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Widger's Quotations from the Works of William Dean Howells
by David Widger
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The quotations are in two formats: 1. Small passages from the text. 2. A list of alphabetized one-liners.

D.W.



WIDGER'S QUOTATIONS



THE KENTONS [WH#09][whken10.txt]3362

"Well, that's good," said the young man, and while he talked on she sat wondering at a nature which all modesty and deference seemed left out of, though he had sometimes given evidence of his intellectual appreciation of these things.

She was polite to them all, but to Boyne she was flattering, and he was too little used to deference from ladies ten years his senior not to be very sensible of her worth in offering it.

She in turn, to be sure, offered herself a sacrifice to the whims of the sick girl, whose worst whim was having no wish that could be ascertained, and who now, after two days of her mother's devotion, was cast upon her own resources by the inconstant barometer.

It was more difficult for Mrs. Kenton to get rid of the judge, but an inscrutable frown goes far in such exigencies.



FENNEL AND RUE [WH#10][whfar10.txt]3363

I used almost to die of hunger for something to happen.

She had downed the hoary superstition that people had too much of a good time on Christmas to want any good time at all in the week following; and in acting upon the well-known fact that you never wanted a holiday so much as the day after you had one, she had made a movement of the highest social importance.

She added, less sharply: "She couldn't afford to fail, though, at any point. The fad that fails is extinguished forever. Will these simple facts do for fiction? Or is it for somebody in real life you're asking, Mr. Verrian?"



DR. BREEN'S PRACTICE [WH#11][whdbp10.txt]3364

The neat weather-gray dwellings, shingled to the ground and brightened with door-yard flowers and creepers, straggled off into the boat-houses and fishing-huts on the shore, and the village seemed to get afloat at last in the sloops and schooners riding in the harbor, whose smooth plane rose higher to the eye than the town itself.

Very probably Dr. Mulbridge would not have recognized himself in the character of all-compelling lady's-novel hero, which Miss Gleason imagined for him.

Dr. Mulbridge smiled, as if he perceived her intention not to tell him something she wished to tell him.

"I believe that if Mrs. Maynard had had the same confidence in me that she would have had in any man I should not have failed. But every woman physician has a double disadvantage that I hadn't the strength to overcome,—her own inexperience and the distrust of other women."



THEIR WEDDING JOURNEY [WH#12][whtwj10.txt]3365

In the distance on either hand they could see cars and carts and wagons toiling up and down the avenues, and on the next intersecting pavement sometimes a laborer with his jacket slung across his shoulder, or a dog that had plainly made up his mind to go mad.

Then it appeared that the cook would not believe in them, and he did not send them, till they were quite faint, the peppery and muddy draught which impudently affected to be coffee, the oily slices of fugacious potatoes slipping about in their shallow dish and skillfully evading pursuit, the pieces of beef that simulated steak, the hot, greasy biscuit, steaming evilly up into the face when opened, and then soddening into masses of condensed dyspepsia.

"No," said Basil, not yet used to having his decisions reached without his knowledge.

In a moment it had come, the first serious dispute of their wedded life. It had come as all such calamities come, from nothing, and it was on them in full disaster ere they knew.

(A reader suggested this additional quote:) I suppose that almost any evil commends itself by its ruin; the wrecks of slavery are fast growing a fungus crop of sentiment.



A HAZARD OF NEW FORTUNES, V1 [WH#13][wh1nf10.txt]3366

She was a little worn out with the care of housekeeping—Mrs. March breathed, "Oh yes!" in the sigh with which ladies recognize one another's martyrdom—

He experienced remorse in the presence of inanimate things he was going to leave as if they had sensibly reproached him, and an anticipative homesickness that seemed to stop his heart.

They were at that time of life when people first turn to their children's opinion with deference.

He expected to do the wrong thing when left to his own devices, and he did it without any apparent recollection of his former misdeeds and their consequences. There was a good deal of comedy in it all, and some tragedy.

She expected him in this event to do as he pleased, and she resigned herself to it with considerable comfort in holding him accountable. He learned to expect this, and after suffering keenly from her disappointment with whatever he did he waited patiently till she forgot her grievance and began to extract what consolation lurks in the irreparable.



A HAZARD OF NEW FORTUNES, V2 [WH#14][wh2nf10.txt]3367

"Now, Alma," said her mother, with the clinging persistence of such natures.

Mrs. March asked her husband what a dividend was. "It's a chicken before it's hatched."

"I am not blue, Alma. But I cannot endure this—this hopefulness of yours."

