Quotations by Eliot, George


Animals are such agreeable friends — they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
“Mr. Gilfil’s Love Story,” ch. 7, Scenes of Clerical Life (1857)
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Our moral progress may be measured by the degree in which we sympathize with individual suffering and individual joy.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
(Attributed)

In John Morley, "The Life of George Eliot," Critical Miscellanies, Vol. 3 (1886)
Added on 9-Oct-12 | Last updated 9-Oct-12
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Our moral progress may be measured by the degree in which we sympathize with individual suffering and individual joy.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
(Attributed)

In John Morley, "The Life of George Eliot," Critical Miscellanies, Vol. 3 (1886)
Added on 16-Oct-12 | Last updated 16-Oct-12
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I’m not denyin’ the women are foolish; God Almighty made ’em to match the men.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Adam Bede (1859)
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MR. CRAIG:  I like a cleverish woman — a woman o’ sperrit — a managing woman.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Adam Bede, 53 (1859)
Added on 24-Mar-10 | Last updated 24-Mar-10
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You’re mighty fond o’ Craig; but for my part, I think he’s welly like a cock as think’s the sun’s rose o’ purpose to hear him crow.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Adam Bede, ch. 17 (1859)
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Mrs. Poyser, about Mr. Craig. Sometimes paraphrased, "He was like a cock, who thought the sun had risen to hear him crow."
Added on 28-Dec-18 | Last updated 28-Dec-18
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Our deeds determine us … as much as we determine our deeds.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Adam Bede, ch. 29 (1859)
Added on 4-Aug-09 | Last updated 4-Aug-09
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We hand folks over to God’s mercy, and show none ourselves.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Adam Bede, ch. 42 (1859)
Added on 19-Sep-11 | Last updated 19-Sep-11
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One couldn’t carry on life comfortably without a little blindness to the fact that everything has been said better than we can put it ourselves.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Daniel Deronda, Book 2, ch. 16 (1876)
Added on 23-Jan-13 | Last updated 23-Jan-13
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Blows are sarcasms turned stupid: wit is a form of force that leaves the limbs at rest.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Felix Holt, the Radical (1866)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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I’m proof against that word failure. I’ve seen behind it. The only failure a man ought to fear is failure of cleaving to the purpose he sees to be best.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Felix Holt, the Radical (1866)
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Added on 5-Dec-14 | Last updated 5-Dec-14
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We must not inquire too curiously into motives…. they are apt to become feeble in the utterance: the aroma is mixed with the grosser air. We must keep the germinating grain away from the light.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Middlemarch, ch. 2 (1871)
Added on 29-Dec-07 | Last updated 29-Dec-07
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Our deeds still travel with us from afar.
And what we have been makes us what we are.

Eliot - deeds still travel with us - wist_info quote

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Middlemarch (1871-72)
Added on 22-Jun-16 | Last updated 22-Jun-16
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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 (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Middlemarch (1871)

(last sentence of the book)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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There are answers which, in turning away wrath, only send it to the other end of the room.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Middlemarch, Book 3, ch. 24 (1871)
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An allusion to Proverbs 15:1 "A soft answer turneth away wrath."
Added on 8-Sep-17 | Last updated 8-Sep-17
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To have a discussion coolly waived when you feel that justice is all on your side is even more exasperating in marriage than in philosophy.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Middlemarch, Book 3, ch. 24 (1871)
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Added on 3-Nov-17 | Last updated 3-Nov-17
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People glorify all sorts of bravery except the bravery they might show on behalf of their nearest neighbors.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Middlemarch, Book 8, ch. 72 (1871-72)
Added on 4-Dec-15 | Last updated 4-Dec-15
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Tioto was experiencing that inexorable law of human souls tha we prepare ourselves for sudden deeds by the reiterated choice of good or evil that gradually determines character.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Romola, 2.3 (1863)
Added on 15-May-12 | Last updated 15-May-12
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The blessed work of helping the world forward, happily does not wait to be done by perfect men; and I should imagine that neither Luther nor John Bunyan, for example, would have satisfied the modern demand for an ideal hero, who believes nothing but what is true, feels nothing but what is exalted.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Scenes of Clerical Life, “Janet’s Repentence,” ch. 10 (1858)

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Added on 17-Sep-07 | Last updated 17-Sep-07
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Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Silas Marner, ch. 18 (1861)
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Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
The Impressions of Theophrastus Such, ch. 4 (1879)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Anger and jealousy can no more bear to lose sight of their objects than love.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
The Mill on the Floss (1860)
Added on 14-Aug-07 | Last updated 14-Aug-07
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I am not resigned; I am not sure life is long enough to learn that lesson.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
The Mill on the Floss, ch. 67 (1860)

Full text.
Added on 27-Feb-12 | Last updated 27-Feb-12
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Whatever may be the success of my stories, I shall be resolute in preserving my incognito, having observed that a nom de plume secures all the advantages without the disagreeables of reputation.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Letter to William Blackwood (4 Feb 1857)
Added on 12-Sep-14 | Last updated 12-Sep-14
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