Saturday, July 2, 2011

Villette by Charlotte Bronte

"Mama, I believe that creature is a changeling : she is a perfect cabinet of oddities; but I should be dull without her: she amuses me a great deal more than you or Lucy Snowe."

"Picture me then idle, basking, plump, and happy, stretched on a cushioned deck, warmed with constant sunshine, rocked by breezes indolently soft."

"My little morsel of human affection, which I prized as if it were a solid pearl, must melt in my fingers and slip thence like a dissolving hailstone."

"I wait, with some impatience in my pulse, but no doubt in my breast."

"I still think of Frank more than of God; and unless it be counted that in thus loving the creature so much, so long, and so exclusively, I have not at least blasphemed the Creator..."

"Who but a coward would pass his whole life in hamlets, and forever abandon his faculties to the eating rust of obscurity?"

"A moon was in the sky, not a full moon but a young crescent. I saw her through a space in the boughs overhead. She and the stars, visible beside her, were no strangers where all else was strange: my childhood knew them. I had seen that golden sign with the dark globe in its curve leaning back on azure, beside an old thorn at the top of an old field, in Old England, in long past days, just as it now leaned back beside a stately spire in this continental capital."

"She had indeed, the art of pleasing, for a given time, whom she would; but the feeling would not last: in an hour it was dried like dew, vanished like gossamer."

"No; for in my heart you have not the outline of a place: I only occasionally turn you over in my brain."

"How it was that what charmed so much, could at the same time so keenly pain?"

"Still repeating this word, I turned to my pillow; and, still repeating it, I seeped that pillow with tears."

"As to what lies below, leave that with God. Man, your equal, weak as you, and not fit to be your judge, may be shut out thence: take it to your Maker- show Him the secrets of the spirit He gave- ask Him how you are to bear the pains He has appointed- kneel in His presence, and pray with faith for light in darkness, for strength in piteous weakness, for patience in extreme need. Certainly, at some hour, though perhaps not your hour, the waiting waters will stir; in some shape, though perhaps not the shape you dreamed, which your heart loved, and for which it bled, the healing herald will descend."

"Where, indeed, does the moon not look well?"

"My art halts at the threshold of Hypochondria: she just looks in and sees a chamber of torture, but can neither say nor do much."

"That night- instead of crying myself to sleep- I went down to dreamland by a pathway bordered with pleasant thoughts."

"As to Ginevra, she might take the silver wings of a dove, or any other fowl that flies, and mount straight up to the highest place, among the highest stars, where her lover's highest flight of fancy chose to fix the constellation of her charms."

"It seemed to me that an original and good Picture was just as scarce as an original and good book."

"For the love of heaven to shield well his heart. You need not fall in love with that lady," I said, "because, I tell you before-hand, you might die at her feet, and she would not love you again."

"She has made me feel that nine parts in ten of my heart have always been sound as a bell, and the tenth bled from a mere puncture: a lancet-prick that will heal in trice."

"Indeed, I never liked bitters; nor do I believe them wholesome. And to whatever is sweet, be it poison or food, you cannot, at least, deny its own delicious quality-- sweetness. Better, perhaps, to die quickly a pleasant death, then drag on long a charmless life."

"The sight of the gentlemen did me good and gave me courage: it seemed as if there was some help and hope, with men at hand."

"Good-night, Dr. John; you are good, you are beautiful; but you are not mine."

"Life is said to be all disappointment. I was not disappointed."

"His heart will weep her always: the essence of Emanuel's nature is--constancy."

"Life is so constructed, that the event does not, cannot, will not, match the expectation."

"Yes; it is sadness. Life, however, has worse than that. Deeper than melancholy, lies heartbreak."

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