Quotes By Villette

“I believe in some blending of hope and sunshine sweetening the worst lots. I believe that this life is not all; neither the beginning nor the end. I believe while I tremble; I trust while I weep.”


“But solitude is sadness.'

'Yes; it is sadness. Life, however, has worse than that. Deeper than melancholy lies heart-break.”


“Silence is of different kinds, and breathes different meanings.”


“Peril, loneliness, an uncertain future, are not oppressive evils, so long as the frame is healthy and the faculties are employed; so long, especially, as Liberty lends us her wings, and Hope guides us by her star.”


“Wise people say it is folly to think anybody perfect; and as to likes and dislikes, we should be friendly to all, and worship none”


“The negation of severe suffering was the nearest approach to happiness I expected to know. Besides, I seemed to hold two lives - the life of thought, and that of reality.”


“To see and know the worst is to take from Fear her main advantage.”


“If life be a war, it seemed my destiny to conduct it single-handed.”


“I believe while I tremble; I trust while I weep.”


“I like to see flowers growing, but when they are gathered, they cease to please. I look on them as things rootless and perishable; their likeness to life makes me sad. I never offer flowers to those I love; I never wish to receive them from hands dear to me.”


“While I loved, and while I was loved, what an existence I enjoyed!”


“I thought I loved him when he went away; I love him now in another degree: he is more my own. [ . . . ] Oh! a thousand weepers, praying in agony on waiting shores, listened for that voice, but it was not uttered--not uttered till; when the hush came, some could not feel it: till, when the sun returned, his light was night to some!”


“If there are words and wrongs like knives, whose deep inflicted lacerations never heal - cutting injuries and insults of serrated and poison-dripping edge - so, too, there are consolations of tone too fine for the ear not fondly and for ever to retain their echo: caressing kindnesses - loved, lingered over through a whole life, recalled with unfaded tenderness, and answering the call with undimmed shine, out of that raven cloud foreshadowing Death himself.”


“I believe that creature is a changeling: she is a perfect cabinet of oddities.”


“Lucy, take my love. One day share my life. Be my dearest, first on earth.”


“~Do you like him much?
~I told you I like him a little. Where is the use of caring for him so very much? He is full of faults.
~Is he?
~All boys are.
~More than girls?
~Very likely. Wise people say it is folly to think anyboy perfect, and as to likes and diskiles, we should be friendly to all, and worship none.”


“The love, born of beauty was not mine; I had nothing in common with it: I could not dare to meddle with it, but another love, venturing diffidently into life after long acquaintance, furnace-tried by pain, stamped by constancy, consolidated by affection’s pure and durable alloy, submitted by intellect to intellect’s own tests, and finally wrought up, by his own process, to his own unflawed completeness, this Love that laughed at Passion, his fast frenzies and his hot and hurried extinction, in this Love I had a vested interest; and whatever tended either to its culture or its destruction, I could not view impassibly.”


“Rapidly, merrily,
Life's sunny hours flit by,
Gratefully, cheerily
Enjoy them as they fly!”


“I like the spirit of this great London which I feel around me. Who but a coward would pass his whole life in hamlets; and for ever abandon his faculties to the eating rust of obscurity?”


“But afterwards, is there nothing more for me in life - no true home - nothing to be dearer to me than myself?”


“I would not be you for a kingdom.'

The remark was too naïve to rouse anger; I merely said -

'Very good.'

'And what would you give to be ME?' she inquired.

'Not a bad sixpence - strange as it may sound', I replied. 'You are but a poor creature.'

'You don't think so in your heart.'

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


“We should acknowledge God merciful, but not always for us comprehensible.”


“I doubt if I have made the best use of all my calamities. Soft, amiable natures they would have refined to saintliness; of strong, evil spirits they would have made demons; as for me, I have only been a woe-struck and selfish woman.”


