Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Thomas Bailey

American Author, Poet, Playwright, Novelist, Travel Writer and Editor

Author Quotes

The young girl in my story is to be as sensitive to praise as a prism is to light. Whenever anybody praises her she breaks into colors.

What a Babel of voices it was, everybody directing everybody else, and everybody doing everything wrong!

A glance, a word -- and joy or pain befalls.... How slight the links are in the chain that binds us to our destiny!

Dear Lord, though I be changed to senseless clay, and serve the Potter as he turn his wheel, I thank Thee for the gracious gift of tears!

If my best wines mislike thy taste, and my best service win thy frown, then tarry not, I bid thee haste; there's many another Inn in town.

So I sit there kicked my heels, thinking about New Orleans, and watching a morbid blue-bottle fly attempt to commit suicide by butting his head against the windowpane.

Then the ship gave sudden lurches that made it a matter of uncertainty whether one was going to put his fork in his mouth or into his eye.

What is a day to an immortal soul! A breath, no more.

A mighty wind, like a leviathan, ploughed through the brine, and from these solitudes sent silence frightened.

Everyone has a bookplate these days, and the collectors are after it. The fool and his bookplate are soon parted. To distribute one's ex libris is inanely to destroy the only significance it has, that of indicating the past or present ownership of the volume in which it is placed.

Imagine all human beings swept off the face of the earth, excepting one man. Imagine this man in some vast city, New York or London. Imagine him on the third or fourth day of his solitude sitting in a house and hearing a ring at the door-bell!

So precious life is! Even to the old, the hours are as a miser's coins!

There is a sadness in sweet sound that quickens tears.

What is more cheerful, now, in the fall of the year, than an open-wood-fire? Do you hear those little chirps and twitters coming out of that piece of apple-wood? Those are the ghosts of the robins and blue-birds that sang upon the bough when it was in blossom last Spring. In Summer whole flocks of them come fluttering about the fruit-trees under the window: so I have singing birds all the year round.

After a debauch of thundershower, the weather takes the pledge and signs it with a rainbow.

Fell over the prostrate steersman, and there we all lay in a heap, two or three of us quite picturesque with the nosebleed.

In her eyes a thought grew sweeter and sweeter, deepening like the dawn, A mystical forewarning.

Sorrow itself is not so hard to bear as the thought of sorrow coming. Airy ghosts that work no harm do terrify us more than men in steel with woody purpose.

There must be such a thing as a child with average ability, but you can't find a parent who will admit that it is his child.

What is slang in one age sometimes goes into the vocabulary of the purist in the next.

All the best sands of my life are somehow getting into the wrong end of the hourglass. If I could only reverse it! Were it in my power to do so, would I?

For the poplars showed the white of their leaves, the amber grain shrunk in the wind--and the lightning now is tangled in tremulous skeins of rain.

It is the Lord's Day, and I do believe that cheerful hearts and faces are not unpleasant in His sight.

That was indeed to live?at one bold swoop to wrest from darkling death the best that Death to Life can give!

These Winter nights against my window-pane Nature with busy pencil draws designs of ferns and blossoms and fine spray of pines, oak-leaf and acorn and fantastic vines, which she will make when summer comes again--quaint arabesques in argent, flat and cold, like curious Chinese etchings.

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Thomas Bailey
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American Author, Poet, Playwright, Novelist, Travel Writer and Editor