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undisturbed by the wonders of the century, or, if the phrase is better, not educated up to them, George Eliot settles down in that dullest of places, an English provincial district, to give us "The story of its life from year to year."

The story covers very extensive ground; all Middlemarch, in fact, with its parishes and towns, its churches and taverns, its clergy and magistrates, its physicians and shopkeepers, its gentry and its yokels, its good men and its rascals, its maidens young and old, its loves and its hates, its hopes and its fears, its marriages and deaths, its thoughts, words, and deeds, from high to low-such is the broad scope of the book, and the author has gathered all in in a manner to make the reader wonder. Nothing has escaped her eye. One seems to have been living in Middlemarch all his life, and every character comes and goes with the face of an old acquaintance. It is not the author's fault if the district be a narrow one-narrow, that is, in ideas, in knowledge, in faith, in all that ennobles man. It is not her fault if its great ideas take the shape of "keys to all mythologies"; if its religion is a poor affair at the best; if its leading men are religious hypocrites like Mr. Bulstrode, or philanthropic asses like Mr. Brooke, who "goes in" for everything, and talks the broadest and vaguest philanthropy whilst he pinches his tenants. It is not the author's fault if generosity find no place in Middlemarch; if honesty is misunderstood or at a discount; if the local physicians throw discredit upon Lydgate with his youth, his burning desire to achieve, his cleverness, and his genuine enthusiasm ; if they call his ideas quackery, because they threaten their pockets, as the yokels in turn look upon the railway as destruction,

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and hold that steam takes the han dle from the plough and the pitchfork; as Middlemarch receives Dorothea Brooke's generous aspirations after a higher life than that which, in response to the question of an ardent nature, "What can I do?" says, "Whatever you please, my dear”as "notions" which are wrong in themselves, because undreamed of in Middlemarch philosophy, which, in Miss Brooke are odd, and which, if carried a little farther, would find their fitting sphere of action in the lunatic asylum.

It is not the author's fault if all this be so; if there be nothing in Middlemarch beyond the common good, and very little even of that, whilst all the rest is mean, sordid, crooked, narrow, and outspokenly wicked. Such is Middlemarch, and such is it given to us. The only question is, How far does Middlemarch extend? Is it restricted to the English county, or is it a miniature photograph of the world as seen by George Eliot ?

In the keynote to the whole book, the prelude, the author cries out bitterly that in this world and in these days there is no place for a S. Teresa. In this assertion, in this wail rather, the author does not limit her district to Middlemarch. It is a doctrine meant to apply to the broad world. Throughout the book the same thing is to be observed. Though with wonderful consistency and truth of local coloring, and continual recurrence of petty local questions and local ideas, the author keeps the reader in Middlemarch from beginning to end, nevertheless, whether with or without intention, from time to time she strikes out with broader aim, and flings her sarcasm, or her observation, or her moral, such as it may be, in the face of humanity.


Therefore, though it would be unfair to infer that George Eliot's views of the world, its possibilities, its hopes, its all that makes it what it is, are confined to the cramped, narrow, provincial district chosen the subject of her story; to allege that she believes in nothing nobler now in humanity than what Middlemarch affords; yet so wide is the district embraced, so various the subjects entered into, not merely touched upon-religion, politics, the bettering of the poor, marriage, preparation for the married state, and the effect of such preparation on married life, the thousand conflicts that meet, and jostle, and combine to make every day life what it is-it is not unfair to say that the author, in drawing within this somewhat narrow circle the main elements which compose humanity, has taken Middlemarch up as a scientist would take a basin of water from the sea to examine itnot for the sake of that sample only, but with a view to the whole.

The chief interest of the story, if story it can be called, lies in this: From the outstart, the author warns you that a S. Teresa has no place in the world now; and, to prove that her warning is correct, she takes up a character, Dorothea Brooke, endows her with the aspirations after a great life, fits her naturally, as far as she can, with every attribute, physical and moral, which she considers a S. Teresa ought to possess; with religious feelings, with the continual desire to do good, with charity, with purity, with the spirit of self-sacrifice, with simplicity, and truth, and utter unconsciousness of self, with wealth enough even, as the author says of Mr. Casaubon, "to lend a lustre to her piety," and sets her down in the narrow Middlemarch set, where everything runs in a groove, and life is measured by all the pet

tinesses, to see what will become of her.

