Reference > Quotations > C.N. Douglas, comp. > Forty Thousand Quotations > Primary Author Index
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
        A letter, timely writ, is a rivet to the chain of affection;
And a letter, untimely delayed, is as rust to the solder.
        Confidence is conqueror of men; victorious both over them and in them;
The iron will of one stout heart shall make a thousand quail:
A feeble dwarf, dauntlessly resolved, will turn the tide of battle,
And rally to a nobler strife the giants that had fled.
        Error is a hardy plant; it flourisheth in every soil;
In the heart of the wise and good, alike with the wicked and foolish;
For there is no error so crooked, but it hath in it some lines of truth.
        Few and precious are the words which the lips of Wisdom utter.
To what shall their rarity be likened? What price shall count their worth?
Perfect and much to be desired, and giving joy with riches,
No lovely thing on earth can picture all their beauty.
        He that is ambitious for his son, should give him untried names,
For those have serv’d other men, haply may injure by their evils;
Or otherwise may hinder by their glories; therefore set him by himself,
To win for his individual name some clear praise.
        Never give up! it is wiser and better
Always to hope, than once to despair;
Fling off the load of Doubt’s cankering fetter,
And break the dark spell of tyrannical Care:
Never give up or the burden may sink you,—
Providence kindly has mingled the cup;
And in all trials and troubles, bethink you
The watchword of life must be,—never give up.
        O Death, what art thou? a Lawgiver that never altereth,
Fixing the consummating seal, whereby the deeds of life become established;
O Death, what art thou? a stern and silent usher,
Leading to the judgment for Eternity, after the trial scene of Time;
O Death, what art thou? an husbandman that reapeth always,
Out of season, as in season, with the sickle in his hand.
        Our cares are all To-day, our joys are all To-day;
And in one little word, our life, what is it but—To-day?
        Policy counselleth a gift, given wisely and in season;
And policy afterwards approveth it, for great is the influence of gifts.
        Ridicule is a weak weapon, when levelled at a strong mind;
But common men are cowards, and dread an empty laugh.
        Solitude delighteth well to feed on many thoughts;
There as thou sittest peaceful, communing with fancy,
The precious poetry of life shall gild its leaden cares;
There, as thou walkest by the sea beneath the gentle stars,
Many kindling seeds of good will sprout within thy soul;
Thou shalt weep in Solitude,—thou shalt pray in Solitude.
Thou shalt sing for joy of heart, and praise the grace of Solitude.
        The pen flowing in love, or dipped black in hate,
Or tipped with delicate courtesies, or harshly edged with censure,
Hath quickened more good than the sun, more evil than the sword,
More joy than woman’s smile, more woe than frowning fortune;
And shouldst thou ask my judgment of that which hath most profit in the world,
For answer take thou this, The prudent penning of a letter.
        There is a limit to enjoyment, though the sources of wealth be boundless,
And the choicest pleasures of life lie within the ring of moderation.
        To be accurate, write; to remember, write; to know thine own mind, write,
And a written prayer is a prayer of faith, special, sure, and to be answered.
        To-morrow is that lamp upon the marsh, which a traveller never reacheth;
To-morrow, the rainbow’s cup, coveted prize of ignorance;
To-morrow, the shifting anchorage, dangerous trust of manners;
To-morrow, the wrecker’s beacon, wily snare of the destroyer.
Reconcile conviction with delay, and To-morrow is a fatal lie;
Frighten resolutions into action, To-morrow is a wholesome truth.
        Travel is a ceaseless fount of surface education,
But its wisdom will be simply superficial, if thou add not thoughts to things.
        True wisdom, laboring to expound, heareth others readily;
False wisdom, sturdy to deny, closeth up her mind to argument.
  A babe in a house is a well-spring of pleasure, a messenger of peace and love, a resting-place for innocence on earth, a link between angels and men.  18
  A good book is the best of friends,—the same to-day and forever.  19
  A link between angels and men.  20
  A man looketh on his little one as a being of better hope; in himself ambition is dead, but it hath a resurrection in his son.  21
  A spark is a molecule of matter, yet may it kindle the world; vast is the mighty ocean, but drops have made it vast. Despise not thou small things, either for evil or for good; for a look may work thy ruin, or a word create thy wealth.  22
  Affect not to despise beauty, no one is freed from its dominion; but regard is not a pearl of price, it is fleeting as the bow in the clouds.  23
  Alike to the slave and his oppressor cometh night with sweet refreshment, and half of the life of the most wretched is gladdened by the soothings of sleep.  24
  Anger is a noble infirmity, the generous failing of the just, the one degree that riseth above zeal, asserting the prerogative of virtue.  25
  As frost to the bud, and blight to the blossom, even such is self-interest to friendship; for confidence cannot dwell where selfishness is porter at the gate.  26
  As thou directest the power, harm or advantage will follow, and the torrent that swept the valley may be led to turn a mill.  27
  Be understood in thy teaching, and instruct to the measure of capacity; precepts and rules are repulsive to a child, but happy illustration winneth him.  28
  Betray mean terror of ridicule, thou shalt find fools enough to mock thee; but answer thou their language with contempt, and the scoffers will lick thy feet.  29
  Better is the wrong with sincerity, rather than the right with falsehood.  30
