How else could she (Elsa, the lion) know that it needed all the strength of my love for her to leave now and give her back to nature – to let her learn to live alone until she might find her pride – her real pride?
There is nothing enduring in the life of a woman except what she builds in a man's heart.
I suppose the fact is that no friendship can stand the breakfast test… Civilisation has done away with curl-papers, yet at that hour the soul of the Hausfrau is as tightly screwed up as was ever her grandmother's hair, and though my body comes down mechanically, having been trained that way by punctual parents, my soul never thinks of beginning to wake up for other people till lunch-time, and never does so completely till it has been taken out of doors and aired in the sunshine. Who can begin the conventional amiability the first thing in the morning? It is the hour of savage instincts and natural tendencies; it is the triumph of the Disagreeable and the Cross. I am convinced that the Muses and the Graces never thought of having breakfast anywhere but in bed.
She had been dragged in the most humiliating of all dusts, the dust reserved for older women who let themselves be approached, on amorous lines, by boys… It had all been pure vanity, all just a wish, in these waning days of hers, still to feel power, still to have the assurance of her beauty and its effects.
… without it (love), without, anyhow, the capacity for it, people didn't seem to be much good. Dry as old bones, cold as stones, they seemed to become, when love was done; inhuman, indifferent, self-absorbed, numb.
Strange that the vanity which accompanies beauty – excusable, perhaps, when there is such great beauty, or at any rate understandable – should persist after the beauty is gone.
A marriage, she found, with someone of a different breed is fruitful of small rubs…
Life was certainly a queer business – so brief, yet such a lot of it; so substantial, yet in a few years, which behaved like minutes, all scattered and anyhow.
How could one live, while such things were going on? How could one endure consciousness, except by giving oneself up wholly and forever to helping, and comforting, and at last, at last, perhaps healing?
Your true gentlewoman does not sit down and weep and say 'I've never done such things' – she simply 'does' and no more about it.