The Go-Between: Selected Quotations

This selection of quotes from L. P. Hartley’s novel can be used as a research resource to direct you to some key aspects of the text.  The quotes are often ‘tagged’to identify character, theme, motif etc.  You can search (control & F) the page for words/phrases, characters, themes, symbols or the many motifs.  My ‘tagging’ is not exhaustive but should help to some extent. Click here for some questions on the novel.  The page numbers refer to my old copy of the text (Heinemann 1986).

Prologue: pp9-24.  Ch1: pp25-35.  Ch2 pp35-43.  Ch3: pp44-52.  Ch4: pp53-65.  Ch5: pp66-72.  Ch6: pp73-81.  Ch7: pp82-96.  Ch8: pp97-108.  Ch 9: pp109-118.  Ch 10: pp110-127.  Ch11: pp128-140.  Ch12: pp141-149.  Ch13: pp150-162.  Ch14: pp163-173.  Ch15: pp174-189.  Ch16: pp190-196.  Ch17: pp197-207.  Ch18: pp208-219.  Ch19: pp220-230.  Ch 20: pp231-243.  Ch21: pp244-255.  Ch22: pp256-266.  Ch23: pp267-277.  Epilogue: p278 – end.
9 The   past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
11 Astrology: First year of the century Signs of the zodiac
11 Ted:   the lion epitomised imperious manhood 24   own name Leo
M:   the Virgin, the one distinctively female figure in the galaxy.  My   imagination was passionately hierarchical
12 The dawn of  Golden Age
12   / 13 Zodiac: The   Archer and The Water Carrier.
13 Perhaps   I was jealous of them.  I   then had the virgin to myself.
15 Morality: Sneaking would have been ‘against our code’
18 It never occurred to that because I suffered there was something wrong with the system, or with the human heart
22 The past: The explanation of me lay there.  Why have you grown up such a dull dog?
23 They belonged to your zodiac
25 He was … a snob
27 Maudsley: has a savoir-faire
28 Maudsley: well mannered, sure of himself
37 Class: 296 Brandham Hall the southwest prospect of the hall. The façade has faded   from my mind. (the good side of The Hall)
40 Croquet, white flannels, hats like windmills, blond, looked so much alike
40 Mr Maudsley: trail of gold
M:  beautiful.   small curved nose …   hawklike.   Sudden burst of blue
42 Deadly Nightshade : the picture of evil.  Poisonous   beautiful.
44 Heat: Thermometer 82
45 Clothes: Eton collar, bow tie, Norfolk jacketnorfolkjacket2web
46 Class: only cads wear their school clothes in the holidays.  It isn’t done.  You oughtn’t really to be wearing the   school band round your hat.  You mustn’t come down to breakfast in your slippers.  It’s the sort of thing bank clerks do.
47 Class: You must leave [clothes] wherever they happen to fall – the servants will pick   them up – that’s what they’re for.
47 Hello Leo, still feeling hot?  Jackets were   not lightly discarded.
48 I   was acutely aware of social inferiority
49 Let   me take him into Norwich tomorrow
50 Hugh:   going to Goodwood
51 Jealous   of him
51 Marian   & Mrs M: Two steel threads crossing each other
52 Marian:   all soft and flouncy
52 Class   / Money: how beautifully they are mended.
52 Marian   & Leo: Delighting in the shared secret
53 Clothes:   look well rather than wear well
53 Norwich   was a turning point
54 Marian   & Leo: Talk: impression of wings and flashes. … of swooping and soaring   ….
54 My   spiritual transformation took place in Norwich.    Like an emerging butterfly.
55 I   was made to stand on a chair and revolve like a planet.
55 Clothes:   Robin Hood.  I saw myself roaming the   greenwood with masid Marian
55 Leo:   I feel quite another person.  83 One   felt another person, one was another person.
55 Mrs   M: caught like a moth in the beam from her eye, that black searchlight.  81 A beam of that black ray.
56 I   had been given the freedom of the heat
Long   for the release of casting [notions of decency] of with my clothes, and being   like a tree or a flower, with nothing between me and nature.
57 Class   / money: the expenditure had been godlike
58 Neither   of [the bathing costumes], I ruefully realised, made many concessions to   nakedness
58 Bathing   was a pastime of the few
58 Surrendering   oneself to an alien and potentially hostile element.  Though my knowledge was to be only vicarious.
58 Heat:   The renewed assault of the heat loves-thermometer
59 There   was a black thing ahead of us, all bars and spars and uprights, like a   gallows.
60 Ted:   He … He …. He … as if to give himself more freedom.  For a moment I thought he was naked.  Stretched himself into an arc.