  Deep is the sea, and deep is hell, but pride mineth deeper; it is coiled as a poisonous worm about the foundations of the soul.  31
  Economy, the poor man’s mint.  32
  Every green herb, from the lotus to the darnel, is rich with delicate aids to help incurious man.  33
  Extravagance is the rich man’s pitfall.  34
  Faith may rise into miracles of might, as some few wise men have shown; faith may sink into credulities of weakness, as the mass of fools have witnessed.  35
  God, from a beautiful necessity, is love.  36
  Happiness is a roadside flower growing on the highways of usefulness; plucked, it shall wither in thy hand; passed by, it is fragrance to thy spirit. Trample the thyme beneath thy feet; be useful, be happy.  37
  Hate furroweth the brow, and a man may frown till he hateth.  38
  He who commits a wrong will himself inevitably see the writing on the wall, though the world may not count him guilty.  39
  How beautiful is modesty! It winneth upon all beholders; but a word or a glance may destroy the pure love that should have been for thee.  40
  Humility mainly becometh the converse of man with his Maker.  41
  I have sped by land and sea, and mingled with much people, but never yet could find a spot unsunned by human kindness.  42
  If wealth come, beware of him, the smooth, false friend! There is treachery in his proffered hand; his tongue is eloquent to tempt; lust of many harms is lurking in his eye; he hath a hollow heart; use him cautiously.  43
  Imagination is not thought, neither is fancy reflection; thought paceth like a hoary sage, but imagination hath wings as an eagle.  44
  Invention is activity of mind, as fire is air in motion; a sharpening of the spiritual sight, to discern hidden aptitudes.  45
  It is the cringer to his equal that is chiefly seen bold to his God.  46
  Know thyself, thy evil as thy good, and flattery shall not harm thee; yea, her speech shall be a warning, a humbling, and a guide. For wherein thou lackest most, there chiefly will the sycophant commend thee.  47
  Knowledge is leagued with the universe, and findeth a friend in all things; but ignorance is everywhere a stranger, unwelcome; ill at ease and out of place.  48
  Lay not the plummet to the line; religion hath no landmarks; no human keenness can discern the subtle shades of faith.  49
  Let the misanthrope shun men and abjure; the most are rather lovable than hateful.  50
  Lies can destroy, but not create.  51
  Love is the weapon which Omnipotence reserved to conquer rebel man when all the rest had failed. Reason he parries; fear he answers blow for blow; future interest he meets with present pleasure; but love, that sun against whose melting beams the winter cannot stand—that soft subliming slumber which wrestles down the giant, there is not one human being in a million, nor a thousand men in all earth’s huge quintillion, whose clay heart is hardened against love.  52
  Love looketh from the eye, and kindleth love by looking.  53
  Love with life is heaven; and life, unloving, hell.  54
  Many a beggar at the crossway, or gray-haired shepherd on the plain, hath more of the end of all wealth than hundreds who multiply the means.  55
  Many in hot pursuit have hasted to the goal of wealth, but have lost, as they ran, those apples of gold, the mind and the power to enjoy it.  56
  Men scanning the surface count the wicked happy; they see not the frightful dreams that crowd a bad man’s pillow.  57
  Nature is the chart of God, mapping out all His attributes.  58
  None is poor but the mean in mind, the timorous, the weak, and unbelieving; none is wealthy but the affluent in soul, who is satisfied and floweth over.  59
  O Death, what are thou? nurse of dreamless slumbers freshening the fevered flesh to a wakefulness eternal.  60
  O man, little hast thou learnt of truth in things most true, and how therefore shall thy blindness wot of truth in things most fallen?  61
  Pain addeth zest unto pleasure, and teacheth the luxury of health.  62
  Power is seldom innocent, and envy is the yokefellow of eminence.  63
  Rashly, nor ofttimes truly, doth man pass judgment on his brother; for he seeth not the springs of the heart, nor heareth the reasons of the mind.  64
  Reflection is a flower of the mind, giving out wholesome fragrance; but revery is the same flower, when rank and running to seed.  65
  Search out the wisdom of nature, there is depth in all her doings; she seemeth prodigal of power, yet her rules are the maxims of frugality.  66
  Speech is reason’s brother, and a kingly prerogative of man.  67
  Speech is the golden harvest that followeth the flowering of thought.  68
  Spurn not a seeming error, but dig below its surface for the truth.  69
  Take the good with the evil, for ye all are the pensioners of God, and none may choose or refuse the cup His wisdom mixeth.  70
  The glorious burst of winged words!  71
  The mines of knowledge are oft laid bare through the forked hazel wand of chance.  72
  The most wretched have yet hope.  73
  The pen has shaken nations.  74
  The seeds of first instructions are dropp’d into the deepest furrows.  75
  There is a joy in sorrow which none but a mourner can know.  76
  To despond is to be ungrateful beforehand. Be not looking for evil. Often thou drainest the gall of fear while evil is passing by thy dwelling.  77
  Trifles lighter than straws are levers in the building up of character.  78
  Verily, O man, with truth for thy theme, eloquence shall throne thee with archangels.  79
  Verily, there is nothing so true that the damps of error hath not warp’d it.  80
  Wealth hath never given happiness, but often hastened misery; enough hath never caused misery but often quickened happiness.  81
  When thou choosest a wife, think not only of thyself, but of those God may give thee of her, that they reproach thee not for their being.  82

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