''An empty house is like a stray dog or a body from which life has departed.''
''Vaccination is the medical sacrament corresponding to baptism. Whether it is or is not more efficacious I do not know.''
''Virtue knows that it is impossible to get on without compromise, and tunes herself, as it were, a trifle sharp to allow for an inevitable fall in playing.''
''If there could be such a thing as the Mammon of Righteousness Christina would have assuredly made friends with it.''
''Truth does not consist in never lying but in knowing when to lie and when not to do so.''
''Providence itself could not be more absolutely improvident.''
''Work with some men is as besetting a sin as idleness.''
''Let every man be true and every god a liar.''
''The healthy stomach is nothing if it is not conservative. Few radicals have good digestions.''
''I never knew a writer yet who took the smallest pains with his style and was at the same time readable.''
''Our minds want clothes as much as our bodies.''
''From a worldly point of view, there is no mistake so great as that of being always right.''
''The world will only, in the end, follow those who have despised as well as served it.''
''It is not he who gains the exact point in dispute who scores most in controversy—but he who has shown the better temper.''
''Not to over-breed will be one day recognized as not less essential for national well- being than breeding is.''
''Priests are not men of the world; it is not intended that they should be; and a University training is the one best adapted to prevent their becoming so.''
''In old times people used to try and square the circle; now they try and devise schemes for satisfying the Irish nation.''
''Theorists may say what they like about a man's children being a continuation of his own identity, but it will generally be found that those who talk in this way have no children of their own. Practical family men know better.''
''It is a wise tune that knows its own father, and I like my music to be the legitimate offspring of respectable parents.''
''I said in my novel that the clergyman is a kind of human Sunday. Jones and I settled that my sister May was a kind of human Good Friday and Mrs. Bovill an Easter Monday or some other Bank Holiday.''
''Letters are like wine; if they are sound they ripen with keeping. A man should lay down letters as he does a cellar of wine.''
''Sight and all the other senses are only modes of touch.''
''Truth: It should not be absolutely lost sight of but it should not be talked about.''
''When the righteous man turneth away from his righteousness that he hath committed and doeth that which is neither lawful nor quite right, he will generally be found to have gained in amiability what he has lost in holiness.''
''Very useless things we neglect, till they become old and useless enough to be put in Museums: and so very important things we study till, when they become important enough, we ignore them—and rightly.''
''Man is a jelly which quivers so much as to run about.''
''Words are not as satisfactory as we should like them to be, but, like our neighbours, we have got to live with them and must make the best and not the worst of them.''
''The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.''
''Men are seldom more commonplace than on supreme occasions.''
''It is not nice to be wedded to anything—not even to a theory.''
''Morality is the custom of one's country and the current feeling of one's peers. Cannibalism is moral in a cannibal country.''
''To know whether you are enjoying a piece of music or not you must see whether you find yourself looking at the advertisements of Pears' soap at the end of the libretto.''
''The dead being the majority it is a natural thing that we should have more friends among these than among the living.''
''Sensible people get the greater part of their own dying done during their own lifetime. A man at five and thirty should no more regret not having had a happier childhood than he should regret not having been born a prince of the blood.''
''Quickness comes from long sustained effort after rightness, and comes unsought. It never comes from effort after quickness.''
''A man should be just cultured enough to be able to look with suspicion upon culture at first, not second hand.''
''Critics generally come to be critics not by reason of their fitness for this, but of their unfitness for anything else. Books should be tried by a judge and jury as though they were a crime, and counsel should be heard on both sides.''
''For most men, and most circumstances, pleasure—tangible material prosperity in this world—is the safest test of virtue. Progress has ever been through the pleasures rather than through the extreme sharp virtues, and the most virtuous have leaned to excess rather than to asceticism.''
''One's stomach is one's internal environment.''
''I really do not see much use in exalting the humble and meek; they do not remain humble and meek long when they are exalted.''
''The advantage of doing one's praising for oneself is that one can lay it on so thick and exactly in the right places.''
''To himself every one is an immortal. He may know that he is going to die, but he can never know that he is dead.''
''The history of the world is the record of the weakness, frailty and death of public opinion.''
''The one serious conviction that a man should have is that nothing is to be taken too seriously.''
''Death is only a larger kind of going abroad.''
''What is faith but a kind of betting or speculation after all? It should be, "I bet that my Redeemer liveth."''
