Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Thomas Hardy

English Novelist, Poet and Victorian Realist

"Patience, the blending of moral courage with physical timidity."

"Do not do an immoral thing for moral reasons."

"Measurement of life should be proportioned rather to the intensity of the experience than to its actual length."

"The main objective of religion is not to get a man into heaven, but to get heaven into him."

"A blaze of love, and extinction, was better than a lantern glimmer of the same which should last long years."

"A little one-eyed blinking sort of place."

"A lover without indiscretion is no lover at all. Circumspection and devotion are a contradiction in terms."

"A man's silence is wonderful to listen to. Though a good deal is too strange to be believed, nothing is too strange to have happened."

"A nice unparticular man. Far from the madding crowd."

"A resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible."

"A Saturday afternoon in November was approaching the time of twilight, and the vast tract of unenclosed wild known as Egdon Heath embrowned itself moment by moment. Overhead the hollow stretch of whitish cloud shutting out the sky was as a tent which had the whole heath for its floor. The heaven being spread with this pallid screen and the earth with the darkest vegetation, their meeting-line at the horizon was clearly marked. In such contrast the heath wore the appearance of an instalment of night which had taken up its place before its astronomical hour was come: darkness had to a great extent arrived hereon, while day stood distinct in the sky."

"A star looks down at me, / And says: `Here I and you / Stand, each in our degree: / What do you mean to do?'"

"A strong woman who recklessly throws away her strength, she is worse than a weak woman who has never had any strength to throw away."

"A woman would rather visit her own grave than the place where she has been young and beautiful after she is aged and ugly."

"All her shining keys will be took from her, and her cupboards opened, and things a' didn't wish seen, anybody will see; and her little wishes and ways will all be as nothing."

"And at home by the fire, whenever you look up there I shall be— and whenever I look up, there will be you."

"And both of us, scorning parochial ways, / Had lived like the wives in the patriarchs' days."

"And ghosts then keep their distance; and I know some liberty."

"And meadow rivulets overflow, and drops on gate-bars hang in a row, and rooks in families homeward go, and so do I ."

"And Troy's deformities lay deep down from a woman's vision, whilst his embellishments were upon the very surface; thus contrasting with homely Oak, whose defects were patent to the blindest, and whose virtues were as metals in a mine."

"And yet to every bad there is a worse."

"Aspect are within us, and who seems most kingly is king."

"At first I did not love you, Jude; that I own. When I first knew you I merely wanted you to love me. I did not exactly flirt with you; but that inborn craving which undermines some women's morals almost more than unbridled passion--the craving to attract and captivate, regardless of the injury it may do the man--was in me; and when I found I had caught you, I was frightened. And then--I don't know how it was-- I couldn't bear to let you go--possibly to Arabella again--and so I got to love you, Jude. But you see, however fondly it ended, it began in the selfish and cruel wish to make your heart ache for me without letting mine ache for you."

"Backlock, a poet blind from his birth, could describe visual objects with accuracy; Professor Sanderson, who was also blind, gave excellent lectures on color, and taught others the theory of ideas which they had and he had not. In the social sphere these gifted ones are mostly women; they can watch a world which they never saw, and estimate forces of which they have only heard. We call it intuition."

"Be a good boy, remember; and be kind to animals and birds, and read all you can."

"Beauty lay not in the thing, but in what the thing symbolized."

"Bring me here again! I am just the same as when our days were a joy, and our paths through flowers."

"But a resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible."

"But no one came. Because no one ever does."

"But--a stirring thrills the air like to sounds of joyance there, that the rages of the ages shall be cancelled, and deliverance offered from the darts that were, consciousness the Will informing, till it fashion all things fair."

"Crass Casualty obstructs the sun and rain, and dicing Time for gladness casts a moan . . . These purblind Doomsters had as readily strown blisses about my pilgrimage as pain."

"Cruelty is the law pervading all nature and society; and we can't get out of it if we would."

"Dialect words are those terrible marks of the beast to the truly genteel."

"Did it never strike your mind that what every woman says, some women may feel?"

"Do you know that I have undergone three quarters of this labour entirely for the sake of the fourth quarter?"

"Don't think of what's past! said she. I am not going to think outside of now. Why should we! Who knows what tomorrow has in store?"

"Don't you go believing in sayings, Picotee: they are all made by men, for their own advantages. Women who use public proverbs as a guide through events are those who have not ingenuity enough to make private ones as each event occurs."

"Each institution has demonstrated very distinctive characteristics to their situations. The NCAA hopefully will recognize how we are different from the other institutions that they've dealt with so far and will give us a favorable review in a timely fashion."

"Ere systemed suns were globed and lit the slaughters of the race were writ."

"Ethelberta breathed a sort of exclamation, not right out, but stealthily, like a parson's damn."

"Everybody is so talented nowadays that the only people I care to honor as deserving real distinction are those who remain in obscurity."

"Everybody must be managed. Queens must be managed. Kings must be managed, for men want managing almost as much as women, and that's saying a good deal."

"Fear is the mother of foresight."

"Give the enemy not only a road for flight, but also a means of defending it."

"Give way to the Better if way to the Better there be, It exacts a full look at the Worst."

"Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion."

"Good, but not religious-good."

"Had other aims than my delight."

"Happiness is but a mere episode in the general drama of pain."

"He had been a lad of whom something was expected. Beyond this all had been chaos. That he would be successful in an original way, or that he would go to the dogs in an original way, seemed equally probable. The only absolute certainty about him was that he would not stand still in the circumstances amid which he was born."