All human wisdom is summed up in these two words: “Wait and hope.”
-Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo
All right, folks, that’s a wrap on this month’s Classic Quote-a-Thon! I hope you enjoyed it and swear to go easier on your inbox in the future.
And now, of course, it’s your turn. My voracious Quotes Collection will love you forever, in whatever way a Google Doc can love, if you do us the honor of sharing some of YOUR favorite quotes in the comments. And don’t feel bound by the classics. Feed us whatever you like—the Collection is no picky eater!
Happy reading, and happy quoting.
We will fight. But love—oh, I will love her infinitely.
-Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
As I made my way home, I thought Jem and I would get grown but there wasn’t much else for us to learn, except possibly algebra.
-Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
Let me say before I go that I forgive nobody. I wish them all an atrocious life and then the fires and ice of hell.
-Samuel Beckett, Malone Dies
It had already occurred to him that books were stuff, and that life was stupid.
-George Eliot, Middlemarch
She wanted to die, but she also wanted to live in Paris.
-Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
I stay on in doubt with yes and no/dividing all my heart to hope and fear.
-Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy
Padma — did you have, when you were little, a world of your own? A tin orb, on which were imprinted the continents and oceans and polar ice? Two cheap metal hemispheres, clamped together by a plastic stand? No, of course not; but I did. It was a world full of labels: Atlantic Ocean and Amazon and Tropic of Capricorn. And, at the North Pole, it bore the legend: MADE AS ENGLAND. By the August of the nodding signboards and the rapaciousness of the Narlikar women, this tin world had lost its stand; I found Scotch Tape and stuck the earth together at the Equator, and then, my urge for play overcoming my respect, began to use it as a football. In the aftermath of the Sabarmati affair, when the air was filled with the repentance of my mother and the private tragedies of Methwold’s heirs, I clanked my tin sphere around the Estate, secure in the knowledge that the world was still in one piece (although held together by adhesive tape) and also at my feet.
-Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children
“You are too fond of your liberty.”
“Yes, I think I am very fond of it. But I always want to know the things one shouldn’t do.”
“So as to do them?” asked her aunt.
“So as to choose,” said Isabel.
-Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady
With much interest I sat watching him. Savage though he was, and hideously marred about the face—at least to my taste—his countenance yet had a something in it which was by no means disagreeable. You cannot hide the soul. Through all his unearthly tattooings, I thought I saw the traces of a simple honest heart; and in his large, deep eyes, fiery black and bold, there seemed tokens of a spirit that would dare a thousand devils.
-Herman Melville, Moby-Dick