Reference > Quotations > James Wood, comp. > Dictionary of Quotations
James Wood, comp.  Dictionary of Quotations.  1899.
  A Christian is God Almighty’s gentleman.  1
  A critic should be a pair of snuffers. He is often an extinguisher, and not seldom a thief.  2
  Art is the work of man under the guidance and inspiration of a mightier power.  3
  Children always turn toward the light.  4
  Crimes sometimes shock us too much; vices almost always too little.  5
  Eschew fine words as you would rouge; love simple ones as you would native roses on your cheek.  6
  Examples would indeed be excellent things, were not people so modest that none will set them, and so vain that none will follow them.  7
  Few men are much worth loving in whom there is not something well worth laughing at.  8
  Few persons have courage to appear as good as they really are.  9
  Friendship is love without its flowers or veil.  10
  Handsomeness is the more animal excellence, beauty the more imaginative.  11
  Happy is the boy whose mother is tired of talking nonsense to him before he is old enough to know the sense of it.  12
  He is happy whose circumstances suit his temper; but he is more excellent who can suit his temper to any circumstances.  13
  He must be a thorough fool who can learn nothing from his own folly.  14
  He who does evil that good may come, pays a toll to the devil to let him into heaven.  15
  Heroism is the self-devotion of genius manifesting itself in action.  16
  In oratory the will must predominate.  17
  Instead of watching the bird as it flies above our heads, we chase his shadow along the ground; and, finding we cannot grasp it, we conclude it to be nothing.  18
  Knowledge is the parent of love; wisdom, love itself.  19
  Languages are the barometers of national thought and character.  20
  Many a man’s vices have at first been nothing worse than good qualities run wild.  21
  Many men spend their lives in gazing at their own shadows, and so dwindle away into shadows thereof.  22
  Many of the supposed increasers of knowledge have only given a new name, and often a worse, to what was well known before.  23
  Men think highly of those who rise rapidly in the world; whereas nothing rises quicker than dust, straw, and feathers.  24
  Moral prejudices are the stopgaps of virtue; and, as is the case with other stopgaps, it is often more difficult to get either out or in through them than through any other part of the fence.  25
  Mountains never shake hands. Their roots may touch; they may keep company some way up; but at length they part company, and rise into individual, isolated peaks. So it is with great men.  26
  Much of this world’s wisdom is still acquired by necromancy—by consulting the oracular dead.  27
  Mythology is not religion. It may rather be regarded as the ancient substitute, the poetical counterpart, for dogmatic theology.  28
  None but a fool is always right.  29
  Nothing good bursts forth all at once. The lightning may dart out of a black cloud; but the day sends his bright heralds before him to prepare the world for his coming.  30
  Nothing is farther than earth from heaven, and nothing is nearer than heaven to earth.  31
  Oratory is a warrior’s eye flashing from under a philosopher’s brow.  32
  Our poetry of the eighteenth century was prose; our prose of the seventeenth, poetry.  33
  Poetry is the key to the hieroglyphics of nature.  34
  Poverty breeds wealth, and wealth in its turn breeds poverty. The earth to form the mould is taken out of the ditch; and whatever may be the height of the one will be the depth of the other.  35
  Purity is the feminine, truth the masculine of honour.  36
  Religion presents few difficulties to the humble, many to the proud, innumerable ones to the vain.  37
  Science sees signs; Poetry, the thing signified.  38
  Smiles are the language of love.  39
  Some people carry their hearts in their heads; very many carry their heads in their hearts. The difficulty is to keep them apart, yet both actively working together.  40
  Some persons take reproof good-humouredly enough, unless you are so unlucky as to hit a sore place. Then they wince and writhe, and start up and knock you down for your impertinence, or wish you good morning.  41
  Song is the tone of feeling.  42
  Strength was the virtue of Paganism; obedience is the virtue of Christianity.  43
  Sudden resolutions, like the sudden rise of the mercury in the barometer, indicate little else than the changeableness of the weather.  44
  Surely half the world must be blind; they can see nothing unless it glitters.  45
  The greatest truths are the simplest; and so are the greatest men.  46
  The intellect of the wise is like glass; it admits the light of heaven and reflects it.  47
  The power of faith will often shine forth the most when the character is naturally weak.  48
  The ultimate tendency of civilisation is towards barbarism.  49
  There is a glare about worldly success, which is very apt to dazzle men’s eyes.  50
  Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail, and mankind the vessel.  51
  To talk without effort is, after all, the great charm of talking.  52
  To those whose god is honour, disgrace alone is sin.  53
  Unless a tree has borne blossoms in spring, you will vainly look for fruit on it in autumn.  54
  We like slipping, but not falling; our real desire is to be tempted enough.  55
  Weak minds sink under prosperity as well as under adversity; strong and deep ones have two highest tides—when the moon is at the full, and when there is no moon.  56
  What hypocrites we seem to be whenever we talk of ourselves! Our words sound so humble, while our hearts are so proud.  57

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