What you want is some man who can have patience with mediocrity putting on the style of genius, and with genius turning mediocrity on his hands.

You know we Southerners have all had to go to woak. But Ah don't mand it. I tell papa I shouldn't ca' fo' the disgrace of bein' poo' if it wasn't fo' the inconvenience."

He had that timidity of the elder in the presence of the younger man which the younger, preoccupied with his own timidity in the presence of the elder, cannot imagine.



A HAZARD OF NEW FORTUNES, V3 [WH#15][wh3nf10.txt]3368

Dryfoos complained to his wife on the basis of mere affectional habit, which in married life often survives the sense of intellectual equality. He did not expect her to reason with him, but there was help in her listening, and though she could only soothe his fretfulness with soft answers which were often wide of the purpose, he still went to her for solace.

He began to brag of his wife, as a good husband always does when another woman charms him.

His courage hadn't been put to the test, and courage is a matter of proof, like proficiency on the fiddle, you know: you can't tell whether you've got it till you try."

I wish that old friend of hers would hurry up and git well—or something.

Men who have made money and do not yet know that money has made them....



A HAZARD OF NEW FORTUNES, V4 [WH#16][wh4nf10.txt]3369

He seemed to be lying in wait for some encroachment of the literary department on the art department, and he met it now and then with anticipative reprisal.

In the course of his married life March had learned not to censure the irretrievable; but this was just what his wife had not learned....

She was too ignorant of her ignorance to recognize the mistakes she made.

But in these matters we have no right to burden our friends with our decisions."

The Marches had no longer the gross appetite for novelty which urges youth to a surfeit of strange scenes, experiences, ideas; and makes travel, with all its annoyances and fatigues, an inexhaustible delight.



A HAZARD OF NEW FORTUNES, V5 [WH#17][wh5nf10.txt]3370

Death is an exile that no remorse and no love can reach. Remember that, and be good to every one here on earth, for your longing to retrieve any harshness or unkindness to the dead will be the very ecstasy of anguish to you.

"Oh, death doesn't look bad," said March. "It's life that looks so in its presence. Death is peace and pardon.

Does any one deserve happiness?

Let their love of justice hurry them into sympathy with violence.

"Does anything from without change us?" her husband mused aloud. "We're brought up to think so by the novelists, who really have the charge of people's thinking, nowadays.

"Yes, people that have convictions are difficult. Fortunately, they're rare."

To do whatever one likes is finally to do nothing that one likes, even though one continues to do what one will....



SILVER WEDDING JOURNEY, V1 [WH#18][wh1sw10.txt]3371

The wars come and go in blood and tears; but whether they are bad wars, or what are comically called good wars, they are of one effect in death and sorrow.

I don't know. It seems to me that I'm less and less certain of everything that I used to be sure of.

But the madness of sight-seeing, which spoils travel, was on them, and they delivered themselves up to it as they used in their ignorant youth, though now they knew its futility so well. They spared themselves nothing that they had time for.

Men would say anything from a reckless and culpable optimism.

While they all talked on together, and repeated the nothings they had said already....



SILVER WEDDING JOURNEY, V2 [WH#19][wh2sw10.txt]3372 It's so deeply founded in nature that after denying royalty by word and deed for a hundred years, we Americans are hungrier for it than anybody else.

He buys my poverty and not my will.

There was no wild life to penetrate his isolation; no birds, not a squirrel, not an insect; an old man who had bidden him good-morning, as he came up, kept fumbling at the path with his hoe, and was less intrusive than if he had not been there.

He lost the sense of his wife's presence, and answered her vaguely. She talked contentedly on in the monologue to which the wives of absent- minded men learn to resign themselves.

The disadvantage of living long is that we get too much into the hands of other people.



SILVER WEDDING JOURNEY, V3 [WH#20][wh3sw10.txt]3373

Summoned the passengers to declare that they had nothing to declare, as a preliminary to being searched like thieves at the dock.

It's the illusions: no marriage can be perfect without them, and at their age the Kenbys can't have them.

You expected the ideal. And that's what makes all the trouble, in married life: we expect too much of each other—we each expect more of the other than we are willing to give or can give. If I had to begin over again, I should not expect anything at all, and then I should be sure of being radiantly happy.

She always came to his defence when he accused himself; it was the best ground he could take with her.



THE ENTIRE MARCH FAMILY TRILOGY [WH#21][whemf10.txt]3374

The sea-sickness was confined to those who seemed wilful sufferers.

The voting-cattle whom they bought and sold.

