1 Shakalabar

Essay On Time Once Lost Is Lost Forever 21

Time is a concept referring to the perceived flow of actions and events from the past to future, or to its measurement. In physics it is also referred to as "the fourth dimension" of a space-time continuum.

CONTENTS
Alphabetized
by author or source
A · B · C · D · E · F · G · H · I · J · K · L · M · N · O · P · Q · R · S · T · U · V · W · X · Y · Z
The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904)
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989)
See also · External links

A[edit]

  • The sword of time will pierce our skin
    It doesn't hurt when it begins
    But as it works its way on in
    The pain grows stronger watch I bring
    That suicide is painless
    It brings so many changes
    And I can take or leave them if I please.
  • Remember that time slurs over everything, let all deeds fade, blurs all writings and kills all memories. Exempt are only those which dig into the hearts of men by love.
    • Aristotle, Free Translation from the French version of a letter named "The Letter of Aristotle to Alexander on the Policy toward the Cities". Basis for translation: Lettre d’Aristote à Alexandre sur la politique envers les cités, Arabic text edition and translated/edited by Józef Bielawski and Marian Plezia (Warsaw: Polish Academy of Sciences, 1970), page 72
  • That time either has no being at all, or is only scarcely and faintly, one might suspect from this: part of it has happened and is not, while the other part is going to be but is not yet, and it is out of these that the infinite, or any given, time is composed. But it would seem impossible for a thing composed of non-beings to have any share in being.
  • Aristotle, Physics, as translated by Joe Sachs (Rutgers University Press: 2011), 217b30
  • Time is not composed of indivisible nows any more than any other magnitude is composed of indivisibles.
  • Whether if soul did not exist time would exist or not, is a question that may fairly be asked; for if there cannot be someone to count there cannot be anything that can be counted, so that evidently there cannot be number; for number is either what has been, or what can be, counted.
  • O let not Time deceive you,
    You cannot conquer Time.
  • But if any excursive brain rove over the images of forepassed times, and wonder that Thou the God Almighty and All-creating and All-supporting, Maker of heaven and earth, didst for innumerable ages forbear from so great a work, before Thou Wouldest make it; let him awake and consider, that he wonders at false conceits. For whence could innumerable ages pass by, which Thou madest not, Thou the Author and Creator of all ages? or what times should there be, which were not made by Thee? or how should they pass by, if they never were? Seeing then Thou art the Creator of all times, if any time was before Thou madest heaven and earth, why say they that Thou didst forego working? For that very time didst Thou make, nor could times pass by, before Thou madest those times. But if before heaven and earth there was no time, why is it demanded, what Thou then didst? For there was no "then," when there was no time.

B[edit]

