I haven't much time to be fond of anything ... but when I have a moment's fondness to bestow, most times ... the roses get it. I began my life among them in my father's nursery garden, and I shall end my life among them, if I can. Yes. One of these days (please God) I shall retire from catching thieves, and try my hand at growing roses.
The woman who first gives life, light, and form to our shadowy conceptions of beauty, fills a void in our spiritual nature that has remained unknown to us till she appeared. Sympathies that lie too deep for words, too deep almost for thoughts, are touched, at such times, by other charms than those which the senses feel and which the resources of expression can realise. The mystery which underlies the beauty of women is never raised above the reach of all expression until it has claimed kindred with the deeper mystery in our own souls.
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I paid the cabman exactly his fare. He received it with an oath; upon which I instantly gave him a tract. If I had presented a pistol at his head, this abandoned wretch could hardly have exhibited greater consternation. He jumped up on his box, and, with profane exclamations of dismay, drove off furiously. Quite useless, I am happy to say! I sowed the good seed, in spite of him, by throwing a second tract in at the window of the cab.
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My dear friend! what is there extraordinary in that? They are all in love with some other man. Who gets the 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.
The bleak autumn wind was still blowing, and the solemn, surging moan of it in the wood was dreary and awful to hear through the night silence. Issac felt strangely wakeful. He resolved, as he lay down in bed, to keep the candle alight until he began to grow sleepy; for there was something unendurably depressing in the bare idea of lying awake in the darkness, listening to the dismal, ceaseless moan of the wind in the wood. ("The Dream Woman")
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You are not to take it, if you please, as the saying of an ignorant man, when I express my opinion that such a book as ROBINSON CRUSOE never was written, and never will be written again. I have tried that book for years-generally in combination with a pipe of tobacco-and I have found it my friend in need in all the necessities of this mortal life. When my spirits are bad-ROBINSON CRUSOE. When I want advice-ROBINSON CRUSOE. In past times when my wife plagued me; in present times when I have had a drop too much-ROBINSON CRUSOE. I have worn out six stout ROBINSON CRUSOES with hard work in my service. On my lady's last birthday she gave me a seventh. I took a drop too much on the strength of it; and ROBINSON CRUSOE put me right again. Price four shillings and sixpence, bound in blue, with a picture into the bargain.
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It is not for you to say - you Englishmen, who have conquered your freedom so long ago, that you have conveniently forgotten what blood you shed, and what extremities you proceeded to in the conquering - it is not for you to say how far the worst of all exasperations may, or may not, carry the maddened men of an enslaved nation. The iron that has entered into our souls has gone too deep for you to find it. Leave the refugee alone! Laugh at him, distrust him, open your eyes in wonder at the secret self which smolders in him, sometimes under the every-day respectability and tranquility of a man like me - sometimes under the grinding poverty, the fierce squalor, of men less lucky, less pliable, less patient than I am - but judge us not. In the time of your first Charles you might have done us justice - the long luxury of your freedom has made you incapable of doing us justice now.
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Nothing in this world is hidden forever. The gold which has lain for centuries unsuspected in the ground, reveals itself one day on the surface. Sand turns traitor, and betrays the footstep that has passed over it; water gives back to the tell-tale surface the body that has been drowned. Fire itself leaves the confession, in ashes, of the substance consumed in it. Hate breaks its prison-secrecy in the thoughts, through the doorway of the eyes; and Love finds the Judas who betrays it by a kiss. Look where we will, the inevitable law of revelation is one of the laws of nature: the lasting preservation of a secret is a miracle which the world has never yet seen.
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The books-the generous friends who met me without suspicion-the merciful masters who never used me ill! The only years of my life that I can look back on with something like pride... Early and late, through the long winter nights and the quiet summer days, I drank at the fountain of knowledge, and never wearied of the draught.
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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 the closes over Love and Hope, are steps of my journey, and take me nearer and nearer to the End.
At any time, and under any circumstances of human interest, is it not strange to see how little real hold the objects of the natural world amid which we live can gain on our hearts and minds? We go to Nature for comfort in trouble, and sympathy in joy, only in books. Admiration of those beauties of the inanimate world, which modern poetry so largely and so eloquently describes, is not, even in the best of us, one of the original instincts of our nature.
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The first and last weakness of his life, before him again. For a moment he felt himself blinded by his own memories; his own remembrances of the wits and wiles of Marian Halcombe that would steal into his thoughts; the sound of her laughter at his outrageous tales, the shadowed glance of distrust, the way her eyebrows would raise ever so slightly despite her resolution to seem disinterested in his foreign insights. She was the first woman he ventured to have complete equality in matching his tremendous cleverness.
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I should have asked why any room in the house was better than home to me when she entered it, and barren as a desert when she went out again-why I always noticed and remembered the little changes in her dress that I had noticed and remembered in no other woman's before-why I saw her, heard her, and touched her (when we shook hands at night and morning) as I had never seen, heard, and touched any other woman in my life?
Yes! the books - the generous friends who met me without suspicion - the merciful masters who never used me ill! The only years of my life that I can look back on with something like pride... Early and late, through the long winter nights and the quiet summer days, I drank at the fountain of knowledge, and never wearied of the draught.
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I have noticed that the Christianity of a certain class of respectable people begins when they open their prayer-books at eleven o'clock on Sunday morning, and ends when they shut them up again at one o'clock on Sunday afternoon. Nothing so astonishes and insults Christians of this sort as reminding them of their Christianity on a week-day.
Is there any wilderness of sand in the deserts of Arabia, is there any prospect of desolation among the ruins of Palestine, which can rival the repelling effect on the eye, and the depressing influence on the mind, of an English country town in the first stage of its existence, and in the transition state of its prosperity?
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