It is a portrait not of Marian Evans the woman but of George Eliot the artist, and one is not surprised to learn that Lewes rejected it. The face is sad, the eyes are cold and weary, the expression superior, the mouth is sensual and cruel: not the cruelty of a torturer, but the cruelty of a judge. Why should it not be? No charge of hypocrisy laid at her door could compare with the double-dealing of the society which condemned her .. Human beings, particularly when they are artists, are too valuable, too disparate, too contradictory to be left in the hands of the critics or the psychoanalysts. Their poignancy rests in the peculiar force with which each spurns the ideal.
Shoots Brazil nuts, does he? You stir me strangely.
In my time I have shot many things - grouse, pheasants,
partridges, tigers, gnus and once, when a boy, an aunt
by marriage in the seat of her sensible tweed dress
with an airgun - but I have never shot a Brazil nut...
Not sitting Brazil nuts, I trust?
It was apparent to the Egg that the old gentleman
had missed the gist.
He shoots things with Brazil nuts, he explained.
My very nice little dog, not heretofore known for undue biting of the ankle or hurt-ling into a hearth to chill out against eruptively ex-purgative convulsions from the diaphragm on up, col-lapses from synapses to the toey-tip that tapses, took umbrage also at this waste of scavengeable snackery, for yet another sordid re-port of idle clubmen firing with slingshots at top hatsfrom their windows on the Mall. A truce ceded to him the right to rule on the admissibility of any wit in our relations, in exchange for my not having to share from my libations. I fear condemning laughter to a spontaneous estate, ever an imponderable bliss.