Carrying Your Mind With You


A man can carry his mind with him as he carries his watch; but like the watch, to keep it going he must keep it wound up.

——Lew Wallace, Autobiography.

Artemus Ward on Grammar

A writer who can’t write in a grammerly manner better shut up shop.

—London Punch Letters.

On Football and Education


Football occupies the same relation to education that a bull fight does to farming.

——Elbert Hubbard in The Philistine, vol. 23.

Bred for Misery and Ruin


As we sow, we reap. Let the reader go into the children’s side of any prison in England, or, I grieve to add, of many workhouses, and judge whether those are monsters who disgrace our streets, people our hulks and penitentiaries, and overcrowd our penal colonies, or are creatures whom we have deliberately suffered to be bred for misery and ruin.

——Charles Dickens, Preface to Martin Chuzzlewit.

On Writing English


Should a man (or a woman) desire to practice the profession of a lawyer, he spends several years in a lawyer’s office, reads many books on legal subjects, and passes several examinations set by legal professionals. A like procedure obtains, should he desire to become a doctor, a civil engineer, an architect or a professor. Should he desire to be an artist, he must visit Paris and study under the best masters and from the best work of those who have become the acknowledged masters in painting and sculpture. But should he desire to become an author—he simply sits down and scribbles off a manuscript; then he arises with a look of satisfaction upon his countenance and mails the pen-production to the editor of some magazine, the name of which he knows by hearsay.

——John A. Cooper in The Canadian Magazine.