Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Collins' The Moonstone

This book was infinitely better than The Woman in White! But it's one of the books from my Gothic Romance Reading List, so be forewarned!

Wilkie Collins

The Moonstone

-Gabriel Betteredge-
"It is my [Gabriel Betteredge] conviction, or my delusion, no matter which, that crime brings its own fatality with it."

"I seem to be wandering off in search of Lord knows what, Lord knows where. We will take a new sheet of paper, if you please, and begin over again, with my best respects to you."

"Remember what Adam wanted when he was alone in the Garden of Eden; and if you don't blame it in Adam, don't blame it in me."

"I wonder whether the gentlemen who make a business and a living out of writing books ever find their own selves getting in the way of their subjects like me? If they do, I can feel for them. In the mean time, here is another false start, and more waste of good writing paper. What's to be done now? Nothing that I know of, except for you to keep your temper, and for me to begin it all over again for the third time."

"Persons and Things do turn up so vexatiously in this life, and will in a manner insist on being noticed."

"The stain is taken off, she [Rosanna Spearman] said. "But the place shows..."

"...it being. as I have remarked, a great satisfaction to our inferior fellow-creatures to find that their betters are, on occasions, no brighter than they are."

"Nothing in this world, Betteredge, is probable unless it appeals to our own trumpery experience; and we only believe in a romance when we see it in a newspaper."

"I steered a middle course between the objective side and the subjective side. In plain English, I stared hard and said nothing."

-Mr. Franklin-
"From all I can see, one interpretation is just as likely to be right as the other."

"Every human institution, Justice included, will stretch a little, if you only pull it the right way."

"No, thank you. I [Sergeant Cuff] won't take a rose. It goes to my heart to break them off the stem."

"Modesty - oh, dear me, how rare modesty is in this world."

"People in high life have all the luxuries to themselves - among others the luxury of indulging their feelings. People in low life have no such privilege. Necessity, which spares our betters, has no pity on us."

"Cultivate a superiority to reason, and see how you pare the claws of all the sensible people when they try to scratch you for your own good!"

-Miss Drusilla Clack-
"I am to re-open wounds that Time has barely closed..."

"My sacred regard for truth is, thank God! far above my respect for persons."

-Mathew Bruff, Solicitor-
"He might not have respected my life. But he [Indian] did what none of my own countrymen had ever done in all my experience of them - he respected my time."

-Franklin Blake-
"Where is the use of my dwelling in this way on my own folly? The plain truth is plain enough, surely? Behind your back, I loved you with all my heart and soul. Before your face - there's no denying it - I was frightened of you; frightened of making you angry with me; frightened of what you might say to me..."

"The effort of writing a few sentences, in plain English, completely cleared my mind of the cloudy nonsense which had filled it since the previous day."

"When the pursuit of our own interests causes us to become objects of inquiry to ourselves, we are naturally suspicious of what we don't know."

"Perhaps we should all be happier," he [Ezra Jennings] added, with a sad smile, "if we could but completely forget!"

"Ezra Jennings stopped for a moment and picked some wild flowers from the hedge by the road-side. "How beautiful they are!" he said, simply, showing his little nosegay to me. "And how few people in England seem to admire them as they deserve...I have associations with these modest little hedge-side flowers..."

"A man who has lived as I [Ezra] have lived has his bitter moments when he ponders over human destiny."

-Ezra Jennings-
"What is the secret of the attraction that there is for me in this man? Does it only mean that I feel the contrast between the frankly kind manner in which he has allowed me to become acquainted with him and the merciless dislike and distrust with which I am met by other people? Or is there really something in him which answers to the yearning that I have for a little human sympathy the yearning, which has survived the solitude and persecution of many years; which seems to grow keener and keener, as the time comes nearer and nearer when I shall endure and feel no more? How useless to ask these questions!"

"She [Miss Verinder] looked at my ugly wrinkled face with a bright gratitude so new to me in my experience of my fellow creatures that I was at a loss how to answer her. Nothing had prepared me for her kindness and her beauty. The misery of many years has not hardened my heart, thank God. I was as awkward and as shy with her as if I had been a lad in my teens."

"...Mr. Godfrey Ablewhite did, what all animals, human and otherwise, do when they find themselves caught in a trap. He looked about him in a state of helpless despair."

-Mr. Candy, regarding Ezra Jennings-
"He [Ezra] said, "Let my grave be forgotten. Give me your word of honor that you will allow no monument of any sort - not even the commonest tombstone - to mark the place of my burial. Let me sleep, nameless. Let me rest, unknown."

-Gabriel Betteredge-
"I own...to having, towards the latter part of the day, taken a drop too much...you have got your favorite vice too: only your vice isn't mine, and mine isn't yours..."

-Mr. Murthwaite-
"So the years pass, and repeat each other; so the same events revolve in the cycles of time."

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