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H. G. Wells (Writer)

How small the vastest of human catastrophes may seem at a distance of a few million miles.
H. G. Wells man
"We were making the future," he said, "and hardly any of us troubled to think what future we were making. And here it is!"
H. G. Wells future
"Now I am prepared to maintain," said Chaffery, proceeding with his proposition, "that Honesty is essentially an anarchistic and disintegrating force in society, that communities are held together and the progress of civilisation made possible only by vigorous and sometimes even violent Lying; that the Social Contract is nothing more or less than a vast conspiracy of human beings to lie to and humbug themselves and one another for the general Good. Lies are the mortar that bind the savage individual man into the social masonry ... Were I not of a profoundly indolent, restless, adventurous nature, and horribly averse to writing, I would make a great book of this and live honored by every profound duffer in the world."
H. G. Wells writing
The past is but the beginning of a beginning, and all that is or has been is but the twilight of the dawn.
H. G. Wells light
"It's this accursed science," I cried. "It's the very Devil. The medieval priests and persecutors were right and the Moderns are all wrong. You tamper with it—and it offers you gifts. And directly you take them it knocks you to pieces in some unexpected way. Old passions and new weapons—now it upsets your religion, now it upsets your social ideas, now it whirls you off to desolation and misery!"
H. G. Wells religion
Science has toiled too long forging weapons for fools to use. It is time she held her hand.
H. G. Wells time
Over me, around me, closing in on me, embracing me ever nearer, was the Eternal; that which was before the beginning, and that which triumphs over the end; that enormous void in which all light and life and being is but the thin and vanishing splendour of a falling star, the cold, the stillness, the silence—the infinite and final Night of space.
H. G. Wells life
Every citizen knows his place. He is born to that place, and the elaborate discipline of training and education and surgery he undergoes fits him at last so completely to it that he has neither ideas nor organs for any purpose beyond it.
H. G. Wells education
Great and little cannot understand one another. But in every child born of man, Father Redwood, lurks some seed of greatness — waiting for the Food.
H. G. Wells man
They may fight against greatness in us who are the children of men, but can they conquer? Even if they should destroy us every one, what then? Would it save them? No! For greatness is abroad, not only in us, not only in the Food, but in the purpose of all things! It is in the nature of all things, it is part of space and time. To grow and still to grow, from first to last that is Being, that is the law of life. What other law can there be?
H. G. Wells life
Kipps was unprepared for the unpleasant truth; that the path of social advancement is and must be strewn with broken friendships.
H. G. Wells truth
Whatever America has to show in heroic living to-day, I doubt if she can show any thing finer than the quality of the resolve, the steadfast effort hundreds of black and coloured men are making to-day to live blamelessly, honourably, and patiently, getting for themselves what scraps of refinement, learning, and beauty they may, keeping their hold on a civilization they are grudged and denied.
H. G. Wells beauty
And in the air are no streets, no channels, no point where one can say of an antagonist, "If he wants to reach my capital he must come by here." In the air all directions lead everywhere.
H. G. Wells want
The third peculiarity of aerial warfare was that it was at once enourmously destructive and entirely indecisive.
H. G. Wells war
Nothing could have been more obvious to the people of the early twentieth century than the rapidity with which war was becoming impossible. And as certainly they did not see it. They did not see it until the atomic bombs burst in their fumbling hands.
H. G. Wells war
The catastrophe of the atomic bombs which shook men out of cities and businesses and economic relations, shook them also out of their old-established habits of thought, and out of the lightly held beliefs and prejudices that came down to them from the past.
H. G. Wells belief
Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo. It is the peculiar snare of the perplexed orthodox, and soon Mr. Brumley was in a state of nearly unendurable moral indignation with Sir Isaac for a hundred exaggerations of what he was and of what conceivably he might have done to his silent yet manifestly unsuitably married wife.
H. G. Wells man
I had rather be called a journalist than an artist.
H. G. Wells art
Cynicism is humour in ill health.
