Reference > Quotations > James Wood, comp. > Dictionary of Quotations
James Wood, comp.  Dictionary of Quotations.  1899.
Mary Wortley Montagu
  Civility costs nothing, and buys everything.  1
  I believe more follies are committed out of complaisance to the world than in following our own inclinations.  2
  I contented myself with endeavouring to make your home so easy that you might not be in haste to leave it.    To her daughter.  3
  I think it is as scandalous for a woman not to know how to use a needle as for a man not to know how to use a sword.  4
  In a lottery, where there is (at the lowest computation) ten thousand blanks to one prize, it is the most prudent choice not to venture.  5
  It is the common error of builders and parents to follow some plan they think beautiful (and perhaps is so) without considering that nothing is beautiful which is displaced.  6
  Languages are more properly to be called vehicles of learning than learning itself…. True knowledge consists in knowing things, not words.  7
  Many a young damsel has been ruined by a fine copy of verses, which she would have laughed at if she had known it had been stolen from Mr. Waller.  8
  No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.  9
  Perpetual solitude, in a place where you see nothing to raise your spirits, at length wears them out, and conversation falls into dull and insipid.  10
  The use of knowledge in our sex, besides the amusement of solitude, is to moderate the passions, and learn to be contented with a small expense, which are the certain effects of a studious life; and it may be preferable to that fame which men have engrossed to themselves, and will not suffer us to share.  11
  There is no returning from a dégout given by satiety.  12
  There is no such thing as being agreeable without a thorough good-humour, a natural sweetness of temper, enlivened by cheerfulness.  13
  ’Tis my opinion ’tis necessary to be happy, that we think no place more agreeable than that where we are.  14
  To be ever beloved, one must be ever agreeable.  15
  We see so darkly into futurity, we never know when we have real cause to rejoice or lament. The worst appearances have often happy consequences, as the best lead many times into the greatest misfortunes.  16
  Whatever honour we can pay to their memory, is all that is owing to the dead. Tears and sorrow are no duties to them, and make us incapable of those we owe to the living.  17
  Where people are tied for life, ’tis their mutual interest not to grow weary of one another.  18
  While conscience is our friend, all is peace; but if once offended, farewell the tranquil mind.  19
  Woman endeavours to breed her daughter a fine lady, qualifying her for a station in which she will never appear, and at the same time incapacitating her for that retirement to which she is destined.  20
  Writers of novels and romances in general bring a double loss on their readers—they rob them both of their time and money; representing men, manners, and things, that never have been, nor are likely to be; either confounding or perverting history and truth, inflating the mind, or committing violence upon the understanding.  21

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