Reference > Quotations > C.N. Douglas, comp. > Forty Thousand Quotations > Primary Author Index
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
        Alas! the joys that fortune brings
Are trifling, and decay,
And those who prize the trifling things,
More trifling still than they.
        Alike all ages: dames of ancient days
Have led their children through the mirthful maze;
And the gay grandsire, skill’d in gestic lore,
Has frisked beneath the burden of threescore.
        And in that town a dog was found,
  As many dogs there be,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp and hound,
  And curs of low degree.
        And what is friendship but a name,
  A charm that lulls to sleep;
A shade that follows wealth or fame,
  And leaves the wretch to weep?
        And, as a bird each fond endearment tries
To tempt its new-fledg’d offspring to the skies,
He tried each art, reprov’d each dull delay,
Allur’d to brighter worlds, and led the way.
        Aromatic plants bestow
No spicy fragrance where they grow;
But crushed and trodden to the ground,
Diffuse their balmy sweets around.
        As in some Irish houses, where things are so-so,
One gammon of bacon hangs up for a show;—
But, for eating a rasher of what they take pride in,
They’d as soon think of eating the pan it is fried in.
        As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form,
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm,
Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,
Eternal sunshine settles on its head.
        At church with meek and unaffected grace,
His looks adorn’d the venerable place;
Truth from his lips prevail’d with double sway,
And fools, who came to scoff, remain’d to pray.
        At night returning, every labour sped,
He sits him down, the monarch of a shed;
Smiles by his cheerful fire, and round surveys
His children’s looks, that brighten at the blaze;
While his lov’d partner, boastful of her hoard,
Displays her cleanly platter on the board.
        Beheld the duteous son, the sire decayed,
The modest matron, and the blushing maid,
Forc’d from their homes, a melancholy train,
To traverse climes beyond the western main.
        Bends to the grave with unperceived decay,
While resignation gently slopes the way;
And, all his prospects brightening to the last,
His heaven commences ere the world be past.
        Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way
With blossom’d furze, unprofitably gay,
There, in his noisy mansion, skill’d to rule,
The village master taught his little school:
A man severe he was, and stern to view,
I knew him well, and every truant knew;
Well had the boding tremblers learn’d to trace
The day’s disasters in his morning’s face;
Full well they laugh’d with counterfeited glee
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he;
Full well the busy whisper, circling round,
Convey’d the dismal tidings when he frown’d;
Yet he was kind, or if severe in aught,
The love he bore to learning was in fault,
The village all declar’d how much he knew;
’T was certain he could write and cypher too.
Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage;
And e’en the story ran, that he could gauge.
        Blame where you must, be candid where you can,
And be each critic the good-natured man.
        Blest be that spot, where cheerful guests retire
To pause from toil, and trim their evening fire;
Blest that abode, where want and pain repair,
And every stranger finds a ready chair:
Blest be those feasts with simple plenty crown’d,
Where all the ruddy family around
Laugh at the jest or pranks, that never fail,
Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale,
Or press the bashful stranger to his food,
And learn the luxury of doing good.
        Blest be those feasts with simple plenty crown’d,
Where all the ruddy family around
Laugh at the jests or pranks that never fail,
Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale.
        But in his duty prompt at every call,
He watch’d and wept, he pray’d and felt for all.
        But me, not destined such delights to share,
My prime of life in wandering spent and care;
Impell’d, with steps unceasing, to pursue
Some fleeting good, that mocks me with the view
That, like the circle bounding earth and skies,
Allures from far, yet, as I follow, flies;
My fortune leads to traverse realms alone,
And find no spot of all the world my own.
        But times are alter’d; trade’s unfeeling train
Usurp the land, and dispossess the swain;
Along the lawn, where scatter’d hamlets rose,
Unwieldy wealth and cumbrous pomp repose.
        By sports like these are all their cares beguil’d,
The sports of children satisfy the child.
        Cheerful at morn he wakes from short repose,
Breathes the keen air, and carols as he goes.
        Down where yon anch’ring vessel spreads the sail,
That, idly waiting, flaps with every gale,
Downward they move, a melancholy band,
Pass from the shore and darken all the strand.
        Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend,
And round his dwelling guardian saints attend.
        Ev’n children followed with endearing wile
And pluck’d his gown to share the good man’s smile.
        For he who fights and runs away
May live to fight another day;
But he who is in battle slain
Can never rise and fight again.
        For praise too dearly lov’d, or warmly sought,
Enfeebles all internal strength of thought;
And the weak soul within itself unblest,
Leans for all pleasure on another’s breast.
        Full well they laughed, with counterfeited glee,
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he;
Full well the busy whisper, circling round,
Convey’d the dismal tidings when he frown’d.
        Gay, sprightly land of mirth and social ease,
Pleased with thyself, whom all the world can please.
        Good heav’n! what sorrows gloom’d that parting day,
That call’d them from their native walks away,
When the poor exiles, ev’ry pleasure past,
Hung round the bow’rs, and fondly look’d their last,
And took a long farewell, and wish’d in vain,
For seats like these beyond the western main,
And shudd’ring still to face the distant deep,
Return’d and wept, and still return’d to weep.
        He casts off his friends, as a huntsman his pack,
For he knew, when he pleased, he could whistle them back.
        He who fights and runs away,
May live to fight another day;
But he who is in battle slain
Can never rise and fight again.
        Her modest looks the cottage might adorn,
Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn.
        His house was known to all the vagrant train,
He chid their wanderings but reliev’d their pain;
The long remembered beggar was his guest,
Whose beard descending swept his aged breast.
        Hope, like the gleaming taper’s light,
  Adorns and cheers our way;
And still, as darker grows the night,
  Emits a brighter ray.
        How small of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure!
Still to ourselves in every place consigned,
Our own felicity we make or find.
With secret course, which no loud storms annoy,
Glides the smooth current of domestic joy.
        Impell’d with steps unceasing to pursue
Some fleeting good, that mocks me with the view,
That, like the circle bounding earth and skies,
Allures from far, yet, as I follow, flies.
        In all my wanderings round this world of care,
In all my griefs—and God has given my share—
I still had hopes my latest hours to crown,
Amidst these humble bowers to lay me down;
To husband out life’s taper at the close,
And keep the flame from wasting, by repose:
I still had hopes, for pride attends us still,
Amidst the swains to show my book-learn’d skill,
Around my fire an evening group to draw,
And tell of all I felt, and all I saw;
And as a hare, whom hounds and horns pursue,
Pants to the place from whence at first she flew,
I still had hopes, my long vexations past,
Here to return—and die at home at last.
        In arguing, too, the parson owned his skill,
For even tho’ vanquish’d he could argue still.
        Man wants but little here below,
Nor wants that little long.
        Near yonder copse, where once the garden smil’d,
And still where many a garden flower grows wild,
There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose,
The village preacher’s modest mansion rose.
A man he was to all the country dear,
And passing rich with forty pounds a year;
Remote from towns he ran his godly race,
Nor e’er had chang’d nor wish’d to change his place;
Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for power,
By doctrines fashion’d to the varying hour;
Far other aims his heart had learn’d to prize,
More bent to raise the wretched than to rise.
        Near yonder thorn, that lifts its head on high,
Where once the sign-post caught the passing eye,
Low lies that house where nut-brown draughts inspired,
Where graybeard mirth and smiling toil retired,
Where village statesmen talk’d with looks profound,
And news much older than their ale went round.
        No vernal blooms their torpid rocks array,
But winter lingering chills the lap of May;
No zephyr fondly sues the mountain’s breast,
But meteors glare, and stormy glooms invest.
        O blest retirement! friend to life’s decline—
Retreats from care, that never must be mine
How blest is he who crowns, in shades like these,
A youth of labour with an age of ease.
        Of praise a mere glutton, he swallow’d what came,
And the puff of a dunce he mistook it for fame;
Till his relish grown callous, almost to disease,
Who pepper’d the highest was surest to please.
        On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting,
’Twas only that when he was off, he was acting.
        Pride in their port, defiance in their eye,
I see the lords of humankind pass by.
        Round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,
Eternal sunshine settles on its head.
        See me, how calm I am.
Ay, people are generally calm at the misfortunes of others.
        So, with decorum all things carried,
Miss frown’d, and blush’d, and then was married.
        Still to ourselves in every place consigned
Our own felicity we make or find.
        Such dainties to them, their health it might hurt;
It’s like sending them ruffles, when wanting a shirt.
