Villette Quotes

Quotes tagged as "villette" Showing 1-30 of 41
Charlotte Brontë
“I thought I loved him when he went away; I love him now in another degree: he is more my own. [ . . . ] Oh! a thousand weepers, praying in agony on waiting shores, listened for that voice, but it was not uttered--not uttered till; when the hush came, some could not feel it: till, when the sun returned, his light was night to some!”
Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Charlotte Brontë
“But afterwards, is there nothing more for me in life - no true home - nothing to be dearer to me than myself?”
Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Charlotte Brontë
“I doubt if I have made the best use of all my calamities. Soft, amiable natures they would have refined to saintliness; of strong, evil spirits they would have made demons; as for me, I have only been a woe-struck and selfish woman.”
Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Charlotte Brontë
“Whatever my powers--feminine or the contrary--God had given them, and I felt resolute to be ashamed of no faculty of his bestowal.”
Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë
“Come, Paul!" she reiterated, her eye grazing me with its hard ray like a steel stylet. She pushed against her kinsman. I thought he receded; I thought he would go. Pierced deeper than I could endure, made now to feel what defied suppression, I cried -

"My heart will break!"

What I felt seemed literal heart-break; but the seal of another fountain yielded under the strain: one breath from M. Paul, the whisper, "Trust me!" lifted a load, opened an outlet. With many a deep sob, with thrilling, with icy shiver, with strong trembling, and yet with relief - I wept.

"Leave her to me; it is a crisis: I will give her a cordial, and it will pass," said the calm Madame Beck.

To be left to her and her cordial seemed to me something like being left to the poisoner and her bowl. When M. Paul answered deeply, harshly, and briefly - "Laissez-moi!" in the grim sound I felt a music strange, strong, but life-giving.

"Laissez-moi!" he repeated, his nostrils opening, and his facial muscles all quivering as he spoke.

"But this will never do," said Madame, with sternness. More sternly rejoined her kinsman -

"Sortez d'ici!"

"I will send for Père Silas: on the spot I will send for him," she threatened pertinaciously.

"Femme!" cried the Professor, not now in his deep tones, but in his highest and most excited key, "Femme! sortez à l'instant!"

He was roused, and I loved him in his wrath with a passion beyond what I had yet felt.

"What you do is wrong," pursued Madame; "it is an act characteristic of men of your unreliable, imaginative temperament; a step impulsive, injudicious, inconsistent - a proceeding vexatious, and not estimable in the view of persons of steadier and more resolute character."

"You know not what I have of steady and resolute in me," said he, "but you shall see; the event shall teach you. Modeste," he continued less fiercely, "be gentle, be pitying, be a woman; look at this poor face, and relent. You know I am your friend, and the friend of your friends; in spite of your taunts, you well and deeply know I may be trusted. Of sacrificing myself I made no difficulty but my heart is pained by what I see; it must have and give solace. Leave me!"

This time, in the "leave me" there was an intonation so bitter and so imperative, I wondered that even Madame Beck herself could for one moment delay obedience; but she stood firm; she gazed upon him dauntless; she met his eye, forbidding and fixed as stone. She was opening her lips to retort; I saw over all M. Paul's face a quick rising light and fire; I can hardly tell how he managed the movement; it did not seem violent; it kept the form of courtesy; he gave his hand; it scarce touched her I thought; she ran, she whirled from the room; she was gone, and the door shut, in one second.

The flash of passion was all over very soon. He smiled as he told me to wipe my eyes; he waited quietly till I was calm, dropping from time to time a stilling, solacing word. Ere long I sat beside him once more myself - re-assured, not desperate, nor yet desolate; not friendless, not hopeless, not sick of life, and seeking death.

"It made you very sad then to lose your friend?" said he.