60 The   river came out of the shadow of the belt of trees, Green, bronze and golden   it flowed through weeds and rushes; the gravel glinted, I could see the   fishes darting in the shallows.  Below   the sluice it broadened out into a pool that was aas bblue as the sky.  Not a weed marred the surface, only one   thing broke it: the intruder’s bobbing head.
61 Class:   for a farmer.We   don’t know him socially, of course, but he mustn’t think us stuck-up.
61 Ted:   clung … haul …crouching … looked as though he would be impaled … grasped a   ring
62 Ted:   dark footprint on each step
62 Class:   I shouldn’t put on a bathing dress if you’re not going to bathe.
62 It   was disappointing to see them so fully clad. … their dresses began to cling   to them and take on the soft outlines of their bodies
63 Ted:   muscles bunched … powerful body …he stretched himself on the warm brickwork.   … he gave himself up to being alone with his body. … the hairs of his forearm   … glinted in the sun.   copper   breastplate.  Smile … had the effect of   a feather on a tiger.0
63 Leo:   I was suddenly confronted by maturity.
64 Marian:  the Virgin of the zodiac. holding the long   coil of hair in front of her.  Has that   man gone?
65 Leo:   A labour of love it truly was, the first I had ever done.  Anxious to be something to her.  My thoughts enveloped her, they entered   into her.  I was her drying hair, I was   the wind that dried it.  I felt my cup   was full.
68 She  opened her blue eyes for him as she rarely did for anyone except, at times,   for me.
71 Heat:   The sun was blazing down
72 ‘Trimingham’s   coming after us’, as if he were as disease or a misfortune, or the police
74 What had happened to the fifth Viscount?
74 The Maudsleys were the inheritors of the Trimingham renown. … And if they, so did   their guests, including myself.  [A   glory] began to identify itself with the zodiac, my favourite religion.
76 Life was meant to test a man, bring out his courage, initiative, resource; and I longed, I thought, to be tested: I did not want to fall on my knees and call myself a miserable sinner.
76 I   saw [goodness] as something bright and positive and sustaining like the   sunshine, something to be adored, but from afar.
78 He   was a lord first and a human being … long, long after.
78 Marian:   a ripping girl.  I’d do anything for   her.   79 carry things and take   messages.
79 Leo:   His first message is for Trimingham.    Hugh/phew/you/who
80 I   couldn’t have told whether I liked the Viscount or the man
82 Class:   To be in tune with all that Brandham Hall meant, I must increase my stature,   I must act on a grander scale.heydon-hall1
83 Leo:   I was crossing the rainbow bridge from reality to dream.  I now felt I belonged to the zodiac …. My   dream had become my reality.
83 In   the heat the senses the mind, the heart, the body all told a different   tale.  One felt another person, one was   another person.
83 Heat:   How best to explore the heat … how best to feel its power and be at one with   it.
84 It   frightened me   …  some suggestion of drowning …I mounted the   black scaffold, which was almost too hot to touch, and looked down into the   mirror which had been shattered by the farmer’s dive.  How flawless it was now; a darker picture   of the sky.
85 Ted:   a pail of water in each hand
86 Ted:   his manner changed completely.  ‘Then   you are from the Hall.’
87 Class:   I did not despise him for changing his tune when he knew where I came   from.  I carried my hierarchical   principles into my notions of morality.
87 Ted:   Im a working [farmer]
88 Class:   I was glad to have got in the ‘mister’
88 Message   2.
89 Heat:   All the heat of the afternoon seemed to be concentrated where we stood.
88 Ted:   he always seemed to speak with his whole body.  90 the physical threat that his presence   always implied seemed to vibrate through the room
91 Class:   sofas
91 Give   her something … sounded like a disease.
92 Class:   I was rather shocked that it was not a proper inkstand
92 I   was a born intriguer
92 Ted:   he kept it under his clenched fist, like a lion guarding something with his   paw.  94 He was sweating
94 Marian:   hooded, hawk-like look
95 The   water trickled down my leg deliciously cool
95 Deadly Nightshade?:   I welcomed the chance to revisit the rubbish heap, that grateful touch of   squalor in all the magnificence.
98 Leo:   Mercury.  The messenger of the gods.  & 99
99 Trimingham:   gave me a feeling of security
100 Like   a sweet taste in my mouth.The   outhouses … bathing place … straw stack … rubbish heap … were places which   appealed to me in an intimate way.
100 Class:   I enjoyed our triumphal progress
103 Thermometer:   ninety-four.  I was myself the mercury.
105 Marian:   My footsteps took me round the house, away from its noble and imposing   aspects … along the track that led to the abandoned outhouses.  And it was there that I met her.
106 Marian:   Words turned to pearls as they fell from her lips.
107 Leo:   Respect of degree was in my blood
107 Marian:   an enchanting smile
109 Ted:   riding on the reaper.  Standing with   his gun.  The colour of the corn   between red and gold.
109 I   thought tht this last stronghold would be stuffed with game; but I was wrong.
110 Ted:   he was a sheaf the reaper had forgotten and that it would come back for   him.  A long smear of blood appeared on   the envelope.
