Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The House of Mirth- Edith Wharton

"The attitude revealed the long slope of her slender sides, which gave a kind of wild-wood grace to her outline-- as though she were a captured dryad subdued to the conventions of the drawing-room; and Selden reflected that it was the same streak of sylvan freedom in her nature that lent such savour to her artificiality."

"Lost causes had a romantic charm for her."

"That's unjust, I think, because as I understand it, one of the conditions of citizenship is not to think too much about money, and the only way not to think about money is to have a great deal of it."

"Isn't it natural that I should try to belittle all the things I can't offer you?"

"No insect hangs its nest on threads as frail as those which will sustain the weigh of human vanity."

"It was perhaps her very manner of holding herself aloof that appealed to his collector's passion for the rare and unattainable."

"But society, amused for a while at playing Cinderella, soon wearied of the hearthside role, and welcomed the fairy godmother in the shape of any magician powerful enough to turn the shrunken pumpkin back again into the golden coach."

"As to the nature of Selden's growing kindness, Gerty would no more have dared to define it than she would have tried to learn a butterfly's colours by knocking the dust from its wings."

"I've no doubt the rabbit always thinks it is fascinating the anaconda."

"One of the surprises of her unoccupied state was the discovery that time, when it is left to itself and no definite demands are made on it, cannot be trusted to move at any recognized pace. Usually it loiters; but just when one has come to count upon its slowness, it may suddenly break into a wild irrational gallop."