  • With regard to authority, it is the greatest weakness to attribute infinite credit to particular authors, and to refuse his own prerogative to time, the author of all authors, and, therefore, of all authority. For truth is rightly named the daughter of time not of authority. It is not wonderful, therefore, if the bonds of antiquity, authority, and unanimity have so enchained the power of man, that he is unable (as if bewitched) to become familiar with things themselves.
  • And he that will not apply New Remedies, must expect New Evils: for Time is the greatest Innovateur...
  • We must not confuse the present with the past. With regard to the past, no further action is possible. There have been war, plague, scandal, and treason, and there is no way of our preventing their having taken place; the executioner became an executioner and the victim underwent his fate as a victim without us; all that we can do is to reveal it, to integrate it into the human heritage, to raise it to the dignity of the aesthetic existence which bears within itself its finality; but first this history had to occur: it occurred as scandal, revolt, crime, or sacrifice, and we were able to try to save it only because it first offered us a form. Today must also exist before being confirmed in its existence: its destination in such a way that everything about it already seemed justified and that there was no more of it to reject, then there would also be nothing to say about it, for no form would take shape in it; it is revealed only through rejection, desire, hate and love.
  • In what time does man live? The thinkers have always known that he does not live in any time at all. The immortality of thoughts and deeds banishes him to a timeless realm at whose heart an inscrutable death lies in wait. ... Devoured by the countless demands of the moment, time slipped away from him; the medium in which the pure melody of his youth would swell was destroyed. The fulfilled tranquility in which his late maturity would ripen was stolen from him. It was purloined by everyday reality, which, with its events, chance occurrences, and obligations, disrupted the myriad opportunities of youthful time, immortal time. ... From day to day, second to second, the self preserves itself, clinging to that instrument: time, the instrument that it was supposed to play.
    • Walter Benjamin, "The Metaphysics of Youth," in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Vol. 1 (1996), pp. 10-11
  • I see the Four-fold Man.
    The Humanity in deadly sleep,
    And its fallen Emanation. The Spectre & its cruel Shadow.
    I see the Past, Present & Future, existing all at once
    Before me; O Divine Spirit sustain me on thy wings!
    • William Blake, Jerusalem The Emanation of the Giant Albion (c. 1803–1820) Ch. 1, plate 15, lines 6-9
  • Eternity is in love with the productions of time.
    • William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, "Proverbs of Hell"
  • Time is the most precious gift in our possession, for it is the most irrevocable. This is what makes it so disturbing to look back upon the time which we have lost. Time lost is time when we have not lived a full human life, time unenriched by experience, creative endeavor, enjoyment, and suffering. Time lost is time not filled, time left empty.
    • Dietrich Bonhoeffer, as quoted in LIFE magazine (22 April 1957), p. 152; also in Letters and Papers from Prison (1967), p. 47
  • Time can't be measured in days the way money is measured in pesos and centavos, because all pesos are equal, while every day, perhaps every hour, is different.
    • Jorge Luis Borges, "Juan Muraña", in Brodie's Report (1970); tr. Andrew Hurley, Collected Fictions (1998)
  • Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure time.
  • The Garden of Forking Paths is an incomplete, but not false, image of the universe as Ts'ui Pên conceived it. In contrast to Newton and Schopenhauer, your ancestor did not believe in a uniform, absolute time. He believed in an infinite series of times, in a growing, dizzying net of divergent, convergent and parallel times. This network of times which approached one another, forked, broke off, or were unaware of one another for centuries, embraces all possibilities of time. We do not exist in the majority of these times; in some you exist, and not I; in others I, and not you; in others, both of us.
    • Variant translation: This web of time — the strands of which approach one another, bifurcate, intersect or ignore each other through the centuries — embrace every possibility.
    • Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths (1958) as translated by Donald A. Yates
  • Time forks perpetually toward innumerable futures.
    • Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths (1958) as translated by Donald A. Yates
  • And yet, and yet … Negar la sucesión temporal, negar el yo, negar el universo astronómico, son desesperaciones aparentes y consuelos secretos. Nuestro destino no es espantoso por irreal: es espantoso porque es irreversible y de hierro. El tiempo es la sustancia de que estoy hecho. El tiempo es un río que me arrebata, pero yo soy el río; es un tigre que me destroza, pero yo soy el tigre; es un fuego que me consume, pero yo soy el fuego. El mundo desgraciadamente es real; yo, desgraciadamente, soy Borges.
    • And yet, and yet . . . Denying temporal succession, denying the self, denying the astronomical universe, are apparent desperations and secret consolations. Our destiny is not frightful by being unreal; it is frightful because it is irreversible and iron-clad. Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire. The world, unfortunately, is real; I, unfortunately, am Borges.
    • "A New Refutation of Time" (1946) ["Nueva refutación del tiempo"]
    • Variant translations:
      • And yet, and yet... Denying temporal succession, denying the self, denying the astronomical universe, are obvious acts of desperation and secret consolation. Our fate (unlike the hell of Swedenborg or the hell of Tibetan mythology) is not frightful because it is unreal; it is frightful because it is irreversible and ironclad. Time is the thing I am made of. Time is a river that sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that tears me apart, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire. The world, unfortunately, is real; I, unfortunately, am Borges.
      • Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.
    • Jorge Luis Borges, Otras inquisiciones (1952); first translated by Ruth L. C. Simms as Other Inquisitions, 1937–1952 (1964)
  • we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more, perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.
  • Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived. After all Number One, we're only mortal.
  • Time is not bought ready-made at the watchmaker's.
  • You shouldn't chase after the past or place expectations on the future. What is past is left behind. The future is as yet unreached. Whatever quality is present you clearly see right there, right there.
    • Buddha, Bhaddekaratta Sutta: An Auspicious Day, MN 131, (1997) translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
  • Yet Time, who changes all, had altered him
    In soul and aspect as in age; years steal
    Fire from the mind as vigour from the limb;
    And life's enchanted cup but sparkles near the brim.
  • O Time! the beautifier of the dead,
    Adorner of the ruin, comforter
    And only healer when the heart hath bled—
    Time! the corrector where our judgments err,
    The test of truth, love, sole philosopher,
    For all besides are sophists, from thy thrift
    Which never loses though it doth defer—
    Time, the avenger! unto thee I lift
    My hands, and eyes, and heart, and crave of thee a gift.

