George Eliot Quotes

Most popular George Eliot Quotes

Consequences are unpitying.

consequences

Correct English is the slang of prigs.
— George Eliot

language

Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.

expectation

Time, like money, is measured by our needs.

time

What loneliness is more lonely than distrust?

loneliness trust

What makes life dreary is the want of motive.

motivation

Best friend, my well-spring in the wilderness!

friendship

One must be poor to know the luxury of giving!

Giving

Truth has rough flavors if we bite it through.

truth

One must be poor to know the luxury of giving.
— George Eliot

Giving poverty

What makes life dreary is the want of a motive.
— George Eliot
Family likeness has often a deep sadness in it.

family

A man must be poor to know the luxury of giving.
— George Eliot
Ignorant kindness may have the effect of cruelty.

kindness

Our words have wings, but fly not where we would.

words

Ignorance gives one a large range of probabilities.

ignorance

It is never too late to be what you might have been.
— George Eliot

inspirational

There is a great deal of unmapped country within us.
— George Eliot
Wit is a form of force that leaves the limbs at rest.

wit

The reward of one duty is the power to fulfill another.

duty

Hatred is like fire—it makes even light rubbish deadly.

hate

We want people to feel with us more than to act for us.
— George Eliot
The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.
— George Eliot
And the intensest form of hatred is that rooted in fear.

hate

Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our needs.
— George Eliot
Biographies generally are a disease of English literature.
— George Eliot

biography

We hand folks over to God's mercy, and show none ourselves.

mercy

It's easy finding reasons why other folks should be patient.

patience

The reward of one duty done is the power to fulfill another.
— George Eliot
It's but little good you'll do a-watering the last year's crop.

the past

There is no killing the suspicion that deceit has once begotten.

deceit suspicion

I say that the strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.

choice growth

There are glances of hatred that stab, and raise no cry of murder.

hate

A difference of taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections.

humor joking

He was like a cock, who thought the sun had risen to hear him crow.

arrogance

Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another.
— George Eliot
A difference of tastes in jokes is a great strain on the affections.
— George Eliot
Opposition may become sweet to a man when he christened it persecution.

opposition persecution

Friendships begin with liking or gratitude—roots that can be pulled up.

friendship gratitude

We must find our duties in what comes to us, not in what might have been.
— George Eliot
What do we live for if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?
— George Eliot

purpose of life service

What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other?

difficulties

Anger and jealousy can no more bear to lose sight of their objects than love.

anger jealousy

What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?
— George Eliot

helping others

Genius at first is little more than a great capacity for receiving discipline.
— George Eliot

genius

I'm not denyin' the women are foolish: God Almighty made 'em to match the men.
— George Eliot

men and women

I'm not denyin' the women are foolish. God Almighty made 'em to match the men.
— George Eliot

men

Animals are such agreeable friends—they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.

animals

When a workman knows the use of his tools, he can make a door as well as a window.

ability skill

Her own misery filled her heart; there was no room in it for other people's sorrow.

misery self-pity

Watch your own speech, and notice how it is guided by your less conscious purposes.
— George Eliot
Animals are such agreeable friends — they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.
— George Eliot
Our deeds still travel with us from afar, and what we have been makes us what we are.
— George Eliot
Our deeds still travel with us from afar,
And what we have been makes us what we are.

deeds

There's good chances and bad chances, and nobody's luck is pulled only by one string.

luck

Pain must enter into its glorified life of memory before it can turn into compassion.

compassion pain

It was as useless to fight against the interpretations of ignorance as to whip the fog.

ignorance

There are answers which, in turning away wrath, only send it to the other end of the room.

answers

Excellence encourages one about life generally; it shows the spiritual wealth of the world.

excellence

And 'tis a strange truth that only in the agony of parting we look into the depths of love.

agony

The only failure a man ought to fear is failure in cleaving to the purpose he sees to be best.

purpose of life

No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence.

the human condition trust

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.
— George Eliot
Cruelty, like every other vice, requires no motive outside itself—it only requires opportunity.

cruelty

Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.
— George Eliot

holding your tongue silence

When gratitude has become a matter of reasoning, there are many ways of escaping from its bonds.

gratitude

Vanity is as ill at ease under indifference as tenderness is under a love which it cannot return.

vanity

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say,abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.
— George Eliot
Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.

silence

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving in words evidence of the fact.
— George Eliot
One of the tortures of jealousy is that it can never turn away its eyes from the thing that pains it.

