Thomas Hardy Quotes

“Though a good deal is too strange to be believed, nothing is too strange to have happened.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

 

“They spoke very little of their mutual feeling; pretty phrases and warm expressions being probably unnecessary between such tried friends.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“A strong woman who recklessly throws away her strength, she is worse than a weak woman who has never had any strength to throw away.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“Happiness was but the occasional episode in a general drama of pain.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“Beauty lay not in the thing, but in what the thing symbolized.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

 

“Did you say the stars were worlds, Tess?”
“Yes.”
“All like ours?”
“I don’t know, but I think so. They sometimes seem to be like the apples on our stubbard-tree. Most of them splendid and sound – a few blighted.”
“Which do we live on – a splendid one or a blighted one?”
“A blighted one.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“Why didn’t you tell me there was danger? Why didn’t you warn me? Ladies know what to guard against, because they read novels that tell them of these tricks; but I never had the chance of discovering in that way; and you did not help me!”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“People go on marrying because they can’t resist natural forces, although many of them may know perfectly well that they are possibly buying a month’s pleasure with a life’s discomfort.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

 

“Love is a possible strength in an actual weakness.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“Did it never strike your mind that what every woman says, some women may feel?”
― Thomas Hardy

 

 

“I shall do one thing in this life – one thing certain – that is, love you, and long for you, and keep wanting you till I die.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“But no one came. Because no one ever does.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“And at home by the fire, whenever you look up there I shall be— and whenever I look up, there will be you.
-Gabriel Oak”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“Why is it that a woman can see from a distance what a man cannot see close?”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“Ladies know what to guard against, because they read novels that tell them of these tricks…”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“At first I did not love you, Jude; that I own. When I first knew you I merely wanted you to love me. I did not exactly flirt with you; but that inborn craving which undermines some women’s morals almost more than unbridled passion–the craving to attract and captivate, regardless of the injury it may do the man–was in me; and when I found I had caught you, I was frightened. And then–I don’t know how it was– I couldn’t bear to let you go–possibly to Arabella again–and so I got to love you, Jude. But you see, however fondly it ended, it began in the selfish and cruel wish to make your heart ache for me without letting mine ache for you.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

 

“The beauty or ugliness of a character lay not only in its achievements, but in its aims and impulses; its true history lay, not among things done, but among things willed.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“If an offense come out of the truth, better is it that the offense come than that the truth be concealed.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

 

“Well, what I mean is that I shouldn’t mind being a bride at a wedding, if I could be one without having a husband.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

 

“…our impulses are too strong for our judgement sometimes”
― Thomas Hardy

 

 

“A man’s silence is wonderful to listen to.”
― thomas hardy

 

 

“Sometimes I shrink from your knowing what I have felt for you, and sometimes I am distressed that all of it you will never know.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

 

“She was of the stuff of which great men’s mothers are made. She was indispensable to high generation, feared at tea-parties, hated in shops, and loved at crises.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

 

“I know women are taught by other women that they must never admit the full truth to a man. But the highest form of affection is based on full sincerity on both sides. Not being men, these women don’t know that in looking back on those he has had tender relations with, a man’s heart returns closest to her who was the soul of truth in her conduct. The better class of man, even if caught by airy affectations of dodging and parrying, is not retained by them. A Nemesis attends the woman who plays the game of elusiveness too often, in the utter contempt for her that, sooner or later, her old admirers feel; under which they allow her to go unlamented to her grave.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

 

“You have never loved me as I love you–never–never! Yours is not a passionate heart–your heart does not burn in a flame! You are, upon the whole, a sort of fay, or sprite– not a woman!”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“This hobble of being alive is rather serious, don’t you think so?”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“My eyes were dazed by you for a little, and that was all.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“Bathsheba loved Troy in the way that only self-reliant women love when they abandon their self-reliance. When a strong woman recklessly throws away her strength she is worse than a weak woman who has never any strength to throw away. One source of her inadequacy is the novelty of the occasion. She has never had practice in making the best of such a condition. Weakness is doubly weak by being new.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“So each had a private little sun for her soul to bask in; some dream, some affection, some hobby, or at least some remote and distant hope….”
― Thomas Hardy

 

 

“You overrate my capacity of love. I don’t posess half the warmth of nature you believe me to have. An unprotected childhood in a cold world has beaten gentleness out of me.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“Sometimes a woman’s love of being loved gets the better of her conscience, and though she is agonized at the thought of treating a man cruelly, she encourages him to love her while she doesn’t love him at all. Then, when she sees him suffering, her remorse sets in, and she does what she can to repair the wrong.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“I agree to the conditions, Angel; because you know best what my punishment ought to be; only – only – don’t make it more than I can bear!”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“…it is foreign to a man’s nature to go on loving a person when he is told that he must and shall be that person’s lover. There would be a much likelier chance of his doing it if he were told not to love. If the marriage ceremony consisted in an oath and signed contract between the parties to cease loving from that day forward, in consideration of personal possession being given, and to avoid each other’s society as much as possible in public, there would be more loving couples than there are now. Fancy the secret meetings between the perjuring husband and wife, the denials of having seen each other, the clambering in at bedroom windows, and the hiding in closets! There’d be little cooling then.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“Don’t think of what’s past!” said she. “I am not going to think outside of now. Why should we! Who knows what tomorrow has in store? ”
― Thomas Hardy

