Wednesday, February 17, 2016

of love in far from the madding crowd

(Excerpts from Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy)

Of love, as a spectacle Bathsheba had a fair knowledge; but of love subjectively she knew nothing.  (Chapter XIII)

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What a way [Gabriel] Oak had she thought, of enduring things. Boldwood, who seemed so much deeper and higher, and stronger in feeling than Gabriel, had not yet learnt any more than she herself the simple lesson which Oak showed a mastery of by every turn and look he gave -- that among the multitude of interests by which he was surrounded, those which affected his personal well-being were not the most absorbing and important in his eyes. Oak meditatively looked upon the horizon of circumstances without any special regard to his own standpoint in the midst. That was how she would wish to be.  (Chapter XLII)

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[Bathsheba and Gabriel's] was that substantial affection which arises (if any arises at all) when the two who are thrown together begin first by knowing the rougher sides of each other's character, and not the best till further on, the romance growing up in the interstices of a mass of hard prosaic reality. This good-fellowship -- camaraderie, usually occurring through similarity of pursuits, is unfortunately seldom super-added to love between the sexes, because they associate not in their labours but in their pleasures merely. Where however happy circumstance permits its development the compounded feeling proves itself to be the only love which is strong as death -- that love which many waters cannot quench, not the floods drown, beside which the passion usually called by the name is evanescent as steam.  (Chapter LV)

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