Top 150 Charlotte Brontë Quotes

Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear.


All my heart is yours, sir: it belongs to you; and with you it would remain, were fate to exile the rest of me from your presence forever.


I have little left in myself — I must have you. The world may laugh — may call me absurd, selfish — but it does not signify. My very soul demands you: it will be satisfied, or it will take deadly vengeance on its frame.


I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth. I hold myself supremely blest — blest beyond what language can express because I am my husband’s life as fully as he is mine.


Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last.


Life is so constructed that an event does not, cannot, will not, match the expectation.


[O]ur honeymoon will shine our life long: its beams will only fade over your grave or mine.


Jane, be still; don’t struggle so like a wild, frantic bird, that is rending its own plumage in its desperation.””I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.


But life is a battle: may we all be enabled to fight it well!


There is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort.


I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.


I have been wrongly accused; and you, ma’am, and everybody else, will now think me wicked.””We shall think you what you prove yourself to be, my child. Continue to act as a good girl, and you will satisfy us.


Self abandoned, relaxed and effortless, I seemed to have laid me down in the dried-up bed of a great river; I heard a flood loosened in remote mountains, I felt the torrent come; to rise I had no will, to flee I had no strength.


The negation of severe suffering was the nearest approach to happiness I expected to know. Besides, I seemed to hold two lives – the life of thought, and that of reality.


Happiness is the cure—a cheerful mind the preventive: cultivate both.


And it is you, spirit–with will and energy, and virtue and purity–that I want, not alone with your brittle frame.


I knew you would do me good in some way, at some time–I saw it in your eyes when I first beheld you.


I wait, with some impatience in my pulse, but no doubt in my breast.


You, sir, are the most phantom-like of all; you are a mere dream


…[M]y inner self moved; my spirit shook its always-fettered wings half loose. I had a sudden feeling as if I, who never yet truly lived, were at last about to taste life.


For once a hope was realized. I held in my hand a morsel of real solid joy: not a dream, not an image of the brain, not one of those shadowy chances imagination pictures, and on which humanity starves but cannot live


Renewed hope followed renewed effort: It shone like the former for some weeks, then, like it, faded, flickered: Not a line, not a word reached me. When half a year wasted in vain expectancy, my hope died out, and then I felt dark indeed.


God waits only the separation of spirit from flesh to crown us with a full reward. Why, then, should we ever sink overwhelmed with distress, when life is so soon over, and death is so certain an entrance to happiness — to glory?


Why, then, should we ever sink overwhelmed with distress, when life is so soon over, and death is so certain an entrance to happiness – to glory?


Writers cannot choose their own mood: with them it is not always hide-tide, nor –thank Heaven!–always Storm.


To you I am neither man nor woman. I come before you as an author only. It is the sole standard by which you have a right to judge me–the sole ground on which I accept your judgment.


You can write nothing of value unless you give yourself wholly to the the theme — and when you so give yourself — you lose appetite ans sleep — it cannot be helped —


Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour … If at my convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?


Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.


Would you not be happier if you tried to forget her severity, together with the passionate emotions it excited? Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs.” – Helen Burns


My help had been needed and claimed; I had given it: I was pleased to have done something: trivial, transitory though the deed was, it was yet an active thing, and I was weary of an existence all passive.


If we would build on a sure foundation in friendship, we must love our friends for their sakes rather than for our own.


Friendship however is a plant which cannot be forced — true friendship is no gourd spring up in a night and withering in a day.


I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.


I am not an angel,” I asserted; “and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself.


I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.


There are certain phrases potent to make my blood boil — improper influence! What old woman’s cackle is that?””Are you a young lady?””I am a thousand times better: I am an honest woman, and as such I will be treated.


What tale do you like best to hear?’ ‘Oh, I have not much choice! They generally run on the same theme – courtship; and promise to end in the same catastrophe – marriage.


