky was gray, and after
an hour or so we had rain; nevertheless our journey to Vidauban, about
half-way to Nice, was enchanting. Everywhere a delicious plain,
covered with bright green corn, sprouting vines, mulberry-trees,
olives, and here and there meadows sprinkled with buttercups, made the
nearer landscapes, and, in the distance, mountains of varying outline.
_Mutter_ felt herself in a state of perfect bliss from only looking
at this peaceful, generous nature; and you often came across the green
blades of corn, and made her love it all the better. We had meant to
go on to Fréjus that night, but no horses were to be had; so we made
up our minds to rest at Vidauban, and went out to have a stroll before
our six-o'clock dinner. Such a stroll! The sun had kindly come out for
us, and we enjoyed it all the more for the grayness of the morning.
There is a crystally clear river flowing by Vidauban, called the
Argent: it rushes along between a fringe of aspens and willows; and
the sunlight lay under the boughs, and fell on the eddying water,
making Pater and me very happy as we wandered. The next morning we set
off early, to be sure of horses before they had been used up by other
travellers. The country was not quite so lovely, but we had the
sunlight to compensate until we got past Fréjus, where we had our
first view of the sea since Toulon, and where the scenery changes to
the entirely mountainous, the road winding above gorges of pine-clad
masses for a long way. To heighten the contrast, a heavy storm came,
which thoroughly laid the dust for us, if it had no other advantage.
The sun came out gloriously again before we reached Cannes, and lit up
the yellow broom, which is now in all its splendor, and clothes vast
slopes by which our road wound. We had still a four-hours' journey to
Nice, where we arrived at six o'clock, with headaches that made us
glad of the luxuries to be found in a great hotel.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1861.]

_May 5._--Dear Florence was lovelier than ever on this second view,
and ill-health was the only deduction from perfect enjoyment. We had
comfortable quarters in the Albergo della Vittoria, on the Arno; we
had the best news from England about the success of "Silas Marner;"
and we had long letters from our dear boy to make us feel easy about
home.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 5th May, 1861.]

Your pleasant news had been ripening at the post-office several days
before we enjoyed the receipt of it; for our journey lasted us longer
than we expected, and we didn't reach this place till yesterday
evening. We have come with _vetturino_ from Toulon--the most
delightful (and the most expensive) journey we have ever had. I dare
say you know the Cornice; if not, _do_ know it some time, and bring
Mrs. Blackwood that way into Italy. Meanwhile I am glad to think that
you are having a less fatiguing change to places where you can "carry
the comforts o' the Saut Market" with you, which is not quite the case
with travellers along the Mediterranean coast. I hope I shall soon
hear that you are thoroughly set up by fresh air and fresh
circumstances, along with pleasant companionship.

Except a thunderstorm, which gave a grand variety to the mountains,
and a little gentle rain, the first day from Toulon, which made the
green corn all the fresher, we have had unbroken sunshine, without
heat and without dust. I suppose this season and late autumn must be
the perfect moments for taking this supremely beautiful journey. We
must be forever ashamed of ourselves if we don't work the better for
it.

It was very good of you to write to me in the midst of your hurry,
that I might have good news to greet me. It really did lighten our
weariness, and make the noisy streets that prevented sleep more
endurable. I was amused with your detail about Professor Aytoun's
sovereigns. There can be no great paintings of misers under the
present system of paper money--checks, bills, scrip, and the
like--nobody can handle that dull property as men handled the
glittering gold.

[Sidenote: Letter to Charles L. Lewes, 17th May, 1861.]

The Florentine winds, being of a grave and earnest disposition, have
naturally a disgust for trivial _dilettanti_ foreigners, and seize on
the peculiarly feeble and worthless with much virulence. In
consequence we had a sad history for nearly a week--Pater doing little
else than nurse me, and I doing little else but feel eminently
uncomfortable, for which, as you know, I have a faculty "second to
none." I feel very full of thankfulness for all the creatures I have
got to love--all the beautiful and great things that are given me to
know; and I feel, too, much younger and more hopeful, as if a great
deal of life and work were still before me. Pater and I have had great
satisfaction in finding our impressions of admiration more than
renewed in returning to Florence; the things we cared about when we
were here before seem even more worthy than they did in our memories.
We have had delightful weather since the cold winds abated; and the
evening lights on the Arno, the bridges, and the quaint houses, are a
treat that we think of beforehand.

Your letters, too, are thought of beforehand. We long for them, and
when they come they don't disappoint us: they tell us everything, and
make us feel at home with you after a fashion. I confess to some dread
of Blandford Square in the abstract. I fear London will seem more
odious to me than ever; but I think I shall bear it with more
fortitude. After all, that is the best place to live in where one has
a strong reason for living.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 19th May, 1861.]

We have been industriously foraging in old streets and old books. I
feel very brave just now, and enjoy the thought of work--but don't set
your mind on my doing just what I have dreamed. It may turn out that I
can't work freely and fully enough in the medium I have chosen, and
in that case I must give it up; for I will never write anything to
which my whole heart, mind, and conscience don't consent, so that I
may feel that it was something--however small--which wanted to be done
in this world, and that I am just the organ for that small bit of
work.

I am very much cheered by the way in which "Silas" is received. I hope
it has made some slight pleasure for you too, in the midst of
incomparably deeper feelings of sadness.[31] Your quiet tour among the
lakes was the best possible thing for you. What place is not better
"out of the season"?--although I feel I am almost wicked in my hatred
of being where there are many other people enjoying themselves. I am
very far behind Mr. Buckle's millennial prospect, which is, that men
will be more and more congregated in cities and occupied with human
affairs, so as to be less and less under the influence of
Nature--_i.e._, the sky, the hills, and the plains; whereby
superstition will vanish and statistics will reign for ever and ever.

Mr. Lewes is kept in continual distraction by having to attend to my
wants--going with me to the Magliabecchian Library, and poking about
everywhere on my behalf--I having very little self-help about me of
the pushing and inquiring kind.

I look forward with keen anxiety to the next outbreak of war--longing
for some turn of affairs that will save poor Venice from being
bombarded by those terrible Austrian forts.

Thanks for your letters: we both say, "More--give us more."

[Sidenote: Letter to Charles L. Lewes, 27th May, 1861.]

Florence is getting hot, and I am the less sorry to leave it because
it has agreed very ill with the dear Paterculus. This evening we have
been mounting to the top of Giotto's tower--a very sublime getting
up-stairs, indeed--and our muscles are much astonished at the unusual
exercise; so you must not be shocked if my letter seems to be written
with dim faculties as well as with a dim light.

We have seen no one but Mrs. Trollope and her pretty little girl
Beatrice, who is a musical genius. She is a delicate fairy, about ten
years old, but sings with a grace and expression that make it a
thrilling delight to hear her.

We have had glorious sunsets, shedding crimson and golden lights under
the dark bridges across the Arno. All Florence turns out at eventide,
but we avoid the slow crowds on the Lung' Arno, and take our way "up
all manner of streets."

[Sidenote: Journal, 1861.]

_May_ and _June_.--At the end of May Mr. T. Trollope came back and
persuaded us to stay long enough to make the expedition to Camaldoli
and La Vernia in his company. We arrived at Florence on the 4th May,
and left it on the 7th June--thirty-four days of precious time spent
there. Will it be all in vain? Our morning hours were spent in looking
at streets, buildings, and pictures, in hunting up old books at shops
or stalls, or in reading at the Magliabecchian Library. Alas! I could
have done much more if I had been well; but that regret applies to
most years of my life. Returned by Lago Maggiore and the St. Gothard;
reached home June 14. Blackwood having waited in town to see us, came
to lunch with us, and asked me if I would go to dine at Greenwich on
the following Monday, to which I said "Yes," by way of exception to my
resolve that I will go nowhere for the rest of this year. He drove us
there with Colonel Stewart, and we had a pleasant evening--the sight
of a game at golf in the park, and a hazy view of the distant
shipping, with the Hospital finely broken by trees in the foreground.
At dinner Colonel Hamley and Mr. Skene joined us; Delane, who had been
invited, was unable to come. The chat was agreeable enough, but the
sight of the gliding ships darkening against the dying sunlight made
me feel chat rather importunate.

_June 16._--This morning, for the first time, I feel myself quietly
settled at home. I am in excellent health, and long to work steadily
and effectively. If it were possible that I should produce _better_
work than I have yet done! At least there is a possibility that I may
make greater efforts against indolence and the despondency that comes
from too egoistic a dread of failure.

_June 19._--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.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 19th June, 1861.]

Some of one's first thoughts on coming home after an absence of much
length are about the friends one had left behind--what has happened to
them in the meantime, and how are they now? And yet, though we came
home last Friday evening, I have not had the quiet moment for writing
these thoughts until this morning. I know I need put no questions to
you, who always divine what I want to be told. We have had a perfect
journey except as regards health--a large, large exception. The cold
winds alternating with the hot sun, or some other cause, laid very
unkind hold on Mr. Lewes early after our arrival at Florence, and he
was ailing with sore throat and cough continually, so that he has come
back looking thin and delicate, though the ailments seem to be nearly
passed away.

I wish you could have shared the pleasures of our last expedition from
Florence--to the Monasteries of Camaldoli and La Vernia; I think it
was just the sort of thing you would have entered into with thorough
zest. Imagine the Franciscans of La Vernia, which is perched upon an
abrupt rock rising sheer on the summit of a mountain, turning out at
midnight (and when there is deep snow for their feet to plunge in),
and chanting their slow way up to the little chapel perched at a lofty
distance above their already lofty monastery! This they do every night
throughout the year, in all weathers.

Give my loving greeting to Cara and Mr. Bray, and then sit down and
write me one of your charming letters, making a little picture of
everybody and everything about you. God bless you! is the
old-fashioned summing up of sincere affection, without the least smirk
of studied civility.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 12th July, 1861.]

Your letter gave me a pleasant vision of Sunday sunshine on the
flowers, and you among them, with your eyes brightened by busy and
enjoyable thoughts.

Yes, I hope 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
sympathize with no age but the age to come.

When I received your Monday packet I was fresh from six quarto volumes
on the history of the monastic orders, and had just begun a less
formidable modern book on the same subject--Montalembert's "Monks of
the West." Our reading, you see, lay in very different quarters, but I
fancy our thoughts sometimes touched the same ground. I am rather
puzzled and shocked, however, by your high admiration of the articles
on the "Study of History," in the _Cornhill_. I should speak with the
reserve due to the fact that I have only read the second article; and
this, I confess, did not impress me as exhibiting any mastery of the
question, while its tone towards much abler thinkers than the writer
himself is to me extremely repulsive. Such writing as, "We should not
be called upon to believe that every crotchet which tickled the insane
vanity of a conceited Frenchman was an eternal and self-evident
truth," is to me simply disgusting, though it were directed against
the father of lies. It represents no fact except the writer's own
desire to be bitter, and is worthily finished by the dull and
irreverent antithesis of "the eternal truth and infernal lie."

I quite agree with you--so far as I am able to form a judgment--in
regarding Positivism as one-sided; but Comte was a great thinker,
nevertheless, and ought to be treated with reverence by all smaller
fry.

I have just been reading the "Survey of the Middle Ages" contained in
the fifth volume of the "Philosophie Positive," and to my apprehension
few chapters can be fuller of luminous ideas. I am thankful to learn
from it. There may be more profundity in the _Cornhill's_ exposition
than I am able to penetrate, or, possibly, the first article may
contain weightier matter than the second.

Mrs. Bodichon is near us now, and one always gets good from contact
with her healthy, practical life. Mr. Lewes is gone to see Mrs.
Congreve and carry his net to the Wimbledon ponds. I hope he will get
a little strength as well as grist for his microscope.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 18th July, 1861.]

The English "Imitation" I told you of, which is used by the Catholics,
is Challoner's. I have looked into it again since I saw you, and I
think, if you want to give the book away, this translation is as good
as any you are likely to get among current editions. If it were for
yourself, an old bookstall would be more likely to furnish what you
want. Don't ever think of me as valuing either you or Mr. Congreve
less instead of more. You naughtily implied something of that kind
just when you were running away from me. How could any goodness become
less precious to me unless my life had ceased to be a growth, and had
become mere shrinking and degeneracy? I always imagine that if I were
near you now I should profit more by the gift of your presence--just
as one feels about all past sunlight.

[Sidenote: Diary, 1861.]

_July 24._--Walked with George over Primrose Hill. We talked of Plato
and Aristotle.

_July 26._--In the evening went to see Fechter as Hamlet, and sat next
to Mrs. Carlyle.

_July 30._--Read little this morning--my mind dwelling with much
depression on the probability or improbability of my achieving the
work I wish to do. I struck out two or three thoughts towards an
English novel. I am much afflicted with hopelessness and melancholy
just now, and yet I feel the value of my blessings.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 30th July, 1861.]

Thornie, our second boy, is at home from Edinburgh for his holidays,
and I am apt to give more thought than is necessary to any little
change in our routine. We had a treat the other night which I wished
you could have shared with us. We saw Fechter in Hamlet. His
conception of the part is very nearly that indicated by the critical
observations in "Wilhelm Meister," and the result is deeply
interesting--the naturalness and sensibility of the _Wesen_ overcoming
in most cases the defective intonation. And even the intonation is
occasionally admirable; for example, "And for my soul, what can he do
to that?" etc., is given by Fechter with perfect simplicity, whereas
the herd of English actors imagine themselves in a pulpit when they
are saying it. _À propos_ of the pulpit, I had another failure in my
search for edification last Sunday. Mme. Bodichon and I went to Little
Portland Street Chapel, and lo! instead of James Martineau there was a
respectable old Unitarian gentleman preaching about the dangers of
ignorance and the satisfaction of a good conscience, in a tone of
amiable propriety which seemed to belong to a period when brains were
untroubled by difficulties, and the lacteals of all good Christians
were in perfect order. I enjoyed the fine selection of collects he
read from the Liturgy. What an age of earnest faith, grasping a noble
conception of life and determined to bring all things into harmony
with it, has recorded itself in the simple, pregnant, rhythmical
English of those collects and of the Bible! The contrast when the good
man got into the pulpit and began to pray in a borrowed, washy
lingo--extempore in more senses than one!

[Sidenote: Diary, 1861.]

_Aug. 1._--Struggling constantly with depression.

_Aug. 2._--Read Boccaccio's capital story of Fra Cipolla--one of his
few good stories--and the Little Hunchback in the "Arabian Nights,"
which is still better.

_Aug. 10._--Walked with G. We talked of my Italian novel. In the
evening, Mr. Pigott and Mr. Redford.

_Aug. 12._--Got into a state of so much wretchedness in attempting to
concentrate my thoughts on the construction of my story that I became
desperate, and suddenly burst my bonds, saying, I will not think of
writing!

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 12th Aug. 1861.]

That doctrine which we accept rather loftily as a commonplace when we
are quite young--namely, that our happiness lies entirely within, in
our own mental and bodily state, which determines for us the influence
of everything outward--becomes a daily lesson to be learned, and
learned with much stumbling, as we get older. And until we know our
friends' private thoughts and emotions we hardly know what to grieve
or rejoice over for them.

[Sidenote: Diary, 1861.]

_Aug. 17._--Mr. Pigott and Mr. Redford came, who gave us some music.

_Aug. 20._--This morning I conceived the plot of my novel with new
distinctness.

_Aug. 24._--Mr. Pigott and Mr. Redford came, and we had music. These
have been placid, ineffective days, my mind being clouded and
depressed.

_Aug. 26._--Went with Barbara to her school, and spent the afternoon
there.

_Aug. 31._--In the evening came Mr. Pigott and Mr. Redford, and we had
some music.

[Sidenote: Letter to Charles L. Lewes, 11th Sept. 1861, from Malvern.]

Your letter was a great delight to us, as usual; and the check, too,
was welcome to people under hydropathic treatment, which appears to
stimulate waste of coin as well as of tissue. Altogether, we are
figures in keeping with the landscape when it is well damped or
"packed" under the early mist.

We thought rather contemptuously of the hills on our arrival; like
travelled people, we hinted at the Alps and Apennines, and smiled
with pity at our long-past selves, that had felt quite a thrill at the
first sight of them. But now we have tired our limbs by walking round
their huge shoulders we begin to think of them with more respect. We
simply looked at them at first; we feel their presence now, and creep
about them with due humility--whereby, you perceive, there hangs a
moral. I do wish you could have shared for a little while with us the
sight of this place. I fear you have never seen England under so
lovable an aspect. On the southeastern side, where the great green
hills have their longest slope, Malvern stands, well nestled in fine
trees--chiefly "sounding sycamores"--and beyond there stretches to the
horizon, which is marked by a low, faint line of hill, a vast level
expanse of grass and cornfields, with hedge-rows everywhere plumed
with trees, and here and there a rolling mass of wood; it is one of
the happiest scenes the eyes can look on--_freundlich_, according to
the pretty German phrase. On the opposite side of this main range of
hills there is a more undulated and more thickly wooded country which
has the sunset all to itself, and is bright with departing lights when
our Malvern side is in cold evening shadow. We are so fortunate as to
look out over the wide southeastern valley from our sitting-room
window.

Our landlady is a quaint old personage, with a strong Cheshire accent.
She is, as she tells us, a sharp old woman, and "can see most things
pretty quick;" and she is kind enough to communicate her wisdom very
freely to us less crisply baked mortals.

[Sidenote: Diary, 1861.]

_Sept. 11._--Yesterday we returned from Malvern (having gone there on
4th). During our stay I read Mrs. Jameson's book on the "Legends of
the Monastic Orders," corrected the first volume of "Adam Bede" for
the new edition, and began Marchese's "Storia di San Marco."

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 18th Sept. 1861.]

I enter into your and Cara's furniture-adjusting labors and your
enjoyment of church and chapel afterwards. One wants a temple besides
the outdoor temple--a place where human beings do not ramble apart,
but _meet_ with a common impulse. I hope you have some agreeable lens
through which you can look at circumstances--good health, at least.
And really I begin to think people who are robust are in a position to
pity all the rest of the world--except, indeed, that there are certain
secrets taught only by pain, which are, perhaps, worth the purchase.

[Sidenote: Diary, 1861.]

_Sept. 23._--I have been unwell ever since we returned from Malvern,
and have been disturbed, from various causes, in my work, so that I
have scarcely done anything except correct my own books for a new
edition. To-day I am much better, and hope to begin a more effective
life to-morrow.

_Sept. 28._--In the evening Mr. Spencer, Mr. Pigott, and Mr. Redford
came. We talked with Mr. Spencer about his chapter on the "Direction
of Force"--_i.e._, line of least resistance.

_Sept. 29_ (Sunday).--Finished correcting "Silas Marner." I have thus
corrected all my books for a new and cheaper edition, and feel my mind
free for other work. Walked to the Zoo with the boys.

_Oct. 3._--To-day our new grand piano came--a great addition to our
pleasures.

_Oct. 4._--My mind still worried about my plot--and without any
confidence in my ability to do what I want.

_Oct. 5._--In the evening Mr. Redford and Mr. Spencer came, and we had
much music.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 6th Oct. 1861.]

We are enjoying a great pleasure, a new grand piano, and last evening
we had a Beethoven night. We are looking out for a violinist: we have
our violoncello, who is full of sensibility, but with no negative in
him--_i.e._, no obstinate sense of time--a man who is all assent and
perpetual _rallentando_. We can enjoy the pleasure the more because
Mr. Lewes's health is promising.

[Sidenote: Diary, 1861.]

_Oct. 7._--Began the first chapter of my novel ("Romola").

_Oct. 9._--Read Nerli.

_Oct. 11._--Nardi's "History of Florence." In the afternoon walked
with Barbara, and talked with her from lunch till dinner-time.

_Oct. 12._--In the evening we had our usual Saturday mixture of
visitors, talk, and music; an agreeable addition being Dr. M'Donnell
of Dublin.

_Oct. 14._--Went with Barbara to her school to hear the children sing.

_Oct. 18._--Walked with G. and Mr. Spencer to Hampstead, and continued
walking for more than five hours. In the evening we had music. Mrs.
Bodichon and Miss Parkes were our additional visitors.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 23d Oct. 1861.]

