THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY (illustrated 1908 edition, complete, and unabridged)
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Isabel was in a situation that gave a value to any change.
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She was nevertheless very fond of her only child and had always insisted on his spending three months of the year with her.
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She thinks she knows a great deal of it—like most American girls; but like most American girls she's ridiculously mistaken.
Phil Ruse
Re: the world
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England was a revelation to her, and she found herself as diverted as a child at a pantomime.
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I always want to know the things one shouldn't do." "So as to do them?" asked her aunt. "So as to choose," said Isabel.
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Lord Haycock, was a very good fellow, but unfortunately a horrid Tory; and his wife, like all good English wives, was worse than her husband.
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You see they're very luxurious, and these progressive ideas are about their biggest luxury. They make them feel moral and yet don't damage their position.
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"Yes, in America. I suppose you know she comes from there. She can't help it, but she does."
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I want to see some of the leading minds of the present. I won't say of the future, because I don't believe much in your future."
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I don't want to begin life by marrying. There are other things a woman can do."
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"When people forget I'm a poor creature I'm often incommoded," he said. "But it's worse when they remember it!"
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I don't need the aid of a clever man to teach me how to live. I can find it out for myself."
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The finer natures were those that shone at the larger times.
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"Well, she'll have more money," said Mr. Touchett. "I've left her a good wife's portion, just as if she had been a good wife."
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One can't judge till one's forty; before that we're too eager, too hard, too cruel, and in addition much too ignorant.
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"A great many people give me the impression of never having for a moment felt anything."
Phil Ruse
Says more about us than them?
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having no faults, for your aunt, means that one's never late for dinner—that is for her dinner.
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It's a sign that I'm growing old—that I like to talk with younger people.
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The love of knowledge coexisted in her mind with the finest capacity for ignorance.
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I can't be a doctor; it's a repulsive business. I can't be a clergyman; I haven't got convictions.
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I should like to be a diplomatist; but American diplomacy—that's not for gentlemen either.
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You must be prepared on many occasions in life to please no one at all—not even yourself."
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I am—a dull, obstinate, narrow-minded old woman." "I don't think you're at all dull," Isabel had replied to this.
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"You're indolent. For me that's your worst fault." "I'm afraid it's really my best."
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I'm perfectly aware, for instance, that you know good society from bad." "Society is all bad."
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She was by no means a blank sheet; she had been written over in a variety of hands,
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"Lord Warburton's a great radical," Isabel said. "He has very advanced opinions." "He has very advanced stone walls. His park's enclosed by a gigantic iron fence, some thirty miles round,"
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She considered, with the presumption of youth, that a morality differing from her own must be inferior to it;
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I knew she could play any part; but I understood that she played them one by one. I didn't understand that she would play two at the same time."