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Mary Ellen Chase

  • There was an abandonment in reading in those days which I would fain catch again ... Words were intoxicants. I tasted, smelled, touched them. They were unknown fruit, strange and delectable, fragrance floating across wide seas, moonlight on still water. They were as remote from my stupid, halting speech as I was from my immediate and material surroundings. I never said them aloud, but I dwelt with them 'in faery lands forlorn.'

    • Mary Ellen Chase,
    • "The Golden Asse -- A Tribute," The Golden Asse and Other Essays ()
  • To lovers of the long and intricate history of language the disuse and final death of certain words is a matter of regret. Yet every age bears witness to the inevitableness of such loss.

  • The order and harmony of her house were necessary to the order and harmony of her mind and spirit.

  • Whatever laudable qualities the English may possess in their selection, preparation, and consumption of food, elegance, originality, diversity, and imagination are not among them.

  • Manual labor to my father was not only good and decent for its own sake but, as he was given to saying, it straightened out one's thoughts.

  • The greatest danger in any argument is that real issues are often clouded by superficial ones, that momentary passions may obscure permanent realities.

    • Mary Ellen Chase,
    • in Vogue's First Reader ()
  • Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.

    • Mary Ellen Chase,
    • "Rather Late for Christmas," in A Lady's Pleasure ()
  • ... there is no substitute for books in the life of a child.

Mary Ellen Chase, U.S. writer, critic, educator

(1887 - 1973)