Reference > Quotations > James Wood, comp. > Dictionary of Quotations
James Wood, comp.  Dictionary of Quotations.  1899.
  A rusty nail, placed near the faithful compass, / Will sway it from the truth, and wreck the argosy.  1
  And better had they ne’er been born / Who read to doubt, or read to scorn.  2
  Breathes there the man with soul so dead, / Who never to himself hath said, / “This is my own, my native land?”  3
  Chance will not do the work: / Chance sends the breeze, / But if the pilot slumber at the helm, / The very wind that wafts us towards the port / May dash us on the shelves.  4
  Charge, Chester, charge! On, Stanley, on! / Were the last words of Marmion.  5
  Come he slow or come he fast, / It is but Death who comes at last.  6
  Come one, come all! this rock shall fly / From its firm base as soon as I.  7
  Contentions fierce, / Ardent, and dire, spring from no petty cause.  8
  Courtesy of temper, when it is used to veil churlishness of deed, is but a knight’s girdle around the breast of a base clown.  9
  Cutting honest throats by whispers.  10
  Despite his titles, power, and pelf, / The wretch concentred all in self, / Living, shall forfeit fair renown, / And, doubly dying, shall go down, / To the vile dust, from whence he sprung, / Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.  11
  Dinna curse him, sir; I have heard a good man say that a curse was like a stone flung up to the heavens, and maist like to return on his head that sent it.  12
  Distance produces in idea the same effect as in real perspective.  13
  Equity judges with lenity, laws with severity.  14
  Even a haggis could charge down-hill.  15
  Every hour has its end.  16
  Faces which have charmed us the most escape us the soonest.  17
  For the gay beams of lightsome day / Gild but to flout the ruins grey.  18
  Guilt, though it may attain temporal splendour, can never confer real happiness.  19
  Happiest they of human race, / To whom God has granted grace / To read, to fear, to hope, to pray, / To lift the latch and force the way; / And better had they ne’er been born, / Who read to doubt, or read to scorn.  20
  He that climbs the tall tree has won a right to the fruit: / He that leaps the wide gulf should prevail in his suit.  21
  He who indulges his senses in any excesses renders himself obnoxious to his own reason; and, to gratify the brute in him, displeases the man, and sets his two natures at variance.  22
  How happy is the prince who has counsellors near him who can guard him against the effects of his own angry passions; their names shall be read in golden letters when the history of his reign is perused.  23
  It is not the knowledge, but the use which is made of it that is productive of real benefit.  24
  Just at the age ’twixt boy and youth, / When thought is speech, and speech is truth.  25
  Life’s life ony gate (at any rate).  26
  Literature is a great staff, but a sorry crutch.  27
  Love is loveliest when embalmed in tears.  28
  Love rules the camp, the court, the grove, / And men below and saints above; / For love is heaven, and heaven is love.  29
  Love will subsist on wonderfully little hope, but not altogether without it.  30
  Man only mars kind Nature’s plan, / And turns the fierce pursuit on man.  31
  Many of sounding name from Jamblicus down to Aubrey have wasted their time in devising imaginary remedies for non-existing diseases.  32
  Moral inability aggravates our guilt.  33
  Never deal in mistakes; they aye bring mischances.  34
  Never put your arm out farther than you can draw it back again.  35
  “No” is a surly, honest fellow—speaks his mind rough and round at once. “But” is a sneaking, evasive, half-bred, exceptuous sort of conjunction, which comes to pull away the cup just when it is at your lips.  36
  O what a tangled web we weave / When first we practise to deceive.  37
  O woman! in our hours of ease / Uncertain, coy, and hard to please, / And variable as the shade / By the light of quivering aspen made; / When pain and anguish wring the brow, / A ministering angel thou.  38
  One crowded hour of glorious life / Is worth an age without a name.  39
  Our best resolutions are frail when opposed to our predominant inclinations.  40
  Recommending secrecy where a dozen of people are acquainted with the circumstance to be concealed, is only putting the truth in masquerade, for the story will be circulated under twenty different shapes.  41
  Ridicule, while it often checks what is absurd, fully as often smothers that which is noble.  42
  Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking, / Morn of toil, nor night of waking.  43
  Sound, sound the clarion, fill the fife! / To all the sensual world proclaim, / One crowded hour of glorious life / Is worth an age without a name.  44
  Teach self-denial, and make its practice pleasurable, and you create for the world a destiny more sublime than ever issued from the brain of the wildest dreamer.  45
  The character of a nation is not to be learned from its fine folks.  46
  The human mind is to be treated like a skein of ravelled silk, where you must cautiously secure one free end before you can make any progress in disentangling it.  47
  The king, like other people, has now and then shabby errands, and must have shabby fellows to do them.  48
  The race of mankind would perish did they cease to aid each other.  49
  The secrets of great folk are just like the wild beasts that are shut up in cages. Keep them hard and fast snecked up, and it’s a’ very weel or better—but ance let them out, they will turn and rend you.  50
  The stoical exemption which philosophy affects to give us over the pains and vexations of human life is as imaginary as the state of mystical quietism and perfection aimed at by some crazy enthusiast.  51
  The willow which bends to the tempest often escapes better than the oak which resists it.  52
  There is some use in having two attorneys in one firm. Their movements resemble those of the man and woman in a Dutch baby-house. When it is fair weather with the client, out comes the gentleman partner to fawn like a spaniel; when it is foul, forth bolts the operative brother to pin like a bull-dog.  53
  There never did and never will exist anything permanently noble and excellent in a character which was a stranger to the exercise of resolute self-denial.  54
  Those faces which have charmed us the most escape us the soonest.  55
  To write down to children’s understandings is a mistake; set them on the scent and let them puzzle it out.  56
  Too much rest is rust.  57
  True love’s the gift which God has given / To man alone beneath the heaven.  58
  Twist ye, twine ye! even so, / Mingle shades of joy and woe, / Hope, and fear, and peace, and strife, / In the thread of human life.  59
  Unwept, unhonour’d, and unsung.  60
  We build statues of snow, and weep to see them melt.  61
  Wealth, power, and even the advantages of youth, have little to do with that which gives repose to the mind and firmness to the frame.  62
  What can they see in the longest kingly line in Europe, save that it runs back to a successful soldier?  63
  When a man has not a good reason for doing a thing, he has one good reason for letting it alone.  64
  When musing on companions gone, / We doubly feel ourselves alone.  65
  Within that awful volume lies / The mystery of mysteries.  66
  You know how slight a line will tow a boat when afloat on the billows, though a cable would hardly move her when pulled up on the beach.  67
  Youth, when thought is speech and speech is truth.  68

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