The Project Gutenberg EBook of Pearls of Thought, by Maturin M. Ballou

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Title: Pearls of Thought

Author: Maturin M. Ballou

Release Date: September 13, 2008 [EBook #26604]

Language: English

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[Pg i]





Infinite riches in a little room.Marlowe.

BOSTON: HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY. The Riverside Press, Cambridge. 1881.[Pg ii]

Copyright, 1880,

All rights reserved.
The Riverside Press, Cambridge: Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Co.[Pg iii]




This Volume



[Pg iv]

[Pg v]

Writers of an abler sort,
Whose wit well managed, and whose classic style,
Give Truth a lustre, and make Wisdom smile.

General observations drawn from particulars are the jewels of knowledge, comprehending great store in a little room.


Out of monuments, names, wordes, proverbs, traditions, private recordes, and evidences, fragments of stories, passages of bookes, and the like, we doe save and recover somewhat from the deluge of time.


I would fain coin wisdom,—mould it, I mean, into maxims, proverbs, sentences, that can easily be retained and transmitted.


[Pg vi]

[Pg vii]



A verse may find him whom a sermon flies.
George Herbert.

The volume herewith presented is the natural result of the compiler's habit of transferring and classifying significant passages from known authors. No special course of reading has been pursued, the thoughts being culled from foreign and native tongues—from the moss-grown tomes of ancient literature and the verdant fields of to-day. The terse periods of others, appropriately quoted, become in a degree our own; and a just estimation is very nearly allied to originality, or, as the author of Vanity Fair tells us, "Next to excellence is the appreciation of it." Without indorsing the idea of a modern authority that the multiplicity of facts and writings is becoming so great that every available book must soon be composed of extracts only, still it is believed that such a volume as "Pearls of Thought" will serve the interest of general literature, and especially stimulate the mind of the thoughtful reader to further research. The pleasant duty of the com[Pg viii]piler has been to follow the expressive idea of Colton, and he has made the same use of books as a bee does of flowers,—she steals the sweets from them, but does not injure them.

To the observant reader many familiar quotations will naturally occur, the absence of which may seem a singular omission in such a connection and classification, but doubtless such excerpts will be found in the "Treasury of Thought," a much more extended work by the same author, to which this volume is properly a supplement. Of course care has been taken not to repeat any portion of the previous collection.

M. M. B.


[Pg 1]


Ability.—Natural abilities can almost compensate for the want of every kind of cultivation, but no cultivation of the mind can make up for the want of natural abilities.—Schopenhaufer.

Words must be fitted to a man's mouth,—'twas well said of the fellow that was to make a speech for my Lord Mayor, when he desired to take measure of his lordship's mouth.—Selden.

Absence.—Absence in love is like water upon fire; a little quickens, but much extinguishes it.—Hannah More.

Absence from those we love is self from self! A deadly banishment.—Shakespeare.

Short retirement urges sweet return.—Milton.

Whatever is genuine in social relations endures despite of time, error, absence, and destiny; and that which has no inherent vitality had better die at once. A great poet has truly declared that constancy is no virtue, but a fact.—Tuckerman.

Frozen by distance.—Wordsworth.

Short absence quickens love, long absence kills it.—Mirabeau.

We often wish most for our friends when they are absent. Even in married life love is not diminished by distance. A man, like a burning-glass, should be placed at a certain distance from the object he wishes[Pg 2] to dissolve, in order that the proper focus may be obtained.—Richter.

Abstinence.—Refrain to-night, and that shall lend a hand of easiness to the next abstinence; the next more easy; for use almost can change the stamp of nature, and either curb the devil, or throw him out with wondrous potency.—Shakespeare.

Abuse.—Abuse is not so dangerous when there is no vehicle of wit or delicacy, no subtle conveyance. The difference between coarse and refined abuse is as the difference between being bruised by a club and wounded by a poisoned arrow.—Johnson.

Accident.—What reason, like the careful ant, draws laboriously together, the wind of accident collects in one brief moment.—Schiller.

What men call accident is God's own part.—P. J. Bailey.

Acquirements.—Every noble acquisition is attended with its risks: he who fears to encounter the one must not expect to obtain the other.—Metastasio.

Action.—Action can have no effect upon reasonable minds. It may augment noise, but it never can enforce argument. If you speak to a dog, you use action; you hold up your hand thus, because he is a brute; and in proportion as men are removed from brutes, action will have the less influence upon them.—Johnson.

Heaven ne'er helps the man who will not act.—Sophocles.

When Demosthenes was asked what was the first part of an orator, what the second, and what the third? he answered, "Action." The same may I say. If any should ask me what is the first, the second, the third part of a Christian, I must answer, "Action."—T. Brooks.[Pg 3]

Our best conjectures, as to the true spring of actions, are very uncertain; the actions themselves are all we must pretend to know from history. That Cæsar was murdered by twenty-four conspirators, I doubt not; but I very much doubt whether their love of liberty was the sole cause.—Chesterfield.

Action is generally defective, and proves an abortion without previous contemplation. Contemplation generates, action propagates.—Owen Feltham.

Remember you have not a sinew whose law of strength is not action; you have not a faculty of body, mind, or soul, whose law of improvement is not energy.—E. B. Hall.

Our actions must clothe us with an immortality loathsome or glorious.—Colton.

Outward actions can never give a just estimate of us, since there are many perfections of a man which are not capable of appearing in actions.—Addison.

Mark this well, ye proud men of action! Ye are, after all, nothing but unconscious instruments of the men of thought.—Heinrich Heine.

Actors.—Players, sir! I look upon them as no better than creatures set upon tables and joint stools to make faces and produce laughter, like dancing dogs. But, sir, you will allow that some players are better than others? Yes, sir; as some dogs dance better than others.—Johnson.

Each under his borrowed guise the actor belongs to himself. He has put on a mask, beneath it his real face still exists; he has thrown himself into a foreign individuality, which in some sense forms a shelter to the integrity of his own character; he may indeed wear festive attire, but his mourning is beneath it; he may smile, divert, act, his soul is still his own; his inner life is undisturbed; no indiscreet question will lift the veil, no coarse hand will burst open the gates of the sanctuary.—Countess de Gasparin.[Pg 4]

Oh, there be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, or man, have so strutted and bellowed, that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably!—Shakespeare.

An actor should take lessons from a painter and a sculptor. For an actor to represent a Greek hero it is imperative he should have thoroughly studied those antique statues which have lasted to our day, and mastered the particular grace they exhibited in their postures, whether sitting, standing, or walking. Nor should he make attitude his only study. He should highly develop his mind by an assiduous study of the best writers, ancient and modern, which will enable him not only to understand his parts, but to communicate a nobler coloring to his manners and mien.—Goethe.

Admiration.—Admiration and love are like being intoxicated with champagne; judgment and friendship like being enlivened.—Johnson.

Season your admiration for awhile.—Shakespeare.

I wonder whether the subtle measuring of forces will ever come to measuring the force there would be in one beautiful woman whose mind was as noble as her face was beautiful—who made a man's passion for her rush in one current with all the great aims of his life.—George Eliot.

Admiration is the base of ignorance.—Balthasar Gracian.

It is better in some respects to be admired by those with whom you live, than to be loved by them. And this not on account of any gratification of vanity, but because admiration is so much more tolerant than love.—Arthur Helps.[Pg 5]

Admiration is a forced tribute, and to extort it from mankind (envious and ignorant as they are) they must be taken unawares.—James Northcote.

Adversity.—If adversity hath killed his thousands, prosperity hath killed his ten thousands; therefore adversity is to be preferred. The one deceives, the other instructs; the one miserably happy, the other happily miserable; and therefore many philosophers have voluntarily sought adversity and so much commend it in their precepts.—Burton.

Adversity borrows its sharpest sting from our impatience.—Bishop Horne.

Adversity is like the period of the former and of the latter rain,—cold, comfortless, unfriendly to man and to animal; yet from that season have their birth the flower and the fruit, the date, the rose, and the pomegranate.—Walter Scott.

Two powerful destroyers: Time and Adversity.—A. de Musset.

Our dependence upon God ought to be so entire and absolute that we should never think it necessary, in any kind of distress, to have recourse to human consolation.—Thomas à Kempis.

Adversity, like winter weather, is of use to kill those vermin which the summer of prosperity is apt to produce and nourish.—Arrowsmith.

Adversity, how blunt are all the arrows of thy quiver in comparison with those of Guilt!—Blair.

Advice.—People are sooner reclaimed by the side wind of a surprise than by downright admonition.—L'Estrange.

Agreeable advice is seldom useful advice.—Massillon.

Affectation.—All affectation proceeds from the supposition of possessing something better than the rest of the world possesses. Nobody is vain of[Pg 6] possessing two legs and two arms, because that is the precise quantity of either sort of limb which everybody possesses.—Sydney Smith.

Affectation is certain deformity.—Blair.

Affection.—None of the affections have been noted to fascinate and bewitch, but love and envy.—Bacon.

None are so desolate but something dear, dearer than self, possesses or possess'd.—Byron.

Those childlike caresses which are the bent of every sweet woman, who has begun by showering kisses on the hard pate of her bald doll, creating a happy soul within that woodenness from the wealth of her own love.—George Eliot.

God give us leisure for these rights of love.—Shakespeare.

Afflictions.—Before an affliction is digested, consolation comes too soon; and after it is digested, it comes too late; but there is a mark between these two, as fine, almost, as a hair, for a comforter to take aim at.—Sterne.

Stars shine brightest in the darkest night; torches are better for beating; grapes come not to the proof till they come to the press; spices smell best when bruised; young trees root the faster for shaking; gold looks brighter for scouring; juniper smells sweetest in the fire; the palm-tree proves the better for pressing; chamomile, the more you tread it, the more you spread it. Such is the condition of all God's children: they are then most triumphant when most tempted; most glorious when most afflicted.—Bogatzky.

That which thou dost not understand when thou readest, thou shalt understand in the day of thy visitation. For many secrets of religion are not perceived till they be felt, and are not felt but in the day of a great calamity.—Jeremy Taylor.[Pg 7]

Nothing so much increases one's reverence for others as a great sorrow to one's self. It teaches one the depths of human nature. In happiness we are shallow, and deem others so.—Charles Buxton.

Affliction, like the iron-smith, shapes as it smites.—Bovée.

Afflictions sent by Providence melt the constancy of the noble-minded but confirm the obduracy of the vile. The same furnace that hardens clay liquefies gold; and in the strong manifestations of divine power Pharoah found his punishment, but David his pardon.—Colton.

Though all afflictions are evils in themselves, yet they are good for us, because they discover to us our disease and tend to our cure.—Tillotson.

To love all mankind, from the greatest to the lowest (or meanest), a cheerful state of being is required; but in order to see into mankind, into life, and, still more, into ourselves, suffering is requisite.—Richter.

Count up man's calamities and who would seem happy? But in truth, calamity leaves fully half of your life untouched.—Charles Buxton.

Age.—Wrinkles are the tomb of love.—Sarros in.

It cuts one sadly to see the grief of old people; they've no way o' working it off; and the new spring brings no new shoots out on the withered tree.—George Eliot.

Autumnal green.—Dryden.

Ye old men, brief is the space of life allotted to you; pass it as pleasantly as ye can, not grieving from morning till eve. Since time knows not how to preserve our hopes, but, attentive to its own concerns, flies away.—Euripides.

The Grecian ladies counted their age from their marriage, not their birth.—Homer.[Pg 8]

The vices of old age have the stiffness of it too; and as it is the unfittest time to learn in, so the unfitness of it to unlearn will be found much greater.—South.

Old men's eyes are like old men's memories; they are strongest for things a long way off.—George Eliot.

Serene, and safe from passion's stormy rage, how calm they glide into the port of age!—Shenstone.

Providence gives us notice by sensible declensions, that we may disengage from the world by degrees.—Jeremy Collier.

Age oppresses by the same degrees that it instructs us, and permits not that our mortal members, which are frozen with our years, should retain the vigor of our youth.—Dryden.

Old age adds to the respect due to virtue, but it takes nothing from the contempt inspired by vice, for age whitens only the hair.—J. Petit Senn.

Up to forty a woman has only forty springs in her heart. After that age she has only forty winters.—Arsène Houssaye.

I love everything that's old. Old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine.—Goldsmith.

Let us respect gray hairs, especially our own.—J. Petit Senn.

There are two things which grow stronger in the breast of man, in proportion as he advances in years: the love of country and religion. Let them be never so much forgotten in youth, they sooner or later present themselves to us arrayed in all their charms, and excite in the recesses of our hearts an attachment justly due to their beauty.—Chateaubriand.

Agitation.—Agitation is the marshaling of the conscience of a nation to mould its laws.—Sir R. Peel.[Pg 9]

Agitation is the method that plants the school by the side of the ballot-box.—Wendell Phillips.

Agitation prevents rebellion, keeps the peace, and secures progress. Every step she gains is gained forever. Muskets are the weapons of animals. Agitation is the atmosphere of the brains.—Wendell Phillips.

Agriculture.—Agriculture is the foundation of manufactures, since the productions of nature are the materials of art.—Gibbon.

Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation but the only riches she can call her own.—Johnson.

Let the farmer for evermore be honored in his calling, for they who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God.—Thomas Jefferson.

Allegory.—Allegories and spiritual significations, when applied to faith, and that seldom, are laudable; but when they are drawn from the life and conversation, they are dangerous, and, when men make too many of them, pervert the doctrine of faith. Allegories are fine ornaments, but not of proof.—Luther.

The allegory of a sophist is always screwed; it crouches and bows like a snake, which is never straight, whether she go, creep, or lie still; only when she is dead, she is straight enough.—Luther.

Ambition.—It was not till after the terrible passage of the bridge of Lodi that the idea entered my mind that I might become a decisive actor in the political arena. Then arose for the first time the spark of great ambition.—Napoleon.

Well is it known that ambition can creep as well as soar. The pride of no person in a flourishing condition is more justly to be dreaded than that of him who is mean and cringing under a doubtful and unprosperous fortune.—Burke.[Pg 10]

If there is ever a time to be ambitious, it is not when ambition is easy, but when it is hard. Fight in darkness; fight when you are down; die hard, and you won't die at all.—Beecher.

By that sin angels fell.—Shakespeare.

Where ambition can be so happy as to cover its enterprises, even to the person himself, under the appearance of principle, it is the most incurable and inflexible of all human passions.—Hume.

An ardent thirst of honor; a soul unsatisfied with all it has done, and an unextinguished desire of doing more.—Dryden.

Ambition is but the evil shadow of aspiration.—George MacDonald.

