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Quotes and Images From The Works of William Dean Howells by William Dean Howells

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Produced by David Widger

QUOTES AND IMAGES FROM W. D. HOWELLS.

THE WRITINGS OF WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS

Absolutely, so positively, so almost
aggressively truthful

Account of one's reading is an account of
one's life

Affections will not be bidden

Beginning to grow old with touching courage

Book that they are content to know at
second hand

Christianity had done nothing to improve morals
and conditions

Clemens was sole, incomparable, the Lincoln of
our literature

Comfort from the thought that most things cannot
be helped

Contemptible he found our pseudo-equality

Critical vanity and self-righteousness

Critics are in no sense the legislators of
literature

Despair broke in laughter

Dickens rescued Christmas from Puritan distrust

Didn't reason about their beliefs, but
only argued

Disbeliever in punishments of all sorts

Even a day's rest is more than most people
can bear

Everlasting rock of human credulity and folly

Exchanging inaudible banalities

Fear of asking too much and the folly of asking
too little

For most people choice is a curse

Forbear the excesses of analysis

Gift of waiting for things to happen

Got out of it all the fun there was in it

Government is best which governs least

Habit of saying some friendly lying thing

He was not bored because he would not be

He had no time to make money

He's so resting

He's the same kind of a man that he was a boy

Heighten our suffering by anticipation

Heroic lies

His readers trusted and loved him

I do not think any man ought to live by an art

If one were poor, one ought to be deserving

If he was half as bad, he would have been too
bad to be

Incredible in their insipidity

Industrial slavery

Lewd literature seems to give a sanction to
lewdness in the life

Lie, of course, and did to save others from
grief or harm

Life alone is credible to the young

Livy: Well, if you are to be lost, I want to be
lost with you

Livy Clemens: the loveliest person I have
ever seen

Luxury of helplessness

Married Man: after the first start-off he
don't try

Meet here to the purpose of a common ostentation

Morbid egotism

My reading gave me no standing among the boys

Neatness that brings despair

Never paid in anything but hopes of paying

Never saw a dead man whom he did not envy

New England necessity of blaming some one

None of the passions are reasoned

NYC, a city where money counts for more and
goes for less

Old man's disposition to speak of his
infirmities

Pathetic hopefulness

Plain-speaking or Rude Speaking

Praised it enough to satisfy the author

Pseudo-realists

Public wish to be amused rather than edified

Real artistocracy is above social prejudice

Reformers, who are so often tedious and
ridiculous

Refused to see us as we see ourselves

Shackles of belief worn so long

She liked to get all she could out of her
emotions

Society interested in a woman's past,
not her future

Teach what they do not know

Somewhat too studied grace

Sunny gayety of self-forgetfulness

Secretly admires the splendors he affects to
despise

Self-satisfied, intolerant, and hypocritical
provinciality

Submitted, as people always do with the trials
of others

Tediously analytical

They are so many and I am so few

Truth is beyond invention

Used to ingratitude from those he helped

Vacuous vulgarity

We did not know that we were poor

We're company enough for ourselves

What we thought ruin, but what was really
release

When she's really sick, she's better

Wonder why we hate the past so?--"It's so
damned humiliating!"