''I do not mind lying, but I hate inaccuracy.''
''There is no bore like a clever bore.''
''The three most important things a man has are, briefly, his private parts, his money, and his religious opinions.''
''Logic is like the sword—those who appeal to it, shall perish by it.''
''And bid the devil take the hin'most.''
''It is the function of vice to keep virtue within reasonable bounds.''
''America was too big to have been discovered all at one time. It would have been better for the graces if it had been discovered in pieces of about the size of France or Germany at a time.''
''Opinions have vested interests just as men have.''
''Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie well.''
''Thought reading is like the circulation of the blood. We are all thought readers only we don't pay attention to it.''
''When I die at any rate I shall do so in the full and certain hope that there will be no resurrection, but that death will give me quittance in full.''
''Women can stand a beating except when it is with their own weapons.''
''Habitual Teetotallers: There should be asylums for such people. But they would probably relapse into teetotalism as soon as they came out.''
''Evil is like water, it abounds, is cheap, soon fouls, but runs itself clear of taint.''
''Let us eat and drink neither forgetting death unduly nor remembering it. The Lord hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, etc., and the less we think about it the better.''
''A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg.''
''I believe that he was really sorry that people would not believe he was sorry that he was not more sorry.''
''Books are like imprisoned souls till someone takes them down from a shelf and frees them.''
''Those who have never had a father can at any rate never know the sweets of losing one. To most men the death of his father is a new lease of life.''
''My main wish is to get my books into other people's rooms, and to keep other people's books out of mine.''
''People care more about being thought to have taste than about being thought either good, clever or amiable.''
''Arguments are like fire-arms which a man may keep at home but should not carry about with him.''
''Don't learn to do, but learn in doing. Let your falls not be on a prepared ground, but let them be bona fide falls in the rough and tumble of the world.''
''The Athanasian Creed is to me light and intelligible reading in comparison with much that now passes for science.''
''Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.''
''The dead should be judged like criminals, impartially, but they should be allowed the benefit of the doubt.''
''If I die prematurely at any rate I shall be saved from being bored to death at my own success.''
''How holy people look when they are sea-sick!''
''A man may begin as a bad sound, or even as a bad echo, but he is to be distrusted if he begins as a good echo.''
''Young people have a marvelous faculty of either dying or adapting themselves to circumstances.''
''Union may be strength, but it is mere blind brute strength unless wisely directed.''
''Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.''
''The want of money is the root of all evil.''
''The little Strangs say the "good words," as they call them, before going to bed, aloud and at their father's knee, or rather in the pit of his stomach. One of them was lately heard to say "Forgive us our christmasses as we forgive them that christmas against us."''
''To die is but to leave off dying and do the thing once for all.''
''It is immoral to get drunk because the headache comes after the drinking, but if the headache came first and the drunkenness afterwards, it would be moral to get drunk.''
''A genius can never expect to have a good time anywhere, if he is a genuine article, but America is about the last place in which life will be endurable at all for an inspired writer of any kind.''
''There is but one step from the Academy to the Fad.''
''Is life worth living? This is a question for an embryo, not for a man.''
''Be virtuous—and you will be vicious.''
''Men should not try to overstrain their goodness more than any other faculty, bodily or mental.''
''A drunkard would not give money to sober people. He said they would only eat it, and buy clothes and send their children to school with it.''
''Conscience is thoroughly well-bred and soon leaves off talking to those who do not wish to hear it.''
''My thoughts: They are like persons met upon a journey—I think them very agreeable at first, but soon find, as a rule, that I am tired of them.''
''The public buys its opinions as it buys its meat, or takes in its milk, on the principle that it is cheaper to do this than to keep a cow. So it is, but the milk is more likely to be watered.''
''It is seldom very hard to do one's duty when one knows what it is, but it is often exceedingly difficult to find this out.''
''The best liar is he who makes the smallest amount of lying go the longest way.''
''There are more fools than knaves in the world, else the knaves would not have enough to live upon.''
''Marriage is distinctly and repeatedly excluded from heaven. Is this because it is thought likely to mar the general felicity?''
''Entertaining angels unawares: It is always we who are to entertain the angels, and never they us. I cannot, however, think that an angel would be a very entertaining person, either as guest or host.''
''We can only proselytize fresh meat, putrid meat begins to have strong convictions of its own.''
