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The History of Mr. Polly The History of Mr. Polly by H.G. Wells
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The History of Mr. Polly Quotes Showing 1-18 of 18
“Figures are the most shocking things in the world. The prettiest little squiggles of black looked at in the right light and yet consider the blow they can give you upon the heart.”
H.G. Wells, The History of Mr. Polly
“…growing a little tiresome on account of some mysterious internal discomfort that the local practitioner diagnosed as imagination”
H.G. Wells , The History of Mr. Polly
“For fifteen years Mr. Polly was a respectable shopkeeper in Fishbourne. Years they were in which every day was tedious, and when they were gone it was as if they had gone in a flash.”
H.G. Wells, The History of Mr. Polly
“But when a man has once broken through the paper walls of everyday circumstance, those unsubstantial walls that hold so many of us securely prisoned from the cradle to the grave, he has made a discovery. If the world does not please you, you can change it. Determine to alter it at any price, and you can change it altogether. You may change it to something sinister and angry, to something appalling, but it may be you will change it to something brighter, something more agreeable, and at the worst something much more interesting. There is only one sort of man who is absolutely to blame for his own misery, and that is the man who finds life dull and dreary. There are no circumstances in the world that determined action cannot alter, unless perhaps they are the walls of a prison cell, and even those will dissolve and change, I am told, into the infirmary compartment at any rate, for the man who can fast with resolution.”
H.G. Wells, The History of Mr. Polly
“There are no circumstances in the world that determined action cannot alter, unless, perhaps, they are the walls of a prison cell, and even those will dissolve and change, I am told, into the infirmary compartment, at any rate, for the man who can fast with resolution.”
H.G. Wells, The History of Mr. Polly
“Great land of sublimated things, thou World of Books, happy asyluum, refreshment and refuge from the world of everyday! . . .”
H.G. Wells, The History of Mr. Polly
“There is only one sort of man who is absolutely to blame for his own misery, and that is the man who finds life dull and dreary.”
H.G. Wells, The History of Mr. Polly
“I've never really planned my life or set out to live. I happened; things happened to me. It's so with everyone.”
H.G. Wells, The History of Mr. Polly
“A large number of houses deserve to be burnt, most modern furniture, an overwhelming majority of pictures and books - one might go on for some time with the list. If our community was collectively anything more than a feeble idiot, it would burn most of London and Chicago, for example, an build sane and beautiful cities in the place of these pestilential heaps of private property.”
H.G. Wells, The History of Mr. Polly
“He suffered from indigestion now nearly every afternoon in his life, but as he lacked introspection he projected the associated discomfort upon the world. Every afternoon he discovered afresh that life as a whole and every aspect of life that presented itself was "beastly.”
H.G. Wells, The History of Mr. Polly
“...he was not so much a human as a civil war.”
H.G. Wells, The History of Mr. Polly
“Mr. Polly went into the National School at six and he left the private school at fourteen, and by that time his mind was in much the same state that you would be in, dear reader, if you were operated upon for appendicitis by a well-meaning, boldly enterprising, but rather over-worked and under-paid butcher boy, who was superseded towards the climax of the operation by a left-handed clerk of high principles but intemperate habits,—that is to say, it was in a thorough mess.”
H.G. Wells, The History of Mr. Polly
“A weakly wilful being struggling to get obdurate things round impossible corners—in that symbol Mr. Polly could recognise himself and all the trouble of humanity.”
H.G. Wells, The History of Mr. Polly
“He wanted—what did he want most in life? I think his distinctive craving is best expressed as fun—fun in companionship.”
H.G. Wells, The History of Mr. Polly
“He buried his nose in his pillow and went to sleep—to dream of anything rather than getting on in the world, as a sensible young man in his position ought to have done.”
H.G. Wells, The History of Mr. Polly
“One seems to start in life," he said, "expecting something. And it doesn't happen. And it doesn't matter. One starts with ideas that things are good and things are bad—and it hasn't much relation to what is good and what is bad. I've always been the skeptaceous sort, and it's always seemed rot to me to pretend we know good from evil. It's just what I've never done. ...”
H.G. Wells, The History of Mr. Polly
“And this was the end of life for him!

The end! And it seemed to him now that life had never begun for him, never! It was as if his soul had been cramped and his eyes bandaged from the hour of his birth. Why had he lived such a life? Why had he submitted to things, blundered into things? Why had he never insisted on the things he thought beautiful and the things he desired, never sought them, fought for them, taken any risk for them, died rather than abandon them? They were the things that mattered. Safety did not matter. A living did not matter unless there were things to live for....

He had been a fool, a coward and a fool, he had been fooled too, for no one had ever warned him to take a firm hold upon life, no one had ever told him of the littleness of fear, or pain, or death; but what was the good of going through it now again? It was over and done with.”
H.G. Wells, The History of Mr. Polly
“Deep in the being of Mr. Polly, deep in that darkness, like a creature which has been beaten about the head and left for dead but still lives, crawled a persuasion that over and above the things that are jolly and "bits of all right," there was beauty, there was delight; that somewhere - magically inaccessible perhaps, but still somewhere - were pure and easy and joyous states of body and mind.”
H.G. Wells, The History of Mr. Polly