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Myrtle Reed

  • ... like a leaf of lavender in a store of linen, so does Memory make life sweet.

  • Five golden years, Heart of Mine, have we walked the way of life together, and there is not an hour I would have changed; there is no moment when I would have you other than you have been. It is the fashion these days, I know, to say that love ends at the altar, but it is not so. You and I have found the old dream of the world divinely true. It is neither a poet's fancy nor a trick of the imagination, but a thing of fadeless and unending beauty.

  • As if by magic, the love of the many comes with the love of the one.

  • It is always winter when I am away from you ...

  • A bird is joy incarnate.

  • ... the song of the world is all of love.

  • ... each separate flower has a magic all its own.

  • A man likes to feel that he is loved, a woman likes to be told.

  • Married and unmarried women waste a great deal of time in feeling sorry for each other.

  • Legislation may at times be disobeyed, but never law, for the breaking brings swift punishment of its own.

  • After the door of a woman's heart has once swung on its silent hinges, a man thinks he can prop it open with a brick and go away and leave it.

  • A real love letter is absolutely ridiculous to everyone except the writer and the recipient.

  • Sins of commission are far more productive of happiness than the sins of omission.

  • It is possible for a spinster to be disappointed in lovers, but only the married are ever disappointed in love.

  • It is personal vanity of the most flagrant type which intrudes itself, unasked, into other people's affairs. There are few of us who do not feel capable of ordering the daily lives of others, down to the most minute detail.

  • At twenty, men love woman; at thirty, a woman; and at forty, women.

  • There are many people who consider love a dream, but they usually grow to think of marriage as the cold breakfast.

  • There is only one path which leads to the house of forgiveness — that of understanding.

  • Not infrequently, when a man asks a woman to marry him, he means that he wants her to help him love himself, and if, blinded by her own feeling, she takes him for her captain, her pleasure craft becomes a pirate ship, the colours change to a black flag with a sinister sign, and her inevitable destiny is the coral reef.

  • No woman need fear the effect of absence upon the man who honestly loves her. The needle of the compass, regardless of intervening seas, points forever toward the north. Pitiful indeed is she who fails to be a magnet and blindly becomes a chain.

  • Marriage is the cold potato of love.

  • Death is the advertisement, at the end of an autobiography, wherein people discover its virtues.

  • Making an issue of a little thing is one of the surest ways to spoil happiness.

  • ... she understood that aunts were in a class by themselves.

  • ... sometimes, out of bitterness, the years distill forgiveness.

  • There isn't a new sorrow in the world — they're all old ones — but we can all find new happiness if we look in the right way.

  • I've always thought my flowers had souls ...

  • ... it always seems to me as if the lavender was a little woman in a green dress, with a lavender bonnet and a white kerchief. She's one of those strong, sweet, wholesome people, who always rest you, and her sweetness lingers long after she goes away.

  • In every life there is a perfect moment, like a flash of sun. We can shape our days by that, if we will — before by faith, and afterward by memory.

  • It all depends on the way you look at it. The point of view is everything in this world.

  • All we can do in this world is the thing that seems to us the best. We have no concern with the results, except as a guide for the future, and sometimes, years afterward, we see that what seemed like a bitter loss was, in reality, gain.

  • Nothing in the world was ever built without a dream at the beginning.

  • Before, you think of it as a permanent bond of happiness; later, you see that it is a yoke, borne unequally. You marry to keep love, but sometimes that is the surest way to lose it.

  • Silence always gives consent ...

  • Forgiving all things, dreaming all things, hoping all things with the boundless faith of maternity, she loved him, through the child that he was, for the man that he might be — loved him, through the man that he was, for the child that he had been.

  • ... Youth asks no greater privilege than to fight its own battles. It is mistaken kindness to shield — it weakens one in the years to come.

  • When a little pleasure has flashed for a moment against the dark, I have made that jewel mine. I have hundreds of them ... I call it my Necklace of Perfect Joy. When the world goes wrong, I have only to close my eyes and remember all the links in my chain, set with gems, some large and some small, but all beautiful with the beauty which never fades. It is all I can take with me when I go. My material possessions must stay behind, but my Necklace of Perfect Joy will bring me happiness to the end, when I put it on, to be nevermore unclasped.

  • On that first day when we look back, either happily or with remorse, to the stony ways over which we have traveled, losing concern for that part of the journey which is yet to come, we have grown old.

  • [On marriage:] Someone once said that it was like a crowded church — those outside were endeavouring to get in, and those inside were making violent efforts to get out.

  • ... when one has learned to wait patiently, one has learned to live.

  • Those who have been made great have first suffered.

  • A book, unlike any other friend, will wait, not only upon the hour but upon the mood.

  • Of all the things that make for happiness, the love of books comes first. No matter how the world may have used us, sure solace lies there.

  • When the years bring wisdom, one learns to leave many problems to their own working out.

  • He followed me like an unpaid bill ...

  • ... I experienced the discomfort of those who have moved mentally, but are still clamped, physically, to the places they have moved from.

  • Fortunately age does not affect literature. After a man is dead, he may continue in the business and often rank higher than his living competitors.

  • ... it is bad manners to contradict a guest. You must never insult people in your own house — always go to theirs.

