BOOK II. OLD AND YOUNG.
20. CHAPTER XX.
Not that this inward amazement of Dorothea's was anything
very exceptional: many souls in their young nudity are tumbled
out among incongruities and left to "find their feet" among them,
while their elders go about their business. Nor can I suppose
that when Mrs. Casaubon is discovered in a fit of weeping six weeks
after her wedding, the situation will be regarded as tragic.
Some discouragement, some faintness of heart at the new real
future which replaces the imaginary, is not unusual, and we do
not expect people to be deeply moved by what is not unusual.
That element of tragedy which lies in the very fact of frequency,
has not yet wrought itself into the coarse emotion of mankind;
and perhaps our frames could hardly bear much of it. If we had
a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be
like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we
should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.
As it is, the quickest of us walk about well wadded with stupidity.
However, Dorothea was crying, and if she had been required to state
the cause, she could only have done so in some such general words as I
have already used: to have been driven to be more particular would
have been like trying to give a history of the lights and shadows,
for that new real future which was replacing the imaginary drew
its material from the endless minutiae by which her view of
Mr. Casaubon and her wifely relation, now that she was married to him,
was gradually changing with the secret motion of a watch-hand
from what it had been in her maiden dream. It was too early yet
for her fully to recognize or at least admit the change, still more
for her to have readjusted that devotedness which was so necessary
a part of her mental life that she was almost sure sooner or later
to recover it. Permanent rebellion, the disorder of a life
without some loving reverent resolve, was not possible to her;
but she was now in an interval when the very force of her nature
heightened its confusion. In this way, the early months of marriage
often are times of critical tumult--whether that of a shrimp-pool
or of deeper waters--which afterwards subsides into cheerful peace.