"There's Clara Bird. I haven't seen her but once since she was married. How pretty she looks!" and Polly retired behind the big glass again, thinking the chat was becoming rather personal. "Now, there's a girl who tried a different cure for unrequited affection from any you mention. People say she was fond of Belle's brother. He didn't reciprocate but went off to India to spoil his constitution, so Clara married a man twenty years older than she is and consoles herself by being the best-dressed woman in the city."
"That accounts for it," said Polly, when Tom's long whisper ended.
"The tired look in her eyes."
~An Old-Fashioned Girl - Louisa May Alcott (Chapter XII FORBIDDEN FRUIT)
Now and then, when any one said Trix wouldn't jilt Tom, or that Tom did care for Trix more than he should, Polly had a pang, and thought she could n't possibly bear it. But she always found she could, and so came to the conclusion that it was a merciful provision of nature that girls' hearts could stand so much, and their appetites continue good, when unrequited love was starving.
~An Old-Fashioned Girl - Louisa May Alcott (Chapter XV BREAKERS AHEAD)
Girls, like men, want to be petted, pitied, and made much of, when they are diffident, in low spirits, or in unrequited love. These are services which the weak cannot render to the strong and which the strong will not render to the weak, except when there is also a difference of sex.
~An Unsocial Socialist - George Bernard Shaw(Chapter VII)
Then, wearied by the uncertainty and difficulties with which each scheme appeared to be attended, he bent up his mind to the strong effort of shaking off his love, "like dew-drops from the lion's mane," and resuming those studies and that career of life which his unrequited affection had so long and so fruitlessly interrupted. In this last resolution he endeavoured to fortify himself by every argument which pride, as well as reason, could suggest.
~Antiquary, The - Sir Walter Scott (Chapter 10)
That he should have left the pursuit of a profession in which he was said to be rapidly rising, to bury himself in a disagreeable place like Fairport, and brood over an unrequited passion, might be ridiculed by others as romantic, but was naturally forgiven as an excess of affection by the person who was the object of his attachment.
~Antiquary, The - Sir Walter Scott (Chapter 41st)
"The consequences, Miss Monson -- that is, the consequences of a violated troth, I mean -- they may be divided into three parts -- " here, Tom got up, brushed his knees, each in succession, with his pocket- handkerchief, and began to count on his fingers, like a lawyer who is summing up an argument -- "Yes, Miss Julia, into three parts. First come the pangs of unrequited love; on these I propose to enlarge presently. Next come the legal effects, always supposing that the wronged party can summon heart enough to carry on a suit, with bruised affections -- "
"hang it," thought Tom, "why did I not think of that word 'bruised' while on my knees; it would tell like a stiletto -- " "Yes, Miss Julia, if 'bruised affections' would permit the soul to descend to such preliminaries. The last consequence is, the despair of hope deferred."
~Autobiography of a Pocket-Handerkerchief - James Fenimore Cooper (Chapter XVII.)
How many young men, in all previous times of unprecedented steadiness, had turned suddenly wild and wicked for the same reason, and, in an ecstasy of unrequited love, taken to wrench off door-knockers, and invert the boxes of rheumatic watchmen!
~Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens (Chapter 41)
"And more," she said, continuing; "he is comely in my sight, and the pleading of his voice drew me to him, and I shudder to think of him in
danger. Yes, father, I would be more than glad to see him again. Still, the love that is unrequited cannot be perfect love, wherefore I will wait a time, remembering I am thy daughter and my mother's."
~Ben Hur - Lew Wallace (Book 4 - Chapter XI.)
...and for her frankness alone, even without
her beauty and her good sense, deserves an emperor. I cannot express the graceful modesty with which she told me, that she knew too well the kindliness, as she was pleased to call it, of my heart, to expose me to the protracted pain of an unrequited passion.
~Chronicles of the Canongate - Sir Walter Scott
The Solitary answered: "Such a Form
Full well I recollect. We often crossed
Each other's path; but, as the Intruder seemed
Fondly to prize the silence which he kept,
And I as willingly did cherish mine,
We met, and passed, like shadows. I have heard,
From my good Host, that being crazed in brain
By unrequited love, he scaled the rocks,
Dived into caves, and pierced the matted woods,
In hope to find some virtuous herb of power
To cure his malady!"
~Complete Poetical Works-William Wordsworth (The Excursion)
At the close of a glorious life, the king of Italy discovered that he had excited the hatred of a people whose happiness he had so assiduously labored to promote; and his mind was soured by indignation, jealousy, and the bitterness of unrequited love.
~Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Gibbon (Chapt. XXXIX:Gothic Kingdom Of Italy.)
