Trollope's observation and understanding of human nature allowed him to create some of literature's most believable characters.
There is nothing in the world so difficult as that task of making up one's mind.
Like all angry men, he loved his grievance.
There is ... no knowing the inside of another man's house, or reading the riddles of another man's joy and sorrow.
When one is specially invited to be candid, one is naturally set upon one's guard ... When a man says to you, 'Let us be candid with each other,' you feel instinctively that he desires to squeeze you without giving a drop of water himself.
Hope ... is of all our feelings the strongest.
She had been so little thought of all her life by others, that she had never learned to think much of herself.
Till we can become divine we must be content to be human, lest in our hurry for a change we sink to something lower.
He had three days in which to make up his mind. It may be a question whether three days are ever much better than three minutes for such a purpose. A man's mind will very generally refuse to make itself up until it is driven and compelled by emergency. The three days are passed not in forming but in postponing judgment. In nothing is procrastination so tempting as in thought.
All our motives are mixed.
Nobody can, in truth, endure to be told of shortcomings, either on his own part or on that of his country. He himself can abuse himself, or his country; but he cannot endure it from alien lips.
No man after twenty-five can afford to call special attention to his coat, his hat, his cravat, or his trousers.
What is it that we all live upon but self-esteem? When we want praise it is only because praise enables us to think well of ourselves.
There are few of us who have not allowed our thoughts to work on this or that villainy, arranging the method of its performance, though the performance itself is far enough from our purpose.
There is nothing perhaps so generally consoling to a man as a well-established grievance; a feeling of having been injured, on which his mind can brood from hour to hour, allowing him to plead his own cause in his own court, within his own heart, and always to plead it successfully.
Every man to himself is the centre of the whole world; the axle on which it all turns. All knowledge is but his own perception of the things around him.
We always want that which we can't get easily.
When one Esquimau meets another, do the two, as an invariable rule, ask after each other's health? Is it inherent in all human nature to make this obliging inquiry? Did any reader of this tale ever meet any ... acquaintance without asking some such question, and did any one ever listen to the reply?
A self-imposed trouble will not allow itself to be banished.
The secrets of the world are very marvellous but they are not themselves half so wonderful as the way in which they become known to the world.
They who do not understand that a man may be brought to hope that which of all things is the most grievous to him, have not observed with sufficient closeness the perversity of the human mind.
Brothers do not always care much for a brother's success, but a sister is generally sympathetic.
The good and the bad mix themselves so thoroughly in our thoughts, even in our aspirations, that we must look for excellence rather in overcoming evil than in freeing ourselves from its influence.
As man is never strong enough to take unmixed delight in good, so may we presume also that he cannot be quite so weak as to find perfect satisfaction in evil.
He had not that perfect faith in mankind which is the surest evidence of a simple mind.
We are told to love others as ourselves, and it is hard to do so. But I think that we never hate others, never despise others, as we are sometimes compelled by our own convictions and self-judgement to hate and despise ourselves.
Most men have got some little bit of pet tyranny in their hearts.
Nothing is so powerful in making a man selfish as misfortune.
We are all apt to think when our days are dark that there is no darkness so dark as our own.
It is ever so much easier to proffer kindness graciously than to receive it with grace.
The rising in life of our familiar friends is, perhaps, the bitterest morsel of the bitter bread which we are called upon to eat
People are so much more worldly in practice than they are in theory, so much keener after their own gratification in detail than they are in the abstract.
He did not find in the contemplation of his grievance all that solace which a grievance usually gives.
Women sympathise most effectually with men, as men do with women.
Consolation from the world's deceit is very common. Mothers obtain it from their children, and men from their dogs. Some men even do so from their walking-sticks, which is just as rational.
He was a man who had long since resolved that his life should be a success. It would seem that all men would so reslove ... But the majority of men, as I take it, make no such resolution, and very many men resolve that they will be unsuccessful.
With all of us, in the opinion which we form of those around us, we take unconsciously the opinion of others. A woman is handsome because the world says so. Music is charming to us because it charms others. We drink our wine with other men's palates, and look at our pictures with other men's eyes.
It is the view which the mind takes of a thing which creates the sorrow that arises from it.
He was above, or rather below, all prejudices.
It is well that some respect should be maintained from the low in station towards those who are high, even when no respect has been deserved.
There are men who have the most lively gratification in calling lords and marquises their friends, though they know that nobody believes a word of what they say ... It is a gentle insanity which prevails in the outer courts of every aristocracy; and as it brings with itself considerable annoyance and but a lukewarm pleasure, it should not be treated with too keen a severity.
Rumour, when she has contrived to sound the first note on her trumpet, soon makes a loud peal audible enough.
Nothing makes a man so cross as success ... Your successful man eats too much and his stomach troubles him; he drinks too much and his nose becomes blue ... Success is the necessary misfortune of life, but it is only to the very unfortunate that it comes early.
Is it not a pity that people who are bright and clever should so often be exceedingly improper? and that those who are never improper should so often be dull and heavy?
It is very hard, that necessity of listening to a man who says nothing.
There is, nothing so prejudicial to a cause as temper. This man is declared to be unfit for any position of note, because he always shows temper.
A man must be an idiot or else an angel, who after the age of forty shall attempt to be just to his neighbours.
If you, my reader, ever chanced to slip into the gutter on a wet day, did you not find that the sympathy of the bystanders was by far the severest part of your misfortune?
A man should not have his Christian name used by every Tom and Dick without his sanction.
The trouble in civilised life of entertaining company, as it is called too generally without much regard to strict veracity, is so great that it cannot but be matter of wonder that people are so fond of attempting it. It is difficult to ascertain what is the quid pro quo.
A change of name implies such a confession of failure.
I have meant to do right; but, Janet, it is so hard to do
He was desirous of doing his, duty to others, but he was specially desirous that others should do their duty to him.
As to the gist of the letter itself, it was some time before he understood it. And when he did begin to understand it, he did not as yet begin to believe it. His intelligence worked slowly, whereas his wrath worked quickly.
Advice, if not complied with, often gives a bias in an opposite direction.
Considering how much we are all given to discuss the characters of others, and discuss them often not in the strictest spirit of charity, it is singular how little we are inclined to think that others can speak ill-naturedly of us, and how angry and hurt we are when proof reaches us that they have done so.
Obedience in this world depends as frequently on the weakness of him who is governed as on the strength of him that governs
In ordinary life events are so unfrequent, and when they do arrive they give such a flavour of salt to hours which are generally tedious, that sudden misfortunes come as godsends - almost even when they happen to ourselves.
There are some achievements which are never done in the presence of those who hear of them, catching salmon is one and working all night is another.
There are some women who have a special gift of hiding their dislikings from the objects of them, when occasion requires. And as they do so, their faces will overcome their hearts, and their emnity will give way to smiles. They become almost friendly because they look friendly.
Who does not know how odious a letter will become by being shoved on one side day after day? Answer it at the moment, and it will be nothing. Put it away unread, or at least undigested, for a day, and it at once begins to assume ugly proportions.
When a thing has to be done which requires a special summoning of resolution, it is too often something which ought not to be done. To virtuous deeds, if they recommend themselves to us at all, we can generally make up our minds more easily.
The man is silent, not because he would not have the words spoken, but because he does not know the fitting words with which to speak.