Daphne Du Maurier Quotes

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But luxury has never appealed to me, I like simple things, books, being alone, or with somebody who understands.
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Daphne du Maurier
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Women want love to be a novel. Men, a short story.
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Daphne du Maurier
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Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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Happiness is not a possession to be prized, it is a quality of thought, a state of mind.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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I suppose sooner or later in the life of everyone comes a moment of trial. We all of us have our particular devil who rides us and torments us, and we must give battle in the end.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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I wish I was a woman of about thirty-six dressed in black satin with a string of pearls.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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Men are simpler than you imagine my sweet child. But what goes on in the twisted, tortuous minds of women would baffle anyone.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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I wondered how many people there were in the world who suffered, and continued to suffer, because they could not break out from their own web of shyness and reserve, and in their blindness and folly built up a great distorted wall in front of them that hid the truth.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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I wondered why it was that places are so much lovelier when one is alone.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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Either you go to America with Mrs. Van Hopper or you come home to Manderley with me." "Do you mean you want a secretary or something?" "No, I'm asking you to marry me, you little fool.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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We're not meant for happiness, you and I.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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A dreamer, I walked enchanted, and nothing held me back.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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The road to Manderley lay ahead. There was no moon. The sky above our heads was inky black. But the sky on the horizon was not dark at all. It was shot with crimson, like a splash of blood. And the ashes blew towards us with the salt wind from the sea.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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I believe there is a theory that men and women emerge finer and stronger after suffering, and that to advance in this or any world we must endure ordeal by fire.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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Every moment was a precious thing, having in it the essence of finality.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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We can never go back again, that much is certain. The past is still close to us. The things we have tried to forget and put behind us would stir again, and that sense of fear, of furtive unrest, struggling at length to blind unreasoning panic - now mercifully stilled, thank God - might in some manner unforeseen become a living companion as it had before.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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Writers should be read, but neither seen nor heard.
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Daphne du Maurier
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...the routine of life goes on, whatever happens, we do the same things, go through the little performance of eating, sleeping, washing. No crisis can break through the crust of habit.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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I have no talent for making new friends, but oh such genius for fidelity to old ones.
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Daphne du Maurier
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The point is, life has to be endured, and lived. But how to live it is the problem.
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Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
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It wouldn't make for sanity would it, living with the devil.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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Will you look into my eyes and tell me that you love me now?
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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Because I want to; because I must; because now and forever more this is where I belong to be.
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Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn)
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Boredom is a pleasing antidote for fear
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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I had build up false pictures in my mind and sat before them. I had never had the courage to demand the truth.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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Come and see us if you feel like it,' she said. 'I always expect people to ask themselves. Life is too short to send out invitations.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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Time will mellow it, make it a moment for laughter. But now it was not funny, now I did not laugh. It was not the future, it was the present. It was too vivid and too real.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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There is no going back in life. There is no return. No second chance.
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Daphne du Maurier
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The moment of crisis had come, and I must face it. My old fears, my diffidence, my shyness, my hopeless sense of inferiority, must be conquered now and thrust aside. If I failed now I should fail forever.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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This house sheltered us, we spoke, we loved within those walls. That was yesterday. To-day we pass on, we see it no more, and we are different, changed in some infinitesimal way. We can never be quite the same again.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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We've got a bond in common, you and I. We are both alone in the world.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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Sometimes it’s a sort of indulgence to think the worst of ourselves. We say, β€˜Now I have reached the bottom of the pit, now I can fall no further,’ and it is almost a pleasure to wallow in the darkness. The trouble is, it’s not true. There is no end to the evil in ourselves, just as there is no end to the good. It’s a matter of choice. We struggle to climb, or we struggle to fall. The thing is to discover which way we’re going.
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Daphne du Maurier
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We are all ghosts of yesterday, and the phantom of tomorrow awaits us alike in sunshine or in shadow, dimly perceived at times, never entirely lost.
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Daphne du Maurier (Myself When Young: The Shaping of a Writer)
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I wanted to go on sitting there, not talking, not listening to the others, keeping the moment precious for all time, because we were peaceful all of us, we were content and drowsy even as the bee who droned above our heads. In a little while it would be different, there would come tomorrow, and the next day and another year. And we would be changed perhaps, never sitting quite like this again. Some of us would go away, or suffer, or die, the future stretched away in front of us, unknown, unseen, not perhaps what we wanted, not what we planned. This moment was safe though, this could not be touched. Here we sat together, Maxim and I, hand-in-hand, and the past and the future mattered not at all. This was secure, this funny little fragment of time he would never remember, never think about again…For them it was just after lunch, quarter-past-three on a haphazard afternoon, like any hour, like any day. They did not want to hold it close, imprisoned and secure, as I did. They were not afraid.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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She knew that this was happiness, this was living as she had always wished to live.
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Daphne du Maurier (Frenchman's Creek)
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If you think I'm one of those people who try to be funny at breakfast you're wrong. I'm invariably ill-tempered in the early morning.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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Why this man should love that woman, what queer chemical mix-up in our blood draws us to one another, who can tell?
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Daphne du Maurier
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They are not brave, the days when we are twenty-one. They are full of little cowardices, little fears without foundation, and one is so easily bruised, so swiftly wounded, one falls to the first barbed word. To-day, wrapped in the complacent armour of approaching middle age, the infinitesimal pricks of day by day brush one but lightly and are soon forgotten, but thenβ€”how a careless word would linger, becoming a fiery stigma, and how a look, a glance over a shoulder, branded themselves as things eternal.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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I held out my arms to him and he came to me like a child.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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I don't mind. I like being alone.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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There is no going back in life, no return, no second chance. I cannot call back the spoken word or the accomplished deed.
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Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
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Dead men tell no tales, Mary.
