My Brilliant Career

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My Brilliant Career is a 1901 novel by Australian author Miles Franklin.

Sybylla

  • I make no apologies for being egotistical.
    • Introduction
  • We (999 out of every 1000) can see nought in sunsets save as signs and tokens whether we may expect rain on the morrow or the contrary, so we will leave such vain and foolish imagining to those poets and painters- poor fools!
    • Special Notice
  • Hope, sweet, cruel, delusive Hope, whispered in my ear that life was long with much by and by, and in that by and by my dream-life would be real. So on I went with that gleaming lake in the distance beckoning me to come and sail on its silver waters, and Inexperience, conceited, blind Inexperience, failing to show the impassable pit between it and me.
    • Chapter Five
  • Summer is fiendish, and life is a curse, I said in my heart. What a great dull hard rock the world was! On it were a few barren narrow ledges, and on these, by exerting ourselves so that the force wears off our finger-nails, it allows us to hang for a year or two, and then hurls us off into outer darkness and oblivion, perhaps to endure worse torture than this.
    • Chapter Five
  • Provided a woman is beautiful allowance will be made for all her shortcomings. She can be unchaste, vapid, untruthful, flippant, heartless, and even clever; so long as she is fair to see men will stand by her, and as men, in this world, are "the dog on top", they are the power to truckle to. A plain woman will have nothing forgiven her. Her fate is such that the parents of uncomely female infants should be compelled to put them to death at their birth.
    • Chapter Seven
  • Ah, the bitter, hopeless heart-hunger of godlessness none but an atheist can understand! Nothing to live for in life--no hope beyond the grave.
    • Chapter Seven
  • But in all the wide world there was not a soul to hold out a hand to me, and I said bitterly, "There is no good in the world." In softer moods I said, "Ah, the tangle of it! Those who have the heart to help have not the power, and those who have the power have not the heart."
    • Chapter Seven
  • Ah, health and wealth, happiness and youth, joy and light, life and love! What a warm-hearted place is the world, how full of pleasure, good, and beauty, when fortune smiles! When fortune smiles!
    • Chapter Sixteen
  • It appears that we all labour under delusions.
    • Chapter Twenty-Three
  • If the souls of lives were voiced in music, there are some that none but a great organ could express, others the clash of a full orchestra, a few to which nought but the refined and exquisite sadness of a violin could do justice. Many might be likened unto common pianos, jangling and out of tune, and some to the feeble piping of a penny whistle, and mine could be told with a couple of nails in a rusty tin-pot.
    • Chapter Thirty-Seven
  • Christmas, only distinguished from the fifty-two slow Sundays of the year by plum-pudding, roast turkey, and a few bottles of home-made beer...
    • Chapter Thirty-Eight
  • After all, what is there in vain ambition? King or slave, we all must die, and when death knocks at our door, will it matter whether our life has been great or small, fast or slow, so long as it has been true--true with the truth that will bring rest to the soul?
    • Chapter Thirty-Eight
  • To weary hearts throbbing slowly in hopeless breasts the sweetest thing is rest.
    • Chapter Thirty-Eight
  • I am proud that I am an Australian, a daughter of the Southern Cross, a child of the mighty bush. I am thankful I am a peasant, a part of the bone and muscle of my nation, and earn my bread by the sweat of my brow, as man was meant to do. I rejoice I was not born a parasite, one of the blood-suckers who loll on velvet and satin, crushed from the proceeds of human sweat and blood and souls.
    • Chapter Thirty-Eight
  • I love you, I love you. Bravely you jog along with the rope of class distinction drawing closer, closer, tighter, tighter around you: a few more generations and you will be as enslaved as were ever the moujiks of Russia. I see it and know it, but I cannot help you. My ineffective life will be trod out in the same round of toil- I am only one of yourselves, I am only an unnecessary, little, bush commoner, I am only a- woman!
    • Chapter Thirty-Eight

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