Wilkie Collins Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 91 quotes)
You may scold your carpenter, when he has made a bad table, though you can't make a table yourself.' I say to you - 'Mr. Finch, you may point out a defect in a baby's petticoats, though you haven't got a baby yourself!' Doesn't that satisfy you? All right! Take another illustration. Look at your room here. I can see in the twinkling of an eye, that it's badly lit. You have only got one window - you ought to have two. Is it necessary to be a practical builder to discover that? Absurd! Are you satisfied now? No! Take another illustration. What's this printed paper, here, on the chimney-piece? Assessed Taxes. Ha! Assessed Taxes will do. You're not in the House of Commons; you're not a Chancellor of the Exchequer - but haven't you an opinion of your own about taxation, in spite of that? Must you and I be in Parliament before we can presume to see that the feeble old British Constitution is at its last gasp?
It is not for you to say - you Englishmen, who have conquered your freedom so long ago, that you have conveniently forgotten what blood you shed, and what extremities you proceeded to in the conquering - it is not for you to say how far the worst of all exasperations may, or may not, carry the maddened men of an enslaved nation. The iron that has entered into our souls has gone too deep for you to find it. Leave the refugee alone! Laugh at him, distrust him, open your eyes in wonder at the secret self which smolders in him, sometimes under the every-day respectability and tranquility of a man like me - sometimes under the grinding poverty, the fierce squalor, of men less lucky, less pliable, less patient than I am - but judge us not. In the time of your first Charles you might have done us justice - the long luxury of your freedom has made you incapable of doing us justice now.
The bleak autumn wind was still blowing, and the solemn, surging moan of it in the wood was dreary and awful to hear through the night silence. Issac felt strangely wakeful. He resolved, as he lay down in bed, to keep the candle alight until he began to grow sleepy; for there was something unendurably depressing in the bare idea of lying awake in the darkness, listening to the dismal, ceaseless moan of the wind in the wood. ("The Dream Woman")
Is it necessary to say what my first impression was when I looked at my visitor's card? Surely not! My sister having married a foreigner, there was but one impression that any man in his senses could possibly feel. Of course the Count had come to borrow money of me."Louis," I said, "do you think he would go away if you gave him five shillings?
A man with delicately-strung nerves often says and does things which often lead us to think more meanly of him than he deserves. It is his great misfortune constantly to present himself at his worst. On the other hand, a man provided with nerves vigorously constituted, is provided also with a constitutional health and a hardihood wich express themselves brightly in his manners, and which lead to a mistaken impression that his nature is what it appears to be on the surface. Having good health, he has good spirits. Having good spirits, he wins as an agreeable companion on the persons with whom he comes in contact - although he may be hiding all the while, under an outer covering which is physically wholesome, an inner nature which is morally diseased.
Here follows the substance of what I said, written out entirely for your benefit. Pay attention to it, or you will be all abroad, when we get deeper into the story. Clear your mind of the children, or the dinner, or the new bonnet, or what not. Try if you can't forget politics, horses, prices in the city and grievances at the club. I hope you won't take this freedom on my part amiss; it's only a way I have of appealing to a gentle reader. Lord! haven't I seen you with the greatest authors in your hands, and don't I know how ready your attention is to wander when it's a book that asks for it, instead of a person?
Nothing in this world is hidden forever. The gold which has lain for centuries unsuspected in the ground, reveals itself one day on the surface. Sand turns traitor, and betrays the footstep that has passed over it; water gives back to the tell-tale surface the body that has been drowned. Fire itself leaves the confession, in ashes, of the substance consumed in it. Hate breaks its prison-secrecy in the thoughts, through the doorway of the eyes; and Love finds the Judas who betrays it by a kiss. Look where we will, the inevitable law of revelation is one of the laws of nature: the lasting preservation of a secret is a miracle which the world has never yet seen.
I haven't much time to be fond of anything ... but when I have a moment's fondness to bestow, most times ... the roses get it. I began my life among them in my father's nursery garden, and I shall end my life among them, if I can. Yes. One of these days (please God) I shall retire from catching thieves, and try my hand at growing roses.