Famous Quotes & Sayings

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Sylvia Townsend Warner.

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Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1162335

To one who has led a virtuous life, to sin is the easiest thing in the world. No experience of unpleasant consequences grits that smooth sliding fall, no recollection of disillusionment blurs that pure desire. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 315955

London life was very full and exciting [ ... ] But in London there would be no greenhouse with a glossy tank, and no apple-room, and no potting-shed, earthy and warm, with bunches of poppy heads hanging from the ceiling, and sunflower seeds in a wooden box, and bulbs in thick paper bags, and hanks of tarred string, and lavender drying on a tea-tray. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 825620

There are some women in whom conscience is so strongly developed that it leaves little room for anything else. Love is scarcely felt before duty rushes to encase it, anger impossible because one must always be calm and see both sides, pity evaporates in expedients, even grief is felt as a sort of bruised sense of injury, a resentment that one should have grief forced upon one when one has always acted for the best. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 291084

[On an anarchist acquaintance:] Everything in appearance the most alarmist aunt could wish. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1112272

Inflation is the senility of democracies. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 854315

Laura had brought her sensitive conscience into the country with her, just as she had brought her umbrella, though so far she had not remembered to use either. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 353121

Truth has beauty, power, and necessity. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 523512

Laura also thought that the law had done a great deal to spoil Henry. It had changed his natural sturdy stupidity into a browbeating indifference to other people's point of view. He seemed to consider himself briefed by his Creator to turn into ridicule the opinions of those who disagreed with him, and to attribute dishonesty, idiocy, or a base motive to every one who supported a better case than he. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 941500

I cannot love people in the country, I discover, because there is always this danger that they may be acquaintances, with all the perils and choleras of acquaintance implicit in them; but in London they seem as charming as rabbits. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 2043698

Stronger than rage, astonishment, contempt, the pleasurable sense that at last she had slapped Frederick's face, the less pleasurable surmise that his slap back would be longer-lasting; stronger even than the desire to see Minna was her feeling that of all things, all people, she most at this moment wished to see Ingelbrecht, and the sturdy assurance that she would find in him everything that she expected. If she had gone up the stairs in the rue de la Carabine on her knees, she could not have ascended with a more zealotical faith that there would be healing at the top; and when he opened the door to her, enquiring politely if her errands had gone well she replied with enthusiasm, "Perfectly. My husband
it was he I went to see
has just threatened to cut me off with a penny."
"A lock-out," said Ingelbrecht. "Very natural. It is a symptom of capitalistic anxiety. I suppose he has always been afraid of you."
She nodded, and her lips curved in a grin of satisfaction. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 706996

all her thoughts slid together again like a pack of hounds that have picked up the scent. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1894314

How dreadful it is that because of our wills we can never love anything without messing it around! We couldn't even love a tree, a stone even; for sooner or later we should be pruning the tree or chipping a bit off the stone. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 408949

The body, after all, older and wiser than soul, being first created, and, like a good horse, if given its way would go home by the best path and at the right pace. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 366285

Rouen shone in dark sunlight and a storm swept it away from my eyes and churned up the broad river with waves which pounced up like cats as our train drew out of the arches of the bridge. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1093695

The Church has lost a great religious poet in me; but I have lost an infinity of fun in the church, so the loss is even. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 2052607

Elizabeth ... had the prerogative of the rich that she could be generous with large sums and niggardly over small ones ... — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1145211

Laura was not in any way religious. She was not even religious enough to speculate towards irreligion. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 346300

One cannot revoke a true happiness. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1383579

Young people are careless of their virginity; one day they may have it and the next not. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1763611

Is it the realization that people recently psychoanalyzed tend to be dreadful bores which makes the U.S.A. army reject them for the draft? — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1993041

I realize that it is as one ages and loses one's natural force that one is at the mercy of heredity. The young are themselves: the aging, their parents' children. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 312821

I feel domesticity just slipping off me. It is a choice. Either one can let it go or one can intensify it. The people who intensify it seem to get quite a lot of interest out of that, too, and are as preoccupied as pirates. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1512899

The fatal flaw of gravity; when you are down, everything falls down on you. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1220907

When other helpers fail and comforts flee, when the senses decay and the mind moves in a narrower and narrower circle, when the grasshopper is a burden and the postman brings no letters, and even the Royal Family is no longer quite what it was, an obituary column stands fast. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1397111

I wish I could be a grandmother. It is wanton extravagance to have had a youth with no one to tell of it to when one grows old. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 437222

