Reference > Quotations > C.N. Douglas, comp. > Forty Thousand Quotations > Primary Author Index
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
        Oh, a dainty plant is the ivy green,
That creepeth o’er ruins old!
Of right choice food are his meals I ween,
In his cell so lone, and cold.
*        *        *        *        *
Creeping where no life is seen,
A rare old plant is the ivy green.
        They are idols of hearts and of households;
  They are angels of God in disguise;
His sunlight still sleeps in their tresses;
  His glory still gleams in their eyes.
Oh, those truants from home and from heaven,
  They have made me more manly and mild,
And I know now how Jesus could liken
  The kingdom of God to a child.
  A fig for Time! Use him well, and he’s a hearty fellow.  3
  A good thing can’t be cruel.  4
  A loving heart is the truest wisdom.  5
  A mob is usually a creature of very mysterious existence, particularly in a large city. Where it comes from, or whither it goes, few men can tell. Assembling and dispersing with equal suddenness. It is as difficult to follow to its various sources as the sea itself; nor does the parallel stop here, for the ocean is not more fickle and uncertain, more terrible when roused, more unreasonable or more cruel.  6
  A wailing, rushing sound, which shook the walls as though a giant’s hand were on them; then a hoarse roar, as if the sea had risen; then such a whirl and tumult, that the air seemed mad; and then, with a lengthened howl, the waves of wind swept on.  7
  Alas! how few of nature’s faces there are to gladden us with their beauty! The cares and sorrows and hungerings of the world change them as they change hearts; and it is only when these passions sleep and have lost their hold forever that the troubled clouds pass off, and leave heaven’s surface clear.  8
  An idea, like a ghost (according to the common notion of ghosts), must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.  9
  Death is a mighty, universal truth.  10
  Dreams are the bright creatures of poem and legend, who sport on the earth in the night season, and melt away with the first beam of the sun, which lights grim care and stern reality on their daily pilgrimage through the world.  11
  Every traveler has a home of his own, and he learns to appreciate it the more from his wandering.  12
  He had used the word in its Pickwickian sense.  13
  Hours are golden links—God’s tokens reaching heaven.  14
  I believe that Virtue shows quite as well in rags and patches as she does in purple and fine linen.  15
  I have known a vast quantity of nonsense talked about bad men not looking you in the face. Don’t trust that conventional idea. Dishonesty will stare honesty out of countenance any day in the week, if there is anything to be got by it.  16
  I love these little people; and it is not a slight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us.  17
  I think it must somewhere be written that the virtues of mothers shall, occasionally, be visited on their children, as well as the sins of fathers.  18
  If ever household affections and loves are graceful things, they are graceful in the poor. The ties that bind the wealthy and the proud to home may be forged on earth, but those which link the poor man to his humble hearth are of the true metal and bear the stamp of heaven.  19
  In came Mrs. Fezziwig, one vast substantial smile.  20
  In the destroyer’s steps there spring up bright creations that defy his power and his dark path becomes a way of light to heaven.  21
  In the exhaustless catalogue of Heaven’s mercies to mankind, the power we have of finding some germs of comfort in the hardest trials must ever occupy the foremost place; not only because it supports and upholds us when we most require to be sustained, but because in this source of consolation there is something, we have reason to believe, of the Divine Spirit: something of that goodness which detects, amidst our own evil doings, a redeeming quality; something, which even in our fallen nature, we possess in common with the angels; which had its being in the old time when they trod the earth, and linger on it yet in pity.  22
  Indifference to all the actions and passions of mankind was not supposed to be such a distinguished quality at that time, I think. I have known it very fashionable indeed. I have seen it displayed with such success that I have encountered some fine ladies and gentlemen who might as well have been born caterpillars.  23
  It always grieves me to contemplate the initiation of children into the ways of life when they are scarcely more than infants. It checks their confidence and simplicity, two of the best qualities that heaven gives them, and demands that they share our sorrows before they are capable of entering into our enjoyments.  24
  It is an exquisite and beautiful thing in our nature, that, when the heart is touched and softened by some tranquil happiness or affectionate feeling, the memory of the dead comes over it most powerfully and irresistibly. It would seem almost as though our better thoughts and sympathies were charms, in virtue of which the soul is enabled to hold some vague and mysterious intercourse with the spirits of those whom we loved in life. Alas! how often and how long may these patient angels hover around us, watching for the spell which is so soon forgotten!  25
  It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.  26
  It is something to look upon enjoyment, so that it be free and wild, and in the face of Nature, though it be but the enjoyment of an idiot. It is something to know that Heaven has left the capacity of gladness in such a creature’s breast.  27
  It is when our budding hopes are nipped beyond recovery by some rough wind, that we are the most disposed to picture to ourselves what flowers it might have borne, if they had flourished.  28
  Long may it remain in this mixed world a question not easy of decision, which is the more beautiful evidence of the Almighty’s goodness, the soft white hand formed for the ministrations of sympathy and tenderness, or the rough hard hand which the heart softens, teaches, and guides in a moment.  29
  Lord love you! when we see what some people do all the week—people who are stanch at church, remember—I can’t help thinking there are a good many poor souls who are only Christians at morning and afternoon service.  30
  May I tell you why it seems to me a good thing for us to remember wrong that has been done us? That we may forgive it.  31
  Money, Paul, can do anything.  32
  Mrs. Crupp had indignantly assured him that there wasn’t room to swing a cat there; but as Mr. Dick justly observed to me, sitting down on the foot of the bed, nursing his leg, “You know, Trotwood, I don’t want to swing a cat. I never do swing a cat. Therefore what does that signify to me!”  33
