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 :: 1819-1880, British Novelist

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It is, I fear, but a vain show of fulfilling the heathen precept, ''Know thyself,'' and too often leads to a self-estimate which will subsist in the absence of that fruit by which alone the quality of the tree is made evident.
~ George Eliot - [Self-knowledge]

 

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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. As it is, the best of us walk about well wadded with stupidity.
~ George Eliot - [Sensitivity]

 

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Speech is often barren; but silence also does not necessarily brood over a full nest. Your still fowl, blinking at you without remark, may all the while be sitting on one addled egg; and when it takes to cackling will have nothing to announce but that addled delusion.
~ George Eliot - [Silence]

 

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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 - [Smile]

 

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There is a sort of subjection which is the peculiar heritage of largeness and of love; and strength is often only another name for willing bondage to irremediable weakness.
~ George Eliot - [Submission]

 

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What loneliness is more lonely than distrust?
~ George Eliot - [Suspicion]

 

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Sympathetic people often don't communicate well, they back reflected images which hide their own depths.
~ George Eliot - [Sympathy]

 

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It was not that she was out of temper, but that the world was not equal to the demands of her fine organism.
~ George Eliot - [Temper]

 

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It is in these acts called trivialities that the seeds of joy are forever wasted, until men and women look round with haggard faces at the devastation their own waste has made, and say, the earth bears no harvest of sweetness -- calling their denial knowledge.
~ George Eliot - [Things and Little Things]

 

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Each thought is a nail that is driven In structures that cannot decay; And the mansion at last will be given To us as we build it each day.
~ George Eliot - [Thoughts and Thinking]

 

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Our virtues are dearer to us the more we have had to suffer for them. It is the same with our children. All profound affection entertains a sacrifice. Our thoughts are often worse than we are, just as they are often better.
~ George Eliot - [Thoughts and Thinking]

 

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Our instructed vagrancy, which has hardly time to linger by the hedgerows, but runs away early to the tropics, and is at home with palms and banyans --which is nourished on books of travel, and stretches the theatre of its imagination to the Zambesi.
~ George Eliot - [Travel and Tourism]

 

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Vanity is as ill at ease under indifference as tenderness is under a love which it cannot return.
~ George Eliot - [Vanity]

 

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Our passions do not live apart in locked chambers but dress in their small wardrobe of notions, bring their provisions to a common table and mess together, feeding out of the common store according to their appetite.
~ George Eliot - [Passion]

 

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With memory set smarting like a reopened wound, a man's past is not simply a dead history, an outworn preparation of the present: it is not a repented error shaken loose from the life: it is a still quivering part of himself, bringing shudders and bitter flavors and the tinglings of a merited shame.
~ George Eliot - [Past]

 

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The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men.
~ George Eliot - [Perfection]

 

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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.
~ George Eliot - [Perseverance]

 

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Perspective, as its inventor remarked, is a beautiful thing. What horrors of damp huts, where human beings languish, may not become picturesque through aerial distance! What hymning of cancerous vices may we not languish over as sublimest art in the safe remoteness of a strange language and artificial phrase! Yet we keep a repugnance to rheumatism and other painful effects when presented in our personal experience.
~ George Eliot - [Perspective]

 

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More helpful than all wisdom is one draught of simple human pity that will not forsake us.
~ George Eliot - [Pity]

 

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In spite of his practical ability, some of his experience had petrified into maxims and quotations.
~ George Eliot - [Platitudes]

 

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