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Carolyn Wells

"Secure from observation/ A Bookworm made his home / And pursued his occupation / In a dry and dusty tome, / Made by some wise old sages / That lesser minds might learn. / The Bookworm turned the pages / (For even a worm will turn). / He said, 'What prosy leaders! And, judging by its look, / This book has bored its readers, / Now I will bore the book.'"

Carolyn Wells, "Tit for Tat," Idle Idyls (1900)

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"A yardstick thus to himself did muse / As he walked along the street; / 'I must buy a pair and a half of shoes / Because I have three feet.'"

Carolyn Wells, "The Thoughtful Yardstick," Idle Idyls (1900)

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"A guilty conscience is the mother of invention."

Carolyn Wells, "Maxioms," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"He who loves and runs away, may live to love another day."

Carolyn Wells, "Maxioms," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"Reward is its own virtue."

Carolyn Wells, "Maxioms," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"The wages of sin is alimony."

Carolyn Wells, "Maxioms," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"A living gale is better than a dead calm."

Carolyn Wells, "Maxioms," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"Nonsense makes the heart grow fonder."

Carolyn Wells, "Maxioms," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"Society's the mother of convention."

Carolyn Wells, "More Maxioms," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"Circumstances alter faces."

Carolyn Wells, "More Maxioms," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"Actions lie louder than words."

Carolyn Wells, "More Mixed Maxims," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"Invitation is the sincerest flattery."

Carolyn Wells, "More Mixed Maxims," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"One man's fish is another man's poisson."

Carolyn Wells, "More Mixed Maxims," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"A critic is a necessary evil, and criticism is an evil necessity."

Carolyn Wells, "More Mixed Maxims," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"A cynic is a man who looks at the world with a monocle in his mind's eye."

Carolyn Wells, "More Mixed Maxims," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"Where there's a will there's a detective story."

Carolyn Wells, "The Turnings of a Bookworm," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"When strolling forth, a beast you view / Whose hide with spots is peppered; / As soon as it has leapt on you, / You'll know it is the Leopard."

Carolyn Wells, "How to Know the Wild Animals," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"'Tis blessed to bestow, and yet, / Could we bestow the gifts we get, / And keep the ones we give away, / How happy were our Christmas Day!"

Carolyn Wells, "A Christmas Thought," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"Happiness is the ability to recognize it."

Carolyn Wells, "Wiseacreage," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"At times there is nothing so unnatural as nature."

Carolyn Wells, "Wiseacreage," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"Flirtation envies Love, and Love envies Flirtation."

Carolyn Wells, "Wiseacreage," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"The way to do some things is to do them."

Carolyn Wells, "Wiseacreage," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"Contentment is the result of a limited imagination."

Carolyn Wells, "Wiseacreage," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"We should live and learn; but by the time we've learned, it's too late to live."

Carolyn Wells, "Wiseacreage," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"Every dogma must have its day."

Carolyn Wells, "Inexpensive Cynicisms," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"A profit is not without honor save in Boston."

Carolyn Wells, "Inexpensive Cynicisms," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"The Bananaconda is thin, / With a reddish or yellow skin. / He's not quite a brute, / Nor exactly a fruit, / Though to each of them he is akin."

Carolyn Wells, "The Bananaconda," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"'Tis said, woman loves not her lover / So much as she loves his love of her; / Then loves she her lover / For love of her lover, / Or love of her love of her lover?"

Carolyn Wells, "Love," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"A Tutor who tooted the flute, / Tried to teach two young tooters to toot; / Said the two to the tutor, / 'Is it harder to toot or / To tutor two tooters to toot?'"

Carolyn Wells, "The Tutor," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"A canner exceedingly canny / One morning remarked to his granny, / 'A canner can can / Anything that he can, / But a canner can't can a can, can he?'"

Carolyn Wells, "A Word Can-Can," Folly for the Wise (1904)

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"'Tis but a Toy on which one spends a Pile. / And Brags about it for a Little While; / Ambition rises -- and the Foolish Man / Sighs, and prepares to buy Another Style."

Carolyn Wells, Rubáiyát of a Motor Car (1906)

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"What! Out of Oil, Nothing to invoke / A Powerful Something, born of Fire and Smoke! / An Unremitting Pleasure, if it goes; / An Everlasting Worriment, if broke."

Carolyn Wells, Rubáiyát of a Motor Car (1906)

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"I sometimes think that every Shining Star / Is but the Tail Lamp of a Motor Car; / Which leap'd from Earth in its mad Ecstasy, / And into Space went Speeding Fast and Far."

