H. G. Wells (1866-1946)

“We were making the future, he said, and hardly any of us troubled to think what future we were making. And here it is!”

“If we don’t end war, war will end us.”

“Some people bear three kinds of trouble – the ones they’ve had, the ones they have, and the ones they expect to have.”

“The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow.”

“Beauty is in the heart of the beholder.”

“In politics, strangely enough, the best way to play your cards is to lay them face upwards on the table.”

“You have learned something. That always feels at first as if you had lost something.”

“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.”

“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.”

“The path of least resistance is the path of the loser.”

“Our true nationality is mankind.”

“While there is a chance of the world getting through its troubles, I hold that a reasonable man has to behave as though he were sure of it. If at the end your cheerfulness in not justified, at any rate you will have been cheerful.”

“Fools make researches and wise men exploit them.”

“The past is the beginning of the beginning and all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn.”

“Advertising is legalized lying.”

“The only true measure of success is the ratio between what we might have done and what we might have been on the one hand, and the thing we have made and the things we have made of ourselves on the other.”

“She writes like a loom, producing her broad rich fabric with hardly a thought of how it will make up into a shape, while I write to cover a frame of ideas.”

“Heresies are experiments in man’s unsatisfied search for truth.”

“Human history in essence is the history of ideas.”

“Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.”

“In England we have come to rely upon a comfortable time-lag of fifty years or a century intervening between the perception that something ought to be done and a serious attempt to do it.”

“Leaders should lead as far as they can and then vanish. Their ashes should not choke the fire they have lit.”

“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”

“Cynicism is humor in ill health.”

“The path of social advancement is, and must be, strewn with broken friendships.”

“A time will come when a politician who has willfully made war and promoted international dissension will be as sure of the dock and much surer of the noose than a private homicide. It is not reasonable that those who gamble with men’s lives should not stake their own.”

“The past is but the past of a beginning.”

“Rest enough for the individual man, too much and too soon, and we call it death. But for man, no rest and no ending. He must go on, conquest beyond conquest. First this little planet and all its winds and ways, and then all the laws of mind and matter that restrain him. Then the planets about him, and, at last, out across immensities to the stars. And when he has conquered all the deep space, and all the mysteries of time, still he will be beginning.”

“There is nothing in machinery, there is nothing in embankments and railways and iron bridges and engineering devices to oblige them to be ugly. Ugliness is the measure of imperfection.”

“I must confess that my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocating its crew and floundering at sea.”

“The doctrine of the Kingdom of Heaven, which was the main teaching of Jesus, is certainly one of the most revolutionary doctrines that ever stirred and changed human thought.”

“We are living in 1937, and our universities, I suggest, are not half-way out of the fifteenth century. We have made hardly any changes in our conception of university organization, education, graduation, for a century – for several centuries.”

“Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.”

“After people have repeated a phrase a great number of times, they begin to realize it has meaning and may even be true.”

“Nothing leads so straight to futility as literary ambitions without systematic knowledge.”

“Man is the unnatural animal, the rebel child of nature, and more and more does he turn himself against the harsh and fitful hand that reared him.”

“Crime and bad lives are the measure of a State’s failure, all crime in the end is the crime of the community.”

“Security puts a premium on feebleness.”

“Go away, I’m all right!”

“The history of India for many centuries had been happier, less fierce, and more dreamlike than any other history. In these favorable conditions, they built a character – meditative and peaceful and a nation of philosophers such as could nowhere have existed except in India.”

“The science hangs like a gathering fog in a valley, a fog which begins nowhere and goes nowhere, an incidental, unmeaning inconvenience to passers-by.”

“Biologically the species is the accumulation of the experiments of all its successful individuals since the beginning.”

“Crude classifications and false generalizations are the curse of the organized life.”

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