English Playwright, Editor, Humorist
"The superior man is he who develops, in harmonious proportions, his moral, intellectual, and physical nature. This should be the end at which men of all classes should aim, and it is this only which constitutes real greatness."
"We have peace as we abhor pusillanimity; but not peace at any price. There is a peace more destructive of the manhood of living man than war is destructive of his material body. Chains are worse than bayonets."
"There are a good many pious people who are as careful of their religion as of their best service of china, only using it on holy occasions, for fear it should get chipped or flawed in working-day wear."
"“The last word” is the most dangerous of internal machines; and husband and wife should no more fight to get it than they would struggle for the possession of a lighted bombshell."
"A conservative is a man who will not look at the new moon, out of respect for that "ancient institution," the old one."
"A man is in no danger so long as he talks his love; but to write it is to impale himself on his own pothooks."
"A creature undefiled by the taint of the world, unvexed by its injustice, unwearied by its hollow pleasures; a being fresh from the source of light, with something of its universal lustre in it. If childhood be this, how holy the duty to see that in its onward growth it shall be no other!"
"A man, so to speak, who is not able to bow to his own conscience every morning is hardly in a condition to respectfully salute the world at any other time of the day."
"A piece of simple goodness--a letter gushing from the heart; a beautiful unstudied vindication of the worth and untiring sweetness of human nature--a record of the invulnerability of man, armed with high purpose, sanctified by truth."
"A sermon on a hat: "'The hat, my boy, the hat, whatever it may be, is in itself nothing--makes nothing, goes for nothing; but, be sure of it, everything is life depends upon the cock of the hat.' For how many men--we put it to your own experience, reader--have made their way through the thronging crowds that beset fortune, not by the innate worth and excellence of their hats, but simply, as Sampson Piebald has it, by 'the cock of their hats'? The cock's all.""
"A strange volume of real life in the daily packet of the postman. Eternal love and instant payment!"
"Blessed be the hand that prepares a pleasure for a child, for there is no saying when and where it may bloom forth."
"After all there is something about a wedding-gown prettier than in any other gown in the world."
"Conscience, though ever so small a worm while we live, grows suddenly into a serpent on our deathbed."
"Duty, though set about by thorns, may still be made a staff supporting even while it tortures. Cast it away, and, like the prophet's wand, it changes to a snake."
"Earth is here [Australia] so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest."
"Dress it as we may, feather it, daub it with gold, huzza it, and sing swaggering songs about it, what is war, nine times out of ten, but murder in uniform?"
"Fix yourself upon the wealthy. In a word, take this for a golden rule through life: Never, never have a friend that is poorer than yourself."
"Fortunes made in no time are like shirts made in no time; it's ten to one if they hang long together."
"Even the worse of jobs has their pleasures, if I were a grave digger or a hangmen, there are some people I could work for with a great deal of enjoyment."
"He kissed her and promised. Such beautiful lips! Man's usual fate - he was lost upon the coral reefs."
"He was so benevolent, so merciful a man that, in his mistaken passion, he would have held an umbrella over a duck in a shower of rain."
"He is one of those wise philanthropists who in a time of famine would vote for nothing but a supply of toothpicks."
"I never hear the rattling of dice that it does not sound to me like the funeral bell of the whole family."
"If an earthquake were to engulf England tomorrow, the English would manage to meet and dine somewhere among the rubbish, just to celebrate the event."