Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

William (Morley Punshon) McFee

English-born American Novelist, Essayist

"It may be that, while we plodding realists go on, for ever preoccupied with our daily chores, abstracting a microscopic pleasure from each microscopic duty, your true romantic has the truer vision, and beholds, afar off, in all its lurid splendour and terrible proportions, the piquant adventure we call life."

"The artist isn't particularly keen on getting a thing done, as you call it. He gets his pleasure out of doing it, playing with it, fooling with it, if you like. The mere completion of it is an incident."

"A young man must let his ideas grow, not be continually rooting them up to see how they are getting on."

"Doing what's right is no guarantee against misfortune."

"A trouble is a trouble, and the general idea, in the country, is to treat it as such, rather than to snatch the knotted cords from the hand of God and deal out murderous blows."

"Fear, born of that stern matron, Responsibility."

"If fate means you to lose, give him a good fight anyhow."

"If we go back a little way in the history of story-writing, we shall find that, following on the unique success of Dickens as a serialist, a number of other men achieved a somewhat similar success without the greatness."

"It is so much easier to tell intimate things in the dark"

"It is extraordinary how many emotional storms one may weather in safety if one is ballasted with ever so little gold."

"Terrible and sublime thought, that every moment is supreme for some man and woman, every hour the apotheosis of some passion!"

"It may be that, while we plodding realists go on, forever preoccupied with our daily chores, abstracting a microscopic pleasure from each microscopic duty, your true romantic has the truer vision, and beholds, afar off, in all its lurid splendor and terrible proportions, the piquant adventure we call life."

"Responsibility's like a string we can only see the middle of. Both ends are out of sight."

"It's the people whore comfortable who have time to worry over little trivial things."

"One must choose between Obscurity with Efficiency, and Fame with its inevitable collateral of Bluff."

"The wives who are not deserted, but who have to feed and clothe and comfort and scold and advise, are the true objects of commiseration; wives whose existence is given over to a ceaseless vigil of cantankerous affection."

"The world belongs to the enthusiast who keeps cool."

"There are some men whom a staggering emotional shock, so far from making them mental invalids for life, seems, on the other hand, to awaken, to galvanize, to arouse into an almost incredible activity of soul."

"The worldly relations of men and women often form an equation that cancels out without warning when some insignificant factor has been added to either side."

"There is far too much talk of love and grief benumbing the faculties, turning the hair gray, and destroying a man's interest in his work. Grief has made many a man look younger."

"There is nothing like an odor to stir memories."

"Wives invariably flourish when deserted; ... it is the deserting male, the reckless idealist rushing about the world seeking a non-existent felicity, who often ends in disaster."