Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier starts with the words "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again”
The following is a selection of gems from this wonderful book.
"No, I'm asking you to marry me, you little fool."
"Happiness is not a possession to be prized, it is a quality of thought, a state of mind."
"I suppose sooner or later in the life of everyone comes a moment of trial. We all of us have our particular devil who rides us and torments us, and we must give battle in the end."
"I wanted to go on sitting there, not talking, not listening to the others, keeping the moment precious for all time, because we were peaceful all of us, we were content and drowsy even as the bee who droned above our heads. In a little while it would be different, there would come tomorrow, and the next day and another year. And we would be changed perhaps, never sitting qite like this again. Some of us would go away, or suffer, or die, the future stretched away in front of us, unknown, unseen, not perhaps what we wanted, not what we planned. This moment was safe though, this could not be touched. Here we sat together, Maxim and I, hand-in-hand, and the past and the future mattered not at all. This was secure, this funny little fragment of time he would never remember, never think about again…For them it was just after lunch, quarter-past-three on a haphazard afternoon, like any hour, like any day. They did not want to hold it close, imprisoned and secure, as I did. They were not afraid."
"I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say."
"We know one another. This is the present. There is no past and no future. Here I am washing my hands, and the cracked mirror shows me to myself, suspended as it were, in time; this is me, this moment will not pass”
“And then I open the door and go to the dining-room, where he is sitting waiting for me at a table, and I think how in that moment I have aged, and passed on, how I have advanced one step towards an unknown destiny”.
We smile, we choose our lunch, we speak of this and that, but - I say to myself-I am not she who left him five minutes ago. She has stayed behind. I am another woman, older, more mature…"
"We can never go back again, that much is certain. The past is still close to us. The things we have tried to forget and put behind us would stir again, and that sense of fear, of furtive unrest, struggling at length to blind unreasoning panic - now mercifully stilled, thank God - might in some manner unforeseen become a living companion as it had before."
"If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like having the moment all over again. "
"I wish I were a woman of 36, dressed in black satin with a string of pearls!"
"I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say. They are not brave, the days when we are twenty-one. They are full of little cowardices, little fears without foundation, and one is so easily bruised, so swiftly wounded, one falls to the first barbed word. To-day, wrapped in the complacent armour of approaching middle age, the infinitesimal pricks of day by day brush one but lightly and are soon forgotten, but then--how a careless word would linger, becoming a fiery stigma, and how a look, a glance over a shoulder, branded themselves as things eternal. A denial heralded the thrice crowing of a cock, and an insincerity was like the kiss of Judas. The adult mind can lie with untroubled conscience and a gay composure, but in those days even a small deception scoured the tongue, lashing one against the stake itself."
"Either you go to America with Mrs. Van Hopper or you come home to Manderley with me."
Writers should be read, but neither seen nor heard."