"The human nature unto which I felt That I belonged, and reverenced with love, Was not a punctual presence, but a spirit Diffused through time and space, with aid derived Of evidence from monuments, erect, Prostrate, or leaning towards their common rest In earth, the widely scattered wreck sublime Of vanished nations."
-- WORDSWORTH: The Prelude.*
SIR HUGO carried out his plan of spending part of the autumn at Diplow, and by the beginning of October his presence was spreading some cheerfulness in the neighbourhood, among all ranks and persons concerned, from the stately homes of Brackenshaw and Quetcham to the respectable shop-parlours in Wancester. For Sir Hugo was a man who liked to show himself and be affable, a Liberal of good lineage, who confided entirely in Reform as not likely to make any serious difference in English habits of feeling, one of which undoubtedly is the liking to behold society well fenced and adorned with hereditary rank. Hence he made Diplow a most agreeable house, extending his invitations to old Wancester solicitors and young village curates, but also taking some care in the combination of his guests, and not feeding all the common poultry together, so that they should think their meal no particular compliment. Easy-going Lord Brackenshaw, for example, would not mind meeting Robinson the attorney, but Robinson would have been naturally piqued if he had been asked to meet a set of people who passed for his equals. On all these points Sir Hugo was well informed enough at once to gain popularity for himself and give pleasure to others--two results which eminently suited his disposition. The Rector of Pennicote now found a reception at Diplow very different from the haughty tolerance he had undergone during the reign of Grandcourt. It was not only that the baronet liked Mr Gascoipe, it was that he desired to keep up a marked relation of friendliness with him on account of Mrs Grandcourt, for whom Sir Hugo's chivalry had become more and more engaged. Why? The chief reason was one that he could not fully communicate, even to Lady Mallinger--for he would not tell what he thought one woman's secret to another even though the other was his wife--which shows that his chivalry included a rare reticence.
Deronda, after he had become engaged to Mirah, felt it right to make a full statement of his position and purposes to Sir Hugo, and he