Quotations by Hardy, Thomas


“Peace upon earth!” was said. We sing it,
And pay a million priests to bring it.
After two thousand years of mass
We’ve got as far as poison gas.

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) English novelist, poet
“Christmas, 1924”
Added on 9-Feb-12 | Last updated 9-Feb-12
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The Earth, say’st thou? The Human race?
By Me created? Sad its lot?
Nay: I have no remembrance of such place:
Such world I fashioned not.

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) English novelist, poet
“God-Forgotten” (1901)

Full text.

Added on 19-Nov-08 | Last updated 19-Nov-08
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If someone said on Christmas Eve,
‘Come see the oxen kneel . . .’
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) English novelist, poet
“Oxen” (1915)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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The value of old age depends upon the person who reaches it. To some men of early performance it is useless. To others, who are late to develop, it just enables them to finish the job.

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) English novelist, poet
(Attributed)

Quoted in Florence Emily Hardy, The Later Years of Thomas Hardy, ch. 17 (1930)

Added on 23-Feb-09 | Last updated 23-Feb-09
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Pessimism … is in brief, playing the sure game. You cannot lose at it; you may gain. It is the only view of life win which you can never be disappointed.

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) English novelist, poet
(Attributed)

In Florence Hardy, The Later Years of Thomas Hardy, ch. 7 (1930)
Added on 15-Feb-12 | Last updated 15-Feb-12
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Their lives were ruined, he thought; ruined by the fundamental error of their matrimonial union: that of having based a permanent contract on a temporary feeling which had no necessary connection with affinities that alone render a lifelong comradeship tolerable.

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) English novelist, poet
Jude the Obscure, Part I, ch. 11 (1895)
Added on 9-Mar-09 | Last updated 9-Mar-09
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But nobody did come, because nobody does; and under the crushing recognition of his gigantic error Jude continued to wish himself out of the world.

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) English novelist, poet
Jude the Obscure, Pt. I, ch. 4 (1895)
Added on 2-Mar-09 | Last updated 2-Mar-09
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Some folks want their luck buttered.

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) English novelist, poet
The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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If all hearts were open and all desires known — as they would be if people showed their souls — how many gapings, sighings, clenched fists, knotted brows, broad grins, and red eyes should we see in the market-place!

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) English novelist, poet
Diary entry (18 Aug 1908)
Added on 16-Feb-09 | Last updated 16-Feb-09
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