“If it's IN you to climb you must -- there are those who MUST lift their eyes to the hills -- they can't breathe properly in the valleys.”
“It had always seemed to Emily, ever since she could remember, that she was very, very near to a world of wonderful beauty. Between it and herself hung only a thin curtain; she could never draw the curtain aside-- but sometimes, just for a moment, a wind fluttered it and then it was as if she caught a glimpse of the enchanting realm beyond-- only a glimpse-- and heard a note of unearthly music.”
“Don't be led away by those howls about realism. Remember-pine woods are just as real as pigsties and a darn sight pleasanter to be in.”
“Tell me this--if you knew you would be poor as a church mouse all your life--if you knew you'd never have a line published--would you still go on writing--would you?'
'Of course I would,' said Emily disdainfully. 'Why, I have to write--I can't help it at times--I've just got to.”
“Steal not this book for fear of shame
For on it is the owners name
And when you die the Lord will say
Where is the book you stole away
And when you say you do not know
The Lord will say go down below.”
“When I read that the flash came, and I took a sheet of paper. . .and I wrote on it: I, Emily Byrd Starr, do solemnly vow this day that I will climb the Alpine Path and write my name on the scroll of fame.”
“To love is easy and therefore common - but to understand - how rare it is!”
“I read the story of Red Riding Hood today. I think the wolf was the most interesting character in it. Red Riding Hood was a stupid little thing so easily fooled.”
“Ten good lines out of four hundred, Emily—comparatively good, that is—and all the rest balderdash—balderdash, Emily."
"I—suppose so," said Emily faintly.
Her eyes brimmed with tears—her lips quivered. She could not help it. Pride was hopelessly submerged in the bitterness of her disappointment. She felt exactly like a candle that somebody had blown out.
"What are you crying for? demanded Mr. Carpenter.
Emily blinked away tears and tried to laugh.
"I—I'm sorry—you think it's no good—" she said.
Mr. Carpenter gave the desk a mighty thump.
"No good! Didn't I tell you there were ten good lines? Jade, for ten righteous men Sodom had been spared."
"Do you mean—that—after all—" The candle was being relighted again.
"Of course, I mean. If at thirteen you can write ten good lines, at twenty you'll write ten times ten—if the gods are kind. Stop messing over months, though—and don't imagine you're a genius, either, if you have written ten decent lines. I think there's something trying to speak through you—but you'll have to make yourself a fit instrument for it. You've got to work hard and sacrifice—by gad, girl, you've chosen a jealous goddess. And she never lets her votaries go—not even when she shuts her ears forever to their plea.”
“She will love deeply, she will suffer terribly, she will have glorious moments to compensate.”
“If you've brains it's better than beauty - brains last, beauty doesn't.”
“A suffering or tortured animal always filled her with such a surge of sympathy that it lifted her clean out of herself.”
“A proper Irishman always does what a lady asks him. Sure an' it's been the ruin av us. We're at the mercy av the petticoats.”
“We'll never say good-bye to each other. We'll just smile and go.”
“But there is a destiny which shapes the ends of young misses who are born with the itch for writing tingling in their baby fingertips, and in the fullness of time this destiny gave to Emily the desire of her heart—gave”
“I am teaching Perry grammar. He says he wants to learn to speak properly. I told him he should not call his Aunt Tom an old beast but he said he had to because she wasn't a young beast.”
“The happiest countries, like the happiest women, have no history.”
“I don't know whether it is any use forgiving people or not. Yes, it is, it makes you feel more comfortable yourself.”
“Folks say I've never been quite right since - but they only say that because I'm a poet, and because nothing ever worries me. Poets are so rare in Blair Water folks don't understand them, and most people worry so much, they think you're not right if you don't worry.”
“Ilse and I hunted all over the old orchard today for a four-leaved clover and couldn't find one. Then I found one in a clump of clover by the dairy steps tonight when I was straining the milk and never thinking of clovers. Cousin Jimmy says that is the way luck always comes, and it is no use to look for it.”
