Memorable passages

from The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

Maggie, thinking it was no use to contend further, began too, and ate up her half-puff with considerable relish as well as rapidity. But Tom had finished first, and had to look on while Maggie ate her last morsel or two, feeling in himself a capacity for more. Maggie didn’t know Tom was looking at her: she was seesawing on the elder bough, lost to almost everything but a vague sense of jam and idleness.

(Book I, Chapter 6)

Mrs Pullet brushed each doorpost with great nicety, about the latitude of her shoulders (at that period a woman was truly ridiculous to an instructed eye if she did not measure a yard and a half across the shoulders), and having done that sent the muscles of her face in quest of fresh tears as she advanced into the parlour where Mrs Glegg was seated.

(Book I, Chapter 7)

‘Mr Glegg,’ said Mrs G., in a tone which implied that her indignation would fizz and ooze a little, though she was determined to keep it corked up, ‘you’d far better hold your tongue. Mr Tulliver doesn’t want to know your opinion nor mine either. There’s folks in the world as know better than everybody else.’

(Book I, Chapter 7)

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This page last updated: June 1, 2005.