I am rather jealous of the friends who get so much of you--especially
when they are so unmeritorious as to be evangelical and spoil your
rest. But I will not grumble. I am in the happiest, most contented
mood, and have only good news to tell you. I have hardly any trouble
nearer to me than the American War and the prospects of poor cotton
weavers. While you were shivering at Boulogne we were walking fast to
avoid shivering at Malvern, and looking slightly blue after our sitz
baths. Nevertheless that discipline answered admirably, and Mr.
Lewes's health has been steadily improving since our Malvern
expedition. As for me, imagine what I must be to have walked for five
hours the other day! Or, better still, imagine me always cheerful, and
infer the altered condition of my mucous membrane. The difference must
be there; for it is not in my moral sentiments or in my circumstances,
unless, indeed, a new grand piano, which tempts me to play more than I
have done for years before, may be reckoned an item important enough
to have contributed to the change. We talk of you very often, and the
image of you is awakened in my mind still oftener. You are associated
by many subtile, indescribable ties with some of my most precious and
most silent thoughts. I am so glad you have the comfort of feeling
that Mr. Congreve is prepared for his work again. I am hoping to hear,
when we see you, that the work will be less and less fagging, now the
introductory years are past.

Charley is going to Switzerland for his holiday next month. We shall
enjoy our dual solitude; yet the dear boy is more and more precious to
us from the singular rectitude and tenderness of his nature. Make
signs to us as often as you can. You know how entirely Mr. Lewes
shares my delight in seeing you and hearing from you.

[Sidenote: Diary, 1861.]

_Oct. 28_ and _30_.--Not very well. Utterly desponding about my book.

_Oct. 31._--Still with an incapable head--trying to write, trying to
construct, and unable.

_Nov. 6._--So utterly dejected that, in walking with G. in the Park, I
almost resolved to give up my Italian novel.

_Nov. 10_ (Sunday).--New sense of things to be done in my novel, and
more brightness in my thoughts. Yesterday I was occupied with ideas
about my next English novel; but this morning the Italian scenes
returned upon me with fresh attraction. In the evening read "Monteil."
A marvellous book; crammed with erudition, yet not dull or tiresome.

_Nov. 14._--Went to the British Museum reading-room for the first
time--looking over costumes.

_Nov. 20._--Mrs. Congreve, Miss Bury, and Mr. Spencer to lunch.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 22d Nov. 1861.]

Your loving words of remembrance find a very full answer in my
heart--fuller than I can write. The years seem to _rush_ by now, and I
think of death as a fast-approaching end of a journey--double and
treble reason for loving as well as working while it is day. We went
to see Fechter's Othello the other night. It is lamentably bad. He has
not weight and passion enough for deep tragedy; and, to my feeling,
the play is so degraded by his representation that it is positively
demoralizing--as, indeed, all tragedy must be when it fails to move
pity and terror. In this case it seems to move only titters among the
smart and vulgar people who always make the bulk of a theatre
audience. We had a visit from our dear friend Mrs. Congreve on
Wednesday--a very infrequent pleasure now; for between our own
absences from home and hers, and the fatigue of London journeying, it
is difficult for us to manage meetings. Mr. Congreve is, as usual,
working hard in his medical studies--toiling backward and forward
daily. What courage and patience are wanted for every life that aims
to produce anything!

[Sidenote: Journal, 1861.]

_Nov. 30._--In the evening we had Wilkie Collins, Mr. Pigott, and Mr.
Spencer, and talked without any music.

_Dec. 3-7._--I continued very unwell until Saturday, when I felt a
little better. In the evening Dr. Baetcke, Mr. Pigott, and Mr.
Redford.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 6th Dec. 1861.]

Miss Marshall came to see us yesterday. That is always a pleasure to
me, not only from the sense I have of her goodness, but because she
stirs so many remembrances. The first time I saw her was at Rufa's[32]
wedding; and don't you remember the evening we spent at Mrs. Dobson's?
How young we all were then--how old now! She says you are all under
the impression that Mr. Lewes is still very ailing. Thank all good
influences it is not so. He has been mending ever since we went to
Malvern, and is enjoying life and work more than he has done before
for nearly a year. He has long had it in his mind to write a history
of science--a great, great undertaking, which it is happiness to both
of us to contemplate as possible for him. And now he is busy with
Aristotle, and works with all the zest that belongs to fresh ideas.
Strangely enough, after all the ages of writing about Aristotle, there
exists no fair appreciation of his position in natural science.

I am particularly grumbling and disagreeable to myself just now, and I
think no one bears physical pain so ill as I do, or is so thoroughly
upset by it mentally.

Bulwer has behaved very nicely to me, and I have a great respect for
the energetic industry with which he has made the most of his powers.
He has been writing diligently in very various departments for more
than thirty years, constantly improving his position, and profiting by
the lessons of public opinion and of other writers.

I'm sorry you feel any degeneracy in Mr. George Dawson. There was
something very winning about him in old days, and even what was not
winning, but the reverse, affected me with a sort of kindly pity. With
such a gift of tongue as he had, it was inevitable that speech should
outrun feeling and experience, and I could well imagine that his
present self might look back on that self of 21-27 with a sort of
disgust. 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 sorrow. It would interest me a good deal to know just how Mr.
Dawson preaches now.

I am writing on my knees with my feet on the fender, and in that
attitude I always write very small--but I hope your sight is not
teased by small writing.

Give my best love to Cara, and sympathy with her in the pleasure of
grasping an old friend by the hand, and having long talks after the
distance of years. I know Mr. Bray will enjoy this too--and the new
house will seem more like the old one for this warming.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1861.]

_Dec. 8_ (Sunday).--G. had a headache, so we walked out in the morning
sunshine. I told him my conception of my story, and he expressed great
delight. Shall I ever be able to carry out my ideas? Flashes of hope
are succeeded by long intervals of dim distrust. Finished the eighth
volume of Lastri and began the ninth chapter of Varchi, in which he
gives an accurate account of Florence.

_Dec. 12._--Finished writing my plot, of which I must make several
other draughts before I begin to write my book.

_Dec. 13._--Read Poggiana. In the afternoon walked to Molini's and
brought back Savonarola's "Dialogus de Veritate Prophetica," and
"Compendium Revelationum," for £4!

_Dec. 14._--In the evening came Mr. Huxley, Mr. Pigott, and Mr.
Redford.

_Dec. 17._--Studied the topography of Florence.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Peter Taylor, 31st Dec. 1861.]

It was pleasant to have a greeting from you at this season, when all
signs of human kindness have a double emphasis. As one gets older
epochs have necessarily some sadness, even for those who have, as I
have, much family joy. The past, that one would like to mend, spreads
behind one so lengthily, and the years of retrieval keep
shrinking--the terrible _peau de chagrin_ whose outline narrows and
narrows with our ebbing life.

I hardly know whether it would be agreeable to you, or worth your
while, ever to come to us on a Saturday evening, when we are always at
home to any friend who may be kind enough to come to us. It would be
very pleasant to us if it were pleasant to you.

     During the latter half of 1861, I find the following among
     the books read: "Histoire des Ordres Religieux," Sacchetti's
     "Novelle," Sismondi's "History of the Italian Republics,"
     "Osservatore Fiorentino," Tennemann's "History of
     Philosophy," T. A. Trollope's "Beata," Sismondi's "Le Moyen
     Age Illustré," "The Monks of the West," "Introduction to
     Savonarola's Poems," by Audin de Réans, Renan's "Études
     d'Histoire Religieuse," Virgil's "Eclogues," Buhle's "History
     of Modern Philosophy," Hallam on the "Study of Roman Law in
     the Middle Ages," Gibbon on the "Revival of Greek Learning,"
     Nardi, Bulwer's "Rienzi," Burlamacchi's "Life of Savonarola,"
     Pulci, Villari's "Life of Savonarola," Mrs. Jameson's "Sacred
     and Legendary Art," "Hymni and Epigrammati" of Marullus,
     Politian's "Epistles," Marchese's Works, Tiraboschi, Rock's
     "Hierurgia," Pettigrew "On Medical Superstition," Manni's
     "Life of Burchiello," Machiavelli's Works, Ginguené, Muratori
     "On Proper Names," Cicero "De Officiis," Petrarch's Letters,
     Craik's "History of English Literature," "Conti
     Carnivaleschi," Letters of Filelfo, Lastri, and Varchi,
     Heeren on the Fifteenth Century.


_SUMMARY._

JULY, 1860, TO DECEMBER, 1861.

     Return from Italy to Wandsworth, accompanied by Charles
     Lewes--"Mill on the Floss" success--6000 sold--Letter to John
     Blackwood--French translation of "Adam Bede," by M. d'Albert
     of Geneva--Letter to Miss Hennell on her "Thoughts in Aid of
     Faith"--Letter to John Blackwood on Sir Edward Lytton's
     criticism of "The Mill on the Floss"--Letter to Mrs. Bray,
     recalling feelings on journey to Italy in 1849--Letter to
     Miss Sara Hennell--Article on Strikes, by Henry Fawcett, in
     _Westminster_--Sitting to Lawrence for portrait--Letter to
     Madame Bodichon--Interest in her schools--Letter to Miss
     Hennell, explaining criticism of "Thoughts in Aid of
     Faith"--Reading Emerson's "Man the Reformer"--Deprecates
     writing about opinions on large questions in letters--Letter
     to John Blackwood--Italian novel project--Letter to Madame
     Bodichon--Love of the country--Removal to 10 Harewood
     Square--"Brother Jacob" written--Letter to Mrs.
     Congreve--Frederic Harrison's article in _Westminster_ on
     "Essays and Reviews"--Letter to John Blackwood--Religious
     party standpoint--Classical quotations--Letter to Miss
     Hennell on re-reading "Thoughts in Aid of Faith"--Tribute to
     Mr. Lewes's dispassionate judgment--Suffering from loss of
     the country--Independence secured--Anthony Trollope and
     Arthur Helps--Queen's admiration of "Mill on the
     Floss"--Writing "Silas Marner" a sudden inspiration--Letter
     to Mrs. Congreve--Monday Popular Concerts--Moved to 16
     Blandford Square--Waste of time in furnishing--Letter to
     Madame Bodichon--On religious forms and ceremonies--Herbert
     Spencer's new work, the best thing he has done--Letter to
     John Blackwood--"Silas Marner"--Letters to Mrs.
     Congreve--Zoological Gardens--Visit to Dorking--Letter to
     John Blackwood--Scott--Letters to Miss Hennell--Private
     correspondence--Letter to Mrs. Congreve--Arthur Clough's
     death--Letter to John Blackwood--"Silas Marner"--Books belong
     to successive mental phases--"Silas Marner" finished--Visit
     to Hastings--Letter to Charles Bray--Marriage of Mr. William
     Smith--Letter to John Blackwood--Subscription to "Silas
     Marner" 3300--Article in _Macmillan_ on "The Mill"--Letter to
     Mrs. Peter Taylor--Position--Letter to John Blackwood--Total
     Subscription to "Silas Marner" 5500--Criticism on "The
     Mill"--Letter to Mrs. P. Taylor--Never pays visits--Letter to
     Miss Hennell--Hearing Beethoven and Mendelssohn music--Start
     on second journey to Italy--Letter to Charles Lewes,
     describing drive from Toulon to Nice--Arrival at
     Florence--Letter to John Blackwood--No painting of misers
     with paper money--Letter to Charles Lewes--Feels hopeful
     about future work--Letter to John Blackwood--Italian novel
     simmering--Letter to Charles Lewes--Beatrice
     Trollope--Expedition to Camaldoli and La Vernia with Mr. T.
     A. Trollope--Return home by Lago Maggiore and St.
     Gothard--Dinner at Greenwich with John Blackwood, Colonel
     Hamley, etc.--Reflections on waste of youth--Letters to Miss
     Hennell describing La Vernia--Improvement in general
     philosophic attitude--Articles on "Study of History" in the
     _Cornhill_--Positivism one-sided--Admiration of Comte--Letter
     to Miss Hennell--Fechter in Hamlet--The Liturgy of the
     English Church--Depression--Musical Evenings with Mr. Pigott
     and Mr. Redford--Trip to Malvern--Letter to Miss Hennell--New
     grand piano--Began "Romola"--Saturday visitors--Letter to
     Mrs. Congreve--Better spirits--Renewed depression--Letter to
     Miss Hennell--Time flying--Fechter as Othello--Letter to Miss
     Hennell--Lewes busy with Aristotle--Bulwer--George
     Dawson--Reading towards "Romola"--Letter to Mrs. Peter Taylor
     on the Past--Books read.

FOOTNOTES:

[21] Death of Madame Bodichon's father.

[22] "Thoughts in Aid of Faith."

[23] M. d'Albert.

[24] "And how can it be otherwise than real to us, this belief that
has nourished the souls of us all, and seems to have moulded actually
anew their internal constitution, as well as stored them up with its
infinite variety of external interests and associations! What other
than a very real thing has it been in the life of the world--sprung
out of, and again causing to spring forth, such volumes of human
emotion--making a current, as it were, of feeling, that has drawn
within its own sphere all the moral vitality of so many ages! In all
this reality of influence there is indeed the testimony of
Christianity having truly formed an integral portion of the organic
life of humanity. The regarding it as a mere excrescence, the product
of morbid, fanatical humors, is a reaction of judgment, that, it is to
be hoped, will soon be seen on all hands to be in no way implied of
necessity in the formal rejection of it."--_Thoughts in Aid of Faith_,
p. 105.

[25] "These sentiments, which are born within us, slumbering as it
were in our nature, ready to be awakened into action immediately they
are roused by hint of corresponding circumstances, are drawn out of
the whole of previous human existence. They constitute our treasured
inheritance out of all the life that has been lived before us, to
which no age, no human being who has trod the earth and laid himself
to rest, with all his mortal burden upon her maternal bosom, has
failed to add his contribution. No generation has had its engrossing
conflict, sorely battling out the triumphs of mind over material
force, and through forms of monstrous abortions concurrent with its
birth, too hideous for us now to bear in contemplation, moulding the
early intelligence by every struggle, and winning its gradual
powers--no single soul has borne itself through its personal
trial--without bequeathing to us of its fruit. There is not a
religious thought that we take to ourselves for secret comfort in our
time of grief, that has not been distilled out of the multiplicity of
the hallowed tears of mankind; not an animating idea is there for our
fainting courage that has not gathered its inspiration from the
bravery of the myriad armies of the world's heroes."--_Thoughts in Aid
of Faith_, p. 174.

[26] "Education of the Feelings." By Charles Bray. Published 1839.

[27] Mr. William Blackwood.

[28] Mr. Frederic Harrison, the now well-known writer, and a member of
the Positivist body.

[29] Lecture on Cell Forms.

[30] Arthur Hugh Clough, the poet.

[31] The death of Major Blackwood.

[32] Mrs. Charles Hennell (now Mrs. Call).



CHAPTER XII.


[Sidenote: Journal, 1862.]

_January 1._--Mr. Blackwood sent me a note enclosing a letter from
Montalembert about "Silas Marner." _I began again my novel of
"Romola."_

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 7th Jan. 1862.]

It is not unlikely that our thoughts and wishes met about New-year's
Day, for I was only prevented from writing to you in that week by the
fear of saying decidedly that we could _not_ go to you, and yet
finding afterwards that a clear sky, happening to coincide with an
absence of other hinderances, would have made that pleasure possible
for us. I think we believe in each other's thorough affection, and
need not dread misunderstanding. But you must not write again, as you
did in one note, a sort of apology for coming to us when you were
tired, as if we didn't like to see you anyhow and at any time! And we
especially like to think that our house can be a rest to you.

For the first winter in my life I am hardly ever free from cold. As
soon as one has departed with the usual final stage of stuffiness,
another presents itself with the usual introduction of sore throat.
And Mr. Lewes just now is a little ailing. But we have nothing serious
to complain of.

You seemed to me so bright and brave the last time I saw you, that I
have had cheerful thoughts of you ever since. Write to me always when
anything happens to you, either pleasant or sad, that there is no
reason for my not knowing, so that we may not spend long weeks in
wondering how all things are with you.

And do come to us whenever you can, without caring about my going to
you, for this is too difficult for me in chill and doubtful weather.
Are you not looking anxiously for the news from America?

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Bray, 13th Jan. 1862.]

As for the brain being useless after fifty, that is no general rule;
witness the good and hard work that has been done in plenty after that
age. I wish I could be inspired with just the knowledge that would
enable me to be of some good to you. I feel so ignorant and helpless.
The year _is_ opening happily for us, except--alas! the exception is a
great one--in the way of health. Mr. Lewes is constantly ailing, like
a delicate headachy woman. But we have abundant blessings.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 14th Jan. 1862.]

I hope you are able to enjoy Max Müller's great and delightful book
during your imprisonment. It tempts me away from other things. I have
read most of the numbers of "Orley Farm," and admire it very much,
with the exception of such parts as I have read about Moulder & Co.
Anthony Trollope is admirable in the presentation of even average life
and character, and he is so thoroughly wholesome-minded that one
delights in seeing his books lie about to be read. Have you read
"Beata" yet--the first novel written by his brother at Florence, who
is our especial favorite? Do read it when you can, if the opportunity
has not already come. I am going to be taken to a pantomime in the
daytime, like a good child, for a Christmas treat, not having had my
fair share of pantomime in the world.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1862.]

_Jan. 18_ (Saturday).--We had an agreeable evening. Mr. Burton[33]
and Mr. Clark[34] of Cambridge made an acceptable variety in our
party.

_Jan. 19-20._--Head very bad--producing terrible depression.

_Jan. 23._--Wrote again, feeling in brighter spirits. Mr. Smith the
publisher called and had an interview with G. He asked if I were open
to "a magnificent offer." This made me think about money--but it is
better for me not to be rich.

_Jan. 26_ (Sunday).--Detained from writing by the necessity of
gathering particulars: 1st, about Lorenzo de Medici's death; 2d, about
the possible retardation of Easter; 3d, about Corpus Christi day; 4th,
about Savonarola's preaching in the Quaresima of 1492. Finished "La
Mandragola"--second time reading for the sake of Florentine
expressions--and began "La Calandra."

_Jan. 31._--Have been reading some entries in my note-book of past
times in which I recorded my _malaise_ and despair. But it is
impossible to me to believe that I have ever been in so unpromising
and despairing a state as I now feel. After writing these words I read
to G. the Proem and opening scene of my novel, and he expressed great
delight in them.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 3d Feb. 1862.]

I was taken to see my pantomime. How pretty it is to see the theatre
full of children! Ah, what I should have felt in my real child days to
have been let into the further history of Mother Hubbard and her Dog!

George Stephenson is one of my great heroes--has he not a dear old
face?

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Peter Taylor, 3d Feb. 1862.]

I think yours is the instinct of all delicate natures--not to speak to
authors about their writings. It is better for us all to hear as
little about ourselves as possible; to do our work faithfully, and be
satisfied with the certainty that if it touches many minds, it cannot
touch them in a way quite aloof from our intention and hope.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1862.]

_Feb. 7._--A week of February already gone! I have been obliged to be
very moderate in work from feebleness of head and body; but I have
rewritten, with additions, the first chapter of my book.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Bray, 8th Feb. 1862.]

I am wondering whether you could spare me, _for a few weeks_, the
Tempest music, and any other vocal music of that or of a kindred
species? I don't want to buy it until our singers have experimented
upon it. Don't think of sending me anything that you are using at all,
but if said music be lying idle, I should be grateful for the loan. We
have several operas--Don Giovanni, Figaro, the Barbiere, Flauto
Magico, and also the music of Macbeth; but I think that is all our
stock of concerted vocal music.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1862.]

_Feb. 11._--We set off to Dorking. The day was lovely, and we walked
through Mr. Hope's park to Betchworth. In the evening I read aloud
Sybel's "Lectures on the Crusades."

_Feb. 12._--The day was gray, but the air was fresh and pleasant. We
walked to Wootton Park--Evelyn's Wootton--lunched at a little roadside
inn there, and returned to Dorking to dine. During stay at Dorking
finished the first twelve cantos of Pulci.

_Feb. 13._--Returned home.

[Sidenote: Letter to Madame Bodichon, 15th Feb. 1862.]

I think it is a reasonable law that the one who takes wing should be
the first to write--not the bird that stays in the old cage, and may
be supposed to be eating the usual seed and groundsel, and looking at
the same slice of the world through the same wires.