“I believe in that goodly mansion, his heart, he kept one little place under the skylights where Lucy might have entertainment, if she chose to call. It was not so handsome as the chambers where he lodged his male friends; it was not like the hall where he accommodated his philanthropy, or the library where he treasured his science, still less did it resemble the pavilion where his marriage feast was splendidly spread; yet, gradually, by long and equal kindness, he proved to me that he kept one little closet, over the door of which was written " Lucy's Room." I kept a place for him, too—a place of which I never took the measure, either by rule or compass: I think it was like the tent of Peri-Banou. All my life long I carried it folded in the hollow of my hand—yet, released from that hold and constriction, I know not but its innate capacity for expanse might have magnified it into a tabernacle for a host.”


“For a long time the fear of seeming singular scared me away; but by degrees, as people became accustomed to me and my habits, and to such shadows of peculiarity as were engrained in my nature - shades, certainly not striking enough to interest, and perhaps not prominent enough to offend, but born in and with me, and no more to be parted with than my identity - but slow degrees I became a frequenter of this straight narrow path.”


“Come, Paul!" she reiterated, her eye grazing me with its hard ray like a steel stylet. She pushed against her kinsman. I thought he receded; I thought he would go. Pierced deeper than I could endure, made now to feel what defied suppression, I cried -

"My heart will break!"

What I felt seemed literal heart-break; but the seal of another fountain yielded under the strain: one breath from M. Paul, the whisper, "Trust me!" lifted a load, opened an outlet. With many a deep sob, with thrilling, with icy shiver, with strong trembling, and yet with relief - I wept.

"Leave her to me; it is a crisis: I will give her a cordial, and it will pass," said the calm Madame Beck.

To be left to her and her cordial seemed to me something like being left to the poisoner and her bowl. When M. Paul answered deeply, harshly, and briefly - "Laissez-moi!" in the grim sound I felt a music strange, strong, but life-giving.

"Laissez-moi!" he repeated, his nostrils opening, and his facial muscles all quivering as he spoke.

"But this will never do," said Madame, with sternness. More sternly rejoined her kinsman -

"Sortez d'ici!"

"I will send for Père Silas: on the spot I will send for him," she threatened pertinaciously.

"Femme!" cried the Professor, not now in his deep tones, but in his highest and most excited key, "Femme! sortez à l'instant!"

He was roused, and I loved him in his wrath with a passion beyond what I had yet felt.

"What you do is wrong," pursued Madame; "it is an act characteristic of men of your unreliable, imaginative temperament; a step impulsive, injudicious, inconsistent - a proceeding vexatious, and not estimable in the view of persons of steadier and more resolute character."

"You know not what I have of steady and resolute in me," said he, "but you shall see; the event shall teach you. Modeste," he continued less fiercely, "be gentle, be pitying, be a woman; look at this poor face, and relent. You know I am your friend, and the friend of your friends; in spite of your taunts, you well and deeply know I may be trusted. Of sacrificing myself I made no difficulty but my heart is pained by what I see; it must have and give solace. Leave me!"

This time, in the "leave me" there was an intonation so bitter and so imperative, I wondered that even Madame Beck herself could for one moment delay obedience; but she stood firm; she gazed upon him dauntless; she met his eye, forbidding and fixed as stone. She was opening her lips to retort; I saw over all M. Paul's face a quick rising light and fire; I can hardly tell how he managed the movement; it did not seem violent; it kept the form of courtesy; he gave his hand; it scarce touched her I thought; she ran, she whirled from the room; she was gone, and the door shut, in one second.

The flash of passion was all over very soon. He smiled as he told me to wipe my eyes; he waited quietly till I was calm, dropping from time to time a stilling, solacing word. Ere long I sat beside him once more myself - re-assured, not desperate, nor yet desolate; not friendless, not hopeless, not sick of life, and seeking death.

"It made you very sad then to lose your friend?" said he.

"It kills me to be forgotten, Monsieur," I said.”