Daniel Deronda

By George Eliot; Graham Handley | Go to book overview

CHAPTER LI.

She held the spindle as she sat, Erinna* with the thick-coiled mat Of raven hair and deepest agate eyes, Gazing with a sad surprise At surging visions of her destiny-- To spin the byssus drearily In insect-labour, while the throng

Of gods and men wrought deeds that poets wrought in song.

WHEN Deronda presented himself at the door of his mother's apartment in the Italia, he felt some revival of his boyhood with its premature agitations. The two servants in the antechamber looked at him markedly, a little surprised that the doctor their lady had come to consult was this striking young gentleman whose appearance gave even the severe lines of an evening dress the credit of adornment. But Deronda could notice nothing, until, the second door being opened, he found himself in the presence of a figure which at the other end of the large room stood awaiting his approach.

She was covered, except as to her face and part of her arms, with black lace hanging loosely from the summit of her whitening hair to the long train stretching from her tall figure. Her arms, naked from the elbow, except for some rich bracelets, were folded before her, and the fine poise of her head made it look handsomer than it really was. But Deronda felt no interval of observation before he was close in front of her, holding the hand she had put out and then raising it to his lips. She still kept her hand in his and looked at him examiningly; while his chief consciousness was that her eyes were piercing and her face so mobile that the next moment she-might look like a different person. For even while she was examining him there was a play of the brow and nostril which made a tacit language. Deronda dared no movement, not able to conceive what sort of manifestation her feeling demanded; but he felt himself changing colour like a girl, and yet wondering at his own lack of emotion: he lived through so many ideal meetings with his mother, and they had seemed more real than this! He could not even conjecture in what language she would speak to him. He imagined it would not be English. Suddenly, she let fall his hand, and placed both hers on his shoulders, while her face gave out a flash of admiration in which every worn line disappeared and seemed to leave a restored youth.

"You are a beautiful creature!" she said, in a low melodious voice, with syllables which had what might be called a foreign but agreeable

-535-

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Daniel Deronda
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Oxford World's Classics Daniel Deronda i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • Abbreviations and References vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Note on the Text xxiii
  • Select Bibliography xxv
  • A Chronology of George Eliot xxvii
  • Book I. the Spoiled Child. 3
  • Chapter I 3
  • Chapter II 10
  • Chapter III 16
  • Chapter IV 30
  • Chapter V 34
  • Chapter VI 42
  • Chapter VII 53
  • Chapter VIII 69
  • Chapter IX 75
  • Chapter X 83
  • Chapter XI 91
  • Chapter XII 104
  • Chapter Xiii. "Philistia, Be Thou Glad of Me!" 109
  • Chapter XIV 122
  • Chapter XV 132
  • Chapter XVI 139
  • Chapter XVII 157
  • Chapter XVIII 166
  • Daniel Deronda 173
  • Book Iii. Maidens Choosing. 175
  • Chapter XIX 175
  • Chapter XX 178
  • Chapter XXI 194
  • Chapter XXII 202
  • Chapter XXIII 213
  • Chapter XXIV 226
  • Chapter XXV 236
  • Chapter XXVI 244
  • Chapter XXVII 251
  • Book Iv. Gwendolen Gets Her Choice 260
  • Chapter XXVIII 260
  • Chapter XXIX 275
  • Chapter XXX 286
  • Chapter XXXI 298
  • Chapter XXXII 304
  • Chapter XXXIII 321
  • Chapter XXXIV 334
  • Daniel Deronda 343
  • Book V. Mordecai. 345
  • Chapter XXXV 345
  • Chapter XXXVI 370
  • Chapter XXXVII 390
  • Chapter XXXVIII 404
  • Chapter XXXIX 412
  • Chapter XL 421
  • Book Vi. Revelations 434
  • Chapter XLI 434
  • Chapter XLII 441
  • Chapter XLIII 461
  • Chapter XLIV 467
  • Chapter XLV 475
  • Chapter XLVI 484
  • Chapter XLVII 494
  • Chapter XLVIII 499
  • Chapter XLIX 523
  • Daniel Deronda 527
  • Book Vii. the Mother and the Son. 529
  • Chapter L 529
  • Chapter LI 535
  • Chapter LII 549
  • Chapter LIII 565
  • Chapter LIV 572
  • Chapter LV 585
  • Chapter LVI 589
  • Chapter LVII 598
  • Book Viii. Fruit and Seed. 603
  • Chapter LVIII 603
  • Chapter LIX 611
  • Chapter LX 616
  • Chapter LXI 621
  • Chapter LXII 630
  • Chapter LXIII 637
  • Chapter LXIV 646
  • Chapter LXV 655
  • Chapter LXVI 662
  • Chapter LXVII 668
  • Chapter LXVIII 675
  • Chapter LXIX 680
  • Chapter LXX 693
  • Explanatory Notes (unascribed Chapter Mottoes Are by Ge.) 697
  • Appendix the Chronology of Daniel Deronda 725
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