George Eliot; a Critical Study of Her Life, Writings & Philosophy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 474 pages of information about George Eliot; a Critical Study of Her Life, Writings & Philosophy.
understand how a nature may be profoundly devout, and yet unable to accept a great deal of what is usually held as religious belief.  No intellectual difficulties or uncertainties, no sense of mental incapacity to climb the heights of infinitude, could take from her the piety of the affections or ‘the beliefs which were the mother-tongue of her soul.’  I cannot doubt that she spoke out of the fulness of her own heart when she put into the lips of another the words, ’May not a man silence his awe or his love and take to finding reasons which others demand?  But if his love lies deeper than any reasons to be found!’ How patiently she toiled to render her work in all its details as little imperfect as might be!  How green she kept the remembrance of all those companions to whom she felt that she owed a moulding and elevating influence, especially in her old home, and of him who was its head, her father!  How her heart glowed with a desire to help to make a heaven on earth, to be a ‘cup of strength’ to others, and when her own days on earth should have closed, to have a place among those

          “’Immortal dead who still live on
  In minds made better by their presence; live
  In pulses stirred to generosity,
  In deeds of daring rectitude; in scorn
  For miserable aims that end with sell;
  In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars,
  And with their mild persistence urge man’s search
  To vaster issues.’

“How she thus yearned ’to join the choir invisible, whose music is the gladness of the world!’ All this is known to those who had the privilege of being near her.”

The address was preceded by a simple burial service, and was followed by a prayer, all being given in the chapel of the cemetery.  The coffin, covered with the finest floral tributes, was then borne to the grave, where the burial service was completed, and was followed by a prayer and the benediction.  Although the day was a disagreeable one and rain was falling, the chapel was crowded, and many not being able to gain admittance stood about the open grave.  Beside her personal friends and her family there were present many persons noted for their literary or scientific attainments, On the lid of the coffin was this inscription: 

MARY ANN CROSS. 
("George Eliot”)
Born 22d Nov., 1819; died 22d Dec., 1880.

Quilla fonte
Che spande di parlay si largo flume.

[Footnote:  From Dante, and has been rendered into English thus: 

That fountain
Which spreads abroad so wide a river of speech.]

The novel which had been begun was left a mere fragment, and in accordance with what it was thought would have been her wish, was destroyed by her family.  Perhaps it was better that her dislike of unfinished work should be so respected.

VI.

LITERARY TRAITS AND TENDENCIES.

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George Eliot; a Critical Study of Her Life, Writings & Philosophy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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