George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans
The worst of all hobbies are those that people think they can get money at. They shoot their money down like corn out of a sack then.
There are many victories worse than a defeat.
There is heroism even in the circles of hell for fellow-sinners who cling to each other in the fiery whirlwind and never recriminate.
The prevarication and white lies which a mind that keeps itself ambitiously pure is as uneasy under as a great artist under the false touches that no eye detects but his own, are worn as lightly as mere trimmings when once the actions have become a lie.
The soul of man, when it gets fairly rotten, will bear you all sorts of poisonous toad-stools, and no eye can see whence came the seed thereof.
The worst of misery is when a nature framed for noblest things condemns itself in youth to petty joys, and, sore thirst for air, breathes scanty life gasping from out the shallows.
There are men whose presence infuses trust and reverence.
There is much pain that is quite noiseless; and vibrations that make human agonies are often a mere whisper in the roar of hurrying existence. There are glances of hatred that stab and raise no cry of murder; robberies that leave man or woman forever beggared of peace and joy, yet kept secret by the sufferer --committed to no sound except that of low moans in the night, seen in no writing except that made on the face by the slow months of suppressed anguish and early morning tears. Many an inherited sorrow that has marred a life has been breathed into no human ear.
The pride of the body is a barrier against the gifts that purify the soul.
The Squire’s life was quite as idle as his sons’, but it was a fiction kept up by himself and his contemporaries in Raveloe that youth was exclusively the period of folly, and that their aged wisdom was constantly in a state of endurance mitigated by sarcasm.
The wrong that rouses our angry passions finds only a medium in us; it passes through us like a vibration, and we inflict what we have suffered.
There are moments when our passions speak and decide for us, and we seem to stand by and wonder. They carry in them an inspiration of crime that in one instant does the work of long premeditation.
There is no compensation for the woman who feels that the chief relation of her life has been no more than a mistake. She has lost her crown. The deepest secret of human blessedness has half whispered itself to her, and then forever passed her by.
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.
There are so many of us, and our lots are so different, what wonder that Nature's mood is often in harsh contrast with the great crisis of our lives? We are children of a large family, and must learn, as such children do, not to expect that our hurts will be made much of — to be content with little nurture and caressing, and help each other the more.
There is no general doctrine which is not capable of eating out our morality if unchecked by the deep-seated habit of direct fellow-feeling with individual fellow-men.
The purifying influence of public confession springs from the fact, that by it the hope in lies is forever swept away, and the soul recovers the noble attitude of simplicity.
The sublime delight of truthful speech to one who has the great gift of uttering it, will make itself felt even through the pangs of sorrow.