J. S. Le Fanu, Uncle Silas, ed. W. J. McCormack (OUP 1981) - Selected Quotations

Source: Quotations given in Susan Parlour, ‘Vixens and Virgins in the Nineteenth-century Anglo-Irish Novel: Representations of the Feminine in J. S. Le Fanu’s Uncle Silas, E. O Somerville & Martin Ross’s The Real Charlotte, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula’ [UUC MA Diss. 2008]

I am sure my father loved me and I know I loved him. With the sure instinct of childhood I apprehended his tenderness, although it was never expressed in common ways.’ (p.5.)

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‘But I think little Maud would like to contribute to the restituion of her family name. It may cost you something - are you willing to buy it as a sacrifice? Is there - I don’t speak of fortune, that is not involved - but is there any other honourable sacrifice you would shrink from to dispel the disgrace under which our most ancient and honourable name must otherwise continue to languish?’
 Oh, none - none, indeed, sir - I am delighted!’
 Again I saw the Rembrandt smile.
 ‘Well, Maud, I am sure there is no risk; but you are to suppose there is. Are you still willing to accept it?’
 Again I assented.
 ‘You are worthy of your blood, Maud Ruthyn. It will come soon, and it won’t last long .’
 I was lost in wonder. (p.103.)

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Just at that moment Captain Oakley joined us. He was my first actual vision of that awful and distant world of fashion, of whose splendours I had already read something in the three-volumed gospel of the circulating library.
 Handsome, elegant, with features almost feminine, and soft, wavy, black hair, whiskers and moustache, he was altogether a knight as I had never beheld, or even fancied at Knowl - a hero of another species, and from the region of the demigods. I did not perceive that coldness of eye, and cruel curl of the voluptuous lip - only a suspicion, yet enough to indicate the prolifigate man; and savouring of death unto death.
 But I was young, and had not yet the direful knowledge of good and evil that comes with years, and he was so very handsome, and talked in a way that was so new to me (...; p.41.)

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[Mme. de Rougière: ‘... T]his is Lord Lollipop, here, a reg’lar charmer, wouldn’t hurt a fly, hey Lolly? Isn’t he pretty, Miss? And I’m Sir Simon Sugarstick - so called after old Sir Simon, ma’am; and I’m so tall and straight, Miss, and slim - ain’t I? and ever so sweet, my honey, when you come to know me, just like a sugarstick, ain’t I, Lolly, boy?’
 ‘I’m Miss Ruthyn, tell them, Madame,’ I said, stamping on the ground and very much frightened. (p.86.)

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‘I had had a peep into Pandemonium’ (p.89.)

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Was the, all his kindness but a phosphoric radiance covering something colder and more awful than the grave? (p.337.)

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God help me! I don’t know where to look, or whom to trust. I fear my uncle more than all. I think I could bear this better if I knew what their plans are, even the worst. If ever you loved or pitied me, dear cousin, I conjure you, help me in this extremity. Take me away from this. Oh, darling, for God’s sake, take me away! - Your distracted and terrified cousin, MAUD. (p.367.)

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[Reflecting on the death of her child:] I am not going to tell of my sorrows - how brief has been my pride of early maternity, or how beloved were those whom the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. But sometimes as, smiling on my little boy, the tears gather in my eyes, and he wonders, I can see, why they come. I am thinking - and trembling while I smile to think - how strong is love, how frail is life; and rejoicing while I tremble, that in the deathless love of those who mourn, the Lord of Life, who never gave a pang in vain, conveys the sweet and ennobling promise of a compensation by eternal reunion. So through my sorrows I have heard a voice from Heaven say, “Write, from henceforth blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.” (p.424.)

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