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9:25 p.m. - Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2007
In Which I Express Enthusiasm

But good society, floated on gossamer wings of light irony, is of very expensive production, requiring nothing less than a wide and arduous national life condensed in unfragrant deafening factories, cramping itself in mines, sweating at furnaces, grinding, hammering, weaving under more or less oppression of carbonic acid — or else, spread over sheepwalks and scattered in lonely houses and huts on the clayey or chalky corn-lands where the rainy days look dreary. . . . Under such circumstances there are many among its myriads of souls who have absolutely needed an emphatic belief: life in this unpleasurable shape demanding some solution even to unspeculative minds; just as you inquire into the stuffing of your couch when anything galls you there, whereas eiderdown and perfect French springs excite no question.
* * * * *
Do not think too hardly of Philip. Ugly and deformed people have great need of unusual virtues because they are likely to be extremely uncomfortable without them, but the theory that unusual virtues spring by a direct consequence out of personal disadvantages, as animals get thicker wool in severe climates, is perhaps a little overstrained.

——The Mill on the Floss

I love George Eliot!


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