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Monday, April 15, 2013

Her world was in a state of convulsive change; the only thing she could say distinctly to herself was that she must wait and think anew.

Middlemarch, Book V - The Dead Hand by George Eliot (Marian Evans)

Spoiler Alert: Plot Summary
-Dorothea sees Will @ the Lydgates; wants to donate money to the hospital.
-Will and Dorothea both upset by seeing each other in other spheres than their usual one-on-one. (Shocker! The world exists outside of them!)
-Lydgate wishes he could chop up bodies (to study their anatomy, OBVIously.)
-Will likes children; friendly, but a bit of a rabblerouser in Middlemarch.
-Rosamond and Lydgate are expecting.
-Will decides to go to church to see Dorothea - it Doesn't. Go. Well.
-Celia and Chettam have a Baby!
-Mr. Casaubon dies - HOORAY!
-Casaubon made a codicil in the will that Dodo can't marry Will - LAME!
-Celia tells Dodo about the codicil; Lydgate proposes Farebrother for the living attached to Casaubon's property.
-Mr. Brooke makes his political speech; effigy; eggs.
-Mr. Farebrother pleads Fred's case to Mary; she says no to the church (as a profession for Fred) but maybe to Fred.
-John Raffles reappears and blackmails Bulstrode with some sort of information about Will Ladislaw's past.
Spoiler Over: Continue Here

-On Lydgate's inability to fully appreciate Rosamond's piano-playing: "At home, he had his long legs stretched on the sofa, his head thrown back, and his hands clasped behind it according to his favourite ruminating attitude, while Rosamond sat at the piano and played one tune after another, of which her husband only knew (like the emotional elephant he was!) that they fell in with his mood as if they had been melodious sea-breezes." heheheh. I'm going to start calling people emotional elephants. 

"As Lydgate had said of him, he was a sort of gypsy, rather enjoying the sense of belonging to no class; he had a feeling of romance in his position and a pleasant consciousness of creating a little surprise wherever he went."

-On Will's love of children:
"He had a fondness, half artistic, half affectionate, for little children - the smaller they were on tolerably active legs, and the funnier their clothing, the better Will liked to surprise and please them.  He had somehow picked up a troop of droll children, little hatless boys with their galligaskins much worn and scant shirting to hang out, little girls who tossed their hair out of their eyes to look at him, and guardian brothers at the mature age of seven.  This troop he had led out on gypsy excursions to Halsell Wood at nutting-time, and since hte cold weather had set in he had taken them on a clear day to gather sticks for a bonfire in the hollow of a hillside, where he drew out a small feast of gingerbread for them and improvised a Punch-and-Judy drama with some private home-made puppets." I want to see the Punch and Judy shows in the woods and eat gingerbread! I'll come, too!

-On Will's affinity for sprawling on the Lydgates' living room rug:
"Will Ladislaw was stretched on the rug contemplating the curtain-pole abstractedly and humming very low the notes of "When First I Saw Thy Face," while the house spaniel, also stretched out with small choice of room, looked from between his paws at the usurper of the rug with silent but strong objection."

-Will's internal monologue on whether or not to go to church to see Dorothea:
"He slept upon that idea, but when he was dressing in the rational morning light, Objection said, 'That will be a virtual defiance of Mr. Casaubon's prohibition to visit Lowick, and Dorothea will be displeased.'
   'Nonsense!' argued Inclination.  'It would be too monstrous for him to hinder me from going out to a pretty country church on a spring morning. And Dorothea will be glad.'
   'It will be clear to Mr. Casaubon that you have come either to annoy him or to see Dorothea.'
   'It is not true that I go to annoy him, and why should I not go to see Doroteha? Is he to have everything to himself and be always comfortable? Let him smart a little, as other people are obliged to do. I have always liked the quaintness of the church and congregation; besides, I know the Tuckers: I shall go into their pew."

-Fred, to Farebrother, on the uselessness of life without Mary:
"If Mary said she would never have me I might as well go wrong in one way as another.'
   'That is nonsense, Fred. Men outlive their love, but they don't outlive the consequences of their recklessness.'
  'Not my sort of love; I have never been without loving Mary. If I had to give her up, it would be like beginning to live on wooden legs."

-Farebrother approaching Mary as she scolds a terrier:
"He found Mary in the garden gathering roses and sprinkling the petals on a sheet. The sun was low, and tall trees sent their shadows across the grassy walks where Mary was moving without bonnet or parasol.  She did not observe Mr. Farebrother's approach along the grass and had just stooped down to lecture a small black-and-tan terrier which would persist in walking on the sheet and smelling at the rose-leaves as Mary sprinkled them.  She took his forepaws in one hand and lifted up the forefinger of the other, while the dog wrinkled his brows and looked embarrassed. 'Fly, Fly, I am ashamed of you,' Mary was saying in a grave contralto. 'This is not becoming in a sensible dog; anybody would think you were a silly young gentleman.'"

-Mary's (Typically) cryptic answer to Farebrother about Fred "I cannot possibly say that I will ever be his wife, Mr. Farebrother, but I certainly never will be his wife if he becomes a clergyman. I could not love a man who is ridiculous." NB: Mary doesn't think clergymen are ridiculous, only that Fred would make a ridiculous clergyman because his heart isn't in it.

Passages that piqued my interest:
- Casaubon, re:Dorothea - "He distrusted her affection, and what loneliness is more lonely than distrust?"

- "Many thoughts cheered him at that time - and justly. A man conscious of enthusiasm for worthy aims is sustained under petty hostilities by the memory of great workers who had to fight their way, not without wounds, and who hover in his mind as patron saints, invisibly helping."

- re: Will - "It is one thing to like defiance, and another thing to like its consequences."

- description of Will Ladislaw -  "Sometimes, when he took off his hat, shaking his head backward and showing his delicate throat as he sang, he looked like an incarnation of the spring who spirit filled the air - a bright creature, abundant in uncertain promises."

- "Even the spring flowers and the grass had a dull shiver in them under the afternoon clouds that hid the sun fitfully; even the sustaining thoughts which had become habits seemed to have in them the weariness of long future days in which she would still live with them for her sole companions."

Onwards to final thesis drafts and Book VI!

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