All publishers are Columbuses. The successful author is their America. The reflection that they -- like Columbus -- didn't discover what they expected to discover, and didn't discover what they started out to discover, doesn't trouble them. All they remember is that they discovered America; they forgot that they started out to discover some patch or corner of India.
[Henry H. Rogers said:] "Business has its laws and customs and they are justified; but a literary man's reputation is his life; he can afford to be money poor but he cannot afford to be character poor; you must earn the cent per cent and pay it."
Unconsciously we all have a standard by which we measure other men, and if we examine closely we find that this standard is a very simple one and is this: we admire them, we envy them, for great qualities which we ourselves lack. Hero worship consists of just that. Our heroes are the men who do things which we recognize with regret and sometimes with a secret shame that we cannot do. We find not much in ourselves to admire, we are always privately wanting to be like somebody else. If everybody was satisfied with himself there would be no heroes.
Oxford is healing a secret old sore of mine which has been causing me sharp anguish once a year for many, many years. ... In these past thirty-five or forty years I have seen our universities distribute nine or ten thousand honorary degrees and overlook me every time. ... This neglect would have killed a less robust person than I am, but it has not killed me; it has only shortened my life and weakened my constitution; but I shall get my strength back now. ... Now then, having purged myself of this thirty-five years' accumulation of bile and injured pride, I will drop the matter and smooth my feathers down and talk about something else.