George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans
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".
We are all humiliated by the sudden discovery of a fact which has existed very comfortably and perhaps been staring at us in private while we have been making up our world entirely without it.
We judge other according to results; how else?--not knowing the process by which results are arrived at.
What business has an old bachelor like that to marry?' said Sir James. He has one foot in the grave. He means to draw it out again, I suppose.
What we call the 'just possible' is sometimes true and the thing we find it easier to believe is grossly false.
We are all of us born in moral stupidity, taking the world as an udder to feed our supreme selves
We learn words by rote, but not their meaning; that must be paid for with our life-blood, and printed in the subtle fibres of our nerves.
What can promote innocent mirth, and I may say virtue, more than a good riddle?
When a homemaking aunt scolds a niece for following her evangelistic passion instead of domestic pursuits, her reply is interesting. First, she clarifies that God's individual call on her doesn't condemn those in more conventional roles. Then, she says she can no more ignore the cry of the lost than her aunt can the cry of her child.
We are all of us denying or fulfilling prayers – and men in their careless deeds walk amidst invisible outstretched arms and pleadings made in vain.
We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment.
What can still that hunger of the heart which sickens the eye for beauty, and makes sweet-scented ease an oppression?
When a man had deserved his good luck, it was the part of his neighbors to wish him joy.
We are all of us imaginative in some form or other, for images are the brood of desire.
We look at the one little woman's face we love, as we look at the face of our mother earth, and see all sorts of answers to our own yearnings.
What destroys us most effectively is not a malign fate but our own capacity for self-deception and for degrading our own best self.
When a man has seen the woman whom he would have chosen if he had intended to marry speedily, his remaining a bachelor will usually depend on her resolution rather than on his.
We are children of a large family, and must learn, as such children do, not to expect that our little hurts will be made much of - to be content with little nurture and caressing, and help each other the more.
We mortals, men and women, devour many a disappointment between breakfast and dinner-time; keep back the tears and look a little pale about the lips, and in answer to inquiries say, "Oh, nothing!" Pride helps us; and pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our own hurts--not to hurt others.