John Galsworthy Quote

“Life calls the tune, we dance.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

 

“It was such a spring day as breathes into a man an ineffable yearning, a painful sweetness, a longing that makes him stand motionless, looking at the leaves or grass, and fling out his arms to embrace he knows not what.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Love is not a hot-house flower, but a wild plant, born of a wet night, born of an hour of sunshine; sprung from wild seed, blown along the road by a wild wind. A wild plant that, when it blooms by chance within the hedge of our gardens, we call a flower; and when it blooms outside we call a weed; but, flower or weed, whose scent and colour are always, wild!”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Beauty means this to one person, perhaps, and that to another. And yet when any one of us has seen or heard or read that which to him is beautiful, he has known an emotion which is in every case the same in kind, if not in degree; an emotion precious and uplifting. A choirboy’s voice, a ship in sail, an opening flower, a town at night, the song of the blackbird, a lovely poem, leaf shadows, a child’s grace, the starry skies, a cathedral, apple trees in spring, a thorough-bred horse, sheep-bells on a hill, a rippling stream, a butterfly, the crescent moon — the thousand sights or sounds or words that evoke in us the thought of beauty — these are the drops of rain that keep the human spirit from death by drought. They are a stealing and a silent refreshment that we perhaps do not think about but which goes on all the time….It would surprise any of us if we realized how much store we unconsciously set by beauty, and how little savour there would be left in life if it were withdrawn. It is the smile on the earth’s face, open to all, and needs but the eyes to see, the mood to understand.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“One’s eyes are what one is, one’s mouth is what one becomes.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“the biggest tragedy of life is the utter impossibility to change what you have done”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Idealism increases in direct proportion to one’s distance from the problem. ”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Love has no age, no limit; and no death.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

 

“The beginnings and endings of all human undertakings are untidy.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

 

“Dreaming is the poetry of Life, and we must be forgiven if we indulge in it a little.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“He might wish and wish and never get it – the beauty and the loving in the world!”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Love! Beyond meaure – beyond death – it nearly kills. But one wouldn’t have been without it.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Youth to youth, like the dragon-flies chasing each other, and love like the sun warming them through and through.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“When a Forsyte was engaged, married, or born, the Forsytes were present; when a Forsyte died — but no Forsyte had as yet died; they did not die; death being contrary to their principles, they took precautions against it, the instinctive precautions of highly vitalized persons who resent encroachments on their property.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“It’s always worth while before you do anything to consider whether it’s going to hurt another person more than is absolutely necessary.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Men are in fact, quite unable to control their own inventions; they at best develop adaptability to the new conditions those inventions create.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

 

“We are not living in a private world of our own. Everything we say and do and think has its effect on everything around us.”
― John Glasworthy

 

 

 

 

“An epoch which had gilded individual liberty so that if a man had money he was free in law and fact, and if he had not money he was free in law and not in fact. An era which had canonized hypocrisy, so that to seem to be respectable was to be.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Light-heartedness always made Soames suspicious – there was generally some reason for it.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“And yet, in books were comfort and diversion; and they were wanted!”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“She stood for a moment looking up at the stars, so far, so many, bright and cold. And with a faint smile she thought: ‘I wonder which is my lucky star!”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

“Wishes father thought, but they don’t breed evidence.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Politics are popularly supposed to govern the direction, and statesmen to be the guardian angels, of Civilization. It seems to me that they have little or no power over its growth. They are of it, and move with it. Their concern is rather with the body than with the mind or soul of a nation. One needs not to be an engineer to know that to pull a man up a wall one must be higher than he; that to raise general taste one must have better taste than that of those whose taste he is raising.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Memory heaps dead leaves on corpse-like deeds, from under which they do but vaguely offend the sense.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

 

“In choosing, moreover, for his father an amiable man of fifty-two, who had already lost an only son, and for his mother a woman of thirty-eight, whose first and only child he was, little Jon had done well and wisely. What had saved him from becoming a cross between a lap dog and a little prig, had been his father’s adoration of his mother, for even little Jon could see that she was not merely just his mother, and that he played second fiddle to her in his father’s heart: What he played in his mother’s heart he knew not yet.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

 

“Really,” said Winifred suddenly; “it almost seems like Fate. Only that’s so old-fashioned.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Justice is a machine that, when someone has once given it the starting push, rolls on of itself. – John Galsworthy, Justice [1910], act II”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“That tendency…to lie awake between the hours of two and four, when the chrysalis of faint misgiving becomes so readily the butterfly of panic.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Take modern courtships! They resulted in the same thing as under George the Second, but took longer to reach it, owing to the motor-cycle and the standing lunch.”
― John Galsworthy, Swan Song

 

 

 