  My life is one demd horrid grind.  34
  Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we can scarcely mark their progress.  35
  Nature often enshrines gallant and noble hearts in weak bosoms—oftenest, God bless her!—in female breasts.  36
  Nobody ought to have been able to resist her coaxing manner; and nobody had any business to try. Yet she never seemed to know it was her manner at all. That was the best of it.  37
  Novelties please less than they impress.  38
  O, if the good deeds of human creatures could be traced to their source, how beautiful would even death appear; for how much charity, mercy, and purified affection would be seen to have growth in dusty graves!  39
  Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.  40
  Second-hand cares, like second-hand clothes, come easily off and on.  41
  Shall we speak of the inspiration of a poet or a priest, and not of the heart impelled by love and self-devotion to the lowliest work in the lowliest way of life?  42
  She was in the lovely bloom and spring-time of womanhood; at the age when, if ever angels be for God’s good purpose enthroned in mortal form, they may be, without impiety, supposed to abide in such as hers.  43
  Some women’s faces are, in their brightness, a prophecy; and some, in their sadness, a history.  44
  Spite is a little word, but it represents as strange a jumble of feelings and compound of discords, as any polysyllable in the language.  45
  The bearings of this observation lays in the application on it.  46
  The delicate face where thoughtful care already mingled with the winning grace and loveliness of youth, the too bright eye, the spiritual head, the lips that pressed each other with such high resolve and courage of the heart, the slight figure, firm in its bearing and yet so very weak.  47
  The golden ripple on the wall came back again, and nothing else stirred in the room. The old, old fashion! The fashion that came in with our first garments, and will last unchanged until our race has run its course, and the wide firmament is rolled up like a scroll. The old, old fashion—Death! Oh, thank God, all who see it, for that older fashion yet—of Immortality!  48
  The shadows of our own desires stand between us and our better angels, and thus their brightness is eclipsed.  49
  The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy, walk and be healthy. “The best of all ways to lengthen our days” is not, as Mr. Thomas Moore has it, “to steal a few hours from night, my love;” but, with leave be it spoken, to walk steadily and with a purpose. The wandering man knows of certain ancients, far gone in years, who have staved off infirmities and dissolution by earnest walking,—hale fellows close upon eighty and ninety, but brisk as boys.  50
  There are chords in the human heart—strange varying strings—which are only struck by accident; which will remain mute and senseless to appeals the most passionate and earnest, and respond at last to the slightest casual touch. In the most insensible or childish minds there is some train of reflection which art can seldom lead or skill assist, but which will reveal itself, as great truths have done, by chance, and when the discoverer has the plainest and simplest end in view.  51
  There are hopes, the bloom of whose beauty would be spoiled by the trammels of description; too lovely, too delicate, too sacred for words, they should only be known through the sympathy of hearts.  52
  There is no substitute for thoroughgoing, ardent, and sincere earnestness.  53
  There is nothing truer than physiognomy, taken in connection with manner.  54
  There is nothing—no, nothing—innocent or good, that dies and is forgotten; let us hold to that faith or none. An infant, a prattling child, dying in the cradle, will live again in the better thoughts of those that loved it, and play its part through them in the redeeming actions of the world, though its body be burnt to ashes or drowned in the deep sea.  55
  To a young heart everything is fun.  56
  To close the eyes, and give a seemly comfort to the apparel of the dead, is poverty’s holiest touch of nature.  57
  To conceal anything from those to whom I am attached, is not in my nature. I can never close my lips where I have opened my heart.  58
  Troubles are exceedingly gregarious in their nature, and flying in flocks are apt to perch capriciously.  59
  ’Umble we are, ’umble we have been, ’umble we shall ever be.  60
  “Wal’r, my boy,” replied the captain; “in the proverbs of Solomon you will find the following words: ‘May we never want a friend in need, nor a bottle to give him!’ When found, make a note of.”  61
  We can refute assertions, but who can refute silence?  62
  When death strikes down the innocent and young, for every fragile form from which he lets the panting spirit free, a hundred virtues rise, in shapes of mercy, charity, and love, to walk the world and bless it. Of every tear that sorrowing mortals shed on such green graves, some good is born, some gentler nature comes.  63
  When the dusk of evening had come on, and not a sound disturbed the sacred stillness of the place,—when the bright moon poured in her light on tomb and monument, on pillar, wall, and arch, and most of all (it seemed to them) upon her quiet grave,—in that calm time, when all outward things and inward thoughts teem with assurances of immortality, and worldly hopes and fears are humbled in the dust before them,—then, with tranquil and submissive hearts they turned away, and left the child with God.  64
  Where, in the sharp lineaments of rigid and unsightly death, is the calm beauty of slumber; telling of rest for the waking hours that are past, and gentle hopes and loves for those which are to come? Lay death and sleep down, side by side, and say who shall find the two akin. Send forth the child and childish man together, and blush for the pride that libels our own old happy state, and gives its title to an ugly and distorted image.  65
  Without strong affection, and humanity of heart, and gratitude to that Being whose code is mercy, and whose great attribute is benevolence to all things that breathe, true happiness can never be attained.  66
  Worried and tormented into monotonous feebleness, the best part of his life ground out of him in a mill of boys.  67
  Ye men of gloom and austerity, who paint the face of Infinite Benevolence with an eternal frown, read in the everlasting book, wide open to your view, the lesson it would teach. Its pictures are not in black and sombre hues, but bright and glowing tints; its music—save when ye drown it—is not in sighs and groans, but songs and cheerful sounds. Listen to the million voices in the summer air, and find one dismal as your own.  68

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