There is little proportion about either pain or pleasure: a headache darkens the universe while it lasts, a cup of tea really lightens the spirit bereft of all reasonable consolations.

She has a great respect for your mind, but she don't think you've got any sense.

Uncounted thousands within doors prolonging, before the day's terror began, the oblivion of sleep.

She wonders the happiest women in the world can look each other in the face without bursting into tears, their happiness is so unreasonable, and so built upon and hedged about with misery. She declares that there's nothing so sad to her as a bride, unless it's a young mother, or a little girl growing up in the innocent gayety of her heart. She wonders they can live through it.



THE LANDLORD AT LIONS HEAD, V1 [WH#22][wh1lh10.txt]3375

Crimson torch of a maple, kindled before its time Disposition to use his friends Fear of asking too much and the folly of asking too little Government is best which governs least Honesty is difficult Insensate pride that mothers have in their children's faults Joyful shame of children who have escaped punishment Married Man: after the first start-off he don't try Nothing in the way of sport, as people commonly understand it People whom we think unequal to their good fortune Society interested in a woman's past, not her future The great trouble is for the man to be honest with her We're company enough for ourselves Women talked their follies and men acted theirs World seems to always come out at the same hole it went in at!



THE LANDLORD AT LIONS HEAD, V2 [WH#23][wh2lh10.txt]3376

Boldest man is commonly a little behind a timid woman Crimson which stained the tops and steeps of snow Errors of a weak man, which were usually the basest Exchanging inaudible banalities He might walk home with her if he would not seem to do so He's the same kind of a man that he was a boy Hollow hilarities which people use to mask their indifference If one must, it ought to be champagne Intent upon some point in the future No two men see the same star Pathetic hopefulness Picture which, he said to himself, no one would believe in Quiet but rather dull look of people slightly deaf Stupefied by a life of unalloyed prosperity and propriety To be exemplary is as dangerous as to be complimentary Want something hard, don't you know; but I want it to be easy With all her insight, to have very little artistic sense World made up of two kinds of people



CRITICISM AND FICTION [WH#24][whcaf10.txt]3377

Authorities Browbeat wholesome common-sense into the self-distrust Comfort from the thought that most things cannot be helped Concerning popularity as a test of merit in a book Critical vanity and self-righteousness Critics are in no sense the legislators of literature Dickens rescued Christmas from Puritan distrust Fact that it is hash many times warmed over that reassures them Forbear the excesses of analysis Glance of the common eye, is and always was the best light Greatest classics are sometimes not at all great Holiday literature Imitators of one another than of nature Languages, while they live, are perpetually changing Let fiction cease to lie about life Long-puerilized fancy will bear an endless repetition Made them talk as seldom man and never woman talked No greatness, no beauty, which does not come from truth Novels hurt because they are not true Plain industry and plodding perseverance are despised Pseudo-realists Public wish to be amused rather than edified Teach what they do not know Tediously analytical Unless we prefer a luxury of grief Vulgarity: bad art to lug it in Whatever is established is sacred with those who do not think



MY LITERARY PASSIONS [WH#25][whmlp10.txt]3378

Account of one's reading is an account of one's life Affections will not be bidden Air of looking down on the highest Authors I must call my masters Capriciousness of memory: what it will hold and what lose Contemptible he found our pseudo-equality Criticism still remains behind all the other literary arts Dickens is purely democratic Escaped at night and got into the boy's dreams Fictions subtle effect for good and for evil on the young Hardly any sort of bloodshed which I would not pardon Hospitable gift of making you at home with him In school there was as little literature then as there is now Inexperience takes this effect (literary lewdness) for reality Kindness and gentleness are never out of fashion Kissing goes by favor, in literature as in life Lewd literature seems to give a sanction to lewdness in the life Made many of my acquaintances very tired of my favorite authors 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 Never appeals to the principle which sniffs, in his reader None of the passions are reasoned Now little notion what it was about, but I love its memory Prejudice against certain words that I cannot overcome Rapture of the new convert could not last Responsibility of finding him all we have been told he is Secretly admires the splendors he affects to despise Self-satisfied, intolerant, and hypocritical provinciality Should probably have wasted the time if I had not read them So long as we have social inequality we shall have snobs Somewhat too studied grace Speaks it is not with words and blood, but with words and ink Spit some hapless victim: make him suffer and the reader laugh Style is the man, and he cannot hide himself in any garb Trace no discrepancy between reading his plays and seeing them Tried to like whatever they bade me like Truth is beyond invention We did not know that we were poor We see nothing whole, neither life nor art What I had not I could hope for without unreason What we thought ruin, but what was really release When was love ever reasoned? Wide leisure of a country village Words of learned length and thundering sound World's memory is equally bad for failure and success Worst came it was not half so bad as what had gone before 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



