Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Adam Bede by George Eliot

In this afternoon's reading, the author introduces us to a wonderful character, the Reverend Adolphus Irwine. The following quotes describe him well:

“Let evil words die as soon as they're spoken.” (said by Mr. Irwine)

“And as to people saying a few idle words about us, we must not mind that, any more than the old church-steeple minds the rooks cawing about it.” (also by Mr. Irwine)

“. . . of a sufficiently subtle moral fibre to have an unwearying tenderness for obscure and monotonous suffering.”

“He had that charity which has sometimes been lacking to very illustrious virtue—he was tender to other men's failings, and unwilling to impute evil. He was one of those men, and they are not the commonest, of whom we can know the best only by following them away from the marketplace, the platform, and the pulpit, entering with them into their own homes, hearing the voice with which they speak to the young and aged about their own hearthstone, and witnessing their thoughtful care for the everyday wants of everyday companions, who take all their kindness as a matter of course, and not as a subject for panegyric.”

“But whatever you may think of Mr. Irwine now, if you had met him that June afternoon riding on his grey cob, with his dogs running beside him—portly, upright, manly, with a good-natured smile on his finely turned lips as he talked to his dashing young companion on the bay mare, you must have felt that, however ill he harmonized with sound theories of the clerical office, he somehow harmonized extremely well with that peaceful landscape.”

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