"It kills me to be forgotten, Monsieur," I said.”
Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Charlotte Brontë
“Whatever the cause, I could not meet his sunshine with cloud. If this were my last moment with him, I would not waste it in forced, unnatural distance. I loved him well - too well not to smite out of my path even Jealousy herself, when she would have obstructed a kind farewell. A cordial word from his lips, or a gentle look from his eyes, would do me good, for all the span of life that remained to me; it would be comfort in the last strait of loneliness; I would take it - I would taste the elixir, and pride should not spill the cup.”
Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Charlotte Brontë
“But if I feel, may I never express?”
“Never!” declared Reason.

I groaned under her bitter sternness. Never - never - oh, hard word! This hag, this Reason, would not let me look up, or smile, or hope; she could not rest unless I were altogether crushed, cowed, broken-in, and broken down. According to her, I was born only to work for a piece of bread, to await the pains of death, and steadily through all life to despond. Reason might be right; yet no wonder we are glad at times to defy her, to rush from under her rod and give a truant hour to Imagination - her soft, bright foe, our sweet Help, our divine Hope.”
Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Charlotte Brontë
“The charm of variety there was not, nor the excitement of incident; but I liked peace so well, and sought stimulus so little, that when the latter came I almost felt it a disturbance, and rather still wished it had held aloof.”
Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Charlotte Brontë
“Where my soul went during that swoon I cannot tell. Whatever she saw, or wherever she travelled in her trance on that strange night she kept her own secret; never whispering a word to Memory, and baffling imagination by an indissoluble silence. She may have gone upward, and come in sight of her eternal home, hoping for leave to rest now, and deeming that her painful union with matter was at last dissolved. While she so deemed, an angel may have warned her away from heaven's threshold, and, guiding her weeping down, have bound her, once more, all shuddering and unwilling, to that poor frame, cold and wasted, of whose companionship she was grown more than weary.

I know she re-entered her prison with pain, with reluctance, with a moan and a long shiver. The divorced mates, Spirit and Substance, were hard to re-unite: they greeted each other, not in an embrace, but a racking sort of struggle.”
Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë
“Take it to your Maker - show Him the secrets of the spirit He gave - ask Him how you are to bear the pains He appointed - kneel in His presence, and pray with faith for light in darkness, for strength in piteous weakness, for patience in extreme need. Certainly, at some hour, though perhaps not your hour, the waiting waters will stir; in some shape, though not perhaps the shape you dreamed, which your heart loved, and for which it bled, the healing herald will descend.”
Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Brontë
“Graham’s thoughts of me were not entirely those of a frozen indifference, after all. I believe in that goodly mansion, his heart, he kept one little place under the skylights where Lucy might have entertainment, if she chose to call. It was not so handsome as the chambers where he lodged his male friends; it was not like the hall where he accommodated his philanthropy, or the library where he treasured his science, still less did it resemble the pavilion where his marriage feast was splendidly spread; yet, gradually, by long and equal kindness, he proved to me that he kept one little closet, over the door of which was written ‘Lucy’s Room.’ I kept a place for him too — a place of which I never took the measure, either by rule or compass: I think it was like the tent of Peri-Banou. All my life long I carried it folded in the hollow of my hand — yet, released from that hold and constriction, I knew not but its innate capacity for expanse might have magnified it into a tabernacle for a host.”
Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Charlotte Brontë
“Who told you I was called Carl David?" "A little bird, Monsieur." "Does it fly from me to you? Then one can tie a message under its wing when needful.”
Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Charlotte Brontë
“His will be done, as done it surely will be, whether we humble ourselves to resignation or not. The impulse of creation forwards it; the strength of powers, seen and unseen, has its fulfillment in charge. Proof of a life to come must be given. In fire and in blood, if needful, must that proof be written. In fire and in blood do we trace the record throughout nature. In fire and in blood does it cross our own experience. Sufferer, faint not through terror of this burning evidence. Tired wayfarer, gird up thy loins, look upward, march onward. Pilgrims and brother mourners, join in friendly company. Dark through the wilderness of this world stretches the way for most of us: equal and steady be our tread; be our cross our banner. For staff we have His promis, whose 'word is tried, whose way perfect": for present hope His providence, 'who gives the shield of salvation, whose gentleness makes great'; for final home His bosom, who 'dwells in the height of Heaven'; for crowning prize a glory exceeding and eternal. Let us so run that we may obtain: let us endure hardness as good soldiers; let us finish our course, and keep the faith, reliant in the issue to come off more than conquerors: 'Art though not from everlasting mine Holy One? WE SHALL NOT DIE!”
Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë
“The spring which moved my energies lay far away beyond seas, in an Indian isle.”
Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Charlotte Brontë
“His veins were dark with a vivid belladonna tincture, the essence of jealousy.”
Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Charlotte Brontë
“These struggles with the natural character, the strong native bent of the heart, may seem futile and fruitless, but in the end they do good. They tend, however slightly, to give the actions, the conduct, that turn wich Reason approves, and whic Feeling, perharps, too ofter opposes: they certainly make a difference in the general tenor of a life, and certainly make a difference in the general tenor of a life, and enable it to be better regulated, mofe equable, quieter on the surface; and it is on the surface only the common gaze will fall.”
Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Brontë
“This harsh little man — this pitiless censor — gathers up all your poor scattered sins of vanity, your luckless chiffon of rose- color, your small fringe of a wreath, your small scrap of ribbon, your silly bit of lace, and calls you to account for the lot, and for each item. You are well habituated to be passed by as a shadow in Life's sunshine: it its a new thing to see one testily lifting his hand to screen his eyes, because you tease him with an obtrusive ray.”
Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Charlotte Brontë
“I do not think the sunny youth of either will prove the forerunner of stormy age. I think it is deemed good that you two should live in peace and be happy - not as angels but as few are happy amongst mortals. Some lives are thus blessed: it is God's will: it is the attesting trace and lingering evidence of Eden. Other lives run from the first another course. Other travellers encounter weather fitful and gusty wild and variable - breast adverse winds are belated and overtaken by the early closing winter night. Neither can this happen without the sanction of God and I know that amidst His boundless works is somewhere stored the secret of this last fate's justice: I know that His treasures contain the proof as the promise of its mercy.”
Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Charlotte Brontë
“There is enough said. Trouble no quiet, kind heart; leave sunny imaginations hope. Let it be theirs to conceive the delight of joy born again fresh out of great terror, the rapture of rescue from peril, the wondrous reprieve from dread, the fruition of return. Let them picture union and a happy succeeding life.”
Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Charlotte Brontë
“Those who live in retirement, whose lives have fallen amid the seclusion of schools or of other walled-in and guarded dwellings, are liable to be suddenly and for a long while dropped out of the memory of their friends, the denizens of a freer world. Unaccountably, perhaps, and close upon some space of unusually frequent intercourse—some congeries of rather exciting little circumstances, whose natural sequel would rather seem to be the quickening than the suspension of communication—there falls a stilly pause, a wordless silence, a long blank of oblivion. Unbroken always is this blank; alike entire and unexplained. The letter, the message once frequent, are cut off; the visit, formerly periodical, ceases to occur; the book, paper, or other token that indicated remembrance, comes no more.

Always there are excellent reasons for these lapses, if the hermit but knew them. Though he is stagnant in his cell, his connections without are whirling in the very vortex of life. That void interval which passes for him so slowly that the very clocks seem at a stand, and the wingless hours plod by in the likeness of tired tramps prone to rest at milestones—that same interval, perhaps, teems with events, and pants with hurry for his friends.

The hermit—if he be a sensible hermit—will swallow his own thoughts, and lock up his own emotions during these weeks of inward winter. He will know that Destiny designed him to imitate, on occasion, the dormouse, and he will be conformable: make a tidy ball of himself, creep into a hole of life's wall, and submit decently to the drift which blows in and soon blocks him up, preserving him in ice for the season.

Let him say, "It is quite right: it ought to be so, since so it is." And, perhaps, one day his snow-sepulchre will open, spring's softness will return, the sun and south-wind will reach him; the budding of hedges, and carolling of birds and singing of liberated streams will call him to kindly resurrection. Perhaps this may be the case, perhaps not: the frost may get into his heart and never thaw more; when spring comes, a crow or a pie may pick out of the wall only his dormouse-bones. Well, even in that case, all will be right: it is to be supposed he knew from the first he was mortal, and must one day go the way of all flesh, As well soon as syne.”
Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë
“It is true I little respect women or girls who are loquacious either in boasting the triumphs, or bemoaning the mortifications, of feelings.”
Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë
“I will tell you it is my neck you are putting in peril; for whatever is yours is, in a dearer and tenderer sense, mine.”
Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Charlotte Brontë
“All at once my position rose on me like a ghost. Anomalous, desolate, almost blank of hope, it stood. What was I doing here alone in great London? What should I do on the morrow? What prospects had I in life? What friends had I on earth? Whence did I come? Whither should I go? What should I do?
I wet the pillow, my arms, and my hair with rushing tears. A dark interval of bitter thought followed this burst; but I did not regret the step taken, nor wish to retract it. A strong, vague persuasion that it was better to go forward than backward, and that I could go forward - that a way, however narrow and difficult, would in time open - predominated over other feelings.”
Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Charlotte Brontë
“he gathered me near his heart. I was full of faults; he took them and me all home.”
Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Charlotte Brontë
“I had, ere this, looked on the thought of death with a quiet eye.”
Charlotte Brontë

“Pere Silas in Villette marshals his forces with considerable skill and subtlety. Although he claims to be momentarily taken aback by the young woman to whom his customary set of routine responses does not apply, he soon divines her weak spots and engineers his temptations accordingly. Lucy's passionate nature, frustrated and mortified in her loneliness and desperate for kindness and affection, is one of his three targets. Another is her aesthetic sensibilities, which he hope to impress by way of the splendours of Roman Catholic worship. Finally, she has an extraordinarily active intellect allied to an ascetic, somewhat morbid streak and a conspicuous absence of any talent for contentment. Such people rarely attain serenity in life by their own efforts, and Pere Silas holds a key to that state: soothed by a carefully prescribed routine of good works, just arduous enough to keep her strictly occupied without exhausting her, her searching, irritable mind will surely find peace.”
Marianne Thormahlen, The Bront�s and Religion

“To Lucy Snowe, 'Romanism' is 'a great mixed image of gold and clay', and the latter quality is particularly evident in the bartering deals where material comforts and peace of mind are acquired at the expense of spiritual liberty. The horrors of this exchange are articulated with a warmth which springs directly from the hatred of oppression that informs all the Bronte novels.”
Marianne Thormählen, The Brontës and Religion

Charlotte Brontë
“To speak truth, reader, there is no excellent beauty, no accomplished grace, no reliable refinement, without strength as excellent, as complete, as trustworthy. As well might you look for good fruit and blossom on a rootless and sapless tree, as for charms that will endure a feeble and relaxed nature. For a little while the blooming semblance of beauty may flourish round weakness; but it cannot bear a blast: it soon fades, even in serenest sunshine.”
Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë
“How seem in the eyes of that God who made all firmaments, from whose nostrils issued whatever of life is here, or in the stars, shining yonder - how seem the differences of man? But as Time is not for God, nor Space, so neither is Measure, nor Comparison. We abase ourselves in our littleness, and we do right; yet it may be that the constancy of one heart, the truth and faith of one mind according to the light He has appointed, import as much to Him as the just motion of satellites about their planets, of planets about their suns, of suns around that mighty unseen centre incomprehensible, irrealizable, with strange mental effort only divined.”
Charlotte Brontë, Villette

Charlotte Brontë
“No prospect but the dubious cloud-tracery of hope.”
Charlotte Brontë

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