stephen leacock Quotes

Stephen Leacock Quotes

Date of Death: 1944-03-28 (Tuesday, March 28th, 1944)

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Quotes

    • Special Correspondence. I learn from a very high authority, whose name I am not at liberty to mention, (speaking to me at a place which I am not allowed to indicate and in a language which I am forbidden to use)--that Austria-Hungary is about to take a diplomatic step of the highest importance. What this step is, I am forbidden to say. But the consequences of it--which unfortunately I am pledged not to disclose--will be such as to effect results which I am not free to enumerate.
    • You know, many a man realizes late in life that if when he was a boy he had known what he knows now, instead of being what he is he might be what he won't; but how few boys stop to think that if they knew what they don't know instead of being what they will be, they wouldn't be?
    • The rushing of his spirit from its prison-house was as rapid as a hunted cat passing over a garden fence.
    • My parents migrated to Canada in 1876, and I decided to go with them.
    • Presently I shall be introduced as 'this venerable old gentleman' and the axe will fall when they raise me to the degree of 'grand old man'. That means on our continent any one with snow-white hair who has kept out of jail till eighty.
    • The Lord said 'Let there be wheat' and Saskatchewan was born.
    • With the thermometer at 30 below zero and the wind behind him, a man walking on Main Street in Winnipeg knows which side of him is which.
    • Of course, Pupkin would never have thought of considering himself on an intellectual par with Mallory Tompkins. That would have been ridiculous. Mallory Tompkins had read all sorts of things and had half a mind to write a novel himself--either that or a play. All he needed, he said, was to have a chance to get away somewhere by himself and think. Every time he went away to the city Pupkin expected that he might return with the novel all finished; but though he often came back with his eyes red from thinking, the novel as yet remained incomplete.
    • Many of my friends are under the impression that I write these humorous nothings in idle moments when the wearied brain is unable to perform the serious labours of the economist. My own experience is exactly the other way. The writing of solid, instructive stuff fortified by facts and figures is easy enough. There is no trouble in writing a scientific treatise on the folk-lore of Central China, or a statistical enquiry into the declining population of Prince Edward Island. But to write something out of one's own mind, worth reading for its own sake, is an arduous contrivance only to be achieved in fortunate moments, few and far between. Personally, I would sooner have written 'Alice in Wonderland' than the whole Encyclopaedia Britannica.
    • A sportsman is a man who every now and then, simply has to get out and kill something.
    • Advertising may be described as the science of arresting human intelligence long enough to get money from it.
    • Astronomy teaches the correct use of the sun and the planets.
    • Each section of the British Isles has its own way of laughing, except Wales, which doesn't.
    • Electricity is of two kinds, positive and negative. The difference is, I presume, that one comes a little more expensive, but is more durable; the other is a cheaper thing, but the moths get into it.
    • He flung himself from the room, flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions.
    • I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.
    • I detest life-insurance agents: they always argue that I shall some day die, which is not so.
    • In ancient times they had no statistics so they had to fall back on lies.
    • It is to be observed that 'angling' is the name given to fishing by people who can't fish.
    • It may be those who do most, dream most.
    • It takes a good deal of physical courage to ride a horse. This, however, I have. I get it at about forty cents a flask, and take it as required.
    • It's a lie, but Heaven will forgive you for it.
    • It's called political economy because it is has nothing to do with either politics or economy.
    • Life, we learn too late, is in the living, the tissue of every day and hour.
    • Many a man in love with a dimple makes a mistake of marrying the whole girl.
    • Men are able to trust one another, knowing the exact degree of dishonesty they are entitled to expect.
    • Newspapermen learn to call a murderer 'an alleged murderer' and the King of England 'the alleged King of England' to avoid libel suits.
    • Now, the essence, the very spirit of Christmas is that we first make believe a thing is so, and lo, it presently turns out to be so.
    • On the same bill and on the same side of it there should not be two charges for the same thing.
    • Personally, I would sooner have written Alice in Wonderland than the whole Encyclopedia Britannica.
    • Synopsis of Previous Chapters: There are no Previous Chapters.
    • The classics are only primitive literature. They belong to the same class as primitive machinery and primitive music and primitive medicine.
    • The Compleat Angler is acknowledged to be one of the world's books. Only the trouble is that the world doesn't read its books, it borrows a detective story instead.
    • The general idea, of course, in any first-class laundry is to see that no shirt or collar ever comes back twice.
    • The landlady of a boarding-house is a parallelogram - that is, an oblong angular figure, which cannot be described, but which is equal to anything.
    • The parent who could see his boy as he really is, would shake his head and say: 'Willie is no good; I'll sell him.'
    • There are two things in ordinary conversation which ordinary people dislike - information and wit.
    • We think of the noble object for which the professor appears to-night, we may be assured that the Lord will forgive any one who will laugh at the professor.
    • What we call creative work, ought not to be called work at all, because it isn't. I imagine that Thomas Edison never did a day's work in his last fifty years.
    • stephen leacock

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