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




    But with the increase of serious and just ground of complaint, a new kind of patience had sprung up in her Mother's mind. She was gentle and quiet in intense bodily suffering, almost in proportion as she had been restless and depressed when there had been no real cause for grief.




    Oh, my Margaret--my Margaret! no one can tell what you are to me! Dead--cold as you lie there you are the only woman I ever loved! Oh, Margaret--Margaret!

    God has made us so that we must be mutually dependent. We may ignore our own dependence, or refuse to acknowledge that others depend upon us in more respects than the payment of weekly wages; but the thing must be, nevertheless. Neither you nor any other master can help yourselves. The most proudly independent man depends on those around him for their insensible influence on his character - his life.

    She freshens me up above a bit. Who'd ha thought that face - as bright and as strong as the angel I dream of - could have known the sorrow she speaks on? I wonder how she'll sin. All on us must sing.




    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.

    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.

    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?

    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.

    They had grown up together from childhood, and all along Edith had been remarked upon by every one, except Margaret, for her prettiness;

    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

    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.

    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.



    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.

    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.

    Margaret found that the indifferent, careless conversations of one who, however kind, was not too warm and anxious a sympathizer, did her good.

    But Margaret was at an age when any apprehension, not absolutely based on a knowledge of facts, is easily banished for a time by a bright sunny day, or some happy outward circumstance. And when the brilliant fourteen fine days of October came on, her cares were all blown away as lightly as thistledown, and she thought of nothing but the glories of the forest.


    But Margaret went less abroad, among machinery and men; saw less of power in its public effect, and, as it happened, she was thrown with one or two of those who, in all measures affecting masses of people, must be acute sufferers for the good of many. The question always is, has everything been done to make the sufferings of these exceptions as small as possible?


    But the monotonous life led by invalids often makes them like children, inasmuch as thy have neither of them any sense of proportion in events, and seem each to believe that the walls and curtains which shut in their world, and shut out everything else, must of necessity be larger than anything hidden beyond.



    More Elizabeth Gaskell Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Man - Suffering - Mind - Time - People - Sense & Perception - Woman - Courage - Future - Childhood - Wisdom & Knowledge - Facts - Grief - Present - World - Thought & Thinking - Happiness - Patience - Sleep - View All Elizabeth Gaskell Quotations

    More Elizabeth Gaskell Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - North and South

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