SHORT STORIES AND ESSAYS [WH#26][whsse10.txt]3379

Aim at nothing higher than the amusement of your readers Any man's country could get on without him Begun to fight with want from their cradles Could not, as the saying is, find a stone to throw at a dog Disbeliever in punishments of all sorts Do not want to know about such squalid lives Early self-helpfulness of children is very remarkable Encounter of old friends after the lapse of years Even a day's rest is more than most people can bear Eyes fixed steadfastly upon the future For most people choice is a curse General worsening of things, familiar after middle life Happy in the indifference which ignorance breeds in us Hard to think up anything new Heart of youth aching for their stoical sorrows Heighten our suffering by anticipation If one were poor, one ought to be deserving Look of challenge, of interrogation, almost of reproof Malevolent agitators Meet here to the purpose of a common ostentation Neatness that brings despair Noble uselessness Openly depraved by shows of wealth People have never had ideals, but only moods and fashions People of wealth and fashion always dissemble their joy Plagiarism carries inevitable detection with it Refused to see us as we see ourselves So many millionaires and so many tramps Superiority one likes to feel towards the rich and great Take our pleasures ungraciously The old and ugly are fastidious as to the looks of others They are so many and I am so few Those who work too much and those who rest too much Unfailing American kindness Visitors of the more inquisitive sex We cannot all be hard-working donkeys We who have neither youth nor beauty should always expect it Whatever choice you make, you are pretty sure to regret it



NOTES OF A VANISHED SUMMER [WH#27][whvan10.txt]3380

Not all the houses are small; some are spacious and ambitious to be of ugly modern patterns.

We are still far from the falling leaf; we are hardly come to the blushing or fading leaf. Here and there an impassioned maple confesses the autumn.

The street takes care of itself; the seafaring housekeeping of New England is not of the insatiable Dutch type which will not spare the stones of the highway; but within the houses are of almost terrifying cleanliness.

Jim was, and still is, and I hope will long be, a cat; but unless one has lived at Kittery Point, and realized, from observation and experience, what a leading part cats may play in society, one cannot feel the full import of this fact. Not only has every house in Kittery its cat, but every house seems to have its half-dozen cats, large, little, old, and young; of divers colors, tending mostly to a dark tortoise-shell.

The day's work on land and sea is then over, and the village leisure, perched upon fences and stayed against house walls, is of a picturesqueness which we should prize if we saw it abroad, and which I am not willing to slight on our own ground.

The lounging native walk is not the heavy plod taught by the furrow, but has the lurch and the sway of the deck in it.



STANDARD HOUSEHOLD EFFECT CO. [WH#28][whshe10.txt]3381

As soon as she has got a thing she wants, she begins to hate it.

I have been thinking this matter over very seriously, and I believe it is going from bad to worse. I have heard praises of the thorough housekeeping of our grandmothers, but the housekeeping of their granddaughters is a thousand times more intense.

At several times in our own lives we have accumulated stuff enough to furnish two or three house and have paid a pretty stiff house-rent in the form of storage for the overflow.

Yes, I see what you mean," I said. This is what one usually says when one does not quite know what another is driving at; but in this case I really did know, or thought I did.



AMERICAN LITERARY CENTERS [WH#29][whalc10.txt]3382

One of the facts which we Americans have a difficulty in making clear to a rather inattentive world outside is that, while we have apparently a literature of our own, we have no literary centre. We have so much literature that from time to time it seems even to us we must have a literary centre. We say to ourselves, with a good deal of logic, Where there is so much smoke there must be some fire, or at least a fireplace.

It is not quality that is wanting, but perhaps it is the quantity of the quality; there is leaven, but not for so large a lump. It may be that New York is going to be our literary centre, as London is the literary centre of England, by gathering into itself all our writing talent, but it has by no means done this yet.

Preach the blessings of our deeply incorporated civilization by the mouths of our eight-inch guns.



SPANISH PRISONERS OF WAR [WH#30][whspw10.txt]3383

If we had a grief with the Spanish government, and if it was so mortal we must do murder for it, we might have sent a joint committee of the House and Senate, and, with the improved means of assassination which modern science has put at our command, killed off the Spanish cabinet, and even the queen—mother and the little king. This would have been consequent, logical, and in a sort reasonable; but to butcher and capture a lot of wretched Spanish peasants and fishermen, hapless conscripts to whom personally and nationally we were as so many men in the moon, was that melancholy and humiliating necessity of war which makes it homicide in which there is not even the saving grace of hate, or the excuse of hot blood.