Carolyn Wells, Rubáiyát of a Motor Car (1906)

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"... musicians rarely have a sense of humour, at least, about themselves."

Carolyn Wells, Patty's Friends (1908)

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"Patriotism covers a multitude of sins."

Carolyn Wells, "Proverbial Patriotism, " The Carolyn Wells Year Book of Old Favorites and New Fancies for 1909 (1908)

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"A hen who resided in Reading / Attended a gentleman's weading. / As she walked up the aisle, / The guests had to smaisle, / In spite of the tears they were sheading."

Carolyn Wells, "Limericks, " The Carolyn Wells Year Book of Old Favorites and New Fancies for 1909 (1908)

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"What is a magazine? A small body of Literature entirely surrounded by advertisements. "

Carolyn Wells, "A Primer of Literature," The Carolyn Wells Year Book of Old Favorites and New Fancies for 1909 (1908)

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"In December people give no thought to the Past or the Future. They think only of the Present."

Carolyn Wells, "December," The Carolyn Wells Year Book of Old Favorites and New Fancies for 1909 (1908)

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"When Venus said 'Spell no for me,' / 'N-O' Dan Cupid wrote with glee, / And smiled at his success: / 'Ah, child,' said Venus, laughing low, / 'We women do not spell it so, / We spell it Y-E-S.'"

Carolyn Wells, "The Spelling Lesson, " The Carolyn Wells Year Book of Old Favorites and New Fancies for 1909 (1908)

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"The books we think we ought to read are poky, dull and dry; / The books that we should like to read we are ashamed to buy; / The books that people talk about we never can recall; / And the books that people give us, oh, they're the worst of all."

Carolyn Wells, "On Books," in Harper's Magazine (1910)

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"A fool and his money are soon married."

Carolyn Wells, The Lover's Baedeker and Guide to Arcady (1912)

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"Wall Street. -- The abode of the Brokers and the Broke."

Carolyn Wells, Pleasing Prose (1913)

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"Forgive us our Christmases as we / Forgive those who Christmas against us!"

Carolyn Wells, "A Christmas Petition," Baubles (1916)

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"For beauty I am not a star, / There are others more handsome by far; / But my face I don't mind it, / For I am behind it, / It's the people in front that I jar."

Carolyn Wells, in Carolyn Wells, ed., Such Nonsense (1918)

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"There is one thing I can't get in my head -- / Why do people marry the people they wed?"

Carolyn Wells, "The Mystery," in Carolyn Wells, ed., The World's Best Humor (1923)

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"They borrow books they will not buy, / They have no ethics or religions; / I wish some kind Burbankian guy / Would cross my books with homing pigeons."

Carolyn Wells, "Book Borrowers" (1900), in Reader's Digest (1937)

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"Advice ... is a habit-forming drug. You give a dear friend a bit of advice today, and next week you find yourself advising two or three friends, and the week after, a dozen, and the week following, crowds!"

Carolyn Wells, The Rest of My Life (1937)

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"... advice is one of those things it is far more blessed to give than to receive. "

Carolyn Wells, The Rest of My Life (1937)

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"... how could advice be successful? If it turns out right, the adviser is ignored and the advisee takes all the credit. If it proves mistaken, the adviser receives all the blame."

Carolyn Wells, The Rest of My Life (1937)

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"Insistent advice may develop into interference, and interference, someone has said, is the hind hoof of the devil."

Carolyn Wells, The Rest of My Life (1937)

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"One of the first principles of perseverance is to know when to stop persevering."

Carolyn Wells, The Rest of My Life (1937)

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"I'm just the same age I've always been."

Carolyn Wells, The Rest of My Life (1937)

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"When I feel that I'm going to write a detective story, I buy a five pound box of chocolates and a ream of paper. When the candy is all gone and the paper all used up, I know that the book is long enough."

Carolyn Wells, The Rest of My Life (1937)

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"To make a library / It takes two volumes / And a fire. / Two volumes and a fire, / And interest. / The interest alone will do / If logs are few."

Carolyn Wells, with thanks to Emily Dickinson, The Rest of My Life (1937)

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"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."

Carolyn Wells, The Rest of My Life (1937)

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"It is the interest one takes in books that makes a library."

Carolyn Wells

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"Treat 'em like dogs, and you'll have dogs' works and dogs' actions. Treat 'em like men, and you'll have men's works."

Carolyn Wells, Uncle Tom's Cabin (1856)

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Carolyn Wells, U.S. writer, humorist, poet, playwright, anthologist
(1869 - 1942)

Carolyn Wells Houghton also wrote occasionally under the name Rowland Wright.