C[edit]

  • Time changes all things and cultivates even in herself an appreciation of irony, — and, therefore, why shouldn't I have changed a trifle?
  • The touch of time does more than the club of Hercules.
  • 'I could tell you my adventures — beginning from this morning,' said Alice a little timidly: 'but it's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.'
    'Explain all that,' said the Mock Turtle.
    'No, no! The adventures first,' said the Gryphon in an impatient tone: 'explanations take such a dreadful time.'
  • It's always tea time!
  • Eternity isn't some later time. Eternity isn't a long time. Eternity has nothing to do with time. Eternity is that dimension of here and now which thinking and time cuts out. This is it. And if you don't get it here, you won't get it anywhere. And the experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life. There's a wonderful formula that the Buddhists have for the Bodhisattva, the one whose being (sattva) is illumination (bodhi), who realizes his identity with eternity and at the same time his participation in time. And the attitude is not to withdraw from the world when you realize how horrible it is, but to realize that this horror is simply the foreground of a wonder and to come back and participate in it.
  • A butterfly
    Fluttering over the vendor's
    Dry flowers of spring
    Only two days it flies
    Caught by the lost boy
    Yet still.
    • Shane Castro, For Peng Fajardo, in The Now
  • With the magnificence of eternity before us, let time, with all its fluctuations, dwindle into its own littleness.
    • Thomas Chalmers, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 584
  • Of this I am quite sure, that if we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future.
  • The more thorough the understanding needed, the further back in time one must go.
    • Gordon Clark, A Christian View of Men and Things (1951), p. 58.
  • In the spirit of faith let us begin each day, and we shall be sure to " redeem the time " which it brings to us, by changing it into something definite and eternal. There is a deep meaning in this phrase of the apostle, to redeem time. We redeem time, and do not merely use it. We transform it into eternity by living it aright.
    • James Freeman Clarke, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 583
  • If you are living in the past or in the future, you will never find a meaning in the present.
    • Fausto Cercignani in: Brian Morris, Simply Transcribed. Quotations from Fausto Cercignani, 2013, p. 9
  • Time,— that black and narrow isthmus between two eternities.
    • Charles Caleb Colton, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 582
  • "I am but as others: I am but what I was born to be."
    "Do you recognize what you were born to be? Not only a nobleman, but a gentleman; not only a gentleman, but a man — man, made in the image of God. How can you, how dare you, give the lie to your Creator?"
    "What has He given me? What have I to thank Him for?"
    "First, manhood; the manhood His Son disdained not to wear; worldly gifts, such as rank, riches, influence, things which others have to spend half an existence in earning; life in its best prime, with much of youth yet remaining — with grief endured, wisdom learnt, experience won. Would to Heaven, that by any poor word of mine I could make you feel all that you are — all that you might be!"
    A gleam, bright as a boy's hope, wild as a boy's daring, flashed from those listless eyes — then faded.
    "You mean, Mr. Halifax, what I might have been. Now it is too late."
    "There is no such word as 'too late,' in the wide world — nay, not in the universe. What! shall we, whose atom of time is but a fragment out of an ever-present eternity — shall we, so long as we live, or even at our life's ending, dare to cry out to the Eternal One, 'It is too late!'"
    • Dinah Craik, John Halifax, Gentleman (1857), Chapter 36
  • Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.

