Romola, by George Eliot

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Page 95 - And behold I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh wherein is the breath of life from under heaven, and every thing that is in the earth shall die, but with thee will I establish My Covenant, and thou shalt come into the ark, thou and thy sons and thy wife, and thy sons
Page 248 - ... anything cruel or base. But because he tried to slip away from everything that was unpleasant, and cared for nothing else so much as his own safety, he came at last to commit some of the basest deeds — such as make men infamous. He denied his father, and left him to misery; he betrayed every trust that was reposed in him, that he might keep himself safe and get rich and prosperous. Yet calamity overtook him.
Page 152 - Our lives make a moral tradition for our individual selves as the life of mankind at large makes a moral tradition for the race; and to have once acted nobly seems a reason why we should always be noble. But Tito was feeling the effect of an opposite tradition : he had won no memories of self-conquest and perfect faithfulness from which he could have a sense of falling.
Page 57 - Christianity, is still felt by the mass of mankind simply as a vague fear at anything which is called wrongdoing. Such terror of the unseen is so far above mere sensual cowardice that it will annihilate that cowardice : it is the initial recognition of a moral law restraining desire, and checks the hard bold scrutiny of imperfect thought into obligations which can never be proved to have any sanctity in the absence of feeling.
Page 203 - The law was sacred. Yes, but rebellion might be sacred too. It flashed upon her mind that the problem before her was essentially the same as that which had lain before Savonarola — the problem where the sacredness of obedience ended and where the sacredness of rebellion began. To her, as to him, there had come one of those moments in life when the soul must dare to act on its own warrant, not only without external law to appeal to, but in the face of a law which is not unarmed with Divine lightnings...
Page 77 - But our deeds are like children that are born to us ; they live and act apart from our own will Nay, children may be strangled, but deeds never : they have an indestructible life both in and out of our consciousness ; and that dreadful vitality of deeds was pressing hard on Tito for the first time.
Page 103 - Did I not tell you, years ago, that I had beheld the vision and heard the voice? And behold, it is fulfilled! Is there not a king with his army at your gates? Does not the earth shake with the tread of horses and the wheels of swift cannon? Is there not a fierce multitude' that can lay bare the land as with a sharp razor? I tell you the French king with his army is the minister of God: God shall guide him as the hand guides a sharp sickle, and the joints of the wicked shall melt before him, and they...
Page 106 - ... denunciatory visions, in the false certitude which gave his sermons the interest of a political bulletin ; and having once held that audience in his mastery, it was necessary to his nature — it was necessary for their welfare — that he should keep the mastery. The effect was inevitable. No man ever struggled to retain power over a mixed multitude without suffering vitiation : his standard must be their lower needs, and not his own best insight.

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