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How Green Was My Valley

How Green Was My Valley quotes

19 total quotes

Huw Morgan
Mr. Gruffydd
Other


View Quote Ianto Morgan: We are not questioning your authority, sir, but if manners prevent our speaking the truth, we will be without manners.
View Quote Mrs. Beth Morgan: I have come up here to tell you what I think of you all, because you are talking against my husband. You are a lot of cowards to go against him. He has done nothing against you and he never has and you know it well. How some of you, you smug-faced hypocrites, can sit in the same Chapel with him I cannot tell. To say he is with the owners is not only nonsense but downright wickedness. There's one thing more I've got to say and it is this. If harm comes to my Gwilym, I will find out the men and I will kill them with my two hands. And this I will swear by God Almighty.
View Quote Angharad: [about Mr. Gruffydd] How is he, Huw?
Huw: Not as he was.
Angharad: Is he ill?
Huw: Inside, in his eyes, in his voice. Like you.
Angharad: Please go home, Huw.
View Quote Angharad: [after the church elders castigate an unwed mother] How could you stand there and watch them? Cruel old men, groaning and nodding to hurt her more. That is not the Word of God! 'Go now and sin no more,' Jesus said.
Mr. Gruffydd: Angharad! You know your Bible too well, and life too little.
Angharad: I know enough of life to know that Meillyn Lewis is no worse than I am!
Mr. Gruffydd: Angharad!
Angharad: What do the deacons know about it? What do you know about what could happen to a poor girl when she loves a man so much that even to lose sight of him for a moment is torture!
View Quote Angharad: There's a man for you, spoiling his good handkerchief. Look now, you are King in the chapel. But I will be Queen in my own kitchen.
Mr. Gruffydd: You will be Queen wherever you walk.
Angharad: [pausing] What does that mean?
Mr. Gruffydd: I should not have said it.
Angharad: Why?
Mr. Gruffydd: I have no right to speak to you so.
Angharad: Mr. Gruffydd, if the right is mine to give, you have it.
View Quote Beth: [as two of her sons leave] America - my babies. This is only the beginning. Then all of you will go, one after the other - all of you.
Huw: I will never leave you, Mama.
Beth: Huw boy, if you should ever leave me, I'll be sorry I ever had babies.
Huw: Why did you have them?
Beth: To keep my hands in water and my face to the fire, perhaps.
View Quote Dai Bando: A man is never too old to learn, is it, Mr. Jonas?
Mr. Jonas: [uncertainly] No.
Dai Bando: I was in school myself once, but no great one for knowledge.
Mr. Jonas: [angrily, shaking his cane] Look here, what do you want?
Dai Bando: Knowledge. [taking Mr. Jonas' cane] How would you go about taking the measurement of a stick, Mr. Jonas?
Mr. Jonas: By its' length, of course.
Dai Bando: And how would you measure a man who would use a stick on a boy one-third his size?
[throws Mr. Jonas' cane aside]
Cyfartha: Tell us!
Dai Bando: Now, you are good in the use of a stick, but boxing is my subject... according to the rules laid down by the good Marquis of Queensbury.
Cyfartha: [saluting] God rest his soul!
Dai Bando: And happy I am to pass on my knowledge to you!
[backhands Mr. Jonas, sending him reeling]
...
Dai Bando: Position again.
[Dai Bando and Cyfartha drag Mr. Jonas to his feet]
Dai Bando: Could I have your attention, boys and girls? I am not accustomed to speaking in public...
Cyfartha: Only public houses.
Dai Bando: But this - [backhands Mr. Jonas in the nose, sending him sprawling] never use. It's against the rules. Break a man's nose. Now then - [turns to find Mr. Jonas collapsed against the wall, unconscious] I'm afraid he will never make a boxer.
Cyfartha: No aptitude for knowledge.
View Quote Mr. Gruffydd: Where is the light I thought to see in your eye? Are you afraid, boy? You heard what the doctor said?
Huw: Yes, sir.
Mr. Gruffydd: And you believed it?
Huw: Yes, sir.
Mr. Gruffydd: You want to walk again, don't you?
Huw: Yes, sir.
Mr. Gruffydd: Then you must have faith. And if you have, you will walk again, no matter what all the doctors say.
Huw: [feebly] But he said, 'Nature must take her course.'
Mr. Gruffydd: Nature is the hand-maiden of the Lord. I remember on one or two occasions when she was given orders to change her course. You know your Scriptures, boy?
Huw: Yes, sir.
Mr. Gruffydd: Then you know that what's been done before can be done again - for you. Do you believe me, Huw?
Huw: Yes, sir.
Mr. Gruffydd: Good. You will see the first daffodil out on the mountain. Will you?
Huw: Indeed I will, sir.
Mr. Gruffydd: Then you will.
View Quote Mr. Gruffydd: Why do you think we of the Chapel talk rubbish?
Ianto: My remark was not aimed at you.