H. G. Wells humour
The uglier a man's legs are, the better he plays golf. It's almost a law.
H. G. Wells man
I hate and despise a shrewish suspicion of foreigners and foreign ways; a man who can look me in the face, laugh with me, speak truth and deal fairly, is my brother, though his skin is as black as ink or as yellow as an evening primrose.
H. G. Wells truth
He was inordinately proud of England, and he abused her incessantly.
H. G. Wells abuse
Since the passing of Victoria the Great there had been an accumulating uneasiness in the national life. It was as if some compact and dignified paper-weight had been lifted from people's ideas, and as if at once they had begun to blow about anyhow.
H. G. Wells life
Humanity either makes, or breeds, or tolerates all its afflictions, great or small.
H. G. Wells man
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.
H. G. Wells war
If his thinking has been sound, then this world is at the end of its tether. The end of everything we call life is close at hand and cannot be evaded.
H. G. Wells life
An artist who theorizes about his work is no longer artist but critic.
H. G. Wells art
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.
H. G. Wells time
How far can we anticipate the habitations and ways, the usages and adventures, the mighty employments, the ever increasing knowledge and power of the days to come? No more than a child with its scribbling paper and its box of bricks can picture or model the undertakings of its adult years. Our battle is with cruelties and frustrations, stupid, heavy and hateful things from which we shall escape at last, less like victors conquering a world than like sleepers awaking from a nightmare in the dawn.... A time will come when men will sit with history before them or with some old newspaper before them and ask incredulously,"Was there ever such a world?"
H. G. Wells knowledge
I was never a great amorist, though I have loved several people very deeply.
H. G. Wells love
If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.
H. G. Wells you
When the history of our civilization is written, it will be a biological history andwill be its heroine.
H. G. Wells history
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. The three or four years' course of lectures, the bachelor who knows some, the master who knows most, the doctor who knows all, are ideas that have come down unimpaired from the Middle Ages. Nowadays no one should end his learning while he lives and these university degrees are preposterous. It is true that we have multiplied universities greatly in the past hundred years, but we seem to have multiplied them altogether too much upon the old pattern. . [A] new university is just another imitation of all the old universities that have ever been. Educationally we are still for all practical purposes in the coach and horse and galley stage.
H. G. Wells education
The New Deal is plainly an attempt to achieve a working socialism and avert a social collapse in America; it is extraordinarily parallel to the successive "policies" and "Plans" of the Russian experiment. Americans shirk the word "socialism", but what else can one call it?
H. G. Wells success
Mankind which began in a cave and behind a windbreak will end in the disease-soaked ruins of a slum.
H. G. Wells will
Throughout the whole world we see variations of this same subordination of the individual to the organisation of power. Phase by phase these ill-adapted governments are becoming uncontrolled absolutisms; they are killing that free play of the individual mind which is the preservative of human efficiency and happiness. The populations under their sway, after a phase of servile discipline, are plainly doomed to relapse into disorder and violence. Everywhere war and monstrous economic exploitation break out, so that those very same increments of power and opportunity which have brought mankind within sight of an age of limitless plenty, seem likely to be lost again, it may be lost forever, in an ultimate social collapse.
H. G. Wells happiness
The crisis of yesterday is the joke of to-morrow.
H. G. Wells day
These are the rights of all human beings. They are yours wherever you are. Demand that your rulers and politicians sign and observe this declaration. If they refuse, if they quibble, they can have no place in the new free world that dawns upon mankind.
H. G. Wells world
I have remarked, in the course of such air travel as I have done, that the airmen of all nations have a common resemblance to each other and that the patriotic virus in their blood is largely corrected by a wider professionalism.
H. G. Wells men
Heresies are experiments in man's unsatisfied search for truth.
H. G. Wells truth
There comes a moment in the day when you have written your pages in the morning, attended to your correspondence in the afternoon, and have nothing further to do. Then comes that hour when you are bored; that’s the time for sex.
