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Post Info TOPIC: favourite quotes from Ross


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RE: favourite quotes from Ross
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Reading through these quotes reminds me again that WG never resorted to Mills and Boon type declarations of love. Each and every quote is beautifully crafted to fit the scene, and there are no cliches or tacky lines, just heartfelt honesty entwined in ordinary life.



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Little Henry wrote:

I've just read a couple of nice lines from Ross in "Demelza" and remembered this discussion.  It's when they are nearly home after the Assembly Ball and he mentions that her "success" at the ball had been noted and says:  "So you see others were in good mood to appreciate you, even if I was not."  When Demelza says it must have been her beautiful dress, Ross says "A nice frame doesn't make a nice picture".  Makes up a bit for the terrible first ball he gave her.


 Little Henry - thanks for sharing this. I love to be reminded of these lovely exchanges between Ross and Demelza. We don't get enough of these quotes in my opinion.



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I've just read a couple of nice lines from Ross in "Demelza" and remembered this discussion.  It's when they are nearly home after the Assembly Ball and he mentions that her "success" at the ball had been noted and says:  "So you see others were in good mood to appreciate you, even if I was not."  When Demelza says it must have been her beautiful dress, Ross says "A nice frame doesn't make a nice picture".  Makes up a bit for the terrible first ball he gave her.



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Little Henry wrote:

In "Demelza" Ross found the words to reassure Demelza when she was about to give birth to Julia:  "Nothing else matters but you, he said.  Remember that.  All my relatives and friends - and Elizabeth, and this house and the mine . . .  I'd throw them in the dust and you know it - and you know it.  If you don't know it, then all these months I've failed and no words I can give you now will make it otherwise.  I love you, Demelza, and we've had such happiness.  And we're going to have it again.  Take hold of that, my sweet.  Hold it and keep it, for no one else can."

In the same episode Ross doesn't let Dr. Choake get away with anything and goes after him.  He says, "I engaged you as a surgeon to be in the house, not as a travelling leech."  Choake went white round the lips.


 Little Henry - thank you for reminding me of this. It is one of my favourites too. As you say, we know Ross means it not only from his words but also his actions. 



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In "Demelza" Ross found the words to reassure Demelza when she was about to give birth to Julia:  "Nothing else matters but you, he said.  Remember that.  All my relatives and friends - and Elizabeth, and this house and the mine . . .  I'd throw them in the dust and you know it - and you know it.  If you don't know it, then all these months I've failed and no words I can give you now will make it otherwise.  I love you, Demelza, and we've had such happiness.  And we're going to have it again.  Take hold of that, my sweet.  Hold it and keep it, for no one else can."

In the same episode Ross doesn't let Dr. Choake get away with anything and goes after him.  He says, "I engaged you as a surgeon to be in the house, not as a travelling leech."  Choake went white round the lips.



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Mrs Gimlett wrote:

I imagined the 'master abusers' would have been Ross' superiors in the army.  They were probably a rough lot.  Joshua seemed to favour Jud and Prudie for some obscure reason, until his final illness.



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Wednesday 17th of April 2019 07:39:02 PM


 Mrs G - Or could it have been Tholly Tregirls who was around when Ross was young as a friend of Joshua?



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Blackleburr wrote:
As for the "master abuser" who first taught Ross how to deal roughly with servants (when they called for it), I agree that it must have been Joshua*.  The Prologue gives a few glimpses at his capabilities in this respect:
  • Don't stand there, Prudie, snapped Joshua to his servant. Get out.
  • Bring candles, woman. D'you want me to die in the dark?
  • Joshua was once more alone alone this time until morning. He might, by pulling persistently on the bell cord, call a reluctant Jud or Prudie (...) He knew they spent most of each evening drinking, (...) But he hadnt the energy to round on them as in the old days.

 

Blackleburr--yes it does seem that Joshua was the master abuser. The sentence you posted earlier supports this--"He had learned abuse from a master and had added to it while away." The sentence appears to be the same in various editions, including my WL 1946 ed., p41.  (If the text in the 1945 ed. is different, I'd be grateful if someone posted it.)

This is probably one of those maddening sentences that will always be open to more than one interpretation. Mine is that Ross learned the art of tongue-lashing before he left Cornwall--his army colleagues only added to it. 

Although Joshua got on with Jud and Prudie, he didn't hesitate to berate them. I'm particularly reminded of the royal scolding he gave Prudie for not airing Ross's sheets when he had pneumonia. Knowing Jud and Prudie's natures, I'm convinced this would not have been the only instance. Your quote above--"But he had not the energy to round on them as in the old days," supports this as well. 

