The forceps of our minds are clumsy forceps, and crush the truth a little in taking hold of it.
Be a man!… What good is religion if it collapses under calamity? Think of what earthquakes and floods, wars and volcanoes, have done before to men! Did you think that God had exempted [us]? He is not an insurance agent.
There it must be, I think, in the vast and eternal laws of matter, andnot in the daily cares and sins and troubles of men, that whatever ismore than animal within us must find its solace and its hope. I hope, or Icould not live.
I must confess that I lost faith in the sanity of the world
If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn’t expecting it.
No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else’s draft.
Figures are the most shocking things in the world. The prettiest little squiggles of black looked at in the right light and yet consider the blow they can give you upon the heart.
All we can do is to prepare for a universal language that will go on changing for ever. We don’t know everything. We aren’t final. I wish we could make that statement a part of the Fundamental Law.
Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.
…and spend my days surrounded by wise books, – bright windows in this life of ours, lit by the shining souls of men.
Nature never appeals to intelligence until habit and instinct are useless. There is no intelligence where there is no need of change.
(…) and spend my days surrounded by wise books, – bright windows in this life of ours, lit by the shining souls of men.
Suddenly, like a thing falling upon me from without, came fear.
Find the thing you want to do most intensely, make sure that’s it, and do it with all your might. If you live, well and good. If you die, well and good. Your purpose is done
This isn’t a war,” said the artilleryman. “It never was a war, any more than there’s war between man and ants.
It is love and reason,’ I said,’fleeing from all the madness of war.
A [national] flag has no real significance for peaceful uses.
It was a red-flannel chest-protector, one of those large quasi-hygienic objects that with pills and medicines take the place of beneficial relics and images among the Protestant peoples of Christendom.
We’ve got to escape from narrowness. We’re a movement, not a conspiracy. We’ve got to radiate contacts, and have as many people aware of us as possible. That’s living, modern common sense.
This self-reliance, this direct dealing with the world, seemed to him, even in the height of his concern, unwomanly, a deeper injury to his own abandoned assumptions than any he had contemplated.
New and stirring things are belittled because if they are not belittled the humiliating question arises ‘Why then are you not taking part in them?
What I want to know is, in the Middle Ages, did they do anything for Housemaid’s Knee? What did they put in their hot baths after jousting?
Given as much law as that man will be able to do anything and go anywhere, an the only trace of pessimism left in the human prospect today is a faint flavour that one was born so soon.
When Man realizes his littleness, his greatness can appear. But not before.
The study of Nature makes a man at last as remorseless as Nature.
We are kept keen on the grindstone of pain and necessity.
It is when suffering finds a voice andsets our nerves quivering that this pity comes troubling us.
I never yet heard of a useless thing that was not ground out ofexistence by evolution sooner or later. Did you? And pain gets needless.
The crying sounded even louder out of doors. It was as if all the painin the world had found a voice
There are kisses and kisses, I am told, and this must have been quite the other sort from Millie’s resonant signals of regard.
[A]fter all it was true that a girl does not go alone in the world unchallenged, nor ever has gone freely alone in the world, that evil walks abroad and dangers, and petty insults more irritating than dangers, lurk.
With wine and food, the confidence of my own table, and the necessity of reassuring my wife, I grew by insensible degrees courageous and secure.
It’s chance, I tell you,’ he interrupted, ‘ as everything is in a man’s life.
My pockets had always puzzled Weena, but at the last she had concluded that they were an eccentric kind of vase for floral decoration.
A certain elementary training in statistical method is becoming as necessary for everyone living in this world of today as reading and writing.
…growing a little tiresome on account of some mysterious internal discomfort that the local practitioner diagnosed as imagination
We are to turn our backs for a space upon the insistent examination of the thing that is, and face towards the freer air, the ampler spaces of the thing that perhaps might be.
If my phrases shock the reader, that only shows it is high time he or she was shocked.
The past is but the beginning of a beginning, and all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn.
The most evil institution in the world is the Roman Catholic Church.
The chances of anything man-like on Mars are a million to one
The red tongues that went licking up my heap of wood were an altogether new and strange thing to Weena.
What a huge inaccessible lumber-room of thought and experience we amounted to, I thought; how much we are, how little we transmit.
He liked to address every man in his own language, as a good European should.
one of those pertinacious tempers that would warm every day to a white heat and never again cool to forgiveness.
Hunger and a lack of blood-corpuscles take all the manhood from a man.
