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Miss Thackeray

  • To hate the devil and all his works is one thing, but to say who is the devil and which are his works is another.

  • Sometimes winter days come in autumn, just as hours of old age and middle age seem to start out of their places in the due rotation of life ...

  • I suppose it is a law of nature that the horizon should lower as we climb down the hill of life ...

  • We often, in our blindness, take a bit of our life, and look at it apart as an ended history. ... but who shall say that the past is completed because it is past, any more than that we ourselves are completed because we must die?

  • This is one of the advantages of middle age: people have got used to their bodies and to their faults; they know how to use them, to spare them, and they do not expect too much.

  • Dolly used to get almost tipsy upon sunshine. The weather is as much part of some people's lives as the minor events which happen to them.

  • Rules are absolutely necessary restrictions ... we are lost if we trust to our impulses. What are our bodies but concrete rules?

  • The conversation of selfish people is often far more amusing than that of the unselfish, who see things too diffusedly, and who have not, as a rule, the gift of vivid description. Mrs. Palmer was deeply, deeply interested in her own various feelings.

  • Each day scatters its dust as it hurries by, and leaves its broken ends and scraps for the coming hours to collect and sort away, dust of mind, and dust of matter.

  • The great kaleidoscope of the world turns round once in its twenty-four hours; the patterns and combinations shift and change and disperse into new combinations. Perhaps some of us may think that, with each turn, the fragments are shaken up and mixed and broken away more and more, until only an undistinguishable uniform dazzle remains in place of the beautiful blue and red and golden stars and wheels that delighted our youth.

  • Happiness and sorrow overflow into other cups besides our own.

  • Comedy seems much more real at times than tragedy.

  • ... sympathy is more effectually administered by indirect means than by the crowbars of consolation by which our friends, even the kindest, are apt to belabor our grief.

  • Often the very commonest facts of life are not facts, only sounds, until they have been lived.

  • Some people reserve themselves for great occasions, instead of spending their sympathies lavishly along the way.

  • Our danger is now, not of expressing and feeling too little, but of expressing more than we feel.

  • The greatest minds, the most original, have the least stamp of the age, the most of that dominant natural reality which belongs to all great minds. ... The clearest eyes must see by the light of their own hour.

  • ... books are events, not books to us, new conditions of existence, new selves suddenly revealed through the experience of other more vivid personalities than our own. The actual experience of other lives is not for us, but this link of simple reality of feeling is one all independent of events; it is like the miracle of the loaves and fishes repeated and multiplied — one man comes with his fishes and lo! the multitude is filled.

  • Spoiling is a vexed question, but as a rule people get so much stern justice from all the rest of the world that it seems well that their parents should love and comfort them in youth for the many disgraces and difficulties yet to come.

  • People's lives as they really are don't perhaps vary very much, but people's lives as they seem to be assuredly change with the fashions.

  • When the writer looks back upon her own childhood, it seems to her that she lived in company with a delightful host of little playmates, bright, busy, clever children, whose cheerful presence remains more vividly in her mind than that of many of the real little boys and girls who used to appear and disappear disconnectedly as children do in childhood, when friendship and companionship depend almost entirely upon the convenience of grown-up people.

Miss Thackeray, English novelist

(1837 - 1919)

Full name: Lady Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie.