Every man is a potential genius until he does something.
Herbert Draper Beerbohm (17 December 1852 – 2 July 1917) was an English actor-manager and wit, whose professional name was Herbert Beerbohm Tree. He was knighted in 1909.
- People are too apt to treat God as if he were a minor royalty.
- "The Importance of Humour in Tragedy: Presidential Address Delivered at the Birmingham Midland Institute, 1915", Nothing Matters, and Other Stories (1917) p. 207.
- Ladies, just a little more virginity, if you don't mind.
- Remembered by Alexander Woollcott in his Shouts and Murmurs (1922) p. 87.
- To actresses playing the ladies-in-waiting in a production of Henry VIII, "peering at them plaintively through his monocle".
- A man never knows what a fool he is until he hears himself imitated by one.
Beerbohm Tree (1956)
- Quotes of Tree from Beerbohm Tree (1956) by Hesketh Pearson
- My poor fellow, why not carry a watch?
- Page 110.
- "To a man who was staggering in the street under the weight of a grandfather clock".
- Every man is a potential genius until he does something.
- Never say a humorous thing to a man who does not possess humour: he will always use it in evidence against you.
- Sirs, I have tested your machine. It adds a new terror to life and makes death a long-felt want.
- Page 183
- His reply to a gramophone company who had asked for a testimonial.
- It is difficult to live up to one's posters…When I pass my name in such large letters I blush, but at the same time instinctively raise my hat.
- It depends on each and every one of me.
About Herbert Beerbohm Tree
- A charming fellow, and so clever: he models himself on me.
- Oscar Wilde, quoted in Hesketh Pearson Beerbohm Tree (1956) p. 2.
- As far as I could discover, the notion that a play could succeed without any further help from the actor than a simple impersonation of his part never occurred to Tree.