That stupid and atrocious hate towards the public enemy which abominable newspapers and politicians had tried to breed in the popular mind.

How is it the great pieces of good luck fall to us?



ANOMALIES OF THE SHORT STORY [WH#31][whass10.txt]3384

One of the most amusing questions concerning the short story is why a form which is singly so attractive that every one likes to read a short story when he finds it alone is collectively so repellent as it is said to be. Before now I have imagined the case to be somewhat the same as that of a number of pleasant people who are most acceptable as separate householders, but who lose caste and cease to be desirable acquaintances when gathered into a boarding-house.

I wish that the general reader, with whom the fault lies, could be made to say why, if he likes one short story by itself and four short stories in a magazine, he does not like, or will not have, a dozen short stories in a book. This was the baffling question which I began with and which I find myself forced to end with, after all the light I have thrown upon the subject.



LAST DAYS IN A DUTCH HOTEL [WH#32][whldh10.txt]3385

But in Europe everything is permanent, and in America everything is provisional. This is the great distinction which, if always kept in mind, will save a great deal of idle astonishment. It is in nothing more apparent than in the preparation here at Scheveningen for centuries of summer visitors, while at our Long Island hotel there was a losing bet on a scant generation of them. When it seemed likely that it might be a winning bet the sand was planked there in front of the hotel to the sea with spruce boards. It was very handsomely planked, but it was never afterwards touched, apparently, for any manner of repairs. Here, for half a mile the dune on which the hotel stands is shored up with massive masonry, and bricked for carriages, and tiled for foot-passengers; and it is all kept as clean as if wheel or foot had never passed over it. I am sure that there is not a broken brick or a broken tile in the whole length or breadth of it. But the hotel here is not a bet; it is a business. It has come to stay; and on Long Island it had come to see how it would like it.



THE YOUNG CONTRIBUTOR [WH#33][whtyc10.txt]3386

An artistic atmosphere does not create artists a literary atmosphere does not create literators; poets and painters spring up where there was never a verse made or a picture seen.

We hear much of drudgery, but any sort of work that is slighted becomes drudgery; poetry, fiction, painting, sculpture, acting, architecture, if you do not do your best by them, turn to drudgery sore as digging ditches, hewing wood, or drawing water; and these, by the same blessings of God, become arts if they are done with conscience and the sense of beauty.

At once put aside all anxiety about style; that is a thing that will take care of itself; it will be added unto him if he really has something to say; for style is only a man's way of saying a thing.

If I were to sin my sins over again, I think I should sin a little more on the side of candid severity. I am sure I should do more good in that way, and I am sure that when I used to dissemble my real mind I did harm to those whose feelings I wished to spare.

The trouble with success is that it is apt to leave life behind, or apart. The successful writer especially is in danger of becoming isolated from the realities that nurtured in him the strength to win success.

I think that every author who is honest with himself must own that his work would be twice as good if it were done twice.



CONFESSIONS OF SUMMER COLONIST [WH#34][whcsc10.txt]3387

At this function, which is our chief social event, it is 'de rigueur' for the men not to dress, and they come in any sort of sack or jacket or cutaway, letting the ladies make up the pomps which they forego.

They say frankly that the summer folks have no idea how pleasant it is when they are gone.

Well, we calculate to do our work," he added, with an accent which sufficiently implied that their consciences needed no bossing in the performance.



MAN OF LETTERS IN BUSINESS [WH#35][whmlb10.txt]3388

Artist has seasons, as trees, when he cannot blossom Book that they are content to know at second hand Business to take advantage of his necessity Competition has deformed human nature Conditions of hucksters imposed upon poets Fate of a book is in the hands of the women God of chance leads them into temptation and adversity Historian, who is a kind of inferior realist I do not think any man ought to live by an art If he has not enjoyed writing no one will enjoy reading Impropriety if not indecency promises literary success Literature beautiful only through the intelligence Literature has no objective value Literature is Business as well as Art Man is strange to himself as long as he lives Men read the newspapers, but our women read the books Most journalists would have been literary men if they could Never quite sure of life unless I find literature in it No rose blooms right along Our huckstering civilization Public whose taste is so crude that they cannot enjoy the best Rogues in every walk of life There is small love of pure literature Two branches of the novelist's trade: Novelist and Historian Work not truly priced in money cannot be truly paid in money



LITERATURE AND LIFE [WH#36][whlal10.txt]3389

Impropriety if not indecency promises literary success.