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Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn)
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We all of us have our particular devil who ruses us and torments us, and we must give battle in the end.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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Why did dogs make one want to cry? There was something so quiet and hopeless about their sympathy. Jasper, knowing something was wrong, as dogs always do. Trunks being packed. Cars being brought to the door. Dogs standing with drooping tails, dejected eyes. Wandering back to their baskets in the hall when the sound of the car dies away.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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I would have gone too but I wanted to come straight back to you.I kept thinking of you, waiting here, all by yourself, not knowing what was going to happen.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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I wondered why it was that places are so much lovelier when one is alone. How commonplace and stupid it would be if I had a friend now, sitting beside me, someone I had known at school, who would say: β€œBy-the-way, I saw old Hilda the other day. You remember her, the one who was so good at tennis. She’s married, with two children.” And the bluebells beside us unnoticed, and the pigeons overhead unheard. I did not want anyone with me. Not even Maxim. If Maxim had been there I should not be lying as I was now, chewing a piece of grass, my eyes shut. I should have been watching him, watching his eyes, his expression. Wondering if he liked it, if he was bored. Wondering what he was thinking. Now I could relax, none of these things mattered. Maxim was in London. How lovely it was to be alone again.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say. They are not brave, the days when we are twenty-one. They are full of little cowardices, little fears without foundation, and one is so easily bruised, so swiftly wounded, one falls to the first barbed word. To-day, wrapped in the complacent armour of approaching middle age, the infinitesimal pricks of day by day brush one but lightly and are soon forgotten, but then--how a careless word would linger, becoming a fiery stigma, and how a look, a glance over a shoulder, branded themselves as things eternal. A denial heralded the thrice crowing of a cock, and an insincerity was like the kiss of Judas. The adult mind can lie with untroubled conscience and a gay composure, but in those days even a small deception scoured the tongue, lashing one against the stake itself.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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And this then, that I am feeling now, is the hell that comes with love, the hell and the damnation and the agony beyond all enduring, because after the beauty and the loveliness comes the sorrow and the pain.
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Daphne du Maurier (Frenchman's Creek)
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We know one another. This is the present. There is no past and no future. Here I am washing my hands, and the cracked mirror shows me to myself, suspended as it were, in time; this is me, this moment will not pass. And then I open the door and go to the dining-room, where he is sitting waiting for me at a table, and I think how in that moment I have aged, and passed on, how I have advanced one step towards an unknown destiny. We smile, we choose our lunch, we speak of this and that, but - I say to myself-I am not she who left him five minutes ago. She has stayed behind. I am another woman, older, more mature…
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Daphne du Maurier
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What degradation lay in being young.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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He was like someone sleeping who woke suddenly and found the world...all the beauty of it, and the sadness too. The hunger and the thirst. Everything he had never thought about or known was there before him, and magnified into one person who by chance, or fate--call it what you will--happened to be me.
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Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
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You understand now... how simple life becomes when things like mirrors are forgotten.
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Daphne du Maurier (Frenchman's Creek)
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I thought of all those heroines of fiction who looked pretty when they cried, and what a contrast I must make with a blotched and swollen face, and red rims to my eyes.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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She has done for me at last, Rachel my torment.
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Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
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She had to live in this bright, red gabled house with the nurse until it was time for her to die... I thought how little we know about the feelings of old people. Children we understand, their fears and hopes and make-believe.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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...but I should say that kindliness, and sincerity, and if I may say so--modesty--are worth far more to a man, to a husband, than all the wit and beauty in the world.
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Daphne du Maurier
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When she smiled it was as though she embraced the world.
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Daphne du Maurier (The Birds and Other Stories)
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An empty house can be as lonely as a full hotel" he said at length."The trouble is that it is less impersonal.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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She had contemplated life so long it had become indifferent to her.
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Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
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Watch that boy. He's going to startle somebody someday.
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Daphne du Maurier (The Parasites)
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He stole horses' you'll say to yourself, 'and he didn't care for women; and but for my pride I'd have been with him now.
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Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn)
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Life was a series of greetings and farewells, one was always saying good-bye to something, to someone.
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Daphne du Maurier
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... and through it all and afterwards they would be together, making their own world where nothing mattered but the things they could give to one another, the loveliness, the silence, and the peace.
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Daphne du Maurier (Frenchman's Creek)
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No, Mary had no illusions about romance. Falling in love was a pretty name for it, that was all.
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Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn)
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There was something rather blousy about roses in full bloom, something shallow and raucous, like women with untidy hair
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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Living as we do in an age of noise and bluster, success is now measured accordingly. We must all be seen, and heard, and on the air.
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Daphne du Maurier (The "Rebecca" Notebook: And Other Memories)
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We were like two performers in a play, but we were divided, we were not acting with one another. We had to endure it alone, we had to put up this show, this miserable, sham performance for the sake of all these people I did not know and did not want to see again.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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I could not ask for forgiveness for something I had not done. As scapegoat, I could only bear the fault.
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Daphne du Maurier (The Scapegoat)
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Because I believe there is nothing so self-destroying, and no emotion quite so despicable, as jealousy.
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Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
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I wonder ... when it was that the world first went amiss, and men forgot how to live and to love and to be happy.
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Daphne du Maurier (Frenchman's Creek)
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I felt rather exhausted, and wondered, rather shocked at my callous thought, why old people were sometimes such a strain. Worse than young children or puppies because one had to be polite.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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They used to hang men at Four Turnings in the old days. Not anymore, though.
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Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
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From the very first, I knew that it would be so...I smiled to myself, and said, "That -- and none other.
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Daphne du Maurier (Frenchman's Creek)
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how lacking in intuition men could be in persuading themselves that mending some stranger's socks, and attending to his comfort, could content a woman...
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Daphne du Maurier (The Glass-Blowers)
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There are some women, Philip, good women very possibly, who through no fault of their own impel disaster. Whatever they touch, somehow turns to tragedy.
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Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
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Why, he wondered, should he remember her suddenly, on such a day, watching the rain falling on the apple trees?
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Daphne du Maurier
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Looking from the window at the fantastic light and colour of my glittering fairy-world of fact that holds no tenderness, no quietude, I long suddenly for peace, for understanding.
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Daphne du Maurier (The Birds and Other Stories)
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You had to endure something yourself before it touched you.
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Daphne du Maurier (The Birds)
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I would not be young again, if you offered me the world. But then I'm prejudiced.' 'You talk,' I said, 'as if you were ninety-nine.' 'For a woman I very nearly am,' she said. 'I'm thirty five.
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Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
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I could fight with the living but I could not fight the dead. If there was some woman in London that Maxim loved, someone he wrote to, visited, dined with, slept with, I could fight her. We would stand on common ground. I should not be afraid. Anger and jealousy were things that could be conquered. One day the woman would grow old or tired or different, and Maxim would not love her anymore. But Rebecca would never grow old. Rebecca would always be the same. And she and I could not fight. She was too strong for me.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say. They are not brave, the days when we are twenty one. They are so full of little cowardices, little fears without foundation, and one is so easily bruised, so swiftly wounded, one falls to the first barbed word.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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I wondered how it could be that two people who had loved could yet have such a misconception of each other and, with a common grief, grow far apart. There must be something in the nature of love between a man and a woman that drove them to torment and suspicion.
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Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
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He lacked tenderness; he was rude; and he had more than a streak of cruelty in him; he was a thief and a liar. He stood for everything she feared and hated and despised; but she knew she could love him... This was no choice made with the mind.
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Daphne du Maurier
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I did not have an unlimited library to choose from on Robben Island. We had access to many unremembered mysteries and detective novels and all the works of Daphne du Maurier, but little more.
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Nelson Mandela (Long Walk to Freedom)
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Of course we have our moments of depression; but there are other moments too, when time, unmeasured by the clock, runs on into eternity and, catching his smile, I know we are together, we march in unison, no clash of thought or of opinion makes a barrier between us.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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We can see the film stars of yesterday in yesterday’s films, hear the voices of poest and singers on a record, keep the plays of dead dramatists upon our bookshelves, but the actor who holds his audience captive for one brief moment upon a lighted stage vanishes forever when the curtain falls.
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Daphne du Maurier (The "Rebecca" Notebook: And Other Memories)
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If there’s one thing that makes a man sick, it’s to have his ale poured out of an ugly hand.
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Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn)
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And, though there should be a world of difference between the smile of a man and the bared fangs of a wolf, with Joss Merlyn they were one and the same.
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Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn)
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We were dreamers, both of us, unpractical, reserved, full of great theories never put to test, and like all dreamers, asleep to the waking world. Disliking our fellow men, we craved affection; but shyness kept impulse dormant until the heart was touched. When that happened the heavens opened, and we felt, the pair of us, that we have the whole wealth of the universe to give. We would have both survived, had we been other men.
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Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
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For love, as she knew it now, was something without shame and without reserve, the possession of two people who had no barrier between them, and no pride; whatever happened to him would happen to her too, all feeling, all movement, all sensation of body and of mind.
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Daphne du Maurier (Frenchman's Creek)
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Those dripping crumpets, I can see them now. Tiny crisp wedges of toast, and piping-hot, flaky scones. Sandwiches of unknown nature, mysteriously flavoured and quite delectable, and that very special gingerbread. Angel cake, that melted in the mouth, and his rather stodgier companion, bursting with peel and raisins. There was enough food there to keep a starving family for a week.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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So you see, when war comes to one’s village, one’s doorstep, it isn’t tragic and impersonal any longer. It is just an excuse to vomit private hatred. That is why I am not a great patriot.
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Daphne du Maurier (The Scapegoat)
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I am no traveller, you are my world.
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Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
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All whispers and echoes from a past that is gone teem into the sleeper's brain, and he is with them, and part of them.
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Daphne du Maurier (Frenchman's Creek)
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You have blotted out the past for me, far more effectively than all the bright lights of Monte Carlo.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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But I have had enough melodrama in this life, and would willingly give my five senses if they could ensure us our present peace and security. Happiness is not a possession to be prized, it is a quality of thought, a state of mind. Of course we have our moments of depression; but there are other moments too, when time, unmeasured by the clock, runs on into eternity and, catching his smile, I know we are together, we march in unison, no flash of thought or opinion makes a barrier between us.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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I was following a phantom in my mind, whose shadowy form had taken shape at last. Her features were blurred, her coloring indistinct, the setting of her eyes and the texture of her hair was still uncertain, still to be revealed. She had beauty that endured, and a smile that was not forgotten. Somewhere her voice still lingered, and the memory of her words.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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He belonged to a walled city of the fifteenth century, a city of narrow, cobbled streets, and thin spires, where the inhabitants wore pointed shoes and worsted hose. His face was arresting, sensitive, medieval in some strange inexplicable way, and I was reminded of a portrait seen in a gallery I had forgotten where, of a certain Gentleman Unknown. Could one but rob him of his English tweeds, and put him in black, with lace at his throat and wrists, he would stare down at us in our new world from a long distant pastβ€”a past where men walked cloaked at night, and stood in the shadow of old doorways, a past of narrow stairways and dim dungeons, a past of whispers in the dark, of shimmering rapier blades, of silent, exquisite courtesy.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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She realized for the first time that aversion and attraction ran side by side; that the boundary-line was thin between them.
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Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn)
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People who mattered could not take the humdrum world. But this was not the world, it was enchantment; and all of it was mine.
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Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
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Time could not wreck the perfect symmetry of those walls, nor the site itself, a jewel in the hollow of a hand.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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A familiar name on its own, however, does not carry its bearer far unless the talent is there, and the will to work.
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Daphne du Maurier (The "Rebecca" Notebook: And Other Memories)
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There was never an accident.Rebecca was not drowned at all. I killed her.I shot Rebecca in the cottage in the cove.I carried her body to the cabin, and took the boat out that night and sunk it there, where they found it today.It's Rebecca who's lying dead there on the cabin floor.Will you look into my eyes and tell me that you love me now?
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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here was a silence between them for a moment, and she wondered if all women, when in love, were torn between two impulses, a longing to throw modesty and reserve to the winds and confess everything, and an equal determination to conceal the love forever, to be cool, aloof, utterly detached, to die rather than admit a thing so personal, so intimate.
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Daphne du Maurier
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Only a lover of animals will understand the sudden feeling of loss, of emptiness, and the intuitive bond which exists between man and dog, has always existed from the beginning and will, please God, continue to the end.
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Daphne du Maurier (Myself When Young: The Shaping of a Writer)
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But a lonely man is an unnatural man, and soon comes to perplexity. From perplexity to fantasy. From fantasy to madness.
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Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
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When the leaves rustle, they sound very much like the stealthy movement of a woman in evening dress, and when they shiver suddenly, and fall, and scatter away along the ground, they might be the patter of a woman’s hurrying footsteps, and the mark in the gravel the imprint of a high-heeled shoe.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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...as the slow sea sucked at the shore and then withdrew, leaving the strip of seaweed bare and the shingle churned, the sea birds raced and ran upon the beaches. Then that same impulse to flight seized upon them too. Crying, whistling, calling, they skimmed the placid sea and left the shore. Make haste, make speed, hurry and begone; yet where, and to what purpose? The restless urge of autumn, unsatisfying, sad, had put a spell upon them and they must flock, and wheel, and cry; they must spill themselves of motion before winter came.
