Daniel Deronda

By George Eliot; Graham Handley | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X.

1st Gent. What woman should be? Sir, consult the taste
Of marriageable men. This planet's store
In iron, cotton, wool, or chemicals--
All matter rendered to our plastic skill,
Is wrought in shapes responsive to demand:
The market's pulse makes index high or low,
By rule sublime. Our daughters must be wives,
And to be wives must be what men will choose:
Men's taste is woman's test. You mark the phrase?
'Tis good, I think?--the sense well winged and poised
With t's and s's.

2d Gent. Nay, but turn it round:
Give us the test of taste. A fine menu--
Is it to-day what Roman epicures
Insisted that a gentleman must eat
To earn the dignity of dining well?

BRACKENSHAW PARK, where the Archery Meeting was held, looked out from its gentle heights far over the neighbouring valley to the outlying eastern downs and the broad slow rise of cultivated country hanging like a vast curtain towards the west. The castle, which stood on the highest platform of the clustered hills, was built of rough-hewn limestone, full of lights and shadows made by the dark dust of lichens and the washings of the rain. Masses of beech and fir sheltered it on the north, and spread down here and there along the green slopes like flocks seeking the water which gleamed below. The archery-ground was a carefully-kept enclosure on a bit of table-land at the farthest end of the park, protected towards the south-west by tall elms and a thick screen of hollies, which kept the gravel walk and the bit of newly- mown turf where the targets were placed in agreeable afternoon shade. The Archery Hall with an arcade in front showed like a white temple against the greenery on the northern side.

What could make a better background for the flower-groups of ladies, moving and bowing and turning their necks as it would become the leisurely lilies to do if they took to locomotion? The sounds too were very pleasant to hear, even when the military band from Wancester ceased to play: musical laughs in all the registers and a harmony of happy friendly speeches, now rising towards mild excitement, now sinking to an agreeable murmur.

No open-air amusement could be much freer from those noisy, crowding conditions which spoil most modern pleasures; no Archery

-83-

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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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