You can't go back to anything

You may do a great deal (of work), and not get on

You marry a man's future as well as his past

You cannot be at perfect ease with a friend who
does not joke

COMPLETE QUOTATIONS

Absolutely, so positively, so almost aggressively truthful
Abstract, the airdrawn, afflicted me like physical discomforts
Account of one's reading is an account of one's life
Adroitness in flattery is not necessary for its successful use
Affections will not be bidden
Aim at nothing higher than the amusement of your readers
Air of looking down on the highest
All in all to each other
Always sumptuously providing out of his destitution
Amiable perception, and yet with a sort of remote absence
Amiably satirical
Any man's country could get on without him
Appeal, which he had come to recognize as invasive
Artist has seasons, as trees, when he cannot blossom
Authorities
Authors I must call my masters
Became gratefully strange
Beginning to grow old with touching courage
Begun to fight with want from their cradles
Best talkers are willing that you should talk if you like
Boldest man is commonly a little behind a timid woman
Book that they are content to know at second hand
Browbeat wholesome common-sense into the self-distrust
Business to take advantage of his necessity
But now I remember that he gets twenty dollars a month
Buzz of activities and pretences
Capriciousness of memory: what it will hold and what lose
Chained to the restless pursuit of an ideal not his own
Christianity had done nothing to improve morals and conditions
Church: "Oh yes, I go! It 'most kills me, but I go"
Clemens was sole, incomparable, the Lincoln of our literature
Cold-slaw
Collective opacity
Comfort from the thought that most things cannot be helped
Competition has deformed human nature
Composed her features and her ideas to receive her visitor
Concerning popularity as a test of merit in a book
Conditions of hucksters imposed upon poets
Contemptible he found our pseudo-equality
Could only by chance be caught in earnest about anything
Could make us feel that our faults were other people's
Could not, as the saying is, find a stone to throw at a dog
Could easily believe now that it was some one else who saw it
Couldn't fire your revolver without bringing down a two volumer
Crimson which stained the tops and steeps of snow
Crimson torch of a maple, kindled before its time
Critical vanity and self-righteousness
Criticism still remains behind all the other literary arts
Critics are in no sense the legislators of literature
Dawn upon him through a cloud of other half remembered faces
Death of the joy that ought to come from work
Death's vague conjectures to the broken expectations of life
Despair broke in laughter
Despised the avoidance of repetitions out of fear of tautology
Dickens rescued Christmas from Puritan distrust
Dickens is purely democratic
Did not feel the effect I would so willingly have experienced
Didn't reason about their beliefs, but only argued
Dinner was at the old-fashioned Boston hour of two
Disbeliever in punishments of all sorts
Disposition to use his friends
Do not want to know about such squalid lives
Dollars were of so much farther flight than now
Dull, cold self-absorption
Early self-helpfulness of children is very remarkable
Effort to do and say exactly the truth, and to find it out
Either to deny the substance of things unseen, or to affirm it
Encounter of old friends after the lapse of years
Enjoying whatever was amusing in the disadvantage to himself
Errors of a weak man, which were usually the basest
Escaped at night and got into the boy's dreams
Espoused the theory of Bacon's authorship of Shakespeare
Ethical sense, not the aesthetical sense
Even a day's rest is more than most people can bear
Everlasting rock of human credulity and folly
Exchanging inaudible banalities
Express the appreciation of another's fit word
Eyes fixed steadfastly upon the future
Fact that it is hash many times warmed over that reassures them
Fate of a book is in the hands of the women
Fear of asking too much and the folly of asking too little
Feigned the gratitude which I could see that he expected
Felt that this was my misfortune more than my fault
Few men last over from one reform to another
Fictions subtle effect for good and for evil on the young
Flowers with which we garland our despair in that pitiless hour
For most people choice is a curse
Forbear the excesses of analysis
Forbearance of a wise man content to bide his time
Found life was not all poetry
Gay laugh comes across the abysm of the years
General worsening of things, familiar after middle life
Generous lover of all that was excellent in literature
Gift of waiting for things to happen
Glance of the common eye, is and always was the best light
God of chance leads them into temptation and adversity
Got out of it all the fun there was in it
Government is best which governs least
Greatest classics are sometimes not at all great
Greeting of great impersonal cordiality
Grieving that there could be such ire in heavenly minds
Habit of saying some friendly lying thing
Happy in the indifference which ignorance breeds in us
Hard to think up anything new
Hard of hearing on one side. But it isn't deafness!
Hardly any sort of bloodshed which I would not pardon
Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Autocrat clashed upon homeopathy
Hate of hate, The scorn of scorn, The love of love
He was a youth to the end of his days
He was not bored because he would not be
He had no time to make money
He was not constructive; he was essentially observant
He might walk home with her if he would not seem to do so
He's so resting
He's the same kind of a man that he was a boy
Heart of youth aching for their stoical sorrows
Heighten our suffering by anticipation
Heroic lies