When sharing the memory of that event with Verity (TMD), Ross said he was surprised because until then he hadn't realized that Joshua liked him, that he had always been hard on him. So, it is more than likely that Ross did get his early lessons in dishing out abuse from Joshua.   

I should add that although Joshua might not have been the easiest of fathers, there can be no doubt that he loved his son. He also had confidence in him. As he told Charles in the Prologue, he knew Ross would put things right when he got home. Ross was also fond of his father. When Pearce was giving Ross the details of Joshua's will, he told Ross that Joshua had not left him much of an inheritance.

"A slow smile crept over Ross's mouth..."  That was the moment Ross stole my heart.   

 

 








-- Edited by Hollyhock on Wednesday 24th of April 2019 03:15:12 PM

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I imagined the 'master abusers' would have been Ross' superiors in the army.  They were probably a rough lot.  Joshua seemed to favour Jud and Prudie for some obscure reason, until his final illness.



-- Edited by Mrs Gimlett on Wednesday 17th of April 2019 07:39:02 PM

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Hollyhock wrote:

(1) One of the most heart-melting quotes is in TAT, after the Warleggans destroy Pascoe's bank. After a frustrating day of trying to get Pasco re-established, Ross comes home, bone weary and dejected. Demelza has supper ready but Ross eats only a little. 'Not hungry?' she said. 'Just tired. Tired of talking, tired of arguing, tired of inquiring, tired of riding.' 'Eat a bit more.'

'No,' he said, 'I think I just want you.' (I can't imagine a dry eye in the fandom when reading this scene.

Blackleburr, I too admired the tongue-lashing Ross gave Jud and Prudie. I imagine he really enjoyed it (couldn't yell at Elizabeth but he could rebuke his filthy and lazy servants). Do you think he was referring to his father as the master abuser from whom he learned the art? Since I never imagined Joshua scolding him much, maybe Ross heard Joshua berating Jud and Tholly.

 


It certainly looks as if Ross's tableside compliments to Demelza were getting better over time:

In Demelza, there was the following scene on Christmas Eve when Ross returned from a meeting with Carnmore shareholders preparing to wind down the company:
'I've saved some pie for you,' she said. 'Or there's cold chicken if you want. And some nice fresh cakes and tarts.' He sat down in his chair and she helped him off with his boots. 'I had supper with Tonkin. Not a feast but enough to satisfy. A glass of rum will do and a bite or two of your cake.'
 
Next, in The Black Moon, when Ross was having supper after he returned from a meeting with Blewett in Looe and was discussing with Demelza what he found out about Dwight:
She picked up his plate. 'Pudding? Or jelly? Or gooseberry tart?' 'Tart, if you have made it and not Jane. Thank you.'
 
And then there was that scene you quoted from The Angry Tide
 
 
As for the "master abuser" who first taught Ross how to deal roughly with servants (when they called for it), I agree that it must have been Joshua*.  The Prologue gives a few glimpses at his capabilities in this respect:
  • Don't stand there, Prudie, snapped Joshua to his servant. Get out.
  • Bring candles, woman. D'you want me to die in the dark?
  • Joshua was once more alone alone this time until morning. He might, by pulling persistently on the bell cord, call a reluctant Jud or Prudie (...) He knew they spent most of each evening drinking, (...) But he hadnt the energy to round on them as in the old days.
 
*I was actually considering Tholly as another candidate for the "master abuser" title. He surely wasn't one to mince his words either, but then, he was hardly in a position of authority over anyone - unless it was some lesser crew members at sea - and I have a sense that abusing your equals (or betters) is a largely different craft from abusing your servants. So it had to be Joshua, I guess.


-- Edited by Blackleburr on Thursday 11th of April 2019 04:03:49 PM

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(1) One of the most heart-melting quotes is in TAT, after the Warleggans destroy Pascoe's bank. After a frustrating day of trying to get Pasco re-established, Ross comes home, bone weary and dejected. Demelza has supper ready but Ross eats only a little. 'Not hungry?' she said. 'Just tired. Tired of talking, tired of arguing, tired of inquiring, tired of riding.' 'Eat a bit more.'

'No,' he said, 'I think I just want you.' (I can't imagine a dry eye in the fandom when reading this scene.)

 

(2) Also in TAT, Ross's poignant chat with Verity ends in a two-hanky quote:

"...But now and then you do not have all the control of your feelings that you should have - and then thoughts and feelings surge up in you like - like an angry tide. And it is hard, sometimes it is hard to control the tide."

(3) Ross has some of his most charming quotes with Caroline. She seemed to bring out his lighter side. When he went to London to thank her for taking over the loan the Warleggans held over his head, she teased him, saying she hadn't seen any flags put out for his London visit. Ross quipped:

"They don't put flags out when I come to a place...They put them out when I go."

 

(4) As for put-downs, George was the butt of some of Ross's most scathing. Here's one from their encounter at Caroline's failed engagement dinner (Warleggan).

George: "...I hope your mine prospers.' 

Ross: 'It will.'

George:`I wish I had your confidence.'

Ross: `Must you be envious even of that?

 

(5) Earlier, following Ross's Bodmin trial (Jeremy), George made the mistake of accosting him no on the stairs of the Red Lion Inn.

G: "You're not looking so well as when I last saw you. Can it be the anxieties of the trial?"

R: "Nor you...Can you have had some disappointment?"

G: "I know of nothing to cause me disappointment. I am well satisfied with my many enterprises. I hear, by the way, that you're embarking on a new one."

R: "As usual you have your ear well to the ground...Or should it be to the keyhole?"  (Ouch!)

 

(6) At Jim Carter's trial for poaching, the magistrates--Nicholas Warleggan and Rev. Halse--were also the unhappy recipients of Ross's sarcasm. Claiming that they had shown leniency in sentencing Jim to only 2-years, Ross responded:

"I trust I may never have the misfortune to have the leniency of the court extended to me."

Halse: "Have a care Mr. Poldark. Such remarks are not entirely outside our jurisdiction."

Ross: "Only mercy enjoys that privilege."

When Halse threatens to have him committed for contempt, Ross says:

"I can only assure you, sir, that such a committal would be a reading of my innmost thoughts."

 

Blackleburr, I too admired the tongue-lashing Ross gave Jud and Prudie. I imagine he really enjoyed it (couldn't yell at Elizabeth but he could rebuke his filthy and lazy servants). Do you think he was referring to his father as the master abuser from whom he learned the art? Since I never imagined Joshua scolding him much, maybe Ross heard Joshua berating Jud and Tholly.

 



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Two other favourites of mine from the first and the last books:  From "Ross Poldark" after watching the pilchard catch:  "I love you, and am your servant. Demelza, look at me.  If I have done wrong in the past, give me leave to make amends."

And from "Bella Poldark" after Demelza comes home from London they are in bed, so happy to be with each other again. Demelza says about the Long Field, "So all is safely gathered in.  Ross says with emphasis:  "You are.  That is rather important, you know." 

Most of Ross's stinging remarks stem from anger or frustration or hurt, emotions everyone understands and his passionate temper doesn't let him suppress what he wants to say.  I hope the sweet outweighs the sour or else he wouldn't be liked or forgiven.



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That's a nice selection we've put together - thank you to everyone who has contributed so far!

Between the thoughtfulness of Mrs Gimlett's find of "May I prefer you that confidence now?" and the charm of "Sweet at any age" posted by Hollyhock - I agree that it is very difficult to pick a single winner. My personal favourite, though, would have to be the "Let me have you" line brought up by Little Henry - I can hardly think of any modern-day equivalent phrase that would convey the same meaning as attractively as that

Having said that, I'm sure we have not exhausted all the possible Ross-quotes yet. So please do keep posting if you find anything else to add. Here are a few more heart-warming examples from me:

1) The closing line of Warleggan, at the end of the reconciliation scene:
`It's nearly twelve,' he said. `Let us sit up awhile and call it Christmas tonight.'
 
2) During the "London honeymoon" in The Angry Tide:
`One doesn't look nice in the daylight,' Demelza said. `At least, not as nice as one hopes one looks at night, by candle.' `I think two look better than one,' Ross said. `Always have.'
 
3) In The Loving Cup, in response to Demelza's question whether Ross really meant what he had said the day before, that he would turn her out if she took to drink:
`How could I? We have made our lives together. We are part of each other. I come home to you.'
 
With respect to the chillers, we don't seem to have found quite as many of them... and I wonder why that could be. Is it just that we all like Ross too much to remember what nasty things he had said? Or did WG deliberately leave those lines to our imagination? 
 
