The Return of the Native eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 545 pages of information about The Return of the Native.

In the interests of renown the forwardness should lie chiefly in the capacity to handle things.  Successful propagandists have succeeded because the doctrine they bring into form is that which their listeners have for some time felt without being able to shape.  A man who advocates aesthetic effort and deprecates social effort is only likely to be understood by a class to which social effort has become a stale matter.  To argue upon the possibility of culture before luxury to the bucolic world may be to argue truly, but it is an attempt to disturb a sequence to which humanity has been long accustomed.  Yeobright preaching to the Egdon eremites that they might rise to a serene comprehensiveness without going through the process of enriching themselves, was not unlike arguing to ancient Chaldeans that in ascending from earth to the pure empyrean it was not necessary to pass first into the intervening heaven of ether.

Was Yeobright’s mind well-proportioned?  No.  A well-proportioned mind is one which shows no particular bias; one of which we may safely say that it will never cause its owner to be confined as a madman, tortured as a heretic, or crucified as a blasphemer.  Also, on the other hand, that it will never cause him to be applauded as a prophet, revered as a priest, or exalted as a king.  Its usual blessings are happiness and mediocrity.  It produces the poetry of Rogers, the paintings of West, the statecraft of North, the spiritual guidance of Tomline; enabling its possessors to find their way to wealth, to wind up well, to step with dignity off the stage, to die comfortably in their beds, and to get the decent monument which, in many cases, they deserve.  It never would have allowed Yeobright to do such a ridiculous thing as throw up his business to benefit his fellow-creatures.

He walked along towards home without attending to paths.  If anyone knew the heath well it was Clym.  He was permeated with its scenes, with its substance, and with its odours.  He might be said to be its product.  His eyes had first opened thereon; with its appearance all the first images of his memory were mingled; his estimate of life had been coloured by it:  his toys had been the flint knives and arrow-heads which he found there, wondering why stones should “grow” to such odd shapes; his flowers, the purple bells and yellow furze; his animal kingdom, the snakes and croppers; his society, its human haunters.  Take all the varying hates felt by Eustacia Vye towards the heath, and translate them into loves, and you have the heart of Clym.  He gazed upon the wide prospect as he walked, and was glad.

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The Return of the Native from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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