The Virginian Quotes

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The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains by Owen Wister
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The Virginian Quotes (showing 1-30 of 33)
“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
“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 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
“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
“I thought there should in truth be heavy damages for malpractice on human souls.”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
“When you call me that, smile.”
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
“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
“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
“But no earthly foot can step between a man and his destiny.”
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
“she would watch him with eyes that were fuller of love than of understanding.”
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
“Ah, me," she sighed. "If marriage were as simple as love!”
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
“He possessed that quality in his profanity of not offending by it.”
Owen Wister, The Virginian, a Horseman of the Plains
“the letter means nothing until the spirit gives it life”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
“He looked pleased. "I reckon," he said, "I couldn't be so good if I wasn't bad onced in a while”
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
“I don't think I like you," said she.
"That's all square enough. You're goin' to love me before we get through”
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
“They're pretty near the color of your eyes."
"Never mind my eyes."
"Can't help it, ma'am. Not since South Fork”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
“Go on so! I don't reckon yu' know what you're sayin'. Yu' might as well ask fruit to stay green. If the way we are now can keep bein' enough for you, it can't for me. A pleasure to you, is it? Well, to me it is—I don't know what to call it. I come to yu' and I hate it, and I come again and I hate it, and I ache and grieve all over when I go. No! You will have to think of some other way than just invitin' me to keep green”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
“She spoke in accents light and well intrenched. "I wish to say that I have never liked any man better than you. But I expect to!"
He must have drawn small comfort from such an answer as that. But he laughed out indomitably: "Don't yu' go betting on any such expectation!”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
“Who is he?"
"Nobody!" cried Molly, with indignation.
"Then you shouldn't answer so loud," said the great-aunt”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
“You are speakin' low like me," he answered. "But we have no dream we can wake from”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
“Well, he took dying as naturally as he took living. Like a man should. Like I hope to." Again he looked at the pictures in his mind. "No play-acting nor last words. He just told good-by to the boys as we led his horse under the limb”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains
“Now back East you can be middling and get along. But if you go to try a thing on in this Western country, you've got to do it WELL. You've got to deal cyards WELL; you've got to steal WELL; and if you claim to be quick with your gun, you must be quick, for you're a public temptation, and some man will not resist trying to prove he is the quicker. You must break all the Commandments WELL in this Western country”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains

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