Middlemarch – George Eliot

1. “The really delightful marriage must be that where your husband was a sort of father, and could teach you even Hebrew, if you wished it.”

2. “I cannot imagine myself living without some opinions, but I should wish to have good reasons for them, and a wise man could help me to see which opinions had the best foundation, and would help me to live according to them.”

3. “He would never have contradicted her, and when a woman is not contradicted, she has no motive for obstinacy in her absurdities.”

4. “We mortals, men and women, devour many a disappointment between breakfast and dinner-time; keep back the tears and look a little pale about the lips, and in answer to inquiries say, “Oh, nothing!” Pride helps us; and pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our own hurts—not to hurt others.”

5. “A woman dictates before marriage in order that she may have an appetite for submission afterwards.”

6. “She is a good creature—that fine girl—but a little too earnest,” he thought. “It is troublesome to talk to such women. They are always wanting reasons, yet they are too ignorant to understand the merits of any question, and usually fall back on their moral sense to settle things after their own taste.”

7. “That is what a woman ought to be: she ought to produce the effect of exquisite music.”

8. “A woman must learn to put up with little things. You will be married some day.”

9. “I don’t make myself disagreeable; it is you who find me so. Disagreeable is a word that describes your feelings and not my actions.”

10. “I never say what I am afraid of having repeated.”

11. “One must be poor to know the luxury of giving!”

12. “The fact is unalterable, that a fellow-mortal with whose nature you are acquainted solely through the brief entrances and exits of a few imaginative weeks called courtship, may, when seen in the continuity of married companionship, be disclosed as something better or worse than what you have preconceived, but will certainly not appear altogether the same. And it would be astonishing to find how soon the change is felt if we had no kindred changes to compare with it.”

13. “The remote worship of a woman throned out of their reach plays a great part in men’s lives, but in most cases the worshipper longs for some queenly recognition, some approving sign by which his soul’s sovereign may cheer him without descending from her high place.”

14. “People were so ridiculous with their illusions, carrying their fool’s caps unawares, thinking their own lies opaque while everybody else’s were transparent, making themselves exceptions to everything, as if when all the world looked yellow under a lamp they alone were rosy.”

15. “It is wonderful how much uglier things will look when we only suspect that we are blamed for them.”

16. “What is it that you gentlemen are thinking of when you are with Mrs. Casaubon?”
“Herself,” said Will, not indisposed to provoke the charming Mrs. Lydgate. “When one sees a perfect woman, one never thinks of her attributes—one is conscious of her presence.”

17. “Women, even after marriage, might make conquests and enslave men.”

18. “How delightful to make captives from the throne of marriage with a husband as crown-prince by your side—himself in fact a subject—while the captives look up forever hopeless, losing their rest probably, and if their appetite too, so much the better!”

19. “He distrusted her affection; and what loneliness is more lonely than distrust?”

20. “She had once said that she would like him to stay; and stay he would, whatever fire-breathing dragons might hiss around her.”

21. “What we call our despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope.”

22. “If youth is the season of hope, it is often so only in the sense that our elders are hopeful about us; for no age is so apt as youth to think its emotions, partings, and resolves are the last of their kind. Each crisis seems final, simply because it is new.”

23. “There are certain things which a man can only go through once in his life; and he must know some time or other that the best is over with him. This experience has happened to me while I am very young—that is all. What I care more for than I can ever care for anything else is absolutely forbidden to me—I don’t mean merely by being out of my reach, but forbidden me, even if it were within my reach, by my own pride and honor—by everything I respect myself for. Of course I shall go on living as a man might do who had seen heaven in a trance.”

24. “That she should be obliged to do what she intensely disliked, was an idea which turned her quiet tenacity into active invention.”

25. “He would not retreat before calumny, as if he submitted to it. He would face it to the utmost, and no act of his should show that he was afraid. It belonged to the generosity as well as defiant force of his nature that he resolved not to shrink from showing to the full his sense of obligation to Bulstrode.”

26. “I never had a preference for her, any more than I have a preference for breathing. No other woman exists by the side of her. I would rather touch her hand if it were dead, than I would touch any other woman’s living.”

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1 Comment

  1. Cu cat drag am citit cartea <3 cred ca eram prin liceu si aveam altceva de pregatit la engleza, dar nu mi a pasat, am stat pana tarziu sa citesc Middlemarch…

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