Mr. Gruffydd: Then aim it.
Ianto: Very well. Because you make yourselves out to be shepherds of the flock, and yet you allow your sheep to live in filth and poverty, and if they try and raise their voices against it, you calm them by telling them their suffering is the Will of God. Sheep indeed! Are we sheep to be herded and sheared by a handful of owners? I was taught man was made in the image of God. Not a sheep!
Mr. Gruffydd: First, have your union. You need it. Alone you are weak. Together you are strong. But remember, with strength goes responsibility - to others and to yourselves. For you cannot conquer injustice with more injustice - only with justice and the help of God.
View Quote Mr. Gruffydd: You shouldn't be here.
Angharad: I couldn't spend another night without knowing. What has happened? Is anything wrong?
Mr. Gruffydd: Wrong?
Angharad: You know what I mean. Why have you changed towards me? Why am I a stranger now? Have I done anything?
Mr. Gruffydd: No - the blame is mine. Your mother spoke to me after Chapel. She is happy to think you will be having plenty all your days.
Angharad: [scornfully] Iestyn Evans.
Mr. Gruffydd: You could do no better.
Angharad: I don't want him. I want you.
Mr. Gruffydd: Angharad - I have spent nights too - trying to think this out. When I took up this work, I knew what it meant - it meant sacrifice and devotion and making it my whole life to the exclusion of everything else. That I was perfectly willing to do. But to share it with another - Do you think I will have you going threadbare all your life? Depending on the charity of others for your good meals? Our children growing up in cast-off clothing - and ourselves thanking God for parenthood in a house full of bits? No - I can bear with such a life for the sake of my work. But I think I would start to kill if I saw the white come to your hair twenty years before its time.
Angharad: [softly, with tears in her eyes] Why? Why would you start to kill? Are you a man or a saint?
Mr. Gruffydd: I am no saint, but I have a duty towards you. Let me do it.
[She comes closer to him, and with her hands on his shoulders kisses him, before leaving]
View Quote After dinner, when dishes had been washed, the box was brought to the table, for the spending money to be handed out. No one in our Valley had ever seen a bank. We kept our savings on the mantelpiece. My father used to say that money was made to be spent, just as men spend their strength and brains in earning it - and as willingly - but always with a purpose.
View Quote I am packing my belongings in the shawl my mother used to wear when she went to the market. And I'm going from my valley. And this time, I shall never return. I am leaving behind me my fifty years of memory. Memory. Strange that the mind will forget so much of what only this moment has passed, and yet hold clear and bright the memory of what happened years ago - of men and women long since dead. Yet who shall say what is real and what is not? Can I believe my friends all gone when their voices are still a glory in my ears? No. And I will stand to say no and no again, for they remain a living truth within my mind. There is no fence nor hedge round Time that is gone. You can go back and have what you like of it, if you can remember. So I can close my eyes on my Valley as it is today - and it is gone - and I see it as it was when I was a boy. Green it was, and possessed of the plenty of the earth. In all Wales, there was none so beautiful. Everything I ever learnt as a small boy came from my father, and I never found anything he ever told me to be wrong or worthless. The simple lessons he taught me are as sharp and clear in my mind as if I had heard them only yesterday. In those days, the black slag - the waste of the coalpits - had only begun to cover the side of our hill, not yet enough to mar the countryside nor blacken the beauty of our village. For the colliery had only begun to poke its skinny black fingers through the green.
View Quote Men like my father cannot die. They are with me still - real in memory as they were in flesh, loving and beloved forever. How green was my Valley then.
View Quote Someone would strike up a song, and the valley would ring with the sound of many voices - for singing is in my people as sight is in the eye.
View Quote Then came the scrubbing - out in the back yard. It was the duty of my sister Angharad to bring the buckets of hot water and cold. And I performed what little tasks I could as my father and brothers scrubbed the coal dust from their backs. Most would come off them, but some would stay for life. It is the honorable badge of the coal miner - and I envied it on my father and grown-up brothers. Scrub and scrub, and Mr. Coal would lie there and laugh at you.