H. G. Wells time
And here one may note a curious comparison which can be made between this [ascidian] life-history and that of many a respectable pinnacle and gargoyle on the social fabric. Every respectable citizen of the professional classes passes through a period of activity and imagination, of "liveliness and eccentricity," of "Sturm und Drang." He shocks his aunts. Presently, however, he realizes the sober aspect of things. He becomes dull; he enters a profession; suckers appear on his head; and he studies. Finally, by virtue of these he settles down—he marries. All his wild ambitions and subtle
H. G. Wells life
Strength is the outcome of need; security sets a premium on feebleness.
H. G. Wells need
We are kept keen on the grindstone of pain and necessity.
H. G. Wells pain
Very simple was my explanation, and plausible enough—as most wrong theories are!
H. G. Wells wrong
I was too restless to watch long; I am too Occidental for a long vigil. I could work at a problem for years, but to wait inactive for twenty-four hours—that is another matter.
H. G. Wells work
He, I know—for the question had been discussed among us long before the Time Machine was made—thought but cheerlessly of the Advancement of Mankind, and saw in the growing pile of civilisation only a foolish heaping that must inevitably fall back upon and destroy its makers in the end. If that is so, it remains for us to live as though it were not so.
H. G. Wells men
That is the only way I ever heard of true research going. I asked a question, devised some method of obtaining an answer, and got — a fresh question. Was this possible or that possible? You cannot imagine what this means to an investigator, what an intellectual passion grows upon him! You cannot imagine the strange, colourless delight of these intellectual desires!
H. G. Wells passion
The study of Nature makes a man at last as remorseless as Nature.
H. G. Wells man
An animal may be ferocious and cunning enough, but it takes a real man to tell a lie.
H. G. Wells man
He had developed in the most wonderful way the distinctive silliness of man without losing one jot of the natural folly of a monkey.
H. G. Wells man
There is, though I do not know how there is or why there is, a sense of infinite peace and protection in the glittering hosts of heaven. There it must be, I think, in the vast and eternal laws of matter, and not in the daily cares and sins and troubles of men, that whatever is more than animal within us must find its solace and its hope.
H. G. Wells hope
"Pull yourself together," said the Voice, "for you have to do the job I've chosen for you." Mr. Marvel blew out his cheeks, and his eyes were round. "I've chosen you," said the Voice. "You are the only man except some of those fools down there, who knows there is such a thing as an invisible man. You have to be my helper. Help me—and I will do great things for you. An invisible man is a man of power."
H. G. Wells power
Great and strange ideas transcending experience often have less effect upon men and women than smaller, more tangible considerations.
H. G. Wells women
I was invisible, and I was only just beginning to realise the extraordinary advantage my invisibility gave me. My head was already teeming with plans of all the wild and wonderful things I had now impunity to do.
H. G. Wells age
My mood, I say, was one of exaltation. I felt as a seeing man might do, with padded feet and noiseless clothes, in a city of the blind. I experienced a wild impulse to jest, to startle people, to clap men on the back, fling people's hats astray, and generally revel in my extraordinary advantage.
H. G. Wells art
So last January, with the beginning of a snowstorm in the air about me—and if it settled on me it would betray me!—weary, cold, painful, inexpressibly wretched, and still but half convinced of my invisible quality, I began this new life to which I am committed. I had no refuge, no appliances, no human being in the world in whom I could confide. To have told my secret would have given me away—made a mere show and rarity of me. Nevertheless, I was half-minded to accost some passer-by and throw myself upon his mercy. But I knew too clearly the terror and brutal cruelty my advances would evoke. I made no plans in the street. My sole object was to get shelter from the snow, to get myself covered and warm; then I might hope to plan. But even to me, an Invisible Man, the rows of London houses stood latched, barred, and bolted impregnably.
H. G. Wells life
Practically I thought I had impunity to do whatever I chose, everything—save to give away my secret. So I thought. Whatever I did, whatever the consequences might be, was nothing to me. I had merely to fling aside my garments and vanish. No person could hold me. I could take my money where I found it.
