STEPHEN LEACOCK QUOTES

Canadian humorist (1869-1944)

Men are able to trust one another, knowing the exact degree of dishonesty they are entitled to expect.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, The Social Criticism of Stephen Leacock

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Tags: men


I have always found that the only kind of statement worth making is an overstatement. A half truth, like half a brick, is always more forcible as an argument than a whole one. It carries further.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, The Garden of Folly

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Tags: truth


You can never have international peace as long as you have national poverty.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, Last Leaves

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Tags: poverty


Hockey captures the essence of Canadian experience in the New World. In a land so inescapably and inhospitably cold, hockey is the chance of life, and an affirmation that despite the deathly chill of winter we are alive.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, attributed, Biteback Dictionary of Humorous Sporting Quotations

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I detest life-insurance agents: they always argue that I shall some day die, which is not so.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, "Insurance Up to Date", Literary Lapses

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Tags: death


The tears of childhood fall fast and easily, and evil be to him who makes them flow.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, Short Circuits

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Tags: tears


Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, The Perfect Salesman

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Tags: advertising


All Dickens's humour couldn't save Dickens, save him from his overcrowded life, its sordid and neurotic central tragedy and its premature collapse. But Dickens's humour, and all such humour, has saved or at least greatly served the world.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, My Remarkable Uncle

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Tags: Charles Dickens


I really believe there are many excellent writers who have never written because they never could begin. This is especially the case of people of great sensitiveness, or of people of advanced education. Professors suffer most of all from this inhibition. Many of them carry their unwritten books to the grave. They overestimate the magnitude of the task, they overestimate the greatness of the final result. A child in a prep school will write the History of Greece and fetch it home finished after school. "He wrote a fine History of Greece the other day," says his fond father. Thirty years later the child, grown to be a professor, dreams of writing the History of Greece -- the whole of it from the first Ionic invasion of the Aegean to the downfall of Alexandria. But he dreams. He never starts. He can't. It's too big. Anybody who has lived around a college knows the pathos of those unwritten books.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, How to Write

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Tags: writing


I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more of it I have.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, Leacock on Life

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Tags: luck


Many a man in love with a dimple makes the mistake of marring the whole girl.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, attributed, The Concise Columbia Dictionary of Quotations

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Tags: love


You cannot depict love inside a frame of fact. It needs a mist to dissolve in.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, How to Write

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Life, we learn too late, is in the living, in the tissue of every day and hour.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, Feast of Stephen

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Tags: life


With the Great Detective, to think was to act, and to act was to think. Frequently he could do both together.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, Maddened by Mystery: or, The Defective Detective

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Tags: thinking


In earlier times they had no statistics and so they had to fall back on lies.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, Model Memoirs and Other Sketches from Simple to Serious

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Tags: lying


A college lecture is a queer thing, for people not accustomed to it. The Professor isn't exactly dictating the lecture, and he isn't exactly talking, and the class are not exactly taking dictation and they're not exactly listening. It's a system they both have grown so used to that it's second nature.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, Happy Stories Just to Laugh At

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Tags: education


Professors of theory merely hold post-mortems.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, Last Leaves

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Tags: theory


Humour in its highest reach mingles with pathos: it voices sorrow for our human lot and reconciliation with it.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, Humour and Humanity

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It is to be observed that "angling" is the name given to fishing by people who can't fish.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, "When Fellers Go Fishing", The Leacock Roundabout

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How strange it is, our little procession of life! The child says, "When I am a big boy." But what is that? The big boy says, "When I grow up." And then, grown up, he says, "When I get married." But to be married, what is that after all? The thought changes to "When I'm able to retire." And then, when retirement comes, he looks back over the landscape traversed; a cold wind seems to sweep over it; somehow he has missed it all, and it is gone.

STEPHEN LEACOCK, Feast of Stephen

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