Think not ambition wise, because 'tis brave.—Sir W. Davenant.

Soar not too high to fall, but stoop to rise.—Massinger.

America.—Child of the earth's old age.—L. E. Langdon.

The name—American, must always exalt the pride of patriotism.—Washington.

In America we see a country of which it has been truly said that in no other are there so few men of great learning and so few men of great ignorance.—Buckle.

America is as yet in the youth and gristle of her strength.—Burke.

If all Europe were to become a prison, America would still present a loop-hole of escape; and, God be praised! that loop-hole is larger than the dungeon itself.—Heinrich Heine.

Ere long, thine every stream shall find a tongue, land of the many waters.—Hoffman.

America is rising with a giant's strength. Its bones are yet but cartilages.—Fisher Ames.[Pg 11]

Amusement.—Amusement is the waking sleep of labor. When it absorbs thought, patience, and strength that might have been seriously employed, it loses its distinctive character, and becomes the task-master of idleness.—Willmott.

Analogy.—Analogy, although it is not infallible, is yet that telescope of the mind by which it is marvelously assisted in the discovery of both physical and moral truth.—Colton.

Anarchy.—The choking, sweltering, deadly, and killing rule of no rule; the consecration of cupidity and braying of folly, and dim stupidity and baseness, in most of the affairs of men. Slop-shirts attainable three-half-pence cheaper by the ruin of living bodies and immortal souls.—Carlyle.

Ancestry.—We take rank by descent. Such of us as have the longest pedigree, and are therefore the furthest removed from the first who made the fortune and founded the family, we are the noblest. The nearer to the fountain the fouler the stream: and that first ancestor who has soiled his fingers by labor is no better than a parvenu.—Froude.

Breed is stronger than pasture.—George Eliot.

The glory of ancestors sheds a light around posterity; it allows neither their good nor bad qualities to remain in obscurity.—Sallust.

Nobility of birth does not always insure a corresponding nobility of mind; if it did, it would always act as a stimulus to noble actions; but it sometimes acts as a clog rather than a spur.—Colton.

Honorable descent is in all nations greatly esteemed; besides, it is to be expected that the children of men of worth will be like their fathers, for nobility is the virtue of a family.—Aristotle.

A long series of ancestors shows the native lustre with advantage; but if he any way degenerate from his line, the least spot is visible on ermine.—Dryden.[Pg 12]

The happiest lot for a man, as far as birth is concerned, is that it should be such as to give him but little occasion to think much about it.—Whately.

Ancients.—In tragedy and satire I maintain, against some critics, that this age and the last have excelled the ancients; and I would instance in Shakespeare of the former, in Dorset of the latter.—Dryden.

Though the knowledge they have left us be worth our study, yet they exhausted not all its treasures; they left a great deal for the industry and sagacity of after-ages.—Locke.

Angels.—In old days there were angels who came and took men by the hand and led them away from the city of destruction. We see no white-winged angels now. But yet men are led away from threatening destruction: a hand is put in theirs, which leads them forth gently towards a calm and bright land, so that they look no more backward; and the hand may be a little child's.—George Eliot.

Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep.—Milton.

Anger.—If a man meets with injustice, it is not required that he shall not be roused to meet it; but if he is angry after he has had time to think upon it, that is sinful. The flame is not wrong, but the coals are.—Beecher.

Temperate anger well becomes the wise.—Philemon.

When anger rushes, unrestrained, to action, like a hot steed, it stumbles in its way.—Savage.

Bad temper is its own scourge. Few things are bitterer than to feel bitter. A man's venom poisons himself more than his victim.—Charles Buxton.

Above all, gentlemen, no heat.—Talleyrand.[Pg 13]

Anger ventilated often hurries towards forgiveness; anger concealed often hardens into revenge.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Keep cool and you command everybody.—St. Just.

I never work better than when I am inspired by anger; when I am angry I can write, pray, and preach well; for then my whole temperament is quickened, my understanding sharpened, and all mundane vexations and temptations depart.—Luther.

When one is in a good sound rage, it is astonishing how calm one can be.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Angling.—I give up fly-fishing; it is a light, volatile, dissipated pursuit. But ground-bait with a good steady float that never bobs without a bite is an occupation for a bishop, and in no way interferes with sermon-making.—Sydney Smith.

He that reads Plutarch shall find that angling was not contemptible in the days of Mark Antony and Cleopatra.—Izaak Walton.

Idle time not idly spent.—Sir Henry Wotton.

To see the fish cut with her golden oars the silver stream and greedily devour the treacherous bait.—Shakespeare.

Anticipation.—It has been well said that no man ever sank under the burden of the day. It is when to-morrow's burden is added to the burden of to-day that the weight is more than a man can bear.—George MacDonald.

The craving for a delicate fruit is pleasanter than the fruit itself.—Herder.

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.—Goldsmith.[Pg 14]

We are apt to rely upon future prospects, and become really expensive while we are only rich in possibility. We live up to our expectations, not to our possessions, and make a figure proportionable to what we may be, not what we are. We outrun our present income, as not doubting to disburse ourselves out of the profits of some future place, project, or reversion that we have in view.—Addison.

Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.—George Eliot.

Antiquarian.—A thorough-paced antiquarian not only remembers what all other people have thought proper to forget, but he also forgets what all other people think it proper to remember.—Colton.

The earliest and the longest has still the mastery over us.—George Eliot.

Antithesis.—Young people are dazzled by the brilliancy of antithesis, and employ it.—Bruyère.

Antithesis may be the blossom of wit, but it will never arrive at maturity unless sound sense be the trunk, and truth the root.—Colton.

Apology.—An apology in the original sense was a pleading off from some charge or imputation, by explaining or defending principles or conduct. It therefore amounted to a vindication.—Crabbe.

Brother, brother, we are both in the wrong.—Gay.

Apothegms.—Nor do apothegms only serve for ornament and delight, but also for action and civil use, as being the edge tools of speech, which cut and penetrate the knots of business and affairs.—Bacon.

Exclusively of the abstract sciences, the largest and worthiest portion of our knowledge consists of aphorisms, and the greatest and best of men is but an aphorism.—Coleridge.[Pg 15]

Proverbs are potted wisdom.—Charles Buxton.

Appeal.—Seeing all men are not Œdipuses to read the riddle of another man's inside, and most men judge by appearances, it behooves a man to barter for a good esteem, even from his clothes and outside. We guess the goodness of the pasture by the mantle we see it wears.—Feltham.

Appearances.—It is the appearances that fill the scene; and we pause not to ask of what realities they are the proxies. When the actor of Athens moved all hearts as he clasped the burial urn, and burst into broken sobs, how few then knew that it held the ashes of his son!—Bulwer-Lytton.

What waste, what misery, what bankruptcy, come from all this ambition to dazzle others with the glare of apparent worldly success, we need not describe. The mischievous results show themselves in a thousand ways—in the rank frauds committed by men who dare to be dishonest, but do not dare to seem poor; and in the desperate dashes at fortune, in which the pity is not so much for those who fail, as for the hundreds of innocent families who are so often involved in their ruin.—Samuel Smiles.

Foolish men mistake transitory semblances for eternal fact, and go astray more and more.—Carlyle.

What is a good appearance? It is not being pompous and starchy; for proud looks lose hearts, and gentle words win them. It is not wearing fine clothes; for such dressing tells the world that the outside is the better part of the man. You cannot judge a horse by his harness; but a modest, gentlemanly appearance, in which the dress is such as no one could comment upon, is the right and most desirable thing.—Spurgeon.

He was a man who stole the livery of the court of heaven to serve the devil in.—Pollok.[Pg 16]

I more and more see this, that we judge men's abilities less from what they say or do, than from what they look. 'T is the man's face that gives him weight. His doings help, but not more than his brow.—Charles Buxton.

Appetite.—Some people have a foolish way of not minding, or pretending not to mind, what they eat. For my part, I mind very studiously; for I look upon it, that he who does not mind this, will hardly mind anything else.—Johnson.

Here's neither want of appetite nor mouths; pray Heaven we be not scant of meat or mirth.—Shakespeare.

This dish of meat is too good for any but anglers, or very honest men.—Izaak Walton.

And do as adversaries do in law,—strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.—Shakespeare.

The table is the only place where we do not get weary during the first hour.—Brillat Savarin.

Appreciation.—Contemporaries appreciate the man rather than the merit; but posterity will regard the merit rather than the man.—Colton.

It so falls out that what we have we prize not to the worth while we enjoy it; but being lacked and lost, why, then we rack the value.—Shakespeare.

A man is known to his dog by the smell—to the tailor by the coat—to his friend by the smile; each of these know him, but how little or how much depends on the dignity of the intelligence. That which is truly and indeed characteristic of man is known only to God.—Ruskin.

He who seems not to himself more than he is, is more than he seems.—Goethe.

Light is above us, and color surrounds us; but if we have not light and color in our eyes, we shall not perceive them outside us.—Goethe.[Pg 17]

When a nation gives birth to a man who is able to produce a great thought, another is born who is able to understand and admire it.—Joubert.

No story is the same to us after a lapse of time; or rather we who read it are no longer the same interpreters.—George Eliot.

Next to invention is the power of interpreting invention; next to beauty the power of appreciating beauty.—Margaret Fuller.

You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some with you.—Joubert.

Architecture.—Architecture is the art which so disposes and adorns the edifices raised by man, for whatsoever uses, that the sight of them may contribute to his mental health, power, and pleasure.—Ruskin.

Argument.—There is no arguing with Johnson; for if his pistol misses fire he knocks you down with the butt end of it.—Goldsmith.

Weak arguments are often thrust before my path; but although they are most unsubstantial, it is not easy to destroy them. There is not a more difficult feat known than to cut through a cushion with a sword.—Bishop Whately.

Treating your adversary with respect is giving him an advantage to which he is not entitled. The greatest part of men cannot judge of reasoning, and are impressed by character; so that if you allow your adversary a respectable character, they will think that, though you differ from him, you may be in the wrong. Treating your adversary with respect is striking soft in a battle.—Johnson.

The soundest argument will produce no more conviction in an empty head than the most superficial declamation; as a feather and a guinea fall with equal velocity in a vacuum.—Colton.[Pg 18]

An ill argument introduced with deference will procure more credit than the profoundest science with a rough, insolent, and noisy management.—Locke.

One may say, generally, that no deeply rooted tendency was ever extirpated by adverse argument. Not having originally been founded on argument, it cannot be destroyed by logic.—G. H. Lewes.

A reason is often good, not because it is conclusive, but because it is dramatic,—because it has the stamp of him who urges it, and is drawn from his own resources. For there are arguments ex homine as well as ad hominem.—Joubert.

If I were to deliver up my whole self to the arbitrament of special pleaders, to-day I might be argued into an atheist, and to-morrow into a pickpocket.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Aristocracy.—And lords, whose parents were the Lord knows who.—De Foe.

What can they see in the longest kingly line in Europe, save that it runs back to a successful soldier?—Walter Scott.

If in an aristocracy the people be virtuous, they will enjoy very nearly the same happiness as in a popular government, and the state will become powerful.—Montesquieu.

An aristocracy is the true, the only support of a monarchy. Without it the State is a vessel without a rudder—a balloon in the air. A true aristocracy, however, must be ancient. Therein consists its real force,—its talismanic charm.—Napoleon.

I never could believe that Providence had sent a few men into the world, ready booted and spurred to ride, and millions ready saddled and bridled to be ridden.—Richard Rumbold.[Pg 19]

Armor.—The best armor is to keep out of gunshot.—Lord Bacon.

Our armor all is strong, our cause the best; then reason wills our hearts should be as good.—Shakespeare.

Art.—Rules may teach us not to raise the arms above the head; but if passion carries them, it will be well done: passion knows more than art.—Baron.

It is a great mortification to the vanity of man that his utmost art and industry can never equal the meanest of nature's productions, either for beauty or value. Art is only the underworkman, and is employed to give a few strokes of embellishment to those pieces which come from the hand of the master.—Hume.

The mission of art is to represent nature; not to imitate her.—W. M. Hunt.

True art is not the caprice of this or that individual, it is a solemn page either of history or prophecy; and when, as always in Dante and occasionally in Byron, it combines and harmonizes this double mission, it reaches the highest summit of power.—Mazzini.

Art is the right hand of Nature. The latter has only given us being, the former has made us men.—Schiller.

Art does not imitate nature, but it founds itself on the study of nature—takes from nature the selections which best accord with its own intention, and then bestows on them that which nature does not possess, namely, the mind and the soul of man.—Bulwer-Lytton.

The mother of useful arts is necessity; that of the fine arts is luxury.—Schopenhaufer.

He who seeks popularity in art closes the door on his own genius, as he must needs paint for other minds and not for his own.—Washington Allston.[Pg 20]

In art, form is everything; matter, nothing.—Heinrich Heine.

Strange thing art, especially music. Out of an art a man may be so trivial you would mistake him for an imbecile, at best a grown infant. Put him into his art, and how high he soars above you! How quietly he enters into a heaven of which he has become a denizen, and, unlocking the gates with his golden key, admits you to follow, an humble, reverent visitor.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Art does not imitate, but interpret.—Mazzini.

The artist is the child in the popular fable, every one of whose tears was a pearl. Ah! the world, that cruel step-mother, beats the poor child the harder to make him shed more pearls.—Heinrich Heine.

In art there is a point of perfection, as of goodness or maturity in nature; he who is able to perceive it, and who loves it, has perfect taste; he who does not feel it, or loves on this side or that, has an imperfect taste.—Bruyère.

Never judge a work of art by its defects.—Washington Allston.

Asceticism.—I recommend no sour ascetic life. I believe not only in the thorns on the rosebush, but in the roses which the thorns defend. Asceticism is the child of sensuality and superstition. She is the secret mother of many a secret sin. God, when he made man's body, did not give us a fibre too much, nor a passion too many. I would steal no violet from the young maiden's bosom; rather would I fill her arms with more fragrant roses. But a life merely of pleasure, or chiefly of pleasure, is always a poor and worthless life, not worth the living; always unsatisfactory in its course, always miserable in its end.—Theodore Parker.

In hope to merit heaven by making earth a hell.—Byron.[Pg 21]

Three forms of asceticism have existed in this weak world. Religious asceticism, being the refusal of pleasure and knowledge for the sake—as supposed—of religion; seen chiefly in the Middle Ages. Military asceticism, being the refusal of pleasure and knowledge for the sake of power; seen chiefly in the early days of Sparta and Rome. And monetary asceticism, consisting in the refusal of pleasure and knowledge for the sake of money; seen in the present days of London and Manchester.—Ruskin.

