"He had been a lad of whom something was expected. Beyond this all had been chaos. That he would be successful in an original way,or that he would go to the dogs in an original way, seemed equally probable. The only absolute certainty about him was that he would not stand still in the circumstances amid which he was born."
"It seemed monstrous to our intolerant youth that "poor white folksy" men should have an equal right with gentlemen, born and bred,in deciding who should represent the county in the Legislature and the district in Congress."
"Man's own youth is the world's youth; at least he feels as if it were, and imagines that the earth's granite substance is something not yet hardened, and which he can mould into whatever shape he likes."
"In youth we may have an absolutely new experience, subjective or objective, every hour of the day. Apprehension is vivid, retentiveness strong, and our recollections of that time, like those in a time spent in rapid and interesting travel, are of something intricate, multitudinous, and long-drawn-out. But as each passing year converts some of this experience into automatic routine which we hardly note at all, the days and the weeks smooth themselves out in recollection to a contentless unit, and the years grow hollow and collapse."
"The way to go to the circus, however, is with someone who has seen perhaps one theatrical performance before in his life and thatin the High School hall.... The scales of sophistication are struck from your eyes and you see in the circus a gathering of men and women who are able to do things as a matter of course which you couldn't do if your life depended on it."