120+ Best George Eliot Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Mary Ann Evans, known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist, poet, journalist, translator and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. Profoundly inspirational George Eliot quotes will make you look at life differently and help you live a meaningful life.

If you’re searching for beautiful quotes by authors that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of quotes from George Orwell, powerful Harper Lee quotes and famous Haruki Murakami quotes.

Famous George Eliot Quotes

It is never too late, no matter how old you get because anytime or any point in your life you can always have a chance to make a difference. You can always make a change for the better no matter what background you derived from. You can always do your best and be all that you can be because you will always be uniquely you. It is why it is always wise to listen to your eternal heart, your eternal instincts, and what it had always strove for and/or to do because really anybody can make a difference not only in their own lives but in the lives of others. It is never too late to shine; never. – George Eliot

A human life, I think, should be well rooted in some spot of a native land, where it may get the love of tender kinship for the face of earth, for the labors men go forth to, for the sounds and accents that haunt it, for whatever will give that early home a familiar, unmistakable difference amidst the future widening of knowledge. – George Eliot

We have had an unspeakably delightful journey, one of those journeys which seem to divide one’s life in two, by the new ideas they suggest and the new views of interest they open. – George Eliot

Marriage, which has been the bourne of so many narratives, is still a great beginning, as it was to Adam and Eve, who kept their honeymoon in Eden, but had their first little one among the thorns and thistles of the wilderness. It is still the beginning of the home epic – the gradual conquest or irremediable loss of that complete union which make the advancing years a climax, and age the harvest of sweet memories in common. – George Eliot

It is as useless to fight against the interpretations of ignorance as to whip the fog. – George Eliot

Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonize. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird, I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. – George Eliot

The right to rebellion is the right to seek a higher rule, and not to wander in mere lawlessness. – George Eliot

The mother’s love is at first an absorbing delight, blunting all other sensibilities; it is an expansion of the animal existence; it enlarges the imagined range for self to move in: but in after years it can only continue to be joy on the same terms as other long-lived love–that is, by much suppression of self, and power of living in the experience of another. – George Eliot

No man can be wise on an empty stomach. – George Eliot

The strength of the donkey mind lies in adopting a course inversely as the arguments urged, which, well considered, requires as great a mental force as the direct sequence. – George Eliot

When one is five-and-twenty, one has not chalk-stones at one’s finger-ends that the touch of a handsome girl should be entirely indifferent. – George Eliot

I like to read about Moses best, in th’ Old Testament. He carried a hard business well through, and died when other folks were going to reap the fruits; a man must have courage to look after his life so, and think what’ll come f it after he’s dead and gone. – George Eliot

The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us, and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone. – George Eliot

Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact. – George Eliot

Starting a long way off the true point, and proceeding by loops and zigzags, we now and then arrive just where we ought to be. – George Eliot

I think I dislike what I don’t like more than I like what I like. – George Eliot

Our selfishness is so robust and many-clutching that, well encouraged, it easily devours all sustenance away from our poor little scruples. – George Eliot

Our deeds still travel with us from afar, and what we have been makes us what we are. – George Eliot

Minds fettered by this doctrine no longer inquire concerning a proposition whether it is attested by sufficient evidence, but whether it accords with Scripture; they do not search for facts as such, but for facts that will bear out their doctrine. It is easy to see that this mental habit blunts not only the perception of truth, but the sense of truthfulness, and that the man whose faith drives him into fallacies treads close upon the precipice of falsehood. – George Eliot

Oh, may I join the choir invisible Of those immortal dead who live again In minds made better by their presence. – George Eliot

Trouble’s made us kin. – George Eliot

It is painful to be told that anything is very fine and not be able to feel that it is fine something like being blind, while people talk of the sky. – George Eliot

Your trouble’s easy borne when everybody gives it a lift for you. – George Eliot

The darkest night that ever fell upon the earth never hid the light, never put out the stars. It only made the stars more keenly, kindly glancing, as if in protest against the darkness. – George Eliot

Nature has the deep cunning which hides itself under the appearance of openness, so that simple people think they can see through her quite well, and all the while she is secretly preparing a refutation of their confident prophecies. – George Eliot

Hold up your head! You were not made for failure; you were made for victory. Go forward with a joyful confidence. – George Eliot

There is no general doctrine which is not capable of eating out our morality if unchecked by the deep-seated habit of direct fellow-feeling with individual fellow-men. – George Eliot

If you deliver an opinion at all, it is mere stupidity not to do it with an air of conviction and well-founded knowledge. You make it your own in uttering it, and naturally get fond of it. – George Eliot

Let my body dwell in poverty, and my hands be as the hands of the toiler; but let my soul be as a temple of remembrance where the treasures of knowledge enter, and the inner sanctuary is hope. – George Eliot

The light can be a curtain as well as the darkness. – George Eliot

To manage men one ought to have a sharp mind in a velvet sheath. – George Eliot

The finest language is mostly made up of simple unimposing words. – George Eliot

Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another. – George Eliot

Do we not all agree to call rapid thought and noble impulse by the name of inspiration? – George Eliot

