George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans
There comes a night when all too late the mind shall long to prompt the achieving hand, the eager thought behind closed portals stand, and the last wishes to the mute lips press buried ere death in silent helplessness.
There is no private life which has not been determined by a wider public life.
The right to rebellion is the right to seek a higher rule, and not to wander in mere lawlessness.
The tread of coming footsteps cheats the midnight watcher who holds her heart and waits to hear them pause, and hears them never pause, but pass and die.
There are characters which are continually creating collisions and nodes for themselves in dramas which nobody is prepared to act with them. Their susceptibilities will clash against objects that remain innocently quiet.
There comes a terrible moment to many souls when the great movements of the world, the larger destinies of mankind, which have lain aloof in newspapers and other neglected reading, enter like an earthquake into their own lives--when the slow urgency of growing generations turns into the tread of an invading army or the dire clash of civil war, and grey fathers know nothing to seek for but the corpses of their blooming sons, and girls forget all vanity to make lint and bandages which may serve for the shattered limbs of their betrothed husbands.
There is no sort of wrong deed of which a man can bear the punishment alone; you can't isolate yourself and say that the evil that is in you shall not spread. Men's lives are as thoroughly blended with each other as the air they breathe; evil spreads as necessarily as disease.
The right word is always a power, and communicates its definiteness to our action.
The troublesome ones in a family are usually either the wits or the idiots.
There are conditions under which the most majestic person is obliged to sneeze, and our emotions are liable to be acted on in the same incongruous manner.
There is a chill air surrounding those who are down in the world, and people are glad to get away from them, as from a cold room.
There is nothing that will kill a man so soon as having nobody to find fault with but himself.
The most powerful movement of feeling with a liturgy is the prayer which seeks for nothing special, but is a yearning to escape from the limitations of our own weakness and an invocation of all Good to enter and abide with us.
The scornful nostril and the high head gather not the odors that lie on the track of truth.
The very truth hath a color from the disposition of the utterer.
There are episodes in most men's lives in which their highest qualities can only cast a deterring shadow over the objects that fill their inward version.
There is a great deal of unmapped country within us which would have to be taken into account in an explanation of our gusts and storms.
There is one order of beauty which seems made to turn heads. . . . It is a beauty like that of kittens, or very small downy ducks making gentle rippling noises with their soft bills, or babies just beginning to toddle.
The mother's love is at first an absorbing delight, bluntint all other sensibilities; it is an expansion of the animal existence; it enlarges the imagined range for self to move in: but in after years it can only continue to be joy on the same terms as other long-lived love--that is, by much suppression of self, and power of living in the experience of another.
The secret of our emotions never lies in the bare object, but in its subtle relations to our own past.
The Vicar’s talk was not always inspiriting: he had escaped being a Pharisee, but he had not escaped that low estimate of possibilities which we rather hastily arrive at as an inference from our own failure.
There are few of us that are not rather ashamed of our sins and follies as we look out on the blessed morning sunlight, which comes to us like a bright-winged angel beckoning us to quit the old path of vanity that stretches its dreary length behind us.
There is a sort of jealousy which needs very little fire: it is hardly a passion, but a blight bred in the cloudy, damp despondency of uneasy egoism.
There is only one failure in life possible, and that is not to be true to the best one knows.
The mother's yearning, that completest type of the life in another life which is the essence of real human love, feels the presence of the cherished child even in the base, degraded man.