Saturday, January 20, 2018

My Victorian Year #3

This week I reviewed two biographies of prominent Victorians: Queen Victoria and Florence Nightingale. Both were by Catherine Reef.

I continued on in two Victorian novels. I am currently reading Anthony Trollope's Orley Farm and Elizabeth Gaskell's Mary Barton.

From Orley Farm:
  • He did not easily believe a fellow-creature to be a liar, but a liar to him once was a liar always. (Sir Peregrine)
  • “No, not wrong; I cannot say that you have done wrong. It may be a question whether you have done wisely.”
  • It is all very well for the world to say that a girl should be happy without reference to her clothes.
  • A clever counsel can turn a witness pretty nearly any way he likes, but he can’t do that with little facts.
  • “You shouldn’t insult the gentleman because he has his own ideas,” said Johnson.
  • Small attacks of words there had been many, but hitherto the courage to speak out her griefs openly had been wanting to her. 
  • “The world is becoming a great deal too fond of what you call excitement and success. Of course it is a good thing for a man to make money by his profession, and a very hard thing when he can’t do it,” added Mrs. Furnival, thinking of the olden days. “But if success in life means rampaging about, and never knowing what it is to sit quiet over his own fireside, I for one would as soon manage to do without it.” 
  • But I do say that life should be lived at home. That is the best part of it. What is the meaning of home if it isn’t that?
 From Mary Barton:
  • It is so pleasant to have a friend who possesses the power of setting a difficult question in a clear light; whose judgment can tell what is best to be done; and who is so convinced of what is "wisest, best," that in consideration of the end, all difficulties in the way diminish.
  • People admire talent, and talk about their admiration. But they value common sense without talking about it, and often without knowing it. 
  • 'Well, dear, you must mind this, when you're going to fret and be low about anything—An anxious mind is never a holy mind.'
  • The vices of the poor sometimes astound us HERE; but when the secrets of all hearts shall be made known, their virtues will astound us in far greater degree. Of this I am certain.
  • Errands of mercy—errands of sin—did you ever think where all the thousands of people you daily meet are bound?
  • Such is the contrariness of the human heart, from Eve downwards, that we all, in our old Adam state, fancy things forbidden sweetest.
  • This disparity between the amount of the earnings of the working classes and the price of their food, occasioned, in more cases than could well be imagined, disease and death. Whole families went through a gradual starvation. They only wanted a Dante to record their sufferings. And yet even his words would fall short of the awful truth;

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Paula Vince said...

Nothing quite like the Victorian era. I love those quotes you've chosen. Really put me in the mood to immerse myself more in these great books.