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Elizabeth Gaskell

  • Waiting is far more difficult than doing.

  • ... like all energetic people, the more he had to do the more time he seemed to find.

  • Them lawyers is no better than a sponge for sucking up money.

  • Don't think to come over me with th' old tale, that the rich know nothing of the trials of the poor; I say, if they don't know, they ought to know.

  • Opportunities are not often wanting where inclination goes before ...

  • Errands of mercy — errands of sin — did you ever think where all the thousands of people you daily meet are bound?

  • Th' longest lane will have a turning ...

  • Everyone has their time and kind of waiting.

  • I sometimes think there's two sides to the commandment; and that we may say, 'Let others do unto you, as you would do unto them,' for pride often prevents our giving others a great deal of pleasure, in not letting them be kind, when their hearts are longing to help ...

  • What's the use of watching? A watched pot never boils ...

  • A man ... is so in the way in the house!

  • Their dress is very independent of fashion; as they observe, 'What does it signify how we dress here at Cranford, where everybody knows us?' And if they go from home, their reason is equally cogent: 'What does it signify how we dress here, where nobody knows us?'

  • [We] talked on about household forms and ceremonies, as if we all believed that our hostess had a regular servants' hall ... instead of the one little charity-school maiden, whose short ruddy arms could never have been strong enough to carry the tray up-stairs, if she had not been assisted in private by her mistress, who now sat in state, pretending not to know what cakes were sent up; though she knew, and we knew, and she knew that we knew, and we knew that she knew that we knew, she had been busy all the morning making tea-bread and sponge cakes.

  • ... we were none of us musical, though Miss Jenkyns beat time, out of time, by way of appearing to be so.

  • ... a little credulity helps one on through life very smoothly ...

  • Everybody has a bugbear fault; a sort of standing characteristic — a pièce de résistance for their friends to cut at ...

  • I'll not listen to reason ... Reason always means what some one else has got to say.

  • ... I'll make her a pudding, and a pudding she'll like, too ... Many a one has been comforted in their sorrow by seeing a good dish come upon the table.

  • A wise parent humors the desire for independent action, so as to become the friend and advisor when his absolute rule shall cease.

  • But the cloud never comes in that quarter of the horizon from which we watch for it.

  • 'Dear! Everybody is ill now, I think,' said Mrs. Hale, with a little of the jealousy which one invalid is apt to feel of another.

  • Those who are happy and successful themselves are too apt to make light of the misfortunes of others.

  • A solitary life cherishes mere fancies until they become manias.

    • Elizabeth Gaskell,
    • The Life of Charlotte Brontë, vol. 1 ()
  • All the earth, though it were full of kind hearts, is but a desolation and desert place to a mother when her only child is absent.

  • [On books waiting to be read:] I have not had time yet. But I look at them as a child looks at a cake, — with glittering eyes and watering mouth, imagining the pleasure that awaits him!

    • Elizabeth Gaskell,
    • letter ()
  • ... that kind of patriotism which consists in hating all other nations ...

  • But now there was the new feeling — the last new feeling which we shall any of us experience in this world — that death was not only close at hand, but inevitable.

  • ... anticipation was the soul of enjoyment.

    • Elizabeth Gaskell,
    • "The Cage at Cranford," in All the Year Round ()
  • In all disappointments sympathy is a great balm.

    • Elizabeth Gaskell,
    • "The Cage at Cranford," in All the Year Round ()
  • If me no ifs ...

Elizabeth Gaskell, English novelist, biographer

(1810 - 1865)

Full name: Elizabeth Cleghorn Stevenson Gaskell.