George Eliot’s enduring work, Middlemarch, was my first read for the year. And what a way it was to start my reading journey for the year.

Through this magical tale, I was transported into an English era that I never thought I would ever be in. Populated with interesting and colorful characters, this masterpiece literally puts the word classic to English classic. Just like its fellow English classic works, the novel is riddled with amazing and memorable lines. Here are amongst the quotes that has caught my attention.

If you haven’t read my review of George Eliot’s Middlemarch, you may click on this link.

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“But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”
George Eliot, Middlemarch

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“We mortals, men and women, devour many a disappointment between breakfast and dinner-time; keep back the tears and look a little pale about the lips, and in answer to inquiries say, “Oh, nothing!” Pride helps; and pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our hurts – not to hurt others.”
George Eliot, Middlemarch

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“To be a poet is to have a soul so quick to discern, that no shade of quality escapes it, and so quick to feel, that discernment is but a hand playing with finely-ordered variety on the chords of emotion – a soul in which knowledge passes instantaneously into feeling, and feeling flashes back as a new organ of knowledge.”
George Eliot, Middlemarch

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“We are all humiliated by the sudden discovery of a fact which has existed very comfortably and perhaps been staring at us in private while we have been making up our world entirely without it.”
George Eliot, Middlemarch

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“If youth is the season of hope, it is often so only in the sense that our elders are hopeful about us; for no age is so apt as youth to think its emotions, partings, and resolves are the last of their kind. Each crisis seems final, simply because it is new. We are told that the oldest inhabitants in Peru do not cease to be agitated by the earthquakes, but they probably see beyond each shock, and reflect that there are plenty more to come.”
George Eliot, Middlemarch

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“That element of tragedy which lies in the very fact of frequency, has not yet wrought itself into the coarse emotion of mankind; and perhaps our frames could hardly bear much of it. “f 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 quickest of us walk about well wadded with stupidity.”
George Eliot, Middlemarch

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“Certainly the determining acts of her life were not ideally beautiful. They were the mixed result of young and novel impulse struggling amidst the conditions of an imperfect social state, in which great feelings will often take the aspect of error, and great faith the aspect of illusion.”
George Eliot, Middlemarch

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“Marriage, which has been the bourne of so many narratives, is still a great beginning, as it was to Adam and Eve, who kept their honey-moon in Eden, but had their first little one among the thorns and thistles of the wilderness. It is still the beginning of the home epic – the gradual conquest or irremediable loss of that complete union which make the advancing years a climax, and age the harvest of sweet memories in common.”
George Eliot, Middlemarch

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“Only those who know the supremacy of the intellectual life – the life which has a seed of ennobling thought and purpose within  – can understand the grief of one who falls from that serene activity into the absorbing soul-wasting struggle with worldly annoyances.”
George Eliot, Middlemarch

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“I should like to make life beautiful – I mean everybody’s life. And then all this immense expense of art, that seems somehow to lie outside life and make it no better for the world, pains one. It spoils my enjoyment of anything when I am made to think that most people are shut out from it.”
George Eliot, Middlemarch

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“The presence of a noble nature, generous in its wishes, ardent in its charity, changes the lights for us: we begin to see things again in their larger, quieter masses, and to believe that we too can be seen and judged in the wholeness of our character.”
George Eliot, Middlemarch

Readers, that’s about the sum of it. These quotes are certainly thought-provoking in their depth. They are memorable as well, making you wonder where these English writers get their propensity to write lines as beautiful and as profound as these ones are. How about you, what quotes from the book did you like? Share it on the comment box!

Happy reading! ~ CLB

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