“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”
“Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal — as we are!”
“Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.”
“I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”
“I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”
“I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.”
“Jane, be still; don't struggle so like a wild, frantic bird, that is rending its own plumage in its desperation."
"I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.”
“If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved of you and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.”
“I am not an angel,' I asserted; 'and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself. Mr. Rochester, you must neither expect nor exact anything celestial of me - for you will not get it, any more than I shall get it of you: which I do not at all anticipate.”
“I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.”
“Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! - I have as much soul as you, - and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you!”
“Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear.”
“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.”
“I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, great and strong! He made me love him without looking at me.”
“Flirting is a woman’s trade, one must keep in practice.”
“All my heart is yours, sir: it belongs to you; and with you it would remain, were fate to exile the rest of me from your presence forever.”
“The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter - often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter - in the eye.”
“I have little left in myself -- I must have you. The world may laugh -- may call me absurd, selfish -- but it does not signify. My very soul demands you: it will be satisfied, or it will take deadly vengeance on its frame.”
“It is a long way to Ireland, Janet, and I am sorry to send my little friend on such weary travels: but if I can't do better, how is it to be helped? Are you anything akin to me, do you think, Jane?"
I could risk no sort of answer by this time: my heart was still.
"Because, he said, "I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you - especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land some broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you, - you'd forget me.”
“I ask you to pass through life at my side—to be my second self, and best earthly companion.”
“It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.”
“We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence.”
“Even for me life had its gleams of sunshine.”
“It does good to no woman to be flattered [by a man] who does not intend to marry her; and it is madness in all women to let a secret love kindle within them, which, if unreturned and unknown, must devour the life that feeds it; and, if discovered and responded to, must lead, ignis-fatuus-like, into miry wilds whence there is no extrication.”
“There is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort.”
“Good-night, my-" He stopped, bit his lip, and abruptly left me.”
“wife like that again, or you will have to find employment someplace else.” He paused and then decided to drive the knife in deeper. “Without a recommendation from me, at that. Addressing Zoe in such a fashion is not professional, and it won’t be tolerated. You understand?” “Yes, I understand.” She looked like she was about to cry when she went out of the door. I giggled with delight; that’s what the bitch deserved. I had my secretary bring all the important papers that couldn’t wait over to the house for me as well. Fortunately, Shane and I had no beef, so her visits”
“...I know how she must have felt. Pressure to be in charge of the world. So much responsibility. The whole world on her...to let go and just give herself to you, to give up to you..."
"I'm glad you understand...few women do."
"Oh, they do. They're just afraid to admit it... in the dusty dark little corner of every woman's heart... lives the hunger to fetch a powerful man his slippers on her hands and knees.”
“No war. Fight with your pen. Give your battle-cry in ink, and mark your dreams down on a page”
“The gentle Rabbi reminds us that few things really matter and only one thing is necessary ... Martha found it in the gentle reminder to slow down, let go, and be careful of challenging another woman's choices, for you never know when she may be sitting at the feet of God.”
“Anna took her solace where she always did. The smell of the earth, the touch of the sky held for her a special alchemy, able to turn loneliness into aloneness, and so make it, if not sacred, at least bearable.”
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