I think the highest and best thing is rather to suffer with real
suffering than to be happy in the imagination of an unreal good. I
would rather know that the beings I love are in some trouble, and
suffer because of it, even though I can't help them, than be fancying
them happy when they are not so, and making myself comfortable on the
strength of that false belief. And so I am impatient of all ignorance
and concealment. I don't say "that is wise," but simply "that is my
nature." I can enter into what you have felt, for serious illness,
such as seems to bring death near, makes one feel the simple human
brother and sisterhood so strongly that those we were apt to think
almost indifferent to us before, touch the very quick of our hearts. I
suppose if we happened only to hold the hand of a hospital patient
when she was dying, her face, and all the memories along with it,
would seem to lie deeper in our experience than all we knew of many
old friends and blood relations.

We have had no troubles but the public troubles--anxiety about the war
with America and sympathy with the poor Queen. My best consolation is
that an example on so tremendous a scale (as the war) 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.

George has fairly begun what we have long contemplated as a happiness
for him--a History of Science, and has written so thorough an analysis
and investigation of Aristotle's Natural Science that he feels it will
make an epoch for the men who are interested at once in the progress
of modern science and in the question how far Aristotle went both in
the observation of facts and in their theoretic combination--a
question never yet cleared up after all these ages. This work makes
him "very jolly," but his dear face looks very pale and narrow. Those
only can thoroughly feel the meaning of death who know what is perfect
love.

God bless you--that is not a false word, however many false ideas may
have been hidden under it. No--not false ideas, but temporary
ones--caterpillars and chrysalids of future ideas.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1862.]

_Feb. 17._--I have written only the two first chapters of my novel
besides the Proem, and I have an oppressive sense of the
far-stretching task before me, health being feeble just now. I have
lately read again with great delight Mrs. Browning's "Casa Guidi
Windows." It contains, amongst other admirable things, a very noble
expression of what I believe to be the true relation of the religious
mind to the past.

_Feb. 26._--I have been very ailing all this last week, and have
worked under impeding discouragement. I have a distrust in myself, in
my work, in others' loving acceptance of it, which robs my otherwise
happy life of all joy. I ask myself, without being able to answer,
whether I have ever before felt so chilled and oppressed. I have
written now about sixty pages of my romance. Will it ever be finished?
Ever be worth anything?

_Feb. 27._--George Smith, the publisher, brought the proof of G.'s
book, "Animal Studies," and laid before him a proposition to give me
£10,000 for my new novel--_i.e._, for its appearance in the
_Cornhill_, and the entire copyright at home and abroad.

_March 1._--The idea of my novel appearing in the _Cornhill_ is given
up, as G. Smith wishes to have it commenced in May, and I cannot
consent to begin publication until I have seen nearly to the end of
the work.

[Sidenote: Letter to Charles L. Lewes, 10th March, 1862, from
Englefield Green.]

We had agreeable weather until yesterday, which was wet and
blustering, so that we could only snatch two short walks. Pater is
better, I think; and I, as usual, am impudently flourishing in country
air and idleness. On Friday Mr. Bone, our landlord, drove us out in
his pony carriage to see the "meet" of the stag-hounds, and on
Saturday ditto to see the fox-hunters; so you perceive we have been
leading rather a grand life.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1862.]

_March 11._--On Wednesday last, the 5th, G. and I set off to
Englefield Green, where we have spent a delightful week at the Barley
Mow Inn. I have finished Pulci there, and read aloud the "Château
d'If."

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 12th March, 1862.]

We returned from our flight into the country yesterday, not without a
sigh at parting with the pure air and the notes of the blackbirds for
the usual canopy of smoke and the sound of cab-wheels. I am not going
out again, and our life will have its old routine--lunch at half-past
one, walk till four, dinner at five.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1862.]

_March 24._--After enjoying our week at Egham, I returned to
protracted headache. Last Saturday we received as usual, and our party
was joined by Mr. and Mrs. Noel. I have begun the fourth chapter of my
novel, but have been working under a weight.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 27th March, 1862.]

I congratulate you on being out of London, which is more like a
pandemonium than usual. The fog and rain have been the more oppressive
because I have seen them through Mr. Lewes's almost constant
discomfort. I think he has had at least five days of sick headache
since you saw him. But then he is better tempered and more cheerful
_with_ headache than most people are without it; and in that way he
lightens his burden. Have you noticed in the _Times_ Mr. Peabody's
magnificent deed?--the gift of £150,000 for the amelioration (body and
soul, I suppose) of the poorer classes in London. That is a pleasant
association to have with an American name.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1862.]

_April 1._--Much headache this last week.

_April 2._--Better this morning; writing with enjoyment. At the
seventy-seventh page. Read Juvenal this morning and Nisard.

_April 16._--As I had been ailing for a fortnight or more, we resolved
to go to Dorking, and set off to-day.

_May 6._--We returned from Dorking after a stay of three weeks, during
which we have had delicious weather.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Bray, May, 1862.]

Our life is the old accustomed duet this month. We enjoy an interval
of our double solitude. Doesn't the spring look lovelier every year to
eyes that want more and more light? It was rather saddening to leave
the larks and all the fresh leaves to come back to the rolling of cabs
and "the blacks;" but in compensation we have all our conveniences
about us.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1862.]

_May 23._--Since I wrote last, very important decisions have been
made. I am to publish my novel of "Romola" in the _Cornhill Magazine_
for £7000, paid in twelve monthly payments. There has been the regret
of leaving Blackwood, who has written me a letter in the most perfect
spirit of gentlemanliness and good-feeling.

_May 27._--Mr. Helps, Mr. Burton, and Mr. T. A. Trollope dined with
us.

_May 31._--Finished the second part, extending to page 183.

_June 30._--I have at present written only the scene between Romola
and her brother in San Marco towards Part IV. This morning I had a
delightful, generous letter from Mr. Anthony Trollope about "Romola."

_July 6._--The past week has been unfruitful from various causes. The
consequence is that I am no further on in my MS., and have lost the
excellent start my early completion of the third part had given me.

_July 10._--A dreadful palsy has beset me for the last few days. I
have scarcely made any progress. Yet I have been very well in body. I
have been reading a book often referred to by Hallam--Meiners's "Lives
of Mirandula and Politian." They are excellent. They have German
industry, and are succinctly and clearly written.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 12th Sept. 1862, from
Littlehampton.]

Imagine me--not fuming in imperfect resignation under London smoke,
but--with the wide sky of the coast above me, and every comfort
positive and negative around me, even to the absence of staring eyes
and crinolines. Worthing was so full that it rejected us, and, to our
great good-fortune, sent us here. We were pleased to hear that you had
seen Mr. Spencer. We always feel him particularly welcome when he
comes back to town; there is no one like him for talking to about
certain things.

You will come and dine or walk with us whenever you have nothing
better to do in your visit to town. I take that for granted. We lie,
you know, on the way _between_ the Exhibition and Mr. Noel's.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1862.]

_Sept. 23._--Returned from our stay in the country, first at the Beach
Hotel, Littlehampton, and for the last three days at Dorking.

_Sept. 26._--At page 62, Part VI. Yesterday a letter came from Mr. T.
A. Trollope, full of encouragement for me. _Ebenezer._

_Oct. 2._--At page 85. Scene between Tito and Romola.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 2d Oct. 1862.]

Welcome to your letter, and welcome to the hope of seeing you again! I
have an engagement on Monday from lunch till dinner. Apart from that,
I know of nothing that will take us farther than for our daily walk,
which, you know, begins at two. But we will alter the order of any day
for the sake of seeing you. Mr. Lewes's absence of a fortnight at Spa
was a great success. He has been quite brilliant ever since. Ten days
ago we returned from a stay of three weeks in the country--chiefly at
Littlehampton, and we are both very well. Everything is prosperous
with us; and we are so far from griefs that if we had a wonderful
emerald ring we should perhaps be wise to throw it away as a
propitiation of the envious gods.

So much in immediate reply to your kind anxiety. Everything else when
we meet.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1862.]

_Oct. 31._--Finished Part VII., having determined to end at the point
where Romola has left Florence.

_Nov. 14._--Finished reading "Boccaccio" through for the second time.

_Nov. 17._--Read the "Orfeo and Stanze" of Poliziano. The latter are
wonderfully fine for a youth of sixteen. They contain a description of
a Palace of Venus, which seems the suggestion of Tennyson's Palace of
Art in many points.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 26th Nov. 1862.]

I wish I knew that this birthday has found you happier than any that
went before. There are so many things--best things--that only come
when youth is past that it may well happen to many of us to find
ourselves happier and happier to the last. We have been to a Monday
Pop. this week to hear Beethoven's Septett, and an amazing thing of
Bach's, played by the amazing Joachim. But there is too much "Pop."
for the thorough enjoyment of the chamber music they give. You will be
interested to know that there is a new muster of scientific and
philosophic men lately established, for the sake of bringing people
who care to know and speak the truth, as well as they can, into
regular communication. Mr. Lewes was at the first meeting at Clunn's
Hotel on Friday last. The plan is to meet and dine moderately and
cheaply, and no one is to be admitted who is not "thorough" in the
sense of being free from the suspicion of temporizing and professing
opinions on official grounds. The plan was started at Cambridge. Mr.
Huxley is president and Charles Kingsley is vice. If they are
sufficiently rigid about admissions, the club may come to
good--bringing together men who think variously, but have more hearty
feelings in common than they give each other credit for. Mr. Robert
Chambers (who lives in London now) is very warm about the matter. Mr.
Spencer, too, is a member.

[Sidenote: Letter to Madame Bodichon, 26th Nov. 1862.]

Pray don't ever ask me 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. That speech of Carlyle's,[35] which sounds so odious, must, I
think, have been provoked by something in the _manner_ of the
statement to which it came as an answer--else it would hurt me very
much that he should have uttered it.

You left a handkerchief at our house. I will take care of it till next
summer. I look forward with some longing to that time when I shall
have lightened my soul of one chief thing I wanted to do, and be freer
to think and feel about other people's work. We shall see you oftener,
I hope, and have a great deal more talk than ever we have had before
to make amends for our stinted enjoyment of you this summer.

God bless you, dear Barbara. You are very precious to us.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1862.]

_Nov. 30_ (Sunday).--Finished Part VIII. Mr. Burton came.

_Dec. 16._--In the evening Browning paid us a visit for the first
time.

_Dec. 17._--At page 22 only. I am extremely spiritless, dead, and
hopeless about my writing. The long state of headache has left me in
depression and incapacity. The constantly heavy-clouded and often wet
weather tend to increase the depression. I am inwardly irritable, and
unvisited by good thoughts. Reading the "Purgatorio" again, and the
"Compendium Revelationum" of Savonarola. After this record I read
aloud what I had written of Part IX. to George, and he, to my
surprise, entirely approved of it.

_Dec. 24._--Mrs. F. Malleson brought me a beautiful plant as a
Christmas offering. In the evening we went to hear the Messiah at Her
Majesty's Theatre.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Peter Taylor, 24th Dec. 1862.]

I am very sensitive to words and looks and all signs of sympathy, so
you may be sure that your kind wishes are not lost upon me.

As you will have your house full, the wish for a "Merry Christmas" may
be literally fulfilled for you. We shall be quieter, with none but our
family trio, but that is always a happy one. We are going to usher in
the day by hearing the Messiah to-night at Her Majesty's.

Evening will be a pleasanter time for a little genial talk than
"calling hours;" and if you will come to us without ceremony, you will
hardly run the risk of not finding us. We go nowhere except to
concerts.

We are longing to run away from London, but I dare say we shall not do
so before March. Winter is probably yet to come, and one would not
like to be caught by frost and snow away from one's own hearth.

Always believe, without my saying it, that it gladdens me to know when
anything I do has value for you.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 26th Dec. 1862.]

It is very sweet to me to have any proof of loving remembrance. That
would have made the book-marker precious even if it had been ugly. But
it is perfectly beautiful--in color, words, and symbols. Hitherto I
have been discontented with the Coventry book-marks; for at the shop
where we habitually see them they have all got--"Let the people praise
Thee, O God," on them, and nothing else. But I can think of no motto
better than those three words. I suppose no wisdom the world will ever
find out will make Paul's words obsolete--"Now abide, etc., but the
greatest of these is Charity." Our Christmas, too, has been quiet. Mr.
Lewes, who talks much less about goodness than I do, but is always
readier to do the right thing, thinks it rather wicked for us to eat
our turkey and plum-pudding without asking some forlorn person to eat
it with us. But I'm afraid we were glad, after all, to find ourselves
alone with "the boy." On Christmas-eve a sweet woman, remembering me
as you have done, left a beautiful plant at the door, and after that
we went to hear the Messiah at Her Majesty's. We felt a considerable
_minus_ from the absence of the organ, contrary to advertisement:
nevertheless it was good to be there. What pitiable people those are
who feel no poetry in Christianity! Surely the acme of poetry hitherto
is the conception of the suffering Messiah and the final triumph, "He
shall reign for ever and for ever." The Prometheus is a very imperfect
fore-shadowing of that symbol wrought out in the long history of the
Jewish and Christian ages.

Mr. Lewes and I have both been in miserable health during all this
month. I have had a fortnight's incessant _malaise_ and feebleness;
but as I had had many months of tolerable health, it was my turn to be
uncomfortable. If my book-marker were just a little longer, I should
keep it in my beautiful Bible in large print, which Mr. Lewes bought
for me in prevision for my old age. He is not fond of reading the
Bible himself, but "sees no harm" in my reading it.

[Sidenote: Letter to the Brays, 29th Dec. 1862.]

I am not quite sure what you mean by "charity" when you call it
humbug. If you mean that attitude of mind which says "I forgive my
fellow-men for not being as good as I am," I agree with you in hoping
that it will vanish, as also the circumstantial form of alms-giving.
But if you are alluding to anything in my letter, I meant what charity
meant in the elder English, and what the translators of the Bible
meant in their rendering of the thirteenth chapter of 1st
Corinthians--_Caritas_, the highest love or fellowship, which I am
happy to believe that no philosophy will expel from the world.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1862.]

_Dec. 31_ (Last day of the kind old year).--Clear and pleasantly mild.
Yesterday a pleasant message from Mr. Hannay about "Romola." We have
had many blessings this year. Opportunities which have enabled us to
acquire an abundant independence; the satisfactory progress of our two
eldest boys; various grounds of happiness in our work; and
ever-growing happiness in each other. I hope with trembling that the
coming year may be as comforting a retrospect--with trembling because
my work is not yet done. Besides the finishing of "Romola," we have to
think of Thornie's passing his final examination, and, in case of
success, his going out to India; of Bertie's leaving Hofwyl, and of
our finding a new residence. I have had more than my average amount of
comfortable health until this last month, in which I have been
constantly ailing, and my work has suffered proportionately.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 2d Feb. 1863.]

The letter with the one word in it, like a whisper of sympathy, lay on
my plate when I went down to lunch this morning. The generous movement
that made you send it has gladdened me all day. I have had a great
deal of pretty encouragement from immense big-wigs--some of them
saying "Romola" is the finest book they ever read; but the opinion of
big-wigs has one sort of value, and the fellow-feeling of a long known
friend has another. One can't do quite well without both. _En
revanche_, I am a feeble wretch, with eyes that threaten to get
bloodshot on the slightest provocation. We made a rush to Dorking for
a day or two, and the quiet and fresh air seemed to make a new
creature of me; but when we get back to town, town sensations return.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 9th March, 1863.]

That scheme of a sort of Philosophical Club that I told you of went to
pieces before it was finished, like a house of cards. So it will be to
the end, I fancy, with all attempts at combinations that are not based
either on material interests or on opinions that are not merely
opinions but _religion_. Doubtless you have been interested in the
Colenso correspondence, and perhaps in Miss Cobbe's rejoinder to Mrs.
Stowe's remonstrating answer to the women of England. I was glad to
see how free the answer was from all tartness or conceit. Miss Cobbe's
introduction to the new edition of Theodore Parker is also very
honorable to her--a little too metaphorical here and there, but with
real thought and good feeling.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 18th April, 1863.]

It is a comfort to hear of you again, and to know that there is no
serious trouble to mar the spring weather for you. I must carry that
thought as my consolation for not seeing you on Tuesday--not quite a
sufficient consolation, for my eyes desire you very much after these
long months of almost total separation. The reason I cannot have that
pleasure on Tuesday is that, according to a long arranged plan, I am
going on Monday to Dorking again for a fortnight. I should be still
more vexed to miss you if I were in better condition, but at present I
am rather like a shell-less lobster, and inclined to creep out of
sight. I shall write to you, or try to see you, as soon as I can
after my return. I wish you could have told me of a more decided
return to ordinary health in Mr. Congreve, but I am inclined to hope
that the lecturing may rather benefit than injure him, by being a
moral tonic. How much there is for us to talk about! But only to look
at dear faces that one has seen so little of for a long while seems
reason enough for wanting to meet. Mr. Lewes is better than usual just
now, and you must not suppose that there is anything worse the matter
with me than you have been used to seeing in me. Please give my
highest regards to Mr. Congreve, and love to Emily, who, I hope, has
quite got back the roses which had somewhat paled. My pen straggles as
if it had a stronger will than I.

[Sidenote: Letter to Charles L. Lewes, 28th April, 1863, from
Dorking.]

Glad you enjoyed "Esmond." It is a fine book. Since you have been
interested in the historical suggestions, I recommend you to read
Thackeray's "Lectures on the English Humorists," which are all about
the men of the same period. There is a more exaggerated estimate of
Swift and Addison than is implied in "Esmond;" and the excessive
laudation of men who are considerably below the tip-top of human
nature, both in their lives and genius, rather vitiates the Lectures,
which are otherwise admirable, and are delightful reading.

The wind is high and cold, making the sunshine seem hard and
unsympathetic.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1863.]

_May 6._--We have just returned from Dorking, whither I went a
fortnight ago to have solitude while George took his journey to Hofwyl
to see Bertie. The weather was severely cold for several days of my
stay, and I was often ailing. That has been the way with me for a
month and more, and in consequence I am backward with my July number
of "Romola"--the last part but one.

     I remember my wife telling me, at Witley, 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."

[Sidenote: Letter to Madame Bodichon, 12th May, 1863.]

Yes! we shall be in town in June. Your coming would be reason good
enough, but we have others--chiefly, that we are up to the ears in
boydom and imperious parental duties. All is as happy and prosperous
with us as heart can lawfully desire, except my health. I have been a
mere wretch for several months past. You will come to me like the
morning sunlight, and make me a little less of a flaccid
cabbage-plant.

It is a very pretty life you are leading at Hastings, with your
painting all morning, and fair mothers and children to look at the
rest of the day.

I am terribly frightened about Mrs. ----. She wrote to me, telling me
that we were sure to suit each other, neither of us holding the
opinions of the _Moutons de Panurge_. Nothing could have been more
decisive of the opposite prospect to me. 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. However, she will soon
find out that I am a very commonplace woman.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1863.]

_May 16._--Finished Part XIII. Killed Tito in great excitement.

_May 18._--Began Part XIV.--the last! Yesterday George saw Count
Arrivabene, who wishes to translate "Romola," and says the Italians
are indebted to me.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Bray, 1st June, 1863.]

Health seems, to those who want it, enough to make daylight a
gladness. But the explanation of evils is never consoling except to
the explainer. We are just as we were, thinking about the questionable
house (The Priory), and wondering what would be the right thing to do;
hardly liking to lock up any money in land and bricks, and yet
frightened lest we should not get a quiet place just when we want it.
But I dare say we shall have it after all.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1863.]

_June 6._--We had a little evening party with music, intended to
celebrate the completion of "Romola," which, however, is not
absolutely completed, for I have still to alter the epilogue.

_June 9._--Put the last stroke to "Romola." _Ebenezer!_ Went in the
evening to hear La Gazza Ladra.

     The manuscript of "Romola" bears the following inscription:

     "To the Husband whose perfect love has been the best source of
     her insight and strength, this manuscript is given by his
     devoted wife, the writer."

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 10th June, 1863.]

How impossible it is for strong, healthy people to understand the way
in which bodily _malaise_ and suffering eats at the root of one's
life! The philosophy that is true--the religion that is strength to
the healthy--is constantly emptiness to one when the head is
distracted and every sensation is oppressive.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1863.]

_June 16._--George and I set off to-day to the Isle of Wight, where we
had a delightful holiday. On Friday, the 19th, we settled for a week
at Niton, which, I think, is the prettiest place in all the island. On
the following Friday we went on to Freshwater, and failed, from
threatening rain, in an attempt to walk to Alum Bay, so that we rather
repented of our choice. The consolation was that we shall know better
than to go to Freshwater another time. On the Saturday morning we
drove to Ryde, and remained there until Monday the 29th.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 21st June, 1863.]

