Quotations from the Works of John Galsworthy
David Widger


The Russian proverb: "The heart of another is a dark forest."

We're used to it, you see; there's no excitement in what you're used to.

If geological time be taken as twenty-four hours, man's existence on
earth so far equals just two seconds of it; after a few more seconds,
when man has been frozen off the earth, geological time will stretch for
as long again, before the earth bumps into something, and be comes nebula
once more. God's hands haven't been particularly full, sir, have they--
two seconds out of twenty-four hours--if man is His pet concern?

"People do not like you to be different. If ever in your life you act
differently from others, you will find it so, mademoiselle."

She never went to meet life, but when it came, made the best of it. This
was her secret, and Pierson always felt rested in her presence.

He opened the gate, uttering one of those prayers which come so glibly
from unbelievers when they want anything.


Aesthetic admiration for that old Church
Agreed in the large, and differed in the narrow
All life seemed suddenly a thing of forms and sham
And I don't want to be forgiven
At my age one expects no more than one gets!
Avoided discussion on matters where he might hurt others
Conquests leading to defeats, defeats to conquests
Could not as yet disagree with suavity
Cunning, the astute, the adaptable, will ever rule in times of peace
Daddy's a darling; but I don't always believe what he believes
Depressing to think that I would go on living after death
Difficult for a good man to see the evil round him
Efforts to eliminate instinct
Events are the parents of the future
Events were the children of the past
For we are mad--nothing to speak of, but just a little
Forget all about oneself in what one is doing
God is the helping of man by man
Happiness never comes when you are looking for it
I don't believe, and I can't pray
I shall hate God for His cruelty
I think it's cruel that we can't take what we can while we can
If he'd drop the habits of authority
If you're not ashamed of yourself, no one will be ashamed of you
In opening your hearts you feel that you lose authority
It must be dreadful to grow old, and pass the time!
Let the dead past bury its dead
Life's a huge wide adaptable thing!
Man is His pet concern?
Marvellous speeder-up of Love is War
Men will be just as brutal afterwards--more brutal
My mistress, mademoiselle, is not a thing of flesh. It is art
Needs must when the devil drives--that's all
Oughtn't to mind us taking what we can
People do not like you to be different
Prayers which come so glibly from unbelievers
Revolt against a world so murderous and uncharitable
Seemed to know that in silence was her strength
She never went to meet life
Sheer pride; and I can't subdue it
Silence was her strength
So absorbed in his dismay and concern, that he was almost happy
Speak, or keep silent; try to console; try to pretend?
The heart of another is a dark forest
The talked-about is always the last to hear the talk
The tongue and the pen will rule them
Their lovering had advanced by glance and touch alone
There's no excitement in what you're used to
There's no room on earth for saints in authority
Things are; and we have just to take them
Too long immune from criticism
Too-consciousness that Time was after her
Trust our reason and our senses for what they're worth
Voices had a hard, half-jovial vulgarity
Wake at night and hear the howling of all the packs of the world
We can only find out for ourselves
We can only help ourselves; and I can only bear it if I rebel
We can't take things at second-hand any longer
We do think we ought to have the run of them while we're alive
We love you, but you are not in our secrets
We want to own our consciences
We want to think and decide things for ourselves
What we do is not wrong till it's proved wrong by the result
World will go on the same
You really think God merciful, sir
You think I don't know my own feelings, but I do



Their life seemed to accord them perfect satisfaction; they were supplied
with their convictions by Society just as, when at home, they were
supplied with all the other necessaries of life by some co-operative

"Why should Oi give up me only pleasure to keep me wretched life in? If
you've anything left worth the keeping shober for, keep shober by all
means; if not, the sooner you are dhrunk the better--that stands to

These letters of his were the most amazing portion of that fortnight.
They were remarkable for failing to express any single one of his real
thoughts, but they were full of sentiments which were not what he was
truly feeling; and when he set himself to analyse, he had such moments of
delirium that he was scared, and shocked, and quite unable to write
anything. He made the discovery that no two human beings ever tell each
other what they really feel.

There was nothing in that book to startle him or make him think.

And yet they were kind--that is, fairly kind--and clean and quiet in the
house, except when they laughed, which was often, and at things which
made him want to howl as a dog howls at music.


A contemptuous tolerance for people who were not getting on
Air of knowing everything, and really they knew nothing--nothing
As if man's honour suffered when he's injured
Autocratic manner of settling other people's business
Avoid falling between two stools
Bad business to be unable to take pride in anything one does
Begging the question
Believe without the risk of too much thinking
Casual charity
Christian and good Samaritan are not quite the same
Contrived to throw no light on anything whatever
Cultured intolerance
Defying Life to make him look at her
Denial of his right to have a separate point of view
Discontent with the accepted
Don't like unhealthy people
Easy coarseness which is a mark of caste
Fresh journey through the fields of thought
>From a position of security, to watch the sufferings of others
Good form
Half a century of sympathy with weddings of all sorts
Happy as a horse is happy who never leaves his stall
Her splendid optimism, damped him
How fine a thing is virtue
Hypnotised and fascinated even by her failings
I never managed to begin a hobby
If tongue be given to them, the flavour vanishes from ideas
If you can't find anything to make you laugh, pretend you do
Kissed a strange, cold, frightened look, into her eyes
Like a scolded dog, he kept his troubled watch upon her face
Man who never rebuked a servant
Misgivings which attend on casual charity
Moral asthma
Moral Salesman
Moral steam-roller had passed over it
Morality-everybody's private instinct of self-preservation
Morals made by men
Never felt as yet the want of any occupation
No two human beings ever tell each other what they really feel
Not his fault that half the world was dark
Nothing in that book to startle him or make him think
Of course! The words seemed very much or very little
One from whom the half of life must be excluded
Overwork personified
Potent law of hobbies controlled the upper classes
Professional intolerance
Putting into words things that can't be put in words
Secret that her eyes were not his eyes
Settled down to complete the purchase of his wife.
She had not resisted, but he had kissed the smile away
Sign of private moral judgment was to have lost your soul
Something new, and spiced with tragic sauce
Supplied with their convictions by Society
Sympathy that has no insight
To do nothing is unworthy of a man!
Too "smart" to keep their heads for long above the water
Truth 's the very devil
Unconscious that they themselves were funny to others
Weighty dignity of attitude
Well, I don't want to see the gloomy side
What humbugs we all are
What they do not understand they dread and they despise
What's called virtue is nearly always only luck
When we begin to be real, we only really begin to be false
Words the Impostors



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