George Eliot's Zionist Novel - 1876
Daniel Deronda - George Eliot's Zionist Novel - 1876
"It may have been a bitter disappointment to her that her voice failed her for the stage," said Juliet Fenn, sympathetically.
"I suppose she's past her best, though," said the deep voice of Lady Pentreath.
"On the contrary, she has not reached it," said Deronda. "She is barely twenty."
"And very pretty," interposed Lady Mallinger, with an amiable wish to help Deronda. "And she has very good manners. I'm sorry she's a bigoted Jewess; I should not like it for anything else, but it doesn't matter in singing."
"Well, since her voice is too weak for her to scream much, I'll tell Lady Clementina to set her on my nine granddaughters," said Lady Pentreath; "and I hope she'll convince eight of them that they have not voice enough to sing anywhere but at church. My notion is, that many of our girls nowadays want lessons not to sing."
"I have had my lessons in that," said Gwendolen, looking at Deronda. "You see Lady Pentreath is on my side."
While she was speaking, Sir Hugo entered with some of the other gentlemen, including Grandcourt, and standing against the group at the low tea-table said--
"What imposition is Deronda putting on you, ladies--slipping in among you by himself?"
"Wanting to pass off an obscurity on us as better than any celebrity," said Lady Pentreath--"a pretty singing Jewess who is to astonish these young people. You and I, who heard Catalani in her prime, are not so easily astonished."
Sir Hugo listened with his good-humored smile as he took a cup of tea from his wife, and then said, "Well, you know, a Liberal is bound to think that there have been singers since Catalani's time."
"Ah, you are younger than I am. I dare say you are one of the men who ran after Alcharisi. But she married off and left you all in the lurch."
"Yes, yes; it's rather too bad when these great singers marry themselves into silence before they have a crack in their voices. And the husband is a public robber. I remember Leroux saying, 'A man might as well take down a fine peal of church bells and carry them off to the steppes," said Sir Hugo, setting down his cup and turning away, while Deronda, who had moved from his place to make room for others, and felt that he was not in request, sat down a little apart. Presently he became aware that, in the general dispersion of the group, Gwendolen had extricated herself from the attentions of Mr. Vandernoodt and had walked to the piano, where she stood apparently examining the music which lay on the desk. Will any one be surprised at Deronda's concluding that she wished him to join her? Perhaps she wanted to make amends for the unpleasant tone of resistance with which she had met his recommendation of Mirah, for he had noticed that her first impulse often was to say what she afterward wished to retract. He went to her side and said--
"Are you relenting about the music and looking for something to play or sing?"
"I am not looking for anything, but I am relenting," said Gwendolen, speaking in a submissive tone.
"May I know the reason?"
"I should like to hear Miss Lapidoth and have lessons from her, since you admire her so much,--that is, of course, when we go to town. I mean lessons in rejoicing at her excellence and my own deficiency," said Gwendolen, turning on him a sweet, open smile.
"I shall be really glad for you to see and hear her," said Deronda, returning the smile in kind.
"Is she as perfect in every thing else as in her music?"
"I can't vouch for that exactly. I have not seen enough of her. But I have seen nothing in her that I could wish to be different. She has had an unhappy life. Her troubles began in early childhood, and she has grown up among very painful surroundings. But I think you will say that no advantages could have given her more grace and truer refinement."
"I wonder what sort of trouble hers were?"
"I have not any very precise knowledge. But I know that she was on the brink of drowning herself in despair."
"And what hindered her?" said Gwendolen, quickly, looking at Deronda.
"Some ray or other came--which made her feel that she ought to live--that it was good to live," he answered, quietly. "She is full of piety, and seems capable of submitting to anything when it takes the form of duty."
"Those people are not to be pitied," said Gwendolen, impatiently. "I have no sympathy with women who are always doing right. I don't believe in their great sufferings." Her fingers moved quickly among the edges of the music.
A Brief History of Christian Zionism
The Bible and Zionism
Lovers of Zion - A history of Christian Zionism
Zionism and Israel
History of Zionism and the Creation of Israel
Zionism and its Impact
Maps of Israel
Please link to our Sister Web site Zionism and Israel Pages
Israel-Palestina - (Dutch) Middle East Conflict, Israel, Palestine,Zionism... Israël-Palestina Informatie-gids Israël, Palestijnen en Midden-Oosten conflict... Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a European perspective - Dutch and English.
ZioNation - Zionism-Israel Web Log Zionism & Israel News Israel: like this, as if History of Zionism Zionism FAQ Zionism Israel Center Maps of Israel Jew Zionism and its Impact Israel Christian Zionism Site Map