Those who spend their strength in field and factory would rather hear that their emancipation is bound to come than that it is something to be hazardously purchased by struggle and sacrifice. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 249286

I wasn't educated. I was very lucky. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 96432

The advantages of being a postman seemed more and more dubious. It is not a congenial profession for anyone who is at all sensitive, for people visit upon the postman all their first annoyance at receiving a couple of bills when they looked for a love-letter, and if a packet is insufficiently stamped they hand over the pennies as though to a despicable bandit, too outrageous to be denied, too groveling to be feared. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 105003

One need not write in a diary what one is to remember for ever. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 196069

If one were to include one-tenth of the remarkable people one knows, in one's fiction, no one would accept it. Real life remains one's private menagerie. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 207627

Rembrandt is not a painter at all. He is a creator, who creates his beings, three dimensional living beings, on a two-dimensional flat surface which acts as a mute, and enforces silence on them. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 212838

Belligerents always abolish war after a war. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 220417

Possessiveness cannot accept; it cannot even strike a fair bargain; it has to confer. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 230770

Sitting here, and thus, she had attained to a state which she could never have desired, not even conceived. And being so unforeseen, so alien to her character and upbringing, her felicity had an absolute perfection; no comparison between the desired and the actual could tear holes in it, no ambition whisper, But this is not quite what you wanted, is it? — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 282086

There are not enough poems in praise of bed ... — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 293322

The amusement she had drawn from their disapproval was a slavish remnant, a derisive dance on the north bank of the Ohio. There was no question of forgiving them. She had not, in any case, a forgiving nature; and the injury they had done her was not done by them. If she were to start forgiving she must needs forgive Society, the Law, the Church, the History of Europe, the Old Testament, great-great-aunt Salome and her prayer-book, the Bank of England, Prostitution, the Architect of Apsley Terrace, and half a dozen other useful props of civilization. All she could do was to go on forgetting them. But now she was able to forget them without flouting them by her forgetfulness. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 307293

Only two things are real to me: my love and my death. In between them, I merely exist as a scatter of senses. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 339709

Love is the only real patriation, and without one's dear one sits in a dreary and boring exile. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 385847

Cooking is the most succulent of human pleasures. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 421170

I wish you could see the two cats drowsing side by side in a Victorian nursing chair, their paws, their ears, their tails complementarily adjusted, their blue eyes blinking open on a single thought of when I shall remember it's their supper time. They might have been composed by Bach for two flutes. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 440809

I do apologize for writing by hand - and so badly. I shall soon be like Helen Thomas, notoriously illegible. In her last letter only two words stood out plain: 'Blood pressure.' Subsequent research demonstrated that what she had actually written was 'Beloved friends. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 501613

Noise is a pollution. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 537711

There is a period in one's life - perhaps not longer than six months - when one lives in two worlds at once ... It is the time when one has freshly learned to read. The Word, till then a denominating aspect of the Thing, has suddenly become detached from it and is perceived as a glittering entity, transparent and unseizable as a jellyfish, yet able to create an independent world that is both more recondite and more instantaneously convincing than the world one knew before. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 540858

You are only young once. At the time it seems endless, and is gone in a flash; and then for a very long time you are old. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 581591

It is only for a week or two that a broken chair or a door off its hinges is recognised for such. Soon, imperceptibly, it changes its character, and becomes the chair which is always left in the corner, the door which does not shut. A pin, fastening a torn valance, rusts itself into the texture of the stuff, is irremovable; the cracked dessert place and the stewpan with a hole in it, set aside until the man who rivets and solders should chance to come that way, become part of the dresser, are taken down and dusted and put back, and when the man arrives no one remembers them as things in need of repair. Five large keys rest inside the best soup-tureen, scrupulously preserved though no one knows what it was they once opened, and the pastry-cutter is there too, little missed, for the teacup without a handle has taken its place. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 596279

To think of losing is to lose already. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 601922

After a few months she left off speculating about the villagers. She admitted that there was something about them which she could not fathom, but she was content to remain outside the secret, whatever it was. She had not come to Great Mop to concern herself with the hearts of men. Let her stray up the valleys, and rest in the leafless woods that looked so warm with their core of fallen red leaves, and find out her own secret, if she had one; with autumn it might come back to question her. She wondered. She thought not. She felt that nothing could ever again disturb her peace. Wherever she strayed the hills folded themselves round her like the fingers of a hand. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 620012

