Reference > Quotations > James Wood, comp. > Dictionary of Quotations
James Wood, comp.  Dictionary of Quotations.  1899.
  A God all mercy is a God unjust.  1
  A man of pleasure is a man of pains.  2
  A soul without reflection, like a pile / Without inhabitant, to ruin runs.  3
  All men may dare what has by man been done.  4
  All men think all men mortal but themselves.  5
  And can eternity belong to me, / Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour?  6
  “And is this all?” cried Cæsar at his height, disgusted.  7
  As from the wing no scar the sky retains, / The parted wave no furrow from the keel; So dies in human hearts the thought of death.  8
  At thirty, man suspects himself a fool, / Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan. / At fifty, chides his infamous delay, / Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve. / Resolves—and re-resolves; then dies the same.  9
  Be wise to-day; ’tis madness to defer.  10
  Be wise with speed; / A fool at forty is a fool indeed.  11
  By night an atheist half believes a God.  12
  Can wealth give happiness? look around and see, / What gay distress! what splendid misery! / Whatever fortunes lavishly can pour, / The mind annihilates and calls for more.  13
  Creation sleeps! ’Tis as the general pulse / Of life stood still, and Nature made a pause, / An awful pause, prophetic of her end.  14
  Death joins us to the great majority; / ’Tis to be borne to Platos and to Cæsars; / ’Tis to be great for ever; / ’Tis pleasure, ’tis ambition, then, to die.  15
  Death treads in pleasure’s footsteps round the world.  16
  Early, bright, transient, chaste, as morning dew, / She sparkled, was exhaled, and went to heaven.  17
  Earth, turning from the sun, brings night to man.  18
  Eternity, depending on an hour.  19
  Faith builds a bridge across the gulf of death, / To break the shock blind Nature cannot shun, / And lands thought smoothly on the farther shore.  20
  Faith builds a bridge from the old world to the next.  21
  Faith is not reason’s labour, but repose.  22
  Fathers alone a father’s heart can know, / What secret tides of sweet enjoyment flow / When brothers love! But if their hate succeeds, / They wage the war, but ’tis the father bleeds.  23
  For what are men who grasp at praise sublime, / But bubbles on the rapid stream of time, / That rise and fall, that swell and are no more, / Born and forgot, ten thousand in an hour.  24
  Friendship’s the wine of life; but friendship new is neither strong nor pure.  25
  Gold glitters most when virtue shines no more.  26
  Guard well thy thought; / Our thoughts are heard in heaven.  27
  He that lives in perpetual suspicion lives the life of a sentinel, of a sentinel never relieved.  28
  Heaven’s Sovereign saves all beings but Himself that hideous sight—a naked human heart.  29
  Hold their farthing candle to the sun.    Of critics.  30
  How blessings brighten as they take their flight!  31
  How poor, how rich, how abject, how august, / How complicate, how wonderful is man!  32
  How science dwindles, and how volumes swell, / How commentators each dark pasage shun, / And hold their farthing candle to the sun!  33
  If wrong our hearts, our heads are right in vain.  34
  It is falling in with their own mistaken ideas that makes fools and beggars of the half of mankind.  35
  It is great, it is manly, to disdain disguise.  36
  Joy wholly from without is false, precarious and short. Joy from within is like smelling the rose on the tree; it is more sweet, and fair, and lasting.  37
  Joys are for the gods; / Man’s common course of nature is distress; / His joys are prodigies; and like them too, / Portend approaching ill. The wise man starts / And trembles at the perils of a bliss.  38
  Judge before friendship, then confide till death, / Well for thy friend, but nobler far for thee.  39
  Learning, like the lunar beam, affords light, not heat.  40
  Let no man trust the first false step of guilt; it hangs upon a precipice, whose steep descent in last perdition ends.  41
  Life is the triumph of our mouldering clay; death, of the spirit infinite, divine!  42
  Like our shadows / Our wishes lengthen as our sun declines.  43
  Look unto those they call unfortunate; / And, closer viewed, you’ll find they are unwise.  44
  Man is not made to question, but adore.  45
  Man is to man the sorest, surest ill…. / Earth trembles ere her yawning jaws devour; / And smoke betrays the wide-consuming fire; / Ruin from man is most conceal’d when near, / And sends the dreadful tidings in the blow.  46
