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George Macdonald Quotes

43 of the best book quotes from George Macdonald
  1. #1
    “As a world that has no well, Darkly bright in forest dell;
    As a world without the gleam Of the downward-going stream;
    As a world without the glance Of the ocean’s fair expanse;
    As a world where never rain Glittered on the sunny plain;
    —Such, my heart, thy world would be, If no love did flow in thee.”
  2. #2
    “It is so silly of people to fancy that old age means crookedness and witheredness and feebleness and sticks and spectacles and rheumatism and forgetfulness! It is so silly! Old age has nothing whatever to do with all that. The right old age means strength and beauty and mirth and courage and clear eyes and strong painless limbs.”
  3. #3
    “Death alone from death can save. Love is death, and so is brave. Love can fill the deepest grave. Love loves on beneath the wave.”
  4. #4
    “He could not tell whether the queen meant light-haired or light-heired; for why might she not aspirate her vowels when she was ex-asperated herself?”
  5. #5
    “Love and water brought back all her strength.”
  6. #6
    “But the princess had to learn to walk, before they could be married with any propriety. And this was not so easy at her time of life, for she could walk no more than a baby. She was always falling down and hurting herself.
    ‘Is this the gravity you used to make so much of?’ said she one day to the prince, as he raised her from the floor. ‘For my part, I was a great deal more comfortable without it.’
    ‘No, no, that’s not it. This is it,’ replied the prince, as he took her up, and carried her about like a baby, kissing her all the time.
    ‘This is gravity.’
    ‘That’s better,’ said she. ‘I don’t mind that so much.’ And she smiled the sweetest, loveliest smile in the prince’s face. And she gave him one little kiss in return for all his; and he thought them overpaid, for he was beside himself with delight. I fear she complained of her gravity more than once after this, notwithstanding.”
  7. #7
    “Here I should like to remark, for the sake of princes and princesses in general, that it is a low and contemptible thing to refuse to confess a fault, or even an error. If a true princess has done wrong, she is always uneasy until she has had an opportunity of throwing the wrongness away from her by saying: ‘I did it; and I wish I had not; and I am sorry for having done it.‘”
  8. #8
    “One day he lost sight of his retinue in a great forest. These forests are very useful in delivering princes from their courtiers, like a sieve that keeps back the bran. Then the princes get away to follow their fortunes. In this they have the advantage of the princesses, who are forced to marry before they have had a bit of fun. I wish our princesses got lost in a forest sometimes.”
  9. #9
    “The princess burst into a passion of tears, and fell on the floor. There she lay for an hour and her tears never ceased.”
  10. #10
    “That is the way fear serves us: it always sides with the thing we are afraid of.”
  1. #11
    “Duplicity of any sort is exceedingly objectionable between married people of any rank, not to say kings and queens; and the most objectionable form duplicity can assume is that of punning.”
  2. #12
    “What business had you to pull me down out of the water, and throw me to the bottom of the air? I never did you any harm.”
  3. #13
    ″‘They think so much of themselves!’ said his mother. ‘Small creatures always do. The bantam is the proudest cock in my little yard.‘”
  4. #14
    “But instead of being afraid, she felt more than happy—perfectly blissful.”
  5. #15
    “We are all very anxious to be understood, and it is very hard not to be. But there is one thing much more necessary.′
    ‘What is that, grandmother?’
    ‘To understand other people.‘”
  6. #16
    ″‘One, two, Hit and hew! Three, four, Blast and bore!‘”
  7. #17
    “People must believe what they can, and those who believe more must not be hard upon those who believe less. I doubt if you would have believed it all yourself if you hadn’t seen some of it.”
  8. #18
    “All the queens of my acquaintance have children, some three, some seven, and some as many as twelve; and my queen has not one. I feel ill-used.”
  9. #19
    ″‘My dear child,’ said the king, “you must be aware by this time that you are not exactly like other people.‘”
  10. #20
    “One day he lost sight of his retinue in a great forest. These forests are very useful in delivering princes from their courtiers, like a sieve that keeps back the bran. Then the princes get away to follow their fortunes. In this they have the advantage of the princesses, who are forced to marry before they have had a bit of fun. I wish our princesses got lost in a forest sometimes.”

