George Eliot Quotes

Who is George Eliot?

Mary Anne Evans known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist, poet, journalist, translator, and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era.

Born November 22, 1819
Died December 22, 1880

Books by George Eliot


Best 128 Quotes by George Eliot

“Adventure is not outside man; it is within”

George Eliot

“Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.”

George Eliot

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

George Eliot

“Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.”

George Eliot

“Cruelty, like every other vice, requires no motive outside of itself; it only requires opportunity.”

George Eliot

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

George Eliot

“It will never rain roses: when we want to have more roses we must plant more trees.”

George Eliot

“No man can be wise on an empty stomach.”

George Eliot

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

George Eliot

“The highest form of knowledge is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our ego and live in another’s world.”

George Eliot

“There are many victories worse than a defeat.”

George Eliot

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

George Eliot

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

George Eliot

"Adam Bede" Quotes

“A woman may get to love by degrees — the best fire does not flare up the soonest.”

George Eliot
Adam Bede

“Consequences are unpitying. Our deeds carry their terrible consequences, quite apart from any fluctuations that went before — consequences that are hardly ever confined to ourselves.”

George Eliot
Adam Bede

“He was like the cock who thought the sun had risen to hear him crow.”

George Eliot
Adam Bede

“How is it that the poets have said so many fine things about our first love, so few about our later love? Are their first poems their best? Or are not those the best which come from their fuller thought, their larger experience, their deeper-rooted affections?”

George Eliot
Adam Bede

“I like breakfast-time better than any other moment in the day. No dust has settled on one's mind then, and it presents a clear mirror to the rays of things.”

George Eliot
Adam Bede

“In so complex a thing as human nature, we must consider, it is hard to find rules without exception.”

George Eliot
Adam Bede

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

George Eliot
Adam Bede

“On the verge of a decision we all tremble: hope pauses with fluttering wings.”

George Eliot
Adam Bede

Products by George Eliot

“One can say everything best over a meal.”

George Eliot
Adam Bede

“Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.”

George Eliot
Adam Bede

“Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.”

George Eliot
Adam Bede

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

George Eliot
Adam Bede

“The secret of our emotions never lies in the bare object, but in its subtle relations to our own past.”

George Eliot
Adam Bede

“There is one order of beauty which seems made to turn heads. It is a beauty like that of kittens, or very small downy ducks making gentle rippling noises with their soft bills, or babies just beginning to toddle.”

George Eliot
Adam Bede

“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.”

George Eliot
Adam Bede

“We hand folks over to God's mercy and show none ourselves.”

George Eliot
Adam Bede

“What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life – to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?”

George Eliot
Adam Bede

“When death, the great Reconciler, has come, it is never our tenderness that we repent of, but our severity.”

George Eliot
Adam Bede

"Daniel Deronda" Quotes

“A difference of taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections.”

George Eliot
Daniel Deronda

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

George Eliot
Daniel Deronda

“Anxiety is good for nothing if we can’t turn it into a defense.”

George Eliot
Daniel Deronda

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

George Eliot
Daniel Deronda

“I am afraid of nothing but that we should miss the passing of our lives together.”

George Eliot
Daniel Deronda

“I dare say some would never get their eyes opened if it were not for a violent shock from the consequences of their own actions.”

George Eliot
Daniel Deronda

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

George Eliot
Daniel Deronda

“Ignorance gives one a large range of probabilities.”

George Eliot
Daniel Deronda

“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.”

George Eliot
Daniel Deronda

“Men can do nothing without the make-believe of a beginning.”

George Eliot
Daniel Deronda

“Men, like planets, have both a visible and an invisible history.”

George Eliot
Daniel Deronda

Products by George Eliot

“No chemical process shows a more wonderful activity than the transforming influence of the thoughts we imagine to be going on in another.”

George Eliot
Daniel Deronda

“No evil dooms us hopelessly except the evil we love, and desire to continue in, and make no effort to escape from.”

George Eliot
Daniel Deronda

“No retrospect will take us to the true beginning.”

George Eliot
Daniel Deronda

“Passion is of the nature of seed, and finds nourishment within, tending to a predominance which determines all currents towards itself, and makes the whole life its tributary.”

