“… you must know that my liberty must never be restricted, or disturbed or burdened by jealousy; and please understand that I shall never take such liberties that anyone can fail to see from miles of that my good character will not suffer because of my free and easy ways. And the first burden I wish to impose on you is that of asking you to trust me, and bear in mind that lovers who start by showing jealousy are either foolish or foolhardy.”
“… These gentlemen may indeed hand over my body to you, but not my soul, which is free, and was born free, and will be free as long as I wish …”
“Jealousy, it seems to me,” said Preciosa, “never leaves the understanding free to judge things as they are. Jealous people always look at things with magnifying glasses which make small things look large, make dwarfs look like giants and suspicions like certainties.”
From “The Little Gypsy Girl” in Exemplary Stories (1613) by Miguel Cervantes (translator: C.A. Jones)
I like that the protagonist of the story, Preciosa, is so feisty. It’s really amazing to me how self-confident Preciosa is portrayed although the story was written in the 17th century. Cervantes also has some strong women characters in Don Quixote.
A tender young cork, however, would have had no more chance against a pair of corkscrews, or a tender young tooth against a pair of dentists, or a little shuttlecock against to battledores, than I had against Uriah and Mrs Heep. They did just what they liked with me; and wormed things out of me that I had no desire to tell, with a certainty I blush to think off: the more especially as, in my juvenile frankness, I took some credit to myself for being so confidential, and felt that I was quite the patron of my two respectful entertainers.
From Chapter XVII “Somebody turns up” in David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.
“Yes, it’s always so!” she said. “They are all surprised, these inconsiderate young people, fairly and full grown, to see any natural feeling in a little thing like me! They make a plaything of me, use me for their amusement, throw me away when they are tired, and wonder that I feel more than a toy horse or a wooden soldier! …”
From Chapter XXXII “The Beginning of a long Journey”
Thus it was that I took upon myself the toils and cares of our life, and had no partner in them. We lived much as before, in reference to our scrambling household arrangements; but I had got used to those, and Dora I was pleased to see was seldom vexed now. She was bright and cheerful in the old childish way, loved me dearly, and was happy with her old trifles.
From Chapter XLIV “Our Housekeeping”
There are poems in gutters and drains, under the rails laid for trains, pages of novels on the pavements, in the supermarkets, stuck to people’s feet or the wheels of their bikes or cars; there are poems in the desert. Somewhere where there are no houses, no people, only sky, wind, a wide-open world, a poem about a dormant grass-covered volcano lies held down half-buried in sand, bleaching in the light and heat like the small skull of a bird.
From “Text for the day” in the short story collection Free Love and Other Stories (1995) by Ali Smith