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Daphne du Maurier (The Birds and Other Stories)
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He had the face of one who walks in his sleep, and for a wild moment the idea came to me that perhaps he was not normal, not altogether sane. There were people who had trances, I had surely heard of them, and they followed strange laws of which we could know nothing, they obeyed the tangled orders of their own sub-conscious minds. Perhaps he was one of them, and here we were within six feet of death.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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…you guessed that somewhere, in heaven knew what country and what guise, there was someone who was part of your body and your brain, and that without him you were lost, a straw blown by the wind.
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Daphne du Maurier (Frenchman's Creek)
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A man’s jealousy is like a child’s, fitful and foolish, without depth. A woman’s jealousy is adult, which is very different.
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Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
β€œ
As I stood there,hushed and still,I could swear that the house was not an empty shell but lived and breathed as it had lived before.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
People who travel are always fugitives.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Frenchman's Creek)
β€œ
The house was a sepulcher, our fear and suffering lay buried in the ruins. There would be no resurrection.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
Little notes, scrawled on half-sheets of paper, and letters, when he was away, page after page, intimate, their news. Her voice, echoing through the house, and down the garden, careless and familiar like the writing in the book. And I had to call him Maxim.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
...I will shed no more tears, like a spoilt child. For whatever happens we have had what we have had. No one can take that from us. And I have been alive, who was never alive before.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Frenchman's Creek)
β€œ
And all this, she thought, is only momentary, is only a fragment in time that will never come again, for yesterday already belongs to the past and is ours no longer, and tomorrow is an unknown thing that may be hostile. This is our day, our moment, the sun belongs to us, and the wind, and the sea, and the men for'ard there singing on the deck. This day is forever a day to be held and cherished, because in it we shall have lived, and loved, and nothing else matters but that in this world of our own making to which we have escaped.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Frenchman's Creek)
β€œ
The sea, like a crinkled chart, spread to the horizon, and lapped the sharp outline of the coast, while the houses were white shells in a rounded grotto, pricked here and there by a great orange sun.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
It's funny,' I noted in the diary, 'how often I seem to build a story around one sentence, nearly always the last one, too. The themes are a bit depressing but I just can't get rid of that.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Myself When Young: The Shaping of a Writer)
β€œ
And perhaps one day, in after years, someone would wander there and listen to the silence, as she had done, and catch the whisper of the dreams that she had dreamt there, in midsummer, under the hot sun and the white sky.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Frenchman's Creek)
β€œ
How pleasant,' Dona said, peeling her fruit; 'the rest of us can only run away from time to time, and however much we pretend to be free, we know it is only for a little while - our hands and our feet are tied.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Frenchman's Creek)
β€œ
Contentment is a state of mind and body when the two work in harmony, and there is no friction. The mind is at peace, and the body also. The two are sufficient to themselves. Happiness is elusive -- coming perhaps once in a life-time -- and approaching ectasy.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Frenchman's Creek)
β€œ
I don't want to love like a woman or feel like a woman, Mr Davey; there's pain that way, and suffering, and misery that can last a lifetime. I didn't bargain for this; I don't want it.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn)
β€œ
He took her face in his hands and kissed it, and she saw that he was laughing. "When you're an old maid in mittens down at Helford, you'll remember that," he said, "and it will have to last you to the end of your days. 'He stole horses,' you'll say to yourself, 'and he didn't care for women; and but for my pride I'd have been with him now.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn)
β€œ
The child destined to be a writer is vulnerable to every wind that blows. Now warm, now chill, next joyous, then despairing, the essence of his nature is to escape the atmosphere about him, no matter how stable, even loving. No ties, no binding chains, save those he forges for himself. Or so he thinks. But escape can be delusion, and what he is running from is not the enclosing world and its inhabitants, but his own inadequate self that fears to meet the demands which life makes upon it. Therefore create. Act God. Fashion men and women as Prometheus fashioned them from clay, and, by doing this, work out the unconscious strife within and be reconciled. While in others, imbued with a desire to mold, to instruct, to spread a message that will inspire the reader and so change his world, though the motive may be humane and even noble--many great works have done just this--the source is the same dissatisfaction, a yearning to escape.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (The Loving Spirit)
β€œ
Maxim's voice, clear and strong, "Will someone take my wife outside?She is going to faint.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
β€žΠ›ΡƒΠΊΡΡŠΡ‚ Π½ΠΈΠΊΠΎΠ³Π° Π½Π΅ ΠΌΠ΅ Π΅ ΠΏΡ€ΠΈΠ²Π»ΠΈΡ‡Π°Π». Π’ΠΈΠ½Π°Π³ΠΈ съм харСсвала ΠΌΠ°Π»ΠΊΠΈΡ‚Π΅ Π½Π΅Ρ‰Π° – ΠΊΠ½ΠΈΠ³ΠΈΡ‚Π΅, Π΄Π° бъда сама ΠΈΠ»ΠΈ с някой, ΠΊΠΎΠΉΡ‚ΠΎ ΠΌΠ΅ разбира”.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier
β€œ
In 1942 the Germans sent a spy called Eppler into Cairo before the battle of El Alamein. He used a copy of Daphne du Maurier’s novel Rebecca as a code book to send messages back to Rommel on troop movements. Listen, the book became bedside reading with British Intelligence. Even I read it.