We are also rather concerned about our moorhen who went mad while we were in Italy and began to build a nest in a tree ... she walks about in the tree, looking as uneasy yet persevering as a district visitor in a brothel. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 854347

Wealth, if not a mere flash in the pan, compels the wealthy to become wealthier. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 941706

My grandmother was unsurpassable at sitting. She would sit on tombstones, glaciers, small hard benches with ants crawling over them, fragments of public monuments, other people's wheelbarrows, and when one returned one could be sure of finding her there, conversing affably with the owner of the wheelbarrow. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 976802

It is best as one grows older to strip oneself of possessions, to shed oneself downward like a tree, to be almost wholly earth before one dies. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 997277

She had thrown away twenty years of her life like a handful of old rags, but the wind had blown them back again, and dressed her in the old uniform. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1006845

For the last six weeks I have found myself pestered by some characters in search of an author ... — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1007949

In the morning I had decided that henceforth I only cared for easy loves. It is so degrading to have to persuade people into liking one, or one's works. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1048826

Here is a kitchen improvement, in return for Peacock. For roasting or basting a chicken, render down your fat or butter with cider: about a third cider. Let it come together slowly, till the smell of cider and the smell of fat are as one. This will enliven even a frozen chicken. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1084154

She had never wavered for an instant from her conviction that she had made a compact with the Devil; now she was growing accustomed to the thought. She perceived that throughout the greater part of her life she had been growing accustomed to it; but insensibly, as people throughout the greater part of their lives grow accustomed to the thought of their death. When it comes, it is a surprise to them. But the surprise does not last long, perhaps but for a minute or two. Her surprise also was wearing off. Quite soon, and she would be able to fold her hands upon it, as the hands of the dead are folded upon their surprised hearts. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1105010

The two women sat by the fire, tilting their glasses and drinking in small peaceful sips. The lamplight shone upon the tidy room and the polished table, lighting topaz in the dandelion wine, spilling pools of crimson through the flanks of the bottle of plum gin. It shone on the contented drinkers, and threw their large, close-at-hand shadows upon the wall. When Mrs Leak smoothed her apron the shadow solemnified the gesture as though she were moulding an universe. Laura's nose and chin were defined as sharply as the peaks peaks on a holly leaf. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1153575

I seem to use this word 'kind' very frequently. When one is unhappy or anxious it is a quality one dwells on. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1187775

Even Henry and Caroline, whom she saw every day, were half hidden under their accumulations
accumulations of prosperity, authority, daily experience. They were carpeted with experience. No new event could set jarring feet on them but they would absorb and muffle the impact. If the boiler burst, if a policeman climbed in at the window waving a sword, Henry and Caroline would bring the situation to heel by their massive experience of normal boilers and normal policemen. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1335204

The baby romped on my lap like a short stout salmon. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1349454

During the last few years of her life Mrs. Willowes grew continually more skilled in evading responsibilities, and her death seemed but the final perfected expression of this skill. It was as if she had said, yawning a delicate cat's yawn, "I think I will go to my grave now," and had left the room. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1350786

And another day is tucked under my wing. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1366227

One reason why my memory decays is that I have three cats, all so loving and insistent that they play cat's-cradle with every train of thought. They drove me distracted while I was having influenza, gazing at me with large eyes and saying: O Sylvia, you are so ill, you'll soon be dead. And who will feed us then? Feed us now! — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1393947

But what are wishes, compared with longings? — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1398585

When I die, I hope to think I have annoyed a great many people. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1420640

Once, when I was a young lady and on a night express ... I was awakened by a man coming in from the corridor and taking hold of my leg ... Quite as much to my own astonishment as his, I uttered the most appalling growl that ever came out of a tigress. He fled, poor man, without a word: and I lay there, trembling slightly, not at my escape but at my potentialities. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1451889

She was heavier than he expected - women always are. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1508792

Oh, I am all for singing. If I had had children I should have hounded them into choirs & choral societies, and if they weren't good enough for that, I would have sent them out, to sing in the streets. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1517651

Beside the china-cupboard and beneath Ratafee stood Emma's harp, a green harp ornamented with gilt scrolls and acanthus leaves in the David manner. When Laura was little she would sometimes steal into the empty drawing-room and pluck the strings which remained unbroken. They answered with a melancholy and distracted voice, and Laura would pleasantly frighten herself with the thought of Emma's ghost coming back to make music with cold fingers, stealing into the empty drawing-room as noiselessly as she had done. But Emma's was a gentle ghost. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1576492

Reason is a poor hand at prophecies. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1593027

