Harriet Martineau's Autobiography, Issue 54, Volume 1

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Smith Elder, 1877

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Page 291 - Indies, or the crowns of all the kingdoms of Europe, were laid at my feet in exchange for my love of reading, I would, spurn them all — Fcnelon.
Page 132 - The veneration in which I hold domestic life has always shown me that that life was not for those whose self-respect had been early broken down, or had never grown. Happily, the majority are free from this disability'. Those who suffer under it had better be as I, — as my observation of married, as well as single life assures me. When I see what conjugal love is, in the extremely rare cases in which it is seen in its perfection, I feel that there is a power of attachment in me that has never been...
Page 19 - It is evident enough that my temper must have been very bad. It seems to me now that it was downright devilish, except for a placability which used to annoy me sadly. My temper might have been early made a thoroughly good one, by the slightest indulgence shown to my natural affections, and any rational dealing with my faults: but I was almost the youngest of a large family, and subject, not only to the rule of severity to which all were liable, but also to the rough and contemptuous treatment of...
Page 301 - ... him a set of ignorant and conceited young men, who thought they could set the world right by their destructive propensities. One of his chief favourites was George Borrow, as George Borrow has himself given the world to understand.' When this polyglot gentleman appeared before the public as a devout agent of the Bible Society in foreign parts, there was one burst of laughter from all who remembered the old Norwich days.
Page 353 - There is no need to relate his history or describe his faults. I can only lament the perversion of one of the most promising natures, and the intercepting of some of the most needful literary benefits offered, in the form of one man, in our time. His friendly temper, his generous heart, his excellent conversation (at his best) and his simple manners (when he forgot himself) have many a time "left me mourning" that such a being should allow himself to sport with perdition.
Page 142 - I began to feel the blessing of a wholly new freedom. I, who had been obliged to write before breakfast, or in some private way, had henceforth liberty to do my own work in my own way ; for we had lost our gentility.
Page 383 - Yellow as a guinea, with downcast eyes, broken speech at the beginning, and fingers which nervously picked at the desk before him, he could not for a moment be supposed to enjoy his own effort; and the lecturer's own enjoyment is a prime element of success.
Page 358 - I admired it then, but little dreamed I was indebted for my entertainment to a young lady of Hampstead whom I visited, and who came to Mr. Barbauld's meeting all the while with as innocent a face as if she had never written a line.
Page 381 - His excess of sympathy has been, I believe, the master-pain of his life. He does not know what to do with it, and with its bitterness, seeing that human life is full of pain to those who look out for it : and the savageness which has come to be a main characteristic of this singular man is, in my opinion, a mere expression of his intolerable sympathy with the suffering.
Page 383 - Carlyle's discourses were however so great that he might probably have gone on year after year till this time, with improving success, and perhaps ease: but the struggle was too severe. From the time that his course was announced till it was finished, he scarcely slept, and he grew more dyspeptic and nervous every day ; and we were at length...

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