”
”
Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient)
β€œ
Once a person gave his talent to the world, the world put a stamp upon it. The talent was not a personal possession any more. It was something to be traded, bought and sold. It fetched a high price, or a low one. It was kicked in the common market.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (The Parasites)
β€œ
It was a day to be inside somewhere, cosseted and loved; by a warm fireside with the clatter of friendly cups and saucers, a sleepy cat licking his paws, a cyclamen in a pot on a windowsill putting forth new buds.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (The Parasites)
β€œ
It is strange how in moments of great crisis the mind whips back to childhood.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
β€œ
He was young and ardent in a hundred happy ways.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
It was disturbing, like an enchanted place. I had not thought it could be as beautiful as this
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
...The fact that it's black transforms it. Has the same effect on women that black stockings have on men.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier
β€œ
And he went on eating his marmalade as though everything were natural.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
It doesn't make for sanity, does it, living with the devil.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
But the point is this Monsieur...the reason why Madame complains of you is not because of the immorality in itself; but because, so she tells me, you make immorality delicious.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (The Parasites)
β€œ
...she thought with pity of all the men and women who were not light-hearted when they loved, who were cold, who were reluctant, who were shy, who imagined that passion and tenderness were two things separate from one another, and not the one, gloriously intermingled, so that to be fierce was also to be gentle, so that silence was a speaking without words.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Frenchman's Creek)
β€œ
The feel of her own pillow, and of her own blankets reassured her. Both were familiar. And being tired was familiar too, it was a solid bodily ache, like the tiredness after too much jumping or cricket.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (The Mammoth Book of Modern Ghost Stories)
β€œ
Oh, God, I though, this is like two people in a play, in a moment the curtain will come down, we shall bow to the audience, and go off to our dressing-rooms.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
Why are you sitting here beside me, then?' 'Because I want to; because I must; because now and forever more this is where I belong to be.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn)
β€œ
I could fight the living but I could not fight the dead
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
It's natural, I suppose," said Colonel Julyan, "for all of us to wish to look different. We are all children in some ways.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
I believe there is a theory that men and women emerge finer and stronger after suffering, and that to advance in this or any world we must endure ordeal by fire. This we have done in full measure, ironic though it seems. We have both known fear, and loneliness, and very great distress. I suppose sooner or later in the life of everyone comes a moment of trial. We all of us have our particular devil who rides us and torments us, and we must give battle in the end.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
Packing up. The nagging worry of departure. When shutting drawers and flinging wide an hotel wardrobe, or the impersonal shelves of a furnished villa, I am aware of sadness, of a sense of loss. Here, I say, we have lived, we have been happy. This has been ours, however brief the time. Though two nights only have been spent beneath a roof, yet we leave something of ourselves behind. Nothing material, not a hair-pin on a dressing-table, not an empty bottle of Aspirin tablets, not a handkerchief beneath a pillow, but something indefinable, a moment of our lives, a thought, a mood. This house sheltered us, we spoke, we loved within those walls. That was yesterday. Today we pass on, we see it no more, and we are different, changed in some infinitesimal way. We can never be quite the same again.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
They were all fitting into place, the jig-saw pieces. The odd strained shapes that I had tried to piece together with my fumbling fingers and they had never fitted. Frank's odd manner when I spoke about Rebecca. Beatrice and her rather diffident negative attitude. The silence that I had always taken for sympathy and regret was a silence born of shame and embarrassment. It seemed incredible to me now that I had never understood. I wondered how many people there were in the world who suffered, and continued to suffer, because they could not break out from their own web of shyness and reserve, and in their blindness and folly built up a great wall in front of them that hid the truth. This was what I had done. I had built up false pictures in my mind and sat before them. I had never had the courage to demand the truth. Had I made one step forward out of my own shyness Maxim would have told these things four months, five months ago.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
You have qualities that are just as important, far more so, in fact. It's perhaps cheeky of me to say so, I don't know you very well. I'm a bachelor, I don't know very much about women, I lead a quiet sort of life down here at Manderley, as you know, but I should say that kindliness, and sincerity, and if I may say soβ€”modestyβ€”are worth far more to a man, to a husband, than all the wit and beauty in the world.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
Jem was safe from her, and he would ride away with a song on his lips and a laugh at her expense, forgetful of her, and of his brother, and of God; while she dragged through the years, sullen and bitter, the stain of silence marking her, coming in the end to ridicule as a soured spinster who had been kissed once in her life and could not forget it.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn)
β€œ
She laughed because she must, and because he made her;
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn)
β€œ
Do you know so little about children, Monsieur Jean,' she asked, 'that you imagine, because they don't cry, therefore they feel nothing? If so, you're much mistaken.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (The Scapegoat)
β€œ
..If we killed women for their tongues all men would be murderers.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
β€œ
there was nothing quite so shaming, so degrading as a marriage that had failed.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
β€žΠ–Π΅Π½ΠΈΡ‚Π΅ искат Π»ΡŽΠ±ΠΎΠ²Ρ‚Π° Π΄Π° Π΅ Ρ€ΠΎΠΌΠ°Π½, Π° ΠΌΡŠΠΆΠ΅Ρ‚Π΅ – разказ”.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier
β€œ
Tact was a quality unknown to her, discretion too, and because gossip was the breath of life to her this stranger must be served for her dissection.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
I am aware of sadness, of a sense of loss. Here, I say, we have lived, we have been happy. This has been ours, however brief the time. Though two nights only have been spent beneath a roof, yet we leave something of ourselves behind. Nothing material, . . . but something indefinable, a moment of our lives, a thought, a mood. The house sheltered us, we spoke, we loved within those walls. That was yesterday. To-day we pass on, we see it no more, and we are different, changed in some infinitesimal way. We can never be quite the same again.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
He looked down at me without recognition, and I realized with a little stab of anxiety that he must have forgotten all about me, perhaps for some considerable time, and that he himself was so lost in the labyrinth of his own unquiet thoughts that I did not exist.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
Who can ever affirm, or deny that the houses which have sheltered us as children, or as adults, and our predecessors too, do not have embedded in their walls, one with the dust and cobwebs, one with the overlay of fresh wallpaper and paint, the imprint of what-has-been, the suffering, the joy?
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Myself When Young)
β€œ
They say that when we sleep our sub-conscious selves are revealed, our hidden thoughts and desires are written plain upon our features and our bodies like the tracings of rivers on a map; and no one reads them but the darkness.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (The Parasites)
β€œ
There was silence between them for moment, and she wondered if all women, when in love, were torn between two impulses, a longing to throw modesty and reserve to the winds and confess everything, and an equal determination to conceal the love forever, to be cool, aloof, utterly detached, to die rather than admit a thing so personal, so intimate.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Frenchman's Creek)
β€œ
I love the stillness of a room, after a party. The chairs are moved, the cushions disarranged, everything is there to show that people enjoyed themselves; and one comes back to the empty room happy that it's over, happy to relax and say, 'Now we are alone again.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier
β€œ
The peace of Manderley. The quietude and the grace. Whoever lived within its walls, whatever trouble there was and strife, however much uneasiness and pain, no matter what tears were shed, what sorrows borne, the peace of Manderley could not be broken or the loveliness destroyed.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier
β€œ
A woman of feeling does not easily give way. You may call it pride, or tenacity, call it what you will. In spite of all the evidence to the contrary, their emotions are more primitive than ours. They hold to the thing they want, and never surrender. We have our wars and battles, Mr. Ashey. But women can fight too.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
β€œ
A pleasantly situated hotel close to the sea, and chalets by the water's edge where one breakfasted. Clientele well-to-do, and although I count myself no snob I cannot abide paper bags and orange peel. ("Not After Midnight")
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Echoes from the Macabre: Selected Stories)
β€œ
I thought about being placid, how quiet and comfortable it sounded, someone with knitting on her lap, with calm unruffled brow. Someone who was never anxious, never tortured by doubt and indecision, someone who never stood as I did, hopeful, eager, frightened, tearing at bitten nails, uncertain which way to go, what star to follow.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
How soft and gentle her name sounds when I whisper it. It lingers on the tongue, insidious and slow, almost like poison, which is apt indeed. It passes from the tongue to the parched lips, and from the lips back to the heart. And the heart controls the body, and the mind also. Shall I be free of it one day?
