|Henry Craik, ed. English Prose. 1916.|
Vol. V. Nineteenth Century
|Nature and Humanity|
|By George Eliot (Mary Ann Cross) (18191880)|
From Scenes from Clerical Life
IN this way Tina wore out the long hours of the windy moonlight, till at last, with weary, aching limbs, she lay down in bed again, and slept from mere exhaustion.
| While this poor little heart was being bruised with a weight too heavy for it, Nature was holding on her calm inexorable way, in unmoved and terrible beauty. The stars were rushing in their eternal courses; the tides swelled to the level of the last expectant weed; the sun was making brilliant day to busy nations on the other side of the swift earth. The stream of human thought and deed was hurrying and broadening onward. The astronomer was at his telescope; the great ships were labouring over the waves; the toiling eagerness of commerce, the fierce spirit of revolution, were only ebbing in brief rest; and sleepless statesmen were dreading the possible crisis of the morrow. What were our little Tina and her trouble in this mighty torrent, rushing from one awful unknown to another? Lighter than the smallest centre of quivering life in the water-drop, hidden and uncared for as the pulse of anguish in the breast of the tiniest bird that has fluttered down to its nest with the long-sought food, and has found the nest torn and empty.|| 2|