H. G. Wells money
The more I thought it over, Kemp, the more I realised what a helpless absurdity an Invisible Man was—in a cold and dirty climate and a crowded civilised city. Before I made this mad experiment I had dreamt of a thousand advantages. That afternoon it seemed all disappointment. I went over the heads of the things a man reckons desirable. No doubt invisibility made it possible to get them, but it made it impossible to enjoy them when they are got. Ambition—what is the good of pride of place when you cannot appear there? What is the good of the love of woman when her name must needs be Delilah? I have no taste for politics, for the blackguardisms of fame, for philanthropy, for sport. What was I to do? And for this I had become a wrapped-up mystery, a swathed and bandaged caricature of a man!
H. G. Wells love
"The man's become inhuman, I tell you," said Kemp. "I am as sure he will establish a reign of terror—so soon as he has got over the emotions of this escape—as I am sure I am talking to you. Our only chance is to be ahead. He has cut himself off from his kind. His blood be upon his own head."
H. G. Wells self
For adaptations based on the novel see .
H. G. Wells novel
No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same.
H. G. Wells intelligence
Yet, across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.
H. G. Wells art
At times I suffer from the strangest sense of detachment from myself and the world about me; I seem to watch it all from the outside, from somewhere inconceivably remote, out of time, out of space, out of the stress and tragedy of it all.
H. G. Wells time
Without the body the brain would, of course, become a mere selfish intelligence, without any of the emotional substratum of the human being.
H. G. Wells intelligence
Night, the mother of fear and mystery, was coming upon me.
H. G. Wells fear
In another moment I had scrambled up the earthen rampart and stood upon its crest, and the interior of the redoubt was below me. A mighty space it was, with gigantic machines here and there within it, huge mounds of material and strange shelter places. And scattered about it, some in their overturned war-machines, some in the now rigid handling-machines, and a dozen of them stark and silent and laid in a row, were the Martians—dead!—slain by the putrefactive and disease bacteria against which their systems were unprepared; slain as the red weed was being slain; slain, after all man's devices had failed, by the humblest things that God, in his wisdom, has put upon this earth.
H. G. Wells wisdom
Nothing endures, nothing is precise and certain (except the mind of a pedant), perfection is the mere repudiation of that ineluctable marginal inexactitude which is the mysterious inmost quality of Being. Being, indeed! – there is no being, but a universal becoming of individualities, and Plato turned his back os truth when he turned towards his museum of specific ideals.
H. G. Wells truth
Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia.
H. G. Wells will
Fools make researches and wise men exploit them—that is our earthly way of dealing with the question, and we thank Heaven for an assumed abundance of financially impotent and sufficiently ingenious fools.
H. G. Wells art
One of the darkest evils of our world is surely the unteachable wildness of the Good.
H. G. Wells world
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.
H. G. Wells science
Biologically the species is the accumulation of the experiments of all its successful individuals since the beginning.
H. G. Wells success
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.
H. G. Wells men
Crime and bad lives are the measure of a State's failure, all crime in the end is the crime of the community.
H. G. Wells failure
But 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.
H. G. Wells self
For crude classifications and false generalisations are the curse of all organised human life.
H. G. Wells life
The forceps of our minds are clumsy forceps, and crush the truth a little in taking hold of it.
H. G. Wells truth
Thought has made me shameless. It does not matter at last at all if one is a little harsh or indelicate or ridiculous if that also is in the mystery of things. Behind everything I perceive the smile that makes all effort and discipline temporary, all the stress and pain of life endurable. In the last resort I do not care whether I am seated on a throne or drunk or dying in a gutter. I follow my leading. In the ultimate I know, though I cannot prove my knowledge in any way whatever, that everything is right and all things mine.
H. G. Wells life
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.