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (My Cousin Rachel)
β€œ
The peace of Manderley. The quietude and the grace. Whoever lived within its walls, whatever trouble there was and strife, however much uneasiness and pain, no matter what tears were shed, what sorrows borne, the peace of Manderley could not be broken or the loveliness destroyed. The flowers that died would bloom again another year, the same birds build their nests, the same trees blossom. That old quiet moss smell would linger in the air, and the bees would come, and crickets, the herons build their nests in the deep dark woods. The butterflies would dance their merry jug across the lawns, and spiders spin foggy webs, and small startled rabbits who had no business to come trespassing poke their faces through the crowded shrubs. There would be lilac, and honeysuckle still, and the white magnolia buds unfolding slow and tight beneath the dining-room window. No one would ever hurt Manderley. It would lie always in its hollow like an enchanted thing, guarded by the woods, safe, secure, while the sea broke and ran and came again in the little shingle bays below.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
...are you happy?" "I am content." "What is the difference?" "Between happiness and contentment? Ah, there you have me. It is not easy to put into words. Contentment is a state of mind and body when the two work in harmony, and there is no friction. The mind is at peace, and the body also. The two are sufficient to themselves. Happiness is elusive--coming perhaps once in a life-time--and approaching ecstasy." "Not a continuous thing, like contentment?" "No, not a continuous thing. But there are, after all, degrees of happiness.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Frenchman's Creek)
β€œ
The word lingered in the air once I had uttered it, dancing before me, and because he received it silently, making no comment, the word magnified itself into something heinous and appalling, a forbidden word, unnatural to the tongue. And I could not call it back, it could never be unsaid.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
All memories are bitter, and I prefer to ignore them. Something happened a year ago that altered my whole life, and I want to forget every phase in my existence up to that time. Those days are finished. They are blotted out. I must begin living all over again.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
I wanted to go on sitting there, not talking, not listening to the others, keeping the moment precious for all time, because we were peaceful all of us, we were content and drowsy even as the bee who droned above our heads. In a little while it would be different, there would come tomorrow, and the next day and another year. And we would be changed perhaps, never sitting qite like this again. Some of us would go away, or suffer, or die, the future stretched away in front of us, unknown, unseen, not perhaps what we wanted, not what we planned. This moment was safe though, this could not be touched.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
No, Mary had no illusions about romance. Falling in love was a pretty name for it, that was all. Jem Merlyn was a man, and she was a woman, and whether it was his hands or his skin or his smile she did not know, but something inside her responded to him, and the very thought of him was an irritant and a stimulant at the same time. It nagged at her and would not let her be.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn)
β€œ
Oh, I don’t know,” he said carelessly. β€œPut you in a fine gown and a pair of high-heeled shoes, and stick a comb in your hair, I daresay you’d pass for a lady even in a big place like Exeter.” β€œI’m meant to be flattered by that, I suppose,” said Mary, β€œbut, thanking you very much, I’d rather wear my old clothes and look like myself.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn)
β€œ
Then all at once she turned to me, her face pale, her eyes strangely alight. She said, β€œIs it possible to love someone so much, that it gives one a pleasure to hurt them? To hurt them by jealousy, I mean, and to hurt myself at the same time. Pleasure and pain, an equal mingling of pleasure and pain, just as an experiment, a rare sensation?
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (The Doll: The Lost Short Stories)
β€œ
I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that freedom is the only thing that matters to me at all. Also utter irresponsibility! Never to have to obey any laws or rules, only certain standards one sets for oneself. I want to revolt, as an individual, against everything that 'ties.' If only one could live one's life unhampered in any way, not getting in knots and twisting up. There must be a free way, without making a muck of it all.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Myself When Young: The Shaping of a Writer)
β€œ
It was then that Maxim looked at me. He looked at me for the first time that evening. And in his eyes I read the message of farewell. It was as though he leant against the side of a ship, and I stood below him on the quay. There would be other people touching his shoulder, and touching mine, but we would not see them. Nor would we speak or call to one another, for the wind and the distance would carry away the sound of our voices. But I should see his eyes and he would see mine before the ship drew away from the side of the quay.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
I might say that we have paid for freedom. But I have had enough melodrama in this life, and would willingly give my five senses if they could ensure us our present peace and security. Happiness is not a possession to be prized, it is a quality of thought, a state of mind of course we have on moments of depression; but there are other moments too, when time, unmeasured by the clock, runs on into eternity.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
It seemed incredible to me now that I had never understood. I wondered how many people there were in the world who suffered, and continued to suffer, because they could not break out from their own web of shyness and reserve, and in their blindness and folly built up a great distorted wall in front of them that hid the truth. This was what I had done. I had built up false pictures in my mind and sat before them. I had never had the courage to demand the truth.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
The order never varies. Two slices of bread-and-butter each, and China tea. What a hide-bound couple we must seem, clinging to custom because we did so in England. Here, on this clean balcony, white and impersonal with centuries of sun, I think of half-past-four at Manderley, and the table drawn before the library fire. The door flung open, punctual to the minute, and the performance, never-varying, of the laying of the tea, the silver tray, the kettle, the snowy cloth.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
I have no great opinion of the human race. It is just as well, now and again, that we have wars, so that men know what it is to suffer pain. One day they will exterminate themselves, as they have exterminated the rabbits. So much the better. The world will be peaceful again, with nothing left but the forest over there, and the soil.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (The Scapegoat)
β€œ
The children had had an argument once about whether there was more grass in the world or more sand, and Roger said that of course there must be more sand because of under the sea; in every ocean all over the world there would be sand, if you looked deep down. But there could be grass too, argued Deborah, a waving grass, a grass that nobody had ever seen, and the colour of that ocean grass would be darker than any grass on the surface of the world, in fields or prairies or people's gardens in America. It would be taller than tress and it would move like corn in the wind. ("The Pool
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Echoes from the Macabre: Selected Stories)
β€œ
The experts are right, he thought. Venice is sinking. The whole city is slowly dying. One day the tourists will travel here by boat to peer down into the waters, and they will see pillars and columns and marble far, far beneath them, slime and mud uncovering for brief moments a lost underworld of stone. Their heels made a ringing sound on the pavement and the rain splashed from the gutterings above. A fine ending to an evening that had started with brave hope, with innocence. ("Don't Look Now")
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Echoes from the Macabre: Selected Stories)
β€œ
She stared at me curiously. Her voice dropped to a whisper. "Sometimes, when I walk along the corridor here, I fancy I hear her just behind me. That quick, light footstep. I could not mistake it anywhere. And in the minstrels' gallery above the hall. I've seen her leaning there, in the evenings in the old days, looking down at the hall below and calling to the dogs. I can fancy her there now from time to time. It's almost as though I catch the sound of her dress sweeping the stairs as she comes down to dinner." She paused. She went on looking at me, watching my eyes. "Do you think she can see us, talking to one another now?" she said slowly. "Do you think the dead come back and watch the living?
