George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans
To many among us neither heaven nor earth has any revelation till some personality touches theirs with a particular influence, subduing them into receptiveness.
Under every guilty secret there is hidden a brood of guilty wishes, whose unwholesome infecting life is cherished by the darkness.
There was a peculiar fascination for Dorothea in this division of property intended for herself, and always regarded by her as excessive. She was blind, you see, to many things obvious to others - likely to tread in the wrong places, as Celia had warned her; yet her blindness to whatever did not lie in her own pure purpose carried her safely by the side of precipices where vision would have been perilous with fear.
These gems have life in them: their colors speak, say what words fail of.
Thought has joys apart, even in blackest woe, and seizing some fine thread of verity knows momentary godhead.
To men who only aim at escaping felony, nothing short of the prisoner's dock is disgrace.
Under the vague dullness of the gray hours, dissatisfaction seeks a definite object and finds it in the privation of an untried good.
There was no gleam, no shadow, for the heavens, too, were one still, pale cloud; no sound or motion in anything but the dark river that flowed and moaned like an unresting sorrow.
They kissed each other with a deep joy.
Thoughts are so great--aren't they, sir? They seem to lie upon us like a great flood.
To most men their early home is no more than a memory of their early years. The image is never marred. There's no disappointment in memory, and one's exaggerations are always on the good side.
Until every good man is brave, we must expect to find many good women timid--too timid even to believe in the correctness of their own best promptings, when these would place them in a minority.
There were intervals in which she could sit perfectly still, enjoying the outer stillness and the subdued light. The red fire with its gently audible movement seemed like a solemn existence calmly independent of the petty passions, the imbecile desires, the straining after worthless uncertainties, which were daily moving her contempt. Mary was fond of her own thoughts, and could amuse herself well sitting in the twilight with her hands in her lap; for, having early had strong reason to believe that things were not likely to be arranged for her peculiar satisfaction, she wasted no time in astonishment and annoyance at that fact. And she had already come to take life very much as a comedy in which she had a proud, nay, a generous resolution not to act the mean or treacherous part. Mary might have become cynical if she had not had parents whom she honored, and a well of affectionate gratitude within her, which was all the fuller because she had learned to make no unreasonable claims.
They say fortune is a woman and capricious. But sometimes she is a good woman, and gives to those who merit.
Three words have often been used as the trumpet-call of men - the words God, Immortality, Duty - pronounced with terrible earnestness.
To most mortals there is a stupidity which is unendurable and a stupidity which is altogether acceptable — else, indeed, what would become of social bonds?
Upon my word, I think the truth is the hardest missile one can be pelted with.
The progress of the world can certainly never come at all save by the modified action of the individual beings who compose the world.
The stars are golden fruit upon a tree all out of reach.
The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down.
There are new eras in one's life that are equivalent to youth--are something better than youth.
There is no creature whose inward being is so strong that it is not greatly determined by what lies outside it. A new Theresa will hardly have the opportunity of reforming a conventual life, any more than a new Antigone will spend her heroic piety in daring all for the sake of a brother's burial: the medium in which their ardent deeds took shape is forever gone. But we insignificant people with our daily words and acts are preparing the lives of many Dorotheas, some of which may present a far sadder sacrifice than that of the Dorothea whose story we know.
The promise was void, like so many other sweet, illusory promises of our childhood; void as promises made in Eden before the seasons were divided, and when the starry blossoms grew side by side with the ripening peach,—impossible to be fulfilled when the golden gates had been passed.
The strength of the donkey mind lies in adopting a course inversely as the arguments urged, which, well considered, requires as great a mental force as the direct sequence.
The years seem to rush by now, and I think of death as a fast approaching end of a journey-double and treble reason for loving as well as working while it is day.