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Charlotte Brontë quotes (showing 1-30 of 1,060)

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal — as we are!”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“The trouble is not that I am single and likely to stay single, but that I am lonely and likely to stay lonely.”
Charlotte Brontë
“Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.”
Charlotte Brontë
“No sight so sad as that of a naughty child," he began, "especially a naughty little girl. Do you know where the wicked go after death?"

"They go to hell," was my ready and orthodox answer.

"And what is hell? Can you tell me that?"

"A pit full of fire."

"And should you like to fall into that pit, and to be burning there for ever?"

"No, sir."

"What must you do to avoid it?"

I deliberated a moment: my answer, when it did come was objectionable: "I must keep in good health and not die.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“Jane, be still; don't struggle so like a wild, frantic bird, that is rending its own plumage in its desperation."
"I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved of you and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“I am not an angel,' I asserted; 'and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself. Mr. Rochester, you must neither expect nor exact anything celestial of me - for you will not get it, any more than I shall get it of you: which I do not at all anticipate.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“Reader, I married him.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, great and strong! He made me love him without looking at me.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“Flirting is a woman’s trade, one must keep in practice.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“Gentle reader, may you never feel what I then felt! May your eyes never shed such stormy, scalding, heart-wrung tears as poured from mine. May you never appeal to Heaven in prayers so hopeless and so agised as in that hour left my lips: for never may you, like me, dread to be the instrument of evil to what you wholly love.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“But life is a battle: may we all be enabled to fight it well!”
Charlotte Brontë, The Letters of Charlotte Brontë
“Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! - I have as much soul as you, - and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you!”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“I have little left in myself -- I must have you. The world may laugh -- may call me absurd, selfish -- but it does not signify. My very soul demands you: it will be satisfied, or it will take deadly vengeance on its frame.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“It is a long way to Ireland, Janet, and I am sorry to send my little friend on such weary travels: but if I can't do better, how is it to be helped? Are you anything akin to me, do you think, Jane?"

I could risk no sort of answer by this time: my heart was still.

"Because, he said, "I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you - especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land some broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you, - you'd forget me.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“All my heart is yours, sir: it belongs to you; and with you it would remain, were fate to exile the rest of me from your presence forever.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter - often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter - in the eye.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“I ask you to pass through life at my side—to be my second self, and best earthly companion.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“Even for me life had its gleams of sunshine.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“It does good to no woman to be flattered [by a man] who does not intend to marry her; and it is madness in all women to let a secret love kindle within them, which, if unreturned and unknown, must devour the life that feeds it; and, if discovered and responded to, must lead, ignis-fatuus-like, into miry wilds whence there is no extrication.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
“We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

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