Charlotte Brontë

(21 April 1816 – 31 March 1855 / Yorkshire, England)

Quotations

  • ''You had no right to be born; for you make no use of life. Instead of living for, in, and with yourself, as a reasonable being ought, you seek only to fasten your feebleness on some other person's strength.''
    Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), British novelist. Eliza Reed to her sister Georgiana, in Jane Eyre, ch. 21 (1847).
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  • ''But this I know; the writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master—something that at times strangely wills and works for itself.... If the result be attractive, the World will praise you, who little deserve praise; if it be repulsive, the same World will blame you, who almost as little deserve blame.''
    Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), British novelist. Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights, preface (1850).
  • ''Something of vengeance I had tasted for the first time; as aromatic wine it seemed, on swallowing, warm and racy: its after- flavour, metallic and corroding, gave me a sensation as if I had been poisoned.''
    Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), British novelist. Jane Eyre, ch. 4 (1847).
  • ''Feeling without judgement is a washy draught indeed; but judgement untempered by feeling is too bitter and husky a morsel for human deglutition.''
    Charlotte Brontë (1816-55), British novelist. Jane Eyre, ch. 21 (1847). "Deglutition" means the action of swallowing [OED]...
  • ''Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education; they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.''
    Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), British novelist. Jane Eyre, ch. 29 (1847).
  • ''It is vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.''
    Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), British novelist. Jane Eyre, ch. 12 (1847).
  • ''Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.''
    Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), British novelist. Jane Eyre, ch. 12 (1847).
  • ''If you are cast in a different mould to the majority, it is no merit of yours: Nature did it.''
    Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), British novelist. Jane Eyre, ch. 14 (1847).
  • ''One does not jump, and spring, and shout hurrah! at hearing one has got a fortune, one begins to consider responsibilities, and to ponder business; on a base of steady satisfaction rise certain grave cares, and we contain ourselves, and brood over our bliss with a solemn brow.''
    Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), British novelist. Jane Eyre, ch. 33 (1847).
  • ''Firm, faithful, and devoted, full of energy and zeal, and truth, he labours for his race; he clears their painful way to improvement; he hews down like a giant the prejudices of creed and caste that encumber it. He may be stern; he may be exacting; he may be ambitious yet; but his is the sternness of the warrior Greatheart, who guards his pilgrim convoy from the onslaught of Apollyon. His is the exaction of the apostle, who speaks but for Christ, when he says, "Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me." His is the ambition of the high master-spirit, which aims to fill a place in the first rank of those who are redeemed from the earth—who stand without fault before the throne of God, who share the last mighty victories of the Lamb, who are called, and chosen, and faithful.''
    Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), British novelist. Jane Eyre, ch. 38 (1847). of the missionary St. John Rogers.

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Winter Stores

WE take from life one little share,
And say that this shall be
A space, redeemed from toil and care,
From tears and sadness free.

And, haply, Death unstrings his bow
And Sorrow stands apart,
And, for a little while, we know
The sunshine of the heart.

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