Your letter was a welcome addition to our sunshine this Sabbath
morning. For in this particular we seem to have been more fortunate
than you, having had almost constant sunshine since we arrived at
Sandown, on Tuesday evening.

This place is perfect, reminding me of Jersey, in its combination of
luxuriant greenth with the delights of a sandy beach. At the _end_ of
our week, if the weather is warmer, we shall go on to Freshwater for
our remaining few days. But the wind at present is a little colder
than one desires it, when the object is to get rid of a cough, and
unless it gets milder we shall go back to Shanklin. I am enjoying the
hedge-row grasses and flowers with something like a released
prisoner's feeling--it is so long since I had a bit of real English
country.

[Sidenote: Letter to Charles L. Lewes, 21st June, 1863.]

I am very happy in my holiday, finding quite a fresh charm in the
hedge-row grasses and flowers after my long banishment from them. We
have a flower-garden just round us, and then a sheltered grassy walk,
on which the sun shines through the best part of the day; and then a
wide meadow, and beyond that trees and the sea. Moreover, our landlady
has cows, and we get the quintessence of cream--excellent bread and
butter also, and a young lady, with a large crinoline, to wait upon
us--all for 25_s._ per week; or, rather, we get the apartment in which
we enjoy those primitive and modern blessings for that moderate sum.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1863.]

_July 4._--Went to see Ristori in Adrienne Lecouvreur and did not like
it. I have had hemicrania for several days, and have been almost idle
since my return home.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 11th July, 1863.]

Constant languor from the new heat has made me shirk all exertion not
imperative. And just now there are not only those excitements of the
season, which even we quiet people get our share of, but there is an
additional boy to be cared for--Thornie, who is this week passing his
momentous examination.

A pretty thing has happened to an acquaintance of mine, which is quite
a tonic to one's hope. She has all her life been working hard in
various ways, as house-keeper, governess, and several et ceteras that
I can't think of at this moment--a dear little dot, about four feet
eleven in height; pleasant to look at, and clever; a working-woman,
without any of those epicene queernesses that belong to the class. Her
life has been a history of family troubles, and she has that
susceptible nature which makes such troubles hard to bear. More than
once she has told me that courage quite forsook her. She felt as if
there were no good in living and striving; it was difficult to discern
or believe in any results for others, and there seemed none worth
having for herself. Well! a man of fortune and accomplishments has
just fallen in love with her, now she is thirty-three. It is the
prettiest story of a swift decided passion, and made me cry for joy.
Madame Bodichon and I went with her to buy her wedding-clothes. The
future husband is also thirty-three--old enough to make his selection
an honor. Fond of travelling and science and other good things, such
as a man deserves to be fond of who chooses a poor woman in the teeth
of grand relatives: brought up a Unitarian, just turned Catholic. If
you will only imagine everything I have not said, you will think this
a very charming fairy tale.

We are going this evening to see the French actress in Juliet (Stella
Colas), who is astonishing the town. Last week we saw Ristori, the
other night heard the Faust, and next week we are going to hear the
Elisir d'Amore and Faust again! So you see we are trying to get some
compensation for the necessity of living among bricks in this sweet
summer time. I can bear the opera better than any other evening
entertainment, because the house is airy and the stalls are
comfortable. The opera is a great, great product--pity we can't always
have fine _Weltgeschichtliche_ dramatic motives wedded with fine
music, instead of trivialities or hideousnesses. Perhaps this last is
too strong a word for anything except the Traviata. Rigoletto is
unpleasant, but it is a superlatively fine tragedy in the Nemesis. I
think I don't know a finer.

We are really going to buy the Priory after all. You would think it
very pretty if you saw it now, with the roses blooming about it.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1863.]

_July 12._--I am now in the middle of G.'s "Aristotle," which gives me
great delight.

_July 23._--Reading Mommsen and Story's "Roba di Roma;" also Liddell's
"Rome," for a narrative to accompany Mommsen's analysis.

_July 29._--In the evening we went to Covent Garden to hear Faust for
the third time. On our return we found a letter from Frederick
Maurice--the greatest, most generous tribute ever given to me in my
life.[36]

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Peter Taylor, 30th July, 1863.]

I have wanted for several days to make some feeble sign in writing
that I think of your trouble. But one claim after another has arisen
as a hinderance. Conceive us, please, with three boys at home, all
bigger than their father! It is a congestion of youthfulness on our
mature brains that disturbs the course of our lives a little, and
makes us think of most things as good to be deferred till the boys are
settled again. I tell you so much to make you understand that
"omission" is not with me equivalent to "neglect," and that I _do_
care for what happens to you.

Renan is a favorite with me. I feel more kinship with his mind than
with that of any other living French author. But I think I shall not
do more than look through the Introduction to his "Vie de
Jésus"--unless I happen to be more fascinated by the constructive part
than I expect to be from the specimens I have seen. For minds
acquainted with the European culture of this last half-century,
Renan's book can furnish no new result; and they are likely to set
little store by the too facile construction of a life from materials
of which the biographical significance becomes more dubious as they
are more closely examined. It seems to me the soul of Christianity
lies not at all in the facts of an individual life, but in the ideas
of which that life was the meeting-point and the new starting-point.
We can never have a satisfactory basis for the history of the man
Jesus, but that negation does not affect the Idea of the Christ either
in its historical influence or its great symbolic meanings. Still,
such books as Renan's have their value in helping the popular
imagination to feel that the sacred past is, of one woof with that
human present, which ought to be sacred too.

You mention Renan in your note, and the mention has sent me off into
rather gratuitous remarks, you perceive. But such scrappy talk about
great subjects may have a better excuse than usual, if it just serves
to divert your mind from the sad things that must be importuning you
now.

[Sidenote: Letter to R. H. Hutton, 8th Aug. 1863.]

After reading your article on "Romola," with careful reference to the
questions you put to me in your letter, I can answer sincerely that I
find nothing fanciful in your interpretation. On the contrary, I am
confirmed in the satisfaction I felt, when I first listened to the
article, at finding that certain chief elements of my intention have
impressed themselves so strongly on your mind, notwithstanding the
imperfect degree in which I have been able to give form to my ideas.
Of course, if I had been called on to expound my own book, there are
other things that I should want to say, or things that I should say
somewhat otherwise; but I can point to nothing in your exposition of
which my consciousness tells me that it is erroneous, in the sense of
saying something which I neither thought nor felt. You have seized
with a fulness which I had hardly hoped that my book could suggest,
what it was my effort to express in the presentation of Bardo and
Baldasarre; and also the relation of the Florentine political life to
the development of Tito's nature. Perhaps even a judge so discerning
as yourself could not infer from the imperfect result how strict a
self-control and selection were exercised in the presentation of
details. I believe there is scarcely a phrase, an incident, an
allusion, that did not gather its value to me from its supposed
subservience to my main artistic objects. But it is likely enough that
my mental constitution would always render the issue of my labor
something excessive--wanting due proportion. It is the habit of my
imagination to strive after as full a vision of the medium in which a
character moves as of the character itself. The psychological causes
which prompted me to give such details of Florentine life and history
as I have given, are precisely the same as those which determined me
in giving the details of English village life in "Silas Marner," or
the "Dodson" life, out of which were developed the destinies of poor
Tom and Maggie. But you have correctly pointed out the reason why my
tendency to excess in this effort after artistic vision makes the
impression of a fault in "Romola" much more perceptibly than in my
previous books. And I am not surprised at your dissatisfaction with
Romola herself. I can well believe that the many difficulties
belonging to the treatment of such a character have not been overcome,
and that I have failed to bring out my conception with adequate
fulness. I am sorry she has attracted you so little; for the great
problem of her life, which essentially coincides with a chief problem
in Savonarola's, is one that readers need helping to understand. But
with regard to that and to my whole book, my predominant feeling
is--not that I have achieved anything, but--that great, great facts
have struggled to find a voice through me, and have only been able to
speak brokenly. That consciousness makes me cherish the more any proof
that my work has been seen to have some true significance by minds
prepared not simply by instruction, but by that religious and moral
sympathy with the historical life of man which is the larger half of
culture.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1863.]

_Aug. 10._--Went to Worthing. A sweet letter from Mrs. Hare, wife of
Julius Hare, and Maurice's sister.

_Aug. 18._--Returned home much invigorated by the week of change, but
my spirits seem to droop as usual now I am in London again.

[Sidenote: Letter to Madame Bodichon, 19th Aug. 1863.]

I was at Worthing when your letter came, spending all my daylight
hours out-of-doors, and trying with all my might to get health and
cheerfulness. I will tell you the true reason why I did not go to
Hastings. I thought you would be all the better for not having that
solicitation of your kindness that the fact of my presence there might
have caused. What you needed was precisely to get away from people to
whom you would inevitably want to be doing something friendly, instead
of giving yourself up to passive enjoyment. Else, of course, I should
have liked everything you write about and invite me to.

We only got home last night, and I suppose we shall hardly be able to
leave town again till after the two younger boys have left us, and
after we have moved into the new house.

Since I saw you I have had some sweet woman's tenderness shown me by
Mrs. Hare, the widow of Archdeacon Hare, and the sister of Frederick
Maurice.

I _know_ how you are enjoying the country. I have just been having the
joy myself. The wide sky, the _not_ London, makes a new creature of me
in half an hour. I wonder, then, why I am ever depressed--why I am so
shaken by agitations. I come back to London, and again the air is full
of demons.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Bray and Miss Sara Hennell, 1st Sept. 1863.]

I think I get a little freshness from the breeze that blows on you--a
little lifting of heart from your wide sky and Welsh mountains. And
the edge of autumn on the morning air makes even London a place in
which one can believe in beauty and delight. Delicate scent of dried
rose-leaves and the coming on of the autumnal airs are two things
that make me feel happy before I know why.

The Priory is all scaffolding and paint; and we are still in a
nightmare of uncertainty about our boys. But then I have by my side a
dear companion, who is a perpetual fountain of courage and
cheerfulness, and of considerate tenderness for my lack of those
virtues. And besides that I have Roman history! Perhaps that sounds
like a bitter joke to you, who are looking at the sea and sky and not
thinking of Roman history at all. But this too, read aright, has its
gospel and revelation. I read it much as I used to read a chapter in
the Acts or Epistles. Mommsen's "History of Rome" is so fine that I
count all minds graceless who read it without the deepest stirrings.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, Oct. 1863.]

I cannot be quite easy without sending this little sign of love and
good wishes on the eve of your journey. I shall think of you with all
the more delight, because I shall imagine you winding along the
Riviera and then settling in sight of beautiful things not quite
unknown to me. I hope your life will be enriched very much by these
coming months; but above all, I hope that Mr. Congreve will come back
strong. Tell him I have been greatly moved by the "Discours
Préliminaire."[37]

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 16th Oct. 1863.]

If I wait to write until I have anything very profitable to say, you
will have time to think that I have forgotten you or else to forget
me--and both consequences would be unpleasant to me.

Well, our poor boy Thornie parted from us to-day and set out on his
voyage to Natal. I say "poor," as one does about all beings that are
gone away from us for a long while. But he went away in excellent
spirits, with a large packet of recommendatory letters to all sorts of
people, and with what he cares much more for, a first-rate rifle and
revolver--and already with a smattering of Dutch Zulu, picked up from
his grammars and dictionaries.

What are you working at, I wonder? Cara says you are writing; and,
though I desire not to ask prying questions, I should feel much joy in
your being able to tell me that you are at work on something which
gives you a life apart from circumstantial things.

I am taking a deep bath of other people's thoughts, and all doings of
my own seem a long way off me. But my bath will be sorely interrupted
soon by the miserable details of removal from one house to another.
Happily Mr. Owen Jones has undertaken the ornamentation of the
drawing-room, and will prescribe all about chairs, etc. I think, after
all, I like a clean kitchen better than any other room.

We are far on in correcting the proofs of the new edition of "Goethe,"
and are about to begin the printing of the "Aristotle," which is to
appear at Christmas or Easter.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1863.]

_Nov. 5._--We moved into our new house--The Priory, 21 North Bank,
Regent's Park.

_Nov. 14._--We are now nearly in order, only wanting a few details of
furniture to finish our equipment for a new stage in our life's
journey. I long very much to have done thinking of upholstery, and to
get again a consciousness that there are better things than that to
reconcile one with life.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Bray, 14th Nov. 1863.]

At last we are in our new home, with only a few details still left to
arrange. Such fringing away of precious life, in thinking of carpets
and tables, is an affliction to me, and seems like a nightmare from
which I shall find it bliss to awake into my old world of care for
things quite apart from upholstery.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 28th Nov. 1863.]

I have kissed your letter in sign of my joy at getting it. But the
cold draughts of your Florentine room came across my joy rather
harshly. I know you have good reasons for what you do, yet I cannot
help saying, Why do you stay at Florence, the city of draughts rather
than of flowers?

Mr. Congreve's suffering during the journey and your suffering in
watching him saddens me as I think of it. For a long while to come I
suppose human energy will be greatly taken up with resignation rather
than action. I wish my feeling for you could travel by some helpful
vibrations good for pains.

For ourselves, we have enough ease now to be able to give some of it
away. But our removal into our new home on the 5th of November was not
so easy as it might have been, seeing that I was only half recovered
from a severe attack of influenza, which had caused me more terrible
pains in the head and throat than I have known for years. However, the
crisis is past now, and we think our little home altogether charming
and comfortable. Mr. Owen Jones has been unwearied in taking trouble
that everything about us may be pretty. He stayed two nights till
after twelve o'clock, that he might see every engraving hung in the
right place; and as you know I care even more about the fact of
kindness than its effects, you will understand that I enjoy being
grateful for all this friendliness on our behalf. But so tardy a
business is furnishing, that it was not until Monday last that we had
got everything in its place in preparation for the next day--Charlie's
twenty-first birthday--which made our house-warming a doubly
interesting epoch. I wish your sweet presence could have adorned our
drawing-room and made it look still more agreeable in the eyes of all
beholders. You would have liked to hear Jansa play on his violin, and
you would perhaps have been amused to see an affectionate but dowdy
friend of yours splendid in a gray moire antique--the consequence of a
severe lecture from Owen Jones on her general neglect of personal
adornment. I am glad to have got over this crisis of maternal and
house-keeping duty. My soul never flourishes on attention to details
which others can manage quite gracefully without any conscious loss of
power for wider thoughts and cares. Before we began to move I was
swimming in Comte and Euripides and Latin Christianity: _now_ I am
sitting among puddles, and can get sight of no deep water. _Now_ I
have a mind made up of old carpets fitted in new places, and new
carpets suffering from accidents; chairs, tables, and prices; muslin
curtains and down draughts in cold chimneys. I have made a vow never
to think of my own furniture again, but only of other people's.

[Illustration: Drawing-room at the Priory.]

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Bray, 4th Dec. 1863.]

The book[38] is come, with its precious inscription, and I have read a
great piece of it already (11 A.M.), besides looking through it to get
an idea of its general plan. See how fascination shifts its quarter as
our life goes on! I cannot be induced to lay aside my regular books
for half an hour to read "Mrs. Lirriper's Lodgings," but I pounce on a
book like yours, which tries to tell me as much as it can in brief
space of the "natural order," and am seduced into making it my
after-breakfast reading instead of the work I had prescribed for
myself in that pleasant quiet time. I read so slowly and read so few
books that this small fact among my small habits seems a great matter
to me. I thank you, dear Cara, not simply for giving me the book, but
for having put so much faithful labor in a worthy direction, and
created a lasting benefit which I can share with others. Whether the
circulation of a book be large or small, there is always this supreme
satisfaction about solid honest work, that as far as it goes its
effect must be good, and as all effects spread immeasurably, what we
have to care for is _kind_ and not quantity. I am a shabby
correspondent, being in ardent practice of the piano just now, which
makes my days shorter than usual.

[Sidenote: Letter to Madame Bodichon, 4th Dec. 1863.]

I am rather ashamed to hear of any one trying to be useful just now,
for I am doing nothing but indulging myself--enjoying being petted
very much, enjoying great books, enjoying our new, pretty, quiet home,
and the study of Beethoven's sonatas for piano and violin, with the
mild-faced old Jansa, and not being at all unhappy as you imagine me.
I sit taking deep draughts of reading--"Politique Positive,"
Euripides, Latin Christianity, and so forth, and remaining in glorious
ignorance of "the current literature." Such is our life; and you
perceive that instead of being miserable, I am rather following a
wicked example, and saying to my soul, "Soul, take thine ease." I am
sorry to think of you without any artistic society to help you and
feed your faith. It is hard to believe long together that anything is
"worth while," unless there is some eye to kindle in common with our
own, some brief word uttered now and then to imply that what is
infinitely precious to us is precious alike to another mind. I fancy
that to do without that guarantee one must be rather insane--one must
be a bad poet, or a spinner of impossible theories, or an inventor of
impossible machinery. However, it is but brief space either of time or
distance that divides you from those who thoroughly share your cares
and joys--always excepting that portion which is the hidden private
lot of every human being. In the most entire confidence even of
husband and wife there is always the unspoken residue--the _undivined_
residue--perhaps of what is most sinful, perhaps of what is most
exalted and unselfish.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 26th Dec. 1863.]

I get less and less inclined to write any but the briefest letters. My
books seem to get so far off me when once I have written them, that I
should be afraid of looking into "The Mill;" but it was written
faithfully and with intense feeling when it was written, so I will
hope that it will do no mortal any harm. I am indulging myself
frightfully; reading everything except the "current literature," and
getting more and more out of _rapport_ with the public taste. I have
read Renan's book, however, which has proved to be eminently _in_ the
public taste. It will have a good influence on the whole, I imagine;
but this "Vie de Jésus," and still more, Renan's "Letter to Berthelot"
in the _Revue des Deux Mondes_, have compelled me to give up the high
estimate I had formed of his mind. Judging from the indications in
some other writings of his, I had reckoned him among the finest
thinkers of the time. Still, his "Life of Jesus" has so much artistic
merit that it will do a great deal towards the culture of ordinary
minds, by giving them a sense of unity between that far off past and
our present.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Bray, 26th Dec. 1863.]

We are enjoying our new house--enjoying its quiet and freedom from
perpetual stair-mounting--enjoying also the prettiness of coloring and
arrangement; all of which we owe to our dear good friend, Mr. Owen
Jones. He has determined every detail, so that we can have the
pleasure of admiring what is our own without vanity. And another
magnificent friend has given me the most splendid reclining chair
conceivable, so that I am in danger of being envied by the gods,
especially as my health is thoroughly good withal. I should like to be
sure that you are just as comfortable externally and internally. I
dare say you are, being less of a cormorant in your demands on life
than I am; and it is _that_ difference which chiefly distinguishes
human lots when once the absolute needs are satisfied.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Peter Taylor, 28th Dec. 1863.]

Your affectionate greeting comes as one of the many blessings that are
brightening this happy Christmas.

We have been giving our evenings up to parental duties--_i.e._, to
games and music for the amusement of the youngsters. I am wonderfully
well in body, but rather in a self-indulgent state mentally, saying,
"Soul, take thine ease," after a dangerous example.

Of course I shall be glad to see your fair face whenever it can shine
upon me; but I can well imagine, with your multitudinous connections,
Christmas and the New Year are times when all _unappointed_ visits
must be impossible to you.

All good to you and yours through the coming year! and amongst the
good may you continue to feel some love for me; for love is one of the
conditions in which it is even better to give than to receive.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 19th Jan. 1864.]

According to your plans you must be in Rome. I have been in good
spirits about you ever since I last heard from you, and the foggy
twilight which, for the last week, has followed the severe frost, has
made me rejoice the more that you are in a better climate and amongst
lovelier scenes than we are groping in. I please myself with thinking
that you will all come back with stores of strength and delightful
memories. Only, if this were the best of all possible worlds, Mr.
Lewes and I should be able to meet you in some beautiful place before
you turn your backs on Italy. As it is, there is no hope of such a
meeting. March is Charlie's holiday month, and when he goes out we
like to stay at home for the sake of recovering for that short time
our unbroken _tête-à-tête_. We have every reason to be cheerful if the
fog would let us. Last night I finished reading the last proofs of the
"Aristotle," which makes an octavo volume of rather less than 400
pages. I think it is a book which will be interesting and valuable to
the few, but perhaps _only_ to the few. However, George's happiness in
writing his books makes him less dependent than most authors on the
audience they find. He felt that a thorough account of Aristotle's
science was a bit of work which needed doing, and he has given his
utmost pains to do it worthily. These are the two most important
conditions of authorship; all the rest belong to the "less modifiable"
order of things. I have been playing energetically on the piano
lately, and taking lessons in accompanying the violin from Herr Jansa,
one of the old Beethoven Quartette players. It has given me a fresh
kind of muscular exercise, as well as nervous stimulus, and, I think,
has done its part towards making my health better. In fact I am very
well physically. I wish I could be as clever and active as you about
our garden, which might be made much prettier this spring if I had
judgment and industry enough to do the right thing. But it is a
native vice of mine to like all such matters attended to by some one
else, and to fold my arms and enjoy the result. Some people are born
to make life pretty, and others to grumble that it is not pretty
enough. But pray make a point of liking me in spite of my
deficiencies.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Peter Taylor, 21st Jan. 1864.]