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
Rebecca, always Rebecca. Wherever I walked in Manderley, wherever I sat, even in my thoughts and in my dreams, I met Rebecca. I knew her figure now, the long slim legs, the small and narrow feet. Her shoulders, broader than mine, the capable clever hands. Hands that could steer a boat, could hold a horse. Hands that arranged flowers, made the models of ships, and wrote β€œMax from Rebecca” on the flyleaf of a book. I knew her face too, small and oval, the clear white skin, the cloud of dark hair. I knew the scent she wore, I could guess her laughter and her smile. If I heard it, even among a thousand others, I should recognize her voice. Rebecca, always Rebecca. I should never be rid of Rebecca. Perhaps
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
That's never been my life, nor ever will." "Why not? You'll wed a farmer one day, or small tradesman, and live respectably among your neighbours. Don't tell them you lived once at Jamaica Inn, and had love made to you by a horse-thief. They'd shut their doors against you. Good-bye, and here's prosperity to you.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn)
β€œ
I thought how little we know about the feelings of old people. Children we understand, their fears and hopes and make-believe. I was a child yesterday. I had not forgotten. But Maxim’s grandmother, sitting there in her shawl with her poor blind eyes, what did she feel, what was she thinking? Did she know that Beatrice was yawning and glancing at her watch? Did she guess that we had come to visit her because we felt it right, it was a duty, so that when she got home afterwards Beatrice would be able to say, β€œWell, that clears my conscience for three months”? Did she ever think about Manderley? Did she remember sitting at the dining room table, where I sat? Did she too have tea under the chestnut tree? Or was it all forgotten and laid aside, and was there nothing left behind that calm, pale face of hers but little aches and little strange discomforts, a blurred thankfulness when the sun shone, a tremor when the wind blew cold? I wished that I could lay my hands upon her face and take the years away. I wished I could see her young, as she was once, with color in her cheeks and chestnut hair, alert and active as Beatrice by her side, talking as she did about hunting, hounds, and horses. Not sitting there with her eyes closed while the nurse thumped the pillows behind her head. β€œWe’ve got a treat today, you know,” said the nurse, β€œwatercress sandwiches for tea. We love watercress, don’t we?
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
...a new day was starting, the things of the garden were not concerned with our troubles. A blackbird ran across the rose-garden to the lawns in swift, short rushes, stopping now and again to stab at the earth with his yellow beak. A thrush, too, went about his business, and two stout, little wagtails, following one another, and a little cluster of twittering sparrows. A gull poised himself high in the air, silent and alone, and then spread his wings wide and swooped beyond the lawns to the woods and the Happy Valley. These things continued, our worries and anxieties had no power to alter them.
”
”
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
β€œ
My realisation that all I had ever done in life, not only in France but in England also, was to watch people, never to partake in their happiness or pain, brought such a sense of overwhelming depression, deepened by the rain stinging the windows of the car, that when I came to Le Mans, although I had not intended to stop there and lunch, I changed my mind, hoping to change my mood.
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Daphne du Maurier (The Scapegoat)
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A cloud, hitherto unseen, came upon the moon, and hovered an instant like a dark hand before a face.The illusion went with it, and the lights in the windows were extinguished. I looked upon a desolate shell, soulless at last, unhaunted, with no whisper of the past about its staring walls. The house was a sepulchre, our fear and suffering lay buried in the ruins. There would be no resurrection. When I thought of Manderley in my waking hours I would not be bitter. I should think of it as it might have been, could I have lived there without fear. I should remember the rose-garden in summer, and the birds that sang at dawn.Tea under the chestnut tree, and the murmur of the sea coming up to us from the lawns below. I would think of the blown lilac, and the Happy Valley. These things were permanent, they could not be dissolved.They were memories that cannot hurt.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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That corner in the drive, too, where the trees encroach upon. . . the gravel, is not a place in which to pause, not after the sun has set. When the leaves rustle, they sound very much like the stealthy movement of a woman in evening dress, and when they shiver suddenly, and fall, and scatter away along the ground, they might be the patter, patter, of a woman’s hurrying footstep, and the mark in the gravel the imprint of a high-heeled satin shoe.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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The warm night claimed her. In a moment it was part of her. She walked on the grass, and her shoes were instantly soaked. She flung up her arms to the sky. Power ran to her fingertips. Excitement was communicated from the waiting trees, and the orchard, and the paddock; the intensity of their secret life caught at her and made her run. It was nothing like the excitement of ordinary looking forward, of birthday presents, of Christmas stockings, but the pull of a magnet - her grandfather had shown her once how it worked, little needles springing to the jaws - and now night and the sky above were a vast magnet, and the things that waited below were needles, caught up in the great demand. ("The Pool")
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Daphne du Maurier (Echoes from the Macabre: Selected Stories)
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As soon as he had disappeared Deborah made for the trees fringing the lawn, and once in the shrouded wood felt herself safe. She walked softly along the alleyway to the pool. The late sun sent shafts of light between the trees and onto the alleyway, and a myriad insects webbed their way in the beams, ascending and descending like angels on Jacob's ladder. But were they insects, wondered Deborah, or particles of dust, or even split fragments of light itself, beaten out and scattered by the sun? It was very quiet. The woods were made for secrecy. They did not recognise her as the garden did. ("The Pool")
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Daphne du Maurier (Echoes from the Macabre: Selected Stories)
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The quality it had now, in fresh untempered sunlight, was neither faerie nor austere; the changing shadows of dusk and midnight had vanished with the darkness and the rain, and walls and roof and towers were bathed in the radiance that comes only in the first hours of the day, soft, new-washed, the delicate aftermath of dawn. The people who slept within must surely bear some imprint of this radiance in themselves, must turn instinctively to the light seeping through the shutters, while the ghostly dreams and sorrows of the night slipped away, finding sanctuary in the unwakened forest trees the sun had not yet touched.
