l. frank baum Quotes
L. Frank Baum QuotesBirth Date: 1856-05-15 (Thursday, May 15th, 1856)
Date of Death: 1919-05-06 (Tuesday, May 6th, 1919)
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- Now we can cross the Shifting Sands.
- When I was young I longed to write a great novel that should win me fame. Now that I am getting old my first book is written to amuse children. For aside from my evident inability to do anything 'great,' I have learned to regard fame as a will-o-the-wisp which, when caught, is not worth the possession; but to please a child is a sweet and lovely thing that warms one's heart and brings its own reward.
- The scenery and costumes of 'The Wizard of Oz' were all made in New York - Mr. Mitchell was a New York favorite, but the author was undoubtedly a Chicagoan, and therefore a legitimate butt for the shafts of criticism. So the critics highly praised the Poppy scene, the Kansas cyclone, the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman, but declared the libretto was very bad and teemed with 'wild and woolly western puns and forced gags.' Now, all that I claim in the libretto of 'The Wizard of Oz' is the creation of the characters of the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman, the story of their search for brains and a heart, and the scenic effects of the Poppy Field and the cyclone. These were a part of my published fairy tale, as thousands of readers well know. I have published fifteen books of fairy tales, which may be found in all prominent public and school libraries, and they are entirely free, I believe, from the broad jokes the New York critics condemn in the extravaganza, and which, the New York people are now laughing over. In my original manuscript of the play were no 'gags' nor puns whatever. But Mr. Hamlin stated positively that no stage production could succeed without that accepted brand of humor, and as I knew I was wholly incompetent to write those 'comic paper side-splitters' I employed one of the foremost New York 'tinkerers' of plays to write into my manuscript these same jokes that are now declared 'wild and woolly' and 'smacking of Chicago humor.' If the New York critics only knew it, they are praising a Chicago author for the creation of the scenic effects and characters entirely new to the stage, and condemning a well-known New York dramatist for a brand of humor that is palpably peculiar to Puck and Judge. I am amused whenever a New York reviewer attacks the libretto of 'The Wizard of Oz' because it 'comes from Chicago.''
- It is a callous age; we have seen so many marvels that we are ashamed to marvel more; the seven wonders of the world have become seven thousand wonders.
- Some of my youthful readers are developing wonderful imaginations. This pleases me. Imagination has brought mankind through the Dark Ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine, and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities. So I believe that dreams - day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain machinery whizzing - are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization. A prominent educator tells me that fairy tales are of untold value in developing imagination in the young. I believe it.
- As the years pass, and we look back on something which, at the time, seemed unbelievably discouraging and unfair, we come to realize that, after all, God was at all times on our side. The eventual outcome was, we discover, by far the best solution for us, and what we thought should have been to our best advantage, would in reality have been quite detrimental.
- The absurd and legendary devil is the enigma of the Church.
- Sitting Bull, most renowned Sioux of modern history, is dead. He was not a Chief, but without Kingly lineage he arose from a lowly position to the greatest Medicine Man of his time, by virtue of his shrewdness and daring. He was an Indian with a white man's spirit of hatred and revenge for those who had wronged him and his. In his day he saw his son and his tribe gradually driven from their possessions: forced to give up their old hunting grounds and espouse the hard working and uncongenial avocations of the whites. And these, his conquerors, were marked in their dealings with his people by selfishness, falsehood and treachery. What wonder that his wild nature, untamed by years of subjection, should still revolt? What wonder that a fiery rage still burned within his breast and that he should seek every opportunity of obtaining vengeance upon his natural enemies.
- The proud spirit of the original owners of these vast prairies inherited through centuries of fierce and bloody wars for their possession, lingered last in the bosom of Sitting Bull. With his fall the nobility of the Redskin is extinguished, and what few are left are a pack of whining curs who lick the hand that smites them. The Whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians. Why not annihilation? Their glory has fled, their spirit broken, their manhood effaced; better that they die than live the miserable wretches that they are. History would forget these latter despicable beings, and speak, in later ages of the glory of these grand Kings of forest and plain that Cooper loved to heroism. We cannot honestly regret their extermination, but we at least do justice to the manly characteristics possessed, according to their lights and education, by the early Redskins of America.
