Elizabeth Gaskell Quotes

Quotes from Elizabeth Gaskell and Her Cast of Characters

'Those who are happy and successful themselves are too apt to make light of the misfortune of others.'

'Loyalty and obedience to wisdom and justice are fine; but it is still finer to defy arbitrary power, unjustly and cruelly used - not on behalf of ourselves, but on behalf of others more helpless.'

'A wise parent humors the desire for independent action, so as to become the friend and advisor when his absolute rule shall cease.'

'People may flatter themselves just as much by thinking that their faults are always present to other people's minds, as if they believe that the world is always contemplating their individual charms and virtues.'

'But the future must be met, however stern and iron it be.'

'But the cloud never comes in that quarter of the horizon from which we watch for it.'

North and South

'Margaret the Churchwoman, her father the Dissenter, Higgins the Infidel, knelt down together. It did them no harm.'

'He shook hands with Margaret. He knew it was the first time their hands had met, though she was perfectly unconscious of the fact.'

'A girl in love will do a good deal.'

'I dare not hope. I never was fainthearted before; but I cannot believe such a creature cares for me.'

'No one loves me, - no one cares for me, but you, mother.'

'I know you despise me; allow me to say it is because you don't understand me.'
Mary Barton

'As she realized what might have been, she grew to be thankful for what was.'

'But I'm clear about this, when God gives a blessing to be enjoyed, He gives it with a duty to be done; and the duty of the happy is to help the suffering to bear their woe.'

'... the heart loved more than the head reasoned...'

Wives and Daughters

'Sometimes one likes foolish people for their folly, better than wise people for their wisdom.'

'There is nothing like wounded affection for giving poignancy to anger.'

'How easy it is to judge rightly after one sees what evil comes from judging wrongly.'

'Love me as I am, sweet one, for I shall never be better.'


'Many a one has been comforted in their sorrow by seeing a good dish come upon the table.'

''A man,' as one of them observed to me once, 'is so in the way in the house!''

'I listen not to reason... reason always means what someone else has got to say.'

'But I was right. I think that must be a hereditary quality, for my father says he is scarcely ever wrong.'
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