 

 

“Sometimes I feel I don’t want to know anything more about [history] than I know already. […] Because what’s the use of learning that I am one of a long row only–finding out that there is set down in some old book somebody just like me, and to know that I shall only act her part; making me sad, that’s all. The best is not to remember that your nature and you past doings have been kist like thousands’ and thousands’, and that your coming life and doings’ll be like thousands’ and thousands’. […] I shouldn’t mind learning why–why the sun do shine on the just and the unjust alike, […] but that’s what books will not tell me.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“We learn that it is not the rays which bodies absorb, but those which they reject, that give them the colours they are known by; and in the same way people are specialized by their dislikes and antagonisms, whilst their goodwill is looked upon as no attribute at all.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“Remember that the best and greatest among mankind are those who do themselves no worldly good. Every successful man is more or less a selfish man. The devoted fail…”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“In making even horizontal and clear inspections we colour and mould according to the wants within us whatever our eyes bring in.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

 

“Her affection for him was now the breath and life of Tess’s being; it enveloped her as a photosphere, irradiated her into forgetfulness of her past sorrows, keeping back the gloomy spectres that would persist in their attempts to touch her—doubt, fear, moodiness, care, shame. She knew that they were waiting like wolves just outside the circumscribing light, but she had long spells of power to keep them in hungry subjection there.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

 

“How very lovable her face was to him. Yet there was nothing ethereal about it; all was real vitality, real warmth, real incarnation. And it was in her mouth that this culminated. Eyes almost as deep and speaking he had seen before, and cheeks perhaps as fair; brows as arched, a chin and throat almost as shapely; her mouth he had seen nothing to equal on the face of the earth. To a young man with the least fire in him that little upward lift in the middle of her red top lip was distracting, infatuating, maddening. He had never before seen a woman’s lips and teeth which forced upon his mind with such persistent iteration the old Elizabethan simile of roses filled with snow.
Perfect, he, as a lover, might have called them off-hand. But no — they were not perfect. And it was the touch of the imperfect upon the would-be perfect that gave the sweetness, because it was that which gave the humanity.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

 

“If we be doomed to marry, we marry; if we be doomed to remain single we do.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“But his dreams were as gigantic as his surroundings were small.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

 

“It appears that ordinary men take wives because possession is not possible without marriage, and that ordinary women accept husbands because marriage is not possible without possession”
― Thomas Hardy

 

 

“A resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

 

“In the ill-judged execution of the well-judged plan of things the call seldom produces the comer, the man to love rarely coincides with the hour for loving. Nature does not often say ‘See!’ to her poor creature at a time when seeing can lead to happy doing; or reply ‘Here!’ to a body’s cry of ‘Where?’ till the hide-and-seek has become an irksome, outworn game. We may wonder whether at the acme and summit of the human progress these anachronisms will be corrected by a finer intuition, a close interaction of the social machinery than that which now jolts us round and along; but such completeness is not to be prophesied, or even conceived as possible. Enough that in the present case, as in millions, it was not the two halves of a perfect whole that confronted each other at the perfect moment; part and counterpart wandered independently about the earth in the stupidest manner for a while, till the late time came. Out of which maladroit delay sprang anxieties, disappointments, shocks, catastrophes — what was called a strange destiny.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“She was not an existence, an experience, a passion, a structure of sensations, to anybody but herself. To all humankind besides Tess was only a passing thought. Even to friends she was no more than a frequently passing thought.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“Meanwhile, the trees were just as green as before; the birds sang and the sun shone as clearly now as ever. The familiar surroundings had not darkened because of her grief, nor sickened because of her pain.

She might have seen that what had bowed her head so profoundly -the thought of the world’s concern at her situation- was found on an illusion. She was not an existence, an experience, a passion, a structure of sensations, to anybody but herself.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“You, and those like you, take your fill of pleasure on earth by making the life of such as me bitter and black with sorrow; and then it is a fine thing, when you have had enough of that, to think of securing your pleasure in heaven by becoming converted!”
― Thomas Hardy

 

 

“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“Do you know that I have undergone three quarters of this labour entirely for the sake of the fourth quarter?”
― Thomas Hardy

 

“There are disappointments which wring us, and there are those which inflict a wound whose mark we bear to our graves. Such are so keen that no future gratification of the same desire can ever obliterate them: they become registered as a permanent loss of happiness.”
― Thomas Hardy

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