Reference > Quotations > James Wood, comp. > Dictionary of Quotations
James Wood, comp.  Dictionary of Quotations.  1899.
  Circumstances are things round about; we are in them, not under them.  1
  A great man is he who can call together the most select company when it pleases him.  2
  Circumstances form the character, but, like petrifying matters, they harden while they form.  3
  Clear writers, like clear fountains, do not seem so deep as they are; the turbid look the most profound.  4
  Consult duty, not events.  5
  Cruelty is no more the cure of crimes than it is the cure of sufferings.  6
  Delay of justice is injustice.  7
  Democracy is always the work of kings. Ashes, which in themselves are sterile, fertilise the land they are cast upon.  8
  Despotism sits nowhere so secure as under the effigy and ensigns of freedom.  9
  Every good writer has much idiom; it is the life and spirit of language.  10
  Every great writer is a writer of history, let him treat on almost what subject he may. He carries with him for thousands of years a portion of his times; and, indeed, if only his own effigy were there, it would be greatly more than a fragment of his century.  11
  Everything that looks to the future elevates human nature; for never is life so low as when occupied with the present.  12
  Fancy is imagination in her youth and adolescence.  13
  Friendship is a vase, which, when it is flawed by heat, or violence, or accident, may as well be broken at once; it never can be trusted after.  14
  Great men lose somewhat of their greatness by being near us; ordinary men gain much.  15
  Great men too often have greater faults than little men can find room for.  16
  Great men will always pay deference to greater.  17
  Greatness, as we daily see it, is unsociable.  18
  Happiness is like the statue of Isis, whose veil no mortal ever raised.  19
  If there were no falsehood in the world, there would be no doubt; if no doubt, no inquiry; and if no inquiry, no wisdom, no knowledge, no genius.  20
  Kindness in us is the honey that blunts the sting of unkindness in another.  21
  Life is a casket, not precious in itself, but valuable in proportion to what fortune, or industry, or virtue has placed within it.  22
  Love is a secondary passion in those who love most, a primary in those who love least. He who is inspired by it in a high degree is inspired by honour in a higher; it never reaches its plenitude of growth and perfection but in the most exalted minds.  23
  Mind and body—that beauteous couple—exercise much and variously, but at home, at home, indoors, and about things indoors; for God is there too.  24
  Modesty when she goes, is gone for ever.  25
  Moroseness is the evening of turbulence.  26
  No ashes are lighter than those of incense, and few things burn out sooner.  27
  No thoroughly occupied man was ever yet very miserable.  28
  Nor sequent centuries could hit / Orbit and sum of Shakespeare’s wit.  29
  Nothing is so grand as truth, nothing so forcible, nothing so novel.  30
  On a winged word hath hung the destiny of nations.  31
  Religion is the eldest sister of philosophy; on whatever subjects they may differ, it is unbecoming in either to quarrel, and most so about their inheritance.  32
  Songs may exist unsung, but voices exist only when they sound.  33
  Study is the bane of boyhood, the element of youth, the indulgence of manhood, and the restorative of age.  34
  The bird of wisdom flies low, and seeks her food under hedges; the eagle himself would be starved if he always soared aloft and against the sun.  35
  The happy man is he who distinguishes the boundary between desires and delight, and stands firmly on the higher ground.  36
  The religion of Christ is peace and goodwill, that of Christendom war and ill-will.  37
  The stars themselves are only bright by distance; go close, and all is earthy; but vapours illuminate there; from the breath and from the countenance of God comes light on worlds higher than they.  38
  The sublime is in a grain of dust.  39
  The tomb is the pedestal of greatness.  40
  Those who are quite satisfied sit still and do nothing; those who are not quite satisfied are the sole benefactors of the world.  41
  Truth, like the juice of a poppy, in small quantities, calms men; in larger, heats and irritates them, and is attended by fatal consequences in its excess.  42
  We are contented because we are happy, and not happy because we are contented.  43
  We cannot conquer fate and necessity, yet we can yield to them in such a manner as to be greater than if we could.  44
  We fancy we suffer from ingratitude, while in reality we suffer from self-love.  45
  We talk on principle, but we act on interest.  46
  Wearers of rings and chains! / Pray do not take the pains / To set me right. / In vain my faults ye quote; / I write as others wrote / On Sunium’s height.  47
  Where power is absent we may find the robe of genius, but we miss the throne.  48
  Women, like the plants in woods, derive their softness and tenderness from the shade.  49

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