Christian Nestell Bovee

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Christian Nestell Bovee (February 22, 1820January 18, 1904) was an epigrammatic New York writer.

Quotes[edit]

  • Four sweet lips, two pure souls, and one undying affection,—these are love's pretty ingredients for a kiss.
    • Reported in Maturin M. Ballou, Pearls of Thought (1882), p. 142.
  • He has but one great fear that fears to do wrong.
    • Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 244.
  • The first step toward greatness is to be honest, says the proverb; but the proverb fails to state the case strong enough. Honesty is not only "the first step toward greatness," — it is greatness itself.
    • Reported in Louis Klopsch, Many Thoughts of Many Minds (1896), p. 133.

Intuitions and Summaries of Thought (1862)[edit]

Volume I[edit]

  • There is probably no hell for authors in the next world — they suffer so much from critics and publishers in this.
    • "Authors", p. 68.
  • Formerly when great fortunes were only made in war, war was a business; but now, when great fortunes are only made by business, business is war.
    • p. 82.
  • Loose ideas on the subject of business will not answer. It must be reduced to something of a science. It has its principles, upon a knowledge and an application of which, success in it mainly depends.
    • p. 83.
  • "There is nothing," says a correspondent of the New York Times, "which the business world discards as unpractical and useless so much as the quiet, thinking scholar. But this is the man who makes revolutions. Politicians are mere puppets in the hands of men of thought.
    • p. 84.
  • There is, indeed, no wild beast more to be dreaded than a communicative man having nothing to communicate.
    • p. 124.
  • No man is happy without a delusion of some kind. Delusions are as necessary to our happiness as realities.
  • Patience is only one faculty; earnestness the devotion of all the faculties. Earnestness is the cause of patience; it gives endurance, overcomes pain, strengthens weakness, braves dangers, sustains hope, makes light of difficulties, and lessens the sense of weariness in overcoming them.
    • p. 161.
  • Example has more followers than reason. We unconsciously imitate what pleases us, and insensibly approximate to the characters we most admire. In this way, a generous habit of thought and of action carries with it an incalculable influence.
    • Volume I, p. 178; reported in Otis Henry Tiffany, Gems for the Fireside (1883), p. 809.
  • It is the passion that is in a kiss that gives to it its sweetness; it is the affection in a kiss that sanctifies it.
    • p. 240.

Volume II[edit]

  • The language denotes the man. A coarse or refined character finds its expression naturally in a coarse or refined phraseology.
    • p. 7.
  • The light in the world comes principally from two sources,—the sun, and the student's lamp.
    • p. 16.
  • What a man knows should find its expression in what he does. The value of superior knowledge is chiefly in that it leads to a performing manhood.
    • p. 24.
  • Melancholy sees the worst of things,—things as they may be, and not as they are. It looks upon a beautiful face, and sees but a grinning skull.
    • p. 52.
  • The scope of an intellect is not to be measured with a tape-string, or a character deciphered from the shape or length of a nose.
    • p. 82.
  • The great obstacle to progress is prejudice.
    • p. 105.
  • At all events, the next best thing to being witty one's self, is to be able to quote another's wit.
    • p. 124.
  • Loss of sincerity is loss of vital power.
    • "Sincerity", p. 153.


Misattributed[edit]

  • It is a barren kind of criticism which tells you what a thing is not.

External links[edit]

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