        Sweet was the sound, when oft, at evening’s close,
Up yonder hill the village murmur rose;
There as I passed, with careless steps and slow,
The mingling notes came soften’d from below;
The swain responsive as the milkmaid sung,
The sober herd that low’d to meet their young;
The noisy geese that gabbled o’er the pool,
The playful children just let loose from school;
The watch-dog’s voice that bay’d the whispering wind,
And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind;
These all in sweet confusion sought the shade,
And fill’d each pause the nightingale had made.
        That dire disease, whose ruthless power
Withers the beauty’s transient flower.
        The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay,
Sat by his fire, and talk’d the night away;
Wept o’er his wounds, or, tales of sorrow done,
Shoulder’d his crutch, and show’d how fields were won.
        The dancing pair, that simply sought renown,
By holding out, to tire each other down.
        The king himself has follow’d her,
  When she has walk’d before.
        The only art her guilt to cover,
  To hide her shame from every eye,
To give repentance to her lover,
  And wring his bosom, is—to die.
        The whitewash’d wall, the nicely sanded floor,
The varnish’d clock that click’d behind the door;
The chest contriv’d a double debt to pay,
A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day.
        Thus ’tis with all—their chief and constant care
Is to seem everything but what they are.
        To husband out life’s taper at the close,
And keep the flames from wasting by repose.
        Vain, very vain, my weary search to find
That bliss which only centres in the mind.
        When lovely woman stoops to folly,
And finds too late that men betray,
What charm can soothe her melancholy,
What art can wash her guilt away?—
The only art her guilt to cover,
To hide her shame from every eye,
To give repentance to her lover,
And wring his bosom—is to die.
        Where village statesmen talk’d with looks profound,
And news much older than their ale went round.
        Where’er I roam, whatever realms to see,
My heart untravelled, fondly turns to thee;
Still to my brother turns, with ceaseless pain,
And drags at each remove a lengthening chain.
        While resignation gently slopes the way;
And, all his prospects brightening to the last,
His heaven commences ere the world be past.
        While words of learned length, and thund’ring sound,
Amaz’d the gazing rustics rang’d around;
And still they gaz’d, and still the wonder grew
That one small head should carry all he knew.
        Who, born for the universe, narrow’d his mind,
And to party gave up what was meant for mankind.
  A boy will learn more true wisdom in a public school in a year than by a private education in five. It is not from masters, but from their equals, that youth learn a knowledge of the world.  68
  A French woman is a perfect architect in dress: she never, with Gothic ignorance, mixes the orders; she never tricks out a snobby Doric shape with Corinthian finery; or, to speak without metaphor, she conforms to general fashion only when it happens not to be repugnant to private beauty.  69
  A man’s own heart must ever be given to gain that of another.  70
  A silent address is the genuine eloquence of sincerity.  71
  Age, that lessens the enjoyment of life, increases our desire of living.  72
  All his faults are such that one loves him still the better for them.  73
  All that philosophy can teach is to be stubborn or sullen under misfortunes.  74
  All that the wisdom of the proud can teach is to be stubborn or sullen under misfortune.  75
  Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way.  76
  An emperor in his nightcap will not meet with half the respect of an emperor with a crown.  77
  An Englishman fears contempt more than death.  78
  And even his failings leaned to virtue’s side.  79
  And learn the luxury of doing good.  80
  And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew, that one small head should carry all he knew.  81
  And the weak soul, within itself unblessed, leans for all pleasure on another’s breast.  82
  As boys should be educated with temperance, so the first greatest lesson that should be taught them is to admire frugality. It is by the exercise of this virtue alone they can ever expect to be useful members of society.  83
  Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no fibs.  84
  Aspiring beggary is wretchedness itself.  85
  Books are necessary to correct the vices of the polite; but those vices are ever changing, and the antidote should be changed accordingly—should still be new.  86
  Both wit and understanding are trifles without integrity. The ignorant peasant without fault is greater than the philosopher with many. What is genius or courage without a heart?  87
  But winter lingering chills the lap of May.  88
  Conscience is a coward; and those faults it has not strength enough to prevent it seldom has justice enough to accuse.  89
  Creation’s heir, the world, the world, is mine.  90
  Error is always talkative.  91
  Every absurdity has a champion to defend it; for error is always talkative.  92
