Mrs. Bulstrode's naïve way of conciliating piety and worldliness, the nothingness of this life and desirability of cut glass, the consciousness at once of filthy rags and the best damask...
I never had a PREFERENCE for her, any more than I have a preference for breathing. No other woman exists by the side of her. I would rather touch her hand if it were dead, than I would touch any other woman's living.
She is a good creature—that fine girl—but a little too earnest, he thought. It is troublesome to talk to such women. They are always wanting reasons, yet they are too ignorant to understand the merits of any question, and usually fall back on their moral sense to settle things after their own taste.
I am not sure that the greatest man of his age, if ever that solitary superlative existed, could escape these unfavourable reflections of himself in various small mirrors; and even Milton, looking for his portrait in a spoon, must submit to have the facial angle of a bumpkin.
The great safeguard of society and of domestic life was, that opinions were not acted on. Sane people did what their neighbors did, so that if any lunatics were at large, one might know and avoid them.
The most solid comfort one can fall back upon is the thought that the business of one's life is to help in some small way to reduce the sum of ignorance, degradation and misery on the face of this beautiful earth.
But prejudices, like odorous bodies, have a double existence both solid and subtle — solid as the pyramids, subtle as the twentieth echo of an echo, or as the memory of hyacinths which once scented the darkness.
That quiet mutual gaze of a trusting husband and wife is like the first moment of rest or refuge from a great weariness or a great danger - not to be interfered with by speech or action which would distract the sensations from the fresh enjoyment of repose.