Wednesday, September 23, 2009
But it was at Meggie everyone stared the longest. Perhaps remembering her own girlhood, and angered that all the other young ladies invited had ordered their gowns from Sydney, the Gilly dressmaker had put her heart into Meggie's dress. It was sleeveless and had a low, draped neckline; Fee had been dubious, but Meggie had implored and the dressmaker assured her all the girls would be wearing the same sort of thing- did she want her daughter laughed at for being countrified and dowdy? So Fee had given in gracefully. Of crepe georgette, a heavy chiffon, the dress was only slightly fitted at the waist, but sashed around the hips with the same material. It was a dusky, pale pinkish grey, the color that in those days was called ashes of roses; between them the dressmaker and Meggie had embroidered the entire gown in tiny pink rosebuds. And Meggie had cut her hair in the closest way she could to the shingle creeping even through the ranks of Gilly girls. It curled far too much for fashion, of course, but it suited her better short than long.
~The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, page 168
"Do you remember the rose you gave me the night I left Drogheda?" he asked tenderly.
"Yes, I remember." The life had gone out of her voice, the hard light out of her eyes. They stared at him now like a soul without hope, as expressionless and glassy as her mother's.
"I have it still, in my missal. And every time I see a rose that color, I think of you, Meggie. I love you. You're my rose, the most beautiful human image and thought in my life."
~The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, page 368
You were put in my life to show me how false, how presumptuous is the pride of a priest of my kind; like Lucifer, I aspired to that which is God's alone, and like Lucifer, I fell. I had the chastity, the obedience, even the poverty before Mary Carson. But until this morning I have never known humility. Dear Lord, if she meant nothing to me it would be easier to bear, but sometimes I think I love her far more than I do Thee, and that, too, is a part of Thy punishment. Her I do not doubt; Thou? A trick, a phantom, a jest. How can I love a jest? And yet, I do.
~The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, page 400
And he would turn to find her watching him, a look in his eyes of haunted grief, a doomed look. She understood the implicit message, or thought she did; he must go back to the Church and his duties. Never again with the same spirit, perhaps, but more able to serve. For only those who have slipped and fallen know the vicissitudes of the way.
~The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, page 402