110 Leo:   there was a part of me that accepted the blood and even rejoiced in it as   part of a man’s life into which I should one day be initiated.  I took my duties as a Mercury very   seriously.  I felt I was doing for   Marian something that noone else could.
111 Heat:   if it was not an interest in thetemperature,   it might be something that corresponded in the adult mind to such an   interest.
113 Leo:   my fantasy of myself as Robin Hood and his sister as Maid Marian.
114 Class:   the house was peppered with writing tables
115 Leo   with Marian: a love scene.  Rumour has   it she spoons with you.
115 Heat:   the thermometer stood at ninety.  It   might still go up.  Passionately I   willed it to, and seemed to feel around me the unspoken response of Nature to   my plea.
117 Leo:   For a time I struggled in the unfamiliar toils of moral casuistry   (arguments).
119 Leo:   Not Adam and Eve … could have been more upset than I was.   My world of high intense emotions   collapsing around me.
119 Marian:   the Virgin of the Zodiac.virgop
120 Leo   & Nature: the sun caught me in its fierce embrace.  The stalks … showed a band of dirt yellow   where the sun had scorched them.  The   water was almost lost to view beneath the trailing weeds.  Water lilies stuck up awkwardly.  The sun had … changed the colour of my   thoughts.
121 Leo:   Pity … was a way of looking down on people and I wanted to look up.
125 So   spooning was natural!
127 Ted   & Marian: I recognised [the] strength [of] the force that drew them   together.the_go_between_review__a_sad_and_beautiful_story_of_frustrated_love
127 Leo:   the straw stack … seemed to stand for something I had outgrown.
128 Nature:   clouds came up
128 Class   & Ted: he’s just a hitter
129 Leo:   I was a stickler for codes
131 Marian:   She pricked her finger on the thorn of a white rose
134 Class:   being only a school cap people might think you were putting on ‘side’
135 Cricket:   as if a battle were in prospect
135 Class   & Cricket: the butler, the footman, the coachman, the gardener and the   pantry-boy seemed completely on an equality with us.The   village team distressed me by their nondescript appearance.  Perhaps the village team were like the   Boers.
137 Class   Trimingham & hierarchy: The word captain had a halo for me.  The glory of Brandham Hall – its highest   potentialities for a rhapsody of greatness – centred in him.  Unconscious elegance of bearing that mad   such a poignant contrast with his damaged face.
139 Mrs   Maudsley: searchlight beam
140 Mr   Maudsley: ascendancy of brain over brawn.
142 Ted:   rather unorthodox
143 The   struggle between order and lawlessness, between obedience and tradition and   defiance of it, between social stability and revolution, between one attitude   to life and another.
143 Marian:   Her eyes were bright, her cheeks were flushed and her lips trembled.
145 I   came to rest in a fairy ring
147 Clutching   the ball to me, as though it was a pain that had started in my heart.
149 ‘   “c. sub.” Is correct,’ he said, ‘Besides I want to keep this card clean, and   it wouldn’t be if your name was on it.’
151 Leo Colston, who slew the Goliath of Black Farm
152 Marian:   As from a throne, she looked down on us.    Amused and a little mocking.  In   spite of the perpetual sunshine she hd managed to keep [her fingers] white
153 When   other lips and other heart / Their tales of love shall tell
154 Leo:   I sat in ecstasy as though listening to the music of the spheres.
Ted   & Marian: if it wasn’t for the difference, what a handsome pair they’d make
156 Marian:   she smiled a starry smile.  She was my   land of song.  I could … imagine not   one, but a whole series of deaths which I should die for her.
158 Together we soared to our apotheosis
159 Marian:   She was not of our clay, she was a goddess, and we must not think that by worshipping   her we could lower her to our level.
160 The   plebs.   161 that stink in the hall
163 Leo:   I was free from all my imperfections and limitations; I belonged to another   world, the celestial world.  I was one   with my dream life.
163 Marian’s   facvour had been the Jacob’s ladder of my ascent
164 Ted:   his mere physical presence cast a spell on me.  He was, I felt, what a man ought to   be.  I was jealous of him, jealous of   his power over Marian.  He was my   companion of the greenwood, a rival, an ally, an enemy, afriend
165 Leo   & Ted: my catch would be remembered when his sparkling innings was   forgotted.  His songs of love  … brought hi plenty of applause … fro a   personal not a musical success.  my   songs of death …had captured the imaginations as well as the emotions of   the audience.  I had killed him, he was   dead.