Aspiration.—The negro king desired to be portrayed as white. But do not laugh at the poor African; for every man is but another negro king, and would like to appear in a color different from that with which Fate has bedaubed him.—Heinrich Heine.

There is no sorrow I have thought more about than that—to love what is great, and try to reach it, and yet to fail.—George Eliot.

The heart is a small thing, but desireth great matters. It is not sufficient for a kite's dinner, yet the whole world is not sufficient for it.—Quarles.

There must be something beyond man in this world. Even on attaining to his highest possibilities, he is like a bird beating against his cage. There is something beyond, O deathless soul, like a sea-shell, moaning for the bosom of the ocean to which you belong!—Chapin.

Oh for a muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention! A kingdom for a stage, princes to act, and monarchs to behold the swelling scene.—Shakespeare.

The heavens are as deep as our aspirations are high.—Thoreau.

It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them.—George Eliot.[Pg 22]

Associates.—Costly followers are not to be liked; lest while a man maketh his train longer, he makes his wings shorter.—Bacon.

Be very circumspect in the choice of thy company. In the society of thine equals thou shall enjoy more pleasure; in the society of thy superiors thou shalt find more profit. To be the best in the company is the way to grow worse; the best means to grow better is to be the worst there.—Quarles.

A man should live with his superiors as he does with his fire: not too near, lest he burn; nor too far off, lest he freeze.—Diogenes.

As there are some flowers which you should smell but slightly to extract all that is pleasant in them, and which, if you do otherwise, emit what is unpleasant and noxious, so there are some men with whom a slight acquaintance is quite sufficient to draw out all that is agreeable; a more intimate one would be unsatisfactory and unsafe.—Landor.

Those who are unacquainted with the world take pleasure in the intimacy of great men; those who are wiser dread the consequences.—Horace.

Atheism.—By burning an atheist, you have lent importance to that which was absurd, interest to that which was forbidding, light to that which was the essence of darkness. For atheism is a system which can communicate neither warmth nor illumination except from those fagots which your mistaken zeal has lighted up for its destruction.—Colton.

One of the most daring beings in creation, a contemner of God, who explodes his laws by denying his existence.—John Foster.

Authority.—Reasons of things are rather to be taken by weight than tale.—Jeremy Collier.

The world is ruled by the subordinates, not by their chiefs.—Charles Buxton.[Pg 23]

Authors.—Authors may be divided into falling stars, planets, and fixed stars: the first have a momentary effect. The second have a much longer duration. But the third are unchangeable, possess their own light, and work for all time.—Schopenhaufer.

Satire lies about men of letters during their lives, and eulogy after their death.—Voltaire.

It is commonly the personal character of a writer which gives him his public significance. It is not imparted by his genius. Napoleon said of Corneille, "Were he living I would make him a king;" but he did not read him. He read Racine, yet he said nothing of the kind of Racine. It is for the same reason that La Fontaine is held in such high esteem among the French. It is not for his worth as a poet, but for the greatness of his character which obtrudes in his writings.—Goethe.

Choose an author as you choose a friend.—Roscommon.

Herder and Schiller both in their youth intended to study as surgeons, but Destiny said: "No, there are deeper wounds than those of the body,—heal the deeper!" and they wrote.—Richter.

A woman who writes commits two sins: she increases the number of books, and decreases the number of women.—Alphonse Karr.

Thanks and honor to the glorious masters of the pen.—Hood.

The society of dead authors has this advantage over that of the living: they never flatter us to our faces, nor slander us behind our backs, nor intrude upon our privacy, nor quit their shelves until we take them down.—Colton.

Clear writers, like clear fountains, do not seem so deep as they are, the turbid looks most profound.—Landor.[Pg 24]

When we look back upon human records, how the eye settles upon writers as the main landmarks of the past.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Autumn.—Season of mist and mellow fruitfulness.—Keats.

The Sabbath of the year.—Logan.

Avarice.—Though avarice will preserve a man from being necessitously poor, it generally makes him too timorous to be wealthy.—Thomas Paine.

Avarice is more unlovely than mischievous.—Landor.

The German poet observes that the Cow of Isis is to some the divine symbol of knowledge, to others but the milch cow, only regarded for the pounds of butter she will yield. O tendency of our age, to look on Isis as the milch cow!—Bulwer-Lytton.

Worse poison to men's souls, doing more murders in this loathsome world than any mortal drug.—Shakespeare.

Avarice is generally the last passion of those lives of which the first part has been squandered in pleasure, and the second devoted to ambition. He that sinks under the fatigue of getting wealth, lulls his age with the milder business of saving it.—Johnson.


Babblers.—Who think too little, and who talk too much.—Dryden.

They always talk who never think.—Prior.

Talkers are no good doers.—Shakespeare.

Babe.—It is curious to see how a self-willed, haughty girl, who sets her father and mother and all at defiance, and can't be managed by anybody, at once finds her master in a baby. Her sister's child will strike the rock and set all her affections flowing.—Charles Buxton.[Pg 25]

Bargain.—What is the disposition which makes men rejoice in good bargains? There are few people who will not be benefited by pondering over the morals of shopping.—Beecher.

A dear bargain is always disagreeable, particularly as it is a reflection upon the buyer's judgment.—Pliny.

Bashfulness.—Bashfulness may sometimes exclude pleasure, but seldom opens any avenue to sorrow or remorse.—Johnson.

Bashfulness is a great hindrance to a man, both in uttering his sentiments and in understanding what is proposed to him; 'tis therefore good to press forward with discretion, both in discourse and company of the better sort.—Bacon.

Beauty.—The beautiful is always severe.—Ségur.

For converse among men, beautiful persons have less need of the mind's commending qualities. Beauty in itself is such a silent orator, that it is ever pleading for respect and liking, and, by the eyes of others is ever sending to their hearts for love. Yet even this hath this inconvenience in it—that it makes its possessor neglect the furnishing of the mind with nobleness. Nay, it oftentimes is a cause that the mind is ill.—Feltham.

Man has still more desire for beauty than knowledge of it; hence the caprices of the world.—X. Doudan.

No better cosmetics than a severe temperance and purity, modesty and humility, a gracious temper and calmness of spirit; no true beauty without the signature of these graces in the very countenance.—John Ray.

An appearance of delicacy, and even of fragility, is almost essential to beauty.—Burke.[Pg 26]

I am of opinion that there is nothing so beautiful but that there is something still more beautiful, of which this is the mere image and expression,—a something which can neither be perceived by the eyes, the ears, nor any of the senses; we comprehend it merely in the imagination.—Cicero.

A lovely girl is above all rank.—Charles Buxton.

There is more or less of pathos in all true beauty. The delight it awakens has an indefinable, and, as it were, luxurious sadness, which is perhaps one element of its might.—Tuckerman.

Beauty is the first present nature gives to women and the first it takes away.—Méré.

In ourselves, rather than in material nature, lie the true source and life of the beautiful. The human soul is the sun which diffuses light on every side, investing creation with its lovely hues, and calling forth the poetic element that lies hidden in every existing thing.—Mazzini.

Beauty is God's handwriting, a wayside sacrament.—Milton.

Beauty deceives women in making them establish on an ephemeral power the pretensions of a whole life.—Bignicout.

If there is a fruit that can be eaten raw, it is beauty.—Alphonse Karr.

Those critics who, in modern times, have the most thoughtfully analyzed the laws of æsthetic beauty, concur in maintaining that the real truthfulness of all works of imagination—sculpture, painting, written fiction—is so purely in the imagination, that the artist never seeks to represent the positive truth, but the idealized image of a truth.—Bulwer-Lytton.

An outward gift which is seldom despised, except by those to whom it has been refused.—Gibbon.[Pg 27]

It is impossible that beauty should ever distinctly apprehend itself.—Goethe.

Bed.—The bed is a bundle of paradoxes: we go to it with reluctance, yet we quit it with regret; we make up our minds every night to leave it early, but we make up our bodies every morning to keep it late.—Colton.

What a delightful thing rest is! The bed has become a place of luxury to me! I would not exchange it for all the thrones in the world.—Napoleon.

Beggars.—He is never out of the fashion, or limpeth awkwardly behind it. He is not required to put on court mourning. He weareth all colors, fearing none. His costume hath undergone less change than the Quaker's. He is the only man in the universe who is not obliged to study appearances.—Lamb.

Aspiring beggary is wretchedness itself.—Goldsmith.

Benevolence.—There cannot be a more glorious object in creation than a human being, replete with benevolence, meditating in what manner he might render himself most acceptable to his Creator by doing most good to his creatures.—Fielding.

Genuine benevolence is not stationary but peripatetic. It goeth about doing good.—Nevins.

It is an argument of a candid, ingenuous mind to delight in the good name and commendations of others; to pass by their defects and take notice of their virtues; and to speak or hear willingly of the latter; for in this indeed you may be little less guilty than the evil speaker, in taking pleasure in evil, though you speak it not.—Leighton.

The root of all benevolent actions is filial piety and fraternal love.—Confucius.[Pg 28]

True benevolence is to love all men. Recompense injury with justice, and kindness with kindness.—Confucius.

It is in contemplating man at a distance that we become benevolent.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Bible.—As those wines which flow from the first treading of the grapes are sweeter and better than those forced out by the press, which gives them the roughness of the husk and the stone, so are those doctrines best and sweetest which flow from a gentle crush of the Scriptures and are not wrung into controversies and commonplaces.—Bacon.

They who are not induced to believe and live as they ought by those discoveries which God hath made in Scripture, would stand out against any evidence whatever; even that of a messenger sent express from the other world.—Atterbury.

But what is meant, after all, by uneducated, in a time when books have come into the world—come to be household furniture in every habitation of the civilized world? In the poorest cottage are books—is one book, wherein for several thousands of years the spirit of man has found light and nourishment and an interpreting response to whatever is deepest in him.—Carlyle.

A stream where alike the elephant may swim and the lamb may wade.—Gregory the Great.

All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more strongly the truths come from on high, and contained in the sacred writings.—Herschel.

I am heartily glad to witness your veneration for a book which, to say nothing of its holiness or authority, contains more specimens of genius and taste than any other volume in existence.—Landor.[Pg 29]

Bigotry.—A proud bigot, who is vain enough to think that he can deceive even God by affected zeal, and throwing the veil of holiness over vices, damns all mankind by the word of his power.—Boileau.

Persecuting bigots may be compared to those burning lenses which Lenhenhoeck and others composed from ice; by their chilling apathy they freeze the suppliant; by their fiery zeal they burn the sufferer.—Colton.

A man must be excessively stupid, as well as uncharitable, who believes there is no virtue but on his own side.—Addison.

The worst of mad men is a saint run mad.—Pope.

Biography.—As in the case of painters, who have undertaken to give us a beautiful and graceful figure, which may have some slight blemishes, we do not wish them to pass over such blemishes altogether, nor yet to mark them too prominently. The one would spoil the beauty, and the other destroy the likeness of the picture.—Plutarch.

Biographies of great, but especially of good men, are most instructive and useful as helps, guides, and incentives to others. Some of the best are almost equivalent to gospels—teaching high living, high thinking, and energetic action for their own and the world's good.—Samuel Smiles.

It is rarely well executed. They only who live with a man can write his life with any genuine exactness and discrimination; and few people, who have lived with a man, know what to remark about him.—Johnson.

History can be formed from permanent monuments and records; but lives can only be written from personal knowledge, which is growing every day less, and in a short time is lost forever.—Johnson.[Pg 30]

Occasionally a single anecdote opens a character; biography has its comparative anatomy, and a saying or a sentiment enables the skillful hand to construct the skeleton.—Willmott.

To be ignorant of the lives of the most celebrated men of antiquity is to continue in a state of childhood all our days.—Plutarch.

Birth.—Noble in appearance, but this is mere outside; many noble born are base.—Euripides.

Blessings.—The good things of life are not to be had singly, but come to us with a mixture; like a schoolboy's holiday, with a task affixed to the tail of it.—Charles Lamb.

Blessedness consists in the accomplishment of our desires, and in our having only regular desires.—St. Augustine.

We mistake the gratuitous blessings of Heaven for the fruits of our own industry.—L'Estrange.

Health, beauty, vigor, riches, and all the other things called goods, operate equally as evils to the vicious and unjust as they do as benefits to the just.—Plato.

How blessings brighten as they take their flight!—Young.

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many: not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.—Charles Dickens.

Blush.—The ambiguous livery worn alike by modesty and shame.—Mrs. Balfour.

I have mark'd a thousand blushing apparitions to start into her face; a thousand innocent shames, in angel whiteness, bear away those blushes.—Shakespeare.

The glow of the angel in woman.—Mrs. Balfour.[Pg 31]

Such blushes as adorn the ruddy welkin or the purple morn.—Ovid.

Luminous escapes of thought.—Moore.

Blustering.—Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposing beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field—that, of course, they are many in number,—or, that, after all, they are other than the little, shriveled, meagre, hopping, though loud and troublesome, insects of the hour.—Burke.

There are braying men in the world as well as braying asses; for what is loud and senseless talking any other than a way of braying.—L'Estrange.

Wine and the sun will make vinegar without any shouting to help them.—George Eliot.

Boasting.—Usually the greatest boasters are the smallest workers. The deep rivers pay a larger tribute to the sea than shallow brooks, and yet empty themselves with less noise.—W. Secker.

With all his tumid boasts, he's like the sword-fish, who only wears his weapon in his mouth.—Madden.

Every braggart shall be found an ass.—Shakespeare.

Self-laudation abounds among the unpolished, but nothing can stamp a man more sharply as ill-bred.—Charles Buxton.

Boldness.—Who bravely dares must sometimes risk a fall.—Smollett.

Women like brave men exceedingly, but audacious men still more.—Lemesles.

Bondage.—The iron chain and the silken cord, both equally are bonds.—Schiller.[Pg 32]

Books.—If a secret history of books could be written, and the author's private thoughts and meanings noted down alongside of his story, how many insipid volumes would become interesting, and dull tales excite the reader!—Thackeray.

When a new book comes out I read an old one.—Rogers.

Be as careful of the books you read as of the company you keep; for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as the latter.—Paxton Hood.

Homeliness is almost as great a merit in a book as in a house, if the reader would abide there. It is next to beauty, and a very high art.—Thoreau.

A book is good company. It is full of conversation without loquacity. It comes to your longing with full instruction, but pursues you never. It is not offended at your absent-mindedness, nor jealous if you turn to other pleasures. It silently serves the soul without recompense, not even for the hire of love. And yet more noble,—it seems to pass from itself, and to enter the memory, and to hover in a silvery transfiguration there, until the outward book is but a body, and its soul and spirit are flown to you, and possess your memory like a spirit.—Beecher.

