100 Quotes by George Eliot

George Eliot, the pen name of Mary Ann Evans, was an English novelist and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. With a focus on realism and psychological depth, Eliot's novels, including "Middlemarch" and "Silas Marner," delved into the complexities of human relationships, morality, and the dynamics of society. She was known for her deep empathy and understanding of her characters, crafting narratives that examined the intricacies of their motivations and struggles. Eliot's commitment to exploring the human experience in all its dimensions challenged the norms of her time and contributed to the evolution of the novel as a form of social commentary. Her works continue to be celebrated for their profound insights into human nature and their ability to resonate with readers across generations.

George Eliot Quotes

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. (Quote Meaning)

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What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other? (Meaning)

Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles. (Quote Meaning)

Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another. (Meaning)

No man can be wise on an empty stomach. (Quote Meaning)

Our deeds still travel with us from afar, and what we have been makes us what we are. (Meaning)

Don't judge a book by its cover (Quote Meaning)

A patronizing disposition always has its meaner side. (Meaning)

Those who trust us educate us. (Quote Meaning)

The responsibility of tolerance lies with those who have the wider vision. (Meaning)

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It's never too late to be who you were meant to be. (Quote Meaning)

Every limit is a beginning as well as an ending. (Meaning)

Life began with waking up and loving my mother's face. (Quote Meaning)

Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand. (Meaning)

What makes life dreary is the want of a motive. (Quote Meaning)

All meanings, we know, depend on the key of interpretation. (Meaning)

We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it. (Quote Meaning)

One must be poor to know the luxury of giving! (Meaning)

I desire no future that will break the ties of the past. (Quote Meaning)

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Animals are such agreeable friends. (Meaning)

Breed is stronger than pasture. (Quote Meaning)

There is no private life which has not been determined by a wider public life. (Meaning)

It's a father's duty to give his sons a fine chance. (Quote Meaning)

It is always fatal to have music or poetry interrupted. (Meaning)

History repeats itself. (Quote Meaning)

Falsehood is easy, truth so difficult. (Meaning)

Our deeds are fetters that we forge ourselves. (Quote Meaning)

Best friend, my well-spring in the wilderness! (Meaning)

Affection is the broadest basis of a good life. (Quote Meaning)

A difference of taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections. (Meaning)

There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music. (Quote Meaning)

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. (Meaning)

Anger and jealousy can no more bear to lose sight of their objects than love. (Quote Meaning)

It is never too late, no matter how old you get because anytime or any point in your life you can always have a chance to make a difference. You can always make a change for the better no matter what background you derived from. You can always do your best and be all that you can be because you will always be uniquely you. It is why it is always wise to listen to your eternal heart, your eternal instincts, and what it had always strove for and/or to do because really anybody can make a difference not only in their own lives but in the lives of others. It is never too late to shine; never.

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.

Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms. (Meaning)

Don't judge a book by its cover

Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depths of love. (Quote Meaning)

The beginning of compunction is the beginning of a new life.

What makes life dreary is the want of a motive.

No story is the same to us after a lapse of time; or rather we who read it are no longer the same interpreters.

Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another.

The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always being asked to do more, and you are not yet decrepit enough to turn them down. (Meaning)

Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them. (Quote Meaning)

What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined - to strengthen each other - to be at one with each other in silent unspeakable memories.

Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles.

Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music. (Meaning)

What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?

The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice. (Quote Meaning)

May every soul that touches mine - be it the slightest contact - get there from some good; some little grace; one kindly thought; one aspiration yet unfelt; one bit of courage for the darkening sky; one gleam of faith to brave the thickening ills of life; one glimpse of brighter skies beyond the gathering mists - to make this life worthwhile.

It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them.

Adventure is not outside man; it is within. (Meaning)

If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.

You should read history and look at ostracism, persecution, martyrdom, and that kind of thing. They always happen to the best men, you know.

Friendship is the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words.

Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds. (Quote Meaning)

A friend is one to whom one may pour out the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that gentle hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.

No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence.

It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view. (Meaning)

But what we call our despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope.

Any coward can fight a battle when he's sure of winning; but give me the man who has the pluck to fight when he's sure of losing.

It will never rain roses: when we want to have more roses, we must plant more trees. (Quote Meaning)

There is a great deal of unmapped country within us which would have to be taken into account in an explanation of our gusts and storms. (Meaning)

Life began with waking up and loving my mother's face.