- The peculiar policy of the government in employing so weak and vacillating a person as General Miles to look after the uneasy Indians, has resulted in a terrible loss of blood to our soldiers, and a battle which, at its best, is a disgrace to the war department. There has been plenty of time for prompt and decisive measures, the employment of which would have prevented this disaster. The Pioneer has before declared that our only safety depends upon the total extirmination of the Indians. Having wronged them for centuries we had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up by one more wrong and wipe these untamed and untamable creatures from the face of the earth. In this lies future safety for our settlers and the soldiers who are under incompetent commands. Otherwise, we may expect future years to be as full of trouble with the redskins as those have been in the past.
- An eastern contemporary, with a grain of wisdom in its wit, says that 'when the whites win a fight, it is a victory, and when the Indians win it, it is a massacre.'
- His father thought he had a wond'rous wise look when he was born, and so he named him Solomon, thinking that if indeed he turned out to be wise the name would fit him nicely, whereas, should he be mistaken, and the boy grow up stupid, his name could be easily changed to Simon.
- Burglars! Good gracious!' cried the little woman, springing from the bed in one bound. The word 'burglar' was a terrible one to her, as it is indeed, to every well-constituted woman. 'Robbery' does not sound nearly so awe-inspiring.
- 'Make them read that it is no longer the fashion to wear birds upon hats. That will afford relief to your poor milliner and at the same time set free thousands of our darling birds who have been so cruelly used.' Popopo thanked the wise king and followed his advice. The office of every newspaper and magazine in the city was visited by the knook, and then he went to other cities, until there was not a publication in the land that had not a 'new fashion note' in its pages. Sometimes Popopo enchanted the types, so that whoever read the print would see only what the knook wished them to. Sometimes he called upon the busy editors and befuddled their brains until they wrote exactly what he wanted them to. Mortals seldom know how greatly they are influenced by fairies, knooks and ryls, who often put thoughts into their heads that only the wise little immortals could have conceived. The following morning when the poor milliner looked over her newspaper she was overjoyed to read that 'no woman could now wear a bird upon her hat and be in style, for the newest fashion required only ribbons and laces.'
- 'But what can I do?' cried she, spreading out her arms helplessly. 'I can not hew down trees, as my father used; and in all this end of the king's domain there is nothing else to be done. For there are so many shepherds that no more are needed, and so many tillers of the soil that no more can find employment. Ah, I have tried; hut no one wants a weak girl like me.' 'Why don't you become a witch?' asked the man. 'Me!' gasped Mary-Marie, amazed. 'A witch!' 'Why not?' he inquired, as if surprised. 'Well,' said the girl, laughing. 'I'm not old enough. Witches, you know, are withered dried-up old hags.' 'Oh, not at all!' returned the stranger. 'And they sell their souls to Satan, in return for a knowledge of witchcraft,' continued Mary-Marie more seriously. 'Stuff and nonsense!' cried the stranger angrily. 'And all the enjoyment they get in life is riding broomsticks through the air on dark nights,' declared the girl. 'Well, well, well!' said the old man in an astonished tone. 'One might think you knew all about witches, to hear you chatter. But your words prove you to be very ignorant of the subject. You may find good people and bad people in the world; and so, I suppose, you may find good witches and bad witches. But I must confess most of the witches I have known were very respectable, indeed, and famous for their kind actions.' 'Oh. I'd like to be that kind of witch!' said Mary-Marie, clasping her hands earnestly.
- 'But girls often marry when they are too young,' exclaimed Mary-Marie quickly; 'so, if you don't object to my age - '
- Folklore, legends, myths and fairy tales have followed childhood through the ages, for every healthy youngster has a wholesome and instinctive love for stories fantastic, marvelous and manifestly unreal.
- Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife.
- It was Toto that made Dorothy laugh, and saved her from growing as gray as her other surroundings. Toto was not gray; he was a little black dog, with long silky hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose.
- 'You are welcome, most noble Sorceress, to the land of the Munchkins. We are so grateful to you for having killed the Wicked Witch of the East, and for setting our people free from bondage.'
- Dorothy looked, and gave a little cry of fright. There, indeed, just under the corner of the great beam the house rested on, two feet were sticking out, shod in silver shoes with pointed toes.
- 'There were only four witches in all the Land of Oz, and two of them, those who live in the North and the South, are good witches. I know this is true, for I am one of them myself, and cannot be mistaken. Those who dwelt in the East and the West were, indeed, wicked witches; but now that you have killed one of them, there is but one Wicked Witch in all the Land of Oz - the one who lives in the West.'
- 'The road to the City of Emeralds is paved with yellow brick,' said the Witch, 'so you cannot miss it. When you get to Oz do not be afraid of him, but tell your story and ask him to help you'.
