Thomas Hardy

(2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928 / Dorchester / England)

Quotations

  • ''And yet to every bad there is a worse.''
    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. The Woodlanders, ch. 34 (1887).
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  • ''And ghosts then keep their distance; and I know some liberty.''
    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Wessex Heights (l. 32). . . The Complete Poems of Thomas Hardy. James Gibson, ed. (1978) Macmillan.
  • ''It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.''
    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Bathsheba, in Far from the Madding Crowd, ch. 51 (1874).
  • ''The value of old age depends upon the person who reaches it. To some men of early performance it is useless. To others, who are late to develop, it just enables them to finish the job.''
    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. "Birthday Notes," quoted in Florence Emily Hardy, The Later Years of Thomas Hardy, ch. 17 (1930).
  • ''Of course poets have morals and manners of their own, and custom is no argument with them.''
    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Faith, in The Hand of Ethelberta, ch. 2 (1875).
  • ''It is safer to accept any chance that offers itself, and extemporize a procedure to fit it, than to get a good plan matured, and wait for a chance of using it.''
    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Far from the Madding Crowd, ch. VI (1874).
  • ''A resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible.''
    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Far from the Madding Crowd, ch. 18 (1874).
  • ''A lover without indiscretion is no lover at all. Circumspection and devotion are a contradiction in terms.''
    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Ladywell, in The Hand of Ethelberta, ch. 20 (1875).
  • ''Some folk want their luck buttered.''
    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Mrs. Cuxcom, in The Mayor of Casterbridge, ch. 13 (1886).
  • ''Like the British Constitution, she owes her success in practice to her inconsistencies in principle.''
    Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), British novelist, poet. Mrs. Napper, in The Hand of Ethelberta, ch. 9 (1876). Speaking of Ethelberta.

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She, to Him, IV

This love puts all humanity from me;
I can but maledict her, pray her dead,
For giving love and getting love of thee—
Feeding a heart that else mine own had fed!

How much I love I know not, life not known,
Save as some unit I would add love by;
But this I know, my being is but thine own—
Fused from its separateness by ecstasy.

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