Literature is beautiful only through the intelligence.

Public whose taste is so crude that they cannot enjoy the best.

They say frankly that the summer folks have no idea how pleasant it is when they are gone.

The trouble with success is that it is apt to leave life behind, or apart. The successful writer especially is in danger of becoming isolated from the realities that nurtured in him the strength to win success.

I think that every author who is honest with himself must own that his work would be twice as good if it were done twice.

At once put aside all anxiety about style; that is a thing that will take care of itself; it will be added unto him if he really has something to say; for style is only a man's way of saying a thing.

If I were to sin my sins over again, I think I should sin a little more on the side of candid severity. I am sure I should do more good in that way, and I am sure that when I used to dissemble my real mind I did harm to those whose feelings I wished to spare.



MY MARK TWAIN [WH#37][whmmt10.txt]3390

Absolutely, so positively, so almost aggressively truthful Amiable perception, and yet with a sort of remote absence But now I remember that he gets twenty dollars a month 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 Despair broke in laughter Despised the avoidance of repetitions out of fear of tautology Everlasting rock of human credulity and folly Flowers with which we garland our despair in that pitiless hour He was a youth to the end of his days Heroic lies His coming almost killed her, but it was worth it Honest men are few when it comes to themselves It was mighty pretty, as Pepys would say Left him to do what the cat might Lie, of course, and did to save others from grief or harm Liked to find out good things and great things for himself Livy Clemens: the loveliest person I have ever seen Marriages are what the parties to them alone really know Mind and soul were with those who do the hard work of the world Most desouthernized Southerner I ever knew Most serious, the most humane, the most conscientious of men Nearly nothing as chaos could be Never saw a dead man whom he did not envy Never saw a man more regardful of negroes No man ever yet told the truth about himself No man more perfectly sensed and more entirely abhorred slavery Not possible for Clemens to write like anybody else Ought not to call coarse without calling one's self prudish Polite learning hesitated his praise Praised it enough to satisfy the author Reparation due from every white to every black man Shackles of belief worn so long Stupidly truthful The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it Used to ingratitude from those he helped Vacuous vulgarity Walter-Scotticized, pseudo-chivalry of the Southern ideal We have never ended before, and we do not see how we can end Livy: Well, if you are to be lost, I want to be lost with you What he had done he owned to, good, bad, or indifferent Whether every human motive was not selfish "Wonder why we hate the past so?—"It's so damned humiliating!"



A BELATED GUEST [WH#38][whabg10.txt]3391

Always sumptuously providing out of his destitution Could only by chance be caught in earnest about anything Couldn't fire your revolver without bringing down a two volumer Death's vague conjectures to the broken expectations of life Dollars were of so much farther flight than now Enjoying whatever was amusing in the disadvantage to himself Express the appreciation of another's fit word Gay laugh comes across the abysm of the years His plays were too bad for the stage, or else too good for it Insatiable English fancy for the wild America no longer there Long breath was not his; he could not write a novel Mellow cordial of a voice that was like no other Now death has come to join its vague conjectures Offers mortifyingly mean, and others insultingly vague Only one concerned who was quite unconcerned So refined, after the gigantic coarseness of California Wrote them first and last in the spirit of Dickens



CAMBRIDGE NEIGHBORS [WH#39][whcbn10.txt]3392

Cold-slaw Collective opacity Felt that this was my misfortune more than my fault Found life was not all poetry He had no time to make money Intellectual poseurs NYC, a city where money counts for more and goes for less One could be openly poor in Cambridge without open shame Put your finger on the present moment and enjoy it Standards were their own, and they were satisfied with them Wonderful to me how it should remain so unintelligible



STUDIES OF LOWELL [WH#40][whlow10.txt]3393

What I have cloudily before me is the vision of a very lofty and simple soul, perplexed, and as it were surprised and even dismayed at the complexity of the effects from motives so single in it, but escaping always to a clear expression of what was noblest and loveliest in itself at the supreme moments, in the divine exigencies. I believe neither in heroes nor in saints; but I believe in great and good men, for I have known them, and among such men Lowell was of the richest nature I have known.

Writing at the distance of Europe, and with America in the perspective which the alien environment clouded, he spoke of her as "The Land of Broken Promise." It was a splendid reproach, but perhaps too dramatic to bear the full test of analysis, and yet it had the truth in it, and might, I think, have usefully stood, to the end of making people think. Undoubtedly it expressed his sense of the case, and in the same measure it would now express that of many who love their country most among us. It is well to hold one's country to her promises, and if there are any who think she is forgetting them it is their duty to say so, even to the point of bitter accusation.