- The Scarecrow listened carefully, and said, 'I cannot understand why you should wish to leave this beautiful country and go back to the dry, gray place you call Kansas.' 'That is because you have no brains' answered the girl. 'No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.' The Scarecrow sighed. 'Of course I cannot understand it,' he said. 'If your heads were stuffed with straw, like mine, you would probably all live in the beautiful places, and then Kansas would have no people at all. It is fortunate for Kansas that you have brains.'
- 'It must be inconvenient to be made of flesh,' said the Scarecrow thoughtfully, 'for you must sleep, and eat and drink. However, you have brains, and it is worth a lot of bother to be able to think properly.'
- 'All the same,' said the Scarecrow, 'I shall ask for brains instead of a heart; for a fool would not know what to do with a heart if he had one.' 'I shall take the heart,' returned the Tin Woodman; 'for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.'
- 'All the other animals in the forest naturally expect me to be brave, for the Lion is everywhere thought to be the King of Beasts. I learned that if I roared very loudly every living thing was frightened and got out of my way. Whenever I've met a man I've been awfully scared; but I just roared at him, and he has always run away as fast as he could go. If the elephants and the tigers and the bears had ever tried to fight me, I should have run myself - I'm such a coward; but just as soon as they hear me roar they all try to get away from me, and of course I let them go.'
- 'You will be very welcome,' answered Dorothy, 'for you will help to keep away the other wild beasts. It seems to me they must be more cowardly than you are if they allow you to scare them so easily.' 'They really are,' said the Lion, 'but that doesn't make me any braver, and as long as I know myself to be a coward I shall be unhappy.'
- The Tin Woodman knew very well he had no heart, and therefore he took great care never to be cruel or unkind to anything. 'You people with hearts,' he said, 'have something to guide you, and need never do wrong; but I have no heart, and so I must be very careful. When Oz gives me a heart of course I needn't mind so much.'
- 'One of my greatest fears was the Witches, for while I had no magical powers at all I soon found out that the Witches were really able to do wonderful things. There were four of them in this country, and they ruled the people who live in the North and South and East and West. Fortunately, the Witches of the North and South were good, and I knew they would do me no harm; but the Witches of the East and West were terribly wicked, and had they not thought I was more powerful than they themselves, they would surely have destroyed me.'
- 'Oh, no, my dear; I'm really a very good man, but I'm a very bad Wizard, I must admit.'
- The Scarecrow was now the ruler of the Emerald City, and although he was not a Wizard the people were proud of him. 'For,' they said, 'there is not another city in all the world that is ruled by a stuffed man.' And, so far as they knew, they were quite right.
- 'My people have been wearing green glasses on their eyes for so long that most of them think this really is an Emerald City.'
- 'I have heard that Glinda is a beautiful woman, who knows how to keep young in spite of the many years she has lived.'
- 'The Silver Shoes,' said the Good Witch, 'have wonderful powers. And one of the most curious things about them is that they can carry you to any place in the world in three steps, and each step will be made in the wink of an eye. All you have to do is to knock the heels together three times and command the shoes to carry you wherever you wish to go.'
- If you will take the trouble to consult your dictionary, you will find that demons may be either good or bad, like any other class of beings. Originally all demons were good, yet of late years people have come to consider all demons evil. I do not know why. Should you read Hesiod you will find he says: 'Soon was a world of holy demons made, Aerial spirits, by great Jove designed To be on earth the guardians of mankind.' ' 'But Jove was himself a myth,' objected Rob, who had been studying mythology. The Demon shrugged his shoulders. 'Then take the words of Mr. Shakespeare, to whom you all defer,' he replied. 'Do you not remember that he says: 'Thy demon (that's thy spirit which keeps thee) is Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable.' ' 'Oh, if Shakespeare says it, that's all right,' answered the boy.'
- Familiarity with any great thing removes our awe of it. The great general is only terrible to the enemy; the great poet is frequently scolded by his wife; the children of the great statesman clamber about his knees with perfect trust and impunity; the great actor who is called before the curtain by admiring audiences is often waylaid at the stage door by his creditors.
- And, afterward, when a child was naughty or disobedient, its mother would say: 'You must pray to the good Santa Claus for forgiveness. He does not like naughty children, and, unless you repent, he will bring you no more pretty toys.' But Santa Claus himself would not have approved this speech. He brought toys to the children because they were little and helpless, and because he loved them. He knew that the best of children were sometimes naughty, and that the naughty ones were often good. It is the way with children, the world over, and he would not have changed their natures had he possessed the power to do so.
