Daniel Deronda

By George Eliot; Graham Handley | Go to book overview

BOOK VI. REVELATIONS

*


CHAPTER XLI.

"This, too, is probable, according to that saying of Agathon: 'It is a part of probability that many improbable things will happen.'"-- ARISTOTLE: Poetics.*

IMAGINE the conflict in a mind like Deronda's, given not only to feel strongly but to question actively, on the evening after that interview with Mordecai. To a young man of much duller susceptibilities the adventure might have seemed enough out of the common way to divide his thoughts; but it had stirred Deronda so deeply, that with the usual reaction of his intellect he began to examine the grounds of his emotion, and consider how far he must resist its guidance. The consciousness that he was half dominated by Mordecai's energetic certitude, and still more by his fervent trust, roused his alarm. It was his characteristic bias to shrink from the moral stupidity of valuing lightly what had come close to him, and of missing blindly in his own life of today the crises which he recognized as momentous and sacred in the historic life of men. If he had read of this incident as having happened centuries ago in Rome, Greece, Asia Minor, Palestine, Cairo, to some man young as himself, dissatisfied with his neutral life, and wanting some closer fellowship, some more special duty to give him ardour for the possible consequences of his work, it would have appeared to him quite natural that the incident should have created a deep impression on that far-off man, whose clothing and action would have been seen in his imagination as part of an age chiefly known to us through its more serious effects. Why should he be ashamed of his own agitated feeling merely because he dressed for dinner, wore a white tie, and lived among people who might laugh at his owning any conscience in the matter as the solemn folly of taking himself too seriously? --that bugbear of circles in which the lack of grave emotion passes for wit. From such cowardice before modish ignorance and obtuseness, Deronda shrunk. But he also shrank from having his course determined by mere contagion, without consent of reason; or

-434-

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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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