Margaret Delandwas an American novelist, short story writer, and poet. She also wrote an autobiography in two volumes. She is generally considered part of the literary realism movement...
A pint can't hold a quart -- if it holds a pint it is doing all that can be expected of it.
It is useless to deny that, unless one has a genius for imparting knowledge, teaching is a drudgery.
we middle-aged folk have the education of life, truly; we know the multiplication table of anxieties and sorrows, the subtraction table of loss, the division table of responsibility.
moral vanity is the snare of good people.
What I object to in Mother is that she wants me to think her thoughts. Apart from the question of hypocrisy, I prefer my own.
There is a bond, it appears, between mother and child which endures as long as they do. It is independent of love; reason cannot weaken it; hate cannot destroy it.
When one promise jostles another, one of 'em isn't a promise.
nothing may be more selfish than remorse ...
I notice that when people have no sense of responsibility, you call them either criminals or geniuses.
it's better to be crazy on one point and happy, than sane on all points and unhappy.
In connection with death, or birth, or love, modesty is only a rather puerile self-consciousness.
conceit is the devil's horse, and reformers generally ride it when they are in a hurry.
silence is very moving to youth, for who knows what it hides?
there are few things that are more endearing than the grace of listening with attention; indeed, it is more than endearing, it is impressive - for no one knows what wisdom lies concealed in silence!
Some time in our lives every man and woman of us, putting out our hands toward the stars, touch on either side our prison walls the immutable limitations of temperament
When two duties jostle each other, one of 'em isn't a duty.
Real divorce takes place without a decree ...
Nature is perfectly impartial. Brain has no sex!
a great moment raises most of the people who experience it, to its own level; and that is why they do not always recognize its greatness - or their own.
men love their wives not because of their virtues, but in spite of them.
Home is the best place to be sick in.
a manufactured interest has no staying quality - especially if it involves any hard work.
a short cut to matrimonial unhappiness is not to have the same taste in jokes!
the blue and cloudless day closes like the lid of a casket of jewels upon the violet rim of sea, and shuts out the light.
When it comes to bombshells, there are few that can be more effective than that small, flat, frail thing, a letter.
A letter is a risky thing; the writer gambles on the reader's frame of mind.
Grandmother belongs to the generation of women who were satisfied to have men retain their vices, if they removed their hats.
we've all of us got to meet the devil alone. Temptation is a lonely business ...
I'm not to blame for an old body, but I would be to blame for an old soul. An old soul is a shameful thing.
Lawyers make their cake by cooking up other people's troubles.
Age, per se, may claim tenderness and pity, but not respect; that only comes when the years have brought humanity and wisdom and the experience that worketh hope.
nothing is as conventional as adolescence.
A sneer is like a flame; it may occasionally be curative because it cauterizes, but it leaves a bitter scar.
Every new truth begins in a shocking heresy.
I have no faith in a human critter who hasn't one or two bad habits.
Conscience that isn't hitched up to common sense is a mighty dangerous thing.
Convictions do not imply reasons.
There isn't any virtue where there has never been any temptation.
The insolence of time is like a blow in the face from an unseen enemy.
... there must be reserves -- except with God. The human soul is solitary. But for confession that is different; justice and reparation sometimes demand it; but, again, justice and courage sometimes forbid it.
Age, with shamefaced relief, has learned the solvent quality of Time. It is this quality which makes possible the contemplation of certain embarrassing heavenly reunions ...
I've always thought the law ought to put on spectacles, it has mighty poor eyesight once in a while.
the profession of the ministry is like matrimony: if it is possible for you to keep out of it, it's a sign that you've no business to go into it!
Twenty-five years ago, Christmas was not the burden that it is now; there was less haggling and weighing, less quid pro quo, less fatigue of body, less weariness of soul; and, most of all, there was less loading up with trash.
There's one thing that always interests me about you good people, not your certainty that the rest of us are swine, - no doubt we are, - but your certainty that your opinions are pearls.
Of all the bitter and heavy things in this sorry old world, the not being necessary is the bitterest and heaviest.
... in a wicked way, it is an incentive to good living to observe the spice of enjoyment there is to a godly soul in a very little sin.
There is no embarrassment quite like the embarrassment of listening to a person for whom one has a regard making a fool of himself.
Absurdity is the one thing love can't stand; it can overlook anything else, -- coldness, or weakness, or viciousness, -- but just be ridiculous and that's the end of it!
Isn't there any statute of limitation in things spiritual? I don't believe any large mind dwells on its sins, any more than on its virtues!
if you give way to fear, you'll be a coward; and ... a coward is apt to be a liar. The devil's first name is Fear ...
faith, it seems to me, is not the holding of certain dogmas; it is simply openness and readiness of heart to believe any truth which God may show.
Self-sacrifice which denies common sense is not a virtue. It's a spiritual dissipation.
anger as well as love casts out fear ...
To talk over a quarrel, with its inevitable accompaniment of self-justification, is too much like handling cobwebs to be very successful.
The anger of slow, mild, loving people has a lasting quality that mere bad-tempered folk cannot understand.
as I get older there is nothing more constantly astonishing to me than the goodness of the Bad; - unless it is the badness of the Good.
gossip, after it reaches a certain point of insult and falsehood, becomes a source of amusement to its victims.
... safety that depends on an apron-string is very unsafe!
... it is curious how fatal it is, either to a situation or to an individual, or even to a name, if in an evil moment it becomes funny.
... is there anything more unjust than to build gold and brass and iron on poor, well-meaning clay, -- and then blame the clay when the whole image falls into dust?
Hearts don't come when Reason whistles to 'em.
Fighting should be left to dogs and cats and chickens, who can't reason.
... Love never forgets; or if it does, it is an imperfect love, like the beautiful love of a dog, faithful and unreasoning.
If you are kind to an enemy, you cannot hate him.
... if a man really and truly believed that black was white, you might advise him to see an oculist, but you mustn't call him a liar.
When did Youth ever thank Age for its wisdom?
... some of the things floating about in the Well of Memory are not worth recording.
... perhaps there is no conceit so arrogant as the conceit which follows a conviction of emancipation.
Books are like sapphires; they must be polished - polished! or else you insult your readers.
The fact is, the secret of happiness is the sense of proportion ...
... when personal happiness conflicts with any great human ideal, the right to claim such happiness is as nothing compared to the privilege of resigning it.
habit does much to reconcile us to unpleasantness ...
Grief is the price Love pays for being in the same world with Death.
as everybody knows, truthfulness and agreeable manners are often divorced on the ground of incompatibility.
by some mysterious method, Susan Carr's gossip gave the listener a gentler feeling towards his kind. When she spoke of her neighbors' faults, one knew that somehow they were simply virtues gone to seed ...
there couldn't be war, unless lies were believed. War has to be nourished by lies.
the attempt to break a habit of years is necessarily experimental.
War is wicked, beause it is murder and hate. And it is foolish, because hate and murder can only destroy people's bodies, not change their minds.
weakness is a great bully without knowing it ...
A pint can't hold a quart - if it holds a pint it is doing all that can be expected of it.
One must desire something to be alive.
One must desire something to be alive; perhaps absolute satisfaction is only another name for Death.
You can't have genius without patience.
As soon as you feel too old to do a thing, do it.
I have heard that a man might be his own lawyer, but you can't be your own judge.
Nobody who is somebody looks down on anybody.
Truth is like heat or light; its vibrations are endless, and are endlessly felt.