With a yearning heart, Jesus saw those who had been His disciples departing from Him, the Life and the Light of men. The consciousness that His compassion was unappreciated, His love unrequited, His mercy slighted, His salvation rejected, filled Him with sorrow that was inexpressible. It was such developments as these that made Him a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.
~Desire of Ages - Ellen White (Chapter 41)
As they approached Gethsemane, He paused, that they might call to mind the lessons He had given them on the night of His great agony. Again He looked upon the vine by which He had then represented the union of His church with Himself and His Father; again He repeated the truths He had then unfolded. All around Him were reminders of His unrequited love. Even the disciples who were so dear to His heart, had, in the hour of His humiliation, reproached and forsaken Him.
~Desire of Ages - Ellen White (Chapter 87)
The state of my feelings towards Miss Dombey is of that unspeakable description, that my heart is a desert island, and she lives in it alone. I'm getting more used up every day, and I'm proud to be so. If you could see my legs when I take my boots off, you'd form some idea of what unrequited affection is. I have been prescribed bark, but I don't take it, for I don't wish to have any tone whatever given to my constitution.
~Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens (Chapter 48)
Let your greatness educate the crude and cold companion. If he is unequal, he will presently pass away; but thou art enlarged by thy own shining, and, no longer a mate for frogs and worms, dost soar and burn with the gods of the empyrean. It is thought a disgrace to love unrequited. But the great will see that true love cannot be unrequited. True love transcends the unworthy object, and dwells and broods on the eternal, and when the poor interposed mask crumbles, it is not sad, but feels rid of so much earth, and feels its independency the surer. Yet these things may hardly be said without a sort of treachery to the relation. The essence of friendship is entireness, a total magnanimity and trust. It must not surmise or provide for infirmity. It treats its object as a god, that it may deify both.
~Essays - Ralph Waldo Emerson (Friendship)
A woman may be treated with a bitterness which
is sweet to her, and with a rudeness which is not
offensive. Bathsheba would have submitted to an
indignant chastisement for her levity had Gabriel
protested that he was loving her at the same time; the impetuosity of passion unrequited is bearable, even if it stings and anathematizes there is a triumph in the humiliation, and a tenderness in the strife.
~Far from the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
Love, unrequited, robs me of my rest:
Love, hopeless love, my ardent soul encumbers:
Love, nightmare-like, lies heavy on my chest,
And weaves itself into my midnight slumbers!
~Gilbert/Sullivan - Plays ( Iolanthe )
A gleam of commiseration flashed through Nick's mind: there was something quaintly poignant in the sight of the brisk and efficient Mr. Buttles reduced to a limp image of unrequited passion.
~Glimpses of the Moon - Edith Wharton
I do not now begin,--I still adore
Her whom I early cherish'd in my breast;,
Then once again with prudence dispossess'd,
And to whose heart I'm driven back once more.
The love of Petrarch, that all-glorious love,
Was unrequited, and, alas, full sad;
~Goethe - Poems (translated by Edgar Alfred Bowring)
The boy I love, the same becomes a man not through derived power, but in his own right,
Wicked rather than virtuous out of conformity or fear, Fond of his sweetheart, relishing well his steak, Unrequited love or a slight cutting him worse than sharp steel cuts, First-rate to ride, to fight, to hit the bull's eye, to sail a
skiff, to sing a song or play on the banjo,
Preferring scars and the beard and faces pitted with small-pox over all latherers, And those well-tann'd to those that keep out of the sun.
~Leaves of Grass (1891-1892 version) - Walt Whitman (SONG OF MYSELF)
I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love attempted to be hid, I see these sights on the earth,
~Leaves of Grass (1891-1892 version)-Walt Whitman (A BOSTON BALLAD.)
The female that loves unrequited sleeps,
And the male that loves unrequited sleeps,
The head of the money-maker that plotted all day sleeps,
And the enraged and treacherous dispositions, all, all sleep.
~Leaves of Grass (1891-1892 ver.)-Walt Whitman (PASSAGE TO INDIA.)
He was moody, irritable, and pensive by turns, lost his appetite, neglected his dress and devoted much time to playing tempestuously on his piano, avoided Jo, but consoled himself by staring at her from his window, with a tragic face that haunted her dreams by night and oppressed her with a heavy sense of guilt by day. Unlike some sufferers, he never spoke of his unrequited passion, and would allow no one, not even Mrs. March, to attempt consolation or offer sympathy.
~Little Women - Louisa May Alcott (Chapter 35)
Penelope's belief that her fellow-servant had destroyed herself through unrequited love for Mr. Franklin Blake, was confirmed--and that was all. Whether the letter which Rosanna had left to be given to him after her death did, or did not, contain the confession which Mr. Franklin had suspected her of trying to make to him in her life-time, it was impossible to say. It might be only a farewell word, telling nothing but the
secret of her unhappy fancy for a person beyond her reach.
~Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
There was an open transom over the door, and from this descended -- hurled by an unseen agency -- a can half filled with old paint. It caught the small besieger of the door on his thoroughly surprised right ear, encouraged him him to some remarkable acrobatics, and turned large portions of him a dull blue. Allowing only a moment to perplexity, and deciding, after a single and evidently unappetizing experiment, not to cleanse himself of paint, the loyal animal resumed his quaint, upright posture. Mr. Schofield seated himself on the window-sill, whence he could keep in view that pathetic picture of unrequited love.
~Penrod - Booth Tarkington (Chapter XI)
He thought how often he had run merrily down that path with some childish playfellow, looking back, ever and again, to catch his mother's smile, or hear her gentle voice; and then a veil seemed lifted from his memory, and words of kindness unrequited, and warnings despised, and promises broken, thronged upon his recollection till his heart failed him, and he could bear it no longer.
~Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens ( Chapter VI )
'You ain't got nothin' on your mind as makes you fret yourself, have you?' inquired Sam.
'Not as I knows on,' replied the fat boy.
'I should rayther ha' thought, to look at you, that you was a-labourin' under an unrequited attachment to some young 'ooman,' said Sam.
The fat boy shook his head.
'Vell,' said Sam, 'I am glad to hear it.
~Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (Chapter XXVIII)
This night has been so strange that it seemed
As if the hair stood up on my head.
From going-down of the sun I have dreamed
That women laughing, or timid or wild,
In rustle of lace or silken stuff,
Climbed up my creaking stair. They had read
All I had rhymed of that monstrous thing
Returned and yet unrequited love.
They stood in the door and stood between
My great wood lectern and the fire
Till I could hear their hearts beating:
One is a harlot, and one a child
That never looked upon man with desire.
And one, it may be, a queen.
~Poetry - William Butler Yeats (PRESENCES)
The voice of the sluggard would be a more appropriate quotation, I think. Does Annabel still pine for you?" asked Rose, recalling certain youthful jokes upon the subject of unrequited affections.
~Rose in Bloom - Louisa May Alcott (Chapter 2 Old Friends With New Faces)
Where were the seventy whom Jesus sent forth? Were all conspirators save eleven? Had they forgotten the great exponent of God? Had they so soon lost sight of his mighty works, his toils, privations, sacrifices, his divine patience, sublime courage, and unrequited affection? O, why did they not gratify his last human yearning with one sign of fidelity?
~Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures-1910-Mary Baker Eddy(Chapter II -Atonement and Eucharist)
"I am so sorry you should have heard this sad story about the girls," he said. "Still, don't let it depress you. Retty was naturally morbid, you know."
"Without the least cause," said Tess. "While they who have cause to be, hide it, and pretend they are not."
This incident had turned the scale for her. They were simple and innocent girls on whom the unhappiness of unrequited love had fallen; they had deserved better at the hands of Fate. She had deserved worse--yet she was the chosen one. It was wicked of her to take all without paying. She would pay to the uttermost farthing; she would tell, there and then. This final determination she came to when she looked into the fire, he holding her hand.
~Tess of the d'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy(XXXIV)
It was her first love letter and she confided to me that it gives you a very queer feeling to get it. At all events--the letter, though unanswered, was not torn up. I feel sure Cecily preserved it. But she walked past Cyrus next morning at school with a frozen countenance, evincing not the
slightest pity for his pangs of unrequited affection.
~The Golden Road -Lucy Maud Montgomery(Chapter X)
"You have guessed right, dear lady," she said, with a sweet simple faltering voice. "You wonder at one so poor and friendless having an attachment, don't you? I have never heard that poverty was any safeguard against it. I wish it were."
"My poor dear child," cried Miss Crawley, who was
always quite ready to be sentimental, "is our passion unrequited, then? Are we pining in secret? Tell me all, and let me console you."
"I wish you could, dear Madam," Rebecca said in the same tearful tone. "Indeed, indeed, I need it." And she laid her head upon Miss Crawley's shoulder and wept there so naturally that the old lady, surprised into sympathy, embraced her with an almost maternal kindness, uttered many soothing protests of regard and affection for her, vowed that she loved her as a daughter, and would do everything in her power to serve her.
~Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray (Chapter XV)
He also learned of Rance's continued attentions to her and his importunities for her hand. He had taken to drink, he had said, to drown his grief at his unrequited love. It can now be understood why Rouletabille had shown so marked a coolness of demeanour towards Rance when they met in the witnesses' room, on the day of the trial.
~Yellow Room - Gaston Leroux (Chapter XXIX)