"A good story is one that isn't demanding, that proceeds from A to B, and above all doesn't remind us of the bad times, the cardboard patches we used to wear in our shoes, the failed farms, the way people you love just up and die. It tells us instead that hard work and perseverance can overcome all obstacles; it tells lie after lie, and the happy ending is the happiest lie of all."
"There was once in man a true happiness of which there now remain to him only the mark and empty trace, which he in vain tries to fill from all his surroundings, seeking from things absent the help he does not obtain in things present."
"The present is never our end. The past and present are our means; the future alone is our end. So we never live, but hope to live;and, as we are always preparing to be happy, it is inevitable that we should never be so."
"What happiness did poor Mother's studies bring her? It is the melancholy tendency of such studies to separate people from their friends and neighbors and fellow creatures in whom alone lies one's happiness."
"The more you concentrate on the difference between these words the more clearly does it appear that while pleasure is something that comes to you from outside, happiness is something that, though it may often be "roused to reciprocity" by pleasure, is intrinsically a mental, or even a moral state. You could also, I think, maintain without contradiction that there is an implication of lastingness about happiness, whereas the idea of pleasure suggests something not only more physical but much more transitory."
"Youth is rather to be pitied than envied by people in years since it is doomed to toil through the rugged road of life which the others have passed through, in search of happiness that is not to be met with in it and that, at the highest, can be compounded for only by the blessing of a contented mind."
"I see now our fireside formed into a groupe, no one member of which has a fibre in their composition which can ever produce any jarring or jealousies among us. No irregular passions, no dangerous bias, which may render problematical the future fortunes and happiness of our descendants."