05 January 2011

from Silas Marner, chapter 10 (George Eliot)

Dolly was much puzzled at this new world, but she was rather afraid of inquiring further, lest 'chapel' meant some haunt of wickedness. After a little thought, she said:

'Well, Master Marner, it's niver too late to turn over a new leaf, and if you've niver had no church, there's no telling the good it'll do you. For I feel so set up and comfortable as niver was, when I've been and heard the prayers, and the singing to the praise and glory o' God, as Mr Macey gives out - and Mr Crackenthorp saying good words, and more partic' lar on Sacramen' Day; and if a bit o' trouble comes, I feel as I can put up wi' it, for I've looked for help i' the right quarter, and gev myself up to Them as we must all give ourselves up to at the last; and if we'n done our part, it isn't to be believed as Them as are above us 'ull be worse nor we are, and come short o' Theirn.'

Poor Dolly's exposition of her simple Raveloe theology fell rather unmeaningly on Silas' ears, for there was no word in it that could rouse a memory of what he had known as religion, and his comprehension was quite baffled by the plural pronoun, which was no heresy of Dolly's, but only her way of avoiding a presumptuous familiarity.

No comments: