The Moonstone Quotes

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The Moonstone The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
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“Your tears come easy, when you're young, and beginning the world. Your tears come easy, when you're old, and leaving it. I burst out crying.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“We had our breakfasts--whatever happens in a house, robbery or murder, it doesn't matter, you must have your breakfast.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
tags: humor
“Every human institution (Justice included) will stretch a little, if only you pull it in the right way.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“At the age when we are all of us most apt to take our colouring, in the form of a reflection from the colouring of other people, he had been sent abroad, and had been passed on from one nation to another, before there was time for any one colouring more than another to settle itself on him firmly. As a consequence of this, he had come back with so many different sides to his character, all more or less jarring with each other, that he seemed to pass his life in a state of perpetual contradiction with himself. He could be a busy man, and a lazy man; cloudy in the head, and clear in the head; a model of determination, and a spectacle of helplessness, all together. He had his French side, and his German side, and his Italian side--the original English foundation showing through, every now and then, as much as to say, "Here I am, sorely transmogrified, as you see, but there's something of me left at the bottom of him still.”
William Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“I haven't much time to be fond of anything ... but when I have a moment's fondness to bestow, most times ... the roses get it. I began my life among them in my father's nursery garden, and I shall end my life among them, if I can. Yes. One of these days (please God) I shall retire from catching thieves, and try my hand at growing roses.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“She was unlike most girls of her age, in this--that she had ideas of her own.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“You are not to take it, if you please, as the saying of an ignorant man, when I express my opinion that such a book as ROBINSON CRUSOE never was written, and never will be written again. I have tried that book for years—generally in combination with a pipe of tobacco—and I have found it my friend in need in all the necessities of this mortal life. When my spirits are bad—ROBINSON CRUSOE. When I want advice—ROBINSON CRUSOE. In past times when my wife plagued me; in present times when I have had a drop too much—ROBINSON CRUSOE. I have worn out six stout ROBINSON CRUSOES with hard work in my service. On my lady's last birthday she gave me a seventh. I took a drop too much on the strength of it; and ROBINSON CRUSOE put me right again. Price four shillings and sixpence, bound in blue, with a picture into the bargain.

Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“And earth was heaven a little the worse for wear. And heaven was earth, done up again to look like new. ”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“This is a miserable world", says the Sergeant. "Human life, Mr. Betteredge, is a sort of target --misfortune is always firing at it, and always hitting the mark".”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“In all my experience along the dirtiest ways of this dirty little world, I have never met with such a thing as a trifle yet.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“Perhaps you think you see a certain contradiction here? In that case, a word in your ear. Study your wife closely, for the next four-and-twenty hours. If your good lady doesn't exhibit something in the shape of a contradiction in that time, Heaven help you!--you have married a monster.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
tags: humor
“I am an average good Christian, when you don't push my Christianity too far. And all the rest of you—which is a great comfort—are, in this respect, much the same as I am.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“I am (thank God!) constitutionally superior to reason.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“When a woman wants me to do anything (my daughter, or not, it doesn't matter), I always insist on knowing why. The oftener you make them rummage their own minds for a reason, the more manageable you will find them in all the relations of life. It isn't their fault (poor wretches!) that they act first and think afterwards; it's the fault of the fools who humour them.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
tags: humor
“see with nobody's eyes, we hear with nobody's ears, we feel with nobody's hearts, but our own.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“If you will look about you (which most people won't do)," says Sergeant Cuff, "you will see that the nature of a man's tastes is, most times, as opposite as possible to the nature of a man's business.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“They seem to be in a conspiracy to persecute you,” she said. “What does it mean?”

“Only the protest of the world, Miss Verinder — on a very small scale — against anything that is new.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“We often hear, almost invariably, however, from superficial observers, that guilt can look like innocence. I believe it to be infinitely the truer axiom of the two that innocence can look like guilt.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“Whenever a woman tries to put you out of temper, turn the tables, and put HER out of temper instead. They are generally prepared for every effort you can make in your own defence, but that. One word does it as well as a hundred; and one word did it with Limping Lucy. I looked her pleasantly in the face; and I said—"Pooh!”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“You hear more than enough of married people living together miserably. Here is an example to the contrary. Let it be a warning to some of you, and an encouragement to others. In the meantime, I will go on with my story.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
tags: humor
“Lord! haven't I seen you with the greatest authors in your hands, and don't I know how ready your attention is to wander when it's a book that asks for it, instead of a person?”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“One after another, they were examined. One after another, they proved to have nothing to say--and said it (so far as the women were concerned) at great length...”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“Now, tell me, my dear, I said, what are you crying about?

About the years that are gone, Mr. Betteredge," says Rosanna quietly. My past life still comes back to me sometimes.

Come, come, my girl, I said, your past life is all sponged out. Why can't you forget it?

"She took me by one of the lappets of my coat. I am a slovenly old man, and a good deal of my meat and drink gets splashed about on my clothes. Sometimes one of the women, and sometimes another, cleans me of my grease. The day before, Roseanna had taken out a spot for me on the lappet of my coat, with a new composition, warranted to remove anything. The grease was gone, but there was a little dull place left on the nap of the cloth where the grease had been. The girl pointed to that place, and shook here head.

The stain is taken off, she said. But the place shows, Mr. Betteredge--the place shows!”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“If it's any comfort to you, collar me again. You don't in the least know how to do it; but I'll overlook your awkwardness in consideration of your feelings.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
tags: humor
“People in high life have all the luxuries to themselves - among others, the luxury of indulging their feelings. People in low life have no such privilege.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“I agree with the late William Cobbett about picking a wife. See that she chews her food well and sets her foot down firmly on the ground when she walks, and you're all right. Selina Goby was all right in both these respects, which was one reason for marrying her. I had another reason, likewise, entirely of my own discovering. Selina, being a single woman, made me pay so much a week for her board and services. Selina, being my wife, couldn't charge for her board, and would have to give me her services for nothing. That was the point of view I looked at it from. Economy - with a dash of love.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“The clouds had gathered, within the last half-hour. The light was dull; the distance was dim. The lovely face of Nature met us, soft and still and colourless – met us without a smile.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“The little that he had said, thus far, had been sufficient to convince me that I was speaking to a gentleman. He had what I may venture to describe as the unsought self-possession, which is a sure sign of good breeding, not in England only, but everywhere else in the civilized world.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“Mr. Bruff, I'm ordered to take exercise and I don't like it. That, added Aunt Ablewhite, pointing out of window to an invalid going by in a chair on wheels, drawn by a man, is my idea of exercise. If it's air you want, you get it in your chair. And if it's fatique you want, I am sure it's fatiquing enough to look at the man.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone
“The cook looked as if she could grill Mr. Superintendent alive on a furnace, and the other women looked as if they could eat him when he was done.”
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone

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