Who said: "When men are not regretting that life is so short, they are doing something to kill time."

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E. W. Howe "When men are not regretting that life is so short, they are doing something to kill time." - Edgar Watson Howe

Born in 1853 in Wabash County, Indiana, Howe acquired much of his education while working as a printer, before eventually becoming a journalist. He became known as a coiner of commonsense but somewhat bitter aphorisms, which may have been due in part to his unhappy domestic life - he married in 1873 but was apparently 'wretchedly unhappy' and divorced in 1901 never to marry again.

From 1877-1911 he was both editor and proprietor of the Atchison Daily Globe (Kansas). Then from 1911 to 1937 he edited E.W. Howe's Monthly, which contained many of his observations - which were collected in a number of contemporary books of aphorisms.

His first and best known novel, The Story of a Country Town, was published in 1883. It received praise from prominent contemporaries such as Mark Twain; but after this he turned his hand to writing romances which were less well received. He died in 1937.


More from Edgar Watson Howe

A good scare is worth more to a man than good advice

A man will do more for his stubbornness than for his religion or his country.

A woman is as old as she looks before breakfast.

Every successful person I have heard of has done the best he could with the conditions as he found them, and not waited until next year for better.

For every quarrel a man and wife have before others, they have a hundred when alone.

Many a man is saved from being a thief by finding everything locked up.

The most destructive criticism is indifference.

The underdog often starts the fight, and occasionally the upper dog deserves to win.

The worst feeling in the world is the homesickness that comes over a man occasionally when he is at home.

Image from the George Grantham Bain collection, Library of Congress

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