“Wherever you find a great man, you will find a great mother or a great wife standing behind him -- or so they used to say. It would be interesting to know how many great women have had great fathers and husbands behind them.”
“Do you find it easy to get drunk on words?"
"So easy that, to tell you the truth, I am seldom perfectly sober.”
“Some people's blameless lives are to blame for a good deal.”
“A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought.”
“How fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive continuity of ducks.”
“The rule seemed to be that a great woman must either die unwed ... or find a still greater man to marry her. ... The great man, on the other hand, could marry where he liked, not being restricted to great women; indeed, it was often found sweet and commendable in him to choose a woman of no sort of greatness at all.”
“What are you to do with the people who are cursed with both hearts and brains?”
“If it ever occurs to people to value the honour of the mind equally with the honour of the body, we shall get a social revolution of a quite unparalleled sort.”
“I imagine you come across a number of people who are disconcerted by the difference between what you do feel and what they fancy you ought to feel. It is fatal to pay the smallest attention to them.”
“A marriage of two independent and equally irritable intelligences seems to me reckless to the point of insanity.”
“The only ethical principle which has made science possible is that the truth shall be told all the time. If we do not penalize false statements made in error, we open up the way for false statements by intention. And a false statement of fact, made deliberately, is the most serious crime a scientist can commit.”
“We shall know what things are of overmastering importance when they have overmastered us.”
“I gather that he nearly knocked you down, damaged your property, and generally made a nuisance of himself, and that you instantly concluded he must be some relation to me.”
“He was being about as protective as a can-opener.”
“I know what you're thinking - that anybody with proper sensitive feelings would rather scrub floors for a living. But I should scrub floors very badly, and I write detective stories rather well. I don't see why proper feelings should prevent me from doing my proper job.”
“All the children seem to be coming out quite intelligent, thank goodness. It would have been such a bore to be the mother of morons, and it’s an absolute toss-up, isn’t it? If one could only invent them, like characters in books, it would be much more satisfactory to a well-regulated mind.”
“But suppose one doesn't quite know which one wants to put first. Suppose," said Harriet, falling back on words which were not her own, "suppose one is cursed with both a heart and a brain?"
"You can usually tell," said Miss de Vine, "by seeing what kind of mistakes you make. I'm quite sure that one never makes fundamental mistakes about the thing one really wants to do. Fundamental mistakes arise out of lack of genuine interest. In my opinion, that is.”
“It is said that love and a cough cannot be hid.”
“To subdue one's self to one's own ends might be dangerous, but to subdue one's self to other people's ends was dust and ashes. Yet there were those, still more unhappy, who envied even the ashy saltness of those dead sea apples.”
“I entirely agree that a historian ought to be precise in detail; but unless you take all the characters and circumstances into account, you are reckoning without the facts. The proportions and relations of things are just as much facts as the things themselves.”
“He had the appeal of a very young dog of a very large breed -- a kind of amiable absurdity.”
“And then, at night, the lit lamp and the drawn curtain, with the flutter of the turned page and soft scrape of pen on paper the only sounds to break the silence between quarter- and quarter-chime.”
“It's disquieting to reflect that one's dreams never symbolize one's real wishes, but always something Much Worse... If I really wanted to be passionately embraced by Peter, I should dream of dentists or gardening. I wonder what unspeakable depths of awfulness can only be expressed by the polite symbol of Peter's embraces?”
“I do know the worst sin--perhaps the only sin--passion can commit, is to be joyless.”
“There's something hypnotic about the word tea.”
“What'll Geoffrey do when you pull off your First, my child?" demanded Miss Haydock.
"Well, Eve -- it will be awkward if I do that. Poor lamb! I shall have to make him believe I only did it by looking fragile and pathetic at the viva.”
“You'd think (losing his job and degree for having made false claims as a researcher) would be a lesson to him," said Miss Hillyard. "It didn't pay, did it? Say he sacrificed his professional honour for the women and children we hear so much about -- but in the end it left him worse of."
But that," said Peter, "was only because he committed the extra sin of being found out.”
“They cultivated normality till it stood out of them all over in knobs, like the muscles upon professional strong men, and scarcely looked normal at all. And they talked interminably and loudly. From their bouncing mental health ordinary ill-balanced mortals shrank in alarm.”
“The young were always theoretical; only the middle-aged could realize the deadliness of principles. To subdue one’s self to one’s own ends might be dangerous, but to subdue one’s self to other people’s ends was dust and ashes. Yet there were those, still more unhappy, who envied even the ashy saltiness of those dead sea apples.”
“The boy I was craved Kat. The man I am craves Milla.”
“Sorrow compressed my heart, and I felt I would die, and then . . . Well, then I woke up.”
“Children would beg for a peppermint drop each time he walked into town, and they'd follow behind, asking for a second and a third. When he died suddenly, while working late at his office, every boy and girl in the village reported smelling mint in the night air, as if somehing sweet had passed them right by.”
“Когда ты разоблачен, перестаешь бояться разоблачения.”
“Funny how you can measure time by pets that were not even your own.”
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