William Sydney Porter (September 11, 1862 – June 5, 1910), known by his pen name O. Henry, was an American short story writer. O. Henry's short stories are known for their wit, wordplay, warm characterization, and surprise endings. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
A good story is like a bitter pill, with the sugar coating inside of it.
A story with a moral appended is like the bill of a mosquito. It bores you, and then injects a stinging drop to irritate your conscience.
A straw vote only shows which way the hot air blows.
All of us have to be prevaricators, hypocrites, and liars every day of our lives; otherwise the social structure would fall into pieces the first day. We must act in one another's presence just as we must wear clothes. It is for the best.
Beauty is Nature in perfection; circularity is its chief attribute. Behold the full moon, the enchanting golf ball, the domes of splendid temples, the huckleberry pie, the wedding ring, the circus ring, the ring for the waiter, and the 'round' of drinks.
Californians are a race of people; they are not merely inhabitants of a State.
Fortune is a prize to be won. Adventure is the road to it. Chance is what may lurk in the shadows at the roadside.
History is bright and fiction dull with homely men who have charmed women.
Hospitality in the prairie country is not limited. Even if your enemy passes your way, you must feed him before you shoot him.
If a person has lived through war, poverty and love, he has lived a full life.
If man knew how women pass the time when they are alone, they'd never marry.
Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
It ain't the roads we take; it's what's inside of us that makes us turn out the way we do.
Life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.
Love and business and family and religion and art and patriotism are nothing but shadows of words when a man's starving.
No friendship is an accident.
Perhaps there is no happiness in life so perfect as the martyr's.
The only rule for writing short stories is that there is no rule.
The true adventurer goes forth aimless and uncalculating to meet and greet unknown fate.
There is no well-defined boundary between honesty and dishonesty. The frontiers of one blend with the outside limits of the other, and he who attempts to tread this dangerous ground may be sometimes in one domain and sometimes in the other.
There is this difference between the grief of youth and that of old age; youth's burden is lightened by as much of it as another shares; old age may give and give, but the sorrow remains the same.
Those whom we first love we seldom marry.
We can't buy one minute of time with cash; if we could, rich people would live longer.
We may achieve climate, but weather is thrust upon us.
You can't appreciate home till you've left it, money till it's spent, your wife until she's joined a woman's club, nor Old Glory till you see it hanging on a broomstick on a shanty of a consul in a foreign town.