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Quotes / The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

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If she were more perfect, she would be less interesting.
Gilbert Markham about Eliza Millward

If you would have your son to walk honourably through the world, you must not attempt to clear the stones from his path, but teach him to walk firmly over them — not insist upon leading him by the hand, but let him learn to go alone.
Gilbert to Helen Graham

It is better to arm and strengthen your hero, than to disarm and enfeeble your foe.
Gilbert to Helen

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His heart was like a sensitive plant, that opens for a moment in the sunshine, but curls up and shrinks into itself at the slightest touch of the finger, or the lightest breath of wind.
Gilbert about Frederick Lawrence

No one can be happy in eternal solitude.
Helen to Fergus Markham

If we can only speak to slander our betters, let us hold our tongues.
Gilbert to Eliza

What are their thoughts to you or me, so long as we are satisfied with ourselves — and each other.
Gilbert to Helen

I would rather have your friendship than the love of any other woman in the world!
Gilbert to Helen

Beauty is that quality which, next to money, is generally the most attractive to the worst kinds of men; and, therefore, it is likely to entail a great deal of trouble on the possessor.
Mrs. Maxwell to Helen

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The brightest attractions to the lover too often prove the husband's greatest torments.
Mr. Boarham to Helen

He despises me, because he knows I love him.
Helen about Arthur Huntingdon

There is always a 'but' in this imperfect world.
Helen

Since I love him so much, I can easily forgive him for loving himself.
Helen about Arthur Huntingdon

Where hope rises fear must lurk behind.
Helen

"His idea of a wife is a thing to love one devotedly, and to stay at home — to wait upon her husband, and amuse him and minister to his comfort in every possible way, while he chooses to stay with her; and, when he is absent, to attend to his interests, domestic or otherwise, and patiently wait his return; no matter how he may be occupied in the meantime."
Helen about Arthur

Those, whose time is fully occupied, seldom complain of solitude.
Helen to Walter Hargrave

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If the generous ideas of youth are too often over-clouded by the sordid views of after-life, that scarcely proves them to be false.
Helen to Milicent Hargrave

Life and hope must cease together.
Helen to Milicent

A man must have something to grumble about; and if he can’t complain that his wife harries him to death with her perversity and ill-humour, he must complain that she wears him out with her kindness and gentleness.
Ralph Hattersley to Milicent

God will judge us by our own thoughts and deeds, not by what others say about us.
Helen to Little Arthur

Keep both heart and hand in your own possession, till you see good reason to part with them; and if such an occasion should never present itself, comfort your mind with this reflection, that though in single life your joys may not be very many, your sorrows, at least, will not be more than you can bear. Marriage may change your circumstances for the better, but, in my private opinion, it is far more likely to produce a contrary result.
Helen to Esther Hargrave

It is never too late to reform, as long as you have the sense to desire it, and the strength to execute your purpose.'
Helen to Ralph

He cannot endure Rachel, because he knows she has a proper appreciation of him.
Helen about Arthur

Don't you know that every time we meet the thoughts of the final parting will become more painful? Don't you feel that every interview makes us dearer to each other than the last?
Helen to Gilbert

It is deeds not words which must purchase my affection and esteem.
Helen to Arthur
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