I was sorry for her; I was amazed, disgusted at her heartless vanity; I wondered why so much beauty should be given to those who made so bad a use of it, and denied to some who would make it a benefit to both themselves and others.
But, God knows best, I concluded. There are, I suppose, some men as vain, as selfish, and as heartless as she is, and, perhaps, such women may be useful to punish them.
“If a woman is fair and amiable, she is praised for both qualities, but especially the former, by the bulk of mankind: if, on the other hand, she is disagreeable in person and character, her plainness is commonly inveighed against as her greatest crime, because, to common observers, it gives the greatest offence; while, if she is plain and good, provided she is a person of retired manners and secluded life, no one ever knows of her goodness, except her immediate connections”—Brontë, Anne. “Agnes Grey.” (via abookishtype)
“It was named Catherine, but [Edgar] never called it the name in full, as he had never called the first Catherine short, probably because Heathcliff had a habit of doing so. The little one was always Cathy, it formed to him a distinction from the mother, and yet, a connection with her, and his attachment sprang from its relation to her, far more than from its being his own.”—Wuthering Heights (VII, Chapter III, p. 184-5) Emily Brontë (via bibliophiling)
“Lucy Snowe is the woman to be. Rising from the shadows, she looks to the future. The book ends when she is ready to write it: the work of art to complement an exchange of letters which, at the crest of rapport, shapes character and extends expression. We leave Lucy advancing into a future in which she will record her rise in heretic terms. What is to be the fate of such a woman? This question looms in the ‘pause: pause’ at the end of ‘Villette’.”—Charlotte Bronte: A Passionate Life, Lyndall Gorndon, p314 (via fycharlottebronte)
“This was very pleasant : there is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow-creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort”—Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (via meeshmatched)
“I see, at intervals, the glance of a curious sort of bird through the close-set bars of a cage: a vivid, restless, resolute captive is there; were it but free, it would soar cloud-high.”—Jane Eyre (via inkspotteddreams)
“There is an old saying that those who eat toasted cheese at night will dream of Lucifer. The author of Wuthering Heights has evidently eaten toasted cheese.”—from a review of Wuthering Heights in 1848 (via melusines)
“Now it is not everybody, even amongst our respected friends and esteemed acquaintance, whom we like to have near us, whom we like to watch us, to wait on us, to approach us with the proximity of a nurse to a patient. It is not every friend whose eye is a light in a sickroom, whose presence is there a solace.”—From ‘Villette’ by Charlotte Bronte (via hidinggabriel)
“… I have likewise read one of Miss Austen’s works “Emma” — read it with interest and with just the degree of admiration which Miss Austen herself would have thought sensible or suitable — anything like warmth or enthusiasm … is utterly out of place in commending these works …”—
Charlotte Bronte commenting on Jane Austen’s Emma, 12 April 1850
…she died without sever struggle - resigned - trusting in God - thankful for release from a suffering life - deeply assured that a better existence lay before her - She believed - she hoped, and declared her belief and hope with her last breath. - Her quiet - Christian death did not rend my heart as Emily’s stern, simply, undemonstrative end did - I let Anne go to God and felt He had a right to her.
I could hardly let Emily go - I wanted to hold her back then - and I want her back hourly now - Anne, from her childhood seemed preparing for an early death - Emily’s spirit seemed strong enough to bear her to fulness of years - They are both gone - and so is poor Branwell - and Papa has now me only - the weakest - puniest - least promising of his six children - Consumption has taken the whole five.
”—Charlotte Bronte in a letter written a few days after Anne’s death.
“You ask me if I do not think that men are strange beings - I do indeed, I have often thought so - and I think too that the mode of bringing them up is strange, they are not half sufficiently guarded from temptation - Girls are protected as if they were something very frail and silly indeed while boys are turned loose on the world as if they - of all beings in existence, were the wisest and the least liable to be led astray.”—Charlotte Bronte in a letter to her former headmistress Miss Wooler
“The charm of variety there was not, nor the excitement of incident; but I liked peace so well, and sought stimulus so little, that when the latter came I almost felt it a disturbance, and rather still wished it had held aloof.”—Villette by Charlotte Bronte (via offkanagawa)
“Poetry destroyed? Genius banished? No! Mediocrity, no: do not let envy prompt you to the thought. No; they not only live, but reign and redeem: and without their divine influences spread everywhere, you would be in hell—the hell of your own meanness.”—Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte (via svdbygrcty)