Quotations from the works of John Galsworthy
QUOTATIONS FROM THE WORKS OF JOHN
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WIDGER’S QUOTATIONS of JOHN GALSWORTHY
THE FORSYTE SAGA:
VOLUME 1. THE MAN OF PROPERTY
PASSAGES FROM THE TE XT:
The simple truth, which underlies the whole story, that where sex
attraction is utterly and deﬁnitely lacking in one partner to a union,
no amount of pity, or reason, or duty, or what not, can overcome a
repulsion implicit in Nat ure.
The tragedy of whose life is the very simple, uncontrollable tragedy of
being unlovable, without quite a thick enough skin to be thoroughly
unconscious of the fact. Not even Fleur loves Soames as he feels he
ought to be loved. But in pitying Soames, readers incline, perhaps, to
animus against Irene: After all, they think, he wasn’t a bad fellow, it
wasn’t his fault; she ought to have forgiven him, and so on!
”Let the dead Past bury its dead” would be a better saying if the Past
ever died. The persistence of the Past is one of those tragi-comic
blessings which each new age denies, coming cocksure on to the stag e to
mouth its claim to a perfect novelty.
The ﬁgure of Irene, never, as the reader may possibly have observed,
present, except through the senses of other characters, is a concretion
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of disturbing Beauty impinging on a possessive world.
She turned back into the drawing-room; but in a minute came out, and
stood as if listening. Then she came stealing up the stairs, with a
kitten in her arms. He could see her face bent over the little beast,
which was purring against her neck. Why couldn’t she look at him like
But though the impingement of Beauty and the claims of Freedom on a
possessive world are the main prepossessions of the Forsyte Saga, it
cannot be absolved from the charge of embalming the upper-middle class.
When a Forsyte was engaged, married, or born, the Forsytes were present;
when a Forsyte died–but no Forsyte had as yet died; they did not die;
death being contrary to their principles, they took precautions against
it, the instinctive precautions of highly vitalized persons who resent
encroachments on their property.
”It’s my opinion,” he said unexpectedly, ”that it’s just as well as it
The eldest by some years of all the Forsytes, she held a peculiar
position amongst them. Opportunists and egotists one and all– though
not, indeed, more so than their neighbours–they quailed before her
incorruptible ﬁgure, and, when opportunities were too strong, what could
they do but avoid her!
”I’m bad,” he said, pouting–”been bad all the week; don’t sleep at