  Every acknowledgment of gratitude is a circumstance of humiliation; and some are found to submit to frequent mortifications of this kind, proclaiming what obligations they owe, merely because they think it in some measure cancels the debt.  93
  Every want that stimulates the breast becomes a source of pleasure when redressed.  94
  Fancy restrained may be compared to a fountain, which plays highest by diminishing the aperture.  95
  Fear guides more to their duty than gratitude; for one man who is virtuous from the love of virtue, from the obligation he thinks he lies under to the Giver of all, there are ten thousand who are good only from their apprehension of punishment.  96
  Filial obedience is the first and greatest requisite of a state; by this we become good subjects to our emperors, capable of behaving with just subordination to our superiors, and grateful dependents on heaven; by this we become fonder of marriage, in order to be capable of exacting obedience from others in our turn; by this we become good magistrates, for early submission is the truest lesson to those who would learn to rule. By this the whole state may be said to resemble one family.  97
  Fine declamation does not consist in flowery periods, delicate allusions or musical cadences, but in a plain, open, loose style, where the periods are long and obvious, where the same thought is often exhibited in several points of view.  98
  For the first time, the best may err, art may persuade, and novelty spread out its charms. The first fault is the child of simplicity; but every other the offspring of guilt.  99
  Fortune is ever seen accompanying industry, and is as often trundling in a wheelbarrow as lolling in a coach and six.  100
  Friendship is a disinterested commerce between equals.  101
  Friendship is made up of esteem and pleasure; pity is composed of sorrow and contempt: the mind may for some time fluctuate between them, but it can never entertain both at once.  102
  Handsome is that handsome does.  103
  He watched and wept and prayed and felt for all.  104
  Here let me sit in sorrow for mankind.  105
  Here Vanity assumes her pert grimace.  106
  His best companions innocence and health, and his best riches ignorance of wealth.  107
  His conduct still right with his argument wrong.  108
  I always get the better when I argue alone.  109
  I am amazed how men can call her blind, when, by the company she keeps, she seems so very discriminating.  110
  I armed her against the censures of the world; showed her that books were sweet unreproaching companions to the miserable, and that if they could not bring us to enjoy life, they would at least teach us to endure it.  111
  I chose my wife, as she did her wedding gown, for qualities that would wear well.  112
  I do not love a man who is zealous for nothing.  113
  I fancy the character of a poet is in every country the same,—fond of enjoying the present, careless of the future; his conversation that of a man of sense, his actions those of a fool.  114
  I have found by experience that they who have spent all their lives in cities contract not only an effeminacy of habit, but of thinking.  115
  I learn several great truths; as that it is impossible to see into the ways of futurity, that punishment always attends the villain, that love is the fond soother of the human breast.  116
  I love everything that’s old,—old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine.  117
  If a man wishes to become rich he must appear to be rich.  118
  If the soul be happily disposed, every thing becomes capable of affording entertainment, and distress will almost want a name.  119
  In a polite age almost every person becomes a reader, and receives more instruction from the press than the pulpit.  120
  In proportion as society refines, new books must ever become more necessary.  121
  Is it that Nature, attentive to the preservation of mankind, increases our wishes to live, while she lessens our enjoyments, and as she robs the senses of every pleasure, equips imagination in the spoil?  122
  It has been remarked that almost every character which has excited either attention or pity has owed part of its success to merit, and part to a happy concurrence of circumstances in its favor. Had Cæsar or Cromwell exchanged countries, the one might have been a sergeant and the other an exciseman.  123
  It has been well observed that few are better qualified to give others advice than those who have taken the least of it themselves.  124
  It is impossible to combat enthusiasm with reason; for though it makes a show of resistance, it soon eludes the pressure, refers you to distinctions not to be understood, and feelings which it cannot explain. A man who would endeavor to fix an enthusiast by argument might as well attempt to spread quicksilver with his finger.  125
  It would be well had we more misers than we have among us.  126
  Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law.  127
  Learn the luxury of doing good.  128
  Life at the greatest and best is but a froward child, that must be humored and coaxed a little till it falls asleep, and then all the care is over.  129
  Like the tiger, that seldom desists from pursuing man after having once preyed upon human flesh, the reader who has once gratified his appetite with calumny makes ever after the most agreeable feast upon murdered reputations!  130
