"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’."
"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."
"I loved him well - too well not to smite out of my path even Jealousy herself, when she would have obstructed a kind farewell."
"…You are good, you are beautiful; but you are not mine."
"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."
Warm, jealous, and haughty, I knew not till now that my nature had such a mood; he gathered me near his heart. I was full of faults: he took them and me all home. For the moment of utmost mutiny, he reserved the one deep spell of peace. These words caressed my ear:—
‘Lucy, take my love. One day share my life. Be my dearest, first on earth.’
"To see and know the worst is to take from Fear her main advantage."
— Charlotte Brontë, Villette
"Wise people say it is folly to think anybody perfect; and as to likes and dislikes, we should be friendly to all, and worship none"
“Are you a teacher?” cried she. Then, having paused on the unpalatable idea, “Well, I never knew what you were, nor ever thought of asking: for me, you were always Lucy Snowe.”
“And what am I now?” I could not forbear inquiring.
“Yourself, of course.”
- Villette, Charlotte Brontë.
"What contradictory attributes of character we sometimes find ascribed to us, according to the eye with which we are viewed!"