Most human beings are quite likeable if you do not see too much of them.
It is in games that many men discover their paradise.
This is woman's great benevolence, that she will become a martyr for beauty, so that the world may have pleasure.
It is doubtful if even experience of riches and success is as intense among those who have experienced nothing else as among those who have also experienced poverty and failure. There is little romance in wealth to those who have been born wealthy and whose families have been wealthy for generations.
In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.
The days on which one has been the most inquisitive are among the days on which one has been happiest.
Were I a philosopher, I should write a philosophy of toys, showing that nothing else in life need to be taken seriously, and that Christmas Day in the company of children is one of the few occasions on which men become entirely alive.
The belief in the possibility of a short decisive war appears to be one of the most ancient and dangerous of human illusions.
It is almost impossible to remember how tragic a place the world is when one is playing golf.
There are two sorts of curiosity - the momentary and the permanent. The momentary is concerned with the odd appearance on the surface of things. The permanent is attracted by the amazing and consecutive life that flows on beneath the surface of things.
Most human beings are quite likable if you don't see too much of them.
The art of writing history is the art of emphasizing the significant facts at the expense of the insignificant. And it is the same in every field of knowledge. Knowledge is power only if a man knows what facts not to bother about.
Jane Austen has often been praised as a natural historian. She is a naturalist among tame animals. She does not study men (as Dostoevsky does) in his wild state before he has been domesticated. Her men and women are essentially men and women of the fireside.
There are travelers who fear to own delicate hands more than to meet a lion, and soldiers who would rather lose a limb than gain a beautiful nose by artificial methods.
Keats, it must be remembered, was a sensualist. His poems ... reveal him as a man not altogether free from the vulgarities of sensualism, as well as one who was able to transmute it into perfect literature.
No man is uninteresting when his hat is blown off and he has to scuttle after it down the street.
Mystery lies over the sea. Every ship is bound for Thule.
A boy in love is not mainly a calf but a poet.
There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.
The happiness even of the naturalist depends in some measure upon his ignorance, which still leaves him new worlds of this kind to conquer. He may have reached the very Z of knowledge in the books, but he still feels half ignorant until he has confirmed each bright particular with his eyes.
The mirror that Strindberg held up to Nature was a cracked one. It was cracked in a double sense - it was crazy. It gave back broken images of a world which it made look like the chaos of a lunatic dream.
The last spectacle of which Christian men are likely to grow tired is a harbour. Centuries hence there may be jumping-off places for the stars, and our children's children's and so forth children may regard a ship as a creeping thing scarcely more adventurous than a worm. Meanwhile, every harbour gives us a sense of being in touch, if not with the ends of the universe, with the ends of the earth.
When people complain of the decay of manners they have in mind not the impudent abbreviations of the crowd, but the decline in bowing and scraping and in speaking of one's employer as "the master." What the rich mean by the good manners of the poor is usually not civility, but servility.
A cat is only technically an animal, being divine.
With Wordsworth, indeed, the light of revelation did not fall upon human beings so unbrokenly as upon the face of the earth. He knew the birds of the countryside better than the old men, and the flowers far better than the children.
The lovers of beauty must unite in a league, and carry out some great propagandist work through the country. They must demand the extermination of the bulldog and the dismantling of the cheap villa, both of which are responsible for a deal of our contentment amid ugliness.
Chekhov will seek out the key situation in the life of a cabman or a charwoman, and make them glow for a brief moment in the tender light of his sympathy.
Dostoevsky's visible world was a world of sensationalism. He may in the last analysis be a great mystic or a great psychologist; but he almost always reveals his genius on a stage crowded with people who behave like the men and women one reads about in the police news.
W. B. Yeats has created, if not a new world, a new star. He is not a reporter of life as it is, to the extent that Shakespeare or Browning is. One is not quite certain that his kingdom is of the green earth. He is like a man who has seen the earth not directly but in a crystal.
It is the custom when praising a Russian writer to do so at the expense of all other Russian writers.
It may be that all games are silly. But then, so are humans.
We cannot get happiness by striving after it, and yet with an effort we can impart it.