What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other? – George Eliot

It is a fact capable of amiable interpretation that ladies are not the worst disposed towards a new acquaintance of their own sex, because she has points of inferiority. – George Eliot

A proud woman who has learned to submit carries all her pride to the reinforcement of her submission and looks down with severe superiority on all feminine assumption as unbecoming. – George Eliot

Life is like our game at whist. I don’t enjoy the game much, but I like to play my cards well, and see what will be the end of it. – George Eliot

You should read history and look at ostracism, persecution, martyrdom, and that kind of thing. They always happen to the best men, you know. – George Eliot

It’s no use filling your pocket with money if you have got a hole in the corner. – George Eliot

I might mention all the divine charms of a bright spring day, but if you had never in your life utterly forgotten yourself in straining your eyes after the mounting lark, or in wandering through the still lanes when the fresh-opened blossoms fill them with a sacred silent beauty like that of fretted aisles, where would be the use of my descriptive catalogue? – George Eliot

May every soul that touches mine – be it the slightest contact – get there from some good; some little grace; one kindly thought; one aspiration yet unfelt; one bit of courage for the darkening sky; one gleam of faith to brave the thickening ills of life; one glimpse of brighter skies beyond the gathering mists – to make this life worthwhile. – George Eliot

An ass may bray a good while before he shakes the stars down. – George Eliot

These gems have life in them: their colors speak, say what words fail of. – George Eliot

That by desiring what is perfectly good, even when we don’t quite know what it is and cannot do what we would, we are part of the divine power against evil — widening the skirts of light and making the struggle with darkness narrower. – George Eliot

Speech is often barren; but silence also does not necessarily brood over a full nest. – George Eliot

It is a common sentence that knowledge is power; but who hath duly considered or set forth the power of ignorance? Knowledge slowly builds up what ignorance in an hour pulls down. – George Eliot

One must be poor to know the luxury of giving! – George Eliot

But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistorical acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs. – George Eliot

Pity that consequences are determined not by excuses but by actions! – George Eliot

I desire no future that will break the ties of the past. – George Eliot

There is no sorrow I have thought more about than that-to love what is great, and try to reach it, and yet to fail. – George Eliot

When death, the great reconciler, has come, it is never our tenderness that we repent of, but our severity. – George Eliot

How is it that the poets have said so many fine things about our first love, so few about our later love? Are their first poems their best? or are not those the best which come from their fuller thought, their larger experience, their deeper-rooted affections? The boy’s flute-like voice has its own spring charm; but the man should yield a richer, deeper music. – George Eliot

Confound you handsome young fellows! You think of having it all your own way in the world. You don’t understand women. They don’t admire you half so much as you admire yourselves. – George Eliot

What makes life dreary is the want of a motive. – George Eliot

Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depths of love. – George Eliot

Leisure is gone, gone where the spinning-wheels are gone, and the pack-horses, and the slow wagons, and the peddlers, who brought bargains to the door on sunny afternoons. – George Eliot

I am not resigned: I am not sure life is long enough to learn that lesson. – George Eliot

It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view. – George Eliot

Opposition may become sweet to a man when he has christened it persecution. – George Eliot

The sublime delight of truthful speech to one who has the great gift of uttering it, will make itself felt even through the pangs of sorrow. – George Eliot

The strongest principle of growth lies in the human choice. – George Eliot

Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms. – George Eliot

Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away. – George Eliot

Steady work turns genius to a loom. – George Eliot

We judge other according to results; how else? Not knowing the process by which results are arrived at. – George Eliot

Any coward can fight a battle when he’s sure of winning; but give me the man who has the pluck to fight when he’s sure of losing. – George Eliot

Often the soul is ripened into fuller goodness while age has spread an ugly film, so that mere glances can never divine the preciousness of the fruit. – George Eliot

Her little butterfly soul fluttered incessantly between memory and dubious expectation. – George Eliot

With a single drop of ink for a mirror, the Egyptian sorcerer undertakes to reveal to any chance comer far-reaching visions of the past. This is what I undertake to do for you, reader. – George Eliot

If the past is not to bind us, where can duty lie? We should have no law but the inclination of the moment. – George Eliot

Shepperton Church was a very different looking building five-and-twenty years ago. To be sure, its substantial stone tower looks at you through its intelligent eye, the clock, with the friendly expression of former days; but in everything else what changes! – George Eliot

Knowledge slowly builds up what Ignorance in an hour pulls down. – George Eliot

Marriage must be a relation either of sympathy or of conquest. – George Eliot

When a man has seen the woman whom he would have chosen if he had intended to marry speedily, his remaining a bachelor will usually depend on her resolution rather than on his. – George Eliot

Quarrel? Nonsense; we have not quarreled. If one is not to get into a rage sometimes, what is the good of being friends? – George Eliot

