character

Governess Quotes

16 of the best book quotes from Governess
  1. #1
    “The little girl who accompanied Mrs. Grose appeared to me on the spot a creature so charming as to make it a great fortune to have to do with her. She was the most beautiful child I had ever seen…”
  2. #2
    “No; it was a big, ugly, antique, but convenient house, embodying a few features of a building still older, half replaced and half utilized, in which I had the fancy of our being almost as lost as a handful of passengers in a great drifting ship. Well, I was, strangely, at the helm!”
  3. #3
    “I don’t know what I don’t see, what I don’t fear!”
  4. #4
    “That was exactly present to me—by which I mean the face was—when, on the first of these occasions, at the end of a long June day, I stopped short on emerging from one of the plantations and coming into view of the house. What arrested me on the spot—and with a shock much greater than any vision had allowed for—was the sense that my imagination had, in a flash, turned real. He did stand there!”
  5. #5
    “There were shrubberies and big trees, but I remember the clear assurance I felt that none of them concealed him. He was there or was not there: not there if I didn’t see him.”
  6. #6
    ″‘He was looking for someone else, you say—someone who was not you?’
    ‘He was looking for little Miles.’ A portentous clearness now possessed me. ‘That’s whom he was looking for.’
    ‘But how do you know?’
    ‘I know, I know, I know!’ My exaltation grew.‘“And you know, my dear!’
  7. #7
    “Miles and Flora saw more — things terrible and unguessable.”
  8. #8
    “She rose ... with an indescribable grand melancholy of indifference and detachment ... Dishonoured and tragic, she was all before me.”
  1. #9
    ″‘Oh, it wasn’t him!’ Mrs. Grose with emphasis declared. ‘It was Quint’s own fancy. To play with him, I mean—to spoil him.’ She paused a moment; then she added: ‘Quint was much too free.’
    This gave me, straight from my vision of his face—such a face!—a sudden sickness of disgust. ‘Too free with my boy?’
    ‘Too free with everyone!‘”
  2. #10
    “Suddenly, in these circumstances, I became aware that, on the other side of the Sea of Azof, we had an interested spectator... My heart had stood still for an instant with the wonder and terror of the question whether she too would see; and I held my breath while I waited for what a cry from her, what some sudden innocent sign either of interest or of alarm, would tell me. I waited, but nothing came...”
  3. #11
    “To gaze into the depths of blue of the child’s eyes and pronounce their loveliness a trick of premature cunning was to be guilty of a cynicism in preference to which I naturally preferred to abjure my judgment and, so far as might be, my agitation. I couldn’t abjure for merely wanting to, but I could repeat to Mrs. Grose—as I did there, over and over, in the small hours—that with their voices in the air, their pressure on one’s heart, and their fragrant faces against one’s cheek, everything fell to the ground but their incapacity and their beauty.”
  4. #12
    ″‘Think me — for a change — bad!’ I shall never forget the sweetness and gaiety with which he brought out the word, nor how, on top of it, he bent forward and kissed me. It was practically the end of everything.”
  5. #13
    “It would have been impossible to carry a bad name with a greater sweetness of innocence, and by the time I had got back to Bly with him I remained merely bewildered—so far, that is, as I was not outraged—by the sense of the horrible letter locked up in my room, in a drawer. As soon as I could compass a private word with Mrs. Grose I declared to her that it was grotesque.
    She promptly understood me. ‘You mean the cruel charge—?’
    ‘It doesn’t live an instant. My dear woman, LOOK at him!‘”
  6. #14
    “For there again, against the glass ... was the hideous author of our woe — the white face of damnation.”
  7. #15
    “Miss Jessel stood before us on the opposite bank exactly as she had stood the other time, and I remember, strangely, as the first feeling now produced in me, my thrill of joy at having brought on a proof. She was there, and I was justified; she was there, and I was neither cruel nor mad. She was there for poor scared Mrs. Grose, but she was there most for Flora ...”
  8. #16
    “Here at present I felt afresh—for I had felt it again and again—how my equilibrium depended on the success of my rigid will, the will to shut my eyes as tight as possible to the truth that what I had to deal with was, revoltingly, against nature. I could only get on at all by taking “nature” into my confidence and my account, by treating my monstrous ordeal as a push in a direction unusual, of course, and unpleasant, but demanding, after all, for a fair front, only another turn of the screw of ordinary human virtue.”

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