Logan Pearsall Smith

Logan Pearsall

American-born English Essayist, Critic and Man of Letters

Author Quotes

There is one thing that matters -- to set a chime of words tinkling in the minds of a few fastidious people.

He who goes against the fashion is himself its slave.

One can be bored until boredom becomes a mystical experience.

The mere process of growing old together will make our slightest acquaintances seem like bosom friends.

Those who are contemptuous of everyone are more than anyone terrified of contempt

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?

Only a generation of readers will span a generation of writers.

The newest books are those that never grow old.

Those who set out to serve both God and Mammon soon discover that there is no God.

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

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

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

Those who talk on the razor-edge of double-meanings pluck the rarest blooms from the precipice on either side.

I hate Spiders - I dislike all kinds of Insects. Their cold intelligence, their empty, stereotyped, unremitted industry repel me. And I am not altogether happy about the future of the Human Race; when I think of the slow refrigeration of the Earth, the Sun's waning, and the ultimate, inevitable collapse of the Solar System, I have grave misgivings.

Only those who get into scrapes with their eyes open can find the safe way out.

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

To become young again would seem to me an appalling prospect. Youth is a kind of delirium, which can be cured, if it is ever cured at all, by years of painful treatment.

I might give my life for a friend, but he'd better not ask me to do up a parcel.

People before the public live an imagined life in the thought of others, and flourish or feel faint as their self outside themselves grows bright or dwindles in that mirror.

The test of enjoyment is the remembrance which it leaves behind.

To fear death, my friends, is only to think ourselves wise, without being wise: for it is to think that we know what we do not know. For anything that men can tell, death may be the greatest good that can happen to them: but they fear it as if they knew quite well that it was the greatest of evils. And what is this but that shameful ignorance of thinking that we know what we do not know?"

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

Retreat hell! We just got here!

The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not, and never persist in trying to set people right.

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

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Logan Pearsall
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American-born English Essayist, Critic and Man of Letters