Life is too precious to be spent in this weaving and unweaving of false impressions, and it is better to live quietly under some degree of misrepresentation than to attempt to remove it by the uncertain process of letter-writing.

I think I dislike what I don't like more than I like what I like.

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.

My own experience and development deepen every day my conviction that our moral progress may be measured by the degree in which we sympathize with individual suffering and individual joy.

And, of course men know best about everything, except what women know better.

One has to spend many years in learning how to be happy.

Impatient people, according to Bacon, are like the bees, and kill themselves in stinging others.

People are so ridiculous with their illusions, carrying their fool's caps unawares, thinking their own lies opaque while everybody else's are transparent, making themselves exceptions to everything, as if when all the world looked yellow under a lamp they alone are rosy.

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact. (Quote Meaning)

It is never too late to become the person you always thought you could be.

No man can be wise on an empty stomach.

There is only one failure in life possible, and that is not to be true to the best one knows.

What loneliness is more lonely than distrust? (Meaning)

It is always good to know, if only in passing, charming human beings. It refreshes one like flowers and woods and clear brooks.

Every limit is a beginning as well as an ending.

We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment.

We must find our duties in what comes to us, not in what might have been.

There are many victories worse than a defeat.

One can say everything best over a meal.

Hold up your head! You were not made for failure, you were made for victory. (Quote Meaning)

The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us, and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.

There is no despair so absolute as that which comes with the first moments of our first great sorrow. (Meaning)

Our deeds still travel with us from afar, and what we have been makes us what we are.

Consequences are unpitying.

The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men.

It's never too late to be what you might have been. (Quote Meaning)

How lovely the little river is, with its dark changing wavelets! It seems to me like a living companion while I wander along the bank, and listen to its low, placid voice.

Conscientious people are apt to see their duty in that which is the most painful course.

In high vengeance there is noble scorn.

What destroys us most effectively is not a malign fate but our own capacity for self-deception and for degrading our own best self.

Rome - the city of visible history, where the past of a whole hemisphere seems moving in funeral procession with strange ancestral images and trophies gathered from afar.

I've never any pity for conceited people, because I think they carry their comfort about with them.

A good horse makes short miles.

Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure.

The darkest night that ever fell upon the earth never hid the light, never put out the stars. It only made the stars more keenly, kindly glancing, as if in protest against the darkness.

Quarrel? Nonsense; we have not quarreled. If one is not to get into a rage sometimes, what is the good of being friends?

I like trying to get pregnant. I'm not so sure about childbirth.

It is as useless to fight against the interpretations of ignorance as to whip the fog.

The finest language is mostly made up of simple unimposing words. (Meaning)

Knowledge slowly builds up what Ignorance in an hour pulls down.

Death is the king of this world: 'Tis his park where he breeds life to feed him. Cries of pain are music for his banquet.

Effective magic is transcendent nature.

The responsibility of tolerance lies with those who have the wider vision.

We want people to feel with us more than to act for us.

Jealousy is never satisfied with anything short of an omniscience that would detect the subtlest fold of the heart.

Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.

All meanings, we know, depend on the key of interpretation.

Perhaps the most delightful friendships are those in which there is much agreement, much disputation, and yet more personal liking.

Gossip is a sort of smoke that comes from the dirty tobacco-pipes of those who diffuse it: it proves nothing but the bad taste of the smoker.

Marriage must be a relation either of sympathy or of conquest.

College mostly makes people like bladders-just good for nothing but t'hold the stuff as is poured into 'em.

Man cannot choose his duties.

Worldly faces never look so worldly as at a funeral.

In travelling I shape myself betimes to idleness And take fools' pleasure

The beauty of a lovely woman is like music ... the rounded neck, the dimpled arm, move us by something more than their prettiness--by their close kinship with all we have known of tenderness and peace.

Death is the only physician, the shadow of his valley the only journeying that will cure us of age and the gathering fatigue of years.

It is surely better to pardon too much, than to condemn too much.

Men outlive their love, but they don’t outlive the consequences of their recklessness.

Imagination is a licensed trespasser: it has no fear of dogs, but may climb over walls and peep in at windows with impunity.

Correct English is the slang of prigs.

I'm not one of those that can see the cat in the dairy and wonder what she's there for.

If Art does not enlarge men's sympathies, it does nothing morally.

It's easy finding reasons why other folks should be patient.

Upon my word, I think the truth is the hardest missile one can be pelted with.