D[edit]

  • Truth was the only daughter of Time.
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), XIX Philosophical Maxims. Morals. Polemics and Speculations., as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
  • He is changing times and seasons, removing kings and setting up kings.
  • Rose: I can see everything. All that is, all that was, all that ever could be.
Doctor: That's what I see. All the time. And doesn't it drive you mad?
  • The whole time of my life may be divided into an infinity of parts, each of which is in no way dependent on any other; and, accordingly, because I was in existence a short time ago, it does not follow that I must now exist, unless in this moment some cause create me anew as it were,—that is, conserve me.
  • If we consider eternity, into that time never entered; eternity is not an everlasting flux of time, but time is as a short parenthesis in a long period; and eternity had been the same as it is, though time had never been.
    • John Donne, Book of Devotions, Meditation 14 (1624)
  • Time Prophet: Time begins and then time ends,
    and then time begins once again
    It is happening now, it has happened before,
    it will surely happen again.
Kai: Prophet, I have come to you,
here on this uncertain moon,
Do we Brunnen-G, have any hope,
or are my people doomed?
Time Prophet: I looked into the cycles of time,
not very clearly mind you
I gaze into, future past,
and I see the Brunnen-G doomed
For Kai you'll be the last to die,
and there is something else I see
the Shadows Order will be destroyed,
at the hands of the last Brunnen-G .
Kai: Are you certain Time Prophet?
Time Prophet: Time begins, and then time ends,
and then time begins once again
It is happening now, it has happened before,
it will surely happen again.
  • Lexx, Brigadoom (April 9, 1999), written by Paul Donovan & Lex Gigeroff.
  • The line it is drawn
    The curse it is cast
    The slow one now
    Will later be fast
    As the present now
    Will later be past

    The order is rapidly fadin’
    And the first one now will later be last
    For the times they are a-changin’.

E[edit]

  • Every reference-body (co-ordinate system) has its own particular time; unless we are told the reference-body to which the statement of time refers, there is no meaning in a statement of the time of an event.
  • If you don't take my words too seriously, I would say this: If we assume that all matter would disappear from the world, then, before relativity, one believed that space and time would continue existing in an empty world. But, according to the theory of relativity, if matter and its motion disappeared there would no longer be any space or time.
    • Albert Einstein (1921) as quoted by Philipp Frank, Einstein, His Life and Times (1947) 1st edition, Ch. VIII, Sect. 5, p. 178. In response to the question by an American journalist: How could one explain the content of the relativity theory in a few sentences?
  • Time present and time past
    Are both perhaps present in time future,
    And time future contained in time past.
    If all time is eternally present
    All time is unredeemable.
  • Time past and time future
    What might have been and what has been
    Point to one end, which is always present.
  • Time past and time future
    Allow but a little consciousness.
    To be conscious is not to be in time
    But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden,
    The moment in the arbour where the rain beat,
    The moment in the draughty church at smokefall
    Be remembered; involved with past and future.
    Only through time time is conquered.
    (II)
  • You cannot face it steadily, but this thing is sure,
    That time is no healer: the patient is no longer here. (III)
  • Fare forward, travellers! not escaping from the past
    Into different lives, or into any future;
    You are not the same people who left that station
    Or who will arrive at any terminus,
    While the narrowing rails slide together behind you.
  • Here between the hither and the farther shore
    While time is withdrawn, consider the future
    And the past with an equal mind.

A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
Of timeless moments.