  Lords of humankind.  131
  Man little knows what calamities are beyond his patience to bear till he tries them; as in ascending the heights of ambition, which look bright from below, every step we rise shows us some new and gloomy prospect of hidden disappointment; so in our descent from the summits of pleasure, though the vale of misery below may appear, at first, dark and gloomy, yet the busy mind, still attentive to its own amusement, finds, as we descend, something to flatter and to please. Still as we approach, the darkest objects appear to brighten, and the mortal eye becomes adapted to its gloomy situation.  132
  Man seems the only growth that dwindles here.  133
  Measures, not men, have always been my mark.  134
  Mortifications are often more painful than real calamities.  135
  Nor is there on earth a more powerful advocate for vice than poverty.  136
  Nothing is so contemptible as that affectation of wisdom, which some display, by universal incredulity.  137
  Novels teach the youthful mind to sigh after happiness that never existed.  138
  O friendship! thou fond soother of the human breast, to thee we fly in every calamity; to thee the wretched seek for succor; on thee the care-tired son of misery fondly relies; from thy kind assistance the unfortunate always hopes relief, and may be sure of disappointment.  139
  O luxury! thou curst by heaven’s decree.  140
  Of all kinds of ambition, that which pursues poetical fame is the wildest.  141
  Oh, blest retirement! friend to life’s decline, how blest is he who crowns, in shades like these, a youth of labor with an age of ease!  142
  One should not quarrel with a dog without a reason sufficient to vindicate one through all the courts of morality.  143
  One writer excels at a plan or a title-page; another works away at the body of the book; and a third is a dab hand at an index.  144
  Our bounty, like a drop of water, disappears, when diffus’d too widely.  145
  Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.  146
  Paltry affectation, strained allusions, and disgusting finery are easily attained by those who choose to wear them; they are but too frequently the badges of ignorance or of stupidity, whenever it would endeavor to please.  147
  People seldom improve when they have no other model but themselves to copy after.  148
  Pity, though it may often relieve, is but, at best, a short-lived passion, and seldom affords distress more than transitory assistance; with some it scarce lasts from the first impulse till the hand can be put into the pocket.  149
  Politics resemble religion; attempting to divest either of ceremony is the most certain mode of bringing either into contempt.  150
  Popular glory is a perfect coquette; her lovers must toil, feel every inquietude, indulge every caprice, and perhaps at last be jilted into the bargain. True glory, on the other hand, resembles a woman of sense; her admirers must play no tricks. They feel no great anxiety, for they are sure in the end of being rewarded in proportion to their merit.  151
  Praise, in the beginning is agreeable enough, and we receive it as a favor; but when it comes in great quantities, we regard it only as a debt, which nothing but our merit could extort.  152
  Processions, cavalcades, and all that fund of gay frippery, furnished out by tailors, barbers, and tire-women, mechanically influence the mind into veneration; an emperor in his nightcap would not meet with half the respect of an emperor with a crown.  153
  Prudery is ignorance.  154
  Quality and title have such allurements that hundreds are ready to give up all their own importance, to cringe, to flatter, to look little, and to pall every pleasure in constraint, merely to be among the great, though without the least hopes of improving their understanding or sharing their generosity. They might be happier among their equals.  155
  Religion does what philosophy could never do; it shows the equal dealings of Heaven to the happy and the unhappy, and levels all human enjoyments to nearly the same standard. It gives to both rich and poor the same happiness hereafter, and equal hopes to aspire after it.  156
  Remembrance wakes with all her busy train, swells at my breast, and turns the past to pain.  157
  Remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow.  158
  Ridicule has ever been the most powerful enemy of enthusiasm, and properly the only antagonist that can be opposed to it with success.  159
  She who makes her husband and her children happy, who reclaims the one from vice, and trains up the other to virtue, is a greater character than ladies described in romance, whose whole occupation is to murder mankind with their eyes.  160
  Such is the patriot’s boast where’er we roam; his first, best country ever is his own.  161
  Taste is the power of relishing or rejecting whatever is offered for the entertainment of the imagination.  162
  Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain.  163
  Tenderness is a virtue.  164
  Tenderness, without a capacity of relieving, only makes the man who feels it more wretched than the object which sues for assistance.  165