“There are two irreconcilable ideas of God. There′s the Unknowable Creative Principle—one believes in That. And there′s the Sum of altruism in man—naturally one believes in That…The sublime poem of the Christ life was man′s attempt to join those two irreconcilable conceptions of God. And since the Sum of human altruism was as much a part of the Unknowable Creative Principle as anything else in Nature and the Universe, a worse link might have been chosen after all! Funny—how one went through life without seeing it in that sort of way!”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“To give the devil its due, ours is the best Age men ever lived in; we are all more comfortable and virtuous than we ever were; we have many new accomplishments, advertisements in green pastures, telephones in bedrooms, more newspapers than we want to read, and extremely punctilious diagnosis of maladies. A doctor examined a young lady the other day, and among his notes were there: ‘Not afraid of small rooms, ghosts, or thunderstorms – not made drunk by hearing Wagner; brown hair, artistic hands; had a craving for chocolate in 1918.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“James and the other eight children of ‘Superior Dosset,’ of whom there are still five alive, may be said to have represented Victorian England, with its principles of trade and individualism at five per cent, and your money back – if you know what that means. At all events they’ve turned thirty thousand pounds into a cool million between them in the course of their long lives. (…) Their day is passing, and their type, not altogether for the advantage of the country. They were pedestrian, but they too were sound.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“His natural taciturnity was in his favour; nothing could be more calculated to give people, especially people with property (Soames had no other clients), the impression that he was a safe man. And he was safe. […] How could he fall, when his soul abhorred circumstances which render a fall possible – a man cannot fall off the floor!”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Curious how he jibbed away from sight of his wife and child!
One would have thought he must have rushed up at the first moment. On the contrary, he had a sort of physical shrinking from it — fastidious possessor that he was. He was afraid of what Annette was thinking of him, author of her agonies, afraid of the look of the baby, afraid of showing his disappointment with the present and — the future.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Zilele de naştere sunt – ca şi sărbătorile Crăciunului – pline de decepţii. O veselie artificială, confecţionată din vreme, un revolver la tâmplă, cu îndemnul: Dezlănţuie-te! Bucură-te!”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Love is no hot-house flower, but a wild plant, born of a wet night, born of an hour of sunshine; sprung from wild seed, blown along the road by a wild wind. A wild plant that, when it blooms by chance within the hedge of our gardens, we call a flower; and when it blooms outside we call a weed; but, flower or weed, whose scent and color are always, wild!”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

 

“Youth, like a flame, burned ever in his breast, and to youth he turned, to the round little limbs, so reckless, that wanted care, to the small round faces so unreasonably solemn or bright, to the treble tongues, and the shrill, chuckling laughter, to the insistent tugging hands, and the feel of small bodies against his legs, to all that was young and young, and once more young.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“I loathe the idea of cutting down trees. Two hundred years of shape and energy all gone in half an hour. It’s revolting.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“But all over-expression, whether by journalists, poets, novelists, or clergymen, is bad for the language, bad for the mind; and by over-expression, I mean the use of words running beyond the sincere feeling of writer or speaker or beyond what the event will sanely carry. From time to time a crusade is preached against it from the text: ‘The cat was on the mat.’ Some Victorian scribe, we must suppose, once wrote: ‘Stretching herself with feline grace and emitting those sounds immemorially connected with satisfaction, Grimalkin lay on a rug whose richly variegated pattern spoke eloquently of the Orient and all the wonders of the Arabian Nights.’ And an exasperated reader annotated the margin with the shorter version of the absorbing event. How the late Georgian scribe will express the occurrence we do not yet know. Thus, perhaps: ‘What there is of cat is cat is what of cat there lying cat is what on what of mat laying cat.’ The reader will probably the margin with ‘Some cat!”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“…”Oh! isn’t it stupid, the war?-as if it was not good to be alive.”
He wanted to say: “You can’t tell how good it is to be alive till you’re facing death, because you don’t live till then. And when a whole lot of you feel like that-and are ready to give their lives for each other, it’s worth all the rest of life put together.” But he couldn’t get it out to this girl who believed in nothing.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Vješt je doista draguljar, koji slaže ljudsku dušu i koji joj daje moć, da zaboravlja tamu, a sjeća se samo sunčeva sjaja!”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

