Friday, February 28, 2014

#Quotes from Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White

Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. [52]

Her nature, too truthful to deceive others, was too noble to deceive itself. [54]

Who cares for his causes of complaint? Are you to break your heart to set his mind at ease? No man under heaven deserves these sacrifices from us women. Men! They are the enemies of our innocence and our peace - they drag us away from our parents' love and our sisters' friendship - they take us body and soul to themselves, and fasten our helpless lives to theirs as they chain up a dog to his kennel. And what does the best of them give us in return? [159]

Where is the woman who has ever really torn form her heart the image that has been once fixed in it by a true love? Books tell us that such unearthly creatures have existed - but what does our own experience say in answer to books? [188]

Crime is in this country what crime is in other countries - a good friend to a man and to those about him as often as it is an enemy. [209]

A great rascal provides also for himself and family. The worse he is the more he makes them the objects for your sympathy. He often provides for himself. [209]

A profligate spendthrift who is always borrowing money will get more from his friends than the rigidly honest man who only borrows of them once, under pressure of the direst want. In the one case the friends will not be at all surprised, and they will give. In the other case they will be very much surprised, and they will hesitate. [209]

I say what other people only think, and when all the rest of the world is in a conspiracy to accept the mask for the true face, mine is the rash hand that tears off the plump pasteboard, and shows the bare bones beneath. [210]

Women can resist a man's love, a man's fame, a man's personal appearance, and a man's money, but they cannot resist a man's tongue when he knows how to talk to them. [228]

"Darker and darker," he said; "farther and farther yet. Death takes the good, the beautiful, and the young - and spares me. The Pestilence that wastes, the arrow that strikes, the Sea that drowns, the Grave that closes over Love and Hope, are steps of my journey, and take me nearer and nearer to the End." [245]

"A taste of sweets," he said in his softest tones and his tenderest manner, "is the innocent taste of women and children. I love to share it with them - it is another bond, dear ladies, between you and me". [259]

Any woman who is sure of her own wits is a match at any time for a man who is not sure of his own temper. [277-8]

Human ingenuity, my friend, has hitherto only discovered two ways in which a man can manage a woman. One way is to knock her down - a method largely adopted by the brutal lower orders of the people, but utterly abhorrent to the refined and educated classes above them. The other way (much longer, much more difficult, but in the end not less certain) is never to accept a provocation at a woman's hands. It holds with animals, it holds with children, and it holds with women, who are nothing but children growing up. Quiet resolution is the one quality the animals, the children, and the women all fail in. If they can once shake this superior quality in their master, they get the better of him. [290-1]

My dear friend! what is there extraordinary in that? They are all in love with some other man. Who gets teh first of a woman's heart? In all my experience I have never yet met with the man who was Number one. Number two, sometimes. Number Three, Four, Five, often. Number One, never! He exists, of course - but I have not met with him. [298]

The best men are not consistent in good - why should the worst men be consistent in evil? [497]

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