Literary Birthday – 22 February – Christian Nestell Bovee

Christian Nestell Bovee was born 22 February 1820, and died 18 January 1904.


  1. There is probably no hell for authors in the next world–they suffer so much from critics and publishers in this one.
  2. The light in the world comes principally from two sources,—the sun, and the student’s lamp.
  3. The very cunning conceal their cunning; the indifferently shrewd boast of it.
  4. To vindicate the sanctity of human life by taking it is an outrage upon reason. The spectacle of a human being dangling at the end of a gallows-rope is a degradation of humanity.
  5. The reason why there are so many narrow-minded people in the world is, because there is so little travelling in it.
  6. No man is happy without a delusion of some kind. Delusions are as necessary to our happiness as realities.
  7. Books are embalmed minds. They make the great of other days our present teachers.
  8. Genius makes its observations in short-hand; talent writes them out at length.
  9. A failure establishes only this, that our determination to succeed was not strong enough.
  10. The language denotes the man. A coarse or refined character finds its expression naturally in a coarse or refined phraseology.
  11. It is some compensation for great evils that they enforce great lessons.
  12. Life, like some cities, is full of blind alleys, leading nowhere. The great art is to get and to keep out of them.

Christian Nestell Bovee was an epigrammatic American writer. He wrote two books that were widely quoted: Intuitions and Summaries of Thought and Thoughts, Feelings and Fancies. Bovee was friends with Washington Irving, Longfellow, Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and other men who belonged to the Saturday Evening Club of Boston.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 22nd February 2016