  • Lots of things take time, and time was Momo's only form of wealth.
  • All dwelling in one house are strange brothers three,
    as unlike as any three brothers could be,
    yet try as you may to tell brother from brother,
    you'll find that the trio resemble each other.
    The first isn't there, though he'll come beyond doubt.
    The second's departed, so he's not about.
    The third and the smallest is right on the spot,
    And manage without him the others could not.
    Yet the third factor with which to be reckoned
    Because the first brother turns into the second.
    You cannot stand back and observe number three,
    For one of the others is all you will see.
    So tell me, my child, are the three of them one?
    Or are there but two? Or could there be none?
    Just name them, and you will at once realize
    That each rules a kingdom of infinite size.
    They rule it together and are it as well.
    In that, they're alike, so where do they dwell?

F[edit]

  • It's all now you see. Yesterday won't be over until tomorrow and tomorrow began ten thousand years ago. For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it's still not yet two o'clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it's all in the balance, it hasn't happened yet, it hasn't even begun yet, it not only hasn't begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave yet it's going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn't need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose and all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago; or to anyone who ever sailed a skiff under a quilt sail, the moment in 1492 when somebody thought This is it: the absolute edge of no return, to turn back now and make home or sail irrevocably on and either find land or plunge over the world's roaring rim.
  • Time is a fluid condition which has no existence except in the momentary avatars of individual people. There is no such thing as was — only is. If was existed, there would be no grief or sorrow. I like to think of the world I created as being a kind of keystone in the universe; that, small as that keystone is, if it were ever taken away the universe itself would collapse.
  • The best general means to insure the profitable employment of our time, is to accustom ourselves to living in continual dependence upon the Spirit of God and His law, receiving, every instant, whatever He is pleased to bestow; consulting Him in every emergency requiring instant action, and having recourse to Him in our weaker moments when virtue seems to fail.
    • François Fénelon, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 583
  • Dost thou love life? then do not squander time; for that is the stuff life is made of.
    • Benjamin Franklin, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 582

G[edit]

