QUOTES OF THE YEAR FROM MIDDLEMARCH

All words belong to George Eliot. (Note: A long list for a long book. Consider yourself warned.)
  1. "Oh, Mrs. Cadwallader, I don't think it can be nice to marry a man with a great soul."
  2. "He will even speak well of the bishop, though I tell him it is unnatural in a beneficed clergyman; what can one do with a husband who attends so little to the decencies? I hide it as well as I can by abusing everybody myself."
  3. "Confound you handsome young fellows!...You don't understand women. They don't admire you half so much as you admire yourselves."
    PREACH
  4. "To poor Dorothea these severe classical nudities and smirking Renaissance-Correggiosities were painfully inexplicable, staring into the midst of her puritanic conceptions...."
  5. "Mr. Will Ladislaw's sense of the ludicrous lit up his features very agreeably: it was the pure enjoyment of comicality and had no mixture of sneering and self-exultation."
  6. "[W]hen a man has seen the woman whom he would have chosen if he had intended to marry speedily, his remaining a bachelor will usually depend on her resolution rather than his."
    Sweeping Victorian gender stereotypes I love it
  7. "Indeed, she herself was accustomed to think that the entire freedom from the necessity of behaving agreeably was included in the Almighty's intentions about families."
  8. "If one is not to get into a rage sometimes, what is the good of being friends?"
  9. "...it had already occurred to him that books were stuff and that life was stupid."
    ME
  10. "'You are a good young man,' she said. 'But I do not like husbands. I will never have another.'"
  11. "One must be poor to know the luxury of giving!"
  12. "She was humiliated to find herself a mere victim of feeling, as if she could know nothing except through that medium: all her strength was scattered in fits of agitation, of struggle, of despondency, and then again in visions of more complete renunciation, transforming all hard conditions into duty."
    ME
  13. "It spoils my enjoyment of anything when I am made to feel that most people are shut out from it."
    Not me
  14. "Looking at the mother, you might hope that the daughter would become like her, which is a prospective advantage equal to a dowry—the mother too often standing behind the daughter like a malignant prophecy—'Such as I am, she will shortly be.'"
  15. "Like the eccentric woman she was, she was at present absorbed in considering what was to be done and did not fancy that the end could be better achieved by bitter remarks or explosions."
  16. "There is often something maternal even in a girlish love...At Fred's last words she felt an instantaneous pang, something like what a mother feels at the imagined sobs or cries of her naughty truant child, which may lose itself and get harm."
  17. "If a man could not love and be wise, surely he could flirt and be wise at the same time?"
  18. "'Sit down,' she added, placing herself on the nearest chair and throwing off her bonnet and gloves with an instinctive discarding of formality where a great question of destiny was concerned."
  19. "We are all of us imaginative in some form or other, for images are the brood of desire..."
  20. "I can't wear my solemnity too often, else it will go to rags.""
    Mrs. Cadwallader is hiLARIOUS
  21. "She believed her husband was one of those men whose memoirs should be written when they died."
    accurate for every woman in this book I swear
  22. "...we mortals have our divine moments when love is satisfied in the completeness of the beloved object."
  23. I HATE ALL THE MEN IN THIS BOOK. HATE THEM. ALL.
  24. "Dorothea would have been capable of carrying baby joyfully for a mile if there had been need, and of loving it the more tenderly for that labour, but to an aunt who does not recognize her infant nephew as Buddha and has nothing to do for him but to admire, his behavior is apt to appear monotonous and the interest of watching him exhaustible."
  25. "Dorothea's native strength of will was no longer all converted into resolute submission."
  26. "It seemed to him as if they were two creatures slowly turning to marble in each other's presence, while their hearts were conscious and their eyes were yearning."
    reLATABLE
  27. "Caleb was in a difficulty known to any person attempting in dark times and unassisted by miracle to reason with rustics who are in possession of an undeniable truth which they know through a hard process of feeling, and can let fall like a giant's club on your neatly carved argument for a social benefit which they do *not* feel."
    This is the election. This. Is. The. Election.
  28. "That voice of deep-souled womanhood had remained within him as the enkindling conceptions of dead and sceptred had remained within him..."
  29. "The shallowness of a waternixie's soul may have a charm until she becomes didactic."
  30. "Rosamond was naively convinced of what an old gentleman ought to do to prevent her from suffering annoyance."
  31. "And, of course, men know best about everything, except what women know better."
  32. "In Middlemarch a wife could not long remain ignorant that the town held a bad opinion of her husband."
  33. "I should never like scolding anyone else so well, and that is a point to be thought of in a husband."
  34. "Certainly those determining acts of her life were not ideally beautiful. They were the mixed result of young and noble impulse struggling amidst the conditions of an imperfect social state, in which great feelings will often take the aspect of error, and great faith the aspect of illusion."