It has now become the doctrine of a large clan of politicians that political honesty is unnecessary, slow, subversive of a man’s interests, and incompatible with quick onward movement.
When the ivy has found its tower, when the delicate creeper has found its strong wall, we know how the parasite plants grow and prosper.
Never think that you’re not good enough. A man should never think that. People will take you very much at your own reckoning.
Passionate love, I take it, rarely lasts long, and is very troublesome while it does last. Mutual esteem is very much more valuable.
I have no ambition to surprise my reader. Castles with unknown passages are not compatible with my homely muse.
And though it is much to be a nobleman, it is more to be a gentleman.
My sweetheart is to me more than a coined hemisphere.
Marvelous is the power which can be exercised, almost unconsciously, over a company, or an individual, or even upon a crowd by one person gifted with good temper, good digestion, good intellects, and good looks.
The satirist who writes nothing but satire should write but little – or it will seem that his satire springs rather from his own caustic nature than from the sins of the world in which he lives.
A man’s mind will very gradually refuse to make itself up until it is driven and compelled by emergency.
A woman’s life is not perfect or whole till she has added herself to a husband. Nor is a man’s life perfect or whole till he has added to himself a wife.
There is no royal road to learning; no short cut to the acquirement of any art.
As to that leisure evening of life, I must say that I do not want it. I can conceive of no contentment of which toil is not to be the immediate parent.
Oxford is the most dangerous place to which a young man can be sent.
It is a grand thing to rise in the world. The ambition to do so is the very salt of the earth. It is the parent of all enterprise, and the cause of all improvement.
Love is like any other luxury. You have no right to it unless you can afford it.
Success is the necessary misfortune of life, but it is only to the very unfortunate that it comes early.
Wine is valued by its price, not its flavour.
Poverty, to be picturesque, should be rural. Suburban misery is as hideous as it is pitiable.
I do like a little romance… just a sniff, as I call it, of the rocks and valleys. Of course, bread-and-cheese is the real thing. The rocks and valleys are no good at all, if you haven’t got that.
Life is so unlike theory.
I never knew a government yet that wanted to do anything.
The true picture of life as it is, if it could be adequately painted, would show men what they are, and how they might rise, not, indeed to perfection, but one step first, and then another on the ladder.
I hold that gentleman to be the best-dressed whose dress no one observes.
The habit of reading is the only enjoyment in which there is no alloy; it lasts when all other pleasures fade.
Book love… is your pass to the greatest, the purest, and the most perfect pleasure that God has prepared for His creatures.
There is no road to wealth so easy and respectable as that of matrimony.
There are some achievements which are never done in the presence of those who hear of them. Catching salmon is one, and working all night is another.
I think the greatest rogues are they who talk most of their honesty.
High rank and soft manners may not always belong to a true heart.
This at least should be a rule through the letter-writing world: that no angry letter be posted till four-and-twenty hours will have elapsed since it was written.
But then in novels the most indifferent hero comes out right at last. Some god comes out of a theatrical cloud and leaves the poor devil ten thousand-a-year and a title.
No man thinks there is much ado about nothing when the ado is about himself.
They are best dressed, whose dress no one observes.
There is no way of writing well and also of writing easily.
Three hours a day will produce as much as a man ought to write.
There is no happiness in love, except at the end of an English novel.
It has been the great fault of our politicians that they have all wanted to do something.
I doubt whether any girl would be satisfied with her lover’s mind if she knew the whole of it.
It is a comfortable feeling to know that you stand on your own ground. Land is about the only thing that can’t fly away.
It is necessary to get a lot of men together, for the show of the thing, otherwise the world will not believe. That is the meaning of committees. But the real work must always be done by one or two men.
Neither money nor position can atone to me for low birth.
Cham is the only thing to screw one up when one is down a peg.
It has become a certainty now that if you will only advertise sufficiently you may make a fortune by selling anything.
It is self-evident that at sixty-five a man has done all that he is fit to do.
There is no human bliss equal to twelve hours of work with only six hours in which to do it.
I ain’t a bit ashamed of anything.
It is the test of a novel writer’s art that he conceal his snake-in-the-grass; but the reader may be sure that it is always there.
When men think much, they can rarely decide.
A man’s love, till it has been chastened and fastened by the feeling of duty which marriage brings with it, is instigated mainly by the difficulty of pursuit.
When it comes to money nobody should give up anything.
It may almost be a question whether such wisdom as many of us have in our mature years has not come from the dying out of the power of temptation, rather than as the results of thought and resolution.
Dance with a girl three times, and if you like the light of her eye and the tone of voice with which she, breathless, answers your little questions about horseflesh and music about affairs masculine and feminine, then take the leap in the dark.
I do not know whether there be, as a rule, more vocal expression of the sentiment of love between a man and a woman, than there is between two thrushes. They whistle and call to each other, guided by instinct rather than by reason.
Don’t let love interfere with your appetite. It never does with mine.
As to happiness in this life it is hardly compatible with that diminished respect which ever attends the relinquishing of labour.
It is hard to rescue a man from the slough of luxury and idleness combined. If anything can do it, it is a cradle filled annually.
When a man is ill nothing is so important to him as his own illness.
A husband is very much like a house or a horse.
Since woman’s rights have come up a young woman is better able to fight her own battle.
What is there that money will not do?
In these days a man is nobody unless his biography is kept so far posted up that it may be ready for the national breakfast-table on the morning after his demise.
An author must be nothing if he do not love truth; a barrister must be nothing if he do.
A fellow oughtn’t to let his family property go to pieces.
They who do not understand that a man may be brought to hope that which of all things is the most grievous to him, have not observed with sufficient closeness the perversity of the human mind.