The Mill on the Floss, by George Eliot

Conclusion

Nature repairs her ravages — repairs them with her sunshine, and with human labor. The desolation wrought by that flood had left little visible trace on the face of the earth, five years after. The fifth autumn was rich in golden cornstacks, rising in thick clusters among the distant hedgerows; the wharves and warehouses on the Floss were busy again, with echoes of eager voices, with hopeful lading and unlading.

And every man and woman mentioned in this history was still living, except those whose end we know.

Nature repairs her ravages, but not all. The uptorn trees are not rooted again; the parted hills are left scarred; if there is a new growth, the trees are not the same as the old, and the hills underneath their green vesture bear the marks of the past rending. To the eyes that have dwelt on the past, there is no thorough repair.

Dorlcote Mill was rebuilt. And Dorlcote churchyard — where the brick grave that held a father whom we know, was found with the stone laid prostrate upon it after the flood — had recovered all its grassy order and decent quiet.

Near that brick grave there was a tomb erected, very soon after the flood, for two bodies that were found in close embrace; and it was visited at different moments by two men who both felt that their keenest joy and keenest sorrow were forever buried there.

One of them visited the tomb again with a sweet face beside him; but that was years after.

The other was always solitary. His great companionship was among the trees of the Red Deeps, where the buried joy seemed still to hover, like a revisiting spirit.

The tomb bore the names of Tom and Maggie Tulliver, and below the names it was written —

“In their death they were not divided.”

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Last updated Friday, March 14, 2014 at 21:42