BOOK III. WAITING FOR DEATH.
29. CHAPTER XXIX.
"I found that no genius in another could please me. My unfortunate
paradoxes had entirely dried up that source of comfort."--GOLDSMITH.
One morning, some weeks after her arrival at Lowick, Dorothea--
but why always Dorothea? Was her point of view the only possible
one with regard to this marriage? protest against all our interest,
all our effort at understanding being given to the young skins that
look blooming in spite of trouble; for these too will get faded,
and will know the older and more eating griefs which we are helping
to neglect. In spite of the blinking eyes and white moles objectionable
to Celia, and the want of muscular curve which was morally painful
to Sir James, Mr. Casaubon had an intense consciousness within him,
and was spiritually a-hungered like the rest of us. He had done
nothing exceptional in marrying--nothing but what society sanctions,
and considers an occasion for wreaths and bouquets. It had occurred
to him that he must not any longer defer his intention of matrimony,
and he had reflected that in taking a wife, a man of good position
should expect and carefully choose a blooming young lady--the younger
the better, because more educable and submissive--of a rank
equal to his own, of religious principles, virtuous disposition,
and good understanding. On such a young lady he would make handsome
settlements, and he would neglect no arrangement for her happiness:
in return, he should receive family pleasures and leave behind him
that copy of himself which seemed so urgently required of a man--
to the sonneteers of the sixteenth century. Times had altered
since then, and no sonneteer had insisted on Mr. Casaubon's leaving
a copy of himself; moreover, he had not yet succeeded in issuing
copies of his mythological key; but he had always intended to acquit
himself by marriage, and the sense that he was fast leaving the
years behind him, that the world was getting dimmer and that he
felt lonely, was a reason to him for losing no more time in overtaking
domestic delights before they too were left behind by the years.