If the crowns of all the kingdoms of Europe were laid down at my feet in exchange for my books and my love of reading, I would spurn them all.—Fénelon.

We ought to regard books as we do sweetmeats, not wholly to aim at the pleasantest, but chiefly to respect the wholesomest; not forbidding either, but approving the latter most.—Plutarch.

To buy books only because they were published by an eminent printer, is much as if a man should buy clothes that did not fit him, only because made by some famous tailor.—Pope.[Pg 33]

The medicine of the mind.—Diodorus.

Let every man, if possible, gather some good books under his roof.—Channing.

Wise books for half the truths they hold are honored tombs.—George Eliot.

Bores.—I am constitutionally susceptible of noises. A carpenter's hammer, in a warm summer's noon, will fret me into more than midsummer madness. But those unconnected, unset sounds are nothing to the measured malice of music.—Lamb.

These, wanting wit, affect gravity, and go by the name of solid men.—Dryden.

If we engage into a large acquaintance and various familiarities, we set open our gates to the invaders of most of our time; we expose our life to a quotidian ague of frigid impertinences which would make a wise man tremble to think of.—Cowley.

The symptoms of compassion and benevolence, in some people, are like those minute guns which warn you that you are in deadly peril!—Madame Swetchine.

Borrowing.—You should only attempt to borrow from those who have but few of this world's goods, as their chests are not of iron, and they are, besides, anxious to appear wealthier than they really are.—Heinrich Heine.

According to the security you offer to her, Fortune makes her loans easy or ruinous.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Bravery.—True bravery is shown by performing without witnesses what one might be capable of doing before all the world.—Rochefoucauld.

'Tis late before the brave despair.—Thompson.

The bravest men are subject most to chance.—Dryden.[Pg 34]

The truly brave are soft of heart and eyes.—Byron.

People glorify all sorts of bravery except the bravery they might show on behalf of their nearest neighbors.—George Eliot.

Brevity.—To make pleasures pleasant shorten them.—Charles Buxton.

Was there ever anything written by mere man that was wished longer by its readers, excepting Don Quixote, Robinson Crusoe, and the Pilgrim's Progress?—Johnson.

A sentence well couched takes both the sense and understanding. I love not those cart-rope speeches that are longer than the memory of man can fathom.—Feltham.

I saw one excellency was within my reach—it was brevity, and I determined to obtain it.—Jay.

Be brief; for it is with words as with sunbeams—the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.—Southey.

Concentration alone conquers.—Charles Buxton.

The more an idea is developed, the more concise becomes its expression: the more a tree is pruned, the better is the fruit.—Alfred Bougeart.

Oratory, like the Drama, abhors lengthiness; like the Drama, it must be kept doing. It avoids, as frigid, prolonged metaphysical soliloquy. Beauties themselves, if they delay or distract the effect which should be produced on the audience, become blemishes.—Bulwer-Lytton.

The fewer words the better prayer.—Luther.

Business.—Not because of any extraordinary talents did he succeed, but because he had a capacity on a level for business and not above it.—Tacitus.[Pg 35]


Calumny.—Neglected calumny soon expires; show that you are hurt, and you give it the appearance of truth.—Tacitus.

Calumny crosses oceans, scales mountains, and traverses deserts with greater ease than the Scythian Abaris, and, like him, rides upon a poisoned arrow.—Colton.

Cant.—The affectation of some late authors to introduce and multiply cant words is the most ruinous corruption in any language.—Swift.

There is such a thing as a peculiar word or phrase cleaving, as it were, to the memory of the writer or speaker, and presenting itself to his utterance at every turn. When we observe this, we call it a cant word or a cant phrase.—Paley.

Caution.—Whenever our neighbor's house is on fire, it cannot be amiss for the engines to play a little on our own. Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident a security.—Burke.

Censure.—Censure pardons the ravens, but rebukes the doves.—Juvenal.

We do not like our friends the worse because they sometimes give us an opportunity to rail at them heartily. Their faults reconcile us to their virtues.—Hazlitt.

Censure is like the lightning which strikes the highest mountains.—Balthasar Gracian.

Chance.—There must be chance in the midst of design; by which we mean that events which are not designed necessarily arise from the pursuit of events which are designed.—Paley.

Chance generally favors the prudent.—Joubert.[Pg 36]

It is strictly and philosophically true in nature and reason that there is no such thing as chance or accident; it being evident that these words do not signify anything really existing, anything that is truly an agent or the cause of any event; but they signify merely men's ignorance of the real and immediate cause.—Adam Clarke.

What can be more foolish than to think that all this rare fabric of heaven and earth could come by chance, when all the skill of art is not able to make an oyster!—Jeremy Taylor.

He who distrusts the security of chance takes more pains to effect the safety which results from labor. To find what you seek in the road of life, the best proverb of all is that which says: "Leave no stone unturned."—Bulwer-Lytton.

Change.—The great world spins forever down the ringing grooves of change.—Tennyson.

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.—Byron.

In this world of change, naught which comes stays, and naught which goes is lost.—Madame Swetchine.

Character.—As there is much beast and some devil in man, so is there some angel and some God in him. The beast and the devil may be conquered, but in this life never destroyed.—Coleridge.

Character is not cut in marble—it is not something solid and unalterable. It is something living and changing, and may become diseased as our bodies do.—George Eliot.

Grit is the grain of character. It may generally be described as heroism materialized,—spirit and will thrust into heart, brain, and backbone, so as to form part of the physical substance of the man.—Whipple.[Pg 37]

Depend upon it, you would gain unspeakably if you would learn with me to see some of the poetry and the pathos, the tragedy and the comedy, lying in the experience of a human soul that looks out through dull gray eyes, and that speaks in a voice of quite ordinary tones.—George Eliot.

Character is the diamond that scratches every other stone—Bartol.

Character is human nature in its best form. It is moral order embodied in the individual. Men of character are not only the conscience of society, but in every well-governed state they are its best motive power; for it is moral qualities in the main which rule the world.—Samuel Smiles.

He whose life seems fair, if all his errors and follies were articled against him would seem vicious and miserable.—Jeremy Taylor.

In common discourse we denominate persons and things according to the major part of their character: he is to be called a wise man who has but few follies.—Watts.

Never does a man portray his own character more vividly than in his manner of portraying another.—Richter.

We are not that we are, nor do we treat or esteem each other for such, but for that we are capable of being.—Thoreau.

Charity.—Charity is a principle of prevailing love to God and good-will to men, which effectually inclines one endued with it to glorify God, and to do good to others.—Cruden.

The highest exercise of charity is charity towards the uncharitable.—Buckminster.

The charities that soothe, and heat, and bless, lie scattered at the feet of men like flowers.—Wordsworth.[Pg 38]

Prayer carries us half way to God, fasting brings us to the door of his palace, and alms-giving procures us admission.—Koran.

Shall we repine at a little misplaced charity, we who could no way foresee the effect,—when an all-knowing, all-wise Being showers down every day his benefits on the unthankful and undeserving?—Atterbury.

As the purse is emptied the heart is filled.—Victor Hugo.

What we employ in charitable uses during our lives is given away from ourselves: what we bequeath at our death is given from others only, as our nearest relations.—Atterbury.

Goodness answers to the theological virtue of charity, and admits no excess but error; the desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall; but in charity there is no excess: neither can angel or man come into danger by it.—Bacon.

Poplicola's doors were opened on the outside, to save the people even the common civility of asking entrance; where misfortune was a powerful recommendation, and where want itself was a powerful mediator.—Dryden.

When thy brother has lost all that he ever had, and lies languishing, and even gasping under the utmost extremities of poverty and distress, dost thou think to lick him whole again only with thy tongue?—South.

What we frankly give, forever is our own.—Granville.

Faith and hope themselves shall die, while deathless charity remains.—Prior.

The place of charity, like that of God, is everywhere.—Professor Vinet.[Pg 39]

People do not care to give alms without some security for their money; and a wooden leg or a withered arm is a sort of draftment upon heaven for those who choose to have their money placed to account there.—Mackenzie.

Chastity.—Chastity enables the soul to breathe a pure air in the foulest places; continence makes her strong, no matter in what condition the body may be; her sway over the senses makes her queenly; her light and peace render her beautiful.—Joubert.

Cheerfulness.—Cheerfulness is also an excellent wearing quality. It has been called the bright weather of the heart.—Samuel Smiles.

There is no Christian duty that is not to be seasoned and set off with cheerishness,—which in a thousand outward and intermitting crosses may yet be done well, as in this vale of tears.—Milton.

Such a man, truly wise, creams of nature, leaving the sour and the dregs for philosophy and reason to lap up.—Swift.

Be thou like the bird perched upon some frail thing, although he feels the branch bending beneath him, yet loudly sings, knowing full well that he has wings.—Mme. de Gasparin.

Children.—With children we must mix gentleness with firmness; they must not always have their own way, but they must not always be thwarted. If we never have headaches through rebuking them, we shall have plenty of heartaches when they grow up. Be obeyed at all costs. If you yield up your authority once, you will hardly ever get it again.—Spurgeon.

The smallest children are nearest to God, as the smallest planets are nearest the sun.—Richter.

The death of a child occasions a passion of grief and frantic tears, such as your end, brother reader, will never inspire.—Thackeray.[Pg 40]

Childhood has no forebodings; but then, it is soothed by no memories of outlived sorrow.—George Eliot.

Children are excellent physiognomists and soon discover their real friends. Luttrell calls them all lunatics, and so in fact they are. What is childhood but a series of happy delusions?—Sydney Smith.

The clew of our destiny, wander where we will, lies at the cradle foot.—Richter.

A house is never perfectly furnished for enjoyment unless there is a child in it rising three years old, and a kitten rising three weeks.—Southey.

Children have more need of models than of critics.—Joubert.

The bearing and training of a child is woman's wisdom.—Tennyson.

One of the greatest pleasures of childhood is found in the mysteries which it hides from the skepticism of the elders, and works up into small mythologies of its own.—Holmes.

Do not shorten the beautiful veil of mist covering childhood's futurity, by too hastily drawing away; but permit that joy to be of early commencement and of long duration, which lights up life so beautifully. The longer the morning dew remains hanging in the blossoms of flowers, the more beautiful the day.—Richter.

Where children are there is the golden age.—Novalis.

In the man whose childhood has known caresses there is always a fibre of memory that can be touched to gentle issues.—George Eliot.

The first duty towards children is to make them happy. If you have not made them happy, you have wronged them; no other good they may get can make up for that.—Charles Buxton.[Pg 41]

Christ.—Our religion sets before us, not the example of a stupid stoic who had by obstinate principles hardened himself against all sense of pain beyond the common measures of humanity, but an example of a man like ourselves, that had a tender sense of the least suffering, and yet patiently endured the greatest.—Tillotson.

However consonant to reason his precepts appeared, nothing could have tempted men to acknowledge him as their God and Saviour but their being firmly persuaded of the miracles he wrought.—Addison.

Imitate Jesus Christ.—Franklin.

The history of Christ is as surely poetry as it is history, and in general, only that history is history which might also be fable.—Novalis.

Christianity.—Christianity is within a man, even as he is gifted with reason; it is associated with your mother's chair, and with the first remembered tones of her blessed voice.—Coleridge.

There was never law, or sect, or opinion, did so much magnify goodness as the Christian religion doth.—Bacon.

No religion ever appeared in the world whose natural tendency was so much directed to promote the peace and happiness of mankind. It makes right reason a law in every possible definition of the word. And therefore, even supposing it to have been purely a human invention, it had been the most amiable and the most useful invention that was ever imposed on mankind for their good.—Lord Bolingbroke.

Far beyond all other political powers of Christianity is the demiurgic power of this religion over the kingdoms of human opinion.—De Quincey.

Christianity is the companion of liberty in all its conflicts,—the cradle of its infancy and the divine source of its claims.—De Tocqueville.[Pg 42]

Nature never gives to a living thing capacities not particularly meant for its benefit and use. If nature gives to us capacities to believe that we have a Creator whom we never saw, of whom we have no direct proof, who is kind and good and tender beyond all that we know of kindness and goodness and tenderness on earth, it is because the endowment of capacities to conceive a Being must be for our benefit and use; it would not be for our benefit and use if it were a lie.—Bulwer-Lytton.

A man can no more be a Christian without facing evil and conquering it than he can be a soldier without going to battle, facing the cannon's mouth, and encountering the enemy in the field.—Chapin.

There was never found in any age of the world, either philosophy, or sect or religion, or law or discipline, which did so highly exalt the good of communion, and depress good private and particular, as the holy Christian faith: hence it clearly appears that it was one and the same God that gave the Christian law to men who gave those laws of nature to the creatures.—Bacon.

Christianity is intensely practical. She has no trait more striking than her common sense.—Charles Buxton.

Christianity ruined emperors, but saved peoples. It opened the palaces of Constantinople to the barbarians, but it opened the doors of cottages to the consoling angels of the Saviour.—Alfred de Musset.

Always put the best interpretation on a tenet. Why not on Christianity, wholesome, sweet, and poetic? It is the record of a pure and holy soul, humble, absolutely disinterested, a truth-speaker, and bent on serving, teaching, and uplifting men. Christianity taught the capacity, the element, to love the All-perfect without a stingy bargain for personal happiness. It taught that to love him was happiness,—to love him in others' virtues.—Emerson.[Pg 43]

Christian faith is a grand cathedral with divinely pictured windows. Standing without, you see no glory nor can possibly imagine any; standing within, every ray of light reveals a harmony of unspeakable splendors.—Hawthorne.

Christians are like the several flowers in a garden, that have each of them the dew of heaven, which, being shaken with the wind, they let fall at each other's roots, whereby they are jointly nourished, and become nourishers of each other.—Bunyan.

Church.—The Church is a union of men arising from the fellowship of religious life; a union essentially independent of, and differing from, all other forms of human association.—Rev. Dr. Neander.

A place where misdevotion frames a thousand prayers to saints.—Donne.

She may still exist in undiminished vigor, when some traveler from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London bridge, to sketch the ruins of St. Paul's.—Macaulay.

Surely the church is a place where one day's truce ought to be allowed to the dissensions and animosities of mankind.—Burke.

God never had a house of prayer but Satan had a chapel there.—De Foe.

The church is a sort of hospital for men's souls, and as full of quackery as the hospital for their bodies. Those who are taken into it live like pensioners in their Retreat or Sailors' Snug Harbor, where you may see a row of religious cripples sitting outside in sunny weather.—Thoreau.