  • Monday could not have arrived on a worse day. It could have been polite and waited until Tuesday or even Wednesday.
  • Of time you would make a stream upon whose bank you would sit and watch its flowing. Yet the timeless in you is aware of life's timelessness, And knows that 'yesterday is but today's memory and tomorrow is today's dream.
  • And is not time even as love is, undivided and paceless? But if in you thought you must measure time into seasons, let each season encircle all the other seasons, And let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing.
  • Goliath: If I didn't fear the damage you would do to the time stream, I'd gladly leave you here.
David Xanatos: But you won't, because you didn't. Time travel's funny that way.
  • In October 1672 Jean Richer... had sailed to the South American island of Cayenne... While there, he noticed that the pendulum clock he had brought... ran ever so slightly slower than it did in Paris. ...When he shortened the three-foot pendulum by just one twelfth of an inch, it corrected the error. ... Isaac Newton, he immediately guessed the cause. The island of Cayenne, situated almost on the Equator, was farther from the center of the Earth's gravitational
How can I tell that the past isn't a fiction designed to account for the discrepancy between my immediate physical sensations and my state of mind? ~ Douglas Adams
Remember that time slurs over everything, let all deeds fade, blurs all writings and kills all memories. Except are only those which dig into the hearts of men by love. ~ Aristotle
O let not Time deceive you,
You cannot conquer Time. ~ W. H. Auden
We must not confuse the present with the past. With regard to the past, no further action is possible. ~ Simone de Beauvoir
Live in the present and shape the future, do not be casting lingering looks to the distant past for the past has passed away, never again to return. ~ Subramanya Bharathi
Time is the mercy of Eternity; without Time's swiftness Which is the swiftest of all things, all were eternal torment. ~ William Blake
Time is the most precious gift in our possession, for it is the most irrevocable. … Time lost is time when we have not lived a full human life, time unenriched by experience, creative endeavor, enjoyment, and suffering. ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Don't waste your time, or time will waste you. ~ Muse (band)
Time can't be measured in days the way money is measured in pesos and centavos, because all pesos are equal, while every day, perhaps every hour, is different. ~ Jorge Luis Borges
Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure time. ~ Jorge Luis Borges
This network of times which approached one another, forked, broke off, or were unaware of one another for centuries, embraces all possibilities of time. ~ Jorge Luis Borges
Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire. ~ Jorge Luis Borges
You shouldn't chase after the past or place expectations on the future. What is past is left behind. The future is as yet unreached. Whatever quality is present you clearly see right there, right there. ~ Buddha
Yet Time, who changes all, had altered him
In soul and aspect as in age; years steal
Fire from the mind as vigour from the limb;
And life's enchanted cup but sparkles near the brim. ~ Lord Byron
Shall we, whose atom of time is but a fragment out of an ever-present eternity — shall we, so long as we live, or even at our life's ending, dare to cry out to the Eternal One, "It is too late!" ~ Dinah Craik
There is a time for some things, and a time for all things; a time for great things, and a time for small things. ~ Miguel de Cervantes
With the magnificence of eternity before us, let time, with all its fluctuations, dwindle into its own littleness. ~ Thomas Chalmers
If we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future. ~ Winston Churchill
We redeem time, and do not merely use it. We transform it into eternity by living it aright. ~ James Freeman Clarke
If we consider eternity, into that time never entered; eternity is not an everlasting flux of time, but time is as a short parenthesis in a long period; and eternity had been the same as it is, though time had never been. ~ John Donne
Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own;
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow, do thy worst, for I have lived today. ~ John Dryden
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past...
For the times they are a-changin’. ~ Bob Dylan
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. ~ Ecclesiastes
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable. ~ T. S. Eliot
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present. ~ T. S. Eliot
Fare forward, travellers! not escaping from the past
Into different lives, or into any future;
You are not the same people who left that station
Or who will arrive at any terminus,
While the narrowing rails slide together behind you. ~ T. S. Eliot
Clocks slay time. Time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life. ~ William Faulkner
Time is a fluid condition which has no existence except in the momentary avatars of individual people. There is no such thing as was — only is. ~ William Faulkner
Dost thou love life? then do not squander time; for that is the stuff life is made of. ~ Benjamin Franklin
Yesterday is but today's memory and tomorrow is today's dream ~ Khalil Gibran
And is not time even as love is, undivided and paceless? ~ Khalil Gibran
Past and future must coexist with the present. Like a landscape extending as far as the eye can see, physical time exists in its entirety at once. The canvas of time stretches from the horizon of the past to the horizon of the future. All distinction between past, present and future is but an illusion. ~ Khalil Gibran
Embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing. ~ Khalil Gibran
The timeless in you is aware of life's timelessness. ~ Khalil Gibran
The past is past, the future unformed. There is only the moment, and that is where he prefers to be. ~ William Gibson

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

- Narrator, Volume I: Chapter 1

In the first line of the novel, Austen reveals two of its primary themes: marriage and class (particularly as indicated by money). In the world of Pride and Prejudice, individuals are defined by their marital opportunities and financial holdings. However, the irony in this line conceals an implicit criticism. The line's grammatical focus is on "a single man . . . in want of a wife," but Austen's novel is centered on her female characters as they struggle to succeed within this oppressive patriarchy. Each Miss Bennet knows that without a husband of decent means and status, she risks living a life as a powerless and potentially destitute spinster. That Austen can imply such a desperate reality in a superficially breezy and straightforward line is evidence of her mastery.

"Pride...is a very common failing, I believe. By all that I have ever read, I am convinced that it is very common indeed; that human nature is particularly prone to it, and that there are very few of us who do not cherish a feeling of self-complacency on the score of some quality or other, real or imaginary. Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us."

- Mary Bennet, Volume I: Chapter 5

Mary gives the reader a lens through which to understand one of the novel's central conceits. On the surface, Mary offers simple definitions of pride and vanity. Her speech also indicates that these attributes are "very common." Therefore, she implies that it is best to acknowledge one's tendency towards such behavior. However, at the beginning of Pride and Prejudice, both Elizabeth and Darcy believe that they are above pride and vanity. They think they can exist outside these cultural norms, but are ultimately forced to accept that they do in fact exist in the context of a greater society. They have responsibilities to others, and should consider to some extent how their family and friends perceive them.

