George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

English Novelist

Author Quotes

When Squire Cass's standing dishes diminished in plenty and freshness, his guests had nothing to do but to walk a little higher up the village to Mr. Osgood's, at the Orchards, and they found hams and chines uncut, pork-pies with the scent of the fire in them, spun butter in all its freshness — everything, in fact, that appetites at leisure could desire, in perhaps greater perfection, though not in greater abundance, than at Squire Cass's.

Who can prove wit to be witty when with deeper ground dullness intuitive declares wit dull?

Worldly faces never look so worldly as at a funeral. They have the same effect of grating incongruity as the sound of a coarse voice breaking the solemn silence of night.

You must love your work, and not be always looking over the edge of it, wanting your play to begin. And the other is, you must not be ashamed of your work, and think it would be more honorable to you to be doing something else. You must have a pride in your own work and in learning to do it well, and not be always saying, There’s this and there’s that—if I had this or that to do, I might make something of it. No matter what a man is—I wouldn’t give two-pence for him’— here Caleb’s mouth looked bitter, and he snapped his fingers— ‘whether he was the prime minister or the rick-thatcher, if he didn’t do well what he undertook to do.

When the animals entered the Ark in pairs, one may imagine that allied species made much private remark on each other, and were tempted to think that so many forms feeding on the same store of fodder were eminently superfluous, as tending to diminish the rations....

Who has not felt the beauty of a woman's arm? The unspeakable suggestions of tenderness that lie in the dimpled elbow, and all the varied gently-lessening curves, down to the delicate wrist, with its tiniest, almost imperceptible nicks in the firm softness.

Worldly faces, never look so worldly as at a funeral.

You must mind and not lower the Church in people's eyes by seeming to be frightened about it for such a little thing.

When the commonplace We must all die transforms itself suddenly into the acute consciousness I must die - and soon, then death grapples us, and his fingers are cruel; afterwards, he may come to fold us in his arms as our mother did, and our last moment of dim earthly discerning may be like the first.

Who shall put his finger on the work of justice, and say, "It is there"? Justice is like the kingdom of God: it is not without us as a fact; it is within us as a great yearning.

Would not love see returning penitence afar off, and fall on its neck and kiss it?

You should read history and look at ostracism, persecution, martyrdom, and that kind of thing. They always happen to the best men, you know.

When we are suddenly released from an acute absorbing bodily pain, our heart and senses leap out in new freedom; we think even the noise of streets harmonious, and are ready to hug the tradesman who is wrapping up our change.

Who that cares much to know the history of man, and how the mysterious mixture behaves under the varying experiments of Time, has not dwelt, at least briefly, on the life of Saint Theresa, has not smiled with some gentleness at the thought of the little girl walking forth one morning hand-in-hand with her still smaller brother, to go and seek martyrdom in the country of the Moors? Out they toddled from rugged Avila, wide-eyed and helpless-looking as two fawns, but with human hearts, already beating to a national idea; until domestic reality met them in the shape of uncles, and turned them back from their great resolve. That child-pilgrimage was a fit beginning. Theresa's passionate, ideal nature demanded an epic life: what were many-volumed romances of chivalry and the social conquests of a brilliant girl to her? Her flame quickly burned up that light fuel; and, fed from within, soared after some illimitable satisfaction, some object which would never justify weariness, which would reconcile self-despair with the rapturous consciousness of life beyond self. She found her epos in the reform of a religious order.

Wouldst thou have asked aught else from any god whether with gleaming feet on earth he trod or thundered through the skies — aught else for share of mortal good, than in thy soul to bear the growth of song, and feel the sweet unrest of the world's spring-tide in thy conscious breast? No, thou hadst grasped thy lot with all its pain, nor loosed it any painless lot to gain where music's voice was silent; for thy fate was human music's self incorporate: thy senses' keenness and thy passionate strife were flesh of her flesh and her womb of Life.

You told me the truth when you said to me once, "There's a sort of wrong that can never be made up for".

When we are treated well, we naturally begin to think that we are not altogether unmeritous, and that it is only just we should treat ourselves well, and not mar our own good fortune.

Who with repentance is not satisfied, is not of heaven, nor earth.

Yes! thank God; human feeling is like the mighty rivers that bless the earth: it does not wait for beauty - it flows with resistless force and brings beauty with it... There are few prophets in the world; few sublimely beautiful women; few heroes. I can't afford to give all my love and reverence to such rarities: I want a great deal of those feelings for my everyday fellow-men, especially for the few in the foreground of the great multitude, whose faces I know, whose hands I touch, for whom I have to make way with kindly courtesy.

You want to find out a mode of renunciation that will be an escape from pain. I tell you again, there is no such escape possible except by perverting or mutilating one's nature.

When we get to wishing a great deal for ourselves, whatever we get soon turns into mere limitation and exclusion.

Will not a tiny speck very close to our vision blot out the glory of the world, and leave only a margin by which we see the blot? I know no speck so troublesome as self.

Yes, but not my style of woman: I like a woman who lays herself out a little more to please us. There should be a little filigree about a woman--something of the coquette. A man likes a sort of challenge. The more of a dead set she makes at you the better.

Young love-making, that gossamer web! Even the points it clings to - the things whence its subtle interlacings are swung - are scarcely perceptible: momentary touches of fingertips, meetings of rays from blue and dark orbs, unfinished phrases, lightest changes of cheek and lip, faintest tremors. The web itself is made of spontaneous beliefs and indefinable joys, yearnings of one life toward another, visions of completeness, indefinite trust.

When what is good comes of age, and is likely to live, there is reason for rejoicing.

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Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans
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English Novelist