jealousy

If youth is the season of hope, it is often so only in the sense that our elders are hopeful about us.

youth

Justice is like the Kingdom of God—it is not without us as a fact, it is within us as a great yearning.

justice

That's what a man wants in a wife, mostly; he wants to make sure o' one fool as 'ull tell him he's wise.

men

I...am reading aloud in a clerkly manner from a book which hath been culled from the flowers of all books.

anthology

It is hardly an argument against a man's general strength of character that he should be mastered by love.

character

Deep, unspeakable suffering may well be called a baptism, a regeneration, the initiation into a new state.

suffering

All of us, grave or light, get our thoughts entangled in metaphors, and act fatally on the strength of them.

metaphor

At the last moment there is always a reason not existing before—namely, the impossibility of further vacillation.
— George Eliot

decision-making

No story is the same to us after the lapse of time: or rather we who read it are no longer the same interpreters.
— George Eliot
Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure.

failure perseverance striving

No evil dooms us hopelessly except the evil we love, and desire to continue in, and make no effort to escape from.

evil

Jealousy is never satisfied with anything short of an omniscience that would detect the subtlest fold of the heart.

jealousy

Of a truth, knowledge is power, but it is a power reined by scruple, having a conscience of what must be and what may be.
— George Eliot
Any coward can fight a battle when he's sure of winning; but give me the man who has pluck to fight when he's sure of losing.

courage

Mortals are easily tempted to pinch the life out of their neighbour's buzzing glory, and think that such killing is no murder.
— George Eliot

glory

An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.
— George Eliot

politics

There are various orders of beauty, causing men to make fools of themselves in various styles, from the desperate to the sheepish.

beauty

Every man's work, pursued steadily, tends . . . to become an end in itself, and so to bridge over the loveless chasms of his life.

work

An election is coming.  Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.

elections

She was no longer wrestling with the grief, but could sit down with it as a lasting companion and make it a sharer in her thoughts.

sorrow

Wear a smile and have friends wear a scowl and have wrinkles. What do we live for if not to make the world less difficult for each other?
— George Eliot
That quiet mutual gaze of a trusting husband and wife is like the first moment of rest or refuge from a great weariness or a great danger.
— George Eliot
It is easy to say how we love new friends, and what we think of them, but words can never trace out all the fibers that knit us to the old.
— George Eliot

friendship

It is vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action; and they will have it if they cannot find it.
— George Eliot
Gossip is a sort of smoke that comes from the dirty tobacco-pipes of those who diffuse it; it proves nothing but the bad taste of the smoker.

gossip

There is much pain that is quite noiseless; and vibrations that make human agonies are often a mere whisper in the roar of hurrying existence.

pain

A man never lies with more delicious languor under the influence of a passion than when he has persuaded himself that he shall subdue it tomorrow.

passion

There is a sort of jealousy which needs very little fire: it is hardly a passion, but a blight bred in the cloudy, damp despondency of uneasy egoism.

jealousy

I'm proof against that word failure. I've seen behind it.  The only failure a man ought to fear is failure of cleaving to the purpose he sees to be best.

failure

Character is not cut in marble—it is not something solid and unalterable.  It is something living and changing, and may become diseased as our bodies do.

character

It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive.  There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them.

wish

It is a common sentence that Knowledge is power; but who hath duly considered or set forth the power of Ignorance?  Knowledge slowly builds up what Ignorance in an hour pulls down.

ignorance knowledge and ignorance

Our consciousness rarely registers the beginning of a growth within us any more than without us; there have been many circulations of the sap before we detect the smallest sign of the bud.

growth

If we had a keen vision of all that is ordinary in human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow or the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which is the other side of silence.
— George Eliot

nature

The beginning of hardship is like the first taste of bitter food—it seems for a moment unbearable; yet, if there is nothing else to satisfy our hunger, we take another bite and find it possible to go on.

hardship

If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.

awareness vision

Do we not all agree to call rapid thought and noble impulse by the name of inspiration? After our subtlest analysis of the mental process, we must still say...that our highest thoughts and our best deeds are all given to us.

inspirational

A man can never do anything at variance with his own nature.  He carries within him the germ of his most exceptional action; and if we wise people make eminent fools of ourselves on any particular occasion, we must endure the legitimate conclusion that we carry a few grains of folly to our ounce of wisdom.

folly