February 13, 2010

Unhistoric acts

I have long suspected that the people whose lives have been the most useful to others aren't necessarily the ones who get all the attention. The last lines of Middlemarch by George Eliot (aka Mary Anne or Marian Evans) sum this up nicely:

"...the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs."


Morgan Morgan said...

Great stuff. Love that and the part from the Prelude of the novel, describing the still-heroic-but-not-clasically-heroic St. Teresa as "foundress of nothing."

Morgan Morgan said...

Ack -- I've got to post the whole sentence because I love it so much and it works hand in hand with your quotation:

"Here and there is born a St. Theresa, foundress of nothing, whose loving heart-beats and sobs after an unattained goodness tremble off and are dispersed among hindrances, instead of centring in some long-recognizable deed."

El Cabrero said...

Very cool--I forgot about that one. Thanks!