George Eliot
Daniel Deronda

“People talk of their motives in a cut and dried way. Every woman is supposed to have the same set of motives, or else to be a monster. I am not a monster but I have not felt exactly what other women feel, or say they feel, for fear of being thought unlike others.”

George Eliot
Daniel Deronda

“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.”

George Eliot
Daniel Deronda

“There is no escaping the fact that want of sympathy condemns us to a corresponding stupidity.”

George Eliot
Daniel Deronda

“Those who trust us educate us.”

George Eliot
Daniel Deronda

"Janet's Repentance" Quotes

“Any coward can fight a battle when he's sure of winning; but give me the man who has pluck to fight when he's sure of losing. That's my way, sir; and there are many victories worse than a defeat.”

George Eliot
Janet's Repentance

“Cruelty, like every other vice, requires no motive outside itself -- it only requires opportunity.”

George Eliot
Janet's Repentance

“Errors look so very ugly in persons of small means – one feels they are taking quite a liberty in going astray; whereas people of fortune may naturally indulge in a few delinquencies.”

George Eliot
Janet's Repentance

“Hatred is like fire – it makes even light rubbish deadly.”

George Eliot
Janet's Repentance

“Opposition may become sweet to a man when he has christened it persecution.”

George Eliot
Janet's Repentance

“The blessed work of helping the world forward, happily does not wait to be done by perfect men.”

George Eliot
Janet's Repentance

“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.”

George Eliot
Janet's Repentance

“Worldly faces, never look so worldly as at a funeral.”

George Eliot
Janet's Repentance

"Middlemarch" Quotes

“A prig is a fellow who is always making you a present of his opinions.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“A woman dictates before marriage in order that she may have an appetite for submission afterwards.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“After all, the true seeing is within.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“Among all forms of mistake, prophecy is the most gratuitous.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

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

George Eliot
Middlemarch

Products by George Eliot

“Blameless people are always the most exasperating.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“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.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“Confound you handsome young fellows! You think of having it all your own way in the world. You don't understand women. They don't admire you half so much as you admire yourselves.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“Each crisis seems final, simply because it is new. We are told that the oldest inhabitants in Peru do not cease to be agitated by the earthquakes, but they probably see beyond each shock, and reflect that there are plenty more to come.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“Every limit is a beginning as well as an ending.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“I protest against any absolute conclusion.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“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.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“If youth is the season of hope, it is often so only in the sense that our elders are hopeful about us; for no age is so apt as youth to think its emotions, partings, and resolves are the last of their kind.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“It is always fatal to have music or poetry interrupted.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“It is an uneasy lot at best, to be what we call highly taught and yet not to enjoy: to be present at this great spectacle of life and never to be liberated from a small hungry shivering self – never to be fully possessed by the glory we behold, never to have our consciousness rapturously transformed into the vividness of a thought, the ardor of a passion, the energy of an action, but always to be scholarly and uninspired, ambitious and timid, scrupulous and dim-sighted.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“It is very difficult to be learned; it seems as if people were worn out on the way to great thoughts, and can never enjoy them because they are too tired.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“It’s rather a strong check to one’s self-complacency to find how much of one’s right doing depends on not being in want of money.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

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

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“Mortals are easily tempted to pinch the life out of their neighbor's buzzing glory, and think that such killing is no murder.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“One can begin so many things with a new person! - even begin to be a better man.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“Our deeds still travel with us from afar.
And what we have been makes us what we are.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“People are almost always better than their neighbors think they are.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“People glorify all sorts of bravery except the bravery they might show on behalf of their nearest neighbors.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“Power of generalizing gives men so much the superiority in mistake over the dumb animals.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“Pride helps us; and pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our own hurts—not to hurt others.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

Products by George Eliot

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

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“The great safeguard of society and of domestic life was, that opinions were not acted on. Sane people did what their neighbors did, so that if any lunatics were at large, one might know and avoid them.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“The mistakes that we male and female mortals make when we have our own way might fairly raise some wonder that we are so fond of it.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

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

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“We are all humiliated by the sudden discovery of a fact which has existed very comfortably and perhaps been staring at us in private while we have been making up our world entirely without it.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“We mortals, men and women, devour many a disappointment between breakfast and dinner-time; keep back the tears and look a little pale about the lips, and in answer to inquiries say, "Oh, nothing!" Pride helps; and pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our hurts— not to hurt others.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

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

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“What loneliness is more lonely than distrust?”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“What we call our despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“When a man has seen the woman whom he would have chosen if he had intended to marry speedily, his remaining a bachelor will usually depend on her resolution rather than on his.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

“You must love your work, and not be always looking over the edge of it, wanting your play to begin. And the other is, you must not be ashamed of your work, and think it would be more honorable to you to be doing something else.

