I finished reading Middlemarch last week, and have been poking around in some Eliot criticism and biography. Here the psychic and classical scholar F.W.H. Myers describes walking about the campus of Cambridge with her:
"I remember how at Cambridge I walked with her once in the Fellows' Garden of Trinity, on an evening of rainy May; and she, stirred somewhat beyond her wont, and taking as her text the three words which had been used so often as the inspiring trumpet-call of men -- the words God, Immortality,Duty -- pronounced with terrible earnestness how inconceivable was the first, how unbelievable was the second, and yet how peremptory and absolute the third. Never, perhaps, have sterner accents confirmed the sovereignty of impersonal and unrecompensing Law. I listened, and night fell; her grave, majestic countenance turned towards me like a sybil's in the gloom; it was as thought she withdrew from my grasp, one by one, the two scrolls of promise and left me the thrid scroll only, awful with inevitable fates. And when we stood at length and parted, amid the columnar circuit of forest trees, beneath the last twighlight of starless skies, I seemed to be gazing, like Titus at Jerusalem, on vacant seats and empty halls -- on a sanctuary with no Presence to hallow it, and heaven left empty of God."
A bit old fashioned and overblown, perhaps, but I like the impression it leaves of Eliot. Besides, mystics like Myers have need of sybils.