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     The Mill on the Floss

       George Eliot / Romance & Love
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The Mill on the Floss
Produced by Curtis Weyant and David Maddock

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The Mill on the Floss

George Eliot

Table of Contents

Book I: Boy and Girl

1. Outside Dorlcote Mill2. Mr. Tulliver, of Dorlcote Mill, Declares His Resolution about Tom3. Mr. Riley Gives His Advice Concerning a School for Tom4. Tom Is Expected5. Tom Comes Home6. The Aunts and Uncles Are Coming7. Enter the Aunts and Uncles8. Mr. Tulliver Shows His Weaker Side9. To Garum Firs10. Maggie Behaves Worse Than She Expected11. Maggie Tries to Run away from Her Shadow12. Mr. and Mrs. Glegg at Home13. Mr. Tulliver Further Entangles the Skein of Life

Book II: School-Time

1. Tom's ”First Half”2. The Christmas Holidays3. The New Schoolfellow4. ”The Young Idea”5. Maggie's Second Visit6. A Love-Scene7. The Golden Gates Are Passed

Book III: The Downfall

1. What Had Happened at Home2. Mrs. Tulliver's Teraphim, or Household Gods3. The Family Council4. A Vanishing Gleam5. Tom Applies His Knife to the Oyster6. Tending to Refute the Popular Prejudice against the Present of a Pocket-Knife7. How a Hen Takes to Stratagem8. Daylight on the Wreck9. An Item Added to the Family Register

Book IV: The Valley of Humiliation

1. A Variation of Protestantism Unknown to Bossuet2. The Torn Nest Is Pierced by the Thorns3. A Voice from the Past

Book V: Wheat and Tares

1. In the Red Deeps2. Aunt Glegg Learns the Breadth of Bob's Thumb3. The Wavering Balance4. Another Love-Scene5. The Cloven Tree6. The Hard-Won Triumph7. A Day of Reckoning

Book VI: The Great Temptation

1. A Duet in Paradise2. First Impressions3. Confidential Moments4. Brother and Sister5. Showing That Tom Had Opened the Oyster6. Illustrating the Laws of Attraction7. Philip Re-enters8. Wakem in a New Light9. Charity in Full-Dress10. The Spell Seems Broken11. In the Lane12. A Family Party13. Borne Along by the Tide14. Waking

Book VII: The Final Rescue

1. The Return to the Mill2. St. Ogg's Passes Judgment3. Showing That Old Acquaintances Are Capable of Surprising Us4. Maggie and Lucy5. The Last Conflict

Book I

_Boy and Girl_

Chapter I

Outside Dorlcote Mill

A wide plain, where the broadening Floss hurries on between its greenbanks to the sea, and the loving tide, rushing to meet it, checks itspassage with an impetuous embrace. On this mighty tide the blackships--laden with the fresh-scented fir-planks, with rounded sacks ofoil-bearing seed, or with the dark glitter of coal--are borne along tothe town of St. Ogg's, which shows its aged, fluted red roofs and thebroad gables of its wharves between the low wooded hill and theriver-brink, tingeing the water with a soft purple hue under thetransient glance of this February sun. Far away on each hand stretchthe rich pastures, and the patches of dark earth made ready for theseed of broad-leaved green crops, or touched already with the tint ofthe tender-bladed autumn-sown corn. There is a remnant still of lastyear's golden clusters of beehive-ricks rising at intervals beyond thehedgerows; and everywhere the hedgerows are studded with trees; thedistant ships seem to be lifting their masts and stretching theirred-brown sails close among the branches of the spreading ash. Just bythe red-roofed town the tributary Ripple flows with a lively currentinto the Floss. How lovely the little river is, with its dark changingwavelets! It seems to me like a living companion while I wander alongthe bank, and listen to its low, placid voice, as to the voice of onewho is deaf and loving. I remember those large dipping willows. Iremember the stone bridge.

And this is Dorlcote Mill. I must stand a minute or two here on thebridge and look at it, though the clouds are threatening, and it isfar on in the afternoon. Even in this leafless time of departingFebruary it is pleasant to look at,--perhaps the chill, damp seasonadds a charm to the trimly kept, comfortable dwelling-house, as old asthe elms and chestnuts that shelter it from the northern blast. Thestream is brimful now, and lies high in this little withy plantation,and half drowns the grassy fringe of the croft in front of the house.As I look at the full stream, the vivid grass, the delicatebright-green powder softening the outline of the great trunks andbranches that gleam from under the bare purple boughs, I am in lovewith moistness, and envy the white ducks that are dipping their headsfar into the water here among the withes, unmindful of the awkwardappearance they make in the drier world above.

The rush of the water and the booming of the mill bring a dreamydeafness, which seems to heighten the peacefulness of the scene. Theyare like a great curtain of sound, shutting one out from the worldbeyond. And now there is the thunder of the huge covered wagon cominghome with sacks of grain. That honest wagoner is thinking of hisdinner, getting sadly dry in the oven at this late hour; but he willnot touch it till he has fed his horses,--the strong, submissive,meek-eyed beasts, who, I fancy, are looking mild reproach at him frombetween their blinkers, that he should crack his whip at them in thatawful manner as if they needed that hint! See how they stretch theirshoulders up the slope toward the bridge, with all the more energybecause they are so near home. Look at their grand shaggy feet thatseem to grasp the firm earth, at the patient strength of their necks,bowed under the heavy collar, at the mighty muscles of theirstruggling haunches! I should like well to hear them neigh over theirhardly earned feed of corn, and see them, with their moist necks freedfrom the harness, dipping their eager nostrils into the muddy pond.Now they are on the bridge, and down they go again at a swifter pace,and the arch of the covered wagon disappears at the turning behind thetrees.

Now I can turn my eyes toward the mill again, and watch the unrestingwheel sending out its diamond jets of water. That little girl iswatching it too; she has been standing on just the same spot at theedge of the water ever since I paused on the bridge. And that queerwhite cur with the brown ear seems to be leaping and barking inineffectual remonstrance with the wheel; perhaps he is jealous becausehis playfellow in the beaver bonnet is so rapt in its movement. It istime the little playfellow went in, I think; and there is a verybright fire to tempt her: the red light shines out under the deepeninggray of the sky. It is time, too, for me to leave off resting my armson the cold stone of this bridge....

Ah, my arms are really benumbed. I have been pressing my elbows on thearms of my chair, and dreaming that I was standing on the bridge infront of Dorlcote Mill, as it looked one February afternoon many yearsago. Before I dozed off, I was going to tell you what Mr. and Mrs.Tulliver were talking about, as they sat by the bright fire in theleft-hand parlor, on that very afternoon I have been dreaming of.


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