"It is sometimes a disadvantage to be so very guarded. If a woman conceals her affection with the same skill from the object of it, she may lose the opportunity of fixing him; and it will then be but poor consolation to believe the world equally in the dark. There is so much of gratitude or vanity in almost every attachment, that it is not safe to leave any to itself. We can all begin freely—a slight preference is natural enough; but there are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement. In nine cases out of ten a women had better show more affection than she feels."

- Charlotte Lucas, Volume I: Chapter 6

On one hand, Charlotte's pragmatic view of love, stands in stark contrast to the more romantic worldview that Elizabeth (and presumably, Austen herself) possesses. However, Charlotte's philosophy reflects the unfortunate reality that the women in Pride and Prejudice must face. They live in a patriarchal society. If a man remains single, his greatest risk is loneliness. However, an unmarried woman faces a potential lack of financial security. In Charlotte's eyes, this social inequality means that a woman must consider employing manipulation for the sake of her future. Charlotte follows her own advice when she shows "more affection than she feels" towards Mr. Collins in order to secure a proposal. Though Elizabeth's happy ending suggests that it is not always necessary for a woman to be as pragmatic as Charlotte, her philosophy nevertheless serves as a criticism of a world that so limits a woman's agency.

"Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life."

- Charlotte, Volume I: Chapter 6

Charlotte's pragmatic view of love and marriage actually conceals her fear and desperation. She sees love as irrelevant to a marriage and believes that a woman ought to limit her intimacy with her husband in order to avoid the inevitable disappointments. This indicates that Charlotte sees a husband as a commodity or means to an end. Even though Elizabeth criticizes Charlotte's recommendation, there was sadly a great deal of truth to it in Jane Austen's time. Charlotte is aware that if her expectations for a mate are too high, she risks becoming a struggling spinster. If she lowers her standards, though, she may not find love but at least she will be comfortable.

"She was shown into the breakfast-parlour, where all but Jane were assembled, and where her appearance created a great deal of surprise. That she should have walked three miles so early in the day, in such dirty weather, and by herself, was almost incredible to Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley; and Elizabeth was convinced that they held her in contempt for it. She was received, however, very politely by them; and in their brother's manners there was something better than politeness; there was good humour and kindness. Mr. Darcy said very little, and Mr. Hurst nothing at all. The former was divided between admiration of the brilliancy which exercise had given to her complexion, and doubt as to the occasion's justifying her coming so far alone. The latter was thinking only of his breakfast."

- Narrator, Volume I: Chapter 7

Elizabeth is worried about Jane and has no carriage, so she walks alone through the muddy fields to Netherfield. While society considers this kind of behavior to be 'unladylike,' Elizabeth's concern for her sister trumps these social graces. The Bingley sisters describe Elizabeth's behavior as "dirty" and "incredible" behind her back. However, the Bingley women treat Elizabeth "politely," revealing the dishonesty inherent in adhering to social convention. Meanwhile, the uncomplicated Mr. Bingley enjoys the simple fun of Elizabeth's adventure. Darcy's mixed reaction reveals his confusion about his feelings for Elizabeth. His "doubt" reflects his acknowledgment of social expectations, but he cannot help but feel "admiration" for Elizabeth's individuality.

"No, I have made no such pretension. I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. It is, I believe, too little yielding—certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget the follies and vices of others so soon as I ought, nor their offenses against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. My good opinion once lost, is lost forever."

- Mr. Darcy, Volume I: Chapter 11

If Pride and Prejudice is largely about Darcy and Elizabeth gaining self-awareness, then this statement - which Darcy delivers to Elizabeth during her stay at Netherfield - embodies the way Darcy initially sees himself. There is a certain irony in Darcy's honesty. While he seems to exhibit complete self-awareness, he is somewhat oblivious. His pride is so great that he openly refuses to question his own self-perception. Therefore, he actually lacks self-awareness. Elizabeth is shocked by Darcy's arrogant dismissal here, but she has similar pride in her own disposition. Later, Darcy will realize that his pride has concealed the limits of his first impressions (as in the case of Jane), while Elizabeth will realize that she harbors a great deal of prejudice as well.

