« AnteriorContinuar »
"" It was himself he blamed for not speaking," said Dorothea. “What he said of you was, that he could not be happy in doing anything which made you unhappy—that his marriage was of course a bond which must affect his choice about everything; and for that reason he refused my proposal that he should keep his position at the Hospital, because that would bind him to stay in Middlemarch, and he would not undertake to do anything which would be painful to you. He could say that to me, because he knows that I had much trial in my marriage, from my husband's illness, which hindered his plans and saddened him; and he knows that I have felt how hard it is to walk always in fear of hurting another who is tied to us."
Dorothea waited a little ; she had discerned a faint pleasure stealing over Rosamond's face. But there was no answer, and she went on, with a gathering tremor, “Marriage is so unlike everything else. There is something even awful in the nearness it brings. Even if we loved some one else better than-than those we were married to, it would be no use "--poor Dorothea, in her palpitating anxiety, could only seize her language brokenly—“I mean, marriage drinks up all our power of giving or getting any blessedness in that sort of love. I know it may be very dear—but it murders our marriage--and then the marriage stays with us like a murder—and everything else is gone.
And then our husband--if he loved and trusted us, and we have not helped him, but made a curse in his life
* Her voice had sunk very low: there was a dread upon her of presuming too far, and of speaking as if she herself were perfection addressing error. She was too much preoccupied with her own anxiety, to be aware that Rosamond was trembling too; and filled with the need to express pitying fellowship rather than rebuke, she put her hauds on Rosamond's, and said with more agitated rapidity, “I know, I know that the feeling may be very dear—it has taken hold of us unawaresit is so hard, it may seem like death to part with it—and we are weak -I am weak
• The waves of her own sorrow, from out of which she was strug. gling to save another, rushed over Dorothea with conquering force. She stopped in speechless agitation, not crying, but feeling as if she were being inwardly grappled. Her face had become of a deathlier paleness, her lips trembled, and she pressed her hands helplessly on the hands that lay under them.
Rosamond, taken hold of by an emotion stronger than her ownhurried along in a new movement which gave all things some new, awful, undefined aspect-could find no words, but involuntarily she put her lips to Dorothea's forehead which was very near her, and then for a minute the two women clasped each other as if they had been in a shipwreck.
• “You are thinking what is not true," said Rosamond, in an eager half-whisper, while she was still feeling Dorothea's arms round herurged by a mysterious necessity to free herself from something that oppressed her as if it were blood-guiltiness.
They moved apart, looking at each other.
""When you came in yesterday-it was not as you thought,” said Rosamond, in the same tone.
There was a movement of surprised attention in Dorothea. She expected a vin lication of Rosamond herself.
“ He was telling me how he loved another woman, that I might know he could never love me,” said Rosamond, getting more and more hurried as she went on. “ And now I think he hates me because because you mistook him yesterday. He says it is through me that you will think ill of himthink that he is a false person. But it shall not be tlırough me. He has never had any love for me, I know he has not
- he has always thought slightly of me. He said yesterday that no other woman existed for him beside you. The blame of what happened is entirely mine. He said he could never explain to you—because of
He said you could never think well of him again. But now I have told you, and he cannot reproach me any more."
• Rosamond had delivered her soul under impulses which she had not known before. She had begun her confession under the subduing influence of Dorothea's emotion; and as she went on she had gathered the sense that she was repelling Will's reproaches, which were still like a knife-wound within her.
* The revulsion of feeling in Dorothea was too strong to be called joy. It was a tumult in which the terrible strain of the night and morning made a resistant pain :-she could only perceive that this would be joy when she had recovered her power of feeling it. Her immediate consciousness was one of immense sympathy without check; she cared for Rosamond without struggle now, and responded earnestly to her last words:
No, he cannot reproach you any more." If the same artistic moderation is not shown in the didactic portions of the book-if there is an abundance of aphorism, a weight of wit, which may become burdensome to the ordinary reader, we do not think it impossible that the study of verse, to which our author has lately addicted himself, and to which we have already called attention in a previous article, may have contributed to this result. In most cases the influence of verse-writing on the construction of prose is most beneficial; but in a case where the fault of a style is its closeness and concentration, these qualities would be liable to be exaggerated by the continence and self-restraint which any poetry worthy of the name imperatively demands. Thus many an observation or reflection, which in a common-place book, or in such a collection as has already been made of the select passages' from George Eliot's writings, would be remarkable either for thought and expression, comes into a narrative, or is the conclusion of a dramatic scene, almost inopportunely, and its power and meaning are lost in the very interest which the reader is taking in the plot or passages with which it is connected. Strictly speaking, the writer should be as little seen in person in a novel as he would be in a modern drama, where he only gives the stage directions; but here the Chorus is too continually present, calling us away from the excitement and anxiety of the piece to the consideration of the eternal moralities and humourous contrasts of life.
