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- The Mill on the Floss - 1/109 -

Produced by Curtis Weyant and David Maddock

The Mill on the Floss

George Eliot

Table of Contents

Book I: Boy and Girl

1. Outside Dorlcote Mill 2. Mr. Tulliver, of Dorlcote Mill, Declares His Resolution about Tom 3. Mr. Riley Gives His Advice Concerning a School for Tom 4. Tom Is Expected 5. Tom Comes Home 6. The Aunts and Uncles Are Coming 7. Enter the Aunts and Uncles 8. Mr. Tulliver Shows His Weaker Side 9. To Garum Firs 10. Maggie Behaves Worse Than She Expected 11. Maggie Tries to Run away from Her Shadow 12. Mr. and Mrs. Glegg at Home 13. Mr. Tulliver Further Entangles the Skein of Life

Book II: School-Time

1. Tom's "First Half" 2. The Christmas Holidays 3. The New Schoolfellow 4. "The Young Idea" 5. Maggie's Second Visit 6. A Love-Scene 7. The Golden Gates Are Passed

Book III: The Downfall

1. What Had Happened at Home 2. Mrs. Tulliver's Teraphim, or Household Gods 3. The Family Council 4. A Vanishing Gleam 5. Tom Applies His Knife to the Oyster 6. Tending to Refute the Popular Prejudice against the Present of a Pocket-Knife 7. How a Hen Takes to Stratagem 8. Daylight on the Wreck 9. An Item Added to the Family Register

Book IV: The Valley of Humiliation

1. A Variation of Protestantism Unknown to Bossuet 2. The Torn Nest Is Pierced by the Thorns 3. A Voice from the Past

Book V: Wheat and Tares

1. In the Red Deeps 2. Aunt Glegg Learns the Breadth of Bob's Thumb 3. The Wavering Balance 4. Another Love-Scene 5. The Cloven Tree 6. The Hard-Won Triumph 7. A Day of Reckoning

Book VI: The Great Temptation

1. A Duet in Paradise 2. First Impressions 3. Confidential Moments 4. Brother and Sister 5. Showing That Tom Had Opened the Oyster 6. Illustrating the Laws of Attraction 7. Philip Re-enters 8. Wakem in a New Light 9. Charity in Full-Dress 10. The Spell Seems Broken 11. In the Lane 12. A Family Party 13. Borne Along by the Tide 14. Waking

Book VII: The Final Rescue

1. The Return to the Mill 2. St. Ogg's Passes Judgment 3. Showing That Old Acquaintances Are Capable of Surprising Us 4. Maggie and Lucy 5. The Last Conflict

Book I

_Boy and Girl_

Chapter I

Outside Dorlcote Mill

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

And this is Dorlcote Mill. I must stand a minute or two here on the bridge and look at it, though the clouds are threatening, and it is far on in the afternoon. Even in this leafless time of departing February it is pleasant to look at,--perhaps the chill, damp season adds a charm to the trimly kept, comfortable dwelling-house, as old as the elms and chestnuts that shelter it from the northern blast. The stream 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 delicate bright-green powder softening the outline of the great trunks and branches that gleam from under the bare purple boughs, I am in love with moistness, and envy the white ducks that are dipping their heads far into the water here among the withes, unmindful of the awkward appearance they make in the drier world above.

The rush of the water and the booming of the mill bring a dreamy deafness, which seems to heighten the peacefulness of the scene. They are like a great curtain of sound, shutting one out from the world beyond. And now there is the thunder of the huge covered wagon coming home with sacks of grain. That honest wagoner is thinking of his dinner, getting sadly dry in the oven at this late hour; but he will not touch it till he has fed his horses,--the strong, submissive, meek-eyed beasts, who, I fancy, are looking mild reproach at him from between their blinkers, that he should crack his whip at them in that awful manner as if they needed that hint! See how they stretch their shoulders up the slope toward the bridge, with all the more energy because they are so near home. Look at their grand shaggy feet that seem to grasp the firm earth, at the patient strength of their necks, bowed under the heavy collar, at the mighty muscles of their struggling haunches! I should like well to hear them neigh over their hardly earned feed of corn, and see them, with their moist necks freed from 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 the trees.

Now I can turn my eyes toward the mill again, and watch the unresting wheel sending out its diamond jets of water. That little girl is watching it too; she has been standing on just the same spot at the edge of the water ever since I paused on the bridge. And that queer white cur with the brown ear seems to be leaping and barking in ineffectual remonstrance with the wheel; perhaps he is jealous because his playfellow in the beaver bonnet is so rapt in its movement. It is time the little playfellow went in, I think; and there is a very bright fire to tempt her: the red light shines out under the deepening gray of the sky. It is time, too, for me to leave off resting my arms on the cold stone of this bridge....

Ah, my arms are really benumbed. I have been pressing my elbows on the arms of my chair, and dreaming that I was standing on the bridge in front of Dorlcote Mill, as it looked one February afternoon many years ago. 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 the left-hand parlor, on that very afternoon I have been dreaming of.

The Mill on the Floss - 1/109

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