Quotes from The War of the Worlds

H.G. Wells ·  192 pages

Rating: (193.4K votes)


“No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“Perhaps I am a man of exceptional moods. I do not know how far my
experience is common. At times I suffer from the strangest sense of
detachment from myself and the world about me; I seem to watch it all
from the outside, from somewhere inconceivably remote, out of time,
out of space, out of the stress and tragedy of it all. This feeling
was very strong upon me that night. Here was another side to my
dream.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“This isn't a war," said the artilleryman. "It never was a war, any more than there's war between man and ants.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“We must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals, such as vanished bison and the dodo, but upon its own inferior races. The Tasmanians . . . were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants, in the space if fifty years. Are we such apostles of mercy as to complain if the Martians warred in the same spirit?”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“By the toll of a billion deaths man has bought his birthright of the earth, and it is his against all comers; it would still be his were the Martians ten times as mighty as they are. For neither do men live nor die in vain.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“We can't have any weak or silly. Life is real again, and the useless and cumbersome and mischievous have to die. They ought to die. They ought to be willing to die. It's a sort of disloyalty, after all, to live and taint the race.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“They haven't any spirit in them - no proud dreams and no proud lusts; and a man who hasn't one or the other-Lord! What is he but funk and precautions.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“Few people realise the immensity of vacancy in which the dust of the material universe swims.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“With wine and food, the confidence of my own table, and the necessity of reassuring my wife, I grew by insensible degrees courageous and secure.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“The man was running away with the rest, and selling his papers for a shilling each as he ran—a grotesque mingling of profit and panic.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“We will peck them to death to-morrow, my dear.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“So some respectable dodo in the Mauritius might have lorded it in his nest, and discussed the arrival of that shipful of pitiless sailors in want of animal food. “We will peck them to death tomorrow, my dear.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“Perhaps I am a man of exceptional moods. I do not know how far my experience is common. At times I suffer from the strangest sense of detachment from myself and the world about me; I seem to watch it all from the outside, from somewhere inconceivably remote, out of time, out of space, out of the stress and tragedy of it all.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“For a time I believed that mankind had been swept out of existence, and that I stood there alone, the last man left alive.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“Suddenly, like a thing falling upon me from without, came fear.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“In the next place, wonderful as it seems in a sexual world, the Martians were absolutely without sex, and therefore without any of the tumultuous emotions that arise...”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“I was a battleground of fear and curiosity.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“Life is real again, and the useless and cumbersome and mischievous have to die.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“we should remember how repulsive our carnivorous habits would seem to an intelligent rabbit.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“A shell in the pit," said I, "if the worst comes to worst will kill them all."

The intense excitement of the events had no doubt left my perceptive powers in a state of erethism. I remember that dinner table with extraordinary vividness even now. My dear wife's sweet anxious face peering at me from under the pink lampshade, the white cloth with it silver and glass table furniture—for in those days even philosophical writers had luxuries—the crimson-purple wine in my glass, are photographically distinct. At the end of it I sat, tempering nuts with a cigarette, regretting Ogilvy's rashness, and denouncing the shortsighted timidity of the Martians.

So some respectable dodo in the Mauritius might have lorded it in his nest, and discussed the arrival of that shipful of pitiless sailors in want of animal food. "We will peck them to death tomorrow, my dear.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“For that moment I touched an emotion beyond the common range of men, yet one the poor brutes we dominate know only too well. I felt as a rabbit might feel returning to his burrow, and suddenly confronted by the work of a dozen busy navvies digging the foundations of a house. I felt the first inkling of a thing that presently grew quite clear in my mind, that oppressed me for many days, a sense of dethronement, a persuasion that I was no longer master, but an animal among animals; under the Martian heel.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“I went to a box room at the top of the house and locked myself in, in order to be alone with my aching miseries.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same. No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable. It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days. At most terrestrial men fancied there might be other men upon Mars, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise. Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. And early in the twentieth century came the great disillusionment”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“Now whenever things are so that a lot of people feel they ought to be doing something, the weak, and those who go weak with a lot of complicated thinking, always make for a sort of do-nothing religion, very pious and superior, and submit to persecution and the will of the Lord.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“Yet so vain is man, and so blinded by his vanity,”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“It's just men and ants. There's the ants builds their cities,live their lives, have wars, revolutions, until men want them out of the way, and then they go out of the way. That's what we are now _ just ants.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


“With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter.”
― H.G. Wells, quote from The War of the Worlds


About the author

H.G. Wells
Born place: in Bromley, Kent, England, The United Kingdom
Born date September 21, 1866
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