By Elizabeth Gaskell

“I think she has a cold heart: she hardly thanked me at all for my proposal of taking her home with us.”

“Her thoughts are full of other things just now; and people have such different ways of showing feeling: some by silence, some by words. At any rate, it is unwise to expect gratitude.”

“What do you expect—not indifference or ingratitude?”

“It is better not to expect or calculate consequences. The longer I live, the more fully I see that. Let us try simply to do right actions, without thinking of the feelings they are to call out in others. We know that no holy or self-denying effort can fall to the ground vain and useless; but the sweep of eternity is large, and God alone knows when the effect is to be produced. We are trying to do right now, and to feel right; don’t let us perplex ourselves with endeavouring to map out how she should feel, or how she should show her feelings.”

Excerpt From: Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell. “Ruth.” iBooks.