There is a weird power in a spoken word… . And a word carries far—very far—deals destruction through time as the bullets go flying through space.
The true peace of God begins at any spot a thousand miles from the nearest land.
I dare say I am compelled, unconsciously compelled, now to write volume after volume, as in past years I was compelled to go to sea, voyage after voyage. Leaves must follow upon each other as leagues used to follow in the days gone by, on and on to the appointed end, which, being truth itself, is one—one for all men and for all occupations.
Topics: Authors & Writing
Hang ideas! They are tramps, vagabonds, knocking at the back-door of your mind, each taking a little of your substance, each carrying away some crumb of that belief in a few simple notions you must cling to if you want to live decently and would like to die easy!
My task which I am trying to achieve is by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel—it is, before all, to make you see. That—and no more, and it is everything.
He who wants to persuade should put his trust not in the right argument, but in the right word. The power of sound has always been greater than the power of sense.
Topics: Arguments, Words, Persuasion
The East Wind, an interloper in the dominions of Westerly Weather, is an impassive-faced tyrant with a sharp poniard held behind his back for a treacherous stab.
There are men here and there to whom the whole of life is like an after-dinner hour with a cigar; easy, pleasant, empty, perhaps enlivened by some fable of strife to be forgotten—before the end is told—even if there happens to be any end to it.
Nations it may be have fashioned their Governments, but the Governments have paid them back in the same coin.
What is a novel if not a conviction of our fellow-men’s existence strong enough to take upon itself a form of imagined life clearer than reality and whose accumulated verisimilitude of selected episodes puts to shame the pride of documentary history?
Topics: Authors & Writing, Fiction
As in political, so in literary action, a man wins friends for himself mostly by the passion of his prejudices.
The revolutionary spirit is mighty convenient in this, that it frees one from all scruples as regards ideas. Its hard absolute optimism is repulsive to my mind by the menace of fanaticism and intolerance it contains. No doubt one should smile at these things; but, imperfect Esthete, I am no better Philosopher. All claim to special righteousness awakens in me that scorn and anger from which a philosophical mind should be free.
Topics: Revolution, Revolutionaries, Revolutions
It is when we try to grapple with another man’s intimate need that we perceive how incomprehensible, wavering, and misty are the beings that share with us the sight of the stars and the warmth of the sun.
Any fool can carry on, but only the wise man knows how to shorten sail.
All ambitions are lawful except those which climb upward on the miseries or credulities of mankind.
Being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealings with men.
It is very difficult to be wholly joyous or wholly sad on this earth. The comic, when it is human, soon takes upon itself a face of pain; and some of our grieves… have their source in weaknesses which must be recognized with smiling compassion as the common inheritance of us all.
It is respectable to have no illusions, and safe, and profitable and dull.
A man that is born falls into a dream like a man who falls into the sea. If he tries to climb out into the air as inexperienced people endeavor to do, he drowns.
Above all, we must forgive the unhappy souls who have elected to make the pilgrimage on foot, who skirt the shore and look uncomprehendingly upon the horror of the struggle, the joy of victory, the profound hopelessness of the vanquished
Who knows what true loneliness is—not the conventional word, but the naked terror? To the lonely themselves it wears a mask. The most miserable outcast hugs some memory or some illusion. Now and then a fatal conjunction of events may lift the veil for an instant. For an instant only. No human being could bear a steady view of moral solitude without going mad.
The question is not how to get cured, but how to live.
I remember my youth and the feeling that will never come back any more—the feeling that I could last forever, outlast the sea, the earth, and all men; the deceitful feeling that lures us on to joys, to perils, to love, to vain effort—to death; the triumphant conviction of strength, the heat of life in the handful of dust, the glow in the heart that with every year grows dim, grows cold, grows small, and expires—and expires, too soon, too soon—before life itself.
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