Books by George MacDonald

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The Light Princess book
Maurice Sendak, George MacDonald
Chapter book
The Golden Key book
Maurice Sendak, George MacDonald
Chapter book
  1. #21
    ″‘How do you like falling in?’ said the princess.
    ‘Beyond everything,’ answered he; ‘for I have fallen in with the only perfect creature I ever saw.’
  2. #22
    “Every little girl knows how dreadful it is to find a room empty where she thought somebody was.”
  3. #23
    “But her tale, as he did not believe more than half of it, left everything as unaccountable to him as before, and he was nearly as much perplexed as to what he must think of the princess.”
  4. #24
    “Then she would laugh like the very spirit of fun; only in her laugh there was something missing. What it was, I find myself unable to describe. I think it was a certain tone, depending upon the possibility of sorrow—morbidezza, perhaps. She never smiled.”
  5. #25
    “The king, who was the wisest man in the kingdom, knew well there was a time when things must be done and questions left till afterwards.”
  6. #26
    “But at the same time she seemed more sedate than usual. Perhaps that was because a great pleasure spoils laughing.”
  7. #27
    “If the nation could not provide one hero, it was time it should perish.”
  8. #28
    “But the lake, your highness!” said the chamberlain, who, roused by the noise, came in, in his nightcap. “Go and drown yourself in it!” she said. This was the last rudeness of which the princess was ever guilty; and one must allow that she had good cause to feel provoked with the lord chamberlain.
  9. #29
    “The truest princess is just the one who loves all her brothers and sisters best, and who is most able to do them good by being humble towards them.”
  10. #30
    “When she was angry her little eyes flashed blue. When she hated anybody, they shone yellow and green. What they looked like when she loved anybody, I do not know; for I never heard of her loving anybody but herself, and I do not think she could have managed that if she had not somehow got used to herself.”
  1. #31
    ″‘I don’t see anything,’ persisted Curdie. ‘Then you must believe without seeing,’ said the princess; ‘for you can’t deny it has brought us out of the mountain.‘”
  2. #32
    “It means, my love, that I did not mean to show myself. Curdie is not yet able to believe some things. Seeing is not believing—it is only seeing.”
  3. #33
    “I’m very much obliged to you, Irene, for getting me out of that hole, but I wish you hadn’t made a fool of me afterwards.”
  4. #34
    “When the princess awoke from the sweetest of sleeps, she found her nurse bending over her, the housekeeper looking over the nurse’s shoulder, and the laundry-maid looking over the housekeeper’s.”
  5. #35
    “You ought to be very happy at having got away from those demons, and instead of that I never saw you so gloomy. There must be something more.”
  6. #36
    “She was a witch; and when she bewitched anybody, he very soon had enough of it; for she beat all the wicked fairies in wickedness, and all the clever ones in cleverness.”
  7. #37
    “Perhaps the best thing for the princess would have been to fall in love. But how a princess who had no gravity could fall into anything is a difficulty—perhaps the difficulty. As for her own feelings on the subject, she did not even know that there was such a beehive of honey and stings to be fallen into.”
  8. #38
    “But, remember, it may seem to you a very roundabout way indeed, and you must not doubt the thread. Of one thing you may be sure, that while you hold it, I hold it too.‘”
  9. #39
    “I’ve nobody to spin for just at present. I never spin without knowing for whom I am spinning.”
  10. #40
    “So the prince and princess lived and were happy; and had crowns of gold, and clothes of cloth, and shoes of leather, and children of boys and girls, not one of whom was ever known, on the most critical occasion, to lose the smallest atom of his or her due proportion of gravity.”
  11. #41
    “Her face was fair and pretty, with eyes like two bits of night sky, each with a star dissolved in the blue.”
  12. #42
    “It is when people do wrong things wilfully that they are the more likely to do them again.”
  13. #43
    “Perhaps you may think me foolish, but until I am sure there is nothing in my present fancy, I am more determined than ever to go on with my observations.”

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