Romola, Volume 1

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Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1863 - Domestic fiction - 375 pages

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Page 179 - But our deeds are like children that are born to us; they live and act apart from our own will. Nay, children may be strangled, but deeds never : they have an indestructible life both in and out of our consciousness ; and that dreadful vitality of deeds was pressing hard on Tito for the first time.
Page 55 - Our lives make a moral tradition for our individual selves as the life of mankind at large makes a moral tradition for the race; and to have once acted nobly seems a reason why we should always be noble. But Tito was feeling the effect of an opposite tradition : he had won no memories of self-conquest and perfect faithfulness from which he could have a sense of falling.
Page 65 - There was a sting in those words, and Romola's countenance changed as if a subtle pale flash had gone over it. " And you are flying from your debts, — the debt of a Florentine woman, the debt of a wife. You are turning your back on the lot that has been appointed for you ; you are going to choose another. But can man or woman choose duties ? No more than they can choose their birthplace or their father and mother. My daughter, you are fleeing from the presence of God into the wilderness.
Page 186 - The law was sacred. Yes, but rebellion might be sacred too. It flashed upon her mind that the problem before her was essentially the same as that which had lain before Savonarola — the problem where the sacredness of obedience ended, and where the sacredness of rebellion began. To her, as to him, there had come one of those moments in life when the soul must dare to act on its own warrant, not only without external law to appeal to, but in the face of a law which is not unarmed with Divine lightnings...
Page 310 - There was a man to whom I was very near, so that I could see a great deal of his life, who made almost every one fond of him, for he was young, and clever, and beautiful, and his manners to all were gentle and kind. I believe, when I first knew him, he never thought of anything cruel or base. But because he tried to slip away from everything that was unpleasant, and cared for nothing else so much as his own safety, he came at last to commit some of the basest deeds — such as make men infamous....
Page 246 - Florence ; but he never thought of any scheme for removing his enemy. His dread generated no active malignity, and he would still have been glad not to give pain to any mortal.
Page 309 - There are so many things wrong and difficult in the world, that no man can be great — he can hardly keep himself from wickedness — unless he gives up thinking much about pleasures or rewards, and gets strength to endure what is hard and painful.
Page 20 - When suddenly the great bell in the palace tower rang out a mighty peal : not the hammersound of alarm, but an agitated peal of triumph ; and one after another every other bell in every other tower seemed to catch the vibration and join the chorus. And as the chorus swelled and swelled till the air seemed made of sound, little flames, vibrating too, as if the sound had caught fire, burst out between the turrets of the palace and on the girdling towers. That sudden clang, that leaping light, fell...
Page 245 - Tito was experiencing that inexorable law of human souls, that we prepare ourselves for sudden deeds by the reiterated choice of good or evil which gradually determines character.
Page 10 - Go not down, good Spirit ! for the changes are great, and the speech of Florentines would sound as a riddle in your ears. Or, if you go, mingle with no politicians on the marmi, or elsewhere ; ask no questions about trade in the Calimara ; confuse yourself with no inquiries into scholarship, official or monastic. Only look at the sunlight and shadows on the grand walls that were built solidly, and have endured in their grandeur ; look at the faces of the little children, making another sunlight amid...

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