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Mary Stewart

  • ... the difficult art I was attempting had, indeed a powerful fascination, before which the past faded, the future receded, and the whole of experience narrowed down to this stretch of glancing, glimmering water, and the fly I was trying to cast across it.

  • Jealousy exaggerates ...

  • He's as finicky as the five-times-table, and about as lively.

  • Have you ever thought, when something dreadful happens, 'a moment ago things were not like this; let it be then, not now, anything but now'? And you try and try to remake then, but you know you can't. So you try to hold the moment quite still and not let it move on and show itself.

  • I suppose one gets to know men quickest by the things they take for granted.

  • You never know how you'll turn out till you've been down to half a dollar and no prospects.

  • Sometimes, I think, our impulses come not from the past, but from the future.

  • ... as everyone knows who has anything to do with it — the stage is not a profession but a virus ...

  • Where two Greeks are gathered together, there will be at least three political parties represented, and possibly more.

  • The best way of forgetting how you think you feel is to concentrate on what you know you know ...

  • It seems to me you can be awfully happy in this life if you stand aside and watch and mind your own business, and let other people do as they like about damaging themselves and one another. You go on kidding yourself that you're impartial and tolerant and all that, then all of a sudden you realize you're dead, and you've never been alive at all.

  • His tone was about as informative, and as welcoming, as a blank wall with broken glass on the top.

  • This, it seemed, was one of those angry natures that feeds on grievance; nothing would madden her more than to know that what she complained of had been put right.

  • There are such people, unfortunates who have to be angry before they can feel alive. I had sometimes wondered if it were some old relic of pagan superstition, the fear of risking the jealousy and anger of the gods, that made such people afraid of even small happinesses. Or perhaps it was only that tragedy is more self-important than laughter.

  • But I have noticed this about ambitious men, or men in power — they fear even the slightest and least likely threat to it.

  • It is never wise to turn aside from knowing, however the knowing comes.

  • Every life has a death, and every light a shadow. Be content to stand in the light, and let the shadow fall where it will.

  • I reached for sleep and drew it round me like a blanket muffling pain and thought together in the merciful dark.

  • The mills of God work like lightning, compared with the law.

  • To plant a garden is the chief of the arts of peace.

  • It is harder to kill a whisper than even a shouted calumny.

  • I sometimes think it's a mistake to have been happy when one was a child. One should always want to go on, not back.

  • Folks will say anything, and next time round they'll believe it.

  • The sense of smell is the hair-trigger of memory.

  • [On her 30-year marriage:] It was like suddenly coming into a harbor after a very rough and beastly sea.

    • Mary Stewart,
    • in People ()
  • It does not do to neglect the gods of a place, whoever they may be. In the end, they are all one.

Mary Stewart, English novelist

(1916 - 2014)

Full name: Mary Florence Elinor Rainbow Stewart.