You must have a pride in your own work and in learning to do it well, and not be always saying, There’s this and there’s that – if I had this or that to do, I might make something of it.”

George Eliot
Middlemarch

"Silas Marner" Quotes

“A man falling into dark waters seeks a momentary footing even on sliding stones.”

George Eliot
Silas Marner

“Every man's work, pursued steadily, tends to become an end in itself, and so to bridge over the loveless chasms of his life.”

George Eliot
Silas Marner

“Everything comes to light, sooner or later. When God Almighty wills it, our secrets are found out.”

George Eliot
Silas Marner

“Love once, love always.”

George Eliot
Silas Marner

“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”

George Eliot
Silas Marner

“Our consiousness rarely registers the beginning of a growth within us anymore than without us: there have been many circulations of the sap before we detect the smallest sign of the bud.”

George Eliot
Silas Marner

“The dull mind, once arriving at an inference that flatters the desire, is rarely able to retain the impression that the notion from which the inference started was purely problematic.”

George Eliot
Silas Marner

“The yoke a man creates for himself by wrong-doing will breed hate in the kindliest nature.”

George Eliot
Silas Marner

“There's nothing kills a man so soon as having nobody to find fault with but himself.”

George Eliot
Silas Marner

“Things look dim to old folks: they'd need have some young eyes about 'em, to let 'em know the world's the same as it used to be.”

George Eliot
Silas Marner

Products by George Eliot

"The Mill on the Floss" Quotes

“A perfectly sane intellect is hardly at home in this insane world.”

George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss

“Better spend an extra hundred or two on your son's education, than leave it him in your will.”

George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss

“Don't judge a book by its cover.”

George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss

“I am not imposed upon by fine words; I can see what actions mean.”

George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss

“I desire no future that will break the ties of the past.”

George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss

“I should like to know what is the proper function of women, if it is not to make reasons for husbands to stay at home, and still stronger reasons for bachelors to go out.”

George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss

“I’m determined to read no more books where the blond-haired women carry away all the happiness.”

George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss

“If I got places, sir, it was because I made myself fit for 'em. If you want to slip into a round hole, you must first make a ball of yourself; that's where it is.”

George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss

“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.”

George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss

“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.”

George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss

“Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music.”

George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss

“One gets a bad habit of being unhappy.”

George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss

“Poetry and art and knowledge are sacred and pure.”

George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss

“The happiest women, like the happiest nations, have no history.”

George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss

“The place where you are is the one where my mind must live, wherever I might travel.”

George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss

“We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it, if it were not the earth where the same flowers come up again every spring that we used to gather with our tiny fingers as we sat lisping to ourselves on the grass, the same hips and haws on the autumn hedgerows, the same redbreasts that we used to call ‘God’s birds’ because they did no harm to the precious crops. What novelty is worth that sweet monotony where everything is known and loved because it is known?”

George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss

“We don't ask what a woman does; we ask whom she belongs to.”

George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss

“What novelty is worth that sweet monotony where everything is known and loved because it is known?”

George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss

“What's broke can never be whole again.”

George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss

"The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton" Quotes

“But what is opportunity to the man who can't use it? An undefecundated egg, which the waves of time wash away
into nonentity.”

George Eliot
The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton

“Every man who is not a monster, a mathematician, or a mad philosopher, is the slave of some woman or other.”

George Eliot
The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton

Products by George Eliot

“Slander may be defeated by equanimity; but courageous thoughts will not pay your baker's hill, and fortitude is nowhere considered legal tender for beef.”

George Eliot
The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton

“The thing we look forward to often comes to pass, but never precisely in the way we have imagined to ourselves.”

George Eliot
The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton