His serenity was but the array of wild flowers niched in his ruin.
She is written in a foreign tongue.
He was there or was not there: not there if I didn't see him.
I call people rich when they're able to meet the requirements of their imagination.
She knew that this silent, motionless portal opened into the street; if the sidelights had not been filled with green paper, she might have looked out on the little brown stoop and the well-worn brick pavement. But she had no wish to look out, for this would have interfered with her theory that there was a strange, unseen place on the other side--a place which became, to the child's imagination, according to its different moods, a region of delight or terror.
I take up my own pen again - the pen of all my old unforgettable efforts and sacred struggles. To myself - today - I need say no more. Large and full and high the future still opens. It is now indeed that I may do the work of my life. And I will.
I don't think I pity her. She doesn't strike me as a girl that suggests compassion. I think I envy her... I don't know whether she is a gifted being, but she is a clever girl, with a strong will and a high temper. She has no idea of being bored...Very pretty indeed; but I don't insist upon that. It's her general air of being someone in particular that strikes me.
Sometimes she went so far as to wish that she might find herself some day in a difficult position, so that she should have the pleasure of being as heroic as the occasion demanded.
No, no-there are depths, depths! The more I go over it, the more I see in it, and the more I see in it, the more I fear. I don't know what I don't see-what I don't fear!
I don't care about anything but you, and that's enough for the present. I want you to be happy--not to think of anything sad; only to feel that I'm near you and I love you. Why should there be pain? In such hours as this what have we to do with pain? That's not the deepest thing; there's something deeper.
Sometimes she went so far as to wish that she should find herself in a difficult position, so that she might have the pleasure of being as heroic as the occasion demanded.
We were alone with the quiet day, and his little heart, dispossessed, had stopped.
I ought to tell you I'm probably your cousin.
There was a dumb misery about him that irritated her; there was a manly staying of his hand that made her heart beat faster. She felt her agitation rising, and she said to herself that she was angry in the way a woman is angry when she has been in the wrong.
If one is strong, one loves the more strongly.
There's no more usual basis of union than mutual misunderstanding.
I'm yours for ever--for ever and ever. Here I stand; I'm as firm as a rock. If you'll only trust me, how little you'll be disappointed. Be mine as I am yours.
Things are always different than what they might be...If you wait for them to change, you will never do anything.
It's not my fate to give up--I know it can't be.
To live only to suffer-only to feel the injury of life repeated and enlarged-it seemed to her she was too valuable, too capable, for that. Then she wondered if it were vain and stupid to think so well of herself. When had it even been a guarantee to be valuable? Wasn't all history full of the destruction of precious things? Wasn't it much more probable that if one were fine one would suffer?
A swift carriage, of a dark night, rattling with four horses over roads that one can't see--that's my idea of happiness.
Living as he now lived was like reading a good book in a poor translation...
To say that she had a book is to say that her solitude did not press upon her; for her love of knowledge had a fertilizing quality and her imagination was strong. There was at this time, however, a want of lightness in her situation, which the arrival of an unexpected visitor did much to dispel.
And remember this, that if you've been hated, you've also been loved.
Love has nothing to do with good reasons.
What should one do with the misery of the world in a scheme of the agreeable for one's self?
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.
One can't judge till one's forty; before that we're too eager, too hard, too cruel, and in addition much too ignorant.
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.
He surveyed the edifice from the outside, and admired it greatly; he looked in at the windows, and received an impression of proportions equally fair. But he felt that he saw it only by glimpses, and that he had not yet stood under the roof. The door was fastened, and although he had keys in his pocket he had a conviction that none of them would fit. She was intelligent and generous; it was a fine free nature, but what was she going to do with herself?
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.
You must save what you can of your life; you musn't lose it all simply because you've lost a part.
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.
She envied Ralph his dying, for if one were thinking of rest that was the most perfect of all. To cease utterly, to give it all up and not know anything more - this idea was as sweet as a vision of a cool bath in a marble tank, in a darkened chamber, in a hot land. ... but Isabel recognized, as it passed before her eyes, the quick vague shadow of a long future. She should never escape; she should last to the end.
You seemed to me to be soaring far up in the blue - to be sailing in the bright light, over the heads of men. Suddenly some one tosses up a faded rosebud - a missile that should never have reached you - and down you drop to the ground.
Her imagination was by habit ridiculously active; when the door was not open it jumped out the window.
She gazed and wondered, like a child or peasant, and paid her silent tribute to visible grandeur.
You wanted to look at life for yourself - but you were not allowed; you were punished for your wish. You were ground in the very mill of the conventional.
Her reputation for reading a great deal hung about her like the cloudy envelope of a goddess in an epic.
She had a certain way of looking at life which he took as a personal offense.
You young men have too many jokes. When there are no jokes you've nothing left.
His physiognomy had an air of requesting your attention, which it rewarded or not, according to the charm you found in a blue eye of remarkable fixedness and a jaw of somewhat angular mold, which is supposed to bespeak resolution.
She had an immense curiosity about life, and was constantly staring and wondering.
All roads lead to Rome, and there were times when it might have struck us that almost every branch of study or subject of conversation skirted forbidden ground.
Of his own death So here it is at last, the distinguished thing.
Deep experience is never peaceful.
People talk about the conscience, but it seems to me one must just bring it up to a certain point and leave it there. You can let your conscience alone if you're nice to the second housemaid.
The story had held us, round the fire, sufficiently breathless, but except the obvious remark that it was gruesome, as, on Christmas Eve in an old house, a strange tale should essentially be . . .
It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance... and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process.
The only reason for the existence of a novel is that it does attempt to represent life.
More Henry James Quotations (Based on Topics)
Life - Imagination & Visualization - America - Woman - Sense & Perception - Idea - World - Light - Time - Death & Dying - Love - Countries - Art - Facts - Happiness - Pleasure - Experience - Man - People - View All Henry James Quotations
More Henry James Quotations (By Book Titles)
- The Portrait of a Lady
- The Turn of the Screw
O. Henry - Napoleon Hill - Robert Louis Stevenson - Milan Kundera - Margaret J. Wheatley - Ivo Andric - George Axelrod - Catherine Crowe - Bernardo Bertolucci - Anne Frank