The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

  • Where there is no vision,” Miss Brodie had assured them, “the people perish
  • Miss Mackay retains him on the wall because she believes in the slogan ‘Safety First.’ But Safety does not come first. Goodness, Truth and Beauty come first. Follow me
  • I have frequently told you, and the holidays just past have convinced me, that my prime has truly begun. One’s prime is elusive. You little girls, when you grow up, must be on the alert to recognise your prime at whatever time of your life it may occur. You must then live it to the full517188
  • He fell like an autumn leaf, although he was only twenty-two years of age. When we go indoors we shall look on the map at Flanders, and the spot where my lover was laid before you were born. He was poor
  • It had been raining and the ground was too wet for them to go and finish digging the hole to Australia, so the girls lifted the tea-table with all its festal relics over to the corner of the room
  • other people’s Edinburghs quite different from hers, and with which she held only the names of districts and streets and monuments in common
  • The word ‘education’ comes from the root e from ex, out, and duco, I lead. It means a leading out. To me education is a leading out of what is already there in the pupil’s soul. To Miss Mackay it is a putting in of something that is not there, and that is not what I call education, I call it intrusion, from the Latin root prefix in meaning in and the stem trudo, I thrust
  • Outwardly she differed from the rest of the teaching staff in that she was still in a state of fluctuating development, whereas they had only too understandably not trusted themselves to change their minds, particularly on ethical questions, after the age of twenty. There
  • And the principles governing the end of her prime would have astonished herself at the beginning of it.
  • As you know, I don’t believe in talking down to children, you are capable of grasping more than is generally appreciated by your elders
  • “Good mawning,” she replied, in the corridors, flattening their scorn beneath the chariot wheels of her superiority, and deviating her head towards them no more than an insulting halfinch
  • It was impossible to know how much Miss Brodie planned by deliberation, or how much she worked by instinct alone
  • It happened she was standing with a man whom she did not know very well outside a famous building in Rome, waiting for the rain to stop. She was surprised by a reawakening of that same buoyant and airy discovery of sex, a total sensation which it was impossible to say was physical or mental, only that it contained the lost and guileless delight of her eleventh year. She supposed herself to have fallen in love with the man, who might, she thought, have been moved towards her in his own way out of a world of his own, the associations of which were largely unknown to her. There was nothing whatever to be done about it,
  • I’d rather deal with a rogue than a fool
  • it was a gift and she an exception to all the rules, she was the exception that proved the rule
  • But Monica had not thought she would be able to help much, for she knew Sandy of old, and persons known of old can never be of much help
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