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Quotes of the day: Thomas Hardy

Published Monday, June 01, 2015 @ 1:56 PM EDT
Jun 01 2015

Thomas Hardy, OM (June 2, 1840 - January 11, 1928) was an English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist in the tradition of George Eliot, he was influenced both in his novels and in his poetry by Romanticism, especially William Wordsworth. Charles Dickens was another important influence. Like Dickens, he was highly critical of much in Victorian society, though Hardy focused more on a declining rural society. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A woman would rather visit her own grave than the place where she has been young and beautiful after she is aged and ugly.

And yet to every bad there is a worse.

Aspect are within us, and who seems most kingly is king.

Cruelty is the law pervading all nature and society; and we can't get out of it if we would.

Do not do an immoral thing for moral reasons.

Everybody is so talented nowadays that the only people I care to honor as deserving real distinction are those who remain in obscurity.

Fear is the mother of foresight.

Give the enemy not only a road for flight, but also a means of defending it.

I was court-martial in my absence, and sentenced to death in my absence, so I said they could shoot me in my absence.

If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the inquisition might have let him alone.

If way to the better there be, it exacts a full look at the worst.

It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.

My argument is that War makes rattling good history; but Peace is poor reading.

My opinion is that a poet should express the emotion of all the ages and the thought of his own.

No one can read with profit that which he cannot learn to read with pleasure.

Patience, that blending of moral courage with physical timidity.

Poetry is emotion put into measure. The emotion must come by nature, but the measure can be acquired by art.

Some folk want their luck buttered.

That man's silence is wonderful to listen to.

The offhand decision of some commonplace mind high in office at a critical moment influences the course of events for a hundred years.

The resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible.

The sudden disappointment of a hope leaves a scar which the ultimate fulfillment of that hope never entirely removes.

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.

There is a condition worse than blindness, and that is, seeing something that isn't there.

Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.

Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.

While many things are too strange to be believed, nothing is too strange to have happened.A lover without indiscretion is no lover at all.

You can do anything with bayonets except sit on them.


(June 2 is also the birthday of the Marquis de Sade, which is appropriate. Being forced to read Hardy's "The Mayor of Casterbridge" in high school English class was torture.)

Categories: Quotes of the day, Thomas Hardy


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