A Wayside Shrine, North Italy

A Wayside Shrine, North Italy

The following lines on a separate letterpress page from the novel Adam Bede by George Eliot accompanies the plate A Wayside Shrine, North Italy:

Bright February days have a stronger charm of hope about them than any other days of the year.  One likes to pause in
the mild rays of the sun, and look over the gates at the patient plough-horses turning at the end of the furrow, and think that
the beautiful year is all before one.  The birds seem to feel just the same: their notes are as clear as the clear air.  There are
no leaves on the trees and hedgerows, but how green all the grassy fields are!  And the dark purplish brown of the ploughed
earth and of the bare branches is beautiful too.  What a glad world this looks like, as one drives or rides along the valleys
and over the hills!  I have often thought so when, in foreign countries, where the fields and woods have looked to me like our English Loamshire ⎯the rich land tilled with just as much care, the woods rolling down the gentle slopes to the green meadows ⎯I have come on something by the roadside which has reminded me that I am not in Loamshier: an image of a great agony ⎯the agony of the Cross.  It has stood perhaps by the clustering apple-blossoms, or in the broad sunshine by the
cornfield,or at a turning by the wood where a clear brook was gurgling below; and surely, if there came a traveller to this world who knew nothing of the story of man’s life upon it, this image of agony would seem to him strangely out of place in the midst of this joyous nature.  He would not know that
hidden behind the apple blossoms, or among the golden corn, or under the shrouding boughs of the wood, there might be a
human heart beating heavily with anguish.

*   *   *   *    * *   *   *   *    * *   *   *   *    * *   *   *   *    *

No wonder man’s religion has much sorrow in it: no wonder he needs a suffering God.

George Eliot.

A Wayside Shrine, North Italy

Image Dimensions16.9 x 10.4 cm

Support Dimensions31.9 x 23.9 cm