Reference > Quotations > James Wood, comp. > Dictionary of Quotations
James Wood, comp.  Dictionary of Quotations.  1899.
  Anxiety is the poison of human life.  1
  Dissimulation in youth is the forerunner of perfidy in old age.  2
  Gentleness corrects whatever is offensive in our manners.  3
  Imprudent expression in conversation may be forgotten and pass away; but when we take the pen into our hand, we must remember that litera scripta manet.  4
  In letters, if anywhere, we look for the man, not for the author.  5
  In the eye of the Supreme, dispositions hold the place of actions.  6
  It is difficult to descend with grace without seeming to fall.  7
  Letters of mere compliment, congratulation, or affected condolence, which have cost the authors most labour in composing, never fail of being the most disagreeable and insipid to the readers.  8
  Mediocrity of enjoyment only is allowed to man.  9
  One who, either in conversation or in letters, affects to shine and to sparkle always, will not please long.  10
  Our time is fixed, and all our days are numbered; / How long, how short, we know not: this we know, / Duty requires we calmly wait the summons, / Nor dare to stir till Heaven shall give permission.  11
  Rays must converge to a point in order to glow intensely.  12
  Self-murder! name it not; our island’s shame!  13
  Slovenly (a) and negligent manner of writing is a disobliging mark of want of respect.  14
  Stiff (a) and laboured manner is as bad in a letter as it is in conversation…. Sprightliness and wit are graceful in letters, just as they are in conversation.  15
  The first requisite, both in conversation and correspondence, is to attend to all the proper decorums which our own character and that of others demand.  16
  The liberty of writing letters with too careless a hand is apt to betray persons into imprudence in what they write.  17
  The path of falsehood is a perplexing maze.  18
  The style of letters should not be too highly polished. It ought to be neat and correct, but no more.  19
  ’Tis but lame kindness that does its work by halves.  20
  ’Tis long since death had the majority.  21
  To run away / Is but a coward’s trick; to run away / From this world’s ills, that at the very worst / Will soon blow o’er.  22
  Underground / Precedency’s a jest; vassal and lord, / Grossly familiar, side by side consume.  23
  We expect in letters to discover somewhat of a person’s real character. It is childish indeed to expect that we are to find the whole heart of the author unveiled…. Still as letters from one friend to another make the nearest approaches to conversation, we may expect to see more of a character displayed in these than in other productions which are studied for public view.  24
  What the heart or the imagination dictates always flows readily; but where there is no subject to warm or interest these, constraint appears.  25
  Whatever purifies the heart, fortifies it.  26
  Whistling aloud to bear his courage up.  27

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