"There may be coarse hypocrites, who consciously affect beliefs and emotions for the sake of gulling the world, but Bulstrode was not one of them. He was simply a man whose desires had been stronger than his theoretic beliefs, and who had gradually explained the gratification of his desires into satisfactory agreement with those beliefs. If this be hypocrisy, it is a process which shows itself occasionally in us all, to whatever confession we belong..."The assumption that all Pharisees were hypocrites is obviously problematic from a historical perspective (what about Paul?). Also pernicious is the assumption that all hypocrites are of the "coarse" variety. As long as we maintain an image of the hypocrite as a turbaned stick figure, the "other" from ancient Palestine, we can avoid reflecting that Jesus' warnings might possibly have some relevance to ourselves.
Back to Eliot, who continues her description of Mr Bulstrude with, perhaps, my favorite Middlemarch quotation:
"There is no general doctrine which is not capable of eating out our morality if unchecked by the deep-seated habit of direct fellow-feeling with individual fellow-men."Both quotes are from George Eliot, Middlemarch (Penguin Classics, 619).