Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Thomas Bailey

American Author, Poet, Playwright, Novelist, Travel Writer and Editor

Author Quotes

Civilization is the lamb's skin in which barbarism masquerades.

I am perplext, and often stricken mute. Wondering which attained the higher bliss, the wing'd insect, or the chrysalis It thrust aside with unreluctant foot.

Only the sea intoning, only the wainscot-mouse, only the wild wind moaning over the lonely house.

The Summer comes and the Summer goes; wild-flowers are fringing the dusty lanes, the shallows go darting through fragrant rains, then, all of a sudden--it snows.

We shall get on famously...and be capital friends forever.

Come watch with me the shaft of fire that glows in yonder West: the fair, frail palaces, the fading Alps and archipelagoes, and great cloud-continents of sunset-seas.

I hope he and she that was Miss Wang Wang are very happy together, sitting cross-legged over diminutive cups of tea in a sky-blue tower hung with bells.

Or light or dark, or short or tall, she sets a spring to snare them all; all's one to her--above her fan, she'd make sweet eyes at Caliban.

The thing one reads and likes, and then forgets, is of no account. The thing that stays, and haunts one, and refuses to be forgotten, that is the sincere thing.

We visit... a neighboring grave-yard. I am by this time in a condition of mind to become a willing inmate of the place.

Conway would give me no rest until I fought him. I felt it was ordained ages before our birth that we should meet on this planet and fight.

I like not lady-slippers, not yet the sweet-pea blossoms, not yet the flaky roses, red or white as snow; I like the chaliced lilies, the heavy Eastern lilies, the gorgeous tiger-lilies, that in our garden grow.

Shakespeare is forever coming into our affairs -- putting in his oar, so to speak -- with some pat word or sentence.

The unchecked thought wanders at will upon enchanted ground, making no sound in all the corridors? The bell sleeps in the belfry--from its tongue a drowsy murmur floats into the air, like thistle-down. Slumber is everywhere. The rook's asleep, and, in its dreaming, caws; and silence mopes where nightingales have sung; the Sirens lie in grottos cool and deep, the Naiads in the streams.

We vivisect the nightingale to probe the secret of his note.

Day is a snow-white Dove of heaven that from the East glad message brings.

I like to have a thing suggested rather than told in full. When every detail is given, the mind rests satisfied, and the imagination loses the desire to use its own wings. The partly draped statue has a charm which the nude lacks. Who would have those marble folds slip from the raised knee of the Venus of Melos?

Since Eden's freshness and man's fall, no rose has been original.

The walking delegates of a higher civilization, who have nothing to divide, look upon the notion of property as a purely artificial creation of human society. According to these advanced philosophers, the time will come when no man shall be allowed to call anything his. The beneficent law which takes away an author's rights in his own books just at the period when old age is creeping upon him seems to me a handsome stride toward the longed-for millennium.

We weep when we are born, not when we die!

A glance, a word -- and joy or pain befalls.... How slight the links are in the chain that binds us to our destiny!

Dear Lord, though I be changed to senseless clay, and serve the Potter as he turn his wheel, I thank Thee for the gracious gift of tears!

If my best wines mislike thy taste, and my best service win thy frown, then tarry not, I bid thee haste; there's many another Inn in town.

So I sit there kicked my heels, thinking about New Orleans, and watching a morbid blue-bottle fly attempt to commit suicide by butting his head against the windowpane.

The young girl in my story is to be as sensitive to praise as a prism is to light. Whenever anybody praises her she breaks into colors.

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Thomas Bailey
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American Author, Poet, Playwright, Novelist, Travel Writer and Editor