Jane, will you marry me?””Yes sir.””A poor blind man, whom you will have to lead about by the hand?””Yes, sir.””A crippled man, twenty years older older than you, whom you will have to wait on?””Yes, sir.””Truly, Jane?””Most truly, sir.


his wife might, I verily believe, be the very happiest woman the sun shines on


Beauty is given to dolls, majesty to haughty vixens, but mind, feeling, passion and the crowning grace of fortitude are the attributes of an angel.


The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter – often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter – in the eye.


The charm of variety there was not, nor the excitement of incident; but I liked peace so well, and sought stimulus so little, that when the latter came I almost felt it a disturbance, and rather still wished it had held aloof.


The trouble is not that I am single and likely to stay single, but that I am lonely and likely to stay lonely.


You, Jane, I must have you for my own–entirely my own.


As far as my experience of matrimony goes — I think it tends to draw you out of, and away from yourself.


I mentally shake hands with you for your answer, despite its inaccuracy.” Mr. Rochester


How all my brain was in tumult, and all my heart in insurrection! Yet in what darkness, what dense ignorance, was the mental battle fought!


We can burst the bonds which chain us,Which cold human hands have wrought,And where none shall dare restrain usWe can meet again, in thought.


I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitments, awaited those who had the courage to go forth into it’s expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst it’s perils.


Dread remorse when you are tempted to err, Miss Eyre; remorse is the poison of life.


I’ll borrow of imagination what reality will not give me.


Flirting is a woman’s trade, one must keep in practice.


The hopes that, in my own heart sown,And cherished by such sun and rain,As Joy and transient Sorrow shed,Have ripened to a harvest there:


Our power of being happy lies a good deal in ourselves, I believe.


Children can feel, but they cannot analyse their feelings; and if the analysis is partially effected in thought, they know not how to express the result of the process in words.


No; you shall tear yourself away, none shall help you: you shall yourself pluck out your right eye; yourself cut off your right hand: your heart shall be the victim, and you the priest to transfix it.


Whatever my powers–feminine or the contrary–God had given them, and I felt resolute to be ashamed of no faculty of his bestowal.


My spirit is willing to do what is right; and my flesh, I hope, is strong enough to accomplish the will of Heaven


Human life and human labour were near. I must struggle on: strive to live and bend to toil like the rest.


A phase of my life was closing to-night, anew one opening to-morrow: impossible to slumber in the interval; I must watch feverishly while the change was beingaccomplished.


Her book has perhaps been a good one; it has refreshed, refilled, rewarmed her heart; it has set her brain astir, furnished her mind with pictures.


One suffers in silence so long as one has the strength and when that strength fails one speaks without measuring one’s words much.


Where the bodily presence is weak and the speech contemptible, surely there cannot be error in making written language the medium of better utterance than faltering lips can achieve?


Jane, I never meant to wound you thus…Will you ever forgive me?”Reader, I forgave him at the moment and on the spot.


Love me, then, or hate me, as you will,” I said at last, “you have my full and free forgiveness: ask now for God’s, and be at peace.


He turned away; he threw himself on his face on the sofa. ‘Oh, Jane! my hope – my love – my life!’ broke in anguish from his lips.


If he does go, the change will be doleful. Suppose he should be absent spring, summer, and autumn: how joyless sunshine and fine days will seem!


. . . if there was a hope of comfort for any moment, the heart or head of no human being in this house could yield it . . .


You have not wept at all! I see a white cheek and a faded eye, but no trace of tears. I suppose then, your heart has been weeping blood?


Strange that grief should now almost choke me, because another human being’s eye has failed to greet mine.


Having a large world of his own in his own head and heart, he tolerated confinement to a small, still corner of the real world very patiently.


I can be on guard against my enemies, but God deliver me from my friends!


Friends always forget those whom fortune forsakes.


Men, in general, are a sort of scum, very different to anything of which you have an idea.


I tired of the routine of eight years in one afternoon.