If he did, though - why do you think he kept reminding us how stinging Ross's tongue could be? Apart from that example I quoted in the opening post (when Ross chided Demelza for her boozy quarrel with Jud while they were servants at Nampara), I recently came across two others:

1) Early in Ross Poldark, Ross is scolding Jud and Prudie: 
`Lazy in everything,' said Ross, `but the search for excuses. Like two old pigs in their sty and as slow to move from their own patch of filth.' Prudie picked up her apron and began to dab her nose. Ross warmed to his theme. He had learned abuse from a master and had added to it while away.
 
2) At the beginning of The Loving Cup, when Ross and Demelza have dinner at Killewarren:
Demelza admitted that she was not a very good manager herself. She had never quite got into the way of being angry with servants if they didn't do what they were told. (Ross could do it in a second; but it was not Ross's business.)



-- Edited by Blackleburr on Saturday 6th of April 2019 09:22:36 PM



-- Edited by Blackleburr on Saturday 6th of April 2019 10:17:49 PM

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Good point Little Henry and I own a copy of the first edition! Copying and pasting the e-version may be easy but not always the best choice.

 

 



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Since the "It isn't very pretty ... " quote has come up I have to report that it is not in the original text.  I was quite shocked at how changed the whole paragraph is in the edited version because it is an often-quoted WG quote.  This is what is written in my House of Stratus book:

"I thought," he said, "that such feeling as mine must keep alive a feeling in return.  There lay the error.  You have the right to choose whom you shall have for husband.  Childish promises have no enduring quality.  And yet," he went on, "every bone in me, every breath I take, refuses the idea that all my love can evaporate into air.  Call me an egoist.  But is nature so blind, so dead to its own ends, that it can create in me such a need of you that everything is void without you, and yet leave you cold and untouched.  Perhaps it can; but does it where a fire, even a gentle fire, has once burned?  Do embers hold no heat?  The fuel must have been poor to leave only grey ash . . ."

"Ross!"  She had come to her feet and had a hand on her heart.  "You mustn't speak like that."

"You invite me to stay and weep when I go.  Do you remember that day . . . "  The rest is similar but with the addition of "and let your head lie on my shoulder?" after summer-house.

I am savouring all the new WG text I am finding. 

 

 

 

 



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A couple more chillers:

At Elizabeth's wedding party, Ross sought her out when most of the other guests were watching a cockfight. Mrs. Chynoweth, plotting an end to their tete-a-tete, asked Ross to advise her on the fight. His response:

"I feel convinced ma'am, that there are no subtleties of combat on which I can offer you any useful advice."

Ross's painful confrontation with Elizabeth when he went to Trenwith, seeking Charles's advice on hiring Demelza.

'It isn't very pretty to have been made a fool of by one's own feelings,' he said. 'To take childish promises and build a-a castle out of them. And yet- even now sometimes I can't believe that all the things we said to each other were so trivial or so immature. Are you sure you felt so little for me as you pretend?'

'Since I met you,' he said, 'I've had no eyes and no thought for any other girl. When I was away nothing mattered about my coming back but this. If there was one thing I was sure of, it wasn't what I'd been taught by anyone else to believe, not what I learned from other people was the truth, but the truth that I felt in myself- about you.

Delicious heart-melters

In TSFTS, on Ross's first night back at Nampara after his diplomatic mission, he and Demelza are in bed.

He stirred beside her. 'When I was staying with George Canning I picked up a book of poems - a man called Herbert - I've remembered one bit: "Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright, the bridal of the earth and sky ..." He watched the flickering candle. 'There's been nothing cool and calm about us tonight, but I think there's been both the earth and the sky ...'

She said lightly, covering the emotion: 'Dear life, I believe that's the nicest thing you've ever said to me.''

'Oh no, there must be others ...'

'There have been others. I keep them all in a special box in my memory, and when I'm feeling neglected I take them out and think them over.'

 

Then, of course, there's the sizzling garter scene in Warleggan...ending with Ross's .

'So you are not to be rid of me, my love.'

 



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In the Black Moon, when Ross and Demelza are talking at Christmas time after Caroline has gone to bed...

Demelza is considering how much Ross and Caroline like each other and comments that she neither looks like a wife or has been a wife for a while (due to recent childbirth)

...'How better could you be my wife than by bringing me another daughter...'

 

In Warleggan, when R&D are invited to John Trevaunance's dinner party and Ross enquires if she ever is nervous still going into company.  Demelza implies that compliments would give her confidence.

He bent slowly and kissed her neck in the soft part where neck and shoulder join. 'Might I prefer you that confidence now?'



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I love the casual, simple comment he makes in The Twisted Sword, talking to Demelza about when they met:  "I didn't know what sort of a catch I was making either.  Dear Heaven, that was the luckiest day of my life."  It brings Demelza to happy tears and leads to "Let me have you."