Circumstances.—Circumstances are the rulers of the weak; they are but the instruments of the wise.—Samuel Lover.

What saves the virtue of many a woman is that protecting god, the impossible.—Balzac.[Pg 44]

Civilization.—Mankind's struggle upwards, in which millions are trampled to death, that thousands may mount on their bodies.—Mrs. Balfour.

The old Hindoo saw, in his dream, the human race led out to its various fortunes. First men were in chains which went back to an iron hand. Then he saw them led by threads from the brain, which went upward to an unseen hand. The first was despotism, iron and ruling by force. The last was civilization, ruling by ideas.—Wendell Phillips.

Nations, like individuals, live and die; but civilization cannot die.—Mazzini.

Clergymen.—The life of a conscientious clergyman is not easy. I have always considered a clergyman as the father of a larger family than he is able to maintain. I would rather have Chancery suits upon my hands than the cure of souls. I do not envy a clergyman's life as an easy life, nor do I envy the clergyman who makes it an easy life.—Johnson.

Clergymen consider this world only as a diligence in which they can travel to another.—Napoleon.

The clergy are as like as peas.—Emerson.

Commander.—The right of commanding is no longer an advantage transmitted by nature like an inheritance; it is the fruit of labors, the price of courage.—Voltaire.

The trident of Neptune is the sceptre of the world.—Antoine Lemierre.

He who rules must humor full as much as he commands.—George Eliot.

Commerce.—She may well be termed the younger sister, for, in all emergencies, she looks to agriculture both for defense and for supply.—Colton.

Commerce defies every wind, outrides every tempest, and invades every zone.—Bancroft.[Pg 45]

Common Sense.—If common sense has not the brilliancy of the sun it has the fixity of the stars.—Fernan Caballero.

Communists.—One who has yearnings for equal division of unequal earnings. Idler or bungler, he is willing to fork out his penny and pocket your shilling.—Ebenezer Elliott.

Your leaders wish to level down as far as themselves; but they cannot bear leveling up to themselves. They would all have some people under them; why not then have some people above them.—Johnson.

Communism possesses a language which every people can understand. Its elements are hunger, envy, death.—Heinrich Heine.

Comparison.—All comparisons are odious.—Cervantes.

If we rightly estimate what we call good and evil, we shall find it lies much in comparison.—Locke.

Compassion.—The dew of compassion is a tear.—Byron.

Compensation.—Cloud and rainbow appear together. There is wisdom in the saying of Feltham, that the whole creation is kept in order by discord, and that vicissitude maintains the world. Many evils bring many blessings. Manna drops in the wilderness—corn grows in Canaan.—Willmott.

It is some compensation for great evils that they enforce great lessons.—Bovée.

Complaining.—We do not wisely when we vent complaint and censure. Human nature is more sensible of smart in suffering than of pleasure in rejoicing, and the present endurances easily take up our thoughts. We cry out for a little pain, when we do but smile for a great deal of contentment.—Feltham.[Pg 46]

Our condition never satisfies us; the present is always the worst. Though Jupiter should grant his request to each, we should continue to importune him.—Fontaine.

Conceit.—Wind puffs up empty bladders; opinion, fools.—Socrates.

Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.—Bible.

Nature has sometimes made a fool, but a coxcomb is always of a man's own making.—Addison.

Everything without tells the individual that he is nothing; everything within persuades him that he is everything.—X. Doudan.

Apes look down on men as degenerate specimens of their own race, just as Hollanders regard the German language as a corruption of the Dutch.—Heinrich Heine.

If its colors were but fast colors, self-conceit would be a most comfortable quality. But life is so humbling, mortifying, disappointing to vanity, that a man's great idea of himself gets washed out of him by the time he is forty.—Charles Buxton.

One's self-satisfaction is an untaxed kind of property which it is very unpleasant to find depreciated.—George Eliot.

The pious vanity of man makes him adore his own qualities under the pretense of worshiping those of God.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Confidence.—Confidence imparts a wondrous inspiration to its possessor. It bears him on in security, either to meet no danger, or to find matter of glorious trial.—Milton.

Society is built upon trust, and trust upon confidence of one another's integrity.—South.[Pg 47]

Conscience.—Conscience is not law; no, God and reason made the law, and have placed conscience within you to determine.—Sterne.

There are moments when the pale and modest star, kindled by God in simple hearts, which men call conscience, illumines our path with truer light than the flaming comet of genius on its magnificent course.—Mazzini.

No thralls like them that inward bondage have.—Sir P. Sidney.

Some people have no perspective in their conscience. Their moral convictions are the same on all subjects. They are like a reader who speaks every word with equal emphasis.—Beecher.

Conscience enables us not merely to learn the right by experiment and induction, but intuitively and in advance of experiment; so, in addition to the experimental way whereby we learn justice from the facts of human history, we have a transcendental way, and learn it from the facts of human nature, and from immediate consciousness.—Theodore Parker.

A man's own conscience is his sole tribunal; and he should care no more for that phantom "opinion" than he should fear meeting a ghost if he cross the churchyard at dark.—Lytton.

Conscience is a coward, and those faults it has not strength enough to prevent it seldom has justice enough to accuse.—Goldsmith.

To say that we have a clear conscience is to utter a solecism: had we never sinned we should have had no conscience.—Carlyle.

The most miserable pettifogging in the world is that of a man in the court of his own conscience.—Beecher.

Conscience serves us especially to judge of the actions of others.—J. Petit Senn.[Pg 48]

It is astonishing how soon the whole conscience begins to unravel if a single stitch drops; one single sin indulged in makes a hole you could put your head through.—Charles Buxton.

A still small voice.—Bible.

Constancy.—A good man it is not mine to see; could I see a man possessed of constancy, that would satisfy me.—Confucius.

Constancy is the chimera of love.—Vauvenargues.

Constancy is the complement of all the other human virtues.—Mazzini.

Contempt.—No sacred fane requires us to submit to contempt.—Goethe.

There is not in human nature a more odious disposition than a proneness to contempt, which is a mixture of pride and ill-nature. Nor is there any which more certainly denotes a bad mind; for in a good and benign temper there can be no room for this sensation.—Fielding.

Contentment.—That happy state of mind, so rarely possessed, in which we can say, "I have enough," is the highest attainment of philosophy. Happiness consists, not in possessing much, but in being content with what we possess. He who wants little always has enough.—Zimmermann.

It is both the curse and blessing of our American life that we are never quite content. We all expect to go somewhere before we die, and have a better time when we get there than we can have at home. The bane of our life is discontent. We say we will work so long, and then we will enjoy ourselves. But we find it just as Thackeray has expressed it. "When I was a boy," he said, "I wanted some taffy—it was a shilling—I hadn't one. When I was a man, I had a shilling, but I didn't want any taffy."—Robert Collyer.[Pg 49]

Submission is the only reasoning between a creature and its Maker; and contentment in his will is the best remedy we can apply to misfortunes.—Sir W. Temple.

Where God hath put exquisite tinge upon the shell washed in the surf, and planted a paradise of bloom in a child's cheek, let us leave it to the owl to hoot, and the frog to croak, and the fault-finder to complain.—De Witt Talmage.

Contrast.—The lustre of diamonds is invigorated by the interposition of darker bodies; the lights of a picture are created by the shades. The highest pleasure which nature has indulged to sensitive perception is that of rest after fatigue.—Johnson.

Controversy.—He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.—Burke.

What Tully says of war may be applied to disputing,—it should be always so managed as to remember that the only true end of it is peace: but generally true disputants are like true sportsmen,—their whole delight is in the pursuit; and a disputant no more cares for the truth than the sportsman for the hare.—Pope.

I am yet apt to think that men find their simple ideas agree, though in discourse they confound one another with different names.—Locke.

A man takes contradiction much more easily than people think, only he will not bear it when violently given, even though it be well-founded. Hearts are flowers; they remain open to the softly-falling dew, but shut up in the violent down-pour of rain.—Richter.

Conversation.—They who have the true taste of conversation enjoy themselves in a communication of each other's excellences, and not in a triumph over their imperfections.—Addison.[Pg 50]

It is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others.—Montaigne.

Your reasons at dinner have been sharp and sententious; pleasant without scurrility, witty without affectation, audacious without impudency, learned without opinion, and strange without heresy.—Shakespeare.

No one will ever shine in conversation who thinks of saying fine things; to please one must say many things indifferent, and many very bad.—Francis Lockier.

Conversation warms the mind, enlivens the imagination, and is continually starting fresh game that is immediately pursued and taken, and which would never have occurred in the duller intercourse of epistolary correspondence.—Franklin.

Coquetry.—The most effective coquetry is innocence.—Lamartine.

God created the coquette as soon as he had made the fool.—Victor Hugo.

Affecting to seem unaffected.—Congreve.

Though 'tis pleasant weaving nets, 'tis wiser to make cages.—Moore.

Beautiful tyrant! Fiend angelical!—Shakespeare.

New vows to plight, and plighted vows to break.—Dryden.

Courage.—God holds with the strong.—Mazzini.

Courage is generosity of the highest order, for the brave are prodigal of the most precious things.—Colton.

Courage that grows from constitution often forsakes the man when he has occasion for it; courage which arises from a sense of duty acts in a uniform manner.—Addison.[Pg 51]

Courage from hearts, and not from numbers, grows.—Dryden.

As to moral courage, I have very rarely met with the two o'clock in the morning courage. I mean unprepared courage, that which is necessary on an unexpected occasion, and which, in spite of the most unforeseen events, leaves full freedom of judgment and decision.—Napoleon.

Courage our greatest failings does supply.—Waller.

To bear is to conquer our fate.—Campbell.

Moral courage is more worth having than physical; not only because it is a higher virtue, but because the demand for it is more constant. Physical courage is a virtue which is almost always put away in the lumber room. Moral courage is wanted day by day.—Charles Buxton.

It is only in little matters that men are cowards.—William Henry Herbert.

Any coward can fight a battle when he's sure of winning; but give me the man who has pluck to fight when he's sure of losing.—George Eliot.

He who would arrive at fairy land must face the phantoms.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Courtier.—The court is like a palace built of marble; I mean that it is made up of very hard and very polished people.—La Bruyère.

With the people of court the tongue is the artery of their withered life, the spiral-spring and flag-feather of their souls.—Richter.

Covetousness.—Desire of having is the sin of covetousness.—Shakespeare.

The character of covetousness is what a man generally acquires more through some niggardness or ill grace, in little and inconsiderable things, than in expenses of any consequence.—Pope.[Pg 52]

The world itself is too small for the covetous.—Seneca.

Cowardice.—At the bottom of a good deal of the bravery that appears in the world there lurks a miserable cowardice. Men will face powder and steel because they cannot face public opinion.—Chapin.

Credulity.—Quick believers need broad shoulders.—George Herbert.

Let us believe what we can and hope for the rest.—De Finod.

When credulity comes from the heart it does no harm to the intellect.—Joubert.

What believer sees a disturbing omission or infelicity? The text, whether of prophet or of poet, expands for whatever we can put into it, and even his bad grammar is sublime.—George Eliot.

Observe your enemies for they first find out your faults.—Antishenes.

Action is generally defective, and proves an abortion without previous contemplation. Contemplation generates, action propagates.—Feltham.

Crime.—If poverty is the mother of crimes, want of sense is the father of them.—Bruyère.

Crimes lead into one another. They who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.—Burke.

Criticism.—Solomon says rightly: "The wounds made by a friend are worth more than the caresses of a flatterer." Nevertheless, it is better that the friend wound not at all.—Joseph de Maistre.

The rule in carving holds good as to criticism,—never cut with a knife what you can cut with a spoon.—Charles Buxton.[Pg 53]

The critic eye, that microscope of wit.—Pope.

Men have commonly more pleasure in the criticism which hurts, than in that which is innocuous; and are more tolerant of the severity which breaks hearts and ruins fortunes, than of that which falls impotently on the grave.—Ruskin.

Certain critics resemble closely those people who when they would laugh show ugly teeth.—Joubert.

Every one is eagle-eyed to see another's faults and his deformity.—Dryden.

For I am nothing if not critical.—Shakespeare.

He who stabs you in the dark with a pen would do the same with a penknife, were he equally safe from detection and the law.—Quintilian.

Silence is the severest criticism.—Charles Buxton.

All the other powers of literature are coy and haughty, they must be long courted, and at last are not always gained; but criticism is a goddess easy of access and forward of advance, she will meet the slow and encourage the timorous. The want of meaning she supplies with words, and the want of spirit she recompenses with malignity.—Johnson.

It is a barren kind of criticism which tells you what a thing is not.—Rufus Griswold.

The legitimate aim of criticism is to direct attention to the excellent. The bad will dig its own grave, and the imperfect may be safely left to that final neglect from which no amount of present undeserved popularity can rescue it.—Bovée.

There are some critics who change everything that comes under their hands to gold, but to this privilege of Midas they join sometimes his ears!—J. Petit Senn.

Cruelty.—Cruelty, the sign of currish kind.—Spenser.[Pg 54]

One of the ill effects of cruelty is that it makes the by-standers cruel. How hard the English people grew in the time of Henry VIII. and Bloody Mary.—Charles Buxton.

Man's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn.—Burns.

Cruelty, like every other vice, requires no motive outside of itself; it only requires opportunity.—George Eliot.

Cultivation.—Cultivation is the economy of force.—Liebig.

The highest purpose of intellectual cultivation is to give a man a perfect knowledge and mastery of his own inner self; to render our consciousness its own light and its own mirror. Hence there is the less reason to be surprised at our inability to enter fully into the feelings and characters of others. No one who has not a complete knowledge of himself will ever have a true understanding of another.—Novalis.

Neither the naked hand, nor the understanding, left to itself, can do much; the work is accomplished by instruments and helps of which the need is not less for the understanding than the hand.—Bacon.

... Without art, a nation is a soulless body; without science, a straying wanderer. Without warmth and light, nature cannot thrive, nor humanity increase: the light and warmth of humanity is "art and science."—Kozlay.

Cunning.—Cunning has effect from the credulity of others, rather than from the abilities of those who are cunning. It requires no extraordinary talents to lie and deceive.—Johnson.

Cleverness and cunning are incompatible. I never saw them united. The latter is the resource of the weak, and is only natural to them; children and fools are always cunning, but clever people never.—Byron.[Pg 55]

Discourage cunning in a child; cunning is the ape of wisdom.—Locke.

Cunning signifies especially a habit or gift of overreaching, accompanied with enjoyment and a sense of superiority. It is associated with small and dull conceit, and with an absolute want of sympathy or affection. It is the intensest rendering of vulgarity, absolute and utter.—Ruskin.