Little girl, a memory without blot or contamination must be an exquisite treasure-an inexhaustible source of pure refreshment:is it not?


I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.


I stood lonely enough, but to that feeling of isolation I was accustomed: it did not oppress me much.


Besides this earth, and besides the race of men, there is an invisible world and a kingdom of spirits: that world is around us, for it is everywhere.


A man is master of himself to a certain point, but not beyond it. -William Crimsworth


Silence is of different kinds, and breathes different meanings.


I see at intervals the glance of a curious sort of bird through the close set bars of a cage: a vivid, restless, resolute captive is there; were it but free, it would soar cloud-high.


I doubt if I have made the best use of all my calamities. Soft, amiable natures they would have refined to saintliness; of strong, evil spirits they would have made demons; as for me, I have only been a woe-struck and selfish woman.


I could not answer the ceaseless inward question-why I thus suffered; now, at the distance of-I will not say how many years, I see it clearly.


To toil, to think, to long, to grieve,—Is such my future fate?The morn was dreary, must the eveBe also desolate?


This little man was of the order of beings who must not be opposed, unless you possessed an all-dominant force sufficient to crush him at once.


Some of the best people that ever lived have been as destitute as I am; and if you are a Christian, you ought not to consider poverty a crime.


If I let a gust of wind or a sprinkling of rain turn me aside from the easy tasks, what preparation would such sloth be for the future I propose myself?


Yet it would be your duty to bear it, if you could not avoid it: it is weak and silly to say you cannot bear what it is your fate to be required to bear.


I had wanted to compromise with Fate: to escape occasional great agonies by submitting to a whole life of privation and small pains.


It is true I little respect women or girls who are loquacious either in boasting the triumphs, or bemoaning the mortifications, of feelings.


My feelings towards it can only be paralleled by that of a doting parent towards an idiot child.


. . . they would neither hate nor envy us if they did not deem us so much happier than themselves.


Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns.


But when one does not complain, and when one wants to master oneself with a tyrant’s grip — one’s faculties rise in revolt — and one pays for outward calm with an almost unbearable inner struggle.


Crying does not indicate that you are weak. Since birth, it has always been a sign that you are alive.


It is a pity that doing one’s best does not always answer.


Gratitude is a divine emotion. It fills the heart, not to bursting; it warms it, but not to fever. I like to taste leisurely of bliss. Devoured in haste, I do not know its flavor.


Thank you, Mr. Rochester, for your great kindness. I am strangely glad to get back again to you: and wherever you are is my home—my only home.


Human feelings are queer things — I am much happier — black-leading the stove’s — making the beds and sweeping the floors at home, than I should be living like a fine lady anywhere else.


Youth is gone — gone — and will never come back: can’t help it.


…would not exchange this one little English girl for the Grand Turk’s whole seraglio, gazelle-eyes, houri forms, and all!


it is madness in al women to let a secret love kindle within them, which, if unreturned and unknown, must devour the life that feeds it; and, if discovered and responded to, must lead into miry wilds whence there is no extrication.


In her past were sweet passages, in her future rosy hopes.


He did not yet known how many commenced lefe-romances are doomed never to get beyond the first, or at most the second chapter.


Jane! will you hear reason?’ (he stooped and approached his lips to my ear) ‘because, if you won’t, I’ll try violence.


She bit me. She worried me like a tigress, when Rochester got the knife from her…She sucked the blood: she said she’d drain my heart.” Richard mason


Existence was never originally meant to be that useless, blank, pale, slow-trailing thing it often becomes to many, and is becoming to me among the rest.


I was not heroic enough to purchase liberty at the price of caste.


My heart almost died within me; miserable longings strained its chords. How long were the September days! How silent, how lifeless!


It is far better to endure patiently a smart which nobody feels but yourself, than to commit a hasty action whose evil consequences will extend to all connected with you.


