character

Tess Durbeyfield Quotes

19 of the best book quotes from Tess Durbeyfield
  1. #1
    “There still faintly beamed from the woman’s features something of the freshness, and even the prettiness, of her youth; rendering it evident that the personal charms which Tess could boast were in main part her mother’s gift, and therefore unknightly, unhistorical.”
  2. #2
    ″‘Pooh – I have as much of mother as father in me!’ she said. ‘All my prettiness comes from her, and she was only a dairymaid.‘”
  3. #3
    “Pedigree, ancestral skeletons, monumental record, the D’Urberville lineaments, did not help Tess in her life’s battle as yet, even to the extent of attracting to her a dancing-partner over the heads of the commonest peasantry.”
  4. #4
    “She philosophically noted dates as they came past in the revolution of the year; the disastrous night of her life at Trantridge with its dark background of The Chase; also the dates of the baby’s birth and death; also her own birthday; and every other day individualized by incidents in which she had taken some share.”
  5. #5
    “Never in her life – she could swear it from the bottom of her soul – had she ever intended to do wrong; yet these hard judgments had come. Whatever her sins, they were not sins of intention, but of inadvertence, and why should she have been punished so persistently?”
  6. #6
    “O, you have torn my life all to pieces . . . made me be what I prayed you in pity not to make me be again!”
  7. #7
    “My life looks as if it had been wasted for want of chances! When I see what you know, what you have read, and seen, and thought, I feel what a nothing I am!”
  8. #8
    “Had she been ensconced here under other and more pleasant conditions she would have become alarmed; but, outside humanity, she had at present no fear.”
  9. #9
    “O why have you treated me so monstrously, Angel! I do not deserve it. I have thought it all over carefully, and I can never, never forgive you!”
  1. #10
    “She could not have borne their pity, and their whispered remarks to one another upon her strange situation; though she would almost have faced a knowledge of her circumstances by every individual there, so long as her story had remained isolated in the mind of each. It was the interchange of ideas about her that made her sensitiveness wince.”
  2. #11
    ″... but comfortable as her life had been there she could not go back. The anti-climax would be too intolerable; and her return might bring reproach upon her idolized husband.”
  3. #12
    “Thus, neither having the clue to the other’s secret, they were respectively puzzled at what each revealed, and awaited new knowledge of each other’s character and moods without attempting to pry into each other’s history.”
  4. #13
    “She hardly observed that a tear descended slowly upon his cheek, a tear so large that it magnified the pores of skin over which it rolled, like the object lens of a microscope.”
  5. #14
    “Every day, every hour, brought to him one more little stroke of her nature, and to her one more of his. Tess was trying to lead a repressed life, but she little divined the strength of her own vitality.”
  6. #15
    “These were the first words of antagonism. To fling elaborate sarcasms at Tess, however, was much life flinging them at a dog or cat. The charms of their subtlety passed by her unappreciated...”
  7. #16
    “There lay the pity of it. An immeasurable social chasm was to divide our heroine’s personality thereafter from that previous self of hers who stepped from her mother’s door to try her fortune at Trantridge poultry-farm.”
  8. #17
    “He was surprised to find this young woman – who though but a milkmaid had just that touch of rarity about her which might make her the envied of her housemates – shaping such sad imaginings.”
  9. #18
    “You are very good. But it strikes me that there is a want of harmony between your present mood of self-sacrifice and your past mood of self-preservation.”
  10. #19
    ″... nobody could love ‘ee more than Tess did! . . . She would have laid down her life for ‘ee. I could do no more.”

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