Reference > Quotations > C.N. Douglas, comp. > Forty Thousand Quotations > Primary Author Index
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
  A cruel story runs on wheels, and every hand oils the wheels as they run.  1
  A just chastisement may benefit a man, though it seldom does; but an unjust one changes all his blood to gall.  2
  A little scandal is an excellent thing; nobody is ever brighter or happier of tongue than when he is making mischief of his neighbors.  3
  A pipe is a pocket philosopher,—a truer one than Socrates, for it never asks questions. Socrates must have been very tiresome, when one thinks of it.  4
  Charity in various guises is an intruder the poor see often; but courtesy and delicacy are visitants with which they are seldom honored.  5
  Charity is a flower not naturally of earthly growth, and it needs manuring with a promise of profit.  6
  Coleridge cried, “O God, how glorious it is to live!” Renan asks, “O God, when will it be worth while to live?” In Nature we echo the poet; in the world we echo the thinker.  7
  Dishonor is like the Aaron’s Beard in the hedgerows; it can only poison if it be plucked.  8
  Dissimulation is the only thing that makes society possible; without its amenities the world would be a bear-garden.  9
  Emulation is active virtue; envy is brooding malice.  10
  Excess always carries its own retribution.  11
  Fame! it is the flower of a day, that dies when the next sun rises.  12
  Familiarity is a magician that is cruel to beauty, but kind to ugliness.  13
  Fancy tortures more people than does reality.  14
  Flowers belong to Fairyland: the flowers and the birds and the butterflies are all that the world has kept of its golden age—the only perfectly beautiful things on earth—joyous, innocent, half divine—useless, say they who are wiser than God.  15
  Friendship needs to be rooted in respect, but love can live upon itself alone.  16
  Genius cannot escape the taint of its time more than a child the influence of its begetting.  17
  Genius scorns the power of gold: it is wrong. Gold is the war-scythe on its chariot, which mows down the millions of its foes, and gives free passage to the sun-coursers with which it leaves those heavenly fields of light for the gross battlefields of earth.  18
  Histories in blazonry and poems in stone.  19
  Honor is an old-world thing; but it smells sweet to those in whose hand it is strong.  20
  Hypocrites weep, and you cannot tell their tears from those of saints; but no bad man ever laughed sweetly yet.  21
  I have known men who have been sold and bought a hundred times, who have only got very fat and very comfortable in the process of exchange.  22
  Imagination without culture is crippled and moves slowly; but it can be pure imagination, and rich also, as folk-lore will tell the vainest.  23
  Indifference is the invincible grant of the world.  24
  It is a kind of blindness—poverty. We can only grope through life when we are poor, hitting and maiming ourselves against every angle.  25
  It is only to those who have never lived that death ever can seem beautiful.  26
  It is quite easy for stupid people to be happy; they believe in fables, and they trot on in a beaten track like a horse on a tramway.  27
  Most crimes are sanctioned in some form or other when they take grand names.  28
  Music is not a science any more than poetry is. It is a sublime instinct, like genius of all kinds.  29
  Nature I believe in. True art aims to represent men and women, not as my little self would have them, but as they appear. My heroes and heroines I want not extreme types, all good or all bad; but human, mortal—partly good, partly bad. Realism I need. Pure mental abstractions have no significance for me.  30
  No great talker ever did any great thing yet in this world.  31
  Opposition to a man in love is like oil to fire.  32
  Petty laws breed great crimes.  33
  Prudery is the bastard child of virtue.  34
  Scandals are like dandelion seeds—they are arrow-headed, and stick where they fall, and bring forth and multiply fourfold.  35
  Start a lie and a truth together, like hare and hound: the lie will run fast and smooth, and no man will ever turn it aside; but at the truth most hands will fling a stone, and so hinder it for sport’s sake, if they can.  36
  Take hope from the heart of man, and you make him a beast of prey.  37
  Talent wears well, genius wears itself out; talent drives a brougham in fact; genius, a sun-chariot in fancy.  38
  The bread of bitterness is the food on which men grow to their fullest stature; the waters of bitterness are the debatable ford through which they reach the shores of wisdom; the ashes boldly grasped and eaten without faltering are the price that must be paid for the golden fruit of knowledge.  39
  The fire of true enthusiasm is like the fires of Baku, which no water can ever quench, and which burn steadily on from night to day, and year to year, because their well-spring is eternal.  40
  The heart of silver falls ever into the hands of brass. The sensitive herb is eaten as grass by the swine.  41
  The joy of a strong nature is as cloudless as its suffering is desolate.  42
  The longest absence is less perilous to love than the terrible trials of incessant proximity.  43
  The loss of our illusions is the only loss from which we never recover.  44
  The scorn of genius is the most arrogant and the most boundless of all scorn.  45
  The song that we hear with our ears is only the song that is sung in our hearts.  46
  There are many moments in friendship, as in love, when silence is beyond words. The faults of our friend may be clear to us, but it is well to seem to shut our eyes to them. Friendship is usually treated by the majority of mankind as a tough and everlasting thing which will survive all manner of bad treatment. But this is an exceedingly great and foolish error; it may die in an hour of a single unwise word; its conditions of existence are that it should be dealt with delicately and tenderly, being as it is a sensitive plant and not a roadside thistle. We must not expect our friend to be above humanity.  47
  There is a chord in every human heart that has a sigh in it if touched aright.  48
  There is a self-evident axiom, that she who is born a beauty is half married.  49
  There is more courage needed oftentimes to accept the onward flow of existence, bitter as the waters of Marah, black and narrow as the channel of Jordan, than there is ever needed to bow down the neck to the sweep of the death-angel’s sword.  50
  There is no knife that cuts so sharply and with such poisoned blade as treachery.  51
  To vice innocent must always seem only a superior kind of chicanery.  52
  Verily, virtue must be her own reward, as in the Socratic creed; for she will bring no other dower than peace of conscience in her gift to whosoever weds her. “I have loved justice, and fled from iniquity; wherefore here I die in exile,” said Hlldebrand upon his death-bed.  53
  We only see clearly when we have reached the depths of woe.  54
  What is failure except feebleness? And what is it to miss one’s mark except to aim widely and weakly?  55
  What is it that love does to a woman? Without it she only sleeps; with it, alone, she lives.  56
  When Fame stands by us all alone, she is an angel clad in light and strength; but when Love touches her she drops her sword, and fades away, ghostlike and ashamed.  57
  Who has passed by the gates of disillusion has died twice.  58
  Woman already controls by not seeming to do so. Talk no more of her rights.  59
  Women hope that the dead love may revive; but men know that of all dead things none are so past recall as a dead passion.  60
  You know the Ark of Israel and the calf of Belial were both made of gold. Religion has never yet changed the metal of her one adoration.  61
  Youth without faith is a day without sun.  62

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