Quotes by Thomas Hardy

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

A lover without indiscretion is no lover at all. Circumspection and devotion are a contradiction in terms.
Patience, that blending of moral courage with physical timidity.
Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.
Pessimism is, in brief, playing the sure game. You cannot lose at it; you may gain. It is the only view of life in which you can never be disappointed. Having reckoned what to do in the worst possible circumstances, when better arise, as they may, life becomes child's play.
The main object of religion is not to get a man into heaven, but to get heaven into him.
If all hearts were open and all desires known -- as they would be if people showed their souls -- how many gapings, sighings, clenched fists, knotted brows, broad grins, and red eyes should we see in the market-place!
Once victim, always victim -- that's the law!
Some folk want their luck buttered.
If way to the better there be, it exacts a full look at the worst.
Everybody is so talented nowadays that the only people I care to honor as deserving real distinction are those who remain in obscurity.
Poetry is emotion put into measure. The emotion must come by nature, but the measure can be acquired by art.
Don't you go believing in sayings, Picotee: they are all made by men, for their own advantages. Women who use public proverbs as a guide through events are those who have not ingenuity enough to make private ones as each event occurs.
A resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible.
Aspect are within us, and who seems most kingly is king.
Well: what we gain by science is, after all, sadness, as the Preacher saith. The more we know of the laws and nature of the Universe the more ghastly a business we perceive it all to be -- and the non-necessity of it.
That man's silence is wonderful to listen to.
Dialect words are those terrible marks of the beast to the truly genteel.
Ethelberta breathed a sort of exclamation, not right out, but stealthily, like a parson's damn.
I am the family face; flesh perishes, I live on, projecting trait and trace through time to times anon, and leaping from place to place over oblivion.
Of course poets have morals and manners of their own, and custom is no argument with them.
Like the British Constitution, she owes her success in practice to her inconsistencies in principle.
The value of old age depends upon the person who reaches it. To some men of early performance it is useless. To others, who are late to develop, it just enables them to finish the job.
And yet to every bad there's a worse.
Love is lame at fifty years.
Tess then stood erect with the infant on her arm beside the basin, the next sister held the Prayer-Book before her, as the clerk at church held it before the parson; and thus the girl set about baptizing her child.
Let me enjoy the earth no less because the all-enacting light that fashioned forth its loveliness had other aims than my delight.
Since the receipt of the missive in the morning, Boldwood had felt the symmetry of his existence to be slowly getting distorted in the direction of an ideal passion.
Now 'tis Christmas morn; Here's to our women old and young, And to John Barleycorn!
Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me, Saying that now you are not as you were When you had changed from the one who was all to me, But as at first, when our day was fair.
And at home by the fire, whenever you look up, there I shall be--and whenever I look up, there will be you.
What does it matter, when you come to think of it, whether a child is yours by blood or not? All the little ones of our time are collectively the children of us adults of the time, and entitled to our general care. That excessive regard of parents for their own children, and their dislike of other people's, is, like class-feeling, patriotism, save-your-own soul-ism and other virtues, a mean exclusiveness at bottom.
These annual migrations from farm to farm were on the increase. . . . With the younger families it was a pleasant excitement which might possibly be an advantage. The Egypt of one family was the Land of Promise to the family who saw it from a distance, till by residence there it became in turn their Egypt also; and so they changed and changed.
When two people are once parted--have abandoned a common domicile and a common environment--new growths insensibly bud upward to fill each vacated place; unforeseen accidents hinder intentions, and old plans are forgotten.

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