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A difficult task for me Blackleburr because it's hard to choose. Here are a few.  

(1) If Ross could charm curmudgeonly old Aunt Agatha, he could charm anyone. In RP, on her first Trenwith visit, Agatha quizzed Demelza on her age while the family looked on.

"Aunt Agatha also glanced at Ross, her small eyes wicked among their sheaf of wrinkles. "Know how old I am?" Demelza shook her head. "I'm ninety-one. Last Thursday sennight." "I didn't know you were as old as that," Francis said. "It's not everything you know, my boy. Ninety-one last Thursday sennight. What d'you say to that, Ross?"

"Sweet at any age,"Ross said in her ear.. Aunt Agatha grinned with pleasure. "You was always a bad boy. Like your father.

(2) In Demelza, Ross is puzzled at Francis' animosity. He is shocked when Demelza confesses that it was she who secretly helped Verity elope, and Francis believes Ross was behind it.

R: 'I can't believe you did it,' he said at last. 'if--if anyone had told me I should have named him a liar. I thought you were trustworthy and loyal...To go behind my back. That is what I can't stomach or--or even quite believe yet. The deceit--'

D: 'I tried to do it openly. But you wouldn't let me.'

R:...'So you did it underhand, eh? Nothing mattered, no loyalty or trust, so long as you got your way.'

D: 'It wasn't for myself. It was for Verity.'

R: 'The deceit and the lies,' he said with tremendous contempt...'I prided myself that this, this association of ours was the one constant in my life. The one thing that would be changeless and untouchable. I should have staked my life on it. Demelza was true to the grain. There wasn't a flaw in her--In this damned world--'

D: 'Oh Ross,' she said with a sudden great sob. 'You'll break my heart.'

R: ...'You're a woman with all the subtler instincts of right and wrong. Loyalty is not a thing to be bought. it is freely given or withheld. Well, by God, you have chosen to withhold it.'

(3) In the Black Moon, Demelza's brothers invade Nampara. In bed, Ross discusses Drake's similarity to Demelza.

R: 'He's somewhat like you, isn't he?' Ross said.

D: 'What?'

R: 'Well, the colouring. The 'shape of face. And a look in his eye.'

D: `What sort of a look?'

R: `You ought to know. Difficult. Hard to handle.`

D: Demelza withdrew her knee. 'I knew there was some ill word coming.'

R: Ross put his hand on her other knee. 'I prefer this one. This one has the scar on it where you fell out of the elm tree when you were fifteen.'

D: 'No. I only scratched my legs then. This was when I pulled the cupboard on top of myself.' 

R: 'You see. Exactly what I meant. Difficult. Hard to handle.'

D: `And getting battered an' worn.'

R: 'Not to notice. Blemishes on the beauty of a person one loves are like grace notes adding something to a piece of music.'

 

 



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In The Angry Tide, WG gave the following description of Ross: "Ross was not the best letter-writer in the world. His warmth, of which Demelza knew so much, came out in personal contact. When he was with you he could suddenly say the sort of things to melt any woman's heart - or on another occasion to freeze it." Inspired by that quote, I thought we might put together a list of our favourite heart-melting and heart-freezing lines that Ross says throughout the books. For a start, here are two of mine:

 
A heart-melter from Jeremy Poldark, when Ross was trying to make amends to Demelza after they've quarrelled over Hugh Bodrugan - I always thought if I was there in Demelza's place, Ross would have had me at the tart and cream
When he had finished he put some tart and cream in a dish and a couple of the scones and took it upstairs. 
He found her in their room lying on the bed. It was her favourite retreat in her rare moments of despair. She had her face in the pillow, and she didn't move when he came in or when he sat on the bed. 
'Demelza.' 
She might have been dead for all the response this produced. 
'Demelza. I've brought you some tart.'
'I don't want nothing to eat,' she said in a muffled voice. 
'All the same, a mouthful or two can be put away somewhere. I want to talk to you.'
'Not now, Ross,' she said. 
'Yes now.'
I think fundamentally, what I find most touching in this scene, is how Ross refuses to take no for an answer - that, and the contents of the dish!
 
As for heart-freezers, there is one left to our imagination by WG that I would really want to hear - in Ross Poldark, when Demelza got boozed and catalyzed a fight in Ross's kitchen:
For the first time Demelza had felt the acid sting of Rosss tongue and had curled up and wanted to die.
 
And what are yours?


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