  That virtue which requires to be ever guarded is scarce worth the sentinel.  166
  The bounds of a man’s knowledge are easily concealed, if he has but prudence.  167
  The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.  168
  The Europeans are themselves blind who describe fortune without sight. No first-rate beauty ever had finer eyes, or saw more clearly. They who have no other trade but seeking their fortune need never hope to find her; coquette-like, she flies from her close pursuers, and at last fixes on the plodding mechanic who stays at home and minds his business.  169
  The first fault is the child of simplicity, but every other the offspring of guilt.  170
  The first time I read an excellent book, it is to me just as if I had gained a new friend. When I read over a book I have perused before, it resembles the meeting with an old one.  171
  The fortunate circumstances of our lives are generally found at last to be of our own producing.  172
  The hours we pass with happy prospects in view are more pleasing than those crowned with fruition. In the first instance, we cook the dish to our own appetite; in the latter, Nature cooks it for us.  173
  The ingratitude of the world can never deprive us of the conscious happiness of having acted with humanity ourselves.  174
  The land of scholars, and the nurse of arms.  175
  The little mind who loves itself will write and think with the vulgar; but the great mind will be bravely eccentric, and scorn the beaten road, from universal benevolence.  176
  The loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind.  177
  The more various our artificial necessities, the wider is our circle of pleasure; for all pleasure consists in obviating necessities as they rise; luxury, therefore, as it increases our wants, increases our capacity for happiness.  178
  The person whose clothes are extremely fine I am too apt to consider as not being possessed of any superiority of fortune, but resembling those Indians who are found to wear all the gold they have in the world in a bob at the nose.  179
  The polite of every country seem to have but one character. A gentleman of Sweden differs but little, except in trifles, from one of any other country. It is among the vulgar we are to find those distinctions which characterize a people.  180
  The soul may be compared to a field of battle, where the armies are ready every moment to encounter. Not a single vice but has a more powerful opponent, and not one virtue but may be overborne by a combination of vices.  181
  The sports of children satisfy the child.  182
  The true use of speech is not so much to express our wants as to conceal them.  183
  The unaffected of every country nearly resemble each other, and a page of our Confucius and your Tillotson have scarce any material difference. Paltry affectation, strained allusions, and disgusting finery are easily attained by those who choose to wear them; they are but too frequently the badges of ignorance or of stupidity, whenever it would endeavor to please.  184
  The very pink of perfection.  185
  The volumes of antiquity, like medals, may very well serve to amuse the curious; but the works of the moderns, like the current coin of a kingdom, are much better for immediate use.  186
  The way to acquire lasting esteem is not by the fewness of a writer’s faults, but the greatness of his beauties, and our noblest works are generally most replete with both.  187
  The work of eradicating crimes is not by making punishment familiar, but formidable.  188
  The youth who follows his appetites too soon seizes the cup, before it has received its best ingredients, and by anticipating his pleasures, robs the remaining parts of life of their share, so that his eagerness only produces a manhood of imbecility and an age of pain.  189
  There are but few talents requisite to become a popular preacher; for the people are easily pleased if they perceive any endeavors in the orator to please them. The meanest qualifications will work this effect if the preacher sincerely sets about it.  190
  There are some faults so nearly allied to excellence that we can scarce weed out the vice without eradicating the virtue.  191
  There is a greatness in being generous, and there is only simple justice in satisfying creditors. Generosity is the part of the soul raised above the vulgar.  192
  There is no arguing with Johnson; for if his pistol misses fire, he knocks you down with the butt end of it.  193
  There is one way by which a strolling player may be ever secure of success; that is, in our theatrical way of expressing it, to make a great deal of the character. To speak and act as in common life is not playing, nor is it what people come to see; natural speaking, like sweet wine, runs glibly over the palate, and scarcely leaves any taste behind it; but being high in a part resembles vinegar, which grates upon the taste, and one feels it while he is drinking.  194
  There is probably no country so barbarous that would not disclose all it knew, if it received equivalent information; and I am apt to think that a person who was ready to give more knowledge than he received would be welcome wherever he came.  195
  There is unspeakable pleasure attending the life of a voluntary student.  196
