The Golden Bowl Quotes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 40 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Golden Bowl.
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"'There are two parts of me'—yes, he had been moved to go on. 'One is made up of history, the doings, the marriages, the crimes, the follies, the boundless bĂȘtises of other people—especially of their infamous waste of money that might have come to me. Those things are written—literally in rows of volumes, in libraries; are as public as they're abominable. Everybody can get at them, and you've both of you wonderfully looked them in the face. But there's another part, very much smaller doubtless, which, such as it is, represents my single self, the unknown, the unimportant—unimportant save to you—personal quality. About this you've found out nothing." Volume One, Book First, Chapter One, p. 47.

"He had got it, the pitch, and he could keep it now, for all he needed was to have it given him. The pitch was the happiness of his wife that was to be—the sight of that happiness as a joy for an old friend." Volume One, Book First, Chapter Three, p. 77.

"She's incapable of any plan to hurt a hair of her head. Yet here she is—and there they are." Volume One, Book First, Chapter Four, p. 89.

"She'd be so frightened. She'd be, in her strange little way, so hurt. She wasn't born to know evil. She must never know it." Volume One, Book First, Chapter Four, p. 94.

"Who was there for that matter to raise one from the moment Mrs. Assingham, informed and apparently not disapproving, didn't intervene?" Volume One, Book First, Chapter Five, p. 103.

"There had been something, frankly, a little disconcerting in such an appeal at such an hour, on the very eve of his nuptials; it was one thing to have met the girl casually at Mrs. Assingham's and another to arrange with her thus for a morning practically as private as their old mornings in Rome and practically not less intimate." Volume One, Book First, Chapter Five, p. 105.

"It was a comfort to her that their foreign tongue covered what they said—and they might have appeared of course, as the Prince now had one of the snuff-boxes in his hand, to be discussing a purchase." Volume One, Book First, Chapter Six, p. 116.

"She had been his only child—which she was indeed as much as ever; but there were sides on which she had protected him as if she were more than a daughter. She had done for him more than he knew—much, and blissfully, as he always had known." Volume One, Book Second, Chapter One, p. 135.

"Oh if I'm a crystal I'm delighted that I'm a perfect one, for I believe they sometimes have cracks and flaws—in which case they're to be had very cheap." Volume One, Book Second, Chapter One, p. 138.

"It was of course an old story and a familiar idea that a beautiful baby could take its place as a new link between a wife and a husband, but Maggie and her father had, with every ingenuity, converted the precious creature into a link between a mamma and a grandpapa." Volume One, Book Second, Chapter Three, p. 151.

"There were things she of course couldn't tell him, in so many words, about Amerigo and herself, and about their happiness and their union and their deepest depths—and there were other things she needn't; but there were also those that were both true and amusing, both communicable and real, and of these, with her so conscious, so delicately-cultivated scheme of conduct as a daughter, she could make her profit at will." Volume One, Book Second, Chapter Three, p. 157.

"'Should you really,' he now asked, 'like me to marry?' He spoke as if, coming from his daughter herself, it might be an idea; which for that matter he would be ready to carry right straight out should she definitely say so." Volume One, Book Second, Chapter Four, p. 161.

"I've an idea there has been, more than once, somebody I'm not acquainted with—and needn't be or want to be. In any case it's all over, and, beyond giving her credit for everything, it's none of my business." Volume One, Book Second, Chapter Four, p. 170.

"This pulse of life was what Charlotte, in her way, at home, had lately reproduced, and there were positively current hours when it might have been open to her companion to feel himself again, indebted to her for introductions." Volume One, Book Second, Chapter Six, p. 189.

"She was herself in truth crowned, and it all hung together, melted together, in light and colour and sound: the unsurpassed diamonds that her head so happily carried, the other jewels, the other perfections of aspect and arrangement that made her personal scheme a success, the proved private theory that materials to work with had been all she required and that there were none too precious for her to understand and use—to which might be added lastly, as the strong-scented flower of the total sweetness, an easy command, a high enjoyment, of her crisis." Volume One, Book Third, Chapter One, p. 214.

"She had already accepted her consciousness, as we have already noted, that a crisis for them all was in the air; and when such hours weren't depressing, which was the form indeed in which she had mainly known them, they were apparently in a high degree exhilarating." Volume One, Book Third, Chapter One, p. 217.

"You surely must by this time have seen for yourself that he has his own habits and his own ways, and that he makes, more and more, as of course he has a perfect right to do—his own discriminations. He's so perfect, so ideal as a father, and doubtless largely by that very fact, so generous, so comfortable, so admirable a father-in-law, that I should really feel is base to avail myself of any standpoint whatever to criticize him." Volume One, Book Third, Chapter Two, p. 231.

"And so for a minute they stood together as strongly held and as closely confronted as any hour of their easier past even had seen them. They were silent at first, only facing and faced, only grasping and grasped, only meeting and met." Volume One, Book Third, Chapter Five, p. 259.

"It had been established in the two households at an early stage and with the highest good humour that Charlotte was a, was THE, 'social success', whereas the Princess, though kind, though punctilious, though charming, though in fact the dearest little creature in the world and THE Princess into the bargain, was distinctly not, would distinctly never be, and might as well give it up altogether; whether through being above it or below it, too much outside of it or too much lost in it, too unequipped or too indisposed, didn't especially matter." Volume One, Book Third, Chapter Six, p. 262.

"It was amusing, in such lightness of air, that the Prince should again present himself only to speak for the Princess, again so unfortunately able to leave home; and that Mrs. Verver should as regularly figure as an embodied, a beautifully deprecating apology for her husband, who was all geniality and humility among his own treasures, but as to whom the legend had grown up that he couldn't bear, with the height of his standards and the tone of the company, in the way of sofas and cabinets, habitually kept by him, the irritation and depression to which promiscuous visiting even at pompous houses had been found to expose him." Volume One, Book Third, Chapter Seven, p. 273.

"I don't make mistakes. But I perpetrate—in thought—crimes." Volume One, Book Third, Chapter Ten, p. 301.

"'They're away,' she wound up, 'so they can't hear; and I'm by a miracle of arrangement not at luncheon with father at home. I live in the midst of miracles of arrangement, half of which I admit are my own; I go about on tiptoe, I watch for every sound, I feel every breath, and yet I try all the while to seem as smooth as old satin dyed rose-colour.'" Volume Two, Book Fourth, Chapter Six, p. 401.

"She can utterly dishonour me with her father. She can let him know that I was aware at the time of his marriage—as I had been aware at the time of her own—of the relations that had pre-existed between his wife and her husband." Volume Two, Book Fourth, Chapter Seven, p. 411.

"It was the first sharp falsity she had known in her life, to touch at all or be touched by; it had met her like some bad-faced stranger surprised in on of the thick-carpeted corridors of a house of quiet on a Sunday afternoon; and yet, yes, amazingly, she had been able to look at terror and disgust only to know that she must put away from her the bitter-sweet of their freshness." Volume Two, Book Fifth, Chapter One, p. 489.

"'Lost to each other—father and I.' And then as her friend appeared to demur, 'Oh yes,' Maggie quite lucidly declared, 'lost to each other really more than Amerigo and Charlotte are; since for them it's just, it's right, it's deserved, while for us it's only sad and strange and not caused by our fault.'" Volume Two, Book Sixth, Chapter One, p. 555.

"It's as if her unhappiness had been necessary to us—as if we had needed her, at her own cost, to build us up and start us." Volume Two, Book Sixth, Chapter Two, p. 551.

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