I comfort myself with the belief that your nature is less rebellious
under trouble than mine--less craving and discontented.

Resignation to trial, which can never have a _personal_ compensation,
is a part of our life task which has been too much obscured for us by
unveracious attempts at universal consolation. I think we should be
more tender to each other while we live, if that wretched falsity
which makes men quite comfortable about their fellows' troubles were
thoroughly got rid of.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 22d Jan. 1864.]

I often imagine you, not without a little longing, turning out into
the fields whenever you list, as we used to do in the old days at
Rosehill. That power of turning out into the fields is a great
possession in life--worth many luxuries.

Here is a bit of news not, I think, too insignificant for you to tell
Cara. The other day Mr. Spencer, senior (Herbert Spencer's father),
called on us, and knowing that he has been engaged in education all
his life, that he is a man of extensive and accurate knowledge, and
that, on his son's showing, he is a very able teacher, I showed him
Cara's "British Empire." Yesterday Herbert Spencer came, and on my
inquiring told me that his father was pleased with Cara's book, and
thought highly of it. Such testimonies as this, given apart from
personal influence and by a practised judge, are, I should think,
more gratifying than any other sort of praise to all faithful writers.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1864.]

_Jan. 30._--We had Browning, Dallas, and Burton to dine with us, and
in the evening a gentlemen's party.

_Feb. 14._--Mr. Burton dined with us, and asked me to let him take my
portrait.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Peter Taylor, 3d March, 1864.]

It was pleasant to have news of you through the fog, which reduces my
faith in all good and lovely things to its lowest ebb.

I hope you are less abjectly under the control of the skyey influences
than I am. The soul's calm sunshine in me is half made up of the outer
sunshine. However, we are going on Friday to hear the Judas Maccabæus,
and Handel's music always brings me a revival.

I have had a great personal loss lately in the death of a sweet
woman,[39] to whom I have sometimes gone, and hoped to go again, for a
little moral strength. She had long been confined to her room by
consumption, which has now taken her quite out of reach except to
memory, which makes all dear human beings undying to us as long as we
ourselves live.

I am glad to know that you have been interested in "David Gray."[40]
It is good for us all that these true stories should be well told.
Even those to whom the power of helping rarely comes, have their
imaginations instructed so as to be more just and tender in their
thoughts about the lot of their fellows.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 7th March, 1864.]

I felt it long since I had had news from you, but my days go by, each
seeming too short for what I must do, and I don't like to molest you
with mere questions.

I have been spoiled for correspondence by Mr. Lewes's goodness in
always writing letters for me where a proxy is admissible. And so it
has come to be a great affair with me to write even a note, while
people who keep up a large correspondence, and set apart their hour
for it, find it easy to cover reams of paper with talk from the end of
the pen.

You say nothing of yourself, which is rather unkind. We are enjoying a
perfect _tête à tête_. On Friday we are going to hear the Judas
Maccabæus, and try if possible to be stirred to something heroic by
"Sound an alarm."

I was more sorry than it is usually possible to be about the death of
a person utterly unknown to me, when I read of Maria Martineau's
death. She was a person whose office in life seemed so thoroughly
defined and so valuable. For an invalid like Harriet Martineau to be
deprived of a beloved nurse and companion, is a sorrow that makes one
ashamed of one's small grumblings. But, oh dear, oh dear! when _will_
people leave off their foolish talk about all human lots being equal;
as if anybody with a sound stomach ever knew misery comparable to the
misery of a dyspeptic.

Farewell, dear Sara; be generous, and don't always wait an age in
silence because I don't write.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 8th March, 1864.]

If you were anybody but yourself I should dislike you, because I have
to write letters to you. As it is, your qualities triumph even over
the vice of being in Italy (too far off for a note of three lines),
and expecting to hear from me, though I fear I should be graceless
enough to let you expect in vain if I did not care very much to hear
from _you_, and did not find myself getting uneasy when many weeks
have been passed in ignorance about you. I do hope to hear that you
got your fortnight of sight-seeing before leaving Rome--at least, you
would surely go well over the great galleries. If not, I shall be
vexed with you, and I shall only be consoled for your not going to
Venice by the chance of the Austrians being driven or bought out of
it--on no slighter grounds. For I suppose you will not go to Italy
again for a long, long while, so as to leave any prospect of the
omission being made up for by-and-by.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 20th March, 1864.]

We run off to Scotland for the Easter week, setting out on Sunday
evening; so if the spring runs away again, I hope it will run
northward. We shall return on Monday, the 4th April. Some news of your
inwards and outwards would be acceptable; but don't write unless you
really _like_ to write. You see Strauss has come out with a _popular_
"Life of Jesus."

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Peter Taylor, 25th March, 1864.]

Fog, east wind, and headache: there is my week's history. But this
morning, when your letter came to me, I had got up well and was
reading the sorrows of the aged Hecuba with great enjoyment. I wish an
immortal drama could be got out of _my_ sorrows, that people might be
the better for them two thousand years hence. But fog, east wind, and
headache are not great dramatic motives.

Your letter was a reinforcement of the delicious sense of _bien être_
that comes with the departure of bodily pain; and I am glad,
retrospectively, that beyond our fog lay your moonlight and your view
of the glorious sea. It is not difficult to me to believe that you
look a new creature already. Mr. Lewes tells me the country air has
always a magical effect on me, even in the first hour; but it is not
the air alone, is it? It is the wide sky, and the hills, and the
wild-flowers which are linked with all calming thoughts, just as every
object in town has its perturbing associations.

I share your joy in the Federal successes--with that check that
attends all joy in a war not absolutely ended. But you have worked and
earned more joy than those who have been merely passives.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1864.]

_April 6._--Mr. Spencer called for the first time after a long
correspondence on the subject of his relation to Comte.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 9th April, 1864.]

Yes! I am come back from Scotland--came back last Saturday night.

I was much pleased to see Cara so wonderfully well and cheerful. She
seems to me ten times more cheerful than in the old days. I am
interested to know more about your work which is filling your life
now, but I suppose I shall know nothing until it is in print--and
perhaps that is the only form in which one can do any one's work full
justice. It is very disappointing to me to hear that Cara has at
present so little promise of monetary results from her conscientious
labor. I fear the fatal system of half profits is working against her
as against others. We are going to the opera to-night to hear the
Favorita. It was the first opera I ever _saw_ (with you I saw it!),
and I have never seen it since--that is the reason I was anxious to go
to-night.

This afternoon we go to see Mulready's pictures--so the day will be a
full one.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1864.]

_April 18._--We went to the Crystal Palace to see Garibaldi.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 30th April, 1864.]

Only think! next Wednesday morning we start for Italy. The move is
quite a sudden one. We need a good shake for our bodies and minds,
and must take the spring-time, before the weather becomes too hot. We
shall not be away more than a month or six weeks at the utmost. Our
friend Mr. Burton, the artist, will be our companion for at least part
of the time. He has just painted a divine picture, which is now to be
seen at the old Water-Color Exhibition. The subject is from a Norse
legend; but that is no matter--the picture tells its story. A knight
in mailed armor and surcoat has met the fair, tall woman he (secretly)
loves, on a turret stair. By an uncontrollable movement he has seized
her arm and is kissing it. She, amazed, has dropped the flowers she
held in her other hand. The subject might have been made the most
vulgar thing in the world--the artist has raised it to the highest
pitch of refined emotion. The kiss is on the fur-lined _sleeve_ that
covers the arm, and the face of the knight is the face of a man to
whom the kiss is a sacrament.

How I should like a good long talk with you! From what you say of your
book that is to come, I expect to be very much interested in it. I
think I hardly ever read a book of the kind you describe without
getting some help from it. It is to this strong influence that is felt
in all personal statements of inward experience that we must perhaps
refer the excessive publication of religious journals.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1864.]

_May 4._--We started for Italy with Mr. Burton.

_June 20._--Arrived at our pretty home again after an absence of seven
weeks.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 25th June, 1864.]

Your letter has affected me deeply. Thank you very much for writing
it. It seems as if a close view of almost every human lot would
disclose some suffering that makes life a doubtful good--except
perhaps at certain epochs of fresh love, fresh creative activity, or
unusual power of helping others. One such epoch we are witnessing in a
young life that is very near to us. Our "boy" Charles has just become
engaged, and it is very pretty to see the happiness of a pure first
love, full at present of nothing but promise. It will interest you to
know that the young lady who has won his heart, and seems to have
given him her own with equal ardor and entireness, is the
grand-daughter of Dr. Southwood Smith, whom he adopted when she was
three years old, and brought up under his own eye. She is very
handsome, and has a splendid contralto voice. Altogether Pater and I
rejoice--for though the engagement has taken place earlier than we
expected, or should perhaps have chosen, there are counterbalancing
advantages. I always hoped Charlie would be able to choose or rather
find the other half of himself by the time he was twenty-three; the
event has only come a year and a half sooner. This is the news that
greeted us on our return! We had seen before we went that the
acquaintance, which was first made eighteen months or more ago, had
become supremely interesting to Charlie. Altogether we rejoice.

Our journey was delightful in spite of Mr. Lewes's frequent _malaise_;
for his cheerful nature is rarely subdued even by bodily discomfort.
We saw only one place that we had not seen before--namely, Brescia;
but all the rest seemed more glorious to us than they had seemed four
years ago. Our course was to Venice, where we stayed a fortnight,
pausing only at Paris, Turin and Milan on our way thither, and taking
Padua, Verona, Brescia, and again Milan, as points of rest on our way
back. Our friend Mr. Burton's company was very stimulating, from his
great knowledge, not of pictures only, but of almost all other
subjects. He has had the advantage of living in Germany for five or
six years, and has gained those large, serious views of history which
are a special product of German culture, and this was his first visit
to Italy, so you may imagine his eager enjoyment in finding it
beautiful beyond his hopes. We crossed the Alps by the St. Gothard,
and stayed a day or two at Lucerne; and this, again, was a first sight
of Switzerland to him.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, July, 1864.]

Looking at my little mats this morning while I was dressing, I felt
very grateful for them, and remembered that I had not shown my
gratitude when you gave them to me. If I were a "conceited" poet, I
should say your presence was the sun, and the mats were the tapers;
but now you are away, I delight in the tapers. How pretty the pattern
is--and your brain counted it out! They will never be worn quite away
while I live, or my little purse for coppers either.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1864.]

_July 17._--Horrible scepticism about all things paralyzing my mind.
Shall I ever be good for anything again? Ever do anything again?

_July 19._--Reading Gibbon, Vol. I., in connection with Mosheim, also
Gieseler on the condition of the world at the appearance of
Christianity.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 28th Aug. 1864.]

I am distressed to find that I have let a week pass without writing in
answer to your letter, which made me very glad when I got it.
Remembering you just a minute ago, I started up from Max Müller's new
volume, with which I was consoling myself under a sore throat, and
rushed to the desk that I might not risk any further delay.

It was just what I wanted to hear about you that you were having some
change, and I think the freshness of the companionship must help other
good influences, not to speak of the "Apologia," which breathed much
life into me when I read it. Pray mark that beautiful passage in which
he thanks his friend Ambrose St. John. I know hardly anything that
delights me more than such evidences of sweet brotherly love being a
reality in the world. I envy you your opportunity of seeing and
hearing Newman, and should like to make an expedition to Birmingham
for that sole end.

My trouble now is George's delicate health. He gets thinner and
thinner. He is going to try what horseback will do, and I am looking
forward to that with some hope.

Our boy's love-story runs smoothly, and seems to promise nothing but
good. His attraction to Hampstead gives George and me more of our dear
old _tête-à-tête_, which we can't help being glad to recover.

Dear Cara and Mr. Bray! I wish they too had joy instead of sadness
from the young life they have been caring for these many years. When
you write to Cara, or see her, assure her that she is remembered in my
most affectionate thoughts, and that I often bring her present
experience before my mind--more or less truly--for we can but blunder
about each other, we poor mortals.

Write to me whenever you can, dear Sara; I should have answered
immediately but for sickness, visitors, business, etc.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1864.]

_Sept. 6.--I am reading about Spain, and trying a drama on a subject
that has fascinated me--have written the prologue, and am beginning
the First Act. But I have little hope of making anything
satisfactory._

_Sept. 13_ to _30_.--Went to Harrogate and Scarborough, seeing York
Minster and Peterborough.

[Illustration: Fac-simile of George Eliot's hand-writing.]

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 15th Sept. 1864, from
Harrogate.]

We journeyed hither on Tuesday, and found the place quite as pretty
as we expected. The great merit of Harrogate is that one is everywhere
close to lovely open walks. Your "plan" has been a delightful
reference for Mr. Lewes, who takes it out of his pocket every time we
walk. At present, of course, there is not much improvement in health
to be boasted of, but we hope that the delicious bracing air, and also
the chalybeate waters, which have not yet been tried, will not be
without good effect. The journey was long. How hideous those towns of
Holbeach and Wakefield are! It is difficult to keep up one's faith in
a millennium within sight of this modern civilization which consists
in "development of industries." Egypt and her big calm gods seems
quite as good.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 26th Sept. 1864, from
Scarborough.]

We migrated on Friday last from delightful Harrogate, pausing at York
to see the glorious Cathedral. The weather is perfect, the sea blue as
a sapphire, so that we see to utmost advantage the fine line of coast
here and the magnificent breadth of sand. Even the Tenby sands are not
so fine as these. Better than all, Mr. Lewes, in spite of a sad check
of a few days, is strengthened beyond our most hopeful expectations by
this brief trial of fresh conditions. He is wonderful for the rapidity
with which he "picks up" after looking alarmingly feeble and even
wasted. We paid a visit to Knaresborough the very last day of our stay
at Harrogate, and were rejoiced that we had not missed the sight of
that pretty characteristic northern town. There is a ruined castle
here too, standing just where one's eyes would desire it on a grand
line of cliff; but perhaps you know the place. Its only defect is that
it is too large, and therefore a little too smoky; but except in Wales
or Devonshire I have seen no sea-place on our English coast that has
greater natural advantages. I don't know quite why I should write you
this note all about ourselves--except that your goodness having helped
us to the benefit we have got, I like you to know of the said benefit.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, Sunday, Oct. (?) 1864.]

The wished-for opportunity is coming very soon. Next Saturday Charlie
will go to Hastings, and will not return till Sunday evening. Will
you--can you--arrange to come to us on Saturday to lunch or dinner,
and stay with us till Sunday evening? We shall be very proud and happy
if you will consent to put up with such travelling quarters as we can
give you. You will be rejoicing our hearts by coming, and I know that
for the sake of cheering others you would endure even large privations
as well as small ones.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, Monday-week following.]

What a pure delight it was to have you with us! I feel the better for
it in spite of a cold which I caught yesterday--perhaps owing to the
loss of your sunny presence all of a sudden.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 2d Oct. 1864.]

It makes me very, very happy to see George so much better, and to
return with that chief satisfaction to the quiet comforts of home. We
register Harrogate among the places to be revisited.

I have had a fit of Spanish history lately, and have been learning
Spanish grammar--the easiest of all the Romance grammars--since we
have been away. Mr. Lewes has been rubbing up his Spanish by reading
Don Quixote in these weeks of _idlesse_; and I have read aloud and
translated to him, like a good child. I find it so much easier to
learn anything than to feel that I have anything worth teaching.

All is perfectly well with us, now the "little Pater" is stronger, and
we are especially thankful for Charlie's prospect of marriage. We
could not have desired anything more suited to his character and more
likely to make his life a good one. But this blessing which has
befallen us only makes me feel the more acutely the cutting off of a
like satisfaction from the friends I chiefly love.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1864.]

_Oct. 5._--Finished the first draught of the First Act of my drama,
and read it to George.

_Oct. 15._--Went to the Maestro (Burton) for a sitting.

_Nov. 4._--Read my Second Act to George. It is written in verse--my
first serious attempt at blank verse. G. praises and encourages me.

_Nov. 10._--I have been at a very low ebb, body and mind, for the last
few days, sticking in the mud continually in the construction of my
3d, 4th, and 5th Acts. Yesterday Browning came to tell us of a bust of
Savonarola in terra-cotta, just discovered at Florence.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 23d Nov. 1864.]

I believe I have thought of you every day for the last fortnight, and
I remembered the birthday--and "everything." But I was a little cross,
because I had heard nothing of you since Mr. Bray's visit. And I said
to myself, "If she wanted to write she _would_ write." I confess I was
a little ashamed when I saw the outside of your letter ten minutes
ago, feeling that I should read within it the proof that you were as
thoughtful and mindful as ever.

Yes, I do heartily give my greeting--_had_ given it already. And I
desire very much that the work which is absorbing you may give you
some happiness besides that which belongs to the activity of
production.

It is very kind of you to remember Charlie's date too. He is as happy
as the day is long, and very good--one of those creatures to whom
goodness comes naturally--not any exalted goodness, but every-day
serviceable goodness, such as wears through life. Whereas exalted
goodness comes in brief inspirations, and requires a man to die lest
he should spoil his work.

I have been ill, but now am pretty well, with much to occupy and
interest me, and with no trouble except those bodily ailments.

I could chat a long while with you--but I restrain myself, because I
must not carry on my letter-writing into the "solid day."

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, Christmas-day, 1864.]

Your precious letter _did_ come last night, and crowned the day's
enjoyment. Our family party went off very well, entirely by dint of
George's exertions. I wish you had seen him acting charades, and heard
him make an after-supper speech. You would have understood all the
self-forgetful goodness that lay under the assumption of boyish animal
spirits. A horrible German whom I have been obliged to see has been
talking for two hours, with the hardest eyes, blind to all
possibilities that he was boring us, and so I have been robbed of all
the time I wanted for writing to you. I can only say now that I bore
you on my heart--you and all yours known to me--even before I had had
your letter yesterday. Indeed you are not apart from any delight I
have in life: I long always that you should share it, if not
otherwise, at least by knowing of it, which to you is a sort of
sharing. Our double loves and best wishes for all of you--Rough being
included, as I trust you include Ben. Are they not idlers with us?
Also a title to regard as well as being _collaborateurs_.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1864.]

_Dec. 24._--A family party in the evening.

_Dec. 25._--I read the Third Act of my drama to George, who praised it
highly. We spent a perfectly quiet evening, intending to have our
Christmas-day's jollity on Tuesday when the boys are at home.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1865.]

_Jan. 1._--The last year has been unmarked by any trouble except bad
health. The bright spots in the year have been the publication of
"Aristotle" and our journey to Venice. With me the year has not been
fruitful. I have written three Acts of my drama, and am now in a
condition of body and mind to make me hope for better things in the
coming year. The last quarter has made an epoch for me, by the fact
that, for the first time in my serious authorship I have written
verse. In each other we are happier than ever. I am more grateful to
my dear husband for his perfect love, which helps me in all good and
checks me in all evil--more conscious that in him I have the greatest
of blessings.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 3d Jan. 1865.]

I hope the wish that this New Year may be a happy one to you does not
seem to be made a mockery by any troubles or anxieties pressing on
you.

I enclose a check, which I shall be obliged if you will offer to Mr.
Congreve, as I know he prefers that payments should be made at the
beginning of the year.

I shall think of you on the nineteenth. I wonder how many there really
were in that "small upper room" 1866 years ago.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1865.]

_Jan. 8._--Mrs. Congreve staying with us for a couple of nights.
Yesterday we went to Mr. Burton's to see my portrait, with which she
was much pleased. Since last Monday I have been writing a poem, the
matter of which was written in prose three or four years ago--"My
Vegetarian Friend."

_Jan. 15_ to _25_.--Visit to Paris.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, Friday (?), 27th Jan. 1865.]