“Cousin Jimmy says that a man in Priest Pond says the end of the world is coming soon. I hope it won't come till I've seen everything in it.”
“[...] Cousin Jimmy gave me a whole dollar on the sly last week. I wish he had not given me so much. It worrys me. It is an awful responsibility. It will be so diffikult to spend it wisely also without Aunt Elizabeth finding out about it. I hope I shall never have a million dollars. I am sure it would crush me utterly.”
“But I don't want to be a different girl," said Emily decidedly. She had no intention of lowering the Starr flag to Aunt Ruth. "I wouldn't want to be anybody but myself even if I am plain. Besides," she added impressively as she turned to go out of the room, "though I may not be very good-looking now, when I go to heaven I believe I'll be very beautiful.”
“Never on painter's canvas lives
The charm of his fancy's dream.”
“You make me believe in fairies, whether I will or no," he told her, "and that means youth. As long as you believe in fairies you can't grow old.”
“Oh, Aunt Elizabeth," said Emily breathlessly, "when you hold the candle down like that it makes your face look just like a corpse! Oh, it's so interesting.”
“I have got acquainted with Lofty John. Ilse is a great friend of his and often goes there to watch him working in his carpenter shop. He says he has made enough ladders to get to heaven without the priest but that is just his joke.”
“Ilse lost her temper at once and went into a true Burnley tantrum. She was very fluent in her rages and the volley of abusive "dictionary words" which she hurled at Emily would have staggered most of the Blair Water Girls. But Emily was too much at home with words to be floored so easily; she grew angry too, but in a cool, dignified, Murray way which was more exasperating than violence.”
“I'm so good that I'll do what you want me to do--for I feel there's something else you want me to do."
"I'm in a scrape and I've been in it all summer. You see"--Emily was very sober--"I am a poetess."
"Holy Mike! That is serious. I don't know if I can do much for you. How long have you been that way?"
"Are you making fun of me?" asked Emily gravely.
Father Cassidy swallowed something besides plum cake.
"The saints forbid! It's only that I'm rather overcome. To be after entertaining a lady av New Moon--and an elf--and a poetess all in one is a bit too much for a humble praste like meself. Have another slice av cake and tell me all about it.”
“Making a--new--excuse me. Did you say language?"
"What's the matter with English? Isn't it good enough for you, you incomprehensible little being?”
“He sank into that kiss, and fed from me like a starving man holding off famine. I drank from his soul in preparation for the drought to come. And when he finally pulled away, my throat was thick with unspoken words, my heart heavy with every apology I'd ever denied him. But it was too late for promises. The time had come for goodbye.”
“Nothing is lost that we do not first see as lost, High Lord. Believe it saved, and it may be. Visions born of fear give birth to our failing. Visions born of hope give birth to our success.”
“Is It possible to live in such a world where everyone does what he pleases? No one is punished by God or man and no one has to earn a living? Are there such women who follow every whim? Men such foolish weaklings, who succumb to every little desire, every little dream of happiness? Where are the honest husbands who work to earn their bread, who think of the best ways to protect their children from fate and the cruel world? Where are the people who understand a piece of cheese, a glass of wine, a warm house at the end of the day is reward enough? Who are these people who yearn for some mysterious happiness? What an uproar they make of life, what tragedies they brew up out of nothing.”
“He was safe for the moment, here in the playground, but people all over the world were suffering, starving, fleeing, killing one another as they waged their wars. How much energy they put into harming one another. How little into saving. Would it ever change? What would it take to make it change? He thought of Luxa's hand pressed into Ripred's paw. That's what it would take. People rejecting war. Not one or two, but all of them. Saying it was an unacceptable way to solve their differences. By the look of things, the human race had a lot of evolving to do before that happened. Maybe it was impossible. But maybe it wasn't. Like Vikus said, nothing would happen unless you hoped it could. If you had hope, maybe you could find the way to make things change. Because if you thought about it, there were so many reasons to try.”
“It was amusing to me to see how the detective's overbearing manner had changed suddenly to that of a child asking questions of its teacher.”
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