The result may as well be told at once. S. Teresa proves a miserable failure in Middlemarch. Instead of marrying, as the world-that is to say, Mrs. Cadwallader-had ordained. she should do, the handsome, florid, conventional English baronet, Sir James Chettam, a sort of aristocratic "Mr. Toots," who is so amiable and admires her so much that he brings her triumphs of nature in the shape of marvellous Maltese puppies as presents, and says "exactly" to all her observations, even when she desires him to say the contrary—out of a spirit of religion, self-sacrifice, and veneration, and honestly because she admires the man, or rather the being dressed out to suit by her own imagination, she marries Mr. Casaubon, with his sallow complexion, his moles, his blinking eyes, and his age, which is more than double her own. Unsympathetic to the loving nature of the girl as a wooden doll whose complexion has suffered and whose form is battered by age, but which notwithstanding the girl invests with all the qualities and beauty of a Prince. Charming-a deception that time alone and that ugly thing, common sense, can remove-S. Teresa speedily discovers that her "divine Hooker," as she fondly imagined him, is after all only "a poor creature," and she is probably saved from the divorce court only by the timely death of the "divine Hooker." She discovered that she had married the wrong man-exactly what Middlemarch told her; and there lies the provoking part of the story. Middlemarch was right in its degree, and the woman, whose ideas soared so high above it, was all the worse off for not taking its advice at the outstart. S. Teresa repents of her sin, and characteristically atones for it by marrying the

right man-at least, the man she loves and who loves her--and is dismissed in the following remarks, which close the book:

"Certainly those determining acts of her life were not ideally beautiful. They were the mixed result of young and noble impulse struggling under prosaic conditions. Among the many remarks passed on her mistakes, it was never said in the neighborhood of Middlemarch that such mistakes could not have happened if the society into which she was born had not smiled on propositions of marriage from a sickly man to a girl less than half his own age, on modes of education which make a woman's knowledge another name for motley ignorance, on rules of conduct which are in flat contradiction with its own loudly asserted beliefs. While this is the social air in which mortals begin to breathe, there will be collisions such as those in Dorothea's life, where great feelings will take the aspect of error, and great faith the aspect of illusion; for there is no creature whose inward being is so strong that it is not greatly determined by what lies outside it. A new Teresa will hardly have the opportunity of reforming a conventual life any more than a new Antigone will spend her heroic piety in daring all for the sake of a brother's burial; the medium in which their ardent deeds took shape is for ever gone. But we insignificant people, with our daily words and acts, are preparing the lives of many Dorotheas, some of which may present a far sadder sacrifice than that of Dorothea whose story we know.

being on those around her was incalculably diffusive; for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs."

George Eliot writes too earnestly to laugh at. Besides, she is not a Catholic-very far from it; and therefore her views of what a S. Teresa is or ought to be must be radically different from those of the church from which S. Teresa sprang, in which she lived, labored, became Saint Teresa, and died. Were a Catholic to have written certain portions of the extract quoted, he would only provoke laughter; but with this author, the case is different.

It never seems to have occurred to her that S. Teresas are not selfmade; as little as the prophets were self-made prophets, or the apostles self-made apostles. Neither were they made by the society which surrounded them. The supernatural state of sanctity in its fulness does not spring from humanity merely; else might we have had eras of sanctity as there have been other eras, and there might be truth in George Eliot's words that there will be no place for a "new Teresa." Saints are the very opposite to that growing class so glibly dubbed "providential men," who seem to come from that vast but rather undefined region which goes by the name of "manifest destiny." The individuals forming that happy class are set willy"Her finely touched spirit had nilly by "Providence" in this world still its fine issues, though they were to accomplish some destiny-a theonot widely visible. Her full nature, ry laughed at long ago by one of like that river of which Alexander Mr. Disraeli's worldly-wise characbroke the strength, spent itself in ters in the words, "We make our channels which had no great name fortunes, and we call them fate." on the earth. But the effect of her What the saints do they do very

consciously. Sanctity consists in not being merely blameless in life, but in devoting life to God, and turning every thought, word, and action to him for his sake. The feeling that produces this state of life may be influenced at the beginning by earthly surroundings, may be shaped by good example or wise teachings, but is essentially independent of them. Sanctity comes from a direct call, as direct as the call of the apostles. It knows neither time nor place, and is therefore as possible in the XIXth as in the XVIth or the Ist century. But it is unknown outside of the church, because the head of the church, "Christ Jesus our Lord," alone has the power to call his children to the sanctified state in this life. And if it be asked, Why, then, does he not call all to be saints here? it is as though one asked, Why did he not call all men to be apostles directly?

George Eliot's difficulty springs from not knowing precisely what constitutes a saint.

