Quintessential Quotations

Love And Romance


A Common Purpose

Nothing tends more to increase the esteem and affection of two people for each other, than their having one and the same benevolent object.

Maria Edgeworth
Belinda, Chapter XIII

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A Man's Tongue

Women can resist a man's love, a man's fame, a man's personal appearance, and a man's money; but they cannot resist a man's tongue, when he knows how to talk with them.

Wilkie Collins
The Woman in White, The Second Epoch, The Story Continued by Marian Halcombe, Chapter V

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Blushes

Women blush because they understand.

Maria Edgeworth
Belinda, Chapter XVII

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Concealment through Flippancy

When a sensible woman has a serious question put to her, and evades it by a flippant answer, it is a sure sign, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, that she has something to conceal.

Wilkie Collins
The Woman in White, The First Epoch, The Story Continued by Vincent Gilmore, Chapter II

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Fencing with Words

No sensible man ever engages, unprepared, in a fencing-match of words with a woman.

Wilkie Collins
The Woman in White, The First Epoch, The Story Continued by Vincent Gilmore, Chapter II

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It Could Happen To You

Sure this is love, which heretofore I conceived the dream of idle maids, and wanton poets.

Dr. Sam: Johnson
Quoted in p. 79, year 1737, of Life of Johnson, by James Boswell

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Love and Money

Lozenges are of sovereign use in some complaints. The heiress lozenge is a specific in some consumptions.

Maria Edgeworth
Belinda, Chapter III

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Love and Nature

The two most wonderful things in the world are a woman's smile and the motion of mighty waters.

Leonardo Da Vinci
(quoted in Robert Bloch, The Black Kiss)

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Love's Wounds

The wound that Love has dealt the lord
won't heal like wounds from lance or sword,
for any wound a sword has cut
the doctors can cure quickly, but
the wounds of Love, by definition,
are worst when nearest their physician.

Chretien de Troyes
Yvaine, or The Knight With the Lion, translated by Ruth Harwood Cline, Lines 1265-1270

Love without fear and trepidation is fire without flame and heat, day without sun, comb without honey, summer without flowers, winter without frost, sky without moon, a book without letters. That is how I would put my refutation, for where fear is lacking there is no question of love. He who wishes to love must fear, otherwise he is unable to love. But let him fear only her whom he loves, and for her sake let him always be bold.

Chretien de Troyes
Cliges, in Arthurian Romances, translated by D. D. R. Owen, ca. line 3865

But how does anyone who doesn't experience it know what is sickness and what is well-being? Mine is different from all other illnesses, for to tell you the truth, it pleases me greatly and yet I suffer from it, and I find delight in my discomfort. And if what pleases can be a sickness, then my trouble is what I want, and my suffering my health. So I don't know why I should complain, for I'm aware of no source for my illness unless it comes from my wishes. My desire is perhaps a sickness; but I feel so well in my desire that it makes me suffer sweetly, and I find so much joy in my trouble that I'm pleasantly ill. Tell me, nurse Thessala: is this sickness, then, not hypocritical to seem pleasant to me and yet torment me so? I don't know how to tell whether it is an illness or not. Nurse, tell me its nature and what kind of thing it is. But you may be sure I'd rather not be cured at all, for my distress is very dear to me.

. . . "There's nothing to be afraid of: I'll readily tell you both the nature of your sickness and its name. You said to me, I think, that the pain you feel seems joy and health to you: that's the symptom of love-sickness, for in it there is both joy and pain. So you're in love, as I prove to you, for I find no sweetness in any illness except in love alone."

Chretien de Troyes
Cliges, in Arthurian Romances, translated by D. D. R. Owen, ca. line 3095

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Men as Predators

There should be an art to capturing beauty; it becomes merely banal when it is not hunted.

Clive Sinclair
Uncle Vlad, in The Vampire Omnibus, ed. Peter Haining

Let this be a lesson to you, my girl! Never, ever, pay the slightest heed to a man who says that he shares your tastes, your interests. It will be a black falsehood, told inevitably to gain his own ends. Which are always, and unalterably, the same.

Joan Aiken
Eliza's Daughter, (Chapter) V

Men! They are the enemies of our innocence and our peace--they drag us away from our parents' love and our sisters' friendship--they take us, body and soul, to themselves, and fasten our helpless lives to theirs as they chain a dog up to his kennel. And what does the best of them give us in return?

Wilkie Collins
The Woman in White, The First Epoch, The Story Continued by Marian Halcombe, Chapter II

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Single People and Married People

Nothing, in my opinion, sets the odious selfishness of mankind in such a repulsive light as the treatment, in all classes of society, which the Single people receive at the hands of the Married people. When you have once shown yourself too considerate and self-denying to add a family of your own to an already overcrowded population, you are vindictively marked out by your married friends, who have no similar consideration and no similar self-denial, as the recipient of half their conjugal troubles, and the born friend of all their children. Husbands and wives talk of the cares of matrimony, and bachelors and spinsters bear them.

Wilkie Collins
The Woman in White, The Second Epoch, The Story Continued by Frederick Fairlie

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Who Gets the First

Who gets the first of a woman's heart? In my experience I have never yet met the man who was Number One. Number Two, sometimes. Number Three, Four, Five, often. Number One, never! He exists, of course -- but I have not met with him.

Wilkie Collins
The Woman in White, The First Epoch, The Story Continued by Marian Halcombe, Chapter IX

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Women as Predators

She had a large mouth you couldn't possibly take seriously until she smiled. The you weren't quite sure whether she had already fed, or whether you were destined to be the next victim.

James Byrom
Or Be He Dead

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