“He was a wanderer by nature, and even if England and the nearer East were closed to him, the world was wide, the sun shone in many places, the stars wheeled over one, books could be read, women had beauty, flowers scent, tobacco its flavour, music its moving power, coffee its fragrance, horses and dogs and birds were the same seductive creatures,”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“There are houses whose souls have passed into the limbo of Time, leaving their bodies in the limbo of London. Such was not quite the condition of “Timothy’s” on the Bayswater Road, for Timothy’s soul still had one foot in Timothy Forsyte’s body, and Smither kept the atmosphere unchanging, of camphor and port wine and house whose windows are only opened to air it twice a day.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Mechanism! Everywhere — mechanism! Devices for getting away from life so complete that there seemed no life to get away from.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“With the years his dislike of humbug had increased; the orthodoxy he had worn in the ‘sixties’, as he had worn side-whiskers out of sheer exuberance , had long dropped off, leaving him reverent before three things alone – beauty, upright conduct, and the sense of property; and the greatest of these now was beauty.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Swithin! And the fellow had gone and died, last November, at the age of seventy-nine, renewing the doubt whether Forsytes could live for ever, which had first arisen when Aunt Ann passed away.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Only those strong enough to keep silent about self are strong enough to be sure of self.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Admiration of beauty and longing for possession are not love.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“He won’t be happy till he gets it,” said Michael, at last: “The only thing is, you see, he doesn’t know what IT is.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“The fascination of [Joseph Conrad’s] writing lies in a singular blending of reality with romance – he paints a world of strange skies and seas, rivers, forests, men, stranger harbours and ships, all, to our tamed understanding, touched a little by the marvelous. Beyond all modern writers he had lived romance; lived it for many years with a full unconscious pulse, the zest of a young man loving adventure, and before ever he thought to become a writer. How many talents among us are spoiled by having no store of experience and feeling, unconsciously amassed, to feed on! How many writers, without cream inside the churn, are turning out butter!”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Some fifteen years ago in London there was an exhibition of the works of a certain sculptor, which contained many sane and admirable pieces. Two young ladies came in one day, and flitted from flower to flower with dissatisfied air, till at last one of them caught sight of a vast seated assemblage of elliptical rhomboids which was wooing the Public under the name of Venus. Before this supreme novelty she halted, if a butterfly can halt. ‘Oh, my dear,’ she said, ‘here she is! Here’s the Venus!’ And putting her head on one side, she added: ‘Isn’t she a pet?’ Such butterflies still exist and halt before the works of novelty for novelty’s sake, because they are told to by some town-crier, who must have novelty at any cost.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“I suppose that many think we live in a cheap and sensational age, all sky-signs and headlines; an age of advertisement and standardization. And yet, this is a more enlightened age than any human beings have lived in hitherto. For instance, practically all of us can read. Some of you may say: ‘Ah! But what? Detective stories, scandals, and the sporting news.’ No doubt, compared with Sunday newspapers and mystery stories, the Oedipus, Hamlet and Faust are very small beer. All the same, the number of volumes issued each year continually gains on the number of the population in all Western countries. Every phase and question of life is brought more and more into the limelight. Theatres, cinemas, the radio, and even lectures, assist the process. But they do not, and should not replace reading, because when we are just watching and listening, somebody is taking very good care that we should not stop and think. The danger in this age is not of our remaining ignorant; it is that we should lose the power of thinking for ourselves. Problems are more and more put before us, but, except to crossword puzzles and detective mysteries, do we attempt to find the answers for ourselves? Less and less. The short cut seems ever more and more desirable. But the short cut to knowledge is nearly always the longest way round. There is nothing like knowledge, picked up by or reasoned out for oneself.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

 

“….Oh! isn’t it stupid, the war?-as if it was not good to be alive.”
He wanted to say: “You can’t tell how good it is to be alive till you’re facing death, because you don’t live till then. And when a whole lot of you feel like that-and are ready to give their lives for each other, it’s worth all the rest of life put together.” But he couldn’t get it out to this girl who believed in nothing.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“She stood and tried hard not to believe in God. It seemed mean and petty to have more belief in God when things were going well than when they were instinct with tragedy; just as it seemed mean and petty to pray to God when you wanted something badly, and not pray when you didn’t. But after all God was Eternal Mind that you couldn’t understand; God was not a loving Father that you could. The less she thought about all that the better.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“Ljubav kao njezina — strastvena, koja obožava, koja štiti, koja čezne za potpunim podavanjem i žrtvovanjem same sebe, ali koja potajno traži i punu njegovu ljubav — jer kako bi bez toga mogla ljubiti ponosna žena? — takva ljubav čezne uvijek za potpunijim sjedinjenjem, nego što je moguće u ovom svijetu, gdje se sve mijenja i pokreće.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

 

“Pentru tanarul Lennan urma apoi o perioada stranie, in care nu-si dadea seama de la un minut la altul daca era sau nu fericit, cautand sa fie mereu cu Anna, agitandu-se daca nu reusea, necajindu-se daca ea vorbea sau zambea altuia;cand se afla insa alaturi de ea tot nelinistit si nemultumit era, suferind din pricina timiditatii sale”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

 

“Really you must. Nobody wishes you harm, I’m sure. FALDER. I believe that, Mr. Cokeson. Nobody wishes you harm, but they down you all the same. This feeling — [He stares round him, as though at something closing in] It’s crushing me. [With sudden impersonality] I know it is.”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

 

“We are a breed of spoilers!’ thought Jolyon, ‘close and greedy; the bloom of life is not safe with us. Let her come to me as she will, when she will, not at all if she will not. Let me be just her stand-by, her perching-place; never-never her cage!”
― John Galsworthy

 

 

“That “small” emotion, love, grows amazingly when threatened with extinction.”
― John Galsworthy

 

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