"La même fermeté qui sert à résister à l'amour sert aussi à le rendre violent et durable; et les personnes foibles qui sont toujours agits des passions n'en sont presque jamais véritablement remplies."--LA ROCHEFOUCAULD.*
AMONG Deronda's letters the next morning was one from Hans Meyrick of four quarto pages in the small beautiful handwriting which ran in the Meyrick family.
MY DEAR DERONDA,--In return for your sketch of Italian movements and your view of the world's affairs generally, I may say that here at home the most judicious opinion going as to the effects of present causes is that "time will show." As to the present causes of past effects, it is now seen that the late swindling telegrams account for the last year's cattle plague*--which is a refutation of philosophy falsely so called, and justifies the compensation to the farmers. My own idea that a murrain will shortly break out in the commercial class, and that the cause will subsequently disclose itself in the ready sale of all rejected pictures, has been called an unsound use of analogy; but there are minds that will not hesitate to rob even the neglected painter of his solace. To my feeling there is great beauty in the conception that some bad judge might give a high price for my Berenice series, and that the men in the city would have already been punished for my ill-merited luck.
Meanwhile I am consoling myself for your absence by finding my advantage in it--shining like Hesperus when Hyperion has departed*-- sitting with our Hebrew prophet, and making a study of his head, in the hours when he used to be occupied with you--getting credit with him as a learned young Gentile, who would have been a Jew if he could--and agreeing with him in the general principle, that whatever is best is for that reason Jewish. I never held it my forte to be a severe reasoner, but I can see that if whatever is best is A and B happens to be best, B must be A, however little you might have expected it beforehand. On that principle, I could see the force of a pamphlet I once read to prove that all good art was Protestant. However, our prophet is an uncommonly interesting sitter--a better model than Rembrandt had for his Rabbi*--and I never come away from him without a new discovery. For one thing, it is a constant wonder to me that, with all his fiery feeling for his race and their traditions, he is no strait-laced Jew, spitting after the word Christian, and enjoying the prospect that the Gentile mouth will water in vain for a slice of the