Think of it! We could have gone on longing for one another and pretending not to notice forever. This obsession with dignity can ruin your life if you let it.
What on earth did you say to Isola? She stopped in on her way to pick up Pride and Prejudice and to berate me for never telling her about Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Why hadn't she known there were better love stories around? Stories not riddled with ill-adjusted men, anguish, death and graveyards!
Have you ever noticed that when your mind is awakened or drawn to someone new, that person's name suddenly pops up everywhere you go? My friend Sophie calls it coincidence, and Mr. Simpless, my parson friend, calls it Grace. He thinks that if one cares deeply about someone or something new one throws a kind of energy out into the world, and fruitfulness is drawn in.
That's what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you to another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It's geometrically progressive - all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.
I have gone to [this bookshop] for years, always finding the one book I wanted - and then three more I hadn’t known I wanted.
I did not throw 'The Shepherd Boy Sings in the Valley of Humiliation' at the audience. I threw it at the elocution mistress. I meant to cast it at her feet, but I missed.
Now that I think about it, maybe he is a werewolf. I can picture him lunging over the moors in hot pursuit of his prey, and I'm certain that he wouldn't think twice about eating an innocent bystander. I'll watch him closely at the next full moon. He's asked me to go dancing tomorrow--perhaps I should wear a high collar. Oh, that's vampires, isn't it? I think I am a little giddy. (After meeting Mr. Markham V. Reynolds, Jr.)
Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.
I don't want to be married just to be married. I can't think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can't talk to, or worse, someone I can't be silent with.
All my life I thought that the story was over when the hero and heroine were safely engaged -- after all, what's good enough for Jane Austen ought to be good enough for anyone. But it's a lie. The story is about to begin, and every day will be a new piece of the plot.
I don't know as much about children as I would like to. I am godmother to a wonderful three-year-old boy named dominic, the son of my friend Sophie. They live in Scotland, near Oban, and I don't get to see him often. I am always astonished, when I do, at his increasing personhood - no sooner had I gotten used to carrying about a warm lump of baby that he stopped being one started scurrying around on his own. I missed six months, and lo and behold, he learned how to talk! Now he talks to himself, which I find terribly endearing since I do, too.
Yesterday, Amelia and Kit came over for supper, and we took a blanket down to the beach afterward to watch the moon rise. Kit loves to do that, but she always falls asleep before it is fully rise, and I carry her home to Amelia's house. She is certain she'll be able to stay awake all night as soon as she's five.
It is my belief that with two such men in the household and no way to meet others, Emily (Bronte)had to make Heathcliff up out of thin air! And what a fine job she did. Men are more interesting in books than they are in real life.
What a blight that woman is. Do you happen to know why? I lean toward a malignant fairy at her christening.
But you want to know about the influence of books on my life, and as I’ve said, there was only one. Seneca. Do you know who he was? He was a Roman philosopher who wrote letters to imaginary friendstelling them how to behave for the rest of their lives.. Maybe that sounds dull, but the letters aren’t – they’re witty. I think you learn more if you’re laughing at the same time.
When I got up this morning the sea was full of sun pennies - and now it all seems to be covered in lemon scrim. Writers ought to live far inland or next to the city dump, if they are ever to get any work one. Or perhaps they need to be stronger-minded than I am.
It's a real lightning bolt, this Science of Phrenology. I've found out more in the last three days than I knew in my whole life before. Mrs. Guilbert has always been a nasty one, but now I know that she can't help it—she's got a big pit in her Benevolence spot. She fell in the quarry when she was a girl, and my guess is she cracked her Benevolence and was never the same since.
Do you know what sentence of his (Wordsworth) I admire the most? It is The bright day is done, and we are for the dark. I wish I'd known those words on the day I watched those German troops land, plane-load after plane-load of them--and come off ships down in the harbor! All I could think of was damn them, damn them, over and over. If I could have thought the words “the bright day is done and we are for the dark,” I’d have been consoled somehow and ready to go out and contend with circumstance—instead of my heart sinking to my shoes.
Friends, show me a man who hates himself, and I'll show you a man who hates his neighbors more! He'd have to—you'd not grant anyone else something you can't have for yourself—no love, no kindness, no respect!
I believe I am becoming pathetic. I'll go further, I believe that I am in love with a flower-growing, wood-carving quarryman/carpenter/pig farmer. In fact, I know I am. Perhaps tomorrow I will become entirely miserable at the thought that he doesn't love me back - may, even, care for Remy- but at this precise moment I am succumbing to euphoria. My head and stomach feel quite odd.
Boredom is a powerful reason, and the prospect of fun is a powerful draw - especially when you are young.
Visitors offering their condolences, thinking to comfort me, said Life goes on. What nonsense, I thought, of course it doesn't. It's death that goes on; Ian is dead now and will be dead tomorrow and next year and forever. There's no end to that. But perhaps there will be an end to the sorrow of it.
Sorrow has rushed over the world like the waters of the Deluge, and it will take time to recede. But already, there are small islands of - hope? Happiness? Something like them, at any rate.
I never met a man half so true as a dog. Treat a dog right, and he'll treat you right. He'll keep you company, be your friend, and never ask you no questions. Cats is different, but I never held that against 'em.
He's got that way of believing his opinion is the truth, but he's not disagreeable about it. He's too sure he's right to bother being disagreeable.
Oh bless Speranza, for giving her son such a preposterous name as Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde.
But the truth is that I'm gloomy - gloomier than I ever was during the war. Everything is so broken, Sophie: the roads, the buildings, the people. Especially the people.
All his flowers have been awaiting me on my arrival. I don't know whether to feel flattered or hunted.
I kept trying to explain and he kept shouting until I began to cry from frustration. Then he felt remorseful, which was so unlike him and endearing that I almost changed my mind and said yes. But then I imagined a lifetime of having to cry to get him to be kind, and I went back to no again.
She gathered a circle of children around her and commenced singing 'For Those Who Peril on the Sea' over their little heads. But no, 'safety from storms' wasn't enough for her. God had to keep them from being blown up too. She set about ordering the poor things to pray for their parents every night- who knew what the German soldiers might do to them? Then she said to be especially good little boys and girls so Mama and Daddy could look down on them from heaven and BE PROUD OF THEM...she had those children crying and sobbing fit to die.I was too shocked to move, but no, not Elizabeth. No, quick as an adder's tongue, she had ahold of Adelaide's arm and told her to SHUT UP.'Let me go!' Adelaide cried. 'I am speaking the Word of God!'Elizabeth, she got a look on her that would turn the devil to stone, and then she slapped Adelaide right across the face!