Are we not happy to have reached home on Wednesday before this real
winter came? We enjoyed our visit to Paris greatly, in spite of bad
weather, going to the theatre or opera nearly every night, and seeing
sights all day long. I think the most interesting sight we saw was
Comte's dwelling. Such places, that knew the great dead, always move
me deeply; and I had an unexpected sight of interest in the photograph
taken at the very last. M. Thomas was very friendly, and pleasant to
talk to because of his simple manners. We gave your remembrances to
him, and promised to assure you of his pleasure in hearing of you. I
wish some truer representation of Mr. Congreve hung up in the Salon
instead of that (to me) exasperating photograph.

We thought the apartment very _freundlich_, and I flattered myself
that I could have written better in the little study there than in my
own. Such self-flattery is usually the most amiable phase of
discontent with one's own inferiority.

I am really stronger for the change.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1865.]

_Jan. 28._--Finished my poem on "Utopias."

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 6th Feb. 1865.]

I suspect you have come to dislike letters, but until you say so, I
must write now and then to gratify myself. I want to send my love,
lest all the old messages shall have lost their scent, like old
lavender bags.

Since I wrote to you last we have actually been to Paris! A little
business was an excuse for getting a great deal of pleasure; and I,
for whom change of air and scene is always the best tonic, am much
brightened by our wintry expedition, which ended just in time for us
to escape the heavy fall of snow.

We are very happy, having almost recovered our old _tête-à-tête_, of
which I am so selfishly fond that I am beginning to feel it an heroic
effort when I make up my mind to invite half a dozen visitors. But it
is necessary to strive against this unsocial disposition, so we are
going to have some open evenings.

There is great talk of a new periodical--a fortnightly apparition,
partly on the plan of the _Revue des Deux Mondes_. Mr. Lewes has
consented to become its editor, if the preliminaries are settled so as
to satisfy him.

_Ecco!_ I have told you a little of our news, not daring to ask you
anything about yourself, since you evidently don't want to tell me
anything.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 19th Feb. 1865.]

The party was a "mull." The weather was bad. Some of the invited were
ill and sent regrets, others were not ardent enough to brave the damp
evening--in fine, only twelve came. We had a charade, which, like our
neighbors, was no better than it should have been, and some rather
languid music, our best musicians half failing us--so ill is merit
rewarded in this world! If the severest sense of fulfilling a duty
could make one's parties pleasant, who so deserving as I? I turn my
inward shudders into outward smiles, and talk fast, with a sense of
lead on my tongue. However, Mr. Pigott made a woman's part in the
charade so irresistibly comic that I tittered at it at intervals in my
sleepless hours. I am rather uncomfortable about you, because you
seemed so much less well and strong the other day than your average.
Let me hear before long how you and Mr. Congreve are.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1865.]

_Feb. 21._--Ill and very miserable. George has taken my drama away
from me.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 27th Feb. 1865.]

The sun shone through my window on your letter as I read it, adding to
its cheeriness. It was good of you to write it. I was ill last week,
and had mental troubles besides--happily such as are unconnected with
any one's experience except my own. I am still ailing, but striving
hard "not to mind," and not to diffuse my inward trouble, according to
Madame de Vaux's excellent maxim. I shall not, I fear, be able to get
to you till near the end of next week--towards the 11th. I think of
you very often, and especially when my own _malaise_ reminds me how
much of your time is spent in the same sort of endurance. Mr. Spencer
told us yesterday that Dr. Ransom said he had cured himself of
dyspepsia by leaving off stimulants--the full benefit manifesting
itself after two or three months of abstinence. I am going to try. All
best regards to Mr. Congreve and tenderest sisterly love to yourself.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1865.]

_March 1._--I wrote an article for the _Pall Mall Gazette_--"A Word
for the Germans."

_March 12._--Went to Wandsworth, to spend the Sunday and Monday with
Mr. and Mrs. Congreve. Feeling very ailing; in constant dull pain,
which makes all effort burdensome.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 16th March, 1865.]

I did not promise, like Mr. Collins, that you should receive a letter
of thanks for your kind entertainment of me; but I feel the need of
writing a word or two to break the change from your presence to my
complete absence from you. It was really an enjoyment to be with you,
in spite of the bodily uneasiness which robbed me of half my mind. One
thing only I regret--that in my talk with you I think I was rather
merciless to other people. Whatever vices I have seem to be
exaggerated by my _malaise_--such "chastening" not answering the
purpose of purification in my case. Pray set down any unpleasant
notions I have suggested about others to my account--_i.e._, as being
_my_ unpleasantness, and not theirs. When one is bilious, other
people's complexions look yellow, and one of their eyes higher than
the other--all the fault of one's own evil interior. I long to hear
from you that you are better, and if you are not better, still to hear
from you before too long an interval. Mr. Congreve's condition is
really cheering, and he goes about with me as a pleasant picture--like
that Raphael the Tuscan duke chose always to carry with him.

I got worse after I left you; but to-day I am better, and begin to
think there is nothing serious the matter with me except the
"weather," which every one else is alleging as the cause of their
symptoms.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Bray, 18th March, 1865.]

I believe you are one of the few who can understand that in certain
crises direct expression of sympathy is the least possible to those
who most feel sympathy. If I could have been with you in bodily
presence, I should have sat silent, thinking silence a sign of feeling
that speech, trying to be wise, must always spoil. The truest things
one can say about great Death are the oldest, simplest things that
everybody knows by rote, but that no one knows really till death has
come very close. And when that inward teaching is going on, it seems
pitiful presumption for those who are outside to be saying anything.
There is no such thing as consolation when we have made the lot of
another our own. I don't know whether you strongly share, as I do, the
old belief that made men say the gods loved those who died young. It
seems to me truer than ever, now life has become more complex, and
more and more difficult problems have to be worked out. 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 are. To me early death takes
the aspect of salvation; though I feel, too, that those who live and
suffer may sometimes have the greater blessedness of _being_ a
salvation. But I will not write of judgments and opinions. What I want
my letter to tell you is that I love you truly, gratefully,
unchangeably.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1865.]

_March 25._--I am in deep depression, feeling powerless. I have
written nothing but beginnings since I finished a little article for
the _Pall Mall_, on the Logic of Servants. Dear George is all
activity, yet is in very frail health. How I worship his good humor,
his good sense, his affectionate care for every one who has claims on
him! That worship is my best life.

_March 29._--Sent a letter on "Futile Lying," from Saccharissa to the
_Pall Mall_.

I have begun a novel ("Felix Holt").

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 11th April, 1865.]

We are wondering if, by any coincidence or condition of things, you
could come to us on Thursday, when we have our last evening
party--wondering how you are--wondering everything about you, and
knowing nothing. Could you resolve some of our wonderings into
cheering knowledge? It is ages since you made any sign to us. Are _we_
to be blamed or you? I hope you are not unfavorably affected by the
sudden warmth which comes with the beautiful sunshine. Some word of
you, in pity!

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 22d April, 1865.]

If the sun goes on shining in this glorious way, I shall think of your
journey with pleasure. The sight of the country _must_ be a good when
the trees are bursting into leaf. But I will remember your warning to
Emily, and not insist too much on the advantages of paying visits. Let
us hear of you sometimes, and think of us as very busy and very happy,
but always including you in our world, and getting uneasy when we are
left too much to our imaginations about you. Tell Emily that Ben and I
are the better for having seen her. He has added to his store of
memories, and will recognize her when she comes again.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1865.]

_May 4._--Sent an article on Lecky's "History of Rationalism" for the
_Fortnightly_. For nearly a fortnight I have been ill, one way or
other.

_May 10._--Finished a letter of Saccharissa for the _Pall Mall_.
Reading Æschylus, "Theatre of the Greeks," Klein's "History of the
Drama," etc.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 11th May, 1865.]

This note will greet you on your return, and tell you that we were
glad to hear of you in your absence, even though the news was not of
the brightest. Next week we are going away--I don't yet know exactly
where; but it is firmly settled that we start on Monday. It will be
good for the carpets, and it will be still better for us, who need a
wholesome shaking, even more than the carpets do.

The first number of the _Review_ was done with last Monday, and will
be out on the 15th. You will be glad to hear that Mr. Harrison's
article is excellent, but the "mull" which George declares to be the
fatality with all first numbers is so far incurred with regard to this
very article that, from overwhelming alarm at its length, George put
it (perhaps too hastily) into the smaller type. I hope the importance
of the subject and the excellence of the treatment will overcome that
disadvantage.

Nurse all pleasant thoughts in your solitude, and count our affection
among them.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 18th May, 1865.]

We have just returned from a five days' holiday at the coast, and are
much invigorated by the tonic breezes.

We have nothing to do with the _Fortnightly_ as a money speculation.
Mr. Lewes has simply accepted the post of editor, and it was seemly
that I should write a little in it. But do not suppose that I am going
into periodical writing. And your friendship is not required to read
one syllable for our sakes. On the contrary, you have my full sympathy
in abstaining. Rest in peace, dear Sara, and finish your work, that
you may have the sense of having spoken out what was within you. That
is really a good--I mean, when it is done in all seriousness and
sincerity.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1865.]

_May 28._--Finished Bamford's "Passages from the Life of a Radical."
Have just begun again Mill's "Political Economy," and Comte's "Social
Science," in Miss Martineau's edition.

_June 7._--Finished _Annual Register_ for 1832. Reading Blackstone.
Mill's second article on "Comte," to appear in the _Westminster_, lent
me by Mr. Spencer. My health has been better of late.

_June 15._--Read again Aristotle's "Poetics" with fresh admiration.

_June 20._--Read the opening of my novel to G. Yesterday we drove to
Wandsworth. Walked together on Wimbledon Common, in outer and inner
sunshine, as of old; then dined with Mr. and Mrs. Congreve, and had
much pleasant talk.

_June 25._--Reading English History, reign of George III.;
Shakespeare's "King John." Yesterday G. dined at Greenwich with the
multitude of so-called writers for the _Saturday_. He heard much
commendation of the _Fortnightly_, especially of Bagehot's articles,
which last is reassuring after Mr. Trollope's strong objections.

_July 3._--Went to hear the "Faust" at Covent Garden: Mario, Lucca,
and Graziani. I was much thrilled by the great symbolical situations,
and by the music--more, I think, than I had ever been before.

_July 9_ (Sunday).--We had Browning, Huxley, Mr. Warren, Mr. Bagehot,
and Mr. Crompton, and talk was pleasant.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Peter Taylor, Sunday, 10th July, 1865.]

Success to the canvassing! It is "very meet and right and your bounden
duty" to be with Mr. Taylor in this time of hard work, and I am glad
that your health has made no impediment. I should have liked to be
present when you were cheered. The expression of a common feeling by a
large mass of men, when the feeling is one of good-will, moves me like
music. A public tribute to any man who has done the world a service
with brain or hand has on me the effect of a great religious rite,
with pealing organ and full-voiced choir.

I agree with you in your feeling about Mill. Some of his works have
been frequently my companions of late, and I have been going through
many _actions de grâce_ towards him. I am not anxious that he should
be in Parliament: thinkers can do more outside than inside the House.
But it would have been a fine precedent, and would have made an epoch,
for such a man to have been asked for and elected solely on the ground
of his mental eminence. As it is, I suppose it is pretty certain that
he will _not_ be elected.

I am glad you have been interested in Mr. Lewes's article. His great
anxiety about the _Fortnightly_ is to make it the vehicle for sincere
writing--real contributions of opinion on important topics. But it is
more difficult than the inexperienced could imagine to get the sort of
writing which will correspond to that desire of his.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1865.]

_July 16._--Madame Bohn, niece of Professor Scherer, called. She said
certain things about "Romola" which showed that she had felt what I
meant my readers to feel. She said she knew the book had produced the
same effect on many others. I wish I could be encouraged by this.

_July 22._--Sat for my portrait--I suppose for the last time.

_July 23._--I am going doggedly to work at my novel, seeing what
determination can do in the face of despair. Reading Neale's "History
of the Puritans."

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Peter Taylor, 1st Aug. 1865.]

I received yesterday the circular about the Mazzini Fund. Mr. Lewes
and I would have liked to subscribe to a tribute to Mazzini, or to a
fund for his use, of which the application was defined and guaranteed
by his own word. As it is, the application of the desired fund is only
intimated in the vaguest manner by the Florentine committee. The
reflection is inevitable that the application may ultimately be the
promotion of conspiracy, the precise character of which is necessarily
unknown to subscribers. Now, though I believe there are cases in which
conspiracy may be a sacred, necessary struggle against organized
wrong, there are also cases in which it is hopeless, and can produce
nothing but misery; or needless, because it is not the best means
attainable of reaching the desired end; or unjustifiable, because it
resorts to acts which are more unsocial in their character than the
very wrong they are directed to extinguish; and in these three
supposable cases it seems to me that it would be a social crime to
further conspiracy even by the impulse of a little finger, to which
one may well compare a small money subscription.

I think many persons to whom the circular might be sent would take
something like this view, and would grieve, as we do, that a
proposition intended to honor Mazzini should come in a form to which
they cannot conscientiously subscribe.

I trouble you and Mr. Taylor with this explanation, because both Mr.
Lewes and I have a real reverence for Mazzini, and could not therefore
be content to give a silent negative.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 1st Aug. 1865.]

I fear that my languor on Saturday prevented me from fairly showing
you how sweet and precious your presence was to me then, as at all
times. We have almost made up our minds to start some time in this
month for a run in Normandy and Brittany. We both need the change,
though when I receive, as I did yesterday, a letter from some friend,
telling me of cares and trials from which I am quite free, I am
ashamed of wanting anything.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1865.]

_Aug. 2._--Finished the "Agamemnon" second time.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 6th Aug. 1865.]

When I wrote to you last I quite hoped that I should see you and Emily
before we left home, but now it is settled that we start on Thursday
morning, and I have so many little things to remember and to do that I
dare not set apart any of the intervening time for the quiet enjoyment
of a visit from you. It is not quite so cheerful a picture as I should
like to carry with me, that of you and Emily so long alone, with Mr.
Congreve working at Bradford. But your friends are sure to think of
you, and want to see you. I hope you did not suffer so severely as we
did from the arctic cold that rushed in after the oppressive heat. Mr.
T. Trollope came from Italy just when it began. He says it is always
the same when he comes to England, people always say it has just been
very hot, and he believes that means they had a few days in which they
were not obliged to blow on their fingers.

When you write to Mr. Congreve pray tell him that we were very
grateful for his Itinerary, which is likely useful to us--indeed, has
already been useful in determining our route.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1865.]

_Sept. 7._--We returned home after an expedition into Brittany. Our
course was from Boulogne to St. Valéry, Dieppe, Rouen, Caen, Bayeux,
St. Lô, Vire, Avranches, Dol, St. Malo, Rennes, Avray, and
Carnac--back by Nantes, Tours, Le Mans, Chartres, Paris, Rouen,
Dieppe, Abbeville, and so again to Boulogne.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 14th Sept. 1865.]

We came home again on Thursday night--this day week--after a month's
absence in Normandy and Brittany. I have been thinking of you very
often since, but believed that you did not care to have the
interruption of letters just now, and would rather defer
correspondence till your mind was freer. If I had _suspected_ that you
would feel any want satisfied by a letter I should certainly have
written. I had not heard of Miss Bonham Carter's death, else I should
have conceived something of your state of mind. I think you and I are
alike in this, that we can get no good out of pretended comforts,
which are the devices of self-love, but would rather, in spite of
pain, grow into the endurance of all "naked truths." So I say no word
about your great loss, except that I love you, and sorrow with you.

The circumstances of life--the changes that take place in
ourselves--hem in the expression of affections and memories that live
within us, and enter almost into every day, and long separations often
make intercourse difficult when the opportunity comes. But the delight
I had in you, and in the hours we spent together, and in all your acts
of friendship to me, is really part of my life, and can never die out
of me. I see distinctly how much poorer I should have been if I had
never known you. If you had seen more of me in late years, you would
not have such almost cruel thoughts as that the book into which you
have faithfully put your experience and best convictions could make
you "repugnant" to me. Whatever else my growth may have been, it has
not been towards irreverence and ready rejection of what other minds
can give me. You once unhappily mistook my feeling and point of view
in something I wrote _à propos_ of an argument in your "Aids to
Faith," and _that_ made me think it better that we should not write on
large and difficult subjects in hasty letters. But it has often been
painful to me--I should say, it has constantly been painful to
me--that you have ever since inferred me to be in a hard and
unsympathetic state about your views and your writing. But I am
habitually disposed myself to the same unbelief in the sympathy that
is given me, and am the last person who should be allowed to complain
of such unbelief in another. And it is very likely that I may have
been faulty and disagreeable in my expressions.

Excuse all my many mistakes, dear Sara, and never believe otherwise
than that I have a glow of joy when you write to me, as if my
existence were some good to you. I know that I am, and can be, very
little practically; but to have the least value for your thought is
what I care much to be assured of.

Perhaps, in the cooler part of the autumn, when your book is out of
your hands, you will like to move from home a little and see your
London friends?

Our travelling in Brittany was a good deal marred and obstructed by
the emperor's _fête_, which sent all the world on our track towards
Cherbourg and Brest. But the Norman churches, the great cathedrals at
Le Mans, Tours, and Chartres, with their marvellous painted glass,
were worth much scrambling to see.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 28th Oct. 1865.]

I have read Mr. Masson's book on "Recent Philosophy." The earlier part
is a useful and creditable survey, and the classification ingenious.
The later part I thought poor. If, by what he says of Positivism, you
mean what he says at p. 246, I should answer it is simply "stuff"--he
might as well have written a dozen lines of jargon. There are a few
observations about Comte, scattered here and there, which are true and
just enough. But it seems to me much better to read a man's own
writing than to read what others say about him, especially when the
man is first-rate and the "others" are third-rate. As Goethe said long
ago about Spinoza, "Ich zog immer vor von dem Menschen zu erfahren
_wie er dachte_ als von einem anderen zu hören _wie er hätte denken
sollen_."[41] However, I am not fond of expressing criticism or
disapprobation. The difficulty is to digest and live upon any valuable
truth one's self.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1865.]

_Nov. 15._--During the last three weeks George has been very poorly,
but now he is better. I have been reading Fawcett's "Economic
Condition of the Working Classes," Mill's "Liberty," looking into
Strauss's second "Life of Jesus," and reading Neale's "History of the
Puritans," of which I have reached the fourth volume. Yesterday the
news came of Mrs. Gaskell's death. She died suddenly, while reading
aloud to her daughter.

_Nov. 16._--Writing Mr. Lyon's story, which I have determined to
insert as a narrative. Reading the Bible.

_Nov. 24._--Finished Neale's "History of the Puritans." Began Hallam's
"Middle Ages."

_Dec. 4._--Finished second volume of Hallam. The other day read to the
end of chapter nine of my novel to George, who was much pleased and
found no fault.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 4th Dec. 1865.]

We send to-day "Orley Farm," "The Small House at Allington," and the
"Story of Elizabeth." The "Small House" is rather lighter than "Orley
Farm." "The Story of Elizabeth" is by Miss Thackeray. It is not so
cheerful as Trollope, but is charmingly written. You can taste it and
reject it if it is too melancholy. I think more of you than you are
likely to imagine, and I believe we talk of you all more than of any
other mortals.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 7th Dec. 1865.]

It is worth your while to send for the last _Fortnightly_ to read an
article of Professor Tyndall's "On the Constitution of the Universe."
It is a splendid piece of writing on the higher physics, which I know
will interest you. _À propos_ of the feminine intellect, I had a bit
of experience with a superior woman the other day, which reminded me
of Sydney Smith's story about his sermon on the Being of a God. He
says, that after he had delivered his painstaking argument, an old
parishioner said to him, "I don't agree wi' you, Mr. Smith; _I think
there be a God_."

[Sidenote: Journal, 1865.]

_Dec. 11._--For the last three days I have been foundering from a
miserable state of head. I have written chapter ten. This evening read
again Macaulay's Introduction.

_Dec. 15._--To-day is the first for nearly a week on which I have been
able to write anything fresh. I am reading Macaulay and Blackstone.
This evening we went to hear "The Messiah" at Exeter Hall.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 21st Dec. 1865.]

"A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" is a sort of hieroglyph for
I love you and wish you well all the year round. Christmas to me is
like a great many other pleasures, which I am glad to imagine as
enjoyed by others, but have no delight in myself. Berried holly and
smiling faces and snap-dragon, grandmamma and the children, turkey and
plum-pudding--they are all precious things, and I would not have the
world without them; but they tire me a little. I enjoy the common days
of the year more. But for the sake of those who are stronger I rejoice
in Christmas.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1865.]