In Middlemarch' another volume is added to the noble series of British works of fiction, which is at once acceptable to'girls and men,' and which is so peculiarly our own. The abundance of translations of these works into French shows the singular absence of such a form of literature in the language which once abounded in so many productions of the imagination while ours was comparatively sterile, and its best efforts for the most part coarse and offensive to a delicate and scrupulous mind. Without any prudish condemnation of the great masters of invention and style that France has possessed of late years, and without any exaggerated censure of their imitators among ourselves, we may observe with satisfaction that our best writers—especially among women-have so trained and limited their fancy and wit, that they shock no susceptibilities, and do not affront even where they fail to please. The inferior quality of many of the works on which the French Academy, restrained by certain traditions and old-world manners from awarding a plenary favour to intellect alone, has bestowed its distinction, and the apparently unjust exclusion of some of the most popular authors, who have offended against the decorums of life and letters, from its gilded Chairs, exhibit one of the many conflicts of thought and opinion that distract our neighbours. Théophile Gautier, with all bis admitted charm of style and originality of thought, was rejected quite as much for his · Mademoiselle du Maupin' as for his Imperialist politics; and the long-coveted honour has only been accorded to the old age of Jules Janin, which would have been his long ago but for his supposed domicile on the borders of Bohemia. There is an interesting exposition of this feeling on the part of the highest class of French men of letters in the · Jours d'Épreuve' of M. Caro, where the strange distortions of the national mind are somewhat partially traced to the extravagances of the • Buveurs d'eau ’of Henri Mürger, and the atrocities of the Commune represented as the natural · Fin de la Bohème.' George Eliot's new enterprise is to be hailed with gratitude for its healthy tone and honest purpose, as well as for the admirable interior action, which makes it almost independent of incident and moulds the outward circumstances to its own spiritual ends.
ART. XI.- Proceedings and Award of the High Court of
Arbitration at Geneva under the Treaty of Washington of May 1871. Published in the 'London Gazette of the
24th September, 1872. TнE HE American claims against this country, which 'grew'
out of the departure from our shores of the · Alabama' and other vessels of war, during the conflict with the Southern States, are at last satisfied. We have had the gratification of reading in the · London Gazette' of September 24, 1872, that under the award of the Arbitrators at Geneva, all the claims • referred to in the Treaty as submitted to the Tribunal are • fully, perfectly, and finally settled.' These words are emi. nently pleasant, late as they come. We are to pay for them something over 3,000,0001.; and there is the end of this part, at least, of a long-standing controversy. If we are not proud of the result, we are at least content with it. The immediate gain is considerable, and the price, if we were to be purchasers at all, is not excessive. Even American statesmen will be glad to be relieved of the necessity of eternally proclaiming the 'Alabama' grievance, and trying to fan an indignation which throughout was probably more feigned than real, although not the less troublesome on that account. later stages of the negotiations Lord Granville deserves special credit for the firmness as well as the unruffled patience of his diplomacy. The country is glad to be rid, on such terms, of a wearisome controversy, and an importunate and rather petulant litigant; and is rapidly forgetting them. The self-love of the nation seems entirely undisturbed by the transaction. With the instinctive reverence for judicial authority which is characteristic of a community among whom the administration of the law is beyond suspicion, the people have accepted the decision without a word of criticism or murmur; and the mere pecuniary amount has not cost them a thought. Thus far, the Government has earned our thanks, and we have no desire to stir the embers which are fast mouldering to extinction. The questions, indeed, which still remain are weighty and important, and will command interest and excite controversy long after the American claims are forgotten; but these are now confined to the domain of international jurisprudence, and their solution may perhaps await some new and unforeseen complication.
When we last called attention to the subject, the controversy as to the Indirect Claims was at its height, and it still remained doubtful whether the Arbitration at Geneva would proceed or not. At such a juncture we necessarily wrote under the restraint imposed by the nature of the emergency.
But the dilemma caused by the extravagance of the American claims was solved by the wisdom of the Arbitrators; and now that the principles of the Treaty have received their practical and final application, we are free to consider their soundness, and their tendency.
It must be remembered, moreover, that in addition to laying down rules for the guidance of the Arbitrators at Geneva, the contracting Powers have undertaken to each other to bring these rules under the notice of other Powers, and to invite their assent to them. It becomes, therefore, very necessary that we should, in the first place, be satisfied that they are sound in the sense in which we read them, and, in the second place, that others are prepared to read them as we do. In this view the proceedings of the Arbitration possess a high historical and juridical interest, and we propose to give our readers an outline of what they did, and what they decided; and to call especial attention to the very remarkable state paper which Lord Chief Justice Cockburn has contributed, both to international science, and to the history of the circumstances which were the subject of the inquiry.
The five Arbitrators, who were named, under the provisions of the Treaty of Washington, by the two contracting Powers, and by the King of Italy, the President of the Swiss Confederation, and the Emperor of Brazil, were the following :
By England - Lord Chief Justice Cockburn.
Count Sclopis was named President. Sir Roundell Palmer acted as counsel for Great Britain, and Mr. Cushing and Mr. Evarts for the United States.
The three Rules which were laid down in Article VI. of the Treaty, and which will probably be the subject of much discussion in the future, were in the following terms : • A neutral Government is bound
First.--To use due diligence to prevent the fitting out, arming, or equipping within its jurisdiction, of any vessel which it has reasonable ground to believe is intended to cruise or to carry on war against a Power with which it is at peace; and also to use like diligence to prevent the departure from its jurisdiction of any vessel intended to cruise