L. Frank Baum
Quotations


An eastern contemporary, with a grain of wisdom in its wit, says that "when the whites win a fight, it is a victory, and when the Indians win it, it is a massacre."

As the years pass, and we look back on something which, at the time, seemed unbelievably discouraging and unfair, we come to realize that, after all, God was at all times on our side. The eventual outcome was, we discover, by far the best solution for us, and what we thought should have been to our best advantage, would in reality have been quite detrimental.

Burglars! Good gracious!' cried the little woman, springing from the bed in one bound. The word 'burglar' was a terrible one to her, as it is indeed, to every well-constituted woman. 'Robbery' does not sound nearly so awe-inspiring.

Demons may be either good or bad, like any other class of beings.

Familiarity with any great thing removes our awe of it. The great general is only terrible to the enemy; the great poet is frequently scolded by his wife; the children of the great statesman clamber about his knees with perfect trust and impunity; the great actor who is called before the curtain by admiring audiences is often waylaid at the stage door by his creditors.

His father thought he had a wond'rous wise look when he was born, and so he named him Solomon, thinking that if indeed he turned out to be wise the name would fit him nicely, whereas, should he be mistaken, and the boy grow up stupid, his name could be easily changed to Simon.

I never deal in transformations, for they are not honest, and no respectable sorceress likes to make things appear to be what they are not.

I think the world is like a great mirror, and reflects our lives just as we ourselves look upon it. Those who turn sad faces toward the world find only sadness reflected. But a smile is reflected in the same way, and cheers and brightens our hearts. You think there is no pleasure to be had in life. That is because you are heartsick and—and tired, as you say. With one sad story ended you are afraid to begin another—a sequel—feeling it would be equally sad. But why should it be? Isn't the joy or sorrow equally divided in life?

Imagination has brought mankind through the Dark Ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine, and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities. So I believe that dreams—day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain machinery whizzing—are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization. A prominent educator tells me that fairy tales are of untold value in developing imagination in the young. I believe it.

In fact, Mr. Watson, it's a queer world, and the longer I live in it the queerer I find it. Once I thought it would be a good idea to regulate things myself and run the world as it ought to be run; but I gave it up long ago. The world's a stage, they say; but the show ain't always amusing, by a long chalk, and sometimes I wish I didn't have a reserved seat.

It is a callous age; we have seen so many marvels that we are ashamed to marvel more; the seven wonders of the world have become seven thousand wonders.

It is kindness that makes one strong and brave; and so we are kind to our prisoners.

I never deal in transformations, for they are not honest, and no respectable sorceress likes to make things appear to be what they are not.

It seems unfortunate that strong people are usually so disagreeable and overbearing that no one cares for them. In fact, to be different from your fellow creatures is always a misfortune.

Modern education includes morality; therefore the modern child seeks only entertainment in its wonder-tales and gladly dispenses with all disagreeable incident.

Mortals seldom know how greatly they are influenced by fairies, knooks and ryls, who often put thoughts into their heads that only the wise little immortals could have conceived.

Sitting Bull, most renowned Sioux of modern history, is dead. He was not a Chief, but without Kingly lineage he arose from a lowly position to the greatest Medicine Man of his time, by virtue of his shrewdness and daring. He was an Indian with a white man's spirit of hatred and revenge for those who had wronged him and his. In his day he saw his son and his tribe gradually driven from their possessions: forced to give up their old hunting grounds and espouse the hard working and uncongenial avocations of the whites. And these, his conquerors, were marked in their dealings with his people by selfishness, falsehood and treachery. What wonder that his wild nature, untamed by years of subjection, should still revolt? What wonder that a fiery rage still burned within his breast and that he should seek every opportunity of obtaining vengeance upon his natural enemies.

Some of my youthful readers are developing wonderful imaginations. This pleases me.When I was young I longed to write a great novel that should win me fame. Now that I am getting old my first book is written to amuse children. For aside from my evident inability to do anything "great," I have learned to regard fame as a will-o-the-wisp which, when caught, is not worth the possession; but to please a child is a sweet and lovely thing that warms one's heart and brings its own reward.

The absurd and legendary devil is the enigma of the Church.

To be individual, my friends, to be different from others, is the only way to become distinguished from the common herd. Let us be glad, therefore, that we differ from one another in form and in disposition. Variety is the spice of life, and we are various enough to enjoy one another's society; so let us be content.

To destroy an offender cannot benefit society so much as to redeem him.

We consider a prisoner unfortunate. He is unfortunate in two ways—because he has done something wrong and because he is deprived of his liberty. Therefore we should treat him kindly, because of his misfortune, for otherwise he would become hard and bitter and would not be sorry he had done wrong.



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