Quotations From MARGARET OLIPHANT


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  • I could not help but say that Mr. Carlyle seemed the only virtuous philosopher we had. Upon which his wife answered, "My dear, if Mr. Carlyle's digestion had been stronger, there is no saying what he might have been!"
    Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897), British novelist, historian. Letter, c. May 1866, describing conversation between herself and Jane Welsh Carlyle, the wife of historian Thomas Carlyle. Published in Autobiography and Letters of Mrs. Margaret Oliphant (1899).
  • It has been my fate in a long life of production to be credited chiefly with the equivocal virtue of industry, a quality so excellent in morals, so little satisfactory in art.
    Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897), British novelist, historian. The Heir Presumptive and the Heir Apparent, preface (1892).

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  • Oh, never mind the fashion. When one has a style of one's own, it is always twenty times better.
    Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897), British novelist, historian. Miss Marjoribanks, in Miss Marjoribanks, ch. 31 (1866). Fourth of Chronicles of Carlingford.
  • For everybody knows that it requires very little to satisfy the gentlemen, if a woman will only give her mind to it.
    Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897), British novelist, historian. Miss Marjoribanks, ch. 13, Chronicles of Carlingford, no. 4 (1866).

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  • There is something very solemn in the thought of a great spirit like hers entering the spiritual world which she did not believe in. If we are right in our faith, what a blessed surprise for her!
    Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897), British novelist, historian. Letter, December 26, 1880. Autobiography and Letters of Mrs. Margaret Oliphant (1899). Referring to novelist George Eliot, whose funeral was to be held shortly.

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  • Temptations come, as a general rule, when they are sought.
    Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897), British novelist, historian. Miss Marjoribanks, ch. 47 (1866). Fourth of Chronicles of Carlingford.
  • As for pictures and museums, that don't trouble me. The worst of going abroad is that you've always got to look at things of that sort. To have to do it at home would be beyond a joke.
    Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897), British novelist, historian. Clarence Copperhead, in Phoebe, Junior, ch. 26 (1876). The fifth of Chronicles of Carlingford.

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  • To have a man who can flirt is next thing to indispensable to a leader of society.
    Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897), British novelist, historian. Miss Marjoribanks, in Chronicles of Carlingford, no. 4, Miss Marjoribanks, ch. 13 (1866).
  • The first thing which I can record concerning myself is, that I was born.... These are wonderful words. This life, to which neither time nor eternity can bring diminution—this everlasting living soul, began. My mind loses itself in these depths.
    Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897), British novelist, historian. Memoirs and Resolutions of Adam Graeme, of Mossgray, vol. 1, bk. 1, ch. 1 (1852).

    Read more quotations about / on: time, life
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