Daniel Deronda

By George Eliot; Graham Handley | Go to book overview

CHAPTER LVII.
"The unripe grape, the ripe, and the dried. All things are changes, not into nothing, but into that which is not at present."--MARCUS AURELIUS.*

Deeds are the pulse of Time, his beating life,
And righteous or unrighteous, being done,
Must throb in after-throbs till Time itself
Be laid in stillness, and the universe
Quiver and breathe upon no mirror more.

IN the evening she sent for him again. It was already near the hour at which she had been brought in from the sea the evening before, and the light was subdued enough with blinds drawn up and windows open. She was seated gazing fixedly on the sea, resting her cheek on her hand, looking less shattered than when he had left her, but with a deep melancholy in her expression which as Deronda approached her passed into an anxious timidity. She did not put out her hand, but said, "How long ago it is!" Then, "Will you sit near me again a little while?"

He placed himself by her side as he had done before, and seeing that she turned to him with that indefinable expression which implies a wish to say something, he waited for her to speak. But again she looked towards the window silently, and again turned with the same expression, which yet did not issue in speech. There was some fear hindering her, and Deronda, wishing to relieve her timidity, averted his face. Presently he heard her cry imploringly--

"You will not say that any one else should know?"

"Most decidedly not," said Deronda. "There is no action that ought to be taken in consequence. There is no injury that could be righted in that way. There is no retribution that any mortal could apportion justly."

She was so still during a pause, that she seemed to be holding her breath before she said--

"But if I had not had that murderous will--that moment--if I had thrown the rope on the instant--perhaps it would have hindered death?"

"No--I think not," said Deronda, slowly. "If it were true that he could swim, he must have been seized with cramp. With your quickest, utmost effort, it seems impossible that you could have done anything to save him. That momentary murderous will cannot, I think, have altered the course of events. Its effect is confined to the motives in your own breast. Within ourselves our evil will is momentous, and sooner or later it works its way outside us-- it may be in the vitiation that breeds evil acts, but also it may be in the self-abhorrence that stings us into better striving."

-598-

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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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