I don't care very much for literary shrines and hauntsI knew a woman in London who boasted that she had lodgings from the windows of which she could throw a stone into Carlyle's yard. And when I said, "Why throw a stone into Carlyle's yard?" she looked at me as if I were an imbecile and changed the subject.
I hate to do what everybody else is doing. Why, only last week, on Fifth Avenue and some cross streets, I noticed that every feminine citizen of these United States wore an artificial posy on her coat or gown. I came home and ripped off every one of the really lovely refrigerator blossoms that were sewn on my own bodices.
I think, for the rest of my life, I shall refrain from looking up things. It is the most ravenous time-snatcher I know. You pull one book from the shelf, which carries a hint or a reference that sends you posthaste to another book, and that to successive others. It is incredible, the number of books you hopefully open and disappointedly close, only to take down another with the same result.
... ideals, standards, aspirations,--those are chameleon words, and take color from their speakers,--often false tints. A scholarly man of my acquaintance once told me that he traveled a thousand miles into the desert to get away from the word uplift, and it was the first word he heard after he reached his destination.
I have always hated biography, and more especially, autobiography. If biography, the writer invariably finds it necessary to plaster the subject with praises, flattery and adulation and to invest him with all the Christian graces. If autobiography, the same plan is followed, but the writer apologizes for it.