His readers trusted and loved him
His plays were too bad for the stage, or else too good for it
His coming almost killed her, but it was worth it
His remembrance absolutely ceased with an event
Historian, who is a kind of inferior realist
Holiday literature
Hollow hilarities which people use to mask their indifference
Hollowness, the hopelessness, the unworthiness of life
Honest men are few when it comes to themselves
Honesty is difficult
Hopeful apathy in his face
Hospitable gift of making you at home with him
I do not think any man ought to live by an art
I did not know, and I hated to ask
If one were poor, one ought to be deserving
If he was half as bad, he would have been too bad to be
If one must, it ought to be champagne
If he has not enjoyed writing no one will enjoy reading
Imitators of one another than of nature
Impropriety if not indecency promises literary success
In the South there was nothing but a mistaken social ideal
In school there was as little literature then as there is now
Incoherencies of people meeting after a long time
Incredible in their insipidity
Industrial slavery
Inexhaustible flow of statement, conjecture and misgiving
Inexperience takes this effect (literary lewdness) for reality
Insatiable English fancy for the wild America no longer there
Insensate pride that mothers have in their children's faults
Intellectual poseurs
Intent upon some point in the future
It was mighty pretty, as Pepys would say
Joyful shame of children who have escaped punishment
Kept her talking vacuities when her heart was full
Kindness and gentleness are never out of fashion
Kissing goes by favor, in literature as in life
Languages, while they live, are perpetually changing
Led a life of public seclusion
Left him to do what the cat might
Let fiction cease to lie about life
Lewd literature seems to give a sanction to lewdness in the life
Lie, of course, and did to save others from grief or harm
Life alone is credible to the young
Liked to find out good things and great things for himself
Literature beautiful only through the intelligence
Literature is Business as well as Art
Literature has no objective value
Little knot of conscience between her pretty eyebrows
Lived a thousand little lies every day
Livy: Well, if you are to be lost, I want to be lost with you
Livy Clemens: the loveliest person I have ever seen
Long-puerilized fancy will bear an endless repetition
Long breath was not his; he could not write a novel
Look of challenge, of interrogation, almost of reproof
Looked as if Destiny had sat upon it
Love of freedom and the hope of justice
Luxury of helplessness
Made many of my acquaintances very tired of my favorite authors
Made them talk as seldom man and never woman talked
Malevolent agitators
Man is strange to himself as long as he lives
Man who had so much of the boy in him
Man who may any moment be out of work is industrially a slave
Marriages are what the parties to them alone really know
Married Man: after the first start-off he don't try
Meet here to the purpose of a common ostentation
Mellow cordial of a voice that was like no other
Men read the newspapers, but our women read the books
Men's lives ended where they began, in the keeping of women
Met with kindness, if not honor
Mind and soul were with those who do the hard work of the world
Mind of a man is the court of final appeal for the wisest women
Morbid egotism
Most desouthernized Southerner I ever knew
Most journalists would have been literary men if they could
Most serious, the most humane, the most conscientious of men
Motives lie nearer the surface than most people commonly pretend
Mustache, which in those days devoted a man to wickedness
My own youth now seems to me rather more alien
My reading gave me no standing among the boys
Napoleonic height which spiritually overtops the Alps
Nearly nothing as chaos could be
Neatness that brings despair
Never saw a man more regardful of negroes
Never paid in anything but hopes of paying
Never quite sure of life unless I find literature in it
Never appeals to the principle which sniffs, in his reader
Never saw a dead man whom he did not envy
New England necessity of blaming some one
No greatness, no beauty, which does not come from truth
No man more perfectly sensed and more entirely abhorred slavery
No man ever yet told the truth about himself
No rose blooms right along
No two men see the same star
No greatness, no beauty, which does not come from truth
No object in life except to deprive it of all object
Noble uselessness
None of the passions are reasoned
Not quite himself till he had made you aware of his quality
Not possible for Clemens to write like anybody else
Not much patience with the unmanly craving for sympathy
Not a man who cared to transcend; he liked bounds
Nothing in the way of sport, as people commonly understand it
Novels hurt because they are not true
Now little notion what it was about, but I love its memory
Now death has come to join its vague conjectures
NYC, a city where money counts for more and goes for less
Odious hilarity, without meaning and without remission
Offers mortifyingly mean, and others insultingly vague
Old man's disposition to speak of his infirmities
Old man's tendency to revert to the past
One could be openly poor in Cambridge without open shame
Only one concerned who was quite unconcerned
Openly depraved by shows of wealth
Ought not to call coarse without calling one's self prudish
Our huckstering civilization
Outer integument of pretence
Passive elegance which only ancestral uselessness can give
Pathetic hopefulness
Pathos of revolt from the colorless rigidities
People whom we think unequal to their good fortune
People of wealth and fashion always dissemble their joy
People have never had ideals, but only moods and fashions
