Monday, 26 September 2011

Chilling quote

George Eliot

A chilling George Eliot quote from her superb novel - Middlemarch.

Chilling? Yes - because for most of us, not just men, this is our destiny.

For the multitude of middle-aged men who go about their vocations in a daily course determined for them much in the same way as the tie of their cravats, there is always a good number who once meant to shape their own deeds and alter the world a little. The story of their coming to be shapen after the average and fit to be packed by the gross, is hardly ever told even in their consciousness; for perhaps their ardor in generous unpaid toil cooled as imperceptibly as the ardor  of other youthful loves, till one day their earlier self walked like a ghost in its old home and made the new furniture ghastly. Nothing in the world more subtle than the process of their gradual change! In the beginning they inhaled it unknowingly: you and I may have sent some of our breath towards infecting them, when we uttered our conforming falsities or drew our silly conclusions: or perhaps it came from the vibrations of a woman's glance.
George Eliot - Middlemarch


James Higham said...

There is the other side, of course and that is to be so independent that one is left out in the cold and regarded as strange. That also has its down side.

I'm going to run this with part of the quote, linking here for the full quote and make this point at my place. It's an important issue.

A K Haart said...

JH - you are right, one can be too independent - I'm pleased you find the quote useful.