Curiosity.—A person who is too nice an observer of the business of the crowd, like one who is too curious in observing the labor of the bees, will often be stung for his curiosity.—Pope.

The gratification of curiosity rather frees us from uneasiness than confers pleasure; we are more pained by ignorance than delighted by instruction. Curiosity is the thirst of the soul.—Johnson.

Custom.—The despotism of custom is on the wane; we are not content to know that things are; we ask whether they ought to be.—John Stuart Mill.

Immemorial custom is transcendent law.—Menu.

In this great society wide lying around us, a critical analysis would find very few spontaneous actions. It is almost all custom and gross sense.—Emerson.

Custom doth make dotards of us all.—Carlyle.

Cynics.—It will be very generally found that those who sneer habitually at human nature, and affect to despise it, are among its worst and least pleasant samples.—Dickens.

Cynicism is old at twenty.—Bulwer-Lytton.[Pg 56]


Dandy.—A dandy is a clothes-wearing man,—a man whose trade, office, and existence consist in the wearing of clothes. Every faculty of his soul, spirit, person, and purse is heroically consecrated to this one object,—the wearing of clothes wisely and well; so that as others dress to live, he lives to dress.—Carlyle.

A fool may have his coat embroidered with gold, but it is a fool's coat still.—Rivarol.

Danger.—It is better to meet danger than to wait for it. He that is on a lee shore, and foresees a hurricane, stands out to sea, and encounters a storm to avoid a shipwreck.—Colton.

Death.—It is not death, it is dying, that alarms me.—Montaigne.

What is death? To go out like a light, and in a sweet trance to forget ourselves and all the passing phenomena of the day, as we forget the phantoms of a fleeting dream; to form, as in a dream, new connections with God's world; to enter into a more exalted sphere, and to make a new step up man's graduated ascent of creation.—Zschokke.

Heaven gives its favorites early death.—Byron.

Our respect for the dead, when they are just dead, is something wonderful, and the way we show it more wonderful still. We show it with black feathers and black horses; we show it with black dresses and black heraldries; we show it with costly obelisks and sculptures of sorrow, which spoil half of our beautiful cathedrals. We show it with frightful gratings and vaults, and lids of dismal stone, in the midst of the quiet grass; and last, and not least, we show it by permitting ourselves to tell any number of falsehoods we think amiable or credible in the epitaph.—Ruskin.[Pg 57]

There are remedies for all things but death.—Carlyle.

We understand death for the first time when he puts his hand upon one whom we love.—Mme. de Staël.

Too early fitted for a better state.—Dryden.

Death, the dry pedant, spares neither the rose nor the thistle, nor does he forget the solitary blade of grass in the distant waste. He destroys thoroughly and unceasingly. Everywhere we may see how he crushes to dust plants and beasts, men and their works. Even the Egyptian pyramids, that would seem to defy him, are trophies of his power,—monuments of decay, graves of primeval kings.—Heinrich Heine.

There is no fireside, howsoe'er defended, but has one vacant chair!—Longfellow.

And though mine arm should conquer twenty worlds, there's a lean fellow beats all conquerors.—Thomas Dekker.

Death is a commingling of eternity with time.—Goethe.

To the Christian, whose life has been dark with brooding cares that would not lift themselves, and on whom chilling rains of sorrow have fallen at intervals through all his years, death is but the clearing-up shower; and just behind it are the songs of angels, and the serenity and glory of heaven.—Beecher.

That golden key that opes the palace of eternity.—Milton.

When death gives us a long lease of life, it takes as hostages all those whom we have loved.—Madame Necker.

Man makes a death which nature never made.—Young.[Pg 58]

The golden ripple on the wall came back again, and nothing else stirred in the room. The old, old fashion! The fashion that came in with our first garments, and will last unchanged until our race has run its course, and the wide firmament is rolled up like a scroll. The old, old fashion—Death! Oh, thank God, all who see it, for that older fashion yet—of Immortality!—Dickens.

God's finger touched him, and he slept.—Tennyson.

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.—Bible.

Nature intends that, at fixed periods, men should succeed each other by the instrumentality of death. We shall never outwit Nature; we shall die as usual.—Fontenelle.

After life's fitful fever he sleeps well.—Shakespeare.

Flesh is but the glass which holds the dust that measures all our time, which also shall be crumbled into dust.—George Herbert.

Death expecteth thee everywhere; be wise, therefore, and expect death everywhere.—Quarles.

The world. Oh, the world is so sweet to the dying!—Schiller.

The world is full of resurrections. Every night that folds us up in darkness is a death; and those of you that have been out early, and have seen the first of the dawn, will know it,—the day rises out of the night like a being that has burst its tomb and escaped into life.—George MacDonald.

The dissolution of forms is no loss in the mass of matter.—Pliny.

Faith builds a bridge across the gulf of death.—Young.[Pg 59]

Debt.—He that dies pays all debts.—Shakespeare.

Poverty is hard, but debt is horrible; a man might as well have a smoky house and a scolding wife, which are said to be the two worst evils of our life.—Spurgeon.

The first step in debt is like the first step in falsehood, almost involving the necessity of proceeding in the same course, debt following debt as lie follows lie. Haydon, the painter, dated his decline from the day on which he first borrowed money.—Samuel Smiles.

Do not accustom yourself to consider debt only as an inconvenience; you will find it a calamity.—Johnson.

That swamp [of debt] which tempts men towards it with such a pretty covering of flowers and verdure. It is wonderful how soon a man gets up to his chin there,—in a condition in which, spite of himself, he is forced to think chiefly of release, though he had a scheme of the universe in his soul.—George Eliot.

Youth is in danger until it learns to look upon debts as furies.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Deceit.—No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true.—Hawthorne.

Idiots only may be cozened twice.—Dryden.

It is a double pleasure to deceive the deceiver.—Fontaine.

There is less misery in being cheated than in that kind of wisdom which perceives, or thinks it perceives, that all mankind are cheats.—Chapin.

Like unto golden hooks that from the foolish fish their baits do hide.—Spenser.[Pg 60]

Libertines are hideous spiders that often catch pretty butterflies.—Diderot.

Decency.—As beauty of body, with an agreeable carriage, pleases the eye, and that pleasure consists in that we observe all the parts with a certain elegance are proportioned to each other; so does decency of behavior which appears in our lives obtain the approbation of all with whom we converse, from the order, consistency, and moderation of our words and actions.—Steele.

Virtue and decency are so nearly related that it is difficult to separate them from each other but in our imagination.—Tully.

Declamation.—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.—Goldsmith.

The art of declamation has been sinking in value from the moment that speakers were foolish enough to publish, and hearers wise enough to read.—Colton.

Deeds.—A word that has been said may be unsaid: it is but air. But when a deed is done, it cannot be undone, nor can our thoughts reach out to all the mischiefs that may follow.—Longfellow.

How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds makes deeds ill done!—Shakespeare.

Legal deeds were invented to remind men of their promises, or to convict them of having broken them,—a stigma on the human race.—Bruyère.

Good actions ennoble us, and we are the sons of our own deeds.—Cervantes.

We should believe only in works; words are sold for nothing everywhere.—Rojas.[Pg 61]

Delay.—We do not directly go about the execution of the purpose that thrills us, but shut our doors behind us, and ramble with prepared minds, as if the half were already done. Our resolution is taking root or hold on the earth then, as seeds first send a shoot downward, which is fed by their own albumen, ere they send one upwards to the light.—Thoreau.

Time drinketh up the essence of every great and noble action, which ought to be performed! and is delayed in the execution.—Veeshnoo Sarma.

Democracy.—Democracy will itself accomplish the salutary universal change from delusive to real, and make a new blessed world of us by and by.—Carlyle.

The love of democracy is that of equality.—Montesquieu.

Dependence.—The beautiful must ever rest in the arms of the sublime. The gentle needs the strong to sustain it, as much as the rock-flowers need rocks to grow on, or the ivy the rugged wall which it embraces.—Mrs. Stowe.

Thou shalt know by experience how salt the savor is of other's bread, and how sad a path it is to climb and descend another's stairs.—Dante.

How beautifully is it ordered, that as many thousands work for one, so must every individual bring his labor to make the whole! The highest is not to despise the lowest, nor the lowest to envy the highest; each must live in all and by all. Who will not work, neither shall he eat. So God has ordered that men, being in need of each other, should learn to love each other and bear each other's burdens.—G. A. Sala.

We are never without a pilot. When we know not how to steer, and dare not hoist a sail, we can drift. The current knows the way, though we do not. The ship of heaven guides itself, and will not accept a wooden rudder.—Emerson.[Pg 62]

Desire.—It is easier to suppress the first desire than to satisfy all that follow it.—Franklin.

Lack of desire is the greatest riches.—Seneca.

Where necessity ends, curiosity begins; and no sooner are we supplied with everything that nature can demand, than we sit down to contrive artificial appetites.—Johnson.

The thirst of desire is never filled, nor fully satisfied.—Cicero.

The man's desire is for the woman; but the woman's desire is rarely other than for the desire of the man.—Coleridge.

Desires are the pulse of the soul.—Manton.

Despair.—Considering the unforeseen events of this world, we should be taught that no human condition should inspire men with absolute despair.—Fielding.

Leaden-eyed despair.—Keats.

In the lottery of life there are more prizes drawn than blanks, and to one misfortune there are fifty advantages. Despondency is the most unprofitable feeling a man can indulge in.—De Witt Talmage.

He that despairs limits infinite power to finite apprehensions.—South.

It is impossible for that man to despair who remembers that his helper is omnipotent.—Jeremy Taylor.

He that despairs measures Providence by his own little contracted model.—South.

Juliet was a fool to kill herself, for in three months she'd have married again, and been glad to be quit of Romeo.—Charles Buxton.

What we call our despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope.—George Eliot.[Pg 63]

Despotism.—It is difficult for power to avoid despotism. The possessors of rude health; the individualities cut out by a few strokes, solid for the very reason that they are all of a piece; the complete characters whose fibres have never been strained by a doubt; the minds that no questions disturb and no aspirations put out of breath,—these, the strong, are also the tyrants.—Countess de Gasparin.

There is something among men more capable of shaking despotic power than lightning, whirlwind, or earthquake; that is, the threatened indignation of the whole civilized world.—Daniel Webster.

Destiny.—The scape-goat which we make responsible for all our crimes and follies; a necessity which we set down for invincible, when we have no wish to strive against it.—Mrs. Balfour.

Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.—George Eliot.

Detention.—Never hold any one by the button or the hand, in order to be heard out; for if people are unwilling to hear you, you had better hold your tongue than them.—Chesterfield.

Detraction.—Happy are they that hear their detractions, and can put them to mending.—Shakespeare.

In some unlucky dispositions there is such an envious kind of pride that they cannot endure that any but themselves should be set forth for excellent; so that when they hear one justly praised they will either seek to dismount his virtues, or, if they be like a clear light, they will stab him with a but of detraction; as if there were something yet so foul as did obnubilate even his brightest glory. When their tongue cannot justly condemn him, they will leave him suspected by their silence.—Feltham.[Pg 64]

Dew.—That same dew, which sometimes withers buds, was wont to swell, like round and orient pearls, stood now within the pretty flow'rets' eyes, like tears, that did their own disgrace bewail.—Shakespeare.

Earth's liquid jewelry, wrought of air.—P. J. Bailey.

Diet.—Regimen is better than physic. Every one should be his own physician. We ought to assist, and not to force nature: but more especially we should learn to suffer, grow old, and die. Some things are salutary, and others hurtful. Eat with moderation what you know by experience agrees with your constitution. Nothing is good for the body but what we can digest. What medicine can procure digestion? Exercise. What will recruit strength? Sleep. What will alleviate incurable evils? Patience.—Voltaire.

Free-livers on a small scale, who are prodigal within the compass of a guinea.—Washington Irving.

Difficulties.—The greatest difficulties lie where we are not looking for them.—Goethe.

The weak sinews become strong by their conflict with difficulties. Hope is born in the long night of watching and tears. Faith visits us in defeat and disappointment, amid the consciousness of earthly frailty and the crumbling tombstones of mortality.—Chapin.

How strangely easy difficult things are!—Charles Buxton.

Diffidence.—Nothing sinks a young man into low company, both of women and men, so surely as timidity and diffidence of himself. If he thinks that he shall not, he may depend upon it he will not, please. But with proper endeavors to please, and a degree of persuasion that he shall, it is almost certain that he will.—Chesterfield.[Pg 65]

No congress, nor mob, nor guillotine, nor fire, nor all together, can avail, to cut out, burn, or destroy the offense of superiority in persons. The superiority in him is inferiority in me.—Emerson.

Dignity.—It is at once the thinnest and most effective of all the coverings under which duncedom sneaks and skulks. Most of the men of dignity, who awe or bore their more genial brethren, are simply men who possess the art of passing off their insensibility for wisdom, their dullness for depth, and of concealing imbecility of intellect under haughtiness of manner.—Whipple.

Dirt.—"Ignorance," says Ajax, "is a painless evil;" so, I should think, is dirt, considering the merry faces that go along with it.—George Eliot.

Martin, if dirt was trumps, what hands you would hold.—Lamb.

Disappointment.—Life often seems like a long shipwreck, of which the débris are friendship, glory, and love: the shores of existence are strewn with them.—Mme. de Staël.

O world! how many hopes thou dost engulf!—Alfred de Musset.

Thirsting for the golden fountain of the fable, from how many streams have we turned away, weary and in disgust!—Bulwer-Lytton.

We mortals, men and women, devour many a disappointment between breakfast and dinner-time; keep back the tears and look a little pale about the lips, and in answer to inquiries say, "Oh, nothing!" Pride helps us; and pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our own hurts—not to hurt others.—George Eliot.

Ah! what seeds for a paradise I bore in my heart, of which birds of prey have robbed me.—Richter.[Pg 66]

Discourtesy.—Discourtesy does not spring merely from one bad quality, but from several,—from foolish vanity, from ignorance of what is due to others, from indolence, from stupidity, from distraction of thought, from contempt of others, from jealousy.—La Bruyère.

Discovery.—Through every rift of discovery some seeming anomaly drops out of the darkness, and falls as a golden link in the great chain of order.—Chapin.

Discretion.—Be discreet in all things, and go render it unnecessary to be mysterious about any.—Wellington.

Though a man has all other perfections and wants discretion, he will be of no great consequence in the world; but if he has this single talent in perfection, and but a common share of others, he may do what he pleases in his particular station of life.—Addison.

