The Wit and Wisdom of Jerome

“Women are terribly vain. So are men – more so if possible. So are children – particularly children.”


“It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do.”


“We drink one another’s healths, and spoil our own.”


“It is a most extraordinary thing, but I never read a patent medicine advertisement without being impelled to the conclusion that I am suffering from the particular disease therein dealt with in its most virulent form.”


“I have never cared for the English school of skating. I have the idea it must have been invented by someone with a wooden leg.”


“I don’t know why it should be, I am sure, but the sight of another man asleep in bed when I am up maddens me.”


“In Switzerland, one winter, I met a man from Indianapolis. We were looking out of the window on our way to Grindelwald. ‘This would be quite an extensive country,’ he said, ‘if it were rolled out flat.”


“What readers ask nowadays in a book is that it should improve, instruct and elevate. This book wouldn’t elevate a cow”


“Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.”


“I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours. I love to keep it by me: the idea of getting rid of it nearly breaks my heart.”


“I can’t sit still and see another man slaving and working. I want to get up and superintend, and walk round with my hands in my pockets, and tell him what to do. It is my energetic nature. I can’t help it.”


“It is always the best policy to tell the truth – unless of course you are an exceptionally good liar.”


“I want a house that has got over all its troubles; I don’t want to spend the rest of my life bringing up a young and inexperienced house.”


“We must not think of the things we could do with, but only of the things that we can’t do without.”


“It is so pleasant to come across people more stupid than ourselves. We love them at once for being so.”


“I like idling when I ought not to be idling; not when it is the only thing I have to do.”


“Oh, give me back the good old days of fifty years ago,” has been the cry ever since Adam’s fifty-first birthday.”


“Life is a thing to be lived, not spent; to be faced, not ordered. Life is not a game of chess, the victory to the most knowing; it is a game of cards, one’s hand by skill to be made the best of.”


“If there is one person I do despise more than another, it is the man who does not think exactly the same on all topics as I do…”


“George goes to sleep at a bank from ten to four each day, except Saturdays, when they wake him up and put him outside at two.”


“Affection will burn cheerily when the white flame of love is flickered out. Affection is a fire that can be fed from day to day and be piled up ever higher as the wintry years draw nigh.”


“Let us gather together in the great cities, and light huge bonfires of a million gas-jets, and shout and sing together, and feel brave.”


“I did not know I was a humourist. I have never been sure about it. In the middle ages, I should probably have gone about preaching and got myself burned or hanged.”