Saturday, October 27, 2018

My Victorian Year #45

I am currently reading Anthony Trollope's Small House at Allington and Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters. I am also currently listening to Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.

Quotes from Small House at Allington:
  • I’ve always had a sort of aptitude for living in a pigsty; — a clean pigsty, you know, with nice fresh bean straw to lie upon.
  • “Are you going to forgive me before I go?” “Forgive you for what?” said she. “For daring to love you; for having loved you almost as long as you can remember; for loving you better than all beside. This alone you should forgive; but will you forgive me for having told it?”
  • Alas! alas! a man cannot so easily repent of his sins, and wash himself white from their stains!
  • “It was a matter of course,” said Bell. “It always is right in the novels. That’s why I don’t like them. They are too sweet.” “That’s why I do like them, because they are so sweet. A sermon is not to tell you what you are, but what you ought to be, and a novel should tell you not what you are to get, but what you’d like to get.”  
  • But if we are to have real life, let it be real.
  • Those slanders always are absurd; but what can we do? We can’t tie up people’s tongues.
  •  Mr Palliser had barely spoken to Mr Crosbie at Courcy, but then in the usual course of his social life he seldom did more than barely speak to anybody.
  • The speech was respectable, dull, and correct. Men listened to it, or sat with their hats over their eyes, asleep, pretending to do so;

Quotes from Wives and Daughters:
  •  'Papa, I should like to get a chain like Ponto's just as long as your longest round, and then I could fasten us two to each end of it, and when I wanted you I could pull, and if you did not want to come, you could pull back again; but I should know you knew I wanted you, and we could never lose each other.' (27)
  • 'I gave her the best advice in my power.' 'Advice! you ought to have comforted her. Poor little Molly!' 'I think that if advice is good it's the best comfort.' (120)
  • 'I did try to remember what you said, and to think more of others, but it is so difficult sometimes; you know it is, don't you?' (136)
  • 'It is difficult,' he went on, 'but by and by you will be so much happier for it.' 'No, I shan't!' said Molly, shaking her head. 'It will be very dull when I shall have killed myself, as it were, and live only in trying to do, and to be, as other people like. I don't see any end to it. I might as well never have lived. And as for the happiness you speak of, I shall never be happy again.' (136)
  • 'I used to think I managed her, till one day an uncomfortable suspicion arose that all the time she had been managing me. Still, it's easy work to let oneself be managed; at any rate till one wakens up to the consciousness of the process, and then it may become amusing, if one takes it in that light.' 'I should hate to be managed,' said Molly, indignantly. 'I'll try and do what she wishes for papa's sake, if she'll only tell me outright; but I should dislike to be trapped into anything.' (160)
  • 'Tell the truth, now and evermore. Truth is generally amusing, if it's nothing else!' (163)
  • Molly knew her father's looks as well as she knew her alphabet; his wife did not; and being an unperceptive person, except when her own interests were dependent upon another person's humour, never found out how he was worried by all the small daily concessions which he made to her will or her whims. (178)
  • 'I wish I could love people as you do, Molly!' 'Don't you?" said the other, in surprise. 'No. A good number of people love me, I believe, or at least they think they do; but I never seem to care much for any one. I do believe I love you, little Molly, whom I have only known for ten days, better than any one.' (219)
  • 'I wish I was good!' 'So do I,' said Molly, simply. 'Nonsense, Molly! You are good...I am not good, and I never shall be now. Perhaps I might be a heroine still, but I shall never be a good woman, I know.' 'Do you think it easier to be a heroine?' 'Yes as far as one knows of heroines from history. I'm capable of a great jerk, an effort, and then a relaxation--but steady, everyday goodness is beyond me. I must be a moral kangaroo.' (220)
  • 'Molly, I cannot have you speaking so to Lady Harriet,' said Mrs. Gibson as soon as she was left alone with her stepdaughter. 'You would never have known her at all if it had not been for me, and don't be always putting yourself into our conversation.' 'But I must speak if she asks me questions,' pleaded Molly. 'Well! if you must, you must, I acknowledge. I'm candid about that, at any rate. But there's no need for you to set up to have an opinion at your age.' 'I don't know how to help it,' said Molly. (293)
  • 'If there is one thing I hate more than another, it is the trying to make out an intimacy with great people.' (293)
  • 'Oh, how good you are, Molly! I wonder, if I had been brought up like you, whether I should have been as good. But I've been tossed about so.' 'Then, don't go and be tossed about no more,' said Molly, softly. (327)

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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