"Dissimulation is the only thing that makes society possible; without its amenities the world would be a bear-garden."
"Hypocrites weep, and you cannot tell their tears from those of saints; but no bad man ever laughed sweetly yet."
"Nature I believe in. True art aims to represent men and women, not as my little self would have them, but as they appear. My heroes and heroines I want not extreme types, all good or all bad; but human, mortal—partly good, partly bad. Realism I need. Pure mental abstractions have no significance for me. "
"It is a kind of blindness - poverty. We can only grope through life when we are poor, hitting and maiming ourselves against every angle."
"The longest absence is less perilous to love than the terrible trials of incessant proximity."
"Scandals are like dandelion seeds - they are arrow-headed, and stick where they fall, and bring forth and multiply fourfold."
"What is it that love does to a woman? Without it she only sleeps; with it, alone, she lives."
"A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall. "
"A little scandal is an excellent thing; nobody is ever brighter or happier of tongue than when he is making mischief of his neighbors."
"Charity is a flower not naturally of earthly growth, and it needs manuring with a promise of profit."
"Any other thing she would have pardoned: infidelity, indifference, cruelty, any sins of manhood's caprice or passion, but who should pardon this? "
"Could we see when and where we are to meet again, we would be more tender when we bid our friends goodbye."
"Charity in various guises is an intruder the poor see often; but courtesy and delicacy are visitants with which they are seldom honored."
"Genius cannot escape the taint of its time more than a child the influence of its begetting. "
"Humiliation is a guest that only comes to those who have made ready his resting-place, and will give him a fair welcome."
"I have met a thousand scamps; but I never met one who considered himself so. Self-knowledge isn't so common."
"Genius scorns the power of gold: it is wrong. Gold is the war-scythe on its chariot, which mows down the millions of its foes, and gives free passage to the sun-coursers with which it leaves those heavenly fields of light for the gross battlefields of earth. "
"Now the misgiving arose in her whether she had mistaken arrogance for duty; whether, cleaving so closely to honor she had forgotten the obligation of mercy. "
"Imagination without culture is crippled and moves slowly; but it can be pure imagination, and rich also, as folk-lore will tell the vainest. "
"If all feeling for grace and beauty were not extinguished in the mass of mankind at the actual moment, such a method of locomotion as cycling could never have found acceptance; no man or woman with the slightest aesthetic sense could assume the ludicrous position necessary for it."
"In her contempt and dread of yielding to mere amorous weakness had she stifled and denied the cry of pity, the cry of conscience? "
"In the violent scorn of her revolted pride, of her indignant honor, had she forgotten a lowlier yet harder duty left undone? "
"Is there a more pitiable spectacle than that of a wife contending with others for that charm in her husband's sight which no philters and no prayers can renew when once it has fled forever? "
"Intensely selfish people are always very decided as to what they wish. They do not waste their energies in considering the good of others. "
"It is quite easy for stupid people to be happy; they believe in fables, and they trot on in a beaten track like a horse on a tramway. "
"Power is sweet, and when you are a little clerk you love its sweetness quite as much as if you were an emperor, and maybe you love it a good deal more."
"Poverty is very terrible, and sometimes kills the very soul within us; but it is the north wind that lashes men into Vikings; it is the soft luscious south wind which lulls them to lotus dreams."
"Start a lie and a truth together, like hare and hound: the lie will run fast and smooth, and no man will ever turn it aside; but at the truth most hands will fling a stone, and so hinder it for sport’s sake, if they can."
"Sport inevitably creates deadness of feeling. No one could take pleasure in it who was sensitive to suffering; and therefore its pursuit by women is much more to be regretted than its pursuit by men, because women pursue much more violently and recklessly what they pursue at all."
"Talent wears well, genius wears itself out; talent drives a brougham in fact; genius, a sun-chariot in fancy. "
"The bread of bitterness is the food on which men grow to their fullest stature; the waters of bitterness are the debatable ford through which they reach the shores of wisdom; the ashes boldly grasped and eaten without faltering are the price that must be paid for the golden fruit of knowledge."