As I have suggested in my own case, it did not matter much whether you brought anything to the feast or not. If he liked you he liked being with you, not for what he got, but for what he gave. He was fond of one man whom I recall as the most silent man I ever met. I never heard him say anything, not even a dull thing, but Lowell delighted in him, and would have you believe that he was full of quaint humor.



THE WHITE MR. LONGFELLOW [WH#41][whlng10.txt]3394

In Cambridge the houses to be let were few, and such as there were fell either below our pride or rose above our purse. I wish I might tell how at last we bought a house; we had no money, but we were rich in friends, who are still alive to shrink from the story of their constant faith in a financial future which we sometimes doubted, and who backed their credulity with their credit. It is sufficient for the present record, which professes to be strictly literary, to notify the fact that on the first day of May, 1866, we went out to Cambridge and began to live in a house which we owned in fee if not in deed, and which was none the less valuable for being covered with mortgages. Physically, it was a carpenter's box, of a sort which is readily imagined by the Anglo- American genius for ugliness.

Any sort of diversion was hailed, and once Appleton proposed that Longfellow should show us his wine-cellar. He took up the candle burning on the table for the cigars, and led the way into the basement of the beautiful old Colonial mansion, doubly memorable as Washington's headquarters while he was in Cambridge, and as the home of Longfellow for so many years. The taper cast just the right gleams on the darkness, bringing into relief the massive piers of brick, and the solid walls of stone, which gave the cellar the effect of a casemate in some fortress, and leaving the corners and distances to a romantic gloom. This basement was a work of the days when men built more heavily if not more substantially than now.

The ill-will that seemed nearly always to go with adverse criticism made him distrust criticism, and the discomfort which mistaken or blundering praise gives probably made him shy of all criticism.

The memory will not be ruled as to what it shall bind and what it shall loose.

Somewhat shy of his fellow-men, as the scholar seems always to be.



OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES [WH#42][whowh10.txt]3395

Appeal, which he had come to recognize as invasive Could make us feel that our faults were other people's Hard of hearing on one side. But it isn't deafness! Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Autocrat clashed upon homeopathy He was not bored because he would not be He was not constructive; he was essentially observant His readers trusted and loved him Men's lives ended where they began, in the keeping of women Not a man who cared to transcend; he liked bounds Not much patience with the unmanly craving for sympathy Old man's disposition to speak of his infirmities Old man's tendency to revert to the past Reformers, who are so often tedious and ridiculous Secret of the man who is universally interesting Sought the things that he could agree with you upon Spare his years the fatigue of recalling your identity Study in a corner by the porch Those who have sorrowed deepest will understand this best Times when a man's city was a man's country Work gives the impression of an uncommon continuity



LITERARY BOSTON [WH#43][whbos10.txt]3396

Dawn upon him through a cloud of other half remembered faces Ethical sense, not the aesthetical sense Few men last over from one reform to another Generous lover of all that was excellent in literature Got out of it all the fun there was in it Greeting of great impersonal cordiality Grieving that there could be such ire in heavenly minds His remembrance absolutely ceased with an event Looked as if Destiny had sat upon it Man who may any moment be out of work is industrially a slave Pathos of revolt from the colorless rigidities Plain-speaking or Rude Speaking Pointed the moral in all they did Sometimes they sacrificed the song to the sermon Tired themselves out in trying to catch up with him True to an ideal of life rather than to life itself Wasted face, and his gay eyes had the death-look When to be an agnostic was to be almost an outcast



ROUNDABOUT TO BOSTON [WH#44][whrtb10.txt]3397

I could only report to him from time to time the unyielding attitude of the Civil Tribunal, and at last he consented, as he wrote, "to act officiously, not officially, in the matter," and the hapless claimant got what was left of his estate.

I was notified that there was a sum to my credit in the bank, I said, with the confidence I have nearly always felt when wrong, that I had no money there. The proof of my error was sent me in a check.

It is one of the hard conditions of this state that while we can mostly make out to let people taste the last drop of bitterness and ill-will that is in us, our love and gratitude are only semi-articulate at the best, and usually altogether tongue-tied.

His honesty made all men trust him when they doubted his opinions; his good sense made them doubt their own opinions, when they had as little question of their own honesty.

His whole life taught the lesson that the world is well lost whenever the world is wrong; but never, I think, did any life teach this so sweetly, so winningly. The wrong world itself might have been entreated by him to be right, for he was one of the few reformers who have not in some measure mixed their love of man with hate of men; his quarrel was with error, and not with the persons who were in it.

