Saturday, April 28, 2012

"love" no sign "that two people . . . belong to each other"

"'if life did not make duties for us before love comeslove would be a sign that two people ought to belong to each other.  But. . . . I must not, cannot seek my own happiness by sacrificing others.  Love is naturalbut surely pity and faithfulness and memory are natural too.'"

     George Eliot, The mill on the Floss, "In the lane" (ed. with an introduction and notes by A. S. Byatt (London: Penguin Books, 2003 [1979]), 469).
     One question would be whether this is really duty speaking, or only one of the voices within Maggie.  Cf.  the narrator at IV.vii.2, "St Ogg's passes judgment" (517 ff.), which comes after Maggie's important response to Stephen in, "Waking" (495 ff.), but not after she has come out on the other side of "The last conflict" (III.vii.5) and been fixed in that position by her final act of self-sacrifice.
     If it is, as I believe, duty speaking, then the narrator at IV.vii.2 (517 ff.) is speaking for Stephen in (495 ff.), not Stephen for the narrator.

"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).

Tom Tulliver no St. John Vianney

Wikimedia Commons
"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).

Friday, April 27, 2012

"for getting a strong impression that a skein is tangled, there is nothing like snatching hastily at a single thread."

George Eliot, The mill on the Floss I.i.8, "Mr Tulliver shows his weaker side" (ed. with an introduction and notes by A. S. Byatt (London:  Penguin Books, 2003 [1979]), 82).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"He Himself is the propitiation (ἱλασμός) for our sins"

"unless we are mistaken, by [ἱλάσκομαι] is expressed in profane literature the action of man on divinity [(actio hominis in divinitatem)], whereas by this word in the O[ld] T[estament] (the LXX) is understood the action of Divinity on man (whether direct or via a mediating priest) [(actio Divinitatis in hominem (sive directa sive mediante sacerdote))].  Here the talk is of the annihilation of sin; there of the propitiation of divinity, of the placation of wrath."

     L. Moraldi, "Sensus vocus ἱλαστήριον in Rom. 3,25," Verbum Domini 26 (1948):  272 (257-276), as quoted by Léopold Sabourin, S.J., in his "Le bouc émissaire, figure du Christ?," Sciences écclesiastiques 11 (1959):  64n85 (45-79).  Thus, in the Comm. in Lev. of Dionysius the Carthusian we have an application of "penal substitution . . . to the sacrifice of the Old Testament.  The sacrifices of animals are not, above all, for Dionysius, the symbolic expression of death to sin on the part of the one who offers them or a figure of the true sacrifice to come; their immolation has a sense in itself [(un sens en elle-même)]:  the beasts, by their sufferings, satisfy [(satisfont à, give satisfaction to)] the justice of God" (Sabourin, 65).
     Sabourin is not, I think, complimenting Dionysius here.