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Quotes of the day: Logan Pearsall Smith

Published Friday, October 18, 2013 @ 6:09 AM EDT
Oct 18 2013

Logan Pearsall Smith (October 18, 1865 - March 2, 1946) was an American-born essayist and critic. He was known for his aphorisms and epigrams, and his Trivia has been highly rated. He was a literary perfectionist and could take days refining his sentences. With Words and Idioms he became a recognized authority on the correct use of English. He is now probably most remembered for his autobiography Unforgotten Years (1938). (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A best-seller is the gilded tomb of a mediocre talent.

A slight touch of friendly malice and amusement towards those we love keeps our affections for them from turning flat.

All reformers, however strict their social conscience, live in houses just as big as they can pay for.

Charming people live up to the very edge of their charm, and behave as outrageously as the world lets them.

Don't laugh at a youth for his affectations; he is only trying on one face after another to find his own.

Don't let young people tell you their aspirations; when they drop them they will drop you.

Growing old is no gradual decline, but a series of tumbles, full of sorrow, from one ledge to another. Yet when we pick ourselves up we find no bones are broken; while not unpleasing is the new terrace which stretches out unexplored before us.

Happiness is a wine of the rarest vintage, and seems insipid to a vulgar taste.

He who goes against the fashion is himself its slave.

Hearts that are delicate and kind and tongues that are neither- these make the finest company in the world.

How awful to reflect that what people say of us is true!

How can they say my life is not a success? Have I not for more than sixty years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten?

How it infuriates a bigot, when he is forced to drag out his dark convictions!

How many of our daydreams would darken into nightmares if there seemed any danger of their coming true!

I cannot forgive my friends for dying; I do not find these vanishing acts of theirs at all amusing.

If we shake hands with icy fingers, it is because we've burnt them so hatefully before.

If you are losing your leisure, look out; you may be losing your soul.

If you want to be thought a liar, always tell the truth.

It is the wretchedness of being rich that you have to live with rich people.

It is through the cracks in our brains that ecstasy creeps in.

Most people sell their souls and live with a good conscience on the proceeds.

One can be bored until boredom becomes a mystical experience.

Only among people who think no evil can Evil monstrously flourish.

Our names are labels, plainly printed on the bottled essence of our past behavior.

People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.

Solvency is entirely a matter of temperament and not of income.

Thank heavens, the sun has gone in, and I don't have to go out and enjoy it.

The denunciation of the young is a necessary part of the hygiene of older people, and greatly assists in the circulation of their blood.

The indefatigable pursuit of an unattainable perfection, even though it consist in nothing more than the pounding of an old piano, is what alone gives a meaning to our life on this unavailing star.

The ladies who try to keep their beauty are the ladies who lose it.

The mere process of growing old together will make the slightest acquaintance seem a bosom friend.

The notion of making money by popular work, and then retiring to do good work on the proceeds, is the most familiar of all the devil's traps for artists.

The old know what they want; the young are sad and bewildered.

The test of a vocation is the love of the drudgery it involves.

The vitality of a new movement in Art must be gauged by the fury it arouses.

There are few sorrows, however poignant, in which a good income is of no avail.

There are people who, like houses, are beautiful in dilapidation.

There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second.

There is more felicity on the far side of baldness than young men can possibly imagine.

Those who set out to serve both God and Mammon soon discover that there isn't a God.

To suppose, as we all suppose, that we could be rich and not behave as the rich behave, is like supposing that we could drink all day and keep absolutely sober.

We are told by Moralists with the plainest faces that immorality will spoil our looks.

We grow with years more fragile in body, but morally stouter, and can throw off the chill of a bad conscience almost at once.

We need two kinds of acquaintances, one to complain to, while to the others we boast.

What a bore it is, waking up in the morning always the same person.

What I like in a good author isn't what he says, but what he whispers.

What joy can the years bring half so sweet as the unhappiness they've taken away?

What's more enchanting than the voices of young people, when you can't hear what they say?

When they come downstairs from their Ivory Towers, Idealists are very apt to walk straight into the gutter.

Categories: Logan Pearsall Smith, Quotes of the day


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