But he was one of those weak creatures, void of pride, timorous, anemic, hateful souls, full of shifty cunning, who face neither God nor man, who face not even themselves.
Particularly nauseous were the blank expressionless faces of people in trains and omnibuses; they seemed no more my fellow-creatures than dead bodies would be, so that I did not dare to travel unless I was assured of being alone.
For the most part people went about their business with an entirely irresponsible confidence in the stability of the universe.
If after all my Atheology turns out wrong and your Theology right I feel I shall always be able to pass into Heaven (if I want to) as a friend of G.K.C.’s. Bless you.
[T]hat mutual jealousy, that intolerantly keen edge of criticism, that irrational hunger for a beautiful perfection, that life and wisdom do presently and most mercifully dull.
It is good to stop by the track for a space, put aside the knapsack, wipe the brows, and talk a little of the upper slopes of the mountain we think we are climbing, would but the trees let us see it.
It’s against reason,” said Filby.”What reason?” said the Time Traveller.
There is no liberty, save wisdom and self-control. Liberty is within–not without. It is each man’s own affair.
Roman Catholicism is a broken and utterly desperate thing, capable only of malignant mischief in our awakening world.
He buried his nose in his pillow and went to sleep—to dream of anything rather than getting on in the world, as a sensible young man in his position ought to have done.
I do not know if hell is hot or cold, or what sort of place hell may be, but this I surely know, that if there is any hell at all it will be badly lit. And it will taste like a train.
It’s just men and ants. There’s the ants builds their cities,live their lives, have wars, revolutions, until men want them out of the way, and then they go out of the way. That’s what we are now _ just ants.
By this time I was nolonger very much terrified or very miserable. I had, as it were, passed thelimit of terror and despair. I felt now that my life was practically lost,and that persuasion made me capable of daring anything
But, as I say, I was toofull of excitement and (a true saying, though those who have neverknown danger may doubt it) too desperate to die.
But I was too restless to watch long; I’m too Occidental for a long vigil. I could work at a problem for years, but to wait inactive for twenty-four hours — that’s another matter.
The peaceful splendour of the night healed again. The moon was now past the meridian and travelling down the west. It was at its full, and very bright, riding through the empty blue sky.
In the next place, wonderful as it seems in a sexual world, the Martians were absolutely without sex, and therefore without any of the tumultuous emotions that arise…
Within he felt that faint stirring of derision for the whole business of life which is the salt of the American mentality. Outwardly they are sentimental and enthusiastic and inwardly they are profoundly cynical.
Kemp: I demonstrated conclusively this morning that invisibility–I.M: Never mind what YOU’VE DEMONSTRATED!–I’m starving, said the voice, and the night is–chilly for a man without clothes.
This has ever been the fate of energy in security; it takes to art and to eroticism, and then comes languor and decay.
He blinked at the sun and dreamt that perhaps he might snare it and spare it as it went down to its resting place amidst the distant hills.
I suppose a suicide who holds a pistol to his skull feels much the same wonder at what will come next as I felt then.
The fertilising conflict of individualities is the ultimate meaning of the personal life.
He has made the cat his own. He invented a cat style, a cat society, a whole cat world. English cats that do not look and live like Louis Wain cats are ashamed of themselves.
An idiot child screaming in a hospital.” (on George Bernard Shaw)
Modern war, modern international hostility is, I believe, possible only through the stupid illiteracy of the mass of men and the conceit and intellectual indolence of rulers and those who feed the public mind.
If only I had thought of a Kodak! I could have flashed that glimpse of the Under-world in a second, and examined it at leisure.
Civilization is a race between disaster and education.
You’ve made a beast of yourself,- to the beasts you may go.
You see,” I said, “I’m a socialist. I don’t think this world was made for a small minority to dance on the faces of everyone else.
The uglier a man’s legs are, the better he plays golf. It’s almost a law.
And the great difference between man and monkey is in the larynx.
To Europe she was America. To America she was the gateway to the earth. But to tell the story of New York would be to write a social history of the world.
He began to realize that you cannot even fight happily with creatures that stand upon a different mental basis to yourself.
All the sounds of man, the bleating of sheep, the cries of birds, the hum of insects, the stir that makes the background of our lives – all that was over.
I had not, I said to myself, come into the future to carry on a miniature flirtation.
Nobody read books, but women, parsons and idle people.
We do our job and go. See? That is what Death is for. We work out all our little brains and all our little emotions, and then this lot begins afresh. Fresh and fresh! Perfectly simple. What’s the trouble?