165 Leo:   the farmyard had lost its magic  the   straw stack was a puerile occupation
166 Marian:   the trail of gold followed her too
167 Heat:   the temperature, I knew, was rising: the weather hadn’t broken after all.
167 Leo:   I could not find a flaw in the universe
168 Class:   why should the race of Triminghams eve`r die out?
170 Class:   [Fifth Viscount] killed in a duel
171 Something   of the sadness of human life came through to me, its indifference to our   wishes
172 Class   & gender: Nothing is ever a lady’s fault
173 The   Boer’s not a bad feller
175 Marian:   kindness to her old nurse
175 Heat:   I felt the sun could do still better
176 Leo:   the scaffolding of my life seemed to collapse.
177 Marian:   her eyes blazed.  She came a step   forward and stood over me, her nose hawk-like, her body curved to pounce.
177 Leo:   I stared at her in terror
178 Leo:   You little Shylock
179 Marian:   she was a fairy princess.  With one   wave of her wand she had transformed him.     She had created him, I felt, because she loved him.  Ecnchantress.  She had pretended to be fond of me
180 Nature:   the surface of the pool was still blue, but many more boulders than before   showed ghostly, corpse-like, at the bottom.    And on the other side, the shallow side, the change was greater.  Before, it had been untidy, now it weas a   scenee of mad disorder: a tangled mass of water-weeds, all high and dry, and   sticking out form ythem, mounds of yellow gravel, like bald patches on a head
180 Marian’s   duplicity
182 Ted:   (cleaning his gun) the barrel was pressed against his naked chest.  Well, that’s the end of him,’ said ted, and   taking it by the claws, he so alive, the bird so dead
185 Ted:   I don;t suppose I’ll ever make another fifty
186 Ted   once more imposed himself on me with his gun, his cricket bat, his   self-sufficiency, his panoply of masculine endowments and accomplishments.
189 Ted:   He towered above me, as hard and straight and dangerous as the gun.
195 Leo:   Foe the first time in my life I had a strong sense of obligation in a matter   that didn’t really concern me – a sense of ought and ought not.
198 Marian   is the only one he has seen on the path to the Deadly Nightshade   overcome by an irrational dread
202 Leo:   I saw how green I must look to her
204 Deadly Nightshade:  its beauty … was too bold for me.  …   the bold black burnished berries offered me something I did not want
209 Marian:   I had always been a little frightened of her
227 Ted:   Once he had reminded me of a cornfield ripe for reaping; now he was like corn   that had been cut and left in the sun.He   looked dried up.287   the young Lord Trimingham: has colouring ‘like a cornfield; a ripe cornfield   in the month of May’
238 Marian:   Her beautiful eyes searched me for a weak spot and found it
243 Marian   of the zodiac, Marian whom I loved
248 What   an Eden Brandham Hall had been before this serpent entered it
Class:   unique splendour of their separate entities, stars of varying magnitudes, but   each with its appointed place in the heavens
254 Deadly Nightshade:
255 Deadly Nightshade:   delenda est belladonna
250 In   any case order would have been restored: social order, universal order.
260 Marian:   She had made me feel that she depended on me
261 Leo:   I didn’t want to be taken for Robin Hood.    81 Then, a Robin Hood in Lincoln green, with a tingling sense of imminent adventure
Class:   Mrs Maudsley: the smile broke against my face like a cool wave
264 Class:   Trimingham can wear anything.It   is a made up tie … be careful … not to look like a cad
266 Class:   wrapping me in the cotton-wool of his society manner
270 Marian:   Magnolia with a pink blush.  This   always reminds me of Marian
271 Class:   Has noone ever told you not to stand with you hands in your pockets?
Class:   Unchivalrous.  Marian’s cavalier.  Trimingham looks at his watch, a symbol of   conventional control
277 Love and the zodiac:   The Virgin and the Water-Carrier Ted Burgess had gone home and shot himself. aquarius-water-bearer-constellation-mythology
281 Class & Love: the actors in my drama had been immortals, inheritors of the   summer and of the coming glory of the twentieth century.
282 Class & personality:   It hadn’t occurred to me that just as we changed our language and vocabulary when we went into polite society, so we changed our natures – or at least our expression of them.
?   The outhouse as you call it
287 Ted: the young Lord Trimingham: has colouring ‘like a cornfield; a ripe cornfield   in the month of May’
288 Class:   Lord Trimingham was a charming man
Class:   (Ted?) nothing is ever a lady’s fault
291 Marian:   more prominent and hawk-like nose.  Had   developed a great deal of manner
292 Class:   I was  Lady Trimingham, you see, I still am.    … or 293 people might not have been as nice to me as they were.
294 Love:   our love was a beautiful thing wasn’t it? … 295 the child of so much   happiness and beauty
295 Leo:   Another errand of love
296 Love:   there’s no spell or curse except an unloving heart.  A foreigner in the world of emotions, ignorant of their language
Chapter 1
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