Thomas Hardy Quotes

Don't you go believing in sayings, Picotee: they are all made by men, for their own advantages. Women who use public proverbs as a guide through events are those who have not ingenuity enough to make private ones as each event occurs.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Ethelberta, in The Hand of Ethelberta, ch. 20 (1875).
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Of course poets have morals and manners of their own, and custom is no argument with them.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Faith, in The Hand of Ethelberta, ch. 2 (1875).
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The only superiority in women that is tolerable to the rival sex is, as a rule, that of the unconscious kind; but a superiority which recognizes itself may sometimes please by suggesting possibilities of capture to the subordinated man.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Far from the Madding Crowd, ch. IV (1874).
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"I can make you happy," said he to the back of her head, across the bush. "You shall have a piano in a year or two—farmers' wives are getting to have pianos now—and I'll practice up the flute right well to play with you in the evenings." "Yes; I should like that." "And have one of those little ten-pound gigs for market—and nice flowers, and birds—cocks and hens I mean, because they can be useful," continued Gabriel, feeling balanced between poetry and practicality. "I should like it very much." "And a frame for cucumbers—like a gentleman and lady." "Yes." "And when the wedding was over, we'd have it put in the newspaper lists of marriages." "Dearly I should like that!"
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Far from the Madding Crowd, ch. IV (1874). Gabriel Oak proposes to Bathsheba Everdene.
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He had just reached the time of life at which "young" is ceasing to be the prefix of "man" in speaking of one. He was at the brightest period of masculine growth, for his intellect and his emotions were clearly separated: he had passed the time during which the influence of youth indiscriminately mingles them in the character of impulse, and he had not yet arrived at the stage wherein they become united again, in the character of prejudice, by the influence of a wife and family. In short, he was twenty-eight, and a bachelor.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Far from the Madding Crowd, ch. I (1874).
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It appears that ordinary men take wives because possession is not possible without marriage, and that ordinary women accept husbands because marriage is not possible without possession; with totally differing aims the method is the same on both sides.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Far from the Madding Crowd, ch. XX (1874).
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It is safer to accept any chance that offers itself, and extemporize a procedure to fit it, than to get a good plan matured, and wait for a chance of using it.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Far from the Madding Crowd, ch. VI (1874).
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Theirs was that substantial affection which arises (if any arises at all) when the two who are thrown together begin first by knowing the rougher sides of each other's character, and not the best till further on, the romance growing up in the interstices of a mass of hard prosaic reality. This good- fellowship—camaraderie—usually occurring through similarity of pursuits, is unfortunately seldom superadded to love between the sexes, because men and women associate, not in their labours, but in their pleasures merely. Where, however, happy circumstances permit its development, the compounded feeling proves itself to be the only love which is strong as death—that love which many waters cannot quench, nor the floods drown, beside which the passion usually called by the name is evanescent as steam.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Far from the Madding Crowd, ch. LVII (1874).
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To persons standing alone on a hill during a clear midnight such as this, the roll of the world eastward is almost a palpable movement. The sensation may be caused by the panoramic glide of the stars past earthly objects, which is perceptible in a few minutes of stillness, or by the better outlook upon space that a hill affords, or by the wind, or by the solitude; but whatever be its origin the impression of riding along is vivid and abiding. The poetry of motion is a phrase much in use, and to enjoy the epic form of that gratification it is necessary to stand on a hill at a small hour of the night, and, having first expanded with a sense of difference from the mass of civilized mankind, who are dreamwrapt and disregardful of all such proceedings at this time, long and quietly watch your stately progress through the stars. After such a nocturnal reconnoitre it is hard to get back to earth, and to believe that the consciousness of such majestic speeding is derived from a tiny human frame.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Far from the Madding Crowd, ch. II (1874).
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It may have been observed that there is no regular path for getting out of love as there is for getting in. Some people look upon marriage as a short cut that way, but it has been known to fail.
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Far from the Madding Crowd, ch. V (1874).
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