For all I know,he may be a prince in disguise; he rather looks like one, by the way- like a prince who has abdicated in a fit of magnanimity, and has been in a state of disgust ever since.
("The Portrait of a Lady")
More Quotes from Henry James:Who was she, what was she that she should hold herself superior? What view of life, what design upon fate, what conception of happiness, had she that she pretended to be larger than this large occasion? If she would not do this, then she must do great things, she must do something greater.
Her chief dread in life, at this period of her development, was that she would appear narrow minded; what she feared next afterwards was that she should be so.
Life is, in fact, a battle. Evil is insolent and strong beauty enchanting but rare goodness very apt to be weak folly very apt to be defiant wickedness to carry the day imbeciles to be in great places, peolpe of sense in small, and mankind generally unhappy. But the world as it stands is no illusion, no phantasm, no evil dream of a night we wake up to it again for ever and ever we can neither forget it nor deny it nor dispense with it.
She carried within herself a great fund of life, and her deepest enjoyment was to feel the continuity between the movement of her own heart and the agitations of the world. For this reason, she was fond of seeing great crowds, and large stretches of country, of reading about revolutions and wars, of looking at historical pictures--a class of efforts to which she had often gone so far as to forgive much bad painting for the sake of the subject.
He was there or was not there: not there if I didn't see him.
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