Quotations From THOMAS HARDY

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  • 1.
    A lover without indiscretion is no lover at all. Circumspection and devotion are a contradiction in terms.
    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Ladywell, in The Hand of Ethelberta, ch. 20 (1875).
  • 2.
    Like the British Constitution, she owes her success in practice to her inconsistencies in principle.
    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Mrs. Napper, in The Hand of Ethelberta, ch. 9 (1876). Speaking of Ethelberta.

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  • 3.
    Some folk want their luck buttered.
    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Mrs. Cuxcom, in The Mayor of Casterbridge, ch. 13 (1886).
  • 4.
    Once victim, always victim—that's the law!
    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Tess, in Tess of the D'Urbervilles, ch. 47 (1891).
  • 5.
    That man's silence is wonderful to listen to.
    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Spinks, in Under the Greenwood Tree, pt. 2, ch. 5 (1872). Some editions have the variation: "That man's dumbness is wonderful to listen to."

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  • 6.
    My argument is that War makes rattling good history; but Peace is poor reading.
    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. "Spirit Sinister," in The Dynasts, pt. 1, act 2, sc. 5 (1904).

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  • 7.
    Patience, that blending of moral courage with physical timidity.
    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Tess of the D'Urbervilles, ch. 43 (1891).

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  • 8.
    Everybody is so talented nowadays that the only people I care to honour as deserving real distinction are those who remain in obscurity.
    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Neigh, in The Hand of Ethelberta, ch. 9 (1876).

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  • 9.
    Poetry is emotion put into measure. The emotion must come by nature, but the measure can be acquired by art.
    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Note written 1899. Quoted in Florence Emily Hardy, The Later Years of Thomas Hardy, ch. 6 (1930).

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  • 10.
    Patience, that blending of moral courage with physical timidity.
    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Tess of the D'Urbervilles, ch. 43 (1891).

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