  There is yet a silent agony in which the mind appears to disdain all external help, and broods over its distresses with gloomy reserve. This is the most dangerous state of mind; accidents or friendships may lessen the louder kinds of grief, but all remedies for this must be had from within, and there despair too often finds the most deadly enemy.  197
  These little things are great to little men.  198
  These people, however fallen, are still men, and that is a very good title to my affection.  199
  They say women and music should never be dated.  200
  They would talk of nothing but high life and high-lived company, with other fashionable topics, such as pictures, taste, Shakespeare, and the musical glasses.  201
  This is that eloquence the ancients represented as lightning, bearing down every opposer; this the power which has turned whole assemblies into astonishment, admiration and awe—that is described by the torrent, the flame, and every other instance of irresistible impetuosity.  202
  This same philosophy is a good horse in the stable, but an arrant jade on a journey.  203
  Those who place their affections at first on trifles for amusement, will find these trifles become at last their most serious concerns.  204
  Those who think must govern those who toil.  205
  Thou source of all my bliss and all my woe, that found’st me poor at first, and keep’st me so.  206
  Thus love is the most easy and agreeable, and gratitude the most humiliating, affection of the mind. We never reflect on the man we love without exulting in our choice, while he who has bound us to him by benefits alone rises to our ideas as a person to whom we have in some measure forfeited our freedom.  207
  Titles and mottoes to books are like escutcheons and dignities in the hands of a king. The wise sometimes condescend to accept of them; but none but a fool would imagine them of any real importance. We ought to depend upon intrinsic merit, and not the slender helps of the title.  208
  To be poor, and to seem poor, is a certain method never to rise.  209
  To make a fine gentleman, several trades are required, but chiefly a barter.  210
  To me more dear, congenial to my heart, one native charm, than all the gloss of art.  211
  To what fortuitous occurrence do we not owe every pleasure and convenience of our lives.  212
  To what happy accident is it that we owe so unexpected a visit?  213
  True generosity is a duty as indispensably necessary as those imposed upon us by the law. It is a rule imposed upon us by reason, which should be the sovereign law of a rational being.  214
  Villainy, when detected, never gives up, but boldly adds impudence to imposture.  215
  We are all sure of two things, at least; we shall suffer, and we shall all die.  216
  We sometimes had those little rubs which Providence sends to enhance the value of its flavors.  217
  Were I to be angry at men being fools, I could here find ample room for declamation; but, alas! I have been a fool myself; and why should I be angry with them for being something so natural to every child of humanity?  218
  What cities, as great as this, have  *  *  *  promised themselves immortality! posterity can hardly trace the situation of some. The sorrowful traveler wanders over the awful ruins of others.  219
  What real good does an addition to a fortune already sufficient procure? Not any. Could the great man, by having his fortune increased, increase also his appetites, then precedence might be attended with real amusement.  220
  Whatever be the motives which induce men to write,—whether avarice or fame,—the country becomes more wise and happy in which they most serve for instructors.  221
  Whatever mitigates the woes or increases the happiness of others is a just criterion of goodness; and whatever injures society at large, or any individual in it, is a criterion of iniquity. One should not quarrel with a dog without a reason sufficient to vindicate one through all the courts of morality.  222
  Whatever the skill of any country be in sciences, it is from excellence in polite learning alone that it must expect a character from posterity.  223
  Where smiling Spring its earliest visit paid.  224
  Where’er I roam, whatever realms to see, my heart, untraveled, fondly turns to thee.  225
  Whichever way we look the prospect is disagreeable. Behind, we have left pleasures we shall never enjoy, and therefore regret; and before, we see pleasures which we languish to possess, and are consequently uneasy till we possess them.  226
  While fashion’s brightest arts decoy, the heart, distrusting, asks if this be joy.  227
  While selfishness joins hands with no one of the virtues, benevolence is allied to them all.  228
  Who, born for the universe, narrowed his mind, and to party gave up what was meant for mankind.  229
  Winter, lingering, chills the lap of May.  230
  Wisdom makes but a slow defence against trouble, though at last a sure one.  231
  Wit generally succeeds more from being happily addressed than from its native poignancy. A jest, calculated to spread at a gaming-table, may be received with perfect indifference should it happen to drop in a mackerel-boat.  232

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.