I am not an angel,' I asserted; 'and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself. Mr. Rochester, you must neither expect nor exact anything celestial of me - for you will not get it, any more than I shall get it of you: which I do not at all anticipate.
[Love] [Women] [Freedom] [Men] [Romance] [Charlotte Bronte] [Character] [Empowerment] [Identity] [Gender] [Charlotte Brontë] [Independence] [Self Determination] [Self Awareness] [Integrity] [Image] [Flaws] [Realism] [Ideal Woman]
Gentle reader, may you never feel what I then felt! May your eyes never shed such stormy, scalding, heart-wrung tears as poured from mine. May you never appeal to Heaven in prayers so hopeless and so agised as in that hour left my lips: for never may you, like me, dread to be the instrument of evil to what you wholly love.
[Love] [Charlotte Bronte] [Charlotte Brontë] [Integrity] [Heartbreak]
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.
[Love] [Women] [Marriage] [Honesty] [Charlotte Bronte] [Empowerment] [Respect] [Gender] [Charlotte Brontë] [Independence] [Self Determination] [Expectations] [Integrity] [Self Respect] [Matrimony] [Influence] [Propriety] [Uprightness]
It has sunk him, I cannot say how much it has sunk him in my opinion. So unlike what a man should be!-None of that upright integrity, that strict adherence to truth and principle, that distain of trick and littleness, which a man should display in every transaction of his life.
[Truth] [Character] [Jane Austen] [Integrity] [Emma] [Trick]
He caught a glimpse of that extraordinary faculty in man, that strange, altruistic, rare, and obstinate decency which will make writers or scientists maintain their truths at the risk of death. Eppur si muove, Galileo was to say; it moves all the same. They were to be in a position to burn him if he would go on with it, with his preposterous nonsense about the earth moving round the sun, but he was to continue with the sublime assertion because there was something which he valued more than himself. The Truth. To recognize and to acknowledge What Is. That was the thing which man could do, which his English could do, his beloved, his sleeping, his now defenceless English. They might be stupid, ferocious, unpolitical, almost hopeless. But here and there, oh so seldome, oh so rare, oh so glorious, there were those all the same who would face the rack, the executioner, and even utter extinction, in the cause of something greater than themselves. Truth, that strange thing, the jest of Pilate's. Many stupid young men had thought they were dying for it, and many would continue to die for it, perhaps for a thousand years. They did not have to be right about their truth, as Galileo was to be. It was enough that they, the few and martyred, should establish a greatness, a thing above the sum of all they ignorantly had.
[Truth] [Humans] [Optimism] [Integrity] [T.H. White]
You know yourself what you are worth in your own eyes; and at what price you will sell yourself. For men sell themselves at various prices. This is why, when Florus was deliberating whether he should appear at Nero's shows, taking part in the performance himself, Agrippinus replied, 'Appear by all means.' And when Florus inquired, 'But why do not you appear?' he answered, 'Because I do not even consider the question.' For the man who has once stooped to consider such questions, and to reckon up the value of external things, is not far from forgetting what manner of man he is.
[Ethics] [Integrity] [Path] [Epictetus] [Stoicism]