H. G. Wells change
From 1789 to late in 1791 thewas an orderly process, and from the summer of 1794 the Republic was an orderly and victorious state. Thewas not the work of the whole country, but of the town mob which owed its existence and its savagery to the misrule, and social injustice of the ancient regime...More lives were wasted by the British generals alone on the opening day of what is known as theof July, 1916 than in the whole French Revolution from start to finish.
H. G. Wells art
The professional military mind is by necessity an inferior and unimaginative mind; no man of high intellectual quality would willingly imprison his gifts in such a calling.
H. G. Wells mind
Human history is in essence a history of ideas.
H. G. Wells history
Every one of these hundreds of millions of human beings is in some form seeking happiness...Not one is altogether noble nor altogether trustworthy nor altogether consistent; and not one is altogether vile...Not a single one but has at some time wept.
H. G. Wells happiness
Our true nationality is mankind.
H. G. Wells man
Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe... Yet, clumsily or smoothly, the world, it seems, progresses and will progress.
H. G. Wells education
Life begins perpetually. Gathered together at last under the leadership of man, the student-teacher of the universe... unified, disciplined, armed with the secret powers of the atom, and with knowledge as yet beyond dreaming, Life, forever dying to be born afresh, forever young and eager, will presently stand upon this earth as upon a footstool, and stretch out its realm amidst the stars.
H. G. Wells knowledge
The weaving of mankind into one community does not imply the creation of a homogeneous community, but rather the reverse; the welcome and adequate utilization of distinctive quality in an atmosphere of understanding... Communities all to one pattern, like boxes of toy soldiers, are things of the past, rather than of the future.
H. G. Wells future
A time when all such good things will be for all men may be coming more nearly than we think. Each one who believes that brings the good time nearer; each heart that fails delays it.
H. G. Wells time
Man is an imperfect animal and never quite trustworthy in the dark.
H. G. Wells trust
It seemed to me that all over the world intelligent people were waking up to the indignity and absurdity of being endangered, restrained, and impoverished, by a mere uncritical adhesion to traditional governments, traditional ideas of economic life, and traditional forms of behaviour, and that these awaking intelligent people must constitute first a protest and then a creative resistance to the inertia that was stifling and threatening us. These people I imagined would say first, "We are drifting; we are doing nothing worth while with our lives. Our lives are dull and stupid and not good enough."
H. G. Wells life
Then they would say, "What are we to do with our lives?"
H. G. Wells live
And then, "Let us get together with other people of our sort and make over the world into a great world-civilization that will enable us to realize the promises and avoid the dangers of this new time."
H. G. Wells time
It seemed to me that as, one after another, we woke up, that is what we should be saying. It amounted to a protest, first mental and then practical, it amounted to a sort of unpremeditated and unorganized conspiracy, against the fragmentary and insufficient governments and the wide-spread greed, appropriation, clumsiness, and waste that are now going on. But unlike conspiracies in general this widening protest and conspiracy against established things would, by its very nature, go on in the daylight, and it would be willing to accept participation and help from every quarter. It would, in fact, become an "Open Conspiracy," a necessary, naturally evolved conspiracy, to adjust our dislocated world.
H. G. Wells art
Oswald Cabal: Dragging out life to the last possible second is not living to the best effect. The nearer the bone, the sweeter the meat. The best of life, Passworthy, lies nearest to the edge of death.
H. G. Wells life
Rowena: I don’t suppose any man has ever understood any woman since the beginning of things. You don’t understand our imaginations, how wild our imaginations can be.
H. G. Wells imagination
The Boss: You are not mechanics, you are warriors. You have been trained, not to think, but to do.
H. G. Wells war
The Boss: The State’s your mother, your father, the totality of your interests. No discipline can be too severe for the man that denies that by word or deed.
H. G. Wells man
Rowena: You’ve got the subtlety of a bullfrog.
H. G. Wells you
Oswald Cabal: There’s nothing wrong in suffering, if you suffer for a purpose. Our revolution didn’t abolish danger or death. It simply made danger and death worthwhile.
H. G. Wells death

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