S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
Even the best things, ill used, become evils, and contrarily, the worst things, used well, prove good. A good tongue used to deceit; a good wit used to defend error; a strong arm to murder; authority to oppress; a good profession to dissemble; are all evil. Even Gods own word is the sword of the Spirit, which, if it kill not our vices, kills our souls. Contrariwise (as poisons are used to wholesome medicine), afflictions and sins, by a good use, prove so gainful as nothing more. Words are as they are taken, and things are as they are used. There are even cursed blessings.
Man has an unfortunate weakness in the evil hour after receiving an affront to draw together all the moon-spots on the other person into an outline of shadow, and a night-piece, and to transform a single deed into a whole life; and this only in order that he may thoroughly relish the pleasure of being angry. In love, he has fortunately the opposite faculty of crowding together all the light parts and rays of its object into one focus by means of the burning glass of imagination, and letting the sun burn without its spots; but he too generally does this only when the beloved and often censured being is already beyond the skies. In order, however, that we should do this sooner and oftener, we ought to act like Wincklemann, but only in another way. As he, namely, set aside a particular half-hour of each day for the purpose of beholding and meditating on his too happy existence in Rome, so we ought daily or weekly to dedicate and sanctify a solitary hour for the purpose of summing up the virtues of our families, our wives, our children, and our friends, and viewing them in this beautiful crowded assemblage of their good qualities. And, indeed, we should do so for this reason, that we may not forgive and love too late, when the beloved beings are already departed hence and are beyond our reach.