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Owen Wister quotes (showing 1-21 of 21)

“When a man ain't got no ideas of his own, he'd ought to be kind o' careful who he borrows 'em from.”
Owen Wister, The Virginian
“It was neither preaching nor praying that made a better man of me, but one or two people who believed in me better than I deserved, and I hated to disappoint them.”
Owen Wister
“It was through the Declaration of Independence that we Americans acknowledged the eternal inequality of man. For by it we abolished a cut-and-dried aristocracy. We had seen little men artificially held up in high places, and great men artificially held down in low places, and our own justice-loving hearts abhorred this violence to human nature. Therefore, we decreed that every man should thenceforth have equal liberty to find his own level. By this very decree we acknowledged and gave freedom to true aristocracy, saying, "Let the best man win, whoever he is." Let the best man win! That is America's word. That is true democracy. And true democracy and true aristocracy are one and the same thing”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
“When a man is kind to dumb animals, I always say he has got some good in him.”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
“Forgive my asking you to use your mind. It is a thing which no novelist should expect of his reader...”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
“The cowboy has now gone to worlds invisible; the wind has blown away the white ashes of his campfires; but the empty sardine box lies rusting over the face of the Western earth.”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
“Here in flesh and blood was a truth which I had long believed in words, but never met before. The creature we call a gentleman lies deep in the heart of thousands that are born without chance to master the outward graces of the type.”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
“All America is divided into two classes - the quality and the equality. The latter will always recognize the former when mistaken for it.”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
“I reckon some parsons have a right to tell you to be good. The bishop of this hyeh territory has a right. But I'll tell yu' this: a middlin' doctor is a pore thing, and a middlin' lawyer is a pore thing; but keep me from a middlin' man of God.”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
“I thought there should in truth be heavy damages for malpractice on human souls.”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
“Science! He [Dr. MacBride] doesn't know what Christianity is yet. I've entertained many guests, but none - The whole secret," broke off Judge Henry, "Lies in the way you treat people. As soon as you treat men as your brothers, they are ready to acknowledge you - if you deserve it - as their superior. That's the whole bottom of Christianity, and that's what our missionary will never know.”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
“He possessed that quality in his profanity of not offending by it.”
Owen Wister, The Virginian, a Horseman of the Plains
“Ah, me," she sighed. "If marriage were as simple as love!”
Owen Wister, The Virginian, a Horseman of the Plains
“But no earthly foot can step between a man and his destiny.”
Owen Wister, The Virginian, a Horseman of the Plains
“It was through the Declaration of Independence that we Americans acknowledged the eternal quality of man. For by it we abolished a cut-and-dried aristocracy. We had seen little men artificially held up in high places, and great men artificially held down in low places, and our own justice-loving hearts abhorred this violence to human nature. Therefore, we decreed that every man should thenceforth have equal liberty to find his own level. By this very decree we acknowledged and gave freedom to true aristocracy, saying, "Let the best man win, whoever he is." Let the best man win! That is America's word. That is true democracy. And true democracy and true aristocracy are one and the same thing. If anybody cannot see this, so much the worse for his eyesight.”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
“But if I had lived to be twenty-nine years old like I am, and with all my chances made no enemy, I'd feel myself a failure.”
Owen Wister, The Virginian, a Horseman of the Plains
“Do you think there ought to be fifteen varieties of good people?" His voice, while it now had an edge that could cut anything it came against, was still not raised. "There ain't fifteen. There ain't two. There's one kind. And when I meet it, I respect it. It is not praying nor preaching that has ever caught me and made me ashamed of myself, but one or two people I have knowed that never said a superior word to me. They thought more o' me than I deserved, and that made me behave better than I naturally wanted to.”
Owen Wister, The Virginian, a Horseman of the Plains
“Providence makes use of instruments I'd not touch with a ten-foot pole.”
Owen Wister, The Virginian, a Horseman of the Plains
“There can be no doubt of this: All America is divided into two classes,- the quality and the equality.”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
“When a man ain't got no ideas of his own," said Scipio, "he'd ought to be kind o' careful who he borrows 'em from.”
Owen Wister, The Virginian, a Horseman of the Plains
“she would watch him with eyes that were fuller of love than of understanding.”
Owen Wister, The Virginian, a Horseman of the Plains


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