He was a believer in the cause of women's rights, which has no picturesqueness, and which chiefly appeals to the sense of humor in the men who never dreamt of laughing at him.



FIRST VISIT TO NEW ENGLAND [WH#45][whvne10.txt]3398

Abstract, the air-drawn, afflicted me like physical discomforts Became gratefully strange Best talkers are willing that you should talk if you like Could easily believe now that it was some one else who saw it Death of the joy that ought to come from work Did not feel the effect I would so willingly have experienced Dinner was at the old-fashioned Boston hour of two Either to deny the substance of things unseen, or to affirm it Espoused the theory of Bacon's authorship of Shakespeare Feigned the gratitude which I could see that he expected Forbearance of a wise man content to bide his time Hate of hate, The scorn of scorn, The love of love Hollowness, the hopelessness, the unworthiness of life I did not know, and I hated to ask If he was half as bad, he would have been too bad to be In the South there was nothing but a mistaken social ideal Incredible in their insipidity Industrial slavery Love of freedom and the hope of justice Man who had so much of the boy in him Met with kindness, if not honor Napoleonic height which spiritually overtops the Alps Never paid in anything but hopes of paying Not quite himself till he had made you aware of his quality Odious hilarity, without meaning and without remission Praised extravagantly, and in the wrong place Seen through the wrong end of the telescope Things common to all, however peculiar in each Wit that tries its teeth upon everything



Of Literature—Entire [WH#46][whlfr10.txt]3399

Authorities Browbeat wholesome common-sense into the self-distrust Comfort from the thought that most things cannot be helped Concerning popularity as a test of merit in a book Critical vanity and self-righteousness Critics are in no sense the legislators of literature Dickens rescued Christmas from Puritan distrust Fact that it is hash many times warmed over reassures them Forbear the excesses of analysis Glance of the common eye, is and always was the best light Greatest classics are sometimes not at all great Imitators of one another than of nature Languages, while they live, are perpetually changing Let fiction cease to lie about life Long-puerilized fancy will bear an endless repetition Made them talk as seldom man and never woman talked No greatness, no beauty, which does not come from truth Novels hurt because they are not true Plain industry and plodding perseverance are despised Pseudo-realists Public wish to be amused rather than edified Teach what they do not know Tediously analytical To break new ground Unless we prefer a luxury of grief Vulgarity: bad art to lug it in What makes a better fashion change for a worse Whatever is established is sacred with those who do not think



RAGGED LADY, V1 [WH#51][wh1rl10.txt]3405

All in all to each other Chained to the restless pursuit of an ideal not his own Composed her features and her ideas to receive her visitor Hopeful apathy in his face Inexhaustible flow of statement, conjecture and misgiving Kept her talking vacuities when her heart was full Led a life of public seclusion Luxury of helplessness New England necessity of blaming some one No object in life except to deprive it of all object Provisional reprehension of possible shiftlessness Seldom talked, but there came times when he would'nt even listen Tone was a snuffle expressive of deep-seated affliction Under a fire of conjecture and asseveration Wishes of a mistress who did not know what she wanted



RAGGED LADY, V2 [WH#52][wh2rl10.txt]3406

Didn't reason about their beliefs, but only argued Dull, cold self-absorption Gift of waiting for things to happen He's so resting Life alone is credible to the young Morbid egotism Motives lie nearer the surface than most people commonly pretend Real artistocracy is above social prejudice Singleness of a nature that was all pose Submitted, as people always do with the trials of others Sunny gayety of self-forgetfulness Understood when I've said something that doesn't mean anything We change whether we ought, or not When she's really sick, she's better Women don't seem to belong very much to themselves You can't go back to anything You were not afraid, and you were not bold; you were just right



APRIL HOPES [WH#50][whapr10.txt]3404

Adroitness in flattery is not necessary for its successful use Amiably satirical Beginning to grow old with touching courage Buzz of activities and pretences Effort to do and say exactly the truth, and to find it out Habit of saying some friendly lying thing Incoherencies of people meeting after a long time Little knot of conscience between her pretty eyebrows Lived a thousand little lies every day Mind of a man is the court of final appeal for the wisest women Outer integument of pretence Passive elegance which only ancestral uselessness can give Satirical smile with which men witness the effusion of women She liked to get all she could out of her emotions Worldlier than the world You marry a man's future as well as his past



ENTIRE PG EDITION OF WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS [WH#47][whewk10.txt]3400

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

THE END

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