Wilkie Collins, fully William Wilkie Collins

Collins, fully William Wilkie Collins

English Novelist, Playwright and Author of Short Stories

Author Quotes

The best men are not consistent in good-- why should the worst men be consistent in evil.

The present time is the precious time. Live for the passing day: the passing day is all we can be sure of.

We neither know nor judge ourselves; others may judge, but cannot know us. God alone judges and knows us.

The doctor who is not honest enough to confess it when he is puzzled, is a well-known member of the medical profession in all countries.

The small pulse of the life within me and the great heart of th city around me seemed to be sinking in unison.

Well may your heart believe the truths I tell 'Tis virtue makes the bliss, where'er we dwell.

The doctors had no immediate fear of his death. He proved the doctors to be mistaken, and took the liberty of dying at a time when they all declared that there was every hope of his recovery.

The woman I fixed my eye on, was the woman who kept house for me at my cottage. Her name was Selina Goby. I agree with the late William Cobbett about picking a wife. See that she chews her food well and sets her foot down firmly on the ground when she walks, and you're all right. Selina Goby was all right in both these respects, which was one reason for marrying her.

What right has anyone to be rich?

The dull people decided years and years ago, as everyone knows, that novel-writing was the lowest species of literary exertion, and that novel reading was a dangerous luxury and an utter waste of time.

The woman who first gives life, light, and form to our shadowy conceptions of beauty, fills a void in our spiritual nature that has remained unknown to us till she appeared. Sympathies that lie too deep for words, too deep almost for thoughts, are touched, at such times, by other charms than those which the senses feel and which the resources of expression can realize. The mystery which underlies the beauty of women is never raised above the reach of all expression until it has claimed kindred with the deeper mystery in our own souls.

Whatever happens in a house, robbery or murder, it doesn't matter, you must have your breakfast.

The evening advanced. The shadows lengthened. The waters of the lake grew pitchy black. The gliding of the ghostly swans became rare and more rare.

The worst curse of human life is the detestable necessity of taking exercise.

When a woman wants me to do anything (my daughter, or not, it doesn't matter), I always insist on knowing why. The oftener you make them rummage their own minds for a reason, the more manageable you will find them in all the relations of life. It isn't their fault (poor wretches!) that they act first and think afterwards; it's the fault of the fools who humor them.

The fool's crime is the crime that is found out and the wise man's crime is the crime that is not found out.

There are few higher, better, or more profitable enjoyments in this world than reading a good novel.

When Gott made the womens, he was sorry afterwards for the poor mens--and he made tobaccos to comfort them.

The future of English fiction may rest with this Unknown Public -- a reading public of three millions which lies right out of the pale of true literary civilization -- which is now waiting to be taught the difference between a good book and a bad.

There are foolish criminals who are discovered, and wise criminals who escape. The hiding of a crime, or the detection of a crime, what is it? A trial of skill between the police on one side, and the individual on the other. When the criminal is a brutal, ignorant fool, the police, in nine cases out of ten, win. When the criminal is a resolute, educated, highly-intelligent man, the police, in nine cases out of ten, lose.

When there's a rash thing to be done by a man and a woman together, sir, philosophers have remarked that it's always the woman who leads the way.

The grand secret, in dealing with a woman, is to take her as you take a cat, by the scruff of the neck.

There are three things that none of the young men of the present generation can do. They can't sit over their wine; they can't play at wist; and they can't pay a lady a compliment.

When two members of a family or two intimate friends are separated, and one goes abroad and one remains at home, the return of the relative or friend who has been travelling always seems to place the relative or friend who has been staying at home at a painful disadvantage when the two first meet. The sudden encounter of the new thoughts and new habits eagerly gained in the one case, with the old thoughts and old habits passively preserved in the other, seems at first to part the sympathies of the most loving relatives and the fondest friends, and to set a sudden strangeness, unexpected by both and uncontrollable by both, between them on either side.

She looked so irresistibly beautiful as she said those brave words that no man alive could have steel his heart against her.

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Collins, fully William Wilkie Collins
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English Novelist, Playwright and Author of Short Stories