Carolyn Wells

(1869-1942 / the United States)

Quotations

  • ''The true Chameleon is small,
    A lizard sort of thing;
    He hasn't any ears at all,
    And not a single wing.
    If there is nothing on the tree,
    'Tis the Chameleon you see.''
    Carolyn Wells (1862-1942), U.S. poet. How to Tell the Wild Animals (l. 31-36). . . Fireside Book of Humorous Poetry, The. William Cole, ed. (1959) Simon and Schuster.
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  • ''If he roars at you as you're dyin'
    You'll know it is the Asian Lion.''
    Carolyn Wells (1862-1942), U.S. poet. How to Tell the Wild Animals (l. 5-6). . . Fireside Book of Humorous Poetry, The. William Cole, ed. (1959) Simon and Schuster.
  • ''The books we think we ought to read are poky, dull, and dry;
    The books that we would like to read we are ashamed to buy;
    The books that people talk about we never can recall;
    And the books that people give us, oh, they're the worst of all.''
    Carolyn Wells (1870-1942), U.S. author. On Books.
  • ''I have always hated biography, and more especially, autobiography. If biography, the writer invariably finds it necessary to plaster the subject with praises, flattery and adulation and to invest him with all the Christian graces. If autobiography, the same plan is followed, but the writer apologizes for it.''
    Carolyn Wells (1862-1942), U.S. author. The Rest of My Life, ch. 1 (1937). Written in her own autobiography.
  • ''I view askance a book that remains undisturbed for a year. Oughtn't it to have a ticket of leave? I think I may safely say no book in my library remains unopened a year at a time, except my own works and Tennyson's.''
    Carolyn Wells (1862-1942), U.S. author. The Rest of My Life, ch. 16 (1937). Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892) was an English poet and, for forty-two years (1850- 1892), Poet Laureate of England. Wells wrote popular novels, notably the "Fleming Stone" detective series.
  • ''... as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the ideal library is in the wish of its maker.''
    Carolyn Wells (1862-1942), U.S. author. The Rest of My Life, ch. 16 (1937).
  • ''There are many ways of discarding [books]. You can give them to friends,—or enemies,—or to associations or to poor Southern libraries. But the surest way is to lend them. Then they never come back to bother you.''
    Carolyn Wells (1862?-1942), U.S. author. The Rest of My Life, ch. 16 (1937).
  • ''To take pride in a library kills it. Then, its motive power shifts over to the critical if admiring visitor, and apologies are necessary and acceptable and the fat is in the fire.''
    Carolyn Wells (1862-1942), U.S. author. The Rest of My Life, ch. 16 (1937).
  • ''... ideals, standards, aspirations,—those are chameleon words, and take color from their speakers,—often false tints. A scholarly man of my acquaintance once told me that he traveled a thousand miles into the desert to get away from the word uplift, and it was the first word he heard after he reached his destination.''
    Carolyn Wells (1862-1942), U.S. author. The Rest of My Life, ch. 4 (1937).
  • ''It is the interest one takes in books that makes a library. And if a library have interest it is; if not, it isn't.''
    Carolyn Wells (1862-1942), U.S. author. The Rest of My Life, ch. 16 (1937). Wells primarily wrote popular novels.

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A Dream Lesson

Once there was a little boy who wouldn't go to bed,
When they hinted at the subject he would only shake his head,
When they asked him his intentions, he informed them pretty straight
That he wouldn't go to bed at all, and Nursey needn't wait.

As their arguments grew stronger, and their attitude more strict,
I grieve to say that naughty boy just yelled and screamed and kicked.
And he made up awful faces, and he told them up and down
That he wouldn't go to bed for all the nurses in the to

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