Geroge Elliot describes in her writing that "Old Leisure" is now gone in the modern times. She dosen't see the leisure that she used to in her time. Her standers to how leisure should be and isn't that high or complicated. she just doesn't understand how our fast pace life style has any leisure time. She expresses her point describing what the different between her time and the present is.
In this passage, she uses personification of the word "leisure" and gives a detailed description by describing a simple more down to earth type of living. She uses words such as stout, gentlemen, contemplative, and innocent of leaders. She expresses that modern times is different and that there are too many unnecessary things that just interfere with the real meaning of leisure. Things are too complicated now-a-days and people are too concentrated on innovation and the ever changing world., While her time was more simple and calm, people only "read one newspaper" and lived chiefly in the country they were born in.
Not only dose she use personification but she uses allusion. The allusion of that perfect life of a peasant, it's the way most historian would say was a life of leisure. She uses specific details that help you see the leisure part of being a peasant. In her time the illusion of leisure wasn't so far off from reality. Now in modern time leisure is a far out thing to obtain.
Through her use of personification and allusion she is able to make a compelling statement about leisure. Her way of leisure, "Old Leisure", is still attainable in today's society but make harder to get.