''A lawyer's dream of Heaven: Every man reclaimed his own property at the resurrection, and each tried to recover it from all his forefathers.''
''Never have anything to do with the near surviving representatives of anyone whose name appears in the death column of the Times as having "passed away."''
''Our ideas are for the most part like bad sixpences, and we spend our lives trying to pass them on one another.''
''It is tact that is golden, not silence.''
''The seven deadly sins: Want of money, bad health, bad temper, chastity, family ties, knowing that you know things, and believing in the Christian religion.''
''For every why he had a wherefore.''
''There is such a thing as doing good that evil may come.''
''Academic and aristocratic people live in such an uncommon atmosphere that common sense can rarely reach them.''
''The dons of Oxford and Cambridge are too busy educating the young men to be able to teach them anything.''
''A clergyman, again, can hardly ever allow himself to look facts fairly in the face. It is his profession to support one side; it is impossible, therefore, for him to make an unbiased examination of the other.''
''Some men love truth so much that they seem in continual fear lest she should catch cold on over-exposure.''
''The youth of an art is, like the youth of anything else, its most interesting period. When it has come to the knowledge of good and evil it is stronger, but we care less about it.''
''Bodily offspring I do not leave, but mental offspring I do. Well, my books do not have to be sent to school and college, and then insist on going into the church, or take to drinking, or marry their mother's maid.''
''We shall never get people whose time is money to take much interest in atoms.''
''A man's friendships are, like his will, invalidated by marriage—but they are also no less invalidated by the marriage of his friends.''
''To live is like to love—all reason is against it, and all healthy instinct for it.''
''Faith: You can do very little with it, but you can do nothing without it.''
''The only living works are those which have drained much of the author's own life into them.''
''We are not won by arguments that we can analyse but by tone and temper, by the manner which is the man himself.''
''Science, after all, is only an expression for our ignorance of our own ignorance.''
''Silence and tact may or may not be the same thing.''
''We all like to forgive, and love best not those who offend us least, nor who have done most for us, but those who make it most easy for us to forgive them.''
''The most important service rendered by the press and the magazines is that of educating people to approach printed matter with distrust.''
''If the wages of sin are death, what else, I should like to know, is the wages of virtue?''
''When the water of a place is bad it is safest to drink none that has not been filtered through either the berry of a grape, or else a tub of malt. These are the most reliable filters yet invented.''
''A sense of humour keen enough to show a man his own absurdities as well as those of other people will keep a man from the commission of all sins, or nearly all, save those that are worth committing.''
''People are lucky and unlucky not according to what they get absolutely, but according to the ratio between what they get and what they have been led to expect.''
''One of the first businesses of a sensible man is to know when he is beaten, and to leave off fighting at once.''
''All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.''
''Rare virtues are like rare plants or animals, things that have not been able to hold their own in the world. A virtue to be serviceable must, like gold, be alloyed with some commoner but more durable metal.''
''There is nothing so unthinkable as thought, unless it be the entire absence of thought.''
''The body is but a pair of pincers set over a bellows and a stewpan and the whole fixed upon stilts.''
''In the midst of vice we are in virtue, and vice versa.''
''The old saying of Buffon's that style is the man himself is as near the truth as we can get—but then most men mistake grammar for style, as they mistake correct spelling for words or schooling for education.''
''The extremes of vice and virtue are alike detestable; absolute virtue is as sure to kill a man as absolute vice is, let alone the dullnesses of it and the pomposities of it.''
''Belief like any other moving body follows the path of least resistance.''
''The family: I believe more unhappiness comes from this source than from any other—I mean the attempt to prolong family connection unduly, and to make people hang together artificially who would never naturally do so.''
''The better part of valour is indiscretion.''
''There is nothing which at once affects a man so much and so little as his own death.''
''To know is to know the things belonging to one's peace.''
''The first duty of a conscientious person is to have his or her conscience absolutely under his or her own control.''
''Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.''
''The oldest books are still only just out to those who have not read them.''
''The sinews of art and literature, like those of war, are money.''
''It is our less conscious thoughts and our less conscious actions which mainly mould our lives and the lives of those who spring from us.''
''All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.''
''Justice is my being allowed to do whatever I like. Injustice is whatever prevents my doing so.''
''Then spare the rod and spoil the child.''