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30+ quotes from Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Quotes from Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Thomas Hardy ·  518 pages

Rating: (203.6K votes)


“A strong woman who recklessly throws away her strength, she is worse than a weak woman who has never had any strength to throw away.”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“Beauty lay not in the thing, but in what the thing symbolized.”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“Did you say the stars were worlds, Tess?"
"Yes."
"All like ours?"
"I don't know, but I think so. They sometimes seem to be like the apples on our stubbard-tree. Most of them splendid and sound - a few blighted."
"Which do we live on - a splendid one or a blighted one?"
"A blighted one.”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“Did it never strike your mind that what every woman says, some women may feel?”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“Why didn’t you tell me there was danger? Why didn’t you warn me? Ladies know what to guard against, because they read novels that tell them of these tricks; but I never had the chance of discovering in that way; and you did not help me!”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“Ladies know what to guard against, because they read novels that tell them of these tricks…”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“If an offense come out of the truth, better is it that the offense come than that the truth be concealed.”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“The beauty or ugliness of a character lay not only in its achievements, but in its aims and impulses; its true history lay, not among things done, but among things willed.”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“...our impulses are too strong for our judgement sometimes”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“This hobble of being alive is rather serious, don’t you think so?”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“My eyes were dazed by you for a little, and that was all.”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“So each had a private little sun for her soul to bask in; some dream, some affection, some hobby, or at least some remote and distant hope....”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“I agree to the conditions, Angel; because you know best what my punishment ought to be; only - only - don't make it more than I can bear!”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“Don't think of what's past!" said she. "I am not going to think outside of now. Why should we! Who knows what tomorrow has in store? ”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“Sometimes I feel I don't want to know anything more about [history] than I know already. [...] Because what's the use of learning that I am one of a long row only--finding out that there is set down in some old book somebody just like me, and to know that I shall only act her part; making me sad, that's all. The best is not to remember that your nature and you past doings have been kist like thousands' and thousands', and that your coming life and doings'll be like thousands' and thousands'. [...] I shouldn't mind learning why--why the sun do shine on the just and the unjust alike, [...] but that's what books will not tell me.”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“Her affection for him was now the breath and life of Tess's being; it enveloped her as a photosphere, irradiated her into forgetfulness of her past sorrows, keeping back the gloomy spectres that would persist in their attempts to touch her—doubt, fear, moodiness, care, shame. She knew that they were waiting like wolves just outside the circumscribing light, but she had long spells of power to keep them in hungry subjection there.”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“How very lovable her face was to him. Yet there was nothing ethereal about it; all was real vitality, real warmth, real incarnation. And it was in her mouth that this culminated. Eyes almost as deep and speaking he had seen before, and cheeks perhaps as fair; brows as arched, a chin and throat almost as shapely; her mouth he had seen nothing to equal on the face of the earth. To a young man with the least fire in him that little upward lift in the middle of her red top lip was distracting, infatuating, maddening. He had never before seen a woman’s lips and teeth which forced upon his mind with such persistent iteration the old Elizabethan simile of roses filled with snow.
Perfect, he, as a lover, might have called them off-hand. But no — they were not perfect. And it was the touch of the imperfect upon the would-be perfect that gave the sweetness, because it was that which gave the humanity.”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“You, and those like you, take your fill of pleasure on earth by making the life of such as me bitter and black with sorrow; and then it is a fine thing, when you have had enough of that, to think of securing your pleasure in heaven by becoming converted!”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“Do you know that I have undergone three quarters of this labour entirely for the sake of the fourth quarter?”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“In the ill-judged execution of the well-judged plan of things the call seldom produces the comer, the man to love rarely coincides with the hour for loving. Nature does not often say "See!" to her poor creature at a time when seeing can lead to happy doing; or reply "Here!" to a body's cry of "Where?" till the hide-and-seek has become an irksome, outworn game. We may wonder whether at the acme and summit of the human progress these anachronisms will be corrected by a finer intuition, a close interaction of the social machinery than that which now jolts us round and along; but such completeness is not to be prophesied, or even conceived as possible. Enough that in the present case, as in millions, it was not the two halves of a perfect whole that confronted each other at the perfect moment; a missing counterpart wandered independently about the earth waiting in crass obtuseness till the late time came. Out of which maladroit delay sprang anxieties,disappointments, shocks, catastrophes, and passing-strange destinies.”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“Let truth be told - women do as a rule live through such humiliations, and regain their spirits, and again look about them with an interested eye. While there's life there's hope is a connviction not so entirely unknown to the "betrayed" as some amiable theorists would have us believe.”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“She was not an existence, an experience, a passion, a structure of sensations, to anybody but herself. To all humankind besides Tess was only a passing thought. Even to friends she was no more than a frequently passing thought.”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“Never in her life – she could swear it from the bottom of her soul – had she ever intended to do wrong; yet these hard judgments had come. Whatever her sins, they were not sins of intention, but of inadvertence, and why should she have been punished so persistently?”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“...she moved about in a mental cloud of many-coloured idealities, which eclipsed all sinister contingencies by its brightness.”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“Tis because we be on a blighted star, and not a sound one, isn't it Tess?”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“That it would always be summer and autumn, and you always courting me, and always thinking as much of me as you have done through the past summertime!”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“Meanwhile, the trees were just as green as before; the birds sang and the sun shone as clearly now as ever. The familiar surroundings had not darkened because of her grief, nor sickened because of her pain.

She might have seen that what had bowed her head so profoundly -the thought of the world's concern at her situation- was found on an illusion. She was not an existence, an experience, a passion, a structure of sensations, to anybody but herself.”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“What is it, Angel?" she said, starting up. "Have they come for me?"

"Yes, dearest," he said. "They have come."

"It is as it should be," she murmured. "Angel, I am almost glad—yes, glad! This happiness could not have lasted. It was too much. I have had enough; and now I shall not live for you to despise me!"

She stood up, shook herself, and went forward, neither of the men having moved.

"I am ready," she said quietly.”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


“Why it was that upon this beautiful feminine tissue, sensitive as gossamer, and practically blank as snow as yet, there should have been traced such a coarse pattern as it was doomed to receive; why so often the coarse appropriates the finer thus, the wrong man the woman, the wrong women the man, many years of analytical philosophy have failed to explain to our sense of order”
― Thomas Hardy, quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles


About the author

Thomas Hardy
Born place: in Higher Bockhampton, Dorset, England, The United Kingdom
Born date June 2, 1840
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