Book//mark – The Secret Garden | Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1911


Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924)                                              The Secret Garden, 1911


“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”

“At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope
it can be done, then they see it can be done–then it is done and all the world wonders why it
was not done centuries ago.”

“Much more surprising things can happen to anyone who, when a disagreeable or discouraged
thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and push it out by putting
in an agreeable, determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place.

Where you tend a rose my lad, a thistle cannot grow.”

“Of course there must be lots of Magic in the world,” he said wisely one day, “but people
don’t know what it is like or how to make it. Perhaps the beginning is just to say nice things
are going to happen until you make them happen. I am going to try and experiment.”

“One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure
one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the
tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands out and throws one’s head far back and looks
up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous unknown things
happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one’s heart stands still at the strange
unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun–which has been happening every morning for
thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then for a moment or so.
And one knows it sometimes when one stands by oneself in a wood at sunset and the
mysterious deep gold stillness slanting through and under the branches seems to be saying
slowly again and again something one cannot quite hear, however much one tries. Then
sometimes the immense quiet of the dark blue at night with the millions of stars waiting
and watching makes one sure; and sometimes a sound of far-off music makes it true;
and sometimes a look in someone’s eyes.”

“It made her think that it was curious how much nicer a person looked when he smiled.
She had not thought of it before.”

“She made herself stronger by fighting with the wind.”

“She had begun to wonder why she had never seemed to belong to anyone”

“Sometimes since I’ve been in the garden I’ve looked up through the trees at the sky and I have
had a strange feeling of being happy as if something was pushing and drawing in my chest and
making me breathe fast. Magic is always pushing and drawing and making things out of nothing.
Everything is made out of magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and
squirrels and people. So it must be all around us. In this garden – in all the places.”

“As she came closer to him she noticed that there was a clean fresh scent of heather and grass
and leaves about him, almost as if he were made of them. She liked it very much and when
she looked into his funny face with the red cheeks and round blue eyes she forgot that
she had felt shy.”

“In secret places we can think and imagine, we can feel angry or sad in peace. There is
something to be said for just being, without worrying about offending anyone.”

Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden, 1911


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