Saturday, April 28, 2012

"the defeat that we love better than victory"

     "It is the moment when our resolution seems about to become irrevocable—when the fatal iron gates are about to close upon us—that tests our strength. Then, after hours of clear reasoning and firm conviction, we snatch at any sophistry that will nullify our long struggles and bring us the defeat that we love better than victory."

     George Eliot, The mill on the Floss II.v.3, "The wavering balance" (ed. with an introduction and notes by A. S. Byatt (London: Penguin Books, 2003 [1979]), 342).

"At the entrance of the chill dark cavern, we turn with unworn courage from the warm light: but how, when we have trodden far in the damp darkness, and have begun to be faint and weary—how, if there is a sudden opening above us, and we are invited back again to the life-nourishing day?", "The last conflict" (534).

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