_Dec. 24._--For two days I have been sticking in the mud from doubt
about my construction. I have just consulted G., and he confirms my
choice of incidents.

_Dec. 31._--The last day of 1865. I will say nothing but that I
trust--I will strive--to add more ardent effort towards a good result
from all the outward good that is given to me. My health is at a lower
ebb than usual, and so is George's. Bertie is spending his holidays
with us, and shows hopeful characteristics. Charles is happy.


_SUMMARY._

JANUARY, 1862, TO DECEMBER, 1865.

     Begins "Romola" again--Letter to Miss Hennell--Max Müller's
     book--"Orley Farm"--Anthony Trollope--T. A. Trollope's
     "Beata"--Acquaintance with Mr. Burton and Mr. W. G.
     Clark--George Smith, publisher, suggests a "magnificent
     offer"--Depression about "Romola"--Letter to Mrs. Bray asking
     for loan of music--Pantomime--First visit to Dorking--Letter
     to Madame Bodichon--Impatience of concealment--Anxiety about
     war with America--Sympathy with queen--Mr. Lewes begins
     "History of Science"--Mrs. Browning's "Casa Guidi
     Windows"--Depression--George Smith offers £10,000 for
     "Romola" for the _Cornhill_--Idea given up--Visit to
     Englefield Green--Working under a weight--Second visit to
     Dorking for three weeks--Delight in spring--Accepts £7000 for
     "Romola" in _Cornhill_--Regret at leaving Blackwood--Palsy
     in writing--Visit to Littlehampton and to Dorking third
     time--Letter to Mrs. Congreve--Mr. Lewes at Spa--George Eliot
     in better spirits--Letter to Miss Hennell--Joachim's
     playing--New Literary Club--Reading Poliziano--Suggestion of
     Tennyson's "Palace of Art"--Visit from
     Browning--Depression--Letter to Madame Bodichon--No negative
     propaganda--Letter to Mrs. Peter Taylor--"The Messiah" on
     Christmas day--Letter to Miss Hennell--St. Paul's
     "Charity"--The Poetry of Christianity--The Bible--Adieu to
     year 1862--Letter to Miss Hennell--Encouragement about
     "Romola"--Literary Club dissolves--Miss Cobbe--Letter to Mrs.
     Congreve--Depression--Fourth visit to Dorking for
     fortnight--Letter to Charles Lewes on Thackeray's
     Lectures--The effect of writing "Romola"--Letter to Madame
     Bodichon--Odiousness of intellectual superciliousness--Letter
     to Mrs. Bray--Thinking of the Priory--"Romola"
     finished--Inscription--Visit to Isle of
     Wight--Ristori--Letter to Miss Hennell--Thornton
     Lewes--London amusements--Opera--Reading Mommsen, Liddell's
     "Rome," and "Roba di Roma"--Letter from Frederick Maurice
     referred to as most generous tribute ever given--Letter to
     Mrs. Peter Taylor--Renan's "Vie de Jésus"--Visit to
     Worthing--Mrs. Hare--Return to London--Depression--Letter to
     R. H. Hutton on "Romola"--The importance of the medium in
     which characters move--Letter to Madame Bodichon--Effect of
     London on health--Letter to Mrs. Bray--Delight in
     autumn--Mommsen's History--Letter to Mrs. Congreve--The
     "Discours Préliminaire"--Removal to the Priory--Mr. Owen
     Jones decorates the house--Jansa the violinist--Letter to
     Mrs. Bray--"Physiology for Schools"--Letter to Madame
     Bodichon--Enjoying rest, and music with Jansa--Letter to Miss
     Hennell--Renan--Letter to Mrs. Bray--Enjoyment of
     Priory--Letter to Mrs. Congreve--Mr. Lewes's "Aristotle"
     finished--Letter to Mrs. Peter Taylor--Compensation--Letter
     to Mrs. P. A. Taylor--Effect of sunshine--Death of Mrs.
     Hare--"David Gray"--Letter to Miss Hennell--Dislike of
     note-writing--Visit to Glasgow--Letter to Mrs. Peter
     Taylor--Joy in Federal successes--Crystal Palace to see
     Garibaldi--Mr. Burton's picture of a Legendary Knight in
     Armor--Third visit to Italy with Mr. Burton for seven
     weeks--Return to London--Charles Lewes's engagement to Miss
     Gertrude Hill--Pleasure in Mr. Burton's companionship in
     travel--Letter to Mrs. Congreve--Present of
     mats--Depression--Reading Gibbon--Gieseler--Letter to Miss
     Hennell--Reading Max Müller--Reference to the
     "Apologia"--Newman--Reading about Spain--Trying a
     drama--Letter to Miss Hennell--Harrogate--Development of
     Industries--Scarborough--Letters to Mrs. Congreve--Pleasure
     in her visit--Letter to Miss Hennell--Learning Spanish--Two
     acts of drama written--Sticking in construction of
     remainder--Letter to Mrs. Congreve--Christmas
     greeting--Retrospect of year 1864--Letter to Mrs. Congreve,
     first payment to Positivist Fund--Comparison with "small
     upper room" 1866 years ago--Mrs. Congreve staying at the
     Priory--Poem "My Vegetarian Friend" written--Visit to
     Paris--Letter to Mrs. Congreve--Visit to Comte's apartment in
     Paris--Finished poem on "Utopias"--Letter to Miss Sara
     Hennell--Delight in dual solitude--_Fortnightly
     Review_--Letter to Mrs. Congreve--Charades--Depression--Mr.
     Lewes takes away drama--Article for the _Pall Mall_, "A Word
     for the Germans"--Letter to Mrs. Congreve--Visit to
     Wandsworth--Depression--Letter to Mrs. Congreve after
     visit--Letter to Mrs. Bray on a young friend's death--Deep
     depression--Admiration of Mr. Lewes's good spirits--"Felix
     Holt" begun--Article on Lecky's "History of Rationalism" in
     _Fortnightly_--Reading Æschylus, "Theatre of the
     Greeks"--Klein's "History of the Drama"--Letter to Mrs.
     Congreve--First number of the _Fortnightly_--Frederic
     Harrison's article--Reading Mill, Comte, and
     Blackstone--Aristotle's "Poetics"--Dine with Congreves at
     Wandsworth--"Faust" at Covent Garden--Sunday
     reception--Browning, Huxley, and Bagehot--Letter to Mrs.
     Peter Taylor on J. S. Mill--The _Fortnightly Review_--Mr.
     Burton's portrait finished--Mazzini subscription--Letter of
     adieu to Mrs. Congreve--Expedition to Brittany for
     month--Letter to Miss Hennell--"Pretended
     comforts"--Recollection of early feelings--Delight in her
     friendship--Masson's "Recent Philosophy"--Comte--Goethe on
     Spinoza--Reading Fawcett's "Economic Condition of Working
     Classes"--Mill's "Liberty"--Strauss's second "Life of
     Jesus"--Neale's "History of the Puritans"--Hallam's "Middle
     Ages"--Letter to Miss Hennell on Tyndall's article on "The
     Constitution of the Universe"--View of Christmas
     day--Retrospect of 1865.

FOOTNOTES:

[33] Now Sir Frederic Burton, Director of the National Gallery, to
whom we are indebted for the drawing of George Eliot now in the
National Portrait Gallery, South Kensington, and who was a very
intimate and valued friend of Mr. and Mrs. Lewes.

[34] Mr. W. G. Clark, late Public Orator at Cambridge, well known as a
scholar, and for his edition of Shakspeare in conjunction with Mr.
Aldis Wright.

[35] Some general remark of Carlyle's--Madame Bodichon cannot remember
exactly what it was.

[36] I regret that I have not been able to find this letter.

[37] Auguste Comte's.

[38] "Physiology for Schools." By Mrs. Bray.

[39] Mrs. Julius Hare, who gave her Maurice's book on the Lord's
Prayer.

[40] A story by Mr. Robert Buchanan in the _Cornhill_, Feb. 1864.

[41] "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_."



CHAPTER XIII.


[Sidenote: Letter to Frederic Harrison, 5th Jan. 1866.]

I have had it in my mind to write to you for many days, wanting to
tell you, yet feeling there might be some impertinence in doing so, of
the delight and gratitude I felt in reading your article on
"Industrial Co-operation." Certain points admirably brought out in
that article would, I think, be worth the labor of a life if one could
help in winning them thorough recognition. I don't mean that my
thinking so is of any consequence, but simply that it is of
consequence to me when I find your energetic writing confirm my own
faith.

It would be fortunate for us if you had nothing better to do than look
in on us on Tuesday evening. Professor Huxley will be with us, and one
or two others whom you know, and your presence would make us all the
brighter.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1866.]

_Jan. 9._--Professors Huxley and Beesley, Mr. Burton, and Mr. Spencer
dined with us. Mr. Harrison in the evening.

[Sidenote: Letter to Frederic Harrison, 12th Jan. 1866.]

The ample and clear statement you have sent me with kind promptness
has put me in high spirits--as high spirits as can belong to an
unhopeful author. Your hypothetical case of a settlement suits my
needs surprisingly well. I shall be thankful to let Sugden alone, and
throw myself entirely on your goodness, especially as what I want is
simply a basis of legal possibilities and not any command of details.
I want to be sure that my chords will not offend a critic
accomplished in thorough bass--not at all to present an exercise in
thorough bass.

I was going to write you a long story, but, on consideration, it seems
to me that I should tax your time less, and arrive more readily at a
resolution of my doubts on various points not yet mentioned to you, if
you could let me speak instead of writing to you.

On Wednesday afternoons I am always at home; but on any day when I
could be sure of your coming I would set everything aside for the sake
of a consultation so valuable to me.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1866.]

_Jan. 20._--For the last fortnight I have been unusually disabled by
ill-health. I have been consulting Mr. Harrison about the law in my
book, with satisfactory result.

[Sidenote: Letter to Frederic Harrison, 22d Jan. 1866.]

I had not any opportunity, or not enough presence of mind, to tell you
yesterday how much I felt your kindness in writing me that last little
note of sympathy.

In proportion as compliments (always beside the mark) are discouraging
and nauseating, at least to a writer who has any serious aims, genuine
words from one capable of understanding one's conceptions are precious
and strengthening.

Yet I have no confidence that the book will ever be worthily written.
And now I have something else to ask. It is that if anything strikes
you as untrue in cases where my drama has a bearing on momentous
questions, especially of a public nature, you will do me the great
kindness to tell me of your doubts.

On a few moral points, which have been made clear to me by my
experience, I feel sufficiently confident--without such confidence I
could not write at all. But in every other direction I am so much in
need of fuller instruction as to be constantly under the sense that I
am more likely to be wrong than right.

Hitherto I have read my MS. (I mean of my previous books) to Mr.
Lewes, by forty or fifty pages at a time, and he has told me if he
felt an objection to anything. No one else has had any knowledge of my
writings before their publication. (I except, of course, the
publishers.)

But now that you are good enough to incur the trouble of reading my
MS., I am anxious to get the full benefit of your participation.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 28th Jan. 1866.]

We arrived here on Tuesday, and have been walking about four hours
each day, and the walks are so various that each time we have turned
out we have found a new one. George is already much the better for the
perfect rest, quiet, and fresh air. Will you give my thanks to Mr.
Congreve for the "Synthèse" which I have brought with me and am
reading? I expect to understand three chapters well enough to get some
edification.

George had talked of our taking the train to Dover to pay you a
"morning call." He observes that it would have been a "dreadful sell"
if we had done so. Your letter, therefore, was providential--and
without doubt it came from a dear little Providence of mine that sits
in your heart.

[Sidenote: Letter to Frederic Harrison, 31st Jan. 1866.]

I have received both your precious letters--the second edition of the
case, and the subsequent note. The story is sufficiently in the track
of ordinary probability; and the careful trouble you have so
generously given to it has enabled me to feel a satisfaction in my
plot which beforehand I had sighed for as unattainable.

There is still a question or two which I shall want to ask you, but I
am afraid of taxing your time and patience in an unconscionable
manner. So, since we expect to return to town at the end of next week,
I think I will reserve my questions until I have the pleasure and
advantage of an interview with you, in which _pros_ and _cons_ can be
more rapidly determined than by letter. It seems to me that you have
fitted my phenomena with a _rationale_ quite beautifully. If there is
any one who could have done it better, I am sure I know of no man who
_would_. Please to put your help of me among your good deeds for this
year of 1866.

To-day we have resolute rain, for the first time since we came down.
You don't yet know what it is to be a sickly wretch, dependent on
these skyey influences. But Heine says illness "spiritualizes the
members." It had need do some good in return for one's misery.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 12th Feb. 1866.]

Thanks for your kind letter. Alas! we had chiefly bad weather in the
country. George was a little benefited, but only a little. He is too
far "run down" to be wound up in a very short time. We enjoyed our
return to our comfortable house, and, perhaps, that freshness of home
was the chief gain from our absence.

You see, to counterbalance all the great and good things that life has
given us beyond what our fellows have, we hardly know now what it is
to be free from bodily _malaise_.

After the notion I have given you of my health you will not wonder if
I say that I don't know when anything of mine will appear. I can never
reckon on myself.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1866.]

_March 7._--I am reading Mill's "Logic" again. Theocritus still, and
English History and Law.

_March 17._--To St. James's Hall hearing Joachim, Piatti, and Hallé in
glorious Beethoven music.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 9th April, 1866.]

Don't think any evil of me for not writing. Just now the days are
short, and art is long to artists with feeble bodies. If people don't
say expressly that they want anything from me, I easily conclude that
they will do better without me, and have a good weight of idleness,
or, rather, bodily fatigue, which puts itself into the scale of
modesty. I torment myself less with fruitless regrets that my
particular life has not been more perfect. The young things are
growing, and to me it is not melancholy but joyous that the world will
be brighter after I am gone than it has been in the brief time of my
existence. You see my pen runs into very old reflections. The fact is,
I have no details to tell that would much interest you. It is true
that I am going to bring out another book, but just _when_ is not
certain.

[Sidenote: Letter to Madame Bodichon, 10th April, 1866.]

The happiness in your letter was delightful to me, as you guessed it
would be. See how much better things may turn out for all mankind,
since they mend for single mortals even in this confused state of the
bodies social and politic.

As soon as we can leave we shall go away, probably to Germany, for six
weeks or so. But that will not be till June. I am finishing a book
which has been growing slowly, like a sickly child, because of my own
ailments; but now I am in the later acts of it I can't move till it is
done.

You know all the news, public and private--all about the sad cattle
plague, and the reform bill, and who is going to be married and who is
dead--so I need tell you nothing. You will find the English world
extremely like what it was when you left it--conversation more or less
trivial and insincere, literature just now not much better, and
politics worse than either. Bring some sincerity and energy to make a
little draught of pure air in your particular world. I shall expect
you to be a heroine in the best sense, now you are happier after a
time of suffering. See what a talent I have for telling other people
to be good!

We are getting patriarchal, and think of old age and death as journeys
not far off. All knowledge, all thought, all achievement seems more
precious and enjoyable to me than it ever was before in life. But as
soon as one has found the key of life, "it opes the gates of death."
Youth has not learned the _art_ of living, and we go on bungling till
our experience can only serve us for a very brief space. That is the
"external order" we must submit to.

I am too busy to write except when I am tired, and don't know very
well what to say, so you must not be surprised if I write in a dreamy
way.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1866.]

_April 21._--Sent MS. of two volumes to Blackwood.

_April 25._--Blackwood has written to offer me £5000 for "Felix Holt."
I have been ailing, and uncertain in my strokes, and yesterday got no
further than p. 52 of Vol. III.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 25th April, 1866.]

It is a great pleasure to me to be writing to you again, as in the old
days. After your kind letters, I am chiefly anxious that the
publication of "Felix Holt" may be a satisfaction to you from
beginning to end.

Mr. Lewes writes about other business matters, so I will only say that
I am desirous to have the proofs as soon and as rapidly as will be
practicable.

They will require correcting with great care, and there are large
spaces in the day when I am unable to write, in which I could be
attending to my proofs.

I think I ought to tell you that I have consulted a legal friend about
my law, to guard against errors. The friend is a Chancery barrister,
who "ought to know."

After I had written the first volume, I applied to him, and he has
since read through my MS.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 27th April, 1866.]

How very good it was of you to write me a letter which is a guarantee
to me of the pleasantest kind that I have made myself understood.

The tone of the prevalent literature just now is not encouraging to a
writer who at least wishes to be serious and sincere; and, owing to my
want of health, a great deal of this book has been written under so
much depression as to its practical effectiveness that I have
sometimes been ready to give it up.

Your letter has made me feel, more strongly than any other testimony,
that it would have been a pity if I had listened to the tempter
Despondency. I took a great deal of pains to get a true idea of the
period. My own recollections of it are childish, and of course
disjointed, but they help to illuminate my reading. I went through the
_Times_ of 1832-33 at the British Museum, to be sure of as many
details as I could. It is amazing what strong language was used in
those days, especially about the Church. "Bloated pluralists,"
"Stall-fed dignitaries," etc., are the sort of phrases conspicuous.
There is one passage of prophecy which I longed to quote, but I
thought it wiser to abstain. "Now, the beauty of the Reform Bill is
that, under its mature operation, the people must and will become free
agents"--a prophecy which I hope is true, only the maturity of the
operation has not arrived yet.

Mr. Lewes is well satisfied with the portion of the third volume
already written; and, as I am better in health just now, I hope to go
on with spirit, especially with the help of your cordial sympathy. I
trust you will see, when it comes, that the third volume is the
natural issue prepared for by the first and second.

[Sidenote: Letter to Frederic Harrison, 27th April, 1866.]

A thousand thanks for your note. Do not worry yourself so much about
those two questions that you will be forced to hate me. On Tuesday
next we are to go to Dorking for probably a fortnight. I wished you to
read the first hundred pages of my third volume; but I fear now that I
must be content to wait and send you a duplicate proof of a chapter or
two that are likely to make a lawyer shudder by their poetic license.
Please to be in great distress sometime for want of my advice, and
tease me considerably to get it, that I may prove my grateful memory
of these days.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 30th April, 1866.]

To-morrow we go--Mr. Lewes's bad health driving us--to Dorking, where
everything will reach me as quickly as in London.

I am in a horrible fidget about certain points which I want to be sure
of in correcting my proofs. They are chiefly two questions. I wish to
know,

1. Whether, in Napoleon's war with England, after the breaking-up of
the Treaty of Amiens, the seizure and imprisonment of civilians was
exceptional, or whether it was continued throughout the war?

2. Whether, in 1833, in the case of transportation to one of the
colonies, when the sentence did not involve hard labor, the sentenced
person might be at large on his arrival in the colony?

It is possible you may have some one near at hand who will answer
these questions. I am sure you will help me if you can, and will
sympathize in my anxiety not to have even an allusion that involves
practical impossibilities.

One can never be perfectly accurate, even with one's best effort, but
the effort must be made.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1866.]

_May 31._--Finished "Felix Holt."

     The manuscript bears the following inscription:

     "From George Eliot to her dear Husband, this thirteenth year
     of their united life, in which the deepening sense of her own
     imperfectness has the consolation of their deepening love."

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 5th June, 1866.]

My last hope of seeing you before we start has vanished. I find that
the things urged upon me to be done in addition to my own small
matters of preparation will leave me no time to enjoy anything that I
should have chosen if I had been at leisure. Last Thursday only I
finished writing, in a state of nervous excitement that had been
making my head throb and my heart palpitate all the week before. As
soon as I had finished I felt well. You know how we had counted on a
parting sight of you; and I should have particularly liked to see
Emily and witness the good effect of Derbyshire. But send us a word or
two if you can, just to say how you _all three_ are. We start on
Thursday evening for Brussels. Then to Antwerp, the Hague, and
Amsterdam. Out of Holland we are to find our way to Schwalbach. Let
your love go with us, as mine will hover about you and all yours--that
group of three which the word "Wandsworth" always means for us.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Bray, 5th June, 1866.]

I finished writing ("Felix Holt") on the last day of May, after days
and nights of throbbing and palpitation--chiefly, I suppose, from a
nervous excitement which I was not strong enough to support well. As
soon as I had done I felt better, and have been a new creature ever
since, though a little overdone with visits from friends and attention
(_miserabile dictu!_) to petticoats, etc.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Bray, 6th June, 1866.]

