Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tom Tulliver no St. John Vianney

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"Tom, more miserable than usual, determined to try his sole resource, and that evening, after his usual form of prayer . . . , he added, in the same low whisper, 'And please to make me always remember my Latin.'  He paused a little to consider how he should pray about Euclid. . . . But at last he added  'And make Mr Stelling say I shan't do Euclid any more.  Amen'
     "The fact that he got through his supines without mistake the next day, encouraged him to persevere in this appendix to his prayers, and neutralised any scepticism that might have arisen from Mr Stelling's continued demand for Euclid.  But his faith broke down under the apparent absence of all help when he got into the irregular verbs."

     George Eliot, The mill on the Floss I.ii.1, "Tom's first half" (ed. with an introduction and notes by A. S. Byatt (London: Penguin Books, 2003 [1979]), 149-150).

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