Works of George Eliot; Impression of Theophrastus Such. Essays and Leaves from a Notebook Volume 10
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1901 edition. Excerpt: ...phases of man's destiny. And even in the Narcissa Night, Young repels us by the low moral tone of his exaggerated lament. This married step-daughter died at Lyons, and, being a Protestant, was denied burial, so that her friends had to bury her in secret--one of the many miserable results of superstition, but not a fact to throw an educated, still less a Christian man, into a fury of hatred and vengeance, in contemplating it after the lapse of five years. Young, however, takes great pains to simulate a bad feeling: --"Of grief And indignation rival bursts I pour'd, Half execration mingled with my pray'r; Kindled at man, while 1 his God ador'd; Soro grudg'd the savage land her sacred dust; Stamp'd the cursed soil; and with humanity (Denied Narclssa) wish'd them all a grave." The odiously bad taste of this last clause makes us hope that it is simply a platitude, and not intended as a witticism, until he removes the possibility of this favourable doubt by immediately asking, " Flows my resentment into guilt?" When, by an afterthought, he attempts something like sympathy, he only betrays more clearly his want of it. Thus, in the first Night, when he turns from his private griefs to depict earth as a hideous abode of misery for all mankind, and asks--" What then am I, who sorrow for myself? "--he falls at once into calculating the benefit of sorrowing for others: --" More generous sorrow, while it sinks, exalt?: And conscious virtue mitigates Hie pang. Nor virtue, more than prudence, bids me give Swollen thought a second channel." This remarkable negation of sympathy is in perfect consistency with Young's theory of ethics: --' Virtue is a crime, A crime to reason, if it coats us pain Unpaid." If there is no immortality for man, --"Sense! take the rein;...
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