If she only reads the life of S. Teresa, she will find that the saint of her admiration had to encounter a Middlemarch circle even in Catholic Spain. She will find her "young and noble impulse struggling under prosaic conditions"; that she had to stand the brunt of being misunderstood and misrepresented; her schemes of reform, of good works, her noble aspirations and ardent self-sacrifice, set down as "notions." In fact, the opposition which meets her heroine at every step in her desire to do good and to be perfect, not only to herself but to others, is puny compared with that which S. Teresa had to sustain all through her life.

As a matter of fact, S. Teresa was much more of the ordinary woman than George Eliot, with a novelist's love, makes her heroine. In her youth, she was subject to all the or

dinary fancies of "the sex," and has left us the record of her vanities, which were neither more nor less than those of ten thousand very excellent ladies living at this moment, who are no more S. Teresas than they are Aspasias; but good Christian women, girls with a happy future before them, or smiling mothers of families. It was not her surroundings which made Teresa a saint: it was her clear conception of duty, which no "prosaic conditions" could dim, and her profound and very definite faith, not in that obscure creation which George Eliot calls "the perfect Right," but in Jesus Christ, her God.

It was perfectly natural that George Eliot's Teresa should fail; but the mistake of the author consists in making the failure come from without rather than from within—a mistake easily understood when it is borne in mind that the author has no firm faith, possibly none at all, in Christianity. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, all failed to make the world better, not because they may not have wished it, but because they had not the power. They were themselves uncertain of their schemes. Their highest flights, like those of the best of modern philosophers who possess no faith, never pass beyond intellectual excellence devoid of soul. They may daze the intellect, but they do not touch the soul; and the life of a man is never regulated by pure intellect. So they fail, whilst the ignorant. fishermen, who lose their personality in God, move and convert the world.

In taking issue on these fundamental points with the author of Middlemarch, many of the subjects. touched upon would require elaborate elucidation when read by those who are not of the Catholic faith. But space does not allow of this, and, therefore, it is to be understood that

this article is supposed only to meet the eyes of persons fully acquainted at least with the Catholic manner of looking at things.

Dorothea Brooke fails in becoming a S. Teresa, as the author seems to consider she should have become, not because she has lighted on evil days and on a less congenial set than S. Teresa did, but because, in Catholic phrase, she had no vocation.

To find out what is meant by a vocation, let us anticipate, and turn a moment to Fleurange at that point in the heroine's history where, having "tasted beforehand the bitter pleasures of sacrifice," she retires heart-broken to the convent where she spent her youth, to find the rest and peace which seemed banished from the world after the voluntary sacrifice she had made of her affections.

"Mother Maddalena stood with her arms folded, and listened with out interrupting her. Standing thus motionless in this place, at this evening hour, the noble outlines of her countenance and the long folds of her robe clearly defined against the blue mountains in the distance and the violet heavens above, she might easily have been mistaken for one of the visions of that country which have been depicted for us and all generations. The illusion would not have been dispelled by the aspect of her who, seated on the low wall of the terrace, was talking with her eyes raised, and with an expression and attitude perfectly adapted to one of those young saints often represented by the inspired artist before the divine and majestic form of the Mother of God.

“Well, my dear mother, what do you say?' asked Fleurange, after waiting a long time, and seeing the Madre looking at her and gently

shaking her head without any other reply.

"Before answering you,' replied she at last, let me ask this question: Do you think it allowable to consecrate one's self to God in the religious life without a vocation?'

"Assuredly not.'

"And do you know what a vocation is ?' said she very slowly.

"Fleurange hesitated. I thought I knew, but you ask in such a way as to make me feel now I do not.'

"I am going to tell you: a voca tion,' said the Madre, as her eyes lit up with an expression Fleurange had never seen before- a vocation to the religious life is to love God m more than we love any creature in the world, however dear; it is to be unable to give anything or any per son on earth a love comparable to that; to feel the tendency of all our faculties incline us towards him alone; finally,' pursued she, while her eyes seemed looking beyond the visible heavens on which they were fastened, 'it is the full persuasion, even in this life, that he is all, our all, in the past, the present, and the future; in this world and in another, for ever, and to the exclusion of everything besides." "

The carrying out of this feeling made Teresa a saint. It is doubt ful whether such thoughts ever entered into George Eliot's conception of the character she is continually holding up before her readers as impossible in these days. Certainly Dorothea Brooke, with all her natural goodness, never conceived such a life as that possible. The author may be right in attributing her defects to her Calvinistic education, but that does not warrant the inference that anything higher than a life which merely aims at an uncer tain good, capable of influencing those coming within its circle in a

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