Crankisms by Matthewman, Lisle de Vaux

[Transcriber's Note:

Illustrations are explained at the end of the text.]

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By Lisle de Vaux MATTHEWMAN

Pictured By Clare Victor DWIGGINS


Copyright, 1901, by Henry T. Coates & Company. _All rights reserved._

If I may be permitted to offer a suggestion, the Crankisms should be read in the spirit in which sermons are listened to--with the object of discovering whom they hit. This will furnish amusement, for what is more entertaining than trying the cap on others?

The settings speak for themselves; but the author desires to express his indebtedness to the artist for having infused life into and lent grace to dead bones of words, and for having, in many cases, given to those words a deeper and more subtle meaning than they themselves could be made to express.

L. de V. M.

May, 1901.


The kisses of an enemy are deceitful, but not as deceitful as the advice of the friend who is always counseling you for your own good.


The best and the worst in man respond only to woman's touch--unfortunately for man.


Men reason; women do not. Woman has no logic, and judging from the use it is to man, is better off without it.


The present arrangement of society refuses to many the means to live, while forbidding them the right to die when they wish.


Woman generally tries to attract a man's eye, and then blames him for being caught by prettiness and superficial charms. But she rarely tries to appeal to his better self.


The man who is pockmarked has most to say against freckles.


Charity covers a multitude of sins which are committed in her name.


Life is full of golden opportunities for doing what we do not want to do.


Never compliment a woman and you will earn her undying enmity. Respect is rarely appreciated by her; but compliments are always at a premium, even counterfeits being accepted as greedily as the real.


When we grow old we walk unfeelingly over that which we, in our youth, madly chased.


The biggest fool is the one who thinks he can fool others with impunity without them knowing and resenting it.


When we get what we want we are always disappointed to find that it is not what we wanted.


Like does not always worship like: Beauty often worships the Beast.


We were all in the front row when modesty was served out--at least we think so.


Because some men are ruined by intemperance it does not follow that all should become abstainers, any more than because some men are ruined by marriage all men should remain single.


What men see in women or women in men to admire is generally a puzzle to those who know the men and women in question intimately.


The only compliment which a woman really dislikes is that which is paid to another.


Things have changed since Shakespeare's time: men's evil deeds we write in sympathetic ink; their virtues on marble tombstones.


Our own weaknesses we regard as misfortunes from which we cannot escape; the weaknesses of others we consider crimes.


No matter how well we do, we are sure to be anxious to impress upon others that what we have achieved is trifling-- compared with that of which we are capable.


A woman is not a woman merely by reason of her sex, any more than an angel is of necessity an angel of light.


We are quite able, while hating sin, to pity and be charitable to the sinner--when we happen to be the sinner concerned.


The commonly accepted idea that a woman of beauty is of necessity lacking in mental qualities, must have originated in the head of some woman who possessed neither.


The Devil is not as black as he is painted. In fact, he is more like us than we care to admit.


Faithful are the wounds of a friend; and as it is more blessed to give than to receive, we prefer to do the wounding.


The naked truth and a naked lie Are shocking alike to society.


A man often envies another man his physical qualities--rarely his mental. As we have no soul mirror we cannot see the reflection of our spiritual deformities.


It is easy to have conscientious scruples when they are profitable.


The man who marries for money is a fool, but rarely as big a fool as he who marries for love.


When you have done a man a favor do not insist too earnestly that it is a mere trifle, or he may take you at your word and not trouble to repay it; which would be very disappointing.


The gentle art of making enemies is the one natural accomplishment which is common to all sorts and conditions of men--and women.


What we think of ourselves combined with what others think of us is a very fair estimate.


If a girl cannot make up her mind between two men it is because she has no mind worth making up.

Besides, any man who will knowingly be one of two is not worth the trouble of thinking about.


If we devoted as much attention to our own affairs as we freely give to those of others, we and others would be gainers.


Merit, like the show inside a circus, is of comparatively little use as a drawing card; it is the bluff and buncombe the banging drum and megaphone of the barker which is the successful magnet.


We always know what we should do under certain circumstances, but unfortunately we never find circumstances arranged so as to suit what we do.


An over sensitive conscience is simply the evidence of spiritual dyspepsia. The man who has it is no better than his fellows.


Generosity, as commonly understood, consists in forcing upon others that for which one has no use.


There is a greater difference between really thinking and only thinking that we think than most of us think.


We rashly demand that the devil shall have his due, forgetting that if that gentleman gets all that is coming to him it will go badly with some of us.


If women knew themselves as well as they know men--and if men knew women as well as they know themselves--things would be very much as they are.


Before he knows a woman a man often thinks her an angel; when he knows her he knows--er--better.


A critic is one who knows perfectly well how a thing should be done, but is unable to do it. Therefore we are all the keenest critics in matters of which we know least.


From all enemies and most friends, good Lord, deliver us!