They outnumbered me, and I was worsted and under their feet; but, as yet, I was not dead.


The world, I soon learned, held a different estimate: and I make no doubt, the world is very right in its view, yet believe also that I am not quite wrong in mine.


Some have won a wild delight,By daring wilder sorrow;Could I gain thy love to-night,I’d hazard death to-morrow.


Of an artistic temperament, I deny that I am; yet I must possess something of the artist’s faculty of making the most of present pleasure.


I knew I was catching at straws; but in the wide and weltering deep where I found myself, I would have caught at cobwebs.


I am not your dear; I cannot lie down: send me to school soon, Mrs. Reed, for I hate to live here.


Night was come, and her planets were risen: a safe, still night: too serene for the companionship of fear.


Your mind is my treasure, and if it were broken, it would be my treasure still


Unfeeling thing that I was, the sensibilities of the maternal heart were Greek and Hebrew to me.


In catalepsy and a dead trance, I studiously held the quick of my nature.


The spring which moved my energies lay far away beyond seas, in an Indian isle.


Something of vengeance I had tasted for the first time; as aromatic wine it seemed, on swallowing, warm and racy: its after-flavour, metallic and corroding, gave me a sensation as if I had been poisoned.


I had not, it seems, the originality to chalk out a new road to shame and destruction, but trode the old track with stupid exactness not to deviate an inch from the beaten centre. 


Bessie asked if I would have a book: the word book acted as a transient stimulus, and I begged her to fetch Gulliver’s Travels from the library.  This book I had again and again perused with delight. 


Sir,’ I interrupted him, ‘you are inexorable for that unfortunate lady; you speak of her with hate — with vindictive antipathy. It is cruel — she cannot help being mad.


… your grasp, even in fury, would have a charm for me…


I will bestir myself,’ was her resolution, ‘and try to be wise if I cannot be good.


You would say you don’t see it: at least I flatter myself I read as much in your eye (beware, by-the-by, what you express with that organ, I am quick at interpreting its language).


Childish and slender creature! It seemed as if a linnet had hopped to my foot and proposed to bear me on its tiny wing.


This pure little drop from a pure little source was too sweet: it penetrated deep, and subdued the heart


Endurance over-goaded, stretched the hand of fraternity to sedition.


If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved of you and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.


Propensities and principles must be reconciled by some means.


You never felt jealousy, did you, Miss Eyre? Of course not: I need not ask you; because you never felt love. You have both sentiments yet to experience: your soul sleeps; the shock is yet to be given which shall waken it.


His veins were dark with a vivid belladonna tincture, the essence of jealousy.


There are certain natures of which the mutual influence is such, that the more they say, the more they have to say. For these out of association grows adhesion, and out of adhesion, amalgamation.


His mind has the clearness of the deep sea, the patience of its rocks, the force of its billows.


I’ll walk where my own nature would be leading. It vexes me to choose another guide.


the horizon bounded by a propitious sky, azure, marbled with pearly white.


I’m a universal patriot…my country is the world.


Such is the imperfect nature of man! such spots are there on the disc of the clearest planet; and eyes like Miss Scatcherd’s can only see those minute defects, and are blind to the full brightness of the orb.


How can it be that Jane is with me, and says she loves me? Will she not depart as suddenly as she came? To-morrow, I fear I shall find her no more.


Unheard-of combinations of circumstances demand unheard-of rules.


Thought fitted thought; opinion met opinion: we coincided, in short, perfectly.


Lingerer, my brain is on fire with impatience; and you tarry so long!


Do you like him much?’I told you I liked him a little. Where is the use of caring for him so very much: he is full of faults.’Is he?’All boys are.


The vehemence of emotion, stirred by grief and love within me, was claiming mastery, and struggling for full sway; and asserting a right to predominate: to overcome, to live, rise, and reign at last; yes,–and to speak.


. . . nobody in particular is to blame, that I can see, for the state in which things are . . .



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