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Monday, 28 February 2011

Pride and Prejudice (Chapter 1) - Jane Austen

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.”

William Shakespeare’s Sonnet XXI

“So is it not with me as with that Muse,
Stirred by a painted beauty to his verse,
Who heaven itself for ornament doth use
And every fair with his fair doth rehearse,
Making a couplement of proud compare
With sun and moon, with earth and sea’s rich gems,
With April’s first-born flowers, and all things rare,
That heaven’s air in this huge rondure hems.
O! let me, true in love, but truly write,
And then believe me, my love is as fair
As any mother’s child, though not so bright
As those gold candles fixed in heaven’s air:
Let them say more that like of hearsay well;
I will not praise that purpose not to sell.”
.soft, white feather

. floats down

. towards the floor

. squishing back

. and forth

. in a strange

. zigzag pattern

. before coming

. to a halt upon the ground.

I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith

“There is only one page left to write on. I will fill it with words of only one syllable. I love. I have loved. I will love.”

Mansfield Park - Jane Austen

“If any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the rest, I do think it is memory. There seems something more speakingly incomprehensible in the powers, the failures, the inequalities of memory, than in any other of our intelligences. The memory is sometimes so retentive, so serviceable, so obedient; at others, so bewildered and so weak; and at others again, so tyrannic, so beyond control! We are, to be sure, a miracle every way; but our powers of recollecting and of forgetting do seem peculiarly past finding out.”

Regrets - Anonymous

“Regrets are just mistakes you dwell on.

Don’t dwell.


Forgive yourself.

Move on.”

* * *

Evening Solace - Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855)

“The human heart has hidden treasures,
In secret kept, in silence sealed;—
The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures,
Whose charms were broken if revealed.
And days may pass in gay confusion,
And nights in rosy riot fly,
While, lost in Fame’s or Wealth’s illusion,
The memory of the Past may die.
But there are hours of lonely musing,
Such as in evening silence come,
When, soft as birds their pinions closing,
The heart’s best feelings gather home.
Then in our souls there seems to languish
A tender grief that is not woe;
And thoughts that once wrung groans of anguish
Now cause but some mild tears to flow.

And feelings, once as strong as passions,
Float softly back—a faded dream;
Our own sharp griefs and wild sensations,
The tale of others’ sufferings seem.
Oh! when the heart is freshly bleeding,
How longs it for that time to be,
When, through the mist of years receding,
Its woes but live in reverie!

And it can dwell on moonlight glimmer,
On evening shade and loneliness;
And, while the sky grows dim and dimmer,
Feel no untold and strange distress—
Only a deeper impulse given
By lonely hour and darkened room,
To solemn thoughts that soar to heaven
Seeking a life and world to come.”

Jane Eyre (Jane to Mr. Rochester-Ch. 23) Charlotte Brontë

“Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you.”

North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell

“One word more. You look as if you thought it tainted you to be
loved by me. You cannot avoid it. Nay, I, if I would, cannot
cleanse you from it. But I would not, if I could. I have never
loved any woman before: my life has been too busy, my thoughts
too much absorbed with other things. Now I love, and will love.
But do not be afraid of too much expression on my part.”

My Cousin Rachel (Chapter 14) - Daphne Du Maurier

“‘I don’t know what’s come over you,’ she said; ‘you are losing your sense of humour.’ And she patted me on the shoulder and went upstairs. That was the infuriating thing about a woman. Always the last word. Leaving one to grapple with ill-temper, and she herself serene. A woman, it seemed, was never in the wrong. Or if she was, she twisted the fault to her advantage, making it seem otherwise.”

North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell

“He shrank from hearing Margaret’s very name mentioned; he, while he blamed her — while he was jealous of her — while he renounced her — he loved her sorely, in spite of himself.”

Piano - D.H. Lawrence

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;

Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see

A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling


And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as

she sings.

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song

Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong

To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside

And hymns in the cozy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.

So now it is vain for the singer to burst, into clamour

With the great black piano appassionato. The glamour

Of childish days is upon me, my manhood is cast

Down in the flood of remembrance, and I weep like a child for

the past.