Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Thomas Hardy

English Novelist, Poet and Victorian Realist

"To persons standing alone on a hill during a clear midnight such as this, the roll of the world eastward is almost a palpable movement."

"Try to learn something about everything and everything about something."

"Twilight combined with the scenery of Egdon Heath to evolve a thing majestic without severity, impressive without showiness, emphatic in its admonitions, grand in its simplicity. The qualifications which frequently invest the facade of a prison with far more dignity than is found in the facade of a palace double its size lent to this health a sublimity in which spots renowned for beauty of the accepted kind are utterly wanting. Fair prospects wed happily with fair times; but alas, if times be not fair!"

"Unto this wood I came As to a nest; Dreaming that sylvan peace Offered the harrowed ease- Nature a soft release From men's unrest"

"Upon a mind o’erwrought."

"Uprises there a mother's form upon my ken, guiding my infant steps, as when we walked that ancient, thoroughfare,"

"War makes rattling good history; but Peace is poor reading."

"We color and mold according to the wants within us whatever our eyes bring in."

"Well, what I mean is that I shouldn't mind being a bride at a wedding, if I could be one without having a husband."

"Well, World, you have kept faith with me, kept faith with me; upon the whole you have proved to be much as you said you were."

"Well: what we gain by science is, after all, sadness, as the Preacher saith. The more we know of the laws and nature of the Universe the more ghastly a business we perceive it all to be -- and the non-necessity of it."

"What do you think of it, Moon, As you go? Is life much or no?' 'O, I think of it, often think of it As a show God ought surely to shut up soon, As I go."

"What of the faith and fire within us? Men who march away ere the barncocks say. Night is growing gray, leaving all that here can win us?"

"When false things are brought low, and swift things have grown slow, feigning like froth shall go, faith be for aye. Between us now."

"When Farmer Oak smiled, the corners of his mouth spread till they were within an unimportant distance of his ears, his eyes were reduced to chinks, and diverging wrinkles appeared round them, extending upon his countenance like the rays in a rudimentary sketch of the rising sun."

"When the Present has latched its postern behind my tremulous stay, / And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings, / Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk, will the neighbours say, / `He was a man who used to notice such things'?"

"Whence comes solace? Not from seeing, what is doing, suffering, being; Not from noting Life’s conditions, Not from heeding Time’s monitions; But in cleaving to the Dream And in gazing at the Gleam On a fine Morning."

"Whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?"

"Where once we danced, where once we sang, Gentlemen, the floors are shrunken, cobwebs hang."

"Where we are would be Paradise to me, if you would only make it so."

"Who's in the next room? - who? I seemed to see somebody in the dawning passing through, unknown to me."

"Why doth IT so and so, and ever so, this viewless, voiceless Turner of the Wheel? The Dynasts. Fore Scene. Spirit of the Pities."

"Why is it that a woman can see from a distance what a man cannot see close?"

"Why it was that upon this beautiful feminine tissue, sensitive as gossamer, and practically blank as snow as yet, there should have been traced such a coarse pattern as it was doomed to receive; why so often the coarse appropriates the finer thus, the wrong man the woman, the wrong women the man, many years of analytical philosophy have failed to explain to our sense of order"

"With all, the beautiful things of the earth become more dear as they elude pursuit; but with some natures utter elusion is the one special event which will make a passing love permanent for ever."

"Yeobright had, in fact, found his vocation in the career of an itinerant open-air preacher and lecturer on morally unimpeachable subjects; . . . . He left alone creeds and systems of philosophy, finding enough and more than enough to occupy his tongue in the opinions and actions common to all good men. Some believed him, and some believed not; some said that his words were commonplace, others complained of his want of theological doctrine; while others again remarked that it was well enough for a man to take to preaching who could not see to do anything else. But everywhere he was kindly received, for the story of his life had become generally known."

"Yes; quaint and curious war is! You shoot a fellow down you'd treat if met where any bar is, or help to half-a-crown."

"Yes; quaint and curious war is! You shoot a fellow down you'd treat if met where any bar is, or help to half-a-crown."

"Yet, though love is thus an end in itself, it must be believed to be the means to another end if it is to assume the rosy hues of an unalloyed pleasure."

"Yonder a maid and her wight / Come whispering by: / War's annals will cloud into night/ Ere their story die."

"You calculated how to be uncalculating, and are natural by art!"

"You can do anything with bayonets except sit on them."

"You have never loved me as I love you--never--never! Yours is not a passionate heart--your heart does not burn in a flame! You are, upon the whole, a sort of fay, or sprite-- not a woman!"

"You ride well, but you don't kiss nicely at all."

"You was a good man, and did good things."

"You, and those like you, take your fill of pleasure on earth by making the life of such as me bitter and black with sorrow; and then it is a fine thing, when you have had enough of that, to think of securing your pleasure in heaven by becoming converted!"