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Elizabeth Gaskell’s “North and South” Quotes (30 Quotes)


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  • He loved her, and would love her; and defy her, and this miserable bodily pain.
    (Elizabeth Gaskell, "North and South")

  • She had a fierce pleasure in the idea of telling Margaret unwelcome truths, in the shape of performance of duty.
    (Elizabeth Gaskell, "North and South")

  • How different men were to women!
    (Elizabeth Gaskell, "North and South")

  • She lay down and never stirred. To move hand or foot, or even so much as one finger, would have been an exertion beyond the powers of either volition or motion. She was so tired, so stunned, that she thought she never slept at all; her feverish thoughts passed and repassed the boundary between sleeping and waking, and kept their own miserable identity.
    (Elizabeth Gaskell, "North and South")

  • I believe that this suffering, which Miss Hale says is impressed on the countenances of the people of Milton, is but the natural punishment of dishonestly-enjoyed pleasure, at some former period of their lives. I do not look on self-indulgent, sensual people as worthy of my hatred; I simply look upon them with contempt for their poorness of character.
    (Elizabeth Gaskell, "North and South")


  • The question always is, has everything been done to make the sufferings of these exceptions as small as possible? Or, in the triumph of the crowded procession, have the helpless been trampled on, instead of being gently lifted aside out of the roadway of the conqueror, whom they have no power to accompany on his march?
    (Elizabeth Gaskell, "North and South")

  • I have passed out of childhood into old age. I have had no youth - no womanhood; the hopes of womanhood have closed for me - for I shall never marry; and I anticipate cares and sorrows just as if I were an old woman, and with the same fearful spirit.
    (Elizabeth Gaskell, "North and South")

  • They had grown up together from childhood, and all along Edith had been remarked upon by every one, except Margaret, for her prettiness;
    (Elizabeth Gaskell, "North and South")

  • If they came sorrowing, and wanting sympathy in a complicated trouble like the present, then they would be felt as a shadow in all these houses of intimate acquaintances, not friends
    (Elizabeth Gaskell, "North and South")

  • We do not look for reason for logic in the passionate entreaties of those who are sick unto death; we are stung with the recollection of a thousand slighted opportunities of fulfilling the wishes of those who will soon pass away from among us: and do they ask us for the future happiness of our lives, we lay it at their feet, and will it away from us.
    (Elizabeth Gaskell, "North and South")

  • It had been a royal time of luxury to him, with all its stings and contumelies, compared to the poverty that crept round and clipped the anticipation of the future down to sordid fact, and life without an atmosphere of either hope or fear.
    (Elizabeth Gaskell, "North and South")

  • Yet is was very difficult to seperate her interpretation, and keep it distinct from his meaning.
    (Elizabeth Gaskell, "North and South")

  • It is bad to believe you in error. It would be infinitely worse to have known you a hypocrite.
    (Elizabeth Gaskell, "North and South")

  • Yet within a miles, Margaret knew of house after house, where she would for her own sake, and her mother for her Aunt Shaw's, would be welcomed, if they came to gladness, or even in peace of mind. If they came sorrowing, and wanting sympathy in a complicated trouble like the present, then they would be felt as a shadow in all these houses of intimate acquaintances.
    (Elizabeth Gaskell, "North and South")

  • It was one of Mrs. Hale's fitful days, when everything was a difficulty and a hardship; and Mr Lennox's appearance took this shape, although secretly she felt complimented by his thinking it worthwhile to call.
    (Elizabeth Gaskell, "North and South")


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