  • There is a great deal of trouble in this world which is not caused by people keeping their mouths shut.

  • If we could only use other folks' experience, this here world would be heaven in about three generations, but we're so constructed that we never believe fire'll burn till we poke our own fingers into it to see. Other folks' scars don't go no ways at all toward convincin' us.

  • ... the world has been fair cruel if you've never known the love of a dog!

  • Nothing is bad which does not harm either you or someone else.

  • ... content is a matter of temperament rather than circumstance ...

  • The fine gifts of temperament and imagination which are essential to the production of true poetry are often accompanied by morbid sensibility. The soul capable of ecstasy and transport must pay its price in suffering; he who walks upon the heights must sometimes grovel in the dust.

  • Silence and reserve will give anyone a reputation for wisdom.

  • Gossip is the social mosquito.

  • It saves trouble to be conventional, for you're not always explaining things.

  • The conventions of society are all in the interests of morality. If you're conventional, you'll be good, in a negative sense, of course.

  • One uncongenial guest can ruin a dinner more easily than a poor salad, and that is saying a great deal.

  • When we get civilised, I believe children will go by number until they get old enough to choose their own names.

  • The only way to win happiness is to give it. The more we give, the more we have.

  • Lots of people think they're charitable if they give away their old clothes and things they don't want.

  • ... when you can't see straight ahead, it's because you're about to turn a corner.

  • It seems to take a lifetime for us to learn that wisdom consists largely in a graceful acceptance of things that do not immediately concern us.

  • When we come to the sundown road, we need all the love we have managed to take with us from the summit of the hill.

  • How strange it is that life must be nearly over, before one fully learns to live!

  • Impermanence is the very essence of joy — the drop of bitterness that enables one to perceive the sweet.

  • Money may not be your best friend, but it's the quickest to act, and seems to be favorably recognized in more places than most friends are.

  • For the size of it, a check book is about the greatest convenience I know of.

  • ... marriage is a great strain upon love.

  • ... no matter how one's heart aches, one can do the necessary things and do them well.

  • The appointed thing comes at the appointed time in the appointed way.

  • The spirit in which one earns his daily bread means as much to his soul as the bread itself may mean to his body.

  • Some women are born to be married, some achieve marriage, and others have marriage thrust upon them.

  • Activity is a sovereign remedy for the blues.

  • A letter has distinct advantages. You can say all you want to say before the other person has a chance to put in a word.

  • I had thought, in my blindness, that the great things were the easiest to do, but now I see that drudgery is an inseparable part of everything worth while, and the more worth while it is, the more drudgery is involved.

  • Three things I have longed to see ... The sea serpent, a white rhinoceros, and an unselfish man.

  • Judging by his voice and his industry, he is something more than the summary of a diversified ancestry. He seems to be a dog of parts and distinction.

  • One of the most interesting things in the world to me is the vast difference between what people say they are going to do, and what they actually do.

  • The body grows by food and work, the mind by use, and the soul through joy and pain.

  • Penetrate deeply into the secret existence of anyone about you, even of the man or woman whom you count happiest, and you will come upon things they spend all their efforts to hide. Fair as the exterior may be, if you go in, you will find bare places, heaps of rubbish that can never be taken away, cold hearths, desolate altars, and windows veiled with cobwebs.

  • If there's anythin' on earth that can be more tryin' than any kind of relative, I don't know what it is, but relatives by marriage comes first — easy.

  • I have a friend, physically magnificent, who combines within himself the intellect of a philosopher, the diplomacy of a statesman, the executive ability of the general of an army, the courtesy of a Chesterfield — and the emotions of a rabbit.

  • ... a man would need to be a mental kangaroo in order to keep up with her.

  • Home is a place where we all do as we please — usually regardless of the others.

  • I've just washed my hair and I can't do a thing with it!

  • ... when you borrow trouble you give your peace of mind as security.

  • Did you ever read a love-letter that wasn't an evidence of idiocy — except your own?

  • When things hurt us, we're merely on our way to another spiritual environment.

  • The things that are ours cannot be given away, or taken away, or lost. We break our hearts, all of us, trying to keep things that do not belong to us — and to which we have no right.

  • I've thought lots of times that if we all tried to make other people's paths easy, our own feet would have a smooth even place to walk on.

  • Revolution is obstructed evolution.

  • May our house always be too small to hold all our friends.

  • Love and hate always remember; it is only indifference that forgets.

  • Womankind suffers from three delusions: marriage will reform a man, a rejected lover is heartbroken for life, and if the other women were only out of the way, he would come back.

  • Marriage is the process by which a woman deprives herself of an escort.

  • A good forgettery is a happier possession than a good memory.

  • Love is an orchid which thrives principally on hot air.

  • Pedestals are always lonely.

  • There is always one way to make anybody do anything — the trouble is to find it.

  • Anger is a better weapon than tears; a burr commands more respect than a sensitive plant.

  • Art, if it is art, will develop in whatever circumstances it is placed.

    • Myrtle Reed,
    • "The Dweller in Bohemia," The White Shield ()

Myrtle Reed, U.S. novelist, essayist, poet

(1874 - 1911)

Full name: Myrtle Reed McCullough.