Thursday, November 10, 2011


The Last Chronicle of Barset

Excerpts from Anthony Trollope, The Last Chronicle of Barset (1867).

Chapter V:
No man reverences a clergyman, as a clergyman, so slightly as a brother clergyman.
Chapter IX:
None but they who have themselves been poor gentry,—gentry so poor as not to know how to raise a shilling,—can understand the peculiar bitterness of the trials which such poverty produces. The poverty of the normal poor does not approach it; or, rather, the pangs arising from such poverty are altogether of a different sort. To be hungry and have no food, to be cold and have no fuel, to be threatened with distraint for one's few chairs and tables, and with the loss of the roof over one's head,—all these miseries, which, if they do not positively reach, are so frequently near to reaching the normal poor, are, no doubt, the severest of the trials to which humanity is subjected. They threaten life,—or, if not life, then liberty,—reducing the abject one to a choice between captivity and starvation.
Chapter IX:
I know a man,—an excellent fellow, who, being himself a strong politician, constantly expresses a belief that all politicians opposed to him are thieves, child-murderers, parricides, lovers of incest, demons upon the earth.
Chapter XVI (spoken by Lily Dale):
"There is some queer-looking animal of whom they say that he is better than he looks, and I always think of that saying when I think of my uncle."
Chapter XVII (spoken by Mr. Crawley):
"I have long ceased, Mr. Robarts, to care much what any man or woman may say about my shoes."
Chapter XXIV (spoken by Miss Demolines and Mr. Eames):
"I know very well that men are friends when they step up and shake hands with each other. It is the same as when women kiss."

"When I see women kiss, I always think that there is deep hatred at the bottom of it."
Chapter XXV (spoken by Conway Dalrymple):
"You are just like some of those men who for years past have been going to write a book on some new subject. The intention has been sincere at first, and it never altogether dies away. But the would-be author, though he still talks of his work, knows that it will never be executed, and is very patient under the disappointment. All enthusiasm about the thing is gone, but he is still known as the man who is going to do it some day."
Chapter XLIX:
"He ain't got nothing to do," said the housemaid to the cook, "and as for reading, they say that some of the young ones can read all day sometimes, and all night too; but, bless you, when you're nigh eighty, reading don't go for much."
Chapter L:
It is ever so much easier to proffer kindness graciously than to receive it with grace....But the suffering spirit cannot descend from its dignity of reticence. It has a nobility of its own, made sacred by many tears, by the flowing of streams of blood from unseen wounds, which cannot descend from its daïs to receive pity and kindness. A consciousness of undeserved woe produces a grandeur of its own, with which the high-souled sufferer will not easily part.
Chapter LII:
But with all of us, in the opinion which we form of those around us, we take unconsciously the opinion of others. A woman is handsome because the world says so. Music is charming to us because it charms others. We drink our wines with other men's palates, and look at our pictures with other men's eyes.
Chapter LII:
"I'd sooner be a horse in a mill than have to go to an office every day," said Mrs. Smith...
Chapter LIX (spoken by Mrs. Thorne):
"There are moments when it is a man's duty simply to vanish, to melt into the air, or to sink into the ground,—in which he is bound to overcome the difficulties of such sudden self-removal, or must ever after be accounted poor and mean."
Chapter LXII:
Was there ever a man whose existence was so purposeless, so useless, so deleterious, as his own? And yet he knew Hebrew well, whereas the dean knew but very little Hebrew. He could make Greek iambics, and doubted whether the bishop knew the difference between an iambus and a trochee. He could disport himself with trigonometry, feeling confident that Dr. Tempest had forgotten his way over the asses' bridge. He knew "Lycidas" by heart; and as for Thumble, he felt quite sure that Thumble was incompetent of understanding a single allusion in that divine poem. Nevertheless, though all this wealth of acquirement was his, it would be better for himself, better for those who belonged to him, better for the world at large, that he should be put an end to.
Chapter LXVIII (spoken by Mr. Crawley):
"Those who are high in station strike us more by their joys and sorrows than do the poor and lowly. Were some young duke's wife, wedded but the other day, to die, all England would put on some show of mourning,—nay, would feel some true gleam of pity; but nobody cares for the widowed brickmaker seated with his starving infant on his cold hearth."
Chapter LXXIII:
"He must be the oddest man that ever lived," said Mrs. Grantly, "not to have known where he got the cheque." The archdeacon shook his head, and rubbed his hands as he walked about the room. "I suppose too much learning has upset him," said the archdeacon. "They say he's not very good at talking English, but put him on in Greek and he never stops."
Chapter LXXX:
During the whole of that day Johnny was resolving that there could be no cure for his malady but hard work. He would not only work hard at the office if he remained there, but he would take to heavy reading. He rather thought that he would go deep into Greek and do a translation, or take up the exact sciences and make a name for himself that way. But as he had enough for the life of a secluded literary man without his salary, he rather thought that he would give up his office altogether. He had a mutton chop at home that evening, and spent his time in endeavouring to read out loud to himself certain passages from the Iliad;—for he had bought a Homer as he returned from his office....On the next day he was cooler and wiser. Greek he thought might be tedious as he discovered that he would have to begin again from the very alphabet. He would therefore abandon that idea. Greek was not the thing for him, but he would take up the sanitary condition of the poor in London. A fellow could be of some use in that way.
Chapter LXXXI:
Now Dr. Filgrave was the leading physician of Barchester, and nobody of note in the city,—or for the matter of that in the eastern division of the county,—was allowed to start upon the last great journey without some assistance from him as the hour of going drew nigh. I do not know that he had much reputation for prolonging life, but he was supposed to add a grace to the hour of departure.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?