Everything comes to the man who waits

but that is no inducement to wait-- for no man wants everything.

He usually wants one thing in particular-- just that one which he never gets, no matter how long he waits.


When a man has drained the dregs of the bitterness of life, hope and fear no longer exist in him, only indifference which produces stupefaction.


Forbidden fruit has no attraction until we know that it is forbidden.


A man can be judged from the theatres he frequents and the ladies who accompany him there.


Criticism grows faint in the presence of successful achievement.


A man may confess that his judgment was at fault, but

never that his intentions were other than strictly honorable.


Our last match never ignites except when we are sure it will not, and are prepared for the worst.


It is impossible to serve two masters, and few of us try. We are satisfied to praise God from whom all blessings flow while we cash the checks of Mammon.


Our own success is due to our indomitable energy and other deserving traits; that of others largely to blind luck. With our energy and the good luck of others what could we not achieve!


The trouble with most reformers that they waste their time and energy trying to reform somebody else.


We are convinced in our own minds that every man deserves what he gets; but, judging from ourselves, not every one gets what he deserves.


If we saw ourselves as others see us we should not believe our own eyes; but we should have a still lower opinion of the rest of the world than we now have.


When we care we usually don't dare; when we dare we don't often care.


What sounds so sweet as the human voice--to the one who is doing the talking!


Words may be mere wind, but then so is a tornado.


Laugh, and the world laughs with you; cry, and the world laughs at you.


A proverbial expression is often a crystallized lie which we should like to believe.


Because everything is for the best it does not follow that it is for our best.


It is easier to moralize than to be moral.


The difference between an actress on the stage and a woman not on the stage is a matter of here and there.


Ignorance is not so surprising, nor such a mark of inferiority, as unwillingness to learn.


He who grows indignant when his veracity is questioned generally has good and sufficient reason therefor.


Our joys are mainly those of prospect and retrospect.


It is not to be expected that the average man should know what a real woman is like--he so rarely sees one.


The Chinese promise and never intend to perform; we promise and do intend to perform.

The result is about the same.


Woman regards the criticizing of her sex as her own prerogative, and criticizes more bitterly than any man would think of doing; but she resents any criticism, no matter how just, from man.


Lambs, it is true, gambol, but in due time they all get fleeced.


What we need is some philosopher to tell us how to be happy when we have every reason for being unhappy.


The most striking trait of the average man is unwillingness to be convinced--that we are right and he is wrong.


If man were so constituted that he could pat himself on the back gracefully, or kick himself effectively, he would spend most of his spare time doing one or the other.


Most of us live as if we expected to be judged from our epitaph rather than from our conduct.


The world is a paradise for fools, a purgatory or worse for others.


When we have the capacity of enjoying we have not the reason for enjoyment; when we do have good and sufficient grounds we no longer have the capacity.


To be happy, give; to be successful, take; to be happy and successful, give and take.


What a woman admires in a man depends on whether she is married or single.


Confidence given is usually confidence misplaced.


Women admire the gilded youth because he is a golden calf.


Even those who do not repeat scandal are generally willing to listen to it. Talk of the virtues of another, and, as a rule, your hearers will get bored; only hint that you could a tale unfold and you will secure perfect attention.


We forget that once upon a time we were little children; but the unpleasant fact that we are big children is being constantly forced upon us, together with the moral certainty that we shall never be anything else.


A man considers his little weaknesses amiable traits; a woman--a woman will not admit that she has a weakness.


God's call, through the still small voice, to preach, is much more irresistible when megaphoned by a wealthy church.


Many who sing loud praises to God, pay heavy tribute to the devil.


If the world is, as is so often whined, growing worse, it is partly because of our presence in it.


The counsel of a good book is far superior to that of a man who says one thing and does another.


If other people would only be as reasonable as we are, what a heaven this earth would be.


The world has no sympathy for the gambler who loses.


Trust in God, but keep a sharp lookout on your friends.


Tell the truth and you will shame the devil; you will also surprise him very often.


The knowledge that virtue is its own reward is what deters many from well doing.


It requires no particular skill to win the game when Fortune has dealt you all the trumps.


We give much more thought to what is due to us than to what is due from us.


A camel may not be able to pass through the eye of a needle, but that does not deter many a lobster from trying to do so.


The man who sees things as they are is regarded as a madman, just as those were formerly looked upon who maintained that the earth was round. The average man sees things as they seem to be.


We are all convinced of the righteousness and reasonableness of majority rule--when we happen to belong to the majority.


The greater his trouble, the more a man hugs it to his heart.

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Readers who are unable to use the fully illustrated html version of this text may wish to view some individual pictures, located within the "images" directory of the html file. Complete page images are named in the form "pageN.png", using the number of each "Crankism" as the page number. Drawings alone--without text and its surrounding decoration--are named in the form "picN.png", or "picNa.png," "picNb.png" for illustrations that were made up of separate elements.]