George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans
You have such strong words at command, that they make the smallest argument seem formidable.
Where women love each other, men learn to smother their mutual dislike.
With a single drop of ink for a mirror, the Egyptian sorcerer undertakes to reveal to any chance comer far-reaching visions of the past. This is what I undertake to do for you, reader.
You know I have duties??we both have duties??before which feeling must be sacrificed.
Where you have friends you should not go to inns.
With memory set smarting like a reopened wound, a man's past is not simply a dead history, an outworn preparation of the present: it is not a repented error shaken loose from the life: it is a still quivering part of himself, bringing shudders and bitter flavors and the tinglings of a merited shame.
You know nothing about Hope, that immortal, delicious maiden forever courted forever propitious, whom fools have called deceitful, as if it were Hope that carried the cup of disappointment, whereas it is her deadly enemy, Certainty, whom she only escapes by transformation.
We are on a perilous margin when we begin to look passively at our future selves, and see our own figures led with dull consent into insipid misdoing and shabby achievement.
We want people to feel with us more than to act for us.
What is that? said Will, rather jealous of the belief.
When one is five-and-twenty, one has not chalk-stones at one's finger-ends that the touch of a handsome girl should be entirely indifferent.
We are overhasty to speak as if God did not manifest himself by our silent feeling, and make his love felt through ours.
We women are always in danger of living too exclusively in the affections; and though our affections are perhaps the best gifts we have, we ought also to have our share of the more independent life -- some joy in things for their own sake. It is piteous to see the helplessness of some sweet women when their affections are disappointed -- because all their teaching has been, that they can only delight in study of any kind for the sake of a personal love. They have never contemplated an independent delight in ideas as an experience which they could confess without being laughed at. Yet surely women need this defense against passionate affliction even more than men.
What mortal is there of us, who would find his satisfaction enhanced by an opportunity of comparing the picture he presents to himself of his doings, with the picture they make on the mental retina of his neighbors? We are poor plants buoyed up by the air-vessels of our own conceit.
When one wanted one's interests looking after whatever the cost, it was not so well for a lawyer to be over honest, else he might not be up to other people's tricks.
We are poor plants buoyed up by the air-vessels of our own conceit: alas for us, if we get a few pinches that empty us of that windy self-subsistence.
Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles.
What novelty is worth the sweet monotony where everything is known, and loved because it is known?
When our life is a continuous trial, the moments of respite seem only to substitute the heaviness of dread for the heaviness of actual suffering; the curtain of cloud seems parted an instant only that we may measure all its horror as it hangs low, black, and imminent, in contrast with the transient brightness; the water-drops that visit the parched lips in the desert bear with them only the keen imagination of thirst.
We cannot speak a loyal word and be meanly silent, we cannot kill and not kill in the same moment; but a moment is room wide enough for the loyal and mean desire, for the outlash of a murderous thought and the sharp backward stroke of repentance.
Well, well, my boy, if good luck knocks at your door, don't you put your head out at window and tell it to be gone about its business, that's all.
What quarrel, what harshness, what unbelief in each other can subsist in the presence of a great calamity, when all the artificial vesture of our life is gone, and we are all one with each other in primitive mortal needs?
When our two lives grew like two buds that kiss at lightest thrill from the bee's swinging chime, because the one so near the other is.
We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it, if it were not the earth where the same flowers come up again every spring that we used to gather with our tiny fingers as we sat lisping to ourselves on the grass, the same hips and haws on the autumn hedgerows, the same redbreasts that we used to call ‘God’s birds’ because they did no harm to the precious crops. What novelty is worth that sweet monotony where everything is known and loved because it is known?
What a different result one gets by changing the metaphor!