  Man’s grief is but his grandeur in disguise, and discontent is immortality.  47
  Man’s heart eats all things, and is hungry still.  48
  Men may live fools, but fools they cannot die.  49
  More hearts pine away in secret anguish for unkindness from those who should be their comforters than for any other calamity in life.  50
  Much learning shows how little mortals know; much wealth, how little worldlings can enjoy.  51
  Nature is a friend to truth.  52
  No blank, no trifle, Nature made or meant.  53
  Nothing exceeds in ridicule, no doubt, / A fool in fashion, save a fool that’s out; / His passion for absurdity’s so strong, / He cannot bear a rival in the throng.  54
  Nothing in Nature, much less conscious being, / Was e’er created solely for itself.  55
  Nothing is insipid to the wise; / To thee insipid all but what is mad; / Joy season’d high and tasting strong of guilt.  56
  Nought treads so silent as the foot of time.  57
  On every thorn delightful wisdom grows; / In every rill a sweet instruction flows.  58
  On Reason build Resolve! / That column of true majesty in man.  59
  On the soft bed of luxury most kingdoms have expired.  60
  One sun by day, by night ten thousand shine.  61
  Pigmies are pigmies still, though perched on Alps; / And pyramids are pyramids in vales.  62
  Poor in abundance, famished at a feast, man’s grief is but his grandeur in disguise, and discontent is immortality.  63
  Procrastination is the thief of time.  64
  Resembles ocean into tempest wrought, / To waft a feather or to drown a fly.  65
  Sands form the mountains, moments make the year.  66
  Some for renown, on scraps of learning dote, / And think they grow immortal as they quote.  67
  Souls made of fire, and children of the sun, with whom revenge is virtue.  68
  Still seems it strange that thou shouldst live for ever? Is it less strange that thou shouldst live at all? This is a miracle; and that no more.  69
  Sure as night follows day, / Death treads in pleasure’s footsteps round the world, / When pleasure treads the path which reason shuns.  70
  Talents angel-bright, if wanting worth, are shining instruments in false ambition’s hand, to finish faults illustrious, and give infamy renown.  71
  That life is long which answers life’s great end.  72
  The bell strikes one. We take no note of time / But for its loss.  73
  The course of nature is the art of God.  74
  The dispute about religion and the practice of it seldom go together.  75
  The man of wisdom is the man of years.  76
  The man that blushes is not quite a brute.  77
  The man that makes a character makes foes.  78
  The time that bears no fruit deserves no name.  79
  There is ever a certain languor attending the fulness of prosperity. When the heart has no more to wish, it yawns over its possessions, and the energy of the soul goes out, like a flame that has no more to devour.  80
  Think naught a trifle, though it small appear; / Small sands the mountain, moments make the year, / And trifles life.  81
  Thought discovered is the more possessed.  82
  Thoughts shut up want air, and spoil, like bales unopened to the sun.  83
  Time elaborately thrown away.  84
  Time is eternity, / Pregnant with all eternity can give.  85
  Time wasted is existence; used, is life.  86
  Tired Nature’s sweet restorer, balmy Sleep! / He, like the world, his ready visit pays / Where Fortune smiles; the wretched he forsakes: / Swift on his downy pinions flies from woe, / And lights on lids unsullied with a tear.  87
  To-morrow is a satire on to-day, and shows its weakness.  88
  Too low they build who build beneath the stars.  89
  Unlearned men of books assume the care, / As eunuchs are the guardians of the fair.  90
  Virtue alone has majesty in death.  91
  Virtue alone outbuilds the pyramids; / Her monuments shall last when Egypt’s fall.  92
  We take no note of time but from its loss.  93
  Who does the best his circumstance allows, / Does well, does nobly; angels could no more.  94
  Wishing, of all employments, is the worst.  95
  Your learning, like the lunar beam, affords light but not heat.  96
  Youth is not rich in time; it may be, poor; part with it, as with money, sparing; pay no moment but in purchase of its worth; and what its worth ask death-beds, they can tell.  97

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