Daisy Miller Study Guide (Choose to Continue)


Daisy Miller: Top Ten Quotes

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  1. "At the little town of Vevey, in Switzerland, there is a particularly comfortable hotel. There are, indeed, many hotels; for the entertainment of tourists is the business of the place, which, as many travelers will remember, is seated upon the edge of a remarkably blue lake - a lake that it behoves every tourist to visit." (p. 3)
    These are the opening lines of the book. The narrator establishes himself as a narrator with a sensibility informed by frequent travel among American social circles. The narrator also establishes the tone of the story, too, as something intended to educate or inform.
  2. "The young lady meanwhile had drawn near. She was dressed in white muslin, with a hundred frills and flounces, and knots of pale-coloured ribbon. She was bare-headed; but she balanced in her hand a large parasol with a deep border of embroidery; and she was strikingly, admirably pretty. 'How pretty they are!' thought Winterbourne, straightening himself in his seat, as if he were prepared to rise." (p. 6)
    This is Daisy's entrance in the book. Winterbourne is speaking with Randolph, Daisy's brother, when Daisy approaches.
  3. " 'I have more friends in New York than in Schenectady-more gentleman friends; and more young lady friends too," she resumed in a moment. She paused again for an instant; she was looking at Winterbourne with all her prettiness in her lively eyes and in her light, slightly monotonous smile. 'I have always had,' she said, 'a great deal of gentleman's society.'" (p. 10)
    Daisy is speaking to her new acquaintance, Winterbourne, in the garden of their hotel at Vevey.
  4. " 'Oh, well, we'll go some day,' said Miss Miller. And she gave him a smile and turned away. She put up her parasol and walked back to the inn beside Eugenio. Winterbourne stood looking after her; and as she moved away, drawing her muslin furbelows over the gravel, said to himself that she had the tournure of a princess." (p. 12)
    Daisy takes her leave of Winterbourne at the end of their first meeting.
  5. "'She is completely uncultivated,' Winterbourne went on. 'But she is wonderfully pretty, and, in short, she is very nice. To prove that I believe it, I am going to take her to the Chateau de Chillon.'
    'You two are going off there together? I should say it proved just the contrary. How long had you known her, may I ask, when this interesting project was formed? You haven't been twenty-four hours in the house.'
    'I had known her half an hour!' said Winterbourne, smiling.
    'Dear me!' cried Mrs. Costello. 'What a dreadful girl!'" (p. 14)
    This is a moment in the conversation between Mrs. Costello and Winterbourne about Daisy, and Mrs. Costello uses Winterbourne's own plans with Daisy as proof of her illicit character.
  6. "'Good night,' she said; 'I hope you are disappointed, or disgusted, or something!'
    He looked at her, taking the hand she offered him. 'I am puzzled,' he answered.
    'Well, I hope it won't keep you awake!' she said, very smartly; and, under the escort of the privileged Eugenio, the two ladies passed towards the house." (p. 21)
    After a late night meeting with Daisy outside the Vevey hotel in which her mother and the courier appear, Daisy remarks that they should go out on a boat on the lake. When Eugenio informs them that Randolph has gone to bed, they turn to do the same, and the plans to row are revealed as just fanciful.
  7. "Daisy gave a violent laugh. 'I never heard anything so stiff! If this is improper, Mrs. Walker,' she pursued, 'then I am all improper, and you must give me up. Good-bye; I hope you'll have a lovely ride!' and, with Mr. Giovanelli, who made a triumphantly obsequious salute, she turned away." (p. 34)
    Daisy refuses the offer from Mrs. Walker to join her in the carriage and she ignores Winterbourne's similar suggestion.
  8. " 'Since you have mentioned it,' she said, 'I am engaged.' . . . Winterbourne looked at her; he had stopped laughing. 'You don't believe it!' she added.
    He was silent a moment; and then, 'Yes, I believe it!' he said.
    'Oh, no, you don't,' she answered. 'Well, then - I am not!'" (p. 45)
    This is the end of a brief conversation that Winterbourne has with Daisy in a park just before the Colosseum incident. Winterbourne makes a joke about Daisy's mother believing that Daisy was engaged, and Daisy agrees that her mother thinks she is engaged to Giovanelli.
  9. " 'Did you believe I was engaged the other day?' she asked.
    'It doesn't matter what I believed the other day,' said Winterbourne, still laughing.
    'Well, what do you believe now?'
    'I believe that it makes very little difference whether you are engaged or not!' (p. 47)
    This is one of the last things that Winterbourne says to Daisy before her death. This occurs at the end of their conversation when he finds Daisy and Eugenio in the Colosseum at night.
  10. " 'She gave me a message: she told me to tell you. She told me to tell you that she never was engaged to that handsome Italian. I am sure I am very glad; Mr. Giovanelli hasn't been near us since she was taken ill. I thought he was so much of a gentleman; but I don't call that very polite! A lady told me that he was afraid I was angry with him for taking Daisy round at night. Well, so I am; but I suppose he knows I'm a lady. I would scorn to scold him. Any way, she says she's not engaged. I don't know why she wanted you to know; but she said to me three times - "Mind you tell Mr. Winterbourne." And then she told me to ask if you remembered the time you went to that castle, in Switzerland. But I said I wouldn't give any such messages as that. Only, if she is not engaged, I'm sure I'm glad to know it.'" (p. 49)
    This is a speech from Mrs. Miller, reporting to Winterbourne Daisy's message to him after Daisy's death.


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