General de Gaulle is again pictured in our newspapers, looking as usual like an embattled codfish. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1624978

Slowly, with a look of intense concentration, he got up and advanced on me ... put out a front paw, and stroked my cheek as I used to stoke his chops. A human caress from a cat. I felt very meagre and ill-educated that I could not purr. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1633929

It was as easy for him to quit Bloomsbury for the Chilterns as for a cat to jump from a hard chair to a soft. Now after a little scrabbling and exploration he was curled up in the green lap and purring over the landscape. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1652254

Can you suggest any suitable aspersions to spread abroad about Mrs. Thatcher? It is idle to suggest she has unnatural relations with Mrs. Barbara Castle; what is needed is something socially lower: that she eats asparagus with knife and fork, or serves instant mash potatoes. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1662844

Of all damnable offenses preaching prudence to the young is the most damnable. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1665434

My blood ran with this ink... — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1666253

Anticipation of pleasure is a pleasure in itself. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1691557

Happiness is an immunity. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1696481

Love amazes, but it does not surprise. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1726746

[John Craske] painted like a man giving witness under oath to a wild story. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1730839

The night was at her disposal. She might walk back to Great Mop and arrive very late; or she might sleep out and not trouble to arrive till to-morrow. Whichever she did Mrs Leak would not mind. That was one of the advantages of dealing with witches; they do not mind if you are a little odd in your ways, frown if you are late for meals, fret if you are out all night, pry and commiserate when at length you return. Lovely to be with people who prefer their thoughts to yours, lovely to live at your own sweet will, lovely to sleep out all night! — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1746993

Sneezes ... always sound much louder to the sneezer than to the hearers. It is an acoustical peculiarity. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1792905

When the German propaganda tries to be winsome it is like a clown with homicidal mania - ludicrous and terrifying both at once. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1825017

No one wants to be praised for possibilities when one has submitted performances. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1855222

Nine people out of ten (in Germany and England, perhaps ten people) would rather wait for their rights than fight for their rights. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1929940

God, an enormous darkness, hung looped over half her sky, an ever-present menace, a cloud waiting to break. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1932012

Sept.17 (1780). When we call loudly thro' the speaking-trumpet to Timothy ( the tortoise), he does not seem to regard the noise. Sept.18. Timothy eats heartily. Oct.3. No ring-ouzels seen this autumn yet. Timothy very dull. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 1998793

Total grief is like a minefield. No knowing when one will touch the tripwire. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 2054276

I have an idea that conscience impedes quite as many merits as faults, is a sort of alloy, a nickel which may prevent silver from bending but also prevents it from shining. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 2083461

A story demanded to be written, and that is why I have not answered your letter before: a wrong-headed story, that would come blundering like a moth on my window, and stare in with small red eyes, and I the last writer in the world to manage such a subject. One should have more self-control. One should be able to say, Go away. You have come to the wrong inkstand, there is nothing for you here. But I am so weakminded that I cannot even say, Come next week. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 2085358

Spring is strictly sentimental, self-regarding; but I burn more careless in the autumn bonfire. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 2087757

There is a moral, of course, and like all morals it is better not pursued. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 2090567

I wish I could write librettos for the rest of my life. It is the purest of human pleasures, a heavenly hermaphroditism of being both writer and musician. No wonder that selfish beast Wagner kept it all to himself. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 2113061

Children driven good are apt to be driven mad. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 2161920

One cannot overestimate the power of a good rancorous hatred on the part of the stupid. The stupid have so much more industry and energy to expend on hating. They build it up like coral insects. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 2163935

That's why we become witches: to show our scorn of pretending life's a safe business, to satisfy our passion for adventure. It's not malice, or wickedness - well, perhaps it is wickedness, for most women love that - but certainly not malice, not wanting to plague cattle and make horrid children spout up pins and - what is it? - blight the genial bed. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 2188024

Theology, Mr. Fortune found, is a more accommodating subject than mathematics; its technique of exposition allows greater latitude. For instance when you are gravelled for matter there is always the moral to fall back upon. Comparisons too may be drawn, leading cases cited, types and antetypes analysed and anecdotes introduced. Except for Archimedes mathematics is singularly naked of anecdotes. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 2189157

All encounters with children are touched with social embarrassment. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 2226885

Happy is the day whose history is not written down. — Sylvia Townsend Warner

Sylvia Townsend Warner Quotes 2233763

Idleness is righteous if it is comfortable. Uncomfortable idleness is sin & sinful waste. — Sylvia Townsend Warner