Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Most Beautiful Sentences In Literature


Here is a collection in Buzzfeed of 51 Of The Most Beautiful Sentences In Literature, as nominated by readers. Most are American and recent.

None of them greatly impressed me, actually. These are better than the ones in the article in my opinion. Passing reader, please suggest more in the comment box below.

'O, help me heaven,' she prayed, `to be decorative and to do right'. Firbank

Life is sweet, brother, who would wish to die? A gypsy speaking to George Borrow

Life is, I am sure, made of poetry. Jorge Luis Borges

Hatred of Catholicism is the only genuinely religious emotion the English ever experience.

No man can please others who does not please himself. Frederic Harrison

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. Daphne du Maurier

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale / Her infinite variety. Antony and Cleopatra

They are entombed in the urns and sepulchres of mortality. Sir Ranulph Crewe. The whole passage is here.

There are no fields of amaranth on this side of the grave: there are no voices, O Rhodope! that are not soon mute, however tuneful: there is no name, with whatever emphasis of passionate love repeated, of which the echo is not faint at last. Walter Savage Landor

Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back,/ Wherein he puts alms for oblivion. Troilus and Cressida

I saw the new moon late yestreen
With the old moon in her arm;
And if we go to sea, master,
I fear we'll come to harm.

Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound.


  1. “The main hallway of the Sternwood place was two stories high. Over the entrance doors, which would have let in a troop of Indian elephants, there was a broad stained-glass panel showing a knight in dark armor rescuing a lady who was tied to a tree and didn’t have any clothes on but some very long and convenient hair. The knight had pushed the vizor of his helmet back to be sociable, and he was fiddling with the knots on the ropes that tied the lady to the tree and not getting anywhere. I stood there and thought that if I lived in the house, I would sooner or later have to climb up there and help him. He didn’t seem to be really trying.”
    ― Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep

  2. “At the top of a hill our automobile stuck in a snowdrift. Peasants ran out of a cottage near by, shouting with laughter because machinery had made a fool of itself, and dug out the automobile with incredible rapidity. They were doubtless anxious to get back and tell a horse about it.”
    ― Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon