He began to read at haphazard. He entered upon each system with a little thrill of excitement, expecting to find in each some guide by which he could rule his conduct; he felt himself like a traveller in unknown countries and as he pushed forward the enterprise fascinated him; he read emotionally, as other men read pure literature, and his heart leaped as he discovered in noble words what himself had obscurely felt.
Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.
It is well known that Beauty does not look with a good grace on the timid advances of Humour.
Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatsoever to do with it.
It is salutary to train oneself to be no more affected by censure than by praise.
Few misfortunes can befall a boy which bring worse consequence than to have a really affectionate mother.
We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.
Perfection has one grave defect: it is apt to be dull.
An unfortunate thing about this world is that the good habits are much easier to give up than the bad ones.
In the country the darkness of night is friendly and familiar, but in a city, with its blaze of lights, it is unnatural, hostile and menacing. It is like a monstrous vulture that hovers, biding its time.
A man marries to have a home, but also because he doesn't want to be bothered with sex and all that sort of thing.
My own belief is that there is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror.
What has influenced my life more than any other single thing has been my stammer. Had I not stammered I would probably... have gone to Cambridge as my brothers did, perhaps have become a don and every now and then published a dreary book about French literature.
I would sooner read a time-table or a catalogue than nothing at all. They are much more entertaining than half the novels that are written.
There is no explanation for evil. It must be looked upon as a necessary part of the order of the universe. To ignore it is childish, to bewail it senseless.
When you choose your friends, don't be short-changed by choosing personality over character.
Considering how foolishly people act and how pleasantly they prattle, perhaps it would be better for the world if they talked more and did less.
The crown of literature is poetry.
You know what the critics are. If you tell the truth they only say you're cynical and it does an author no good to get a reputation for cynicism.
We know our friends by their defects rather than by their merits.