"She had dressed with more than usual care, and prepared in the highest spirits for the conquest of all that remained unsubdued of his heart, trusting that it was not more than might be won in the course of the evening. But in an instant arose the dreadful suspicion of his being purposely omitted for Mr. Darcy's pleasure in the Bingleys' invitation to the officers; and though this was not exactly the case, the absolute fact of his absence was pronounced by his friend Denny, to whom Lydia eagerly applied, and who told them that Wickham had been obliged to go to town on business the day before, and was not yet returned; adding, with a significant smile, 'I do not imagine his business would have called him away just now, if he had not wanted to avoid a certain gentleman here.'"

- Narrator, Volume I: Chapter 18

This passage reveals that Elizabeth is far more affected by her pride and prejudice than she realizes. She openly criticizes Darcy for these faults, not understanding that she suffers from them as well. Her prejudice blinds her to the fact that Wickham's claims might not be entirely truthful. The opening part of the passage reveals the cause of Elizabeth's unyielding prejudice against Darcy: her pride. Wickham has flattered her, which clouds her usual discernment. Although she usually cares little for social expectations, Elizabeth betrays her vanity by dressing "with more than usual care."

"You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way, than as it spared me the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner."

- Elizabeth Bennet, Volume II: Chapter 11

When Elizabeth refuses Darcy's first proposal, she attacks his pride. Darcy clearly expects a positive response, which reveals his arrogance. However, Elizabeth's claim that Darcy's manner is not "gentlemanlike" shows that she judges him based on his behavior rather than his aristocratic standing. He can wear the label of a gentleman, but that doesn't necessarily mean that his behavior is always appropriate. This particular statement causes Darcy great consternation. Elizabeth therefore forces him to reevaluate how he sees himself and consider his personality separate from his social position.

"How despicably I have acted! I, who have prided myself on my discernment! I, who have valued myself on my abilities! who have often disdained the generous candour of my sister, and gratified my vanity in useless or blameable mistrust! How humiliating is this discovery! Yet, how just a humiliation! Had I been in love, I could not have been more wretchedly blind! But vanity, not love, has been my folly. Pleased with the preference of one, and offended by the neglect of the other, on the very beginning of our acquaintance, I have courted prepossession and ignorance, and driven reason away, where either were concerned. Till this moment I never knew myself."

- Elizabeth, Volume II: Chapter 13

In this moment, Elizabeth realizes how much her pride and prejudice have affected her judgement, even though she has criticized Darcy for the same narrow-mindedness. She believed Wickham's story despite the obvious signs of his dishonesty - and she also wanted to believe the worst about Darcy. Once Elizabeth recognizes her faults, she does not wallow in them. Instead, she takes the opportunity to improve her attitude and finally admit her feelings for Darcy.

"I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle. As a child I was taught what was right, but I was not taught to correct my temper. I was given good principles, but left to follow them in pride and conceit. Unfortunately an only son (for many years an only child), I was spoilt by my parents, who, though good themselves (my father, particularly, all that was benevolent and amiable), allowed, encouraged, almost taught me to be selfish and overbearing; to care for none beyond my own family circle; to think meanly of all the rest of the world; to wish at least to think meanly of their sense and worth compared with my own. Such I was, from eight to eight and twenty; and such I might still have been but for you, dearest, loveliest Elizabeth! What do I not owe you! You taught me a lesson, hard indeed at first, but most advantageous. By you, I was properly humbled. I came to you without a doubt of my reception. You showed me how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of being pleased."

- Mr. Darcy, Volume III: Chapter XVI

This passage is the climax of Darcy's journey to self-discovery. By admitting that he proposed to Elizabeth "without a doubt of [his] reception," Darcy acknowledges that his class prejudice clouded his judgement. After Elizabeth's rebuke, Darcy came to realize that a person's manner is more important than his or her social status. He has since achieved a level of self-awareness that will enable his future happiness. Finally, this statement reflects the importance that Austen places on the family unit educating its children, since Darcy sees his shortcomings in the context of his upbringing.

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