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Daphne du Maurier (The Scapegoat)
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Suddenly I saw a clearing in the dark drive ahead, and a patch of sky, and in a moment the dark trees had thinned, the nameless shrubs had disappeared, and on either side of us was a wall of colour, blood-red, reaching far above our heads. We were amongst the rhododendrons. There was something bewildering, even shocking, about the suddenness of their discovery. The woods had not prepared me for them. They startled me with their crimson faces, massed one upon the other in incredible profusion, showing no leaf, no twig, nothing but the slaughterous red, luscious and fantastic, unlike any rhododendron plant I had seen before. I glanced at Maxim. He was smiling. 'Like them?' he said. I told him 'Yes,' a little breathlessly, uncertain whether I was speaking the truth or not, for to me a rhododendron was a homely, domestic thing, strictly conventional, mauve or pink in colour, standing one beside the other in a neat round bed. And these were monsters, rearing to the sky, massed like a battalion, too beautiful I thought, too powerful; they were not plants at all.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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I wished he would not always treat me as a child, rather spoilt, rather irresponsible, someone to be petted from time to time when the mood came upon him, but more often forgotten, more often patted on the shoulder and told to run away and play. I wished something would happen to make me look wiser, more mature. Was it always going to be like this? He way ahead of me, with his own moods that I did not share, his secret troubles that I did not know? Would we never be together, he a man and I a woman, standing shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand with no gulf between us? I did not want to be a child. I wanted to be his wife, his mother. I wanted to be old.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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I wanted to go on sitting there, not talking, not listening to the others, keeping the moment precious for all time, because we were peaceful, all of us, we were content and drowsy even as the bee who droned above our heads. In a little while it would be different, there would come tomorrow, and the next day, and another year. And we would be changed perhaps, never sitting quite like this again. Some of us would go away, or suffer, or die; the future stretched away in front of us, unknown, unseen, not perhaps what we wanted, not what we planned. This moment was safe though, this could not be touched.
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Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
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I left them to it, the pointing of fingers on maps, the tracing of mountain villages, the tracks and contours on maps of larger scale, and basked for the one evening allowed to me in the casual, happy atmosphere of the taverna where we dined. I enjoyed poking my finger in a pan and choosing my own piece of lamb. I liked the chatter and the laughter from neighbouring tables. The gay intensity of talk - none of which I could understand, naturally - reminded me of left-bank Paris. A man from one table would suddenly rise to his feet and stroll over to another, discussion would follow, argument at heat perhaps swiftly dissolving into laughter. This, I thought to myself, has been happening through the centuries under this same sky, in the warm air with a bite to it, the sap drink pungent as the sap running through the veins of these Greeks, witty and cynical as Aristophanes himself, in the shadow, unmoved, inviolate, of Athene's Parthenon. ("The Chamois")
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Daphne du Maurier (Echoes from the Macabre: Selected Stories)
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I want to see the Parthenon by moonlight.' I had my way. They floodlight it now, to great advantage I am told, but it was not so then, and since it was late in the year there were few tourists. My companions were all intelligent men, including my own husband, and they had the sense to stay mute. I suppose, being a woman, I confuse beauty with sentiment, but, as I looked on the Parthenon for the first time in my life, I found myself crying. It had never happened to me before. Your sunset weepers I despise. It was not full moon, or anywhere near it. The half circle put me in mind of the labrys, the Cretan double axe, and the pillars were the most ghostly in consequence. What a shock for the modern aesthete, I thought when my crying was done, if he could see the ruddy glow of colour, the painted eyes, the garish lips, the orange-reds and blues that were there once, and Athene herself a giantess on her pedestal touched by the rising sun. Even in those distant times the exigencies of a state religion had brought their own traffic, the buying and selling of doves, of trinkets: to find himself, a man had to go to the woods, to the hills. "Come on," said Stephen. "It's beautiful and stark, if you like, but so is St. Pancras station at 4 A.M. It depends on your association of ideas." We crammed into Burns's small car, and went back to our hotel. ("The Chamois")
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Daphne du Maurier (Echoes from the Macabre: Selected Stories)
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Then Deborah stood at the wicket gate, the boundary, and there was a woman with outstretched hand, demanding tickets. "Pass through," she said when Deborah reached her. "We saw you coming." The wicket gate became a turnstile. Deborah pushed against it and there was no resistance, she was through. "What is it?" she asked. "Am I really here at last? Is this the bottom of the pool?" "It could be," smiled the woman. "There are so many ways. You just happened to choose this one." Other people were pressing to come through. They had no faces, they were only shadows. Deborah stood aside to let them by, and in a moment they had gone, all phantoms. "Why only now, tonight?" asked Deborah. "Why not in the afternoon, when I came to the pool?" "It's a trick," said the woman. "You seize on the moment in time. We were here this afternoon. We're always here. Our life goes on around you, but nobody knows it. The trick's easier by night, that's all." "Am I dreaming, then?" asked Deborah. "No," said the woman, "this isn't a dream. And it isn't death, either. It's the secret world." The secret world... It was something Deborah had always known, and now the pattern was complete. The memory of it, and the relief, were so tremendous that something seemed to burst inside her heart. "Of course..." she said, "of course..." and everything that had ever been fell into place. There was no disharmony. The joy was indescribable, and the surge of feeling, like wings about her in the air, lifted her away from the turnstile and the woman, and she had all knowledge. That was it - the invasion of knowledge. ("The Pool")
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Daphne du Maurier (Echoes from the Macabre: Selected Stories)