A while ago, after reading Agnes Grey, I blogged about a passage from that book that resonated with me. Now I've just finished reading Villette by Anne's sister, Charlotte, and a few passages in that jumped out at me. While I didn't really like the book as a whole, some sentences still resonated.
'Who but a coward would pass his whole life in hamlets; and for ever abandon his faculties to the eating rust of obscurity?'
'I did long, achingly, then and for four and twenty hours afterwards, for something to fetch me out of my present existence, and lead me upstairs and onwards. This longing, and all of a similar kind, it was necessary to knock on the head; which I did, figuratively, after the manner of Jael to Sisera, driving a nail through their temples. Unlike Sisera, they did not die: they were but transiently stunned, and at intervals would turn on the nail with a rebellious wrench: then did the temples bleed and the brain thrill to its core.'
'No mockery in this world ever sounds to me so hollow as that of being told to cultivate happiness. What does such advice mean? Happiness is not a potato, to be planted in mould, and tilled with manure.'
I think the next time someone asks me if I'm happy I'll simply tell them 'happiness is not a potato' and see what they make of that...