- 'In all this world there is nothing so beautiful as a happy child,' says good old Santa Claus; and if he had his way the children would all be beautiful, for all would be happy.
- I never deal in transformations, for they are not honest, and no respectable sorceress likes to make things appear to be what they are not.
- At this exquisite vision Tip's old comrades stared in wonder for the space of a full minute, and then every head bent low in honest admiration of the lovely Princess Ozma. The girl herself cast one look into Glinda's bright face, which glowed with pleasure and satisfaction, and then turned upon the others. Speaking the words with sweet diffidence, she said: 'I hope none of you will care less for me than you did before. I'm just the same Tip, you know; only - only - ' 'Only you're different!' said the Pumpkinhead; and everyone thought it was the wisest speech he had ever made.
- 'Money! Money in Oz!' cried the Tin Woodman. 'What a queer idea! Did you suppose we are so vulgar as to use money here?' 'Why not?' asked the shaggy man. 'If we used money to buy things with, instead of love and kindness and the desire to please one another, then we should be no better than the rest of the world,' declared the Tin Woodman. 'Fortunately money is not known in the Land of Oz at all. We have no rich, and no poor; for what one wishes the others all try to give him, in order to make him happy, and no one in all Oz cares to have more than he can use.' 'Good!' cried the shaggy man, greatly pleased to hear this. 'I also despise money - a man in Butterfield owes me fifteen cents, and I will not take it from him. The Land of Oz is surely the most favored land in all the world, and its people the happiest. I should like to live here always.'
- It seems unfortunate that strong people are usually so disagreeable and overbearing that no one cares for them. In fact, to be different from your fellow creatures is always a misfortune. The Growleywogs knew that they were disliked and avoided by every one, so they had become surly and unsociable even among themselves.
- 'Were we all like the Sawhorse, we would all be Sawhorses, which would be too many of the kind. Were we all like Hank, we would be a herd of mules; if like Toto, we would be a pack of dogs; should we all become the shape of the Woozy, he would no longer be remarkable for his unusual appearance. Finally, were you all like me, I would consider you so common that I would not care to associate with you. To be individual, my friends, to be different from others, is the only way to become distinguished from the common herd. Let us be glad, therefore, that we differ from one another in form and in disposition. Variety is the spice of life, and we are various enough to enjoy one another's society; so let us be content.'
- 'We consider a prisoner unfortunate. He is unfortunate in two ways - because he has done something wrong and because he is deprived of his liberty. Therefore we should treat him kindly, because of his misfortune, for otherwise he would become hard and bitter and would not be sorry he had done wrong. Ozma thinks that one who has committed a fault did so because he was not strong and brave; therefore she puts him in prison to make him strong and brave. When that is accomplished he is no longer a prisoner, but a good and loyal citizen and everyone is glad that he is now strong enough to resist doing wrong. You see, it is kindness that makes one strong and brave; and so we are kind to our prisoners.'
- Electricity was a part of the world from its creation, and therefore my Electra is as old as Daylight or Moonlight, and equally beneficent to mortals and fairies alike.
- In fact, Mr. Watson, it's a queer world, and the longer I live in it the queerer I find it. Once I thought it would be a good idea to regulate things myself and run the world as it ought to be run; but I gave it up long ago. The world's a stage, they say; but the show ain't always amusing, by a long chalk, and sometimes I wish I didn't have a reserved seat.
- I think the world is like a great mirror, and reflects our lives just as we ourselves look upon it. Those who turn sad faces toward the world find only sadness reflected. But a smile is reflected in the same way, and cheers and brightens our hearts. You think there is no pleasure to be had in life. That is because you are heartsick and - and tired, as you say. With one sad story ended you are afraid to begin another - a sequel - feeling it would be equally sad. But why should it be? Isn't the joy or sorrow equally divided in life?
- To destroy an offender cannot benefit society so much as to redeem him.
- 'They're mostly foreigners, Mr. Merrick, who haven't yet fully mastered the English language. But,' he added, thoughtfully, 'a few among them might subscribe, if your country sheet contains any news of interest at all. This is rather a lonely place for my men and they get dissatisfied at times. All workmen seem chronically dissatisfied, and their women constantly urge them to rebellion. Already there are grumblings, and they claim they're buried alive in this forlorn forest. Don't appreciate the advantages of country life, you see, and I've an idea they'll begin to desert, pretty soon. Really, a live newspaper might do them good - especially if you print a little socialistic drivel now and then.'
l. frank baum
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