When you are young so many things are difficult to believe, and yet the dullest people will tell you that they are true–such things, for instance, as that the earth goes round the sun, and that it is not flat but round. But the things that seem really likely, like fairy-tales and magic, are, so say the grown-ups, not true at all. Yet they are so easy to believe, especially when you see them happening.
There is no bond like the bond of having read and liked the same books.
It is a curious thing that people only ask if you are enjoying yourself when you aren’t.
There is a curtain, thin as gossamer, clear as glass, strong as iron, that hangs forever between the world of magic and the world that seems to us to be real.
everything has an end, and you get to it if you only keep on.
Time is, as you are probably aware, merely a convenient fiction. There is no such thing as time.
Life will give you what you ask of here if only you ask long enough and plainly enough.
It is wonderful how quickly you get used to things, even the most astonishing.
It is curious that nearly all the great fortunes are made by turning beautiful things into ugly ones. Making beauty out of ugliness is very ill-paid work.
Time and space are only forms of thought.
There are brown eyes in the world, after all, as well as blue, and one pair of brown that meant heaven to me as the blue had never done
Ladylike is the beastliest word there is, I think. If a girl isn’t a lady, it isn’t worth while to be only like one, she’d better let it alone and be a free and happy bounder.
People think six is a great many, when it’s children. …they don’t mind six pairs of boots, or six pounds of apples, or six oranges, especially in equations, but they seem to think that you ought not to have five brothers and sisters.
I think everyone in the world is friends if you can only get them to see you don’t want to be un-friends.
There is nothing more luxurious than eating while you read – unless it be reading while you eat. Amabel did both: they are not the same thing, as you will see if you think the matter over.
A red, red rose, all wet with dew, With leaves of green by red shot through.
This is why I shall not tell you in this story about all the days when nothing happened. You will not catch me saying, ‘thus the sad days passed slowly by’–or ‘the years rolled on their weary course’–or ‘time went on’–because it is silly; of course time goes on–whether you say so or not. So I shall just tell you the nice, interesting parts–and in between you will understand that we had our meals and got up and went to bed, and dull things like that.
The ones as big as sheep were easier to avoid, because you could see them coming, but when they flew in at the window and curled up under your eiderdown, and you did not find them till you went to bed, it was always a shock. The ones this size did not eat people, only lettuces, but they always scorched the sheets and pillowcases dreadfully.
Also she had the power of silent sympathy. That sounds rather dull, I know, but it’s not so dull as it sounds. It just means that a person is able to know that you are unhappy, and to love you extra on that account, without bothering you by telling you all the time how sorry she is for you.
Then suddenly Jack was a changed boy. Something wonderful had happened to him, and it had made him different. It sometimes happened to people that they see or hear something quite wonderful and then they are never altogether the same again.
It is not, Dear, because I am alone, For I am lonelier when the rest are near, But that my place against your heart has grown Too dear to dream of when you are not here.
I’ll plant and water, sow and weed, Till not an inch of earth shows brown, And take a vow of each small seed To grow to greenness and renown: And then some day you’ll pass my way, See gold and crimson, bell and star, And catch my garden’s soul, and say: “How sweet these cottage gardens are!”
One of the uses of poetry – one says it to oneself in distressing circumstances, … or when one has to wait at railway stations, or when one cannot get to sleep at night.
The chestnut’s proud, and the lilac’s pretty, The poplar’s gentle and tall, But the plane tree’s kind to the poor dull city – I love him best of all.
I never read prefaces, and it is not much good writing things just for people to skip. I wonder other authors have never thought of this.