If I have read religious history aright, faith, hope, and charity have not always been found in a direct ratio with a sensibility to the three concords; and it is possible, thank heaven! to have very erroneous theories and very sublime feelings. – George Eliot

I like not only to be loved, but to be told that I am loved; the realm of silence is large enough beyond the grave. – George Eliot

We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it. – George Eliot

Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music. – George Eliot

Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds. – George Eliot

The best happiness will be to escape the worst misery. – George Eliot

There is no killing the suspicion that deceit has once begotten. – George Eliot

It is very difficult to be learned; it seems as if people were worn out on the way to great thoughts and can never enjoy them because they are too tired. – George Eliot

In poor Rosamond’s mind there was not room enough for luxuries to look small in. – George Eliot

Life is too precious to be spent in this weaving and unweaving of false impressions, and it is better to live quietly under some degree of misrepresentation than to attempt to remove it by the uncertain process of letter-writing. – George Eliot

What to one man is the virtue which he has sunk below the possibility of aspiring to, is to another the backsliding by which he forfeits his spiritual crown. – George Eliot

Adventure is not outside man; it is within. – George Eliot

We are led on, like little children, by a way we know not. – George Eliot

There are new eras in one’s life that are equivalent to youth-are something better than youth. – George Eliot

In bed our yesterdays are too oppressive: if a man can only get up, though it be but to whistle or to smoke, he has a present which offers some resistance to the past sensations which assert themselves against tyrannous memories. – George Eliot

It is always your heaviest bore who is astonished at the tameness of modern celebrities: naturally; for a little of his company has reduced them to a state of flaccid fatigue. – George Eliot

They the royal-hearted women are Who nobly love the noblest yet have grace For needy suffering lives in lowliest place, Carrying a choicer sunlight in their smile, The heavenliest ray that pitieth the vile. – George Eliot

A picture of human life such as a great artist can give, surprises even the trivial and the selfish into that attention to what is apart from themselves, which may be called the raw material of moral sentiment. – George Eliot

In the days when the spinning wheels hummed busily in the farmhouses–and even great ladies, clothed in silk and thread lace, had their toy spinning wheels of polished oak–there might be seen, in districts far away among the lanes, or deep in the bosom of the hills, certain palled undersized men who, by the side of the brawny country-folk, looked like the remnants of a disinherited race. – George Eliot

Try to take hold of your sensibility, and use it as if it were a faculty, like vision. – George Eliot

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird, I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. – George Eliot

Those only can thoroughly feel the meaning of death who know what is perfect love. – George Eliot

In so complex a thing as human nature, we must consider it is hard to find rules without exception. – George Eliot

Sane people did what their neighbors did, so that if any lunatics were at large, one might know and avoid them. – George Eliot

We want people to feel with us more than to act for us. – George Eliot

All meanings, we know, depend on the key of interpretation. – George Eliot

Well, I aren’t like a bird-clapper, forced to make a rattle when the wind blows on me. I can keep my own counsel when there’s no good i’ speaking. – George Eliot

Appearances have very little to do with happiness. – George Eliot

Two angels guide the path of man, both aged and yet young. As angels are, ripening through endless years, On one he leans: some call her Memory, And some Tradition; and her voice is sweet, With deep mysterious accords: the other, Floating above, holds down a lamp with streams A light divine and searching on the earth, Compelling eyes and footsteps. Memory yields, Yet clings with loving check, and shines anew, Reflecting all the rays of that bright lamp Our angel Reason holds. We had not walked But for Tradition; we walk evermore to higher paths by brightening Reason’s lamp. – George Eliot

Heaven help us, said the old religion; the new one, from its very lack of that faith, will teach us all the more to help one another. – George Eliot

Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles. – George Eliot

When what is good comes of age, and is likely to live, there is reason for rejoicing. – George Eliot

There is a great deal of unmapped country within us. – George Eliot

Of new acquaintances one can never be sure because one likes them one day that it will be so the next. Of old friends one is sure that it will be the same yesterday, today, and forever. – George Eliot

It is hard to believe long together that anything is worthwhile, unless there is some eye to kindle in common with our own, some brief word uttered now and then to imply that what is infinitely precious to us is precious alike to another mind. – George Eliot

She was no longer wrestling with the grief but could sit down with it as a lasting companion and make it a sharer in her thoughts. – George Eliot

The tale of the Divine Pity was never yet believed from lips that were not felt to be moved by human pity. – George Eliot

Friendship is the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words. – George Eliot

Death is the only physician, the shadow of his valley the only journeying that will cure us of age and the gathering fatigue of years. – George Eliot

What a wretched lot of old shrivelled creatures we shall be by-and-by. Never mind the uglier we get in the eyes of others, the lovelier we shall be to each other; that has always been my firm faith about friendship. – George Eliot

The world is full of hopeful analogies and handsome, dubious eggs, called possibilities. – George Eliot

What destroys us most effectively is not a malign fate but our own capacity for self-deception and for degrading our own best self. – George Eliot

For pain must enter into its glorified life of memory before it can turn into compassion. – George Eliot