Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Rachel Ray

Excerpts from Anthony Trollope, Rachel Ray (1863).

Chapter VI:
Of all men he was the most unconscious of his own defects.
Chapter VI:
He was not a gentleman. I do not mean to say that he was a thief or a liar; nor do I mean hereby to complain that he picked his teeth with his fork and misplaced his 'h's'. I am by no means prepared to define what I do mean—thinking, however, that most men and most women will understand me.
Chapter XIII:
There is no personal encounter in which a young man is so sure to come by the worst as in that with a much older man. This is so surely the case that it ought to be considered cowardly in an old man to attack a young one. If an old man hit a young man over the head with a walking-stick, what can the young man do, except run away to avoid a second blow? Then the old man, if he be a wicked old man, as so many are, tells all his friends that he has licked the young man.
Chapter XVIII:
Individual men are like the separate links of a rotatory chain. The chain goes on with continuous easy motion as though every part of it were capable of adapting itself to a curve, but not the less is each link as stiff and sturdy as any other piece of wrought iron.
Chapter XIX:
We, all of us, read more in the faces of those with whom we hold converse, than we are aware of doing. Of the truth, or want of truth, in every word spoken to us, we judge, in great part, by the face of the speaker. By the face of every man and woman seen by us, whether they speak or are silent, we form a judgement—and in nine cases out of ten our judgement is true. It is because our tenth judgement—that judgement which has been wrong—comes back upon us always with the effects of its error, that we teach ourselves to say that appearances cannot be trusted. If we did not trust them we should be walking ever in doubt, in darkness, and in ignorance.
Chapter XX:
A wife does not cease to love her husband because he gets into trouble. She does not turn against him because others have quarrelled with him. She does not separate her lot from his because he is in debt! Those are the times when a wife, a true wife, sticks closest to her husband, and strives the hardest to lighten the weight of his cares by the tenderness of her love!
Chapter XXVI:
He was a radical at heart if ever there was a radical. But in saying this I must beg my reader to understand that a radical is not necessarily a revolutionist or even a republican. He does not, by reason of his social or political radicalism, desire the ruin of thrones, the degradation of nobles, the spoliation of the rich, or even the downfall of the bench of bishops. Many a young man is frightened away from the just conclusions of his mind and the strong convictions of his heart by dread of being classed with those who are jealous of the favoured ones of fortune. A radical may be as ready as any aristocrat to support the crown with his blood, and the church with his faith. It is in this that he is a radical; that he desires, expects, works for, and believes in, the gradual progress of the people. No doctrine of equality is his. Liberty he must have, and such position, high or low, for himself and others, as each man's individual merits will achieve for him. The doctrine of outward equality he eschews as a barrier to all ambition, and to all improvement. The idea is as mean as the thing is impracticable. But within—is it in his soul or in his heart?—within his breast there is a manhood that will own no inferiority to the manhood of another. He retires to a corner that an earl with his suite may pass proudly through the doorway, and he grudges the earl nothing of his pride. It is the earl’s right. But he also has his right; and neither queen, nor earl, nor people shall invade it. That is the creed of a radical.
Chapter XXVI:
Marvellous is the power which can be exercised, almost unconsciously, over a company, or an individual, or even upon a crowd by one person gifted with good temper, good digestion, good intellects, and good looks.

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