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The child was perfectly quiet now, but not asleeponly soothed by sweet porridge and warmth into that wide-gazing calm which makes us older human beings, with our inward turmoil, feel a certain awe in the presence of a little child, such as we feel before some quiet majesty or beauty in the earth or sky-before a steady glowing planet, or a full-flowered eglantine, or the bending trees over a silent pathway.
Before such calm external beauty the presence of a vague fear is more distinctly felt—like a raven flapping its slow wing across the sunny air.
One's thoughts may be much occupied with lovestruggles, but hardly so as to be insensible to a disorder in the general framework of things.
When events turn out so much better for a man than he has had reason to dread, is it not a proof that his conduct has been less foolish and blameworthy than it might otherwise have appeared ? When we are treated well, we naturally begin to think that we are not altogether unmeritorious, and that it is only just we should treat ourselves well, and not mar our own good fortune.
A dull mind, once arriving at an inference that flatters a desire, is rarely able to retain the impression that the notion from which the inference started was purely problematic.
The excitement had not passed away : it had only reached that stage when the keenness of the susceptibility makes the external stimulus intolerable—when there is no sense of weariness, but rather an intensity of inward life, under which sleep is an impossibility. Any one who has watched such moments in other men remembers the brightness of the eyes and the strange definiteness that comes over coarse features from that transient influence. It is as if a new fineness of ear for all spiritual voices had sent wonder-working vibrations through the heavy mortal frame—as if 'beauty born of murmuring sound' had passed into the face of the listener.
To people accustomed to reason about the forms in which their religious feeling has incorporated itself, it is difficult to enter into that simple, untaught state of mind in which the form and the feeling have never been severed by an act of reflection.
Human beliefs, like all other natural growths, elude the barriers of system.
Strange lingering echoes of the old demon-worship might perhaps even now be caught by the diligent listener among the grey-haired peasantry ; for the rude mind with difficulty associates the ideas of power and benignity. A shadowy conception of power that by much persuasion can be induced to refrain from inflict. ing harm, is the shape most easily taken by the sense of the Invisible in the minds of men who have always been pressed close by primitive wants, and to whom a life of hard toil has never been illuminated by any enthusiastic religious faith. To them pain and mishap present a far wider range of possibilities than gladness and enjoyment: their imagination is almost barren of the images that feed desire and hope, but is all overgrown by recollections that are a perpetual pasture to fear. 'Is there anything you can fancy that you would like to eat ?' I once said to an old labouring man, who was in his last illness, and who had refused all the food his wife had offered him. “No,' he answered, “I've never been used to nothing but common victual, and I can't eat that.' Experience had bred no fancies in him that could raisc the phantasm of appetite.
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 ’úll 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 cui—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.
I can never rightly know the meaning o'what I hear at church, only a bit here and there, but I know it's good words—I do.
It allays comes into my head when I'm sorry for folks, and feel as I can't do a power to help 'em, not if I was to get up i'the middle o'the night-it comes into my head as Them above has got a deal tenderer heart nor what I've got-for I can't be anyways better nor Them as made me; and if anything looks hard to me, it's because there's things I don't know on; and for the matter o' that, there may be plenty o' things I don't know on, for it's little as I know—that it is.
Sometimes things come into my head when I'm leeching or poulticing, or such, as I could never think on when I was sitting still.
Eh, there's trouble i' this world, and there's things as we can niver make out the rights on. And all as we've got to do is to trusten, Master Marner—to do the right thing as fur as we know, and to trusten. For if us as knows so little can see a bit o' good and rights, we may be sure as there's a good and a rights bigger nor what we can know-I feel it i' my own inside as it must be so.
It's the will o' Them above as a many things should be dark to us ; but there's some things as I've never felt i' the dark about, and they ’re mostly what comes i' the day's work. You were hard done by that once, Master Marner, and it seems as you 'll never know the rights of it ; but that doesn't hinder there being a rights, Master Marner, for all it's dark to you and me.
Ah, it's like the night and the morning, and the sleeping and the waking, and the rain and the harvest
-one goes and the other comes, and we know nothing how nor where. We may strive and scrat and fend, but it's little we can do arter all—the big things come and go wi' no striving o' our'n—they do, that they do.
-0% There's no other music equil to the Christmas music - Hark the erol angils sing.' And you may judge what it is at church, Master Marner, with the bassoon and the voices, as you can't help thinking you've got to a better place a'ready-for I wouldn't speak ill o' this world, seeing as Them put us in it as knows best ; but what wi' the drink, and the quarrelling, and the bad illnesses, and the hard dying, as I've seen times and times, one's thankful to hear of a better.
I beg and pray of you to leave off weaving of a Sunday, for it's bad for soul and body—and the money as comes i' that way ’ull be a bad bed to lie down on at the last, if it doesn't fly away, nobody knows where, like the white frost. And you'll excuse me being that free with you, Master Marner, for I wish you well—I do.
I'd a baking yesterday, Master Marner, and the lard-cakes turned out better nor common, and I'd ha' asked you to accept some, if you'd thought well. I don't eat such things myself, for a bit o' bread's what I like from one year's end to the other ; but men's stomichs are made so comical, they want a changethey do, I know, God help 'em.