Roughly speaking, any man with energy and enthusiasm ought to be able to bring at least a dozen others round to his opinion in the course of a year no matter how absurd that opinion might be. We see every day in politics, in business, in social life, large masses of people brought to embrace the most revolutionary ideas, sometimes within a few days. It is all a question of getting hold of them in the right way and working on their weak points.
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- If one had to worry about one’s actions in respect of other people’s ideas, one might as well be buried alive in an antheap or married to an ambitious violinist. Whether that man is the prime minister, modifying his opinions to catch votes, or a bourgeois in terror lest some harmless act should be misunderstood and outrage some petty convention, that man is an inferior man and I do not want to have anything to do with him any more than I want to eat canned salmon.
- The joy of life consists in the exercise of one’s energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.
- There are hardly half a dozen writers in England today who have not sold out to the enemy. Even when their good work has been a success, Mammon grips them and whispers: More money for more work.
- Destiny is an absolutely definite and inexorable ruler. Physical ability and moral determination count for nothing. It is impossible to perform the simplest act when the gods say no. I have no idea how they bring pressure to bear on such occasions; I only know that it is irresistible.
- The ordinary man looking at a mountain is like an illiterate person confronted with a Greek manuscript.
- To me a book is a message from the gods to mankind; or, if not, should never be published at all. A message from the gods should be delivered at once. It is damnably blasphemous to talk about the autumn season and so on. How dare the author or publisher demand a price for doing his duty, the highest and most honorable to which a man can be called?