Kiss me and you will see how important I am.
Of all the barbarous middle ages, that which is most barbarous is the middle age of man! it is -- I really scarce know what; but when we hover between fool and sage, and don't know justly what we would be at -- a period something like a printed page, black letter upon foolscap, while our hair grows grizzled, and we are not what we were.
I owe all my originality, such as it is, to my determination not to be a literary man. Instead of belonging to a literary club I belong to a municipal council. Instead of drinking and discussing authors and reviews, I sit on committees with capable practical greengrocers and bootmakers... Keep away from books and from men who get their ideas from books, and your own books will always be fresh.