The lives of desperation that most men lead at least used to be quiet.
For favors you pay three times over.
Profundities are often equivocations — trivially true in one sense, obviously false in another, and deep and subtle only if you do not choose.
The superstitions of a culture are easily discerned: they are the matters on which everyone agrees.
We remember what we believe, and believe what we remember.
In fiction murderers and thieves often elicit the reader’s sympathy and understanding; snobs and ingrates elicit only his contempt.
Optimism is the philosophy of despair.
We laugh at novels in which the weather tracks the moods of the characters, yet our own moods mostly track the weather.
Everyone is vain about his choice of what not to be vain about.
The most grievous insult is the affected modesty of the truly accomplished.