''Unintelligible answers to insoluble problems.''
''Every man who has at last succeeded, after long effort, in calling up the divinity which lies hidden in a woman's heart, is startled to find that he must obey the God he summoned.''
''As for America, it is the ideal fruit of all your youthful hopes and reforms. Everybody is fairly decent, respectable, domestic, bourgeois, middle-class, and tiresome. There is absolutely nothing to revile except that it's a bore.''
''As for piracy, I love to be pirated. It is the greatest compliment an author can have. The wholesale piracy of Democracy was the single real triumph of my life. Anyone may steal what he likes from me.''
''The more I live here in western Europe, the more I am impressed by the sense of decay;Mnot the graceful and dignified decay of an oriental, but the vulgar and sordid decay of a bankrupt cotton-mill.''
''The American man is a very simple and cheap mechanism. The American woman I find a complicated and expensive one. Contrasts of feminine types are possible. I am not absolutely sure that there is more than one American man.''
''America had no use for Adams because he was eighteenth-century, and yet it worshipped Grant because he was archaic and should have lived in a cave and worn skins.''
''Thank God, I never was cheerful. I come from the happy stock of the Mathers, who, as you remember, passed sweet mornings reflecting on the goodness of God and the damnation of infants.''
''The scientific mind is atrophied, and suffers under inherited cerebral weakness, when it comes in contact with the eternal woman—Astarte, Isis, Demeter, Aphrodite, and the last and greatest deity of all, the Virgin.''
''Practical politics consists in ignoring facts.''
''Cold eyes ... steel grey, rather small, not unpleasant in good-humour, diabolic in a passion, but worst when a little suspicious; then they watch you as though you were a young rattle-snake, to be killed when convenient.''
''In the history of the United States, there is no continuity at all. You can cut through it anywhere and nothing on this side of the cut has anything to do with anything on the other side.''
''Politics, as a practise, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.''
''Power is poison. Its effect on Presidents had always been tragic.''
''My belief is that science is to wreck us, and that we are like monkeys monkeying with a loaded shell; we don't in the least know or care where our practically infinite energies come from or will bring us to.''
''A friend in power is a friend lost.''
''The great word Evolution had not yet, in 1860, made a new religion of history, but the old religion had preached the same doctrine for a thousand years without finding in the entire history of Rome anything but flat contradiction.''
''"If she belongs to any besides the present, it is to the next world which artists want to see, when paganism will come again and we can give a divinity to every waterfall."''
''Dates are stupidly annoying—what we want is not dates but taste;Myet we are uncomfortable without them.''
''American society is a sort of flat, fresh-water pond which absorbs silently, without reaction, anything which is thrown into it.''
''An American Virgin would never dare command; an American Venus would never dare exist.''
''Silence alone is respectable and respected. I believe God to be silence.''
''There are two things that seem to be at the bottom of our constitutions; one is a continual tendency towards politics; the other is family pride; and it is strange how these two feelings run through all of us.''
''I am fairly tired—bored beyond endurance—by the world we live in, and its ideals, and am ready to say so, not violently, but kindly, as one rubs salt into the back of a flogged sailor as though one loved him.''
''As History stands, it is a sort of Chinese Play, without end and without lesson.''
''Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.''
''I am an anarchist in politics and an impressionist in art as well as a symbolist in literature. Not that I understand what these terms mean, but I take them to be all merely synonyms of pessimist.''
''To my fancy, one looks back on life, it has only two responsibilities, which include all the others: one is the bringing of new life into existence; the other, educating it after it is brought in. All betrayals of trust result from these original sins.''
''Chaos was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man.''
''Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.''
''Henry B. Adams was the first in an infinite series to discover and admit to himself that he really did not care whether truth was, or was not, true. He did not even care that it should be proved true, unless the process were new and amusing. He was a Darwinian for fun.''
''One sought not absolute truth. One sought only a spool on which to wind the thread of history without breaking it.''
''No European spring had shown him the same intermixture of delicate grace and passionate depravity that marked the Maryland May.''
''"If our minds could get hold of one abstract truth, they would be immortal so far as that truth is concerned. My trouble is to find out how we can get hold of the truth at all."''
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