9-Jul-08 (Created: 9-Jul-08) | More in 'Humanities Current'

Knits us together by bone and muscle..George Eliot

Family likeness has often a deep sadness in it. Nature, that great tragic dramatist, knits us together by bone and muscle, and divides us by the subtler web of our brains; blends yearning and repulsion; and ties us by our heart-strings to the beings that jar us at every movement.

We hear a voice with the very cadence of our own uttering the thoughts we despise; we see eyes-ah, so like our mother's!- averted from us in cold alienation; and our last darling child startles us with the air and gestures of the sister we parted from in bitterness long years ago.

The father to whom we owe our best heritage-the mechanical instinct, the keen sensibility to harmony, the unconscious skill of the modelling hand-galls us and puts us to shame by his daily errors; the long-lost mother, whose face we begin to see in the glass as our own wrinkles come, once fretted our young souls with her anxious humours and irrational persistence.

...George Eliot