Oh may I join the choir invisible Of those immortal dead who live again In minds made better by their presence.

Appearances have very little to do with happiness.

All passion becomes strength when it has an outlet.

Do we not all agree to call rapid thought and noble impulse by the name of inspiration?

Ignorance gives one a large range of probabilities.

Those who trust us educate us.

I love not to be choked with other men's thoughts.

After all, the true seeing is within.

The mind that is too ready at contempt and reprobation is, I may say, as a clenched fist that can give blows, but is shut up from receiving and holding ought that is precious.

bad literature of the sort called amusing is spiritual gin.

Character is not cut in marble - it is not something solid and unalterable. It is something living and changing, and may become diseased as our bodies do.

There are various orders of beauty, causing men to make fools of themselves in various styles.

It is a common sentence that knowledge is power; but who hath duly considered or set forth the power of ignorance? Knowledge slowly builds up what ignorance in an hour pulls down.

What are a handful of reasonable men against a crowd with stones in their hands?

Our thoughts are often worse than we are.

Nice distinctions are troublesome. It is so much easier to say that a thing is black, than to discriminate the particular shade of brown, blue, or green, to which it really belongs. It is so much easier to make up your mind that your neighbour is good for nothing, than to enter into all the circumstances that would oblige you to modify that opinion.

Our deeds are like children that are born to us; they live and act apart from our own will. Nay, children may be strangled, but deeds never: they have an indestructible life both in and out of our consciousness.

Self-consciousness of the manner is the expensive substitute for simplicity.

It is not true that a man's intellectual power is, like the strength of a timber beam, to be measured by its weakest point.

It is a fact perhaps kept a little too much in the background, that mothers have a self larger than their maternity, and that when their sons have become taller than themselves, and are gone from them to college or into the world, there are wide spaces of their time which are not filled with praying for their boys, reading old letters, and envying yet blessing those who are attending to their shirt-buttons.

But very little achievement is required in order to pity another man's shortcomings.

There are two ways of speaking an audience will always like: one is, to tell them what they don't understand; and the other is, to tell them what they're used to.

Souls live on in perpetual echoes.

We are contented with our day when we have been able to bear our grief in silence, and act as if we were not suffering.

Trouble's made us kin.

Veracity is a plant of paradise, and the seeds have never flourished beyond the walls.

Pity that consequences are determined not by excuses but by actions!

Genius is necessarily intolerant of fetters.

To fear the examination of any proposition apears to me an intellectual and a moral palsy that will ever hinder the firm grasping of any substance whatever.

I have the conviction that excessive literary production is a social offense. ... Everyone who contributes to the 'too much' of literature is doing grave social injury.

One always believes one's own town to be more stupid than any other.

The fact is, both callers and work thicken - the former sadly interfering with the latter.

You are discontented with the world because you can't get just the small things that suit your pleasure, not because it's a world where myriads of men and women are ground by wrong and misery, and tainted with pollution.

There is no sorrow I have thought more about than that-to love what is great, and try to reach it, and yet to fail.

To have suffered much is like knowing many languages. Thou hast learned to understand all.

Often the soul is ripened into fuller goodness while age has spread an ugly film, so that mere glances can never divine the preciousness of the fruit.

People who live at a distance are naturally less faulty than those immediately under our own eyes.

It is pleasant to have a kind word now and then when one is not near enough to have a kind glance or a hearty shake by the hand.

Alas! the scientific conscience had got into the debasing company of money obligation and selfish respects.

The troublesome ones in a family are usually either the wits or the idiots.

It is one thing to like defiance, and another thing to like its consequences.

I carry my unwritten poems in cipher on my face!

It is a very good quality in a man to have a trout-stream.

Miserliness is a capital quality to run in families; it's the safe side for madness to dip on.

Jews are not fit for Heaven, but on earth they are most useful.

The sublime delight of truthful speech to one who has the great gift of uttering it, will make itself felt even through the pangs of sorrow.

If you deliver an opinion at all, it is mere stupidity not to do it with an air of conviction and well-founded knowledge. You make it your own in uttering it, and naturally get fond of it.

Looking at your life as a debt may seem the dreariest view of things at a distance; but it cannot really be so. What makes life dreary is the want of motive; but once beginning to act with the penitential, loving purpose you have in your mind, there will be unexpected satisfactions--there will be newly-opening needs--continually coming to carry you on from day to day. You will find your life growing like a plant.

― George Eliot Quotes

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Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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