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William Dean Howells Quotes

An American realist author and literary critic.
(1837 - 1920)

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A man never sees all that his mother has been to him till it's too late to let her know that he sees it.

Does it afflict you to find your books wearing out? I mean literally .. . the mortality of all inanimate things is terrible to me, but that of books most of all.

He kept up with the current literature, and distilled from it a polite essence, with which he knew how to perfume his conversation.

He was in love with his work, and he felt the enthusiasm for it which nothing but the work we can do well inspires in us.

He who sleeps in continual noise is wakened by silence.

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

If I were authorized to address any word directly to our novelists, I should say: Do not trouble yourself about standards or ideals, but try to be faithful and natural.

If we like a man's dream, we call him a reformer; if we don't like his dream, we call him a crank.

In Europe life is histrionic and dramatized, and in America, except when it is trying to be European, it is direct and sincere.

Inequality is as dear to the American heart as liberty itself.

Is it worth while to observe that there are no Venetian blinds in Venice?

It is the still, small voice that the soul heeds, not the deafening blasts of doom.

Primitive societies without religion have never been found.

Some people can stay longer in an hour than others can in a week.

The action is best that secures the greatest happiness for the greatest number.

The book which you read from a sense of duty, or because for any reason you must, does not commonly make friends with you.

The conqueror is regarded with awe; the wise man commands our respect; but it is only the benevolent man that wins our affection.

The disposition to give a cup of cold water to a disciple, is a far nobler property than the finest intellect.

The mortality of all inanimate things is terrible to me, but that of books most of all.

The religion of Christ reaches and changes the heart, which no other religion does.

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