Picture which, he said to himself, no one would believe in
Plagiarism carries inevitable detection with it
Plain-speaking or Rude Speaking
Plain industry and plodding perseverance are despised
Pointed the moral in all they did
Polite learning hesitated his praise
Praised it enough to satisfy the author
Praised extravagantly, and in the wrong place
Prejudice against certain words that I cannot overcome
Provisional reprehension of possible shiftlessness
Pseudo-realists
Public wish to be amused rather than edified
Public whose taste is so crude that they cannot enjoy the best
Put your finger on the present moment and enjoy it
Quiet but rather dull look of people slightly deaf
Rapture of the new convert could not last
Real artistocracy is above social prejudice
Reformers, who are so often tedious and ridiculous
Refused to see us as we see ourselves
Reparation due from every white to every black man
Responsibility of finding him all we have been told he is
Rogues in every walk of life
Satirical smile with which men witness the effusion of women
Secret of the man who is universally interesting
Secretly admires the splendors he affects to despise
Seen through the wrong end of the telescope
Seldom talked, but there came times when he would'nt even listen
Self-satisfied, intolerant, and hypocritical provinciality
Shackles of belief worn so long
She liked to get all she could out of her emotions
Should probably have wasted the time if I had not read them
Singleness of a nature that was all pose
So long as we have social inequality we shall have snobs
So refined, after the gigantic coarseness of California
So many millionaires and so many tramps
Society interested in a woman's past, not her future
Sometimes they sacrificed the song to the sermon
Somewhat shy of his fellow-men, as the scholar seems always to be.
Somewhat too studied grace
Sought the things that he could agree with you upon
Spare his years the fatigue of recalling your identity
Speaks it is not with words and blood, but with words and ink
Spit some hapless victim: make him suffer and the reader laugh
Standards were their own, and they were satisfied with them
Study in a corner by the porch
Stupefied by a life of unalloyed prosperity and propriety
Stupidly truthful
Style is the man, and he cannot hide himself in any garb
Submitted, as people always do with the trials of others
Sunny gayety of self-forgetfulness
Superiority one likes to feel towards the rich and great
Take our pleasures ungraciously
Teach what they do not know
Tediously analytical
The old and ugly are fastidious as to the looks of others
The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it
The great trouble is for the man to be honest with her
There is small love of pure literature
They are so many and I am so few
Things common to all, however peculiar in each
Those who work too much and those who rest too much
Those who have sorrowed deepest will understand this best
Times when a man's city was a man's country
Tired themselves out in trying to catch up with him
To break new ground
To be exemplary is as dangerous as to be complimentary
Tone was a snuffle expressive of deep-seated affliction
Trace no discrepancy between reading his plays and seeing them
Tried to like whatever they bade me like
True to an ideal of life rather than to life itself
Truth is beyond invention
Two branches of the novelist's trade: Novelist and Historian
Under a fire of conjecture and asseveration
Understood when I've said something that doesn't mean anything
Unfailing American kindness
Unless we prefer a luxury of grief
Used to ingratitude from those he helped
Vacuous vulgarity
Visitors of the more inquisitive sex
Vulgarity: bad art to lug it in
Walter-Scotticized, pseudo-chivalry of the Southern ideal
Want something hard, don't you know; but I want it to be easy
Wasted face, and his gay eyes had the death-look
We have never ended before, and we do not see how we can end
We change whether we ought, or not
We see nothing whole, neither life nor art
We who have neither youth nor beauty should always expect it
We cannot all be hard-working donkeys
We did not know that we were poor
We're company enough for ourselves
What I had not I could hope for without unreason
What he had done he owned to, good, bad, or indifferent
What makes a better fashion change for a worse
What we thought ruin, but what was really release
Whatever is established is sacred with those who do not think
Whatever choice you make, you are pretty sure to regret it
When to be an agnostic was to be almost an outcast
When she's really sick, she's better
When was love ever reasoned?
Whether every human motive was not selfish
Wide leisure of a country village
Wishes of a mistress who did not know what she wanted
Wit that tries its teeth upon everything
With all her insight, to have very little artistic sense
Women don't seem to belong very much to themselves
Women talked their follies and men acted theirs
Wonder why we hate the past so?--"It's so damned humiliating!"
Wonderful to me how it should remain so unintelligible
Words of learned length and thundering sound
Work gives the impression of an uncommon continuity
Work not truly priced in money cannot be truly paid in money
World made up of two kinds of people
World seems to always come out at the same hole it went in at!
World's memory is equally bad for failure and success
Worldlier than the world
Worst came it was not half so bad as what had gone before
Wrote them first and last in the spirit of Dickens
You can't go back to anything
You cannot be at perfect ease with a friend who does not joke
You may do a great deal(of work), and not get on
You marry a man's future as well as his past
You were not afraid, and you were not bold; you were just right

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