"Miss Lucy's called the bell o' St Ogg's, they say: that a cur'ous word," observed
Mr Pullet, on whom the mysteries of etymology sometimes fell with an oppressive weight.
on popular fear
The Catholics, bad harvests, and the mysterious fluctuations of trade were the
three evils mankind had to fear: even the flood had not been great of late years.
on conjugal bliss
The economising of a gardener's wages might perhaps have induced Mrs Glegg to wink
at this folly, if it were possible for a healthy female mind even to simulate respect
for a husband's hobby.
Mr Glegg, being of a reflective turn, and no longer occupied with wool, had much wondering
meditation on the peculiar constitution of the female mind as unfolded to him in his domestic
life; and yet he thought Mrs Glegg's household ways a model for her sex: it struck him as a
pitiable irregularity in other women if they did not roll up their table-napkins with the same
tightness and emphasis as Mrs Glegg did, if their pastry had a less leathery consistence, and
their damson cheese a less venerable hardness than hers: nay, even the peculiar compination
of grocery and drug-like odours in Mrs Glegg's private cupboard impressed him as the only
right thing in the way of cupboard smells.
Mr Glegg paused from his porridge and looked up--not with any new amazement, but simply
with that quiet, habitual wonder with which we regard constant mysteries.
on living beyond one's means
In those less-favoured days, it is no fable that there were other clergymen beisdes Mr
Stelling who had narrow intellects and large wants, and whose income, by a logical confusion
to which Fortune, being a female as well as blindfold, is peculiarly liable, was proportioned
not to their wants but to their intellect--with which income has clearly no inherent relation.
The problem these gentlemen had to solve was to readjuct the proportion between their wants
and their income; and since wants are not easily starved to death, the simpler method appeared
to be--to raise their income.
Gentlemen with broad chests and ambitious intentions do sometimes disappoint their
friends by failing to carry the world before them.
on the residue of tragedy
it is that these Rhine castles thrill me with a sense of poetry: they belong to the grand
life of humanity, and raise up for me the vision of an epoch. But these dead-tinted, hollow-eyed
angular skeletons of the villages on the Rhone oppress me with the feeling that human life--very
much of it--is a narrow, ugly, grovelling existence, which even calamity does not elevate, but
rather tends to exhibit in all its bare vulgarity of conception; and I have a cruel conviction
that the lives these ruins are the traces of, were part of a gross sum of obscure vitality, that
will be swept into the same oblivion with the generations of ants and beavers.
on the expectations of women
It's no mischief much while she's a little un, but an over-'cute [acute,
clever] woman's no better nor a long-tailed sheep--she'll fetch none the bigger
price for that.
I should like to know what is the proper function of women, if it is not to make reasons
for husbands to stay at home, and still stronger reasons for bachelors to go out. If this
goes on much longer, the bonds of society will be dissolved.
on english weather
The next morning was very wet: the sort of morning on which male neighbours who have no
imperative occupation at home are likely to pay their fair friends an illimitable visit.
The rain, which has been endurable enough for the walk or ride one way, is sure to become
so heavy, and at the same time so certain to clear up by-and-by, that nothing but an open
quarrel can abbreviate the visit: latent detestation will not do at all. And if people
happen to be lovers, what can be so delightful, in England, as a rainy morning? English
sunshine is dubious; bonnets are never quite secure; and if you sit down on the grass,
it may lead to catarrhs. But the rain is to be depended on.