Reference > Quotations > Hoyt & Roberts, comps. > Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations
Hoyt & Roberts, comps.  Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations.  1922.
Spirit; Spirits
  Why, a spirit is such a little, little thing, that I have heard a man, who was a great scholar, say that he’ll dance ye a hornpipe upon the point of a needle.
        Addison—The Drummer. Act I. Sc. 1.
  Not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
        II Corinthians. III. 6.
  Some who are far from atheists, may make themselves merry with that conceit of thousands of spirits dancing at once upon a needle’s point.
        Cudworth—True Intellectual System of the Universe. Vol. III. P. 497. Ed. 1829. Isaac D’Israeli in Curiosities of Literature. Quodlibets, quotes from Aquinas, “How many angels can dance on the point of a very fine needle without jostling each other.” The idea, not the words, are in Aquinas—Summa and Sentences. Credited also to Bernardo de Carpino and Alagona.
  A Corpse or a Ghost—… I’d sooner be one or t’other, square and fair, than a Ghost in a Corpse, which is my feelins at present.
        William De Morgan—Joseph Vance. Ch. XXXIX.
I am the spirit of the morning sea,
  I am the awakening and the glad surprise.
        R. W. Gilder—Ode.
Ich bin der Geist stets verneint.
  I am the Spirit that denies.
        Goethe—Faust. I. 3. 163.
Aërial spirits, by great Jove design’d
To be on earth the guardians of mankind:
Invisible to mortal eyes they go,
And mark our actions, good or bad, below:
The immortal spies with watchful care preside,
And thrice ten thousand round their charges glide:
They can reward with glory or with gold,
A power they by Divine permission hold.
        Hesiod—Works and Days. L. 164.
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
        Matthew. XXVI. 41.
Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep.
        MiltonParadise Lost. Bk. IV. L. 678.
Teloque animus præstantior omni.
  A spirit superior to every weapon.
        Ovid—Metamorphoses. III. 54.
Ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.
        I Peter. III. 4.
Know then, unnumber’d Spirits round thee fly,
The light Militia of the lower sky.
        Pope—Rape of the Lock. I. 41.
  He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
        Proverbs. XVI. 32. Mishna. Ethics of the Fathers. IV. 2.
A wounded spirit who can bear?
        Proverbs. XVIII. 14.
  After the spiritual powers, there is no thing in the world more unconquerable than the spirit of nationality…. The spirit of nationality in Ireland will persist even though the mightiest of material powers be its neighbor.
        George W. Russell—The Economics of Ireland. P. 23.
Black spirits and white,
  Red spirits and grey,
Mingle, mingle, mingle,
  You that mingle may.
        Macbeth. Act IV. Sc. 1. Middleton—The Witch. Act V. Sc. 2.
      Spirits are not finely touched
But to fine issues.
        Measure for Measure. Act I. Sc. 1. L. 36.
The spirit, Sir, is one of mockery.
        Stevenson—Suicide Club. In New Arabian Nights.
Of my own spirit let me be
In sole though feeble mastery.
        Sara Teasdale—Mastery.
Boatman, come, thy fare receive;
Thrice thy fare I gladly give,
For unknown, unseen by thee,
Spirits twain have crossed with me.
        Uhland—The Ferry Boat. Skeat’s trans.

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