Reference > Quotations > James Wood, comp. > Dictionary of Quotations
James Wood, comp.  Dictionary of Quotations.  1899.
  All men that are ruined are ruined on the side of their natural propensities.  1
  Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.  2
  Custom reconciles to everything.  3
  Delusion and weakness produce not one mischief the less because they are universal.  4
  Early and provident fear is the mother of safety.  5
  Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.  6
  Facts are to the mind the same thing as food to the body.  7
  Fellowship in treason is a bad ground of confidence.  8
  Fiction lags after truth, invention is unfruitful, and imagination cold and barren.  9
  Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver, and adulation is not of more service to the people than to kings.  10
  Free governments have committed more flagrant acts of tyranny than the most perfect despotic governments which we have ever known.  11
  Frugality is founded on the principle that all riches have limits.  12
  Futurity is the great concern of mankind.  13
  Genuine simplicity of heart is a healing and cementing principle.  14
  Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants.  15
  Great men are never sufficiently known but in struggles.  16
  He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill.  17
  I know nothing sublime which is not some modification of power.  18
  If an idiot were to tell you the same story every day for a year, you would end by believing him.  19
  Is it in destroying and pulling down that skill is displayed? The shallowest understanding, the rudest hand, is more equal to that task.  20
  It is by imitation, more than by precept, that we learn anything.  21
  Kings will be tyrants from policy, when subjects are rebels from principle.  22
  Leave a man to his passions, and you leave a wild beast of a savage and capricious nature.  23
  Liberty must be limited in order to be possessed.  24
  Man is an animal that cooks his victuals.  25
  Manners are of more importance than laws; upon them in a great measure laws depend.  26
  Men that are ruined are ruined on the side of their natural propensities.  27
  My rigour relents: I pardon something to the spirit of liberty.  28
  No man had ever a point of pride but was injurious to him.  29
  Our patience will achieve more than our force.  30
  People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.  31
  People, crushed by laws, have no hopes but from power. It laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws; and those who have much to hope and nothing to lose will always be dangerous, more or less.  32
  Pleasure of every kind quickly satisfies.  33
  Poetry is the art of substantiating shadows and of lending existence to nothing.  34
  Portrait-painting may be to the painter what the practical knowledge of the world is to the poet, provided he considers it as a school by which he is to acquire the means of perfection in his art, and not as the object of that perfection.  35
  Religion is the basis of civil society.  36
  Restraint and discipline, examples of virtue and of justice, these are what form the education of the world.  37
  “Revenge is a kind of wild justice.” It is so, but without this wild austere stock there would be no justice in the world.  38
  Slavery is a weed that grows on every soil.  39
  Spite of all the criticising elves, / Those who would make us feel must feel themselves.  40
  The age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished for ever.  41
  The blood of man should never be shed but to redeem the blood of man. It is well shed for our family, for our friends, for our God, for our country, for our kind. The rest is vanity, the rest is crime.  42
  The concessions of the weak are the concessions of fear.  43
  The great error of our nature is, not to know where to stop, not to be satisfied with any reasonable acquirement, not to compound with our condition; but to lose all we have gained by an insatiable pursuit after more.  44
  The march of the human mind is slow.  45
  The nearer we approach the goal of life, the better we begin to understand the true value of our existence, and the real weight of our opinions.  46
  The nerve that never relaxes, the eye that never blenches, the thought that never wanders—these are the masters of victory.  47
  The only liberty that is valuable is a liberty connected with order.  48
  The perfection of conversation is not to play a regular sonata, but, like the Æolian harp, to await the inspiration of the passing breeze.  49
  The severe and restrictive virtues are almost too costly for humanity.  50
  The truly sublime is always easy, and always natural.  51
  The wise will determine from the gravity of the case; the irritable, from sensibility to oppression; the high-minded, from disdain and indignation at abusive power in unworthy hands.  52
  There is no qualification for government but virtue and wisdom.  53
  There never was a bad man but had ability for good service.  54
  Those who attempt to level never equalise; they load the edifice of society by setting up in the air what the solidity of the structure requires to be on the ground.  55
  To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.  56
  Toleration is good for all, or it is good for none.  57
  Too much idleness, I have observed, fills up a man’s time much more completely, and leaves him less his own master, than any sort of employment whatsoever.  58
  Unsociable tempers are contracted in solitude, which will in the end not fail of corrupting the understanding as well as the manners, and of utterly disqualifying a man for the satisfactions and duties of life. Men must be taken as they are, and we neither make them nor ourselves better by flying from or quarrelling with them.  59
  Vice itself lost half its evil by losing all its grossness.  60
  War suspends the rules of moral obligation, and what is long suspended is in danger of being totally abrogated.  61
  What shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue!  62
  Whatever disunites man from God disunites man from man.  63
  When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.  64
  When the reason of old establishments is gone, it is absurd to keep nothing but the burden of them. This is superstitiously to embalm a carcase not worth an ounce of the gums that are used to embalm it.  65
  Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither is, in my opinion, safe.  66
  Whoever is a genuine follower of truth, keeps his eye steady upon his guide, indifferent whither he is lead, provided that she is the leader.  67

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