I can't help being a little vexed that the course of things hinders
my having the great delight of seeing you again, during this visit to
town. Now that my mind is quite free, I don't know anything I should
have chosen sooner than to have a long, long quiet day with you.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1866.]

_June 7._--Set off on our journey to Holland.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 25th June, 1866, from Schwalbach.]

I wish you could know how idle I feel, how utterly disinclined to
anything but mere self-indulgence; because that knowledge would enable
you to estimate the affection and anxiety which prompt me to write in
spite of disinclination. June is so far gone, that by the time you get
this letter you will surely have some result of the examination to
tell me of; and I can't bear to deprive myself of that news by not
letting you know where we are. "In Paradise," George says; but the
Paradise is in the fields and woods of beech and fir, where we walk in
uninterrupted solitude in spite of the excellent roads and delightful
resting-places, which seem to have been prepared for visitors in
general. The promenade, where the ladies--chiefly Russian and German,
with only a small sprinkling of English and Americans--display their
ornamental petticoats and various hats, is only the outskirt of
Paradise; but we amuse ourselves there for an hour or so in the early
morning and evening, listening to the music and learning the faces of
our neighbors. There is a deficiency of men, children, and dogs,
otherwise the winding walks, the luxuriant trees and grass, and the
abundant seats of the promenade have every charm one can expect at a
German bath. We arrived here last Thursday, after a fortnight spent in
Belgium and Holland; and we still fall to interjections of delight
whenever we walk out--first at the beauty of the place, and next at
our own happiness in not having been frightened away from it by the
predictions of travellers and hotel-keepers, that we should find no
one here--that the Prussians would break up the railways, etc.,
etc.--Nassau being one of the majority of small states who are against
Prussia. I fear we are a little in danger of becoming like the Bürger
in "Faust," and making it too much the entertainment of our holiday to
have a

     "Gespräch von Krieg und Kriegsgeschrei
     Wenn hinten, weit, in der Türkei,
     Die Völker auf einander schlagen."

Idle people are so eager for newspapers that tell them of other
people's energetic enthusiasm! A few soldiers are quartered here, and
we see them wisely using their leisure to drink at the Brunnen. They
are the only suggestion of war that meets our eyes among these woody
hills. Already we feel great benefit from our quiet journeying and
repose. George is looking remarkably well, and seems to have nothing
the matter with him. You know how magically quick his recoveries seem.
I am too refined to say anything about our excellent quarters and good
meals; but one detail, I know, will touch your sympathy. We dine in
our own room! It would have marred the _Kur_ for me if I had had every
day to undergo a _table d'hôte_ where almost all the guests are
English, presided over by the British chaplain. Please don't suspect
me of being scornful towards my fellow countrymen or women: the fault
is all mine that I am miserably _gênée_ by the glances of strange
eyes.

We want news from you to complete our satisfaction, and no one can
give it but yourself. Send us as many matter-of-fact details as you
have the patience to write. We shall not be here after the 4th, but at
Schlangenbad.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 3d Aug. 1866.]

We got home last night, after a rough passage from Ostend. You have
been so continually a recurrent thought to me ever since I had your
letter at Schwalbach, that it is only natural I should write to you as
soon as I am at my old desk again. The news of Mr. Congreve's
examination being over made me feel for several days that something
had happened which caused me unusual lightness of heart. I would not
dwell on the possibility of your having to leave Wandsworth, which, I
know, would cause you many sacrifices. I clung solely to the great,
cheering fact that a load of anxiety had been lifted from Mr.
Congreve's mind. May we not put in a petition for some of his time
now? And will he not come with you and Emily to dine with us next
week, on any day except Wednesday and Friday? The dinner-hour seems
more propitious for talk and enjoyment than lunch-time; but in all
respects choose what will best suit your health and habits--only let
us see you.

[Sidenote: Letter to Frederic Harrison, 4th Aug. 1866.]

We returned from our health-seeking journey on Thursday evening, and
your letter was the most delightful thing that awaited me at home. Be
sure it will be much read and meditated; and may I not take it as an
earnest that your help, which has already done so much for me, will be
continued? I mean, that you will help me by your thoughts and your
sympathy--not that you will be teased with my proofs.

I meant to write you a long letter about the æsthetic problem; but Mr.
Lewes, who is still tormented with headachy effects from our rough
passage, comes and asks me to walk to Hampstead with him, so I send
these hasty lines. Come and see us soon.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 4th Aug. 1866.]

We got home on Thursday evening, and are still feeling some unpleasant
effects from our very rough passage--an inconvenience which we had
waited some days at Ostend to avoid. But the wind took no notice of
us, and went on blowing.

I was much pleased with the handsome appearance of the three volumes
which were lying ready for me. My hatred of bad paper and bad print,
and my love of their opposites, naturally get stronger as my eyes get
weaker; and certainly that taste could hardly be better gratified than
it is by Messrs. Blackwood & Sons.

Colonel Hamley's volume is another example of that fact. It lies now
on my revolving desk as one of the books I mean first to read. I am
really grateful to have such a medium of knowledge, and I expect it to
make some pages of history much less dim to me.

My impression of Colonel Hamley, when we had that pleasant dinner at
Greenwich, and afterwards when he called in Blandford Square, was
quite in keeping with the high opinion you express. Mr. Lewes liked
the article on "Felix" in the Magazine very much. He read it the first
thing yesterday morning, and told me it was written in a nice spirit,
and the extracts judiciously made.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 10th Aug. 1866.]

I have had a delightful holiday, and find my double self very much the
better for it. We made a great round in our journeying. From Antwerp
to Rotterdam, the Hague, Leyden, Amsterdam, Cologne; then up the Rhine
to Coblentz, and thence to Schwalbach, where we stayed a fortnight.
From Schwalbach to Schlangenbad, where we stayed till we feared the
boats would cease to go to and fro; and, in fact, only left just in
time to get down the Rhine to Bonn by the Dutch steamer. From Bonn,
after two days, we went to Aix; then to dear old Liége, where we had
been together thirteen years before; and, to avoid the King of the
Belgians, ten minutes backwards to the baths of pretty Chaudfontaine,
where we remained three days. Then to Louvain, Ghent, and Bruges; and,
last of all, to Ostend, where we waited for a fine day and calm sea,
until we secured--a very rough passage indeed.

Ought we not to be a great deal wiser and more efficient personages,
or else to be ashamed of ourselves? Unhappily, this last alternative
is not a compensation for wisdom.

I thought of you--to mention one occasion among many--when we had the
good fortune, at Antwerp, to see a placard announcing that the company
from the Ober-Ammergau, Bavaria, would represent, that Sunday evening,
the _Lebensgeschichte_ of our Saviour Christ, at the Théatre des
Variétés. I remembered that you had seen the representation with deep
interest--and these actors are doubtless the successors of those you
saw. Of course we went to the theatre. And the Christ was, without
exaggeration, beautiful. All the rest was inferior, and might even
have had a painful approach to the ludicrous; but both the person and
the action of the Jesus were fine enough to overpower all meaner
impressions. Mr. Lewes, who, you know, is keenly alive to everything
"stagey" in physiognomy and gesture, felt what I am saying quite as
much as I did, and was much moved.

Rotterdam, with the grand approach to it by the broad river; the rich
red brick of the houses; the canals, uniformly planted with trees, and
crowded with the bright brown masts of the Dutch boats--is far finer
than Amsterdam. The color of Amsterdam is ugly; the houses are of a
chocolate color, almost black (an artificial tinge given to the
bricks), and the woodwork on them screams out in ugly patches of
cream-color; the canals have no trees along their sides, and the
boats are infrequent. We looked about for the very Portuguese
synagogue where Spinoza was nearly assassinated as he came from
worship. But it no longer exists. There are no less than three
Portuguese synagogues now--very large and handsome. And in the evening
we went to see the worship there. Not a woman was present, but of
devout men not a few--a curious reversal of what one sees in other
temples. The chanting and the swaying about of the bodies--almost a
wriggling--are not beautiful to the sense; but I fairly cried at
witnessing this faint symbolism of a religion of sublime, far-off
memories. The skulls of St. Ursula's eleven thousand virgins seem a
modern suggestion compared with the Jewish Synagogue. At Schwalbach
and Schlangenbad our life was led chiefly in the beech woods, which we
had all to ourselves, the guests usually confining themselves to the
nearer promenades. The guests, of course, were few in that serious
time; and between war and cholera we felt our position as health--and
pleasure--seekers somewhat contemptible.

There is no end to what one could say, if one did not feel that long
letters cut pieces not to be spared out of the solid day.

I think I have earned that you should write me one of those perfect
letters in which you make me see everything you like about yourself
and others.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1866.]

_Aug. 30._--I have taken up the idea of my drama, "The Spanish Gypsy,"
again, and am reading on Spanish subjects--Bouterwek, Sismondi,
Depping, Llorante, etc.

[Sidenote: Letter to Frederic Harrison, 15th Aug. 1866.]

I have read several times your letter of the 19th, which I found
awaiting me on my return, and I shall read it many times again. Pray
do not even say, or inwardly suspect, that anything you take the
trouble to write to me will not be valued. On the contrary, please to
imagine as well as you can the experience of a mind morbidly
desponding, of a consciousness tending more and more to consist in
memories of error and imperfection rather than in a strengthening
sense of achievement--and then consider how such a mind must need the
support of sympathy and approval from those who are capable of
understanding its aims. I assure you your letter is an evidence of a
fuller understanding than I have ever had expressed to me before. And
if I needed to give emphasis to this simple statement, I should
suggest to you all the miseries one's obstinate egoism endures from
the fact of being a writer of novels--books which the dullest and
silliest reader thinks himself competent to deliver an opinion on. But
I despise myself for feeling any annoyance at these trivial things.

That is a tremendously difficult problem which you have laid before
me; and I think you see its difficulties, though they can hardly press
upon you as they do on me, who have gone through again and again 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. I think æsthetic teaching is the highest of all teaching,
because it deals with life in its highest complexity. But if it ceases
to be purely æsthetic--if it lapses anywhere from the picture to the
diagram--it becomes the most offensive of all teaching. Avowed Utopias
are not offensive, because they are understood to have a scientific
and expository character: they do not pretend to work on the emotions,
or couldn't do it if they did pretend. I am sure, from your own
statement, that you see this quite clearly. Well, then, consider the
sort of agonizing labor to an English-fed imagination to make out a
sufficiently real background for the desired picture--to get
breathing, individual forms, and group them in the needful relations,
so that the presentation will lay hold on the emotions as human
experience--will, as you say, "flash" conviction on the world by means
of aroused sympathy.

I took unspeakable pains in preparing to write "Romola"--neglecting
nothing I could find that would help me to what I may call the "idiom"
of Florence, in the largest sense one could stretch the word to; and
then I was only trying to give _some_ out of the normal relations. I
felt that the necessary idealization could only be attained by adopting
the clothing of the past. And again, it is my way (rather too much so,
perhaps) to urge the human sanctities through tragedy--through pity and
terror, as well as admiration and delight. I only say all this to show
the tenfold arduousness of such a work as the one your problem demands.
On the other hand, my whole soul goes with your desire that it should
be done; and I shall at least keep the great possibility (or
impossibility) perpetually in my mind, as something towards which I
must strive, though it may be that I can do so only in a fragmentary
way.

At present I am going to take up again a work which I laid down before
writing "Felix." It is--_but, please, let this be a secret between
ourselves_--an attempt at a drama, which I put aside at Mr. Lewes's
request, after writing four acts, precisely because it was in that
stage of creation--or _Werden_--in which the idea of the characters
predominates over the incarnation. Now I read it again, I find it
impossible to abandon it; the conceptions move me deeply, and they
have never been wrought out before. There is not a thought or symbol
that I do not long to use: but the whole requires recasting; and, as I
never recast anything before, I think of the issue very doubtfully.
When one has to work out the dramatic action for one's self, under the
inspiration of an idea, instead of having a grand myth or an Italian
novel ready to one's hand, one feels anything but omnipotent. Not that
I should have done any better if I had had the myth or the novel, for
I am not a good user of opportunities. I think I have the right
_locus_ and historic conditions, but much else is wanting.

I have not, of course, said half what I meant to say; but I hope
opportunities of exchanging thoughts will not be wanting between us.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 6th Sept. 1866.]

It is so long since we exchanged letters, that I feel inclined to
break the silence by telling you that I have been reading with much
interest the "Operations of War," which you enriched me with. Also
that I have had a pretty note, in aged handwriting, from Dean Ramsay,
with a present of his "Reminiscences of Scottish Life." I suppose you
know him quite well, but I never heard you mention him. Also--what
will amuse you--that my readers take quite a tender care of my text,
writing to me to tell me of a misprint, or of "one phrase" which they
entreat to have altered, that no blemish may disfigure "Felix." Dr.
Althaus has sent me word of a misprint which I am glad to know of--or,
rather, of a word slipped out in the third volume. "She _saw_ streaks
of light, etc. ... _and_ sounds." It must be corrected when the
opportunity comes.

We are very well, and I am swimming in Spanish history and literature.
I feel as if I were molesting you with a letter without any good
excuse, but you are not bound to write again until a wet day makes
golf impossible, and creates a dreariness in which even letter-writing
seems like a recreation.

[Sidenote: Letter to John Blackwood, 11th Sept. 1866.]

I am glad to know that Dean Ramsay is a friend of yours. His sympathy
was worth having, and I at once wrote to thank him. Another
wonderfully lively old man--Sir Henry Holland--came to see me about
two Sundays ago, to bid me good-bye before going on an excursion
to--North America!--and to tell me that he had just been re-reading
"Adam Bede" for the fourth time. "I often read in it, you know,
besides. But this is the fourth time quite through." I, of course,
with the mother's egoism on behalf of the youngest born, was jealous
for "Felix." Is there any possibility of satisfying an author? But one
or two things that George read out to me from an article in
_Macmillan's Magazine_, by Mr. Mozley, did satisfy me. And yet I
sicken again with despondency under the sense that the most carefully
written books lie, both outside and inside people's minds, deep
undermost in a heap of trash.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1866.]

_Sept. 15._--Finished Depping's "Juifs au Moyen Âge." Reading Chaucer,
to study English. Also reading on Acoustics, Musical Instruments, etc.

_Oct. 15._--Recommenced "The Spanish Gypsy," intending to give it a
new form.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 22d Nov. 1866.]

For a wonder I remembered the day of the month, and felt a delightful
confidence that I should have a letter from her who always remembers
such things at the right moment. You will hardly believe in my
imbecility. I can never be quite sure whether your birthday is the
21st or the 23d. I know every one must think the worse of me for this
want of retentiveness that seems a part of affection; and it is only
justice that they should. Nevertheless I am not quite destitute of
lovingness and gratitude, and perhaps the consciousness of my own
defect makes me feel your goodness the more keenly. I shall reckon it
part of the next year's happiness for me if it brings a great deal of
happiness to you. That will depend somewhat--perhaps chiefly--on the
satisfaction you have in giving shape to your ideas. But you say
nothing on that subject.

We knew about Faraday's preaching, but not of his loss of faculty. I
begin to think of such things as very near to me--I mean, decay of
power and health. But I find age has its fresh elements of
cheerfulness.

Bless you, dear Sara, for all the kindness of many years, and for the
newest kindness that comes to me this morning. I am very well now, and
able to enjoy my happiness. One has happiness sometimes without being
able to enjoy it.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1866.]

_Nov. 22._--Reading Renan's "Histoire des Langues Sémitiques"--Ticknor's
"Spanish Literature."

_Dec. 6._--We returned from Tunbridge Wells, where we have been for a
week. I have been reading Cornewall Lewis's "Astronomy of the
Ancients," Ockley's "History of the Saracens," "Astronomical
Geography," and Spanish ballads on Bernardo del Carpio.

[Sidenote: Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 7th Dec. 1866.]

We have been to Tunbridge Wells for a week, hoping to get plenty of
fresh air, and walking in that sandy, undulating country. But for
three days it rained incessantly.

No; I don't feel as if my faculties were failing me. On the contrary,
I enjoy all subjects--all study--more than I ever did in my life
before. But that very fact makes me more in need of resignation to the
certain approach of age and death. Science, history, poetry--I don't
know which draws me most, and there is little time left me for any
one of them. I learned Spanish last year but one, and see new vistas
everywhere. That makes me think of time thrown away when I was
young--time that I should be so glad of now. I could enjoy everything,
from arithmetic to antiquarianism, if I had large spaces of life
before me. But instead of that I have a very small space. Unfeigned,
unselfish, cheerful resignation is difficult. But I strive to get it.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1866.]

_Dec. 11._--Ill ever since I came home, so that the days seem to have
made a muddy flood, sweeping away all labor and all growth.

[Sidenote: Letter to Mrs. Congreve, 22d Dec. 1866.]

Just before we received Dr. Congreve's letter we had changed our
plans. George's increasing weakness and the more and more frequent
intervals in which he became unable to work, made me at last urge him
to give up the idea of "finishing," which often besets us vainly. It
will really be better for the work as well as for himself that he
should let it wait. However, I care about nothing just now except that
he should be doing all he can to get better. So we start next Thursday
for Bordeaux, staying two days in Paris on our way. Madame Mohl writes
us word that she hears from friends of the delicious weather--mild,
sunny weather--to be had now on the French southwestern and
southeastern coast. You will all wish us well on our journey, I know.
But _I_ wish I could carry a happier thought about you than that of
your being an invalid. I shall write to you when we are at Biarritz or
some other place that suits us, and when I have something good to
tell. No; in any case I shall write, because I shall want to hear all
about you. Tell Dr. Congreve we carry the "Politique" with us. Mr.
Lewes gets more and more impressed by it, and also by what he is able
to understand of the "Synthèse." I am writing in the dark. Farewell.
With best love to Emily, and dutiful regards to Dr. Congreve.

[Sidenote: Journal, 1866.]

_Dec. 27._--Set off in the evening on our journey to the south.


_SUMMARY._

JANUARY, 1866, TO DECEMBER, 1866.

     Letters to Frederic Harrison on Industrial
     Co-operation--Consults him about law in "Felix Holt"--Asks
     his opinion on other questions--Letter to Mrs.
     Congreve--Visit to Tunbridge Wells--Reading Comte's
     "Synthèse"--Letter to F. Harrison on "case" for "Felix
     Holt"--Letter to Miss Hennell--Joy in the world getting
     better--Letter to Madame Bodichon--"Felix Holt" growing like
     a sickly child--Want of sincerity in England--Desire for
     knowledge increases--Blackwood offers £5000 for "Felix
     Holt"--Letters to John Blackwood renewing
     correspondence--Thanks for encouragement--Painstaking with
     "Felix Holt"--Letter to F. Harrison on legal points--The book
     finished--Inscription--Letter of adieu to Mrs.
     Congreve--Letter to Mrs. Bray--Excitement of finishing "Felix
     Holt"--Journey to Holland and Germany--Letter to Mrs.
     Congreve from Schwalbach--Return to the Priory--Letter to F.
     Harrison asking for sympathy--Letter to John
     Blackwood--Colonel Hamley--Letter to Miss Hennell describing
     German trip--Miracle play at Antwerp--Amsterdam
     synagogue--Takes up drama "The Spanish Gypsy" again--Reading
     on Spanish subjects--Letter to F. Harrison--Need of
     sympathy--Æsthetic teaching--Tells him of the proposed
     drama--Letters to John Blackwood--Dean Ramsay--Sir Henry
     Holland--Article on "Felix Holt" in _Macmillan's
     Magazine_--"The Spanish Gypsy" recommenced--Reading Renan's
     "Histoire des Langues Sémitiques" and Ticknor's "Spanish
     Literature"--Visit to Tunbridge Wells for a week--Reading
     Cornewall Lewis's "Astronomy of the Ancients"--Ockley's
     "History of the Saracens," and Spanish Ballads--Letter to
     Miss Hennell--Enjoyment of study--Depression--Letter of adieu
     to Mrs. Congreve--Set off on journey to Spain.


END OF VOL. II.


       *       *       *       *       *


Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious typographical errors were repaired.

Duplicate sidenotes (repeated at the top of continuation pages) were
deleted.

Latin-1 file: _underscores_ enclose italicized content.

Sidenote at the bottom of p. 215, and repeated on continuation p. 216,
"Letter to Miss Sara Hennell"--p. 215 sidenote (retained) shows "18th
April," but continuation sidenote on p. 216 (deleted) shows "13th
April."

Sidenote p. 227, "Letter to Miss Sara Hennell, 12th Aug.
1861"--original reads "1860."





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