Dishonesty.—So grasping is dishonesty that it is no respecter of persons: it will cheat friends as well as foes; and, were it possible, even God himself!—Bancroft.

Dispatch.—Use dispatch. Remember that the world only took six days to create. Ask me for whatever you please except time: that is the only thing which is beyond my power.—Napoleon.

True dispatch is a rich thing; for time is the measure of business, as money is of wares, and business is bought at a dear hand where there is small dispatch.—Bacon.

Disposition.—A tender-hearted and compassionate disposition, which inclines men to pity and feel the misfortunes of others, and which is even for its own sake incapable of involving any man in ruin and misery, is of all tempers of mind the most amiable; and, though it seldom receives much honor, is worthy of the highest.—Fielding.[Pg 67]

A good disposition is more valuable than gold; for the latter is the gift of fortune, but the former is the dower of nature.—Addison.

Distrust.—As health lies in labor, and there is no royal road to it but through toil, so there is no republican road to safety but in constant distrust.—Wendell Phillips.

What loneliness is more lonely than distrust?—George Eliot.

When desperate ills demand a speedy cure, distrust is cowardice, and prudence folly.—Johnson.

Doubt.—Remember Talleyrand's advice, "If you are in doubt whether to write a letter or not—don't!" The advice applies to many doubts in life besides that of letter writing.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Doubt is hell in the human soul.—Gasparin.

Doubt springs from the mind; faith is the daughter of the soul.—J. Petit Senn.

Modest doubt is called the beacon of the wise.—Shakespeare.

The doubts of an honest man contain more moral truth than the profession of faith of people under a worldly yoke.—X. Doudan.

There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds.—Tennyson.

Every body drags its shadow, and every mind its doubt.—Victor Hugo.

Dreams.—Children of night, of indigestion bred.—Churchill.

A world of the dead in the hues of life.—Mrs. Hemans.

The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train.—Milton.

Dreams always go by contraries, my dear.—Samuel Lover.[Pg 68]

We are somewhat more than ourselves in our sleeps, and the slumber of the body seems to be but the waking of the soul. It is the litigation of sense, but the liberty of reason; and our waking conceptions do not match the fancies of our sleeps.—Sir T. Browne.

The mockery of unquiet slumbers.—Shakespeare.

Like a dog, he hunts in dreams.—Tennyson.

Dress.—It is well known that a loose and easy dress contributes much to give to both sexes those fine proportions of body that are observable in the Grecian statues, and which serve as models to our present artists.—Rousseau.

Duty.—Stern daughter of the voice of God.—Wordsworth.

Duty is a power which rises with us in the morning and goes to rest with us at night. It is coextensive with the action of our intelligence. It is the shadow which cleaves to us, go where we will, and which only leaves us when we leave the light of life.—Gladstone.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.—Bible.

The idea of duty, that recognition of something to be lived for beyond the mere satisfaction of self, is to the moral life what the addition of a great central ganglion is to animal life.—George Eliot.

Do the duty which lies nearest to thee.—Goethe.

Those who do it always would as soon think of being conceited of eating their dinner as of doing their duty. What honest boy would pride himself on not picking a pocket? A thief who was trying to reform would.—George MacDonald.

To what gulfs a single deviation from the track of human duties leads!—Byron.[Pg 69]

The duty of man is not a wilderness of turnpike gates, through which he is to pass by tickets from one to the other. It is plain and simple, and consists but of two points: his duty to God, which every man must feel; and, with respect to his neighbor, to do as he would be done by.—Thomas Paine.

There is not a moment without some duty.—Cicero.

If doing what ought to be done be made the first business, and success a secondary consideration,—is not this the way to exalt virtue?—Confucius.

The path of duty lies in what is near, and men seek for it in what is remote; the work of duty lies in what is easy, and men seek for it in what is difficult.—Mencius.

Duty does not consist in suffering everything, but in suffering everything for duty. Sometimes, indeed, it is our duty not to suffer.—Dr. Vinet.

He who is false to present duty breaks a thread in the loom, and will find the flaw when he may have forgotten its cause.—Beecher.

The primal duties shine aloft, like stars; the charities that soothe, and heal, and bless, are scattered at the feet of man, like flowers.—Wordsworth.

Can man or woman choose duties? No more than they can choose their birthplace, or their father and mother.—George Eliot.


Ear.—A side intelligencer.—Lamb.

Eyes and ears, two traded pilots 'twixt the dangerous shores of will and judgment.—Shakespeare.[Pg 70]

The wicket of the soul.—Sir J. Davies.

The road to the heart.—Voltaire.

Early-rising.—Early-rising not only gives us more life in the same number of our years, but adds likewise to their number; and not only enables us to enjoy more of existence in the same measure of time, but increases also the measure.—Colton.

The famous Apollonius being very early at Vespasian's gate, and finding him stirring, from thence conjectured that he was worthy to govern an empire, and said to his companion, "This man surely will be emperor, he is so early."—Caussin.

When one begins to turn in bed, it is time to get up.—Wellington.

The difference between rising at five and seven o'clock in the morning, for the space of forty years, supposing a man to go to bed at the same hour at night, is nearly equivalent to the addition of ten years to a man's life.—Doddridge.

Whoever has tasted the breath of morning knows that the most invigorating and most delightful hours of the day are commonly spent in bed; though it is the evident intention of nature that we should enjoy and profit by them.—Southey.

Economy.—Economy is half the battle of life; it is not so hard to earn money as to spend it well.—Spurgeon.

Ere fancy you consult, consult your purse.—Franklin.

I can get no remedy against this consumption of the purse; borrowing only lingers and lingers it out; but the disease is incurable.—Shakespeare.

The back-door robs the house.—George Herbert.

The world abhors closeness, and all but admires extravagance. Yet a slack hand shows weakness, a tight hand, strength.—Charles Buxton.[Pg 71]

Education.—Education gives fecundity of thought, copiousness of illustration, quickness, vigor, fancy, words, images, and illustrations; it decorates every common thing, and gives the power of trifling without being undignified and absurd.—Sydney Smith.

Still I am learning.—Motto of Michael Angelo.

If we work upon marble, it will perish; if we work upon brass, time will efface it; if we rear temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon immortal minds, if we imbue them with principles, with the just fear of God and love of our fellow-men, we engrave on those tablets something which will brighten to all eternity.—Daniel Webster.

The education of life perfects the thinking mind, but depraves the frivolous.—Mme. de Staël.

What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to a human soul. The philosopher, the saint, and the hero,—the wise, the good, and the great man, very often lie hid and concealed in a plebeian, which a proper education might have disinterred and brought to light.—Addison.

Very few men are wise by their own counsel, or learned by their own teaching; for he that was only taught by himself had a fool to his master.—Ben Jonson.

I am always for getting a boy forward in his learning, for that is sure good. I would let him at first read any English book which happens to engage his attention; because you have done a great deal when you have brought him to have entertainment from a book. He'll get better books afterwards.—Johnson.

The essential difference between a good and a bad education is this, that the former draws on the child to learn by making it sweet to him; the latter drives the child to learn, by making it sour to him if he does not.—Charles Buxton.[Pg 72]

Nothing so good as a university education, nor worse than a university without its education.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Education is all paint: it does not alter the nature of the wood that is under it, it only improves its appearance a little. Why I dislike education so much is that it makes all people alike, until you have examined into them; and it is sometimes so long before you get to see under the varnish!—Lady Hester Stanhope.

Eloquence.—The poetry of speech.—Byron.

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.—Goldsmith.

Eminence.—I do not hesitate to say that the road to eminence and power from an obscure condition ought not to be made too easy, nor a thing too much of course. If rare merit be the rarest of all things, it ought to pass through some sort of probation. The Temple of Honor ought to be seated on an eminence. If it be open through virtue, let it be remembered, too, that virtue is never tried but by some difficulty and some struggle.—Burke.

Emotions.—All loving emotions, like plants, shoot up most rapidly in the tempestuous atmosphere of life.—Richter.

Emotion has no value in the Christian system save as it stands connected with right conduct as the cause of it. Emotion is the bud, not the flower, and never is it of value until it expands into a flower. Every religious sentiment; every act of devotion which does not produce a corresponding elevation of life, is worse than useless; it is absolutely pernicious, because it ministers to self-deception and tends to lower the line of personal morals.—W. H. H. Murray.[Pg 73]

There are three orders of emotions: those of pleasure, which refer to the senses; those of harmony, which refer to the mind; and those of happiness, which are the natural result of a union between harmony and pleasure.—Chapone.

Emotion, whether of ridicule, anger, or sorrow; whether raised at a puppet-show, a funeral, or a battle, is your grandest of levelers. The man who would be always superior should be always apathetic.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Employment.—The wise prove, and the foolish confess, by their conduct, that a life of employment is the only life worth leading.—Paley.

Life will frequently languish, even in the hands of the busy, if they have not some employment subsidiary to that which forms their main pursuit.—Blair.

Emulation.—Emulation embalms the dead; envy, the vampire, blasts the living.—Fuseli.

Enemies.—It is the enemy whom we do not suspect who is the most dangerous.—Rojas.

Energy.—The longer I live, the more deeply am I convinced that that which makes the difference between one man and another—between the weak and powerful, the great and insignificant—is energy, invincible determination; a purpose once formed, and then death or victory. This quality will do anything that is to be done in the world; and no two-legged creature can become a man without it.—Charles Buxton.

The truest wisdom is a resolute determination.—Napoleon.

To think we are able is almost to be so; to determine upon attainment is frequently attainment itself. Thus earnest resolution has often seemed to have about it almost a savor of omnipotence.—Samuel Smiles.[Pg 74]

Oh! for a forty parson power.—Byron.

Daniel Webster struck me much like a steam-engine in trousers.—Sydney Smith.

This world belongs to the energetic.—Emerson.

Enjoyment.—Whatever advantage we snatch beyond the certain portion allotted us by nature is like money spent before it is due, which at the time of regular payment will be missed and regretted.—Johnson.

Ennui.—I have also seen the world, and after long experience have discovered that ennui is our greatest enemy, and remunerative labor our most lasting friend.—Möser.

I am wrapped in dismal thinking.—Shakespeare.

Enthusiasm.—Enthusiasts soon understand each other.—Washington Irving.

Enthusiasm is an evil much less to be dreaded than superstition. Superstition is the disease of nations; enthusiasm, that of individuals: the former grows inveterate by time, the latter is cured by it.—Robert Hall.

Enthusiasm is that temper of mind in which the imagination has got the better of the judgment.—Warburton.

Great designs are not accomplished without enthusiasm of some sort. It is the inspiration of everything great. Without it, no man is to be feared, and with it none despised.—Bovée.

Enthusiasm is supernatural serenity.—Thoreau.

A man conscious of enthusiasm for worthy aims is sustained under petty hostilities by the memory of great workers who had to fight their way not without wounds, and who hover in his mind as patron saints, invisibly helping.—George Eliot.

The insufficient passions of a soul expanding to celestial limits.—Sydney Dobell.[Pg 75]

Envy.—A man who hath no virtue in himself ever envieth virtue in others; for men's minds will either feed upon their own good, or upon others' evil; and who wanteth the one will prey upon the other.—Lord Bacon.

Pining and sickening at another's joy.—Ovid.

Many passions dispose us to depress and vilify the merit of one rising in the esteem of mankind.—Addison.

He who surpasses or subdues mankind must look down on the hate of those below.—Byron.

An envious fever of pale and bloodless emulation.—Shakespeare.

Equality.—Whether I be the grandest genius on earth in a single thing, and that single thing earthy, or the poor peasant who, behind his plow, whistles for want of thought, I strongly suspect it will be all one when I pass to the Competitive Examination yonder! On the other side of the grave a Raffael's occupation may be gone as well as a plowman's.—Bulwer-Lytton.

All the religions known in the world are founded, so far as they relate to man, or the unity of man, as being all of one degree. Whether in heaven or in hell, or in whatever state man may be supposed to exist hereafter, the good and the bad are the only distinctions.—Thomas Paine.

By the law of God, given by him to humanity, all men are free, are brothers, and are equals.—Mazzini.

The circle of life is cut up into segments. All lines are equal if they are drawn from the centre and touch the circumference.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Liberty and equality, lovely and sacred words!—Mazzini.

Society is a more level surface than we imagine. Wise men or absolute fools are hard to be met with, as there are few giants or dwarfs.—Hazlitt.[Pg 76]

Equanimity.—A thing often lost, but seldom found.—Mrs. Balfour.

Error.—If those alone who "sowed the wind did reap the whirlwind," it would be well. But the mischief is that the blindness of bigotry, the madness of ambition, and the miscalculations of diplomacy seek their victims principally amongst the innocent and the unoffending. The cottage is sure to suffer for every error of the court, the cabinet, or the camp. When error sits in the seat of power and of authority, and is generated in high places, it may be compared to that torrent which originates indeed in the mountain, but commits its devastation in the vale.—Colton.

There is a brotherhood of error as close as the brotherhood of truth.—Argyll.

Errors look so very ugly in persons of small means, one feels they are taking quite a liberty in going astray; whereas people of fortune may naturally indulge in a few delinquencies.—George Eliot.

Our follies and errors are the soiled steps to the Grecian temple of our perfection.—Richter.

But for my part, my lord, I then thought, and am still of the same opinion, that error, and not truth of any kind, is dangerous; that ill conclusions can only flow from false propositions; and that, to know whether any proposition be true or false, it is a preposterous method to examine it by its apparent consequences.—Burke.

Error in itself is always invisible; its nature is the absence of light.—Jacobi.

There is no place where weeds do not grow, and there is no heart where errors are not to be found.—J. S. Knowles.

Our understandings are always liable to error; nature and certainty is very hard to come at, and infallibility is mere vanity and pretense.—Marcus Antoninus.[Pg 77]

Let error be an infirmity and not a crime.—Castelar.

Errors such as are but acorns in our younger brows grow oaks in our older heads, and become inflexible.—Sir Thomas Browne.

Erudition.—'Tis of great importance to the honor of learning that men of business should know erudition is not like a lark, which flies high, and delights in nothing but singing; but that 't is rather like a hawk, which soars aloft indeed, but can stoop when she finds it convenient, and seize her prey.—Bacon.

Estimation.—A life spent worthily should be measured by a nobler line,—by deeds, not years.—Sheridan.

To judge of the real importance of an individual, one should think of the effect his death would produce.—Léves.

Eternity.—Upon laying a weight in one of the scales, inscribed eternity, though I threw in that of time, prosperity, affliction, wealth, and poverty, which seemed very ponderous, they were not able to stir the opposite balance.—Addison.

Eternity is a negative idea clothed with a positive name. It supposes in that to which it is applied a present existence; and is the negation of a beginning or of an end of that existence.—Paley.

Etiquette.—Whoever pays a visit that is not desired, or talks longer than the listener is willing to attend, is guilty of an injury that he cannot repair, and takes away that which he cannot give.—Johnson.

The forms required by good breeding, or prescribed by authority, are to be observed in social or official life.—Prescott.

Good taste rejects excessive nicety; it treats little things as little things, and is not hurt by them.—Fénelon.[Pg 78]

The law of the table is beauty, a respect to the common soul of the guests. Everything is unreasonable which is private to two or three, or any portion of the company. Tact never violates for a moment this law; never intrudes the orders of the house, the vices of the absent, or a tariff of expenses, or professional privacies; as we say, we never "talk shop" before company. Lovers abstain from caresses, and haters from insults, while they sit in one parlor with common friends.—Emerson.

Events.—Man reconciles himself to almost any event however trying, if it happens in the ordinary course of nature. It is the extraordinary alone that he rebels against. There is a moral idea associated with this feeling; for the extraordinary appears to be something like an injustice of Heaven.—Humboldt.

There can be no peace in human life without the contempt of all events. He that troubles his head with drawing consequences from mere contingencies shall never be at rest.—L'Estrange.

Evil.—Evil is in antagonism with the entire creation.—Zschokke.

Even in evil, that dark cloud which hangs over the creation, we discern rays of light and hope; and gradually come to see in suffering and temptation proofs and instruments of the sublimest purposes of wisdom and love.—Channing.

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.—Bible.

If we will rightly estimate what we call good and evil, we shall find it lies much in comparison.—Locke.

Not one false man but does uncountable evil.—Carlyle.

This is the course of every evil deed, that, propagating still, it brings forth evil.—Coleridge.[Pg 79]

The truly virtuous do not easily credit evil that is told them of their neighbors; for if others may do amiss, then may these also speak amiss: man is frail, and prone to evil, and therefore may soon fail in words.—Jeremy Taylor.

Physical evils destroy themselves, or they destroy us.—Rousseau.

"One soweth, and another reapeth," is a verity that applies to evil as well as good.—George Eliot.

If you believe in evil, you have done evil.—A. de Musset.

Example.—We are all of us more or less echoes, repeating involuntarily the virtues, the defects, the movements, and the characters of those among whom we live.—Joubert.

How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.—Shakespeare.

Every great example takes hold of us with the authority of a miracle, and says to us: "If ye had but faith, ye could also be able to do the things which I do."—Jacobi.

Excellence.—Nothing is such an obstacle to the production of excellence as the power of producing what is good with ease and rapidity.—Aikin.

Excelsior.—Man's life is in the impulse of elevation to something higher.—Jacobi.

Excess.—Too much noise deafens us; too much light blinds us; too great a distance or too much of proximity equally prevents us from being able to see; too long and too short a discourse obscures our knowledge of a subject; too much of truth stuns us.—Pascal.

O fleeting joys of Paradise, dear bought with lasting woes.—Milton.[Pg 80]

Excess generally causes reaction, and produces a change in the opposite direction, whether it be in the seasons, or in individuals, or in governments.—Plato.

Excitement.—There is always something interesting and beautiful about a universal popular excitement of a generous character, let the object of it be what it may. The great desiring heart of man, surging with one strong, sympathetic swell, even though it be to break on the beach of life and fall backwards, leaving the sands as barren as before, has yet a meaning and a power in its restlessness with which I must deeply sympathize.—Mrs. Stowe.

Violent excitement exhausts the mind, and leaves it withered and sterile.—Fénelon.

The language of excitement is at best but picturesque merely. You must be calm before you can utter oracles.—Thoreau.

This is so engraven on our nature that it may be regarded as an appetite. Like all other appetites, it is not sinful, unless indulged unlawfully, or to excess.—Dr. Guthrie.

Excuse.—Of vain things, excuses are the vainest.—Charles Buxton.

Expectation.—'Tis expectation makes a blessing dear; heaven were not heaven, if we knew what it were.—Suckling.

It may be proper for all to remember that they ought not to raise expectations which it is not in their power to satisfy; and that it is more pleasing to see smoke brightening into flame, than flame sinking into smoke.—Johnson.

Expediency.—When private virtue is hazarded upon the perilous cast of expediency, the pillars of the republic, however apparent their stability, are infected with decay at the very centre.—Chapin.[Pg 81]

Men in responsible situations cannot, like those in private life, be governed solely by the dictates of their own inclinations, or by such motives as can only affect themselves.—Washington.

Experience.—Life consists in the alternate process of learning and unlearning; but it is often wiser to unlearn than to learn.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Experience, the shroud of illusions.—De Finod.

To have a true idea of man, or of life, one must have stood himself on the brink of suicide, or on the door-sill of insanity, at least once.—Taine.

What we learn with pleasure we never forget.—Alfred Mercier.

Who would venture upon the journey of life, if compelled to begin it at the end?—Mme. de Maintenon.

Experience is the extract of suffering.—Arthur Helps.

Every generous illusion adds a wrinkle in vanishing. Experience is the successive disenchantment of the things of life. It is reason enriched by the spoils of the heart.—J. Petit Senn.

Extravagance.—Expenses are not rectilinear, but circular. Every inch you add to the diameter adds three to the circumference.—Charles Buxton.

Extremes.—Extremes are dangerous; a middle estate is safest; as a middle temper of the sea, between a still calm and a violent tempest, is most helpful to convey the mariner to his haven.—Swinnock.

Superlatives are diminutives, and weaken.—Emerson.

Extremes are for us as if they were not, and as if we were not in regard to them; they escape from us, or we from them.—Pascal.[Pg 82]

Eye.—Stabbed with a white wench's black eye.—Shakespeare.

The eyes of a man are of no use without the observing power. Telescopes and microscopes are cunning contrivances, but they cannot see of themselves.—Paxton Hood.

Ladies, whose bright eyes rain influence.—Milton.

Where is any author in the world teaches such beauty as a woman's eye?—Shakespeare.

Let every eye negotiate for itself and trust no agent.—Shakespeare.

Her eyes are homes of silent prayer.—Tennyson.

The eyes have one language everywhere.—George Herbert.

Glances are the first billets-doux of love.—Ninon de L'Enclos.


Face.—A February face, so full of frost, of storms, and cloudiness.—Shakespeare.

Demons in act, but gods at least in face.—Byron.

A girl of eighteen imagines the feelings behind the face that has moved her with its sympathetic youth, as easily as primitive people imagined the humors of the gods in fair weather: what is she to believe in, if not in this vision woven from within?—George Eliot.

The worst of faces still is a human face.—Lavater.

Fact.—There should always be some foundation of fact for the most airy fabric, and pure invention is but the talent of a deceiver.—Byron.

Every day of my life makes me feel more and more how seldom a fact is accurately stated; how almost invariably when a story has passed through the[Pg 83] mind of a third person it becomes, so far as regards the impression that it makes in further repetitions, little better than a falsehood; and this, too, though the narrator be the most truth-seeking person in existence.—Hawthorne.

Faction.—A feeble government produces more factions than an oppressive one.—Fisher Ames.

It is the demon of discord armed with the power to do endless mischief, and intent alone on destroying whatever opposes its progress.—Crabbe.

Failure.—But screw your courage to the sticking-place, and we'll not fail!—Shakespeare.

Albeit failure in any cause produces a correspondent misery in the soul, yet it is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterward carefully eschew.—Keats.

Every failure is a step to success; every detection of what is false directs us toward what is true; every trial exhausts some tempting form of error. Not only so, but scarcely any attempt is entirely a failure; scarcely any theory, the result of steady thought, is altogether false; no tempting form of error is without some latent charm derived from truth.—Whewell.

Faith.—In affairs of this world men are saved not by faith but by the want of it.—Fielding.

All the scholastic scaffolding falls, as a ruined edifice, before one single word,—faith.—Napoleon.

O welcome pure-eyed Faith, white-handed Hope, thou hovering angel, girt with golden wings!—Milton.

Life grows dark as we go on, till only one clear light is left shining on it, and that is faith.—Madame Swetchine.[Pg 84]

When my reason is afloat, my faith cannot long remain in suspense, and I believe in God as firmly as in any other truth whatever; in short, a thousand motives draw me to the consolatory side, and add the weight of hope to the equilibrium of reason.—Rousseau.

Flatter not thyself in thy faith to God, if thou wantest charity for thy neighbor; and think not thou hast charity for thy neighbor, if thou wantest faith to God: where they are not both together, they are both wanting; they are both dead if once divided.—Quarles.

We cannot live on probabilities. The faith in which we can live bravely and die in peace must be a certainty, so far as it professes to be a faith at all, or it is nothing.—Froude.

The great desire of this age is for a doctrine which may serve to condense our knowledge, guide our researches, and shape our lives, so that conduct may really be the consequence of belief.—G. H. Lewes.

Falsehood.—Falsehood, like a drawing in perspective, will not bear to be examined in every point of view, because it is a good imitation of truth, as a perspective is of the reality.—Colton.

Do not let us lie at all. Do not think of one falsity as harmless, and another as slight, and another as unintended. Cast them all aside: they may be light and accidental, but they are ugly soot from the smoke of the pit, for all that: and it is better that our hearts should be swept clean of them, without one care as to which is largest or blackest.—Ruskin.

It is more from carelessness about the truth, than from intentional lying, that there is so much falsehood in the world.—Johnson.

Falsehood and fraud shoot up in every soil, the product of all climes.—Addison.[Pg 85]

Round dealing is the honor of man's nature; and a mixture of falsehood is like alloy in gold and silver, which may make the metal work the better, but it embaseth it.—Lord Bacon.

To lapse in fullness is sorer than to lie for need: and falsehood is worse in king than beggar.—Shakespeare.

A liar would be brave toward God, while he is a coward toward men; for a lie faces God, and shrinks from man.—Montaigne.

The dull flat falsehood serves for policy, and in the cunning, truth's itself a lie.—Pope.

No falsehood can endure touch of celestial temper but returns of force to its own likeness.—Milton.

Figures themselves, in their symmetrical and inexorable order, have their mistakes like words and speeches. An hour of pleasure and an hour of pain are alike only on the dial in their numerical arrangement. Outside the dial they lie sixty times.—Méry.

Fame.—Fame, as a river, is narrowest where it is bred, and broadest afar off; so exemplary writers depend not upon the gratitude of the world.—Davenant.

Grant me honest fame, or grant me none.—Pope.

Much of reputation depends on the period in which it rises. The Italians proverbially observe that one half of fame depends on that cause. In dark periods, when talents appear they shine like the sun through a small hole in the window-shutter. The strong beam dazzles amid the surrounding gloom. Open the shutter, and the general diffusion of light attracts no notice.—Walpole.

Fame confers a rank above that of gentleman and of kings. As soon as she issues her patent of nobility, it matters not a straw whether the recipient be the son of a Bourbon or of a tallow-chandler.—Bulwer-Lytton.[Pg 86]

One Cæsar lives,—a thousand are forgot!—Young.

Few people make much noise after their deaths who did not do so while they were living. Posterity could not be supposed to rake into the records of past times for the illustrious obscure, and only ratify or annul the lists of great names handed down to them by the voice of common fame. Few people recover from the neglect or obloquy of their contemporaries. The public will hardly be at the pains to try the same cause twice over, or does not like to reverse its own sentence, at least when on the unfavorable side.—Hazlitt.

Celebrity sells dearly what we think she gives.—Emile Souvestre.

Fame has no necessary conjunction with praise; it may exist without the breath of a word: it is a recognition of excellence which must be felt, but need not be spoken. Even the envious must feel it; feel it, and hate in silence.—Washington Allston.

Many have lived on a pedestal who will never have a statue when dead.—Béranger.

I hope the day will never arrive when I shall neither be the object of calumny nor ridicule, for then I shall be neglected and forgotten.—Johnson.

A man who cannot win fame in his own age will have a very small chance of winning it from posterity. True there are some half dozen exceptions to this truth among millions of myriads that attest it; but what man of common sense would invest any large amount of hope in so unpromising a lottery.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Fame is the thirst of youth.—Byron.

Our admiration of a famous man lessens upon our nearer acquaintance with him; and we seldom hear of a celebrated person without a catalogue of some notorious weaknesses and infirmities.—Addison.

Even the best things are not equal to their fame.—Thoreau.[Pg 87]

Fanaticism.—Fanaticism, to which men are so much inclined, has always served not only to render them more brutalized but more wicked.—Voltaire.

Painful and corporeal punishments should never be applied to fanaticism; for, being founded on pride, it glories in persecution.—Beccaria.

The false fire of an overheated mind.—Cowper.

Fanaticism is the child of false zeal and of superstition, the father of intolerance and of persecution.—J. Fletcher.

Fashion.—Fashion is the great governor of this world. It presides not only in matters of dress and amusement, but in law, physic, politics, religion, and all other things of the gravest kind. Indeed, the wisest of men would be puzzled to give any better reason why particular forms in all these have been at certain times universally received, and at other times universally rejected, than that they were in or out of fashion.—Fielding.

Fancy and pride seek things at vast expense.—Young.

A beautiful envelope for mortality, presenting a glittering and polished exterior, the appearance of which gives no certain indication of the real value of what is contained therein.—Mrs. Balfour.

Beauty too often sacrifices to fashion. The spirit of fashion is not the beautiful, but the willful; not the graceful, but the fantastic; not the superior in the abstract, but the superior in the worst of all concretes,—the vulgar.—Leigh Hunt.

Faults.—To acknowledge our faults when we are blamed is modesty; to discover them to one's friends, in ingenuousness, is confidence; but to preach them to all the world, if one does not take care, is pride.—Confucius.

The first fault is the child of simplicity, but every other the offspring of guilt.—Goldsmith.[Pg 88]

Fear.—It is no ways congruous that God should be frightening men into truth who were made to be wrought upon by calm evidence and gentle methods of persuasion.—Atterbury.

Fear is far more painful to cowardice than death to true courage.—Sir P. Sidney.

Fear is the tax that conscience pays to guilt.—George Sewell.

Fear invites danger; concealed cowards insult known ones.—Chesterfield.

Felicity.—The world produces for every pint of honey a gallon of gall; for every dram of pleasure a pound of pain; for every inch of mirth an ell of moan; and as the ivy twines around the oak, so does misery and misfortune encompass the happy man. Felicity, pure and unalloyed felicity, is not a plant of earthly growth; her gardens are the skies.—Burton.

Fickleness.—Everything by starts, and nothing long.—Dryden