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William Lyon Phelps Quotes


An American author, critic and scholar.
(1865 – 1943)

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A bibliophile of little means is likely to suffer often. Books don't slip from his hands but fly past him through the air, high as birds, high as prices.
 

A cat pours his body on the floor like water. It is restful just to see him.
 

A student never forgets an encouraging private word, when it is given with sincere respect and admiration.
 

A well-ordered life is like climbing a tower; the view halfway up is better than the view from the base, and it steadily becomes finer as the horizon expands.
 

God speaks to me not through the thunder and the earthquake, nor through the ocean and the stars, but through the Son of Man, and speaks in a language adapted to my imperfect sight and hearing.
[Adapted]
 

I believe a knowledge of the Bible without a college course is more valuable than a college course without a Bible.
 

I divide all readers into two classes: those who read to remember and those who read to forget.
 

If at first you don't succeed, find out if the loser gets anything.
 

If happiness truly consisted in physical ease and freedom from care, then the happiest individual would not be either a man or a woman; it would be, I think, an American cow.
[Happiness]
 

If I didn't start painting, I would have raised chickens.
 

If I were running the world I would have it rain only between 2 and 5 a.m. Anyone who was out then ought to get wet.
 

If you develop the absolute sense of certainty that powerful beliefs provide, then you can get yourself to accomplish virtually anything, including those things that other people are certain are impossible.
 

In a start-up company, you basically throw out all assumptions every three weeks.
 

Life, with all its sorrows, cares, perplexities and heartbreaks, is more interesting than bovine placidity, hence more desirable. The more interesting it is, the happier it is.
[Sorrow]
 

Nature makes boys and girls lovely to look upon so they can be tolerated until they acquire some sense.
 

No one should make a statement like "youth is the happiest time of life" without being prepared to accept its intellectual consequences.
[Youth]
 

One appreciates that daily life is really good when one wakes from a horrible dream, or when one takes the first outing after a sickness. Why not realize it now?
 

One of the secrets of life is to keep our intellectual curiosity acute.
 

That daily life is really good one appreciates when one wakes from a horrible dream, or when one takes the first outing after a sickness. Why not realize it now?
[Forgiveness]
 

The belief that youth is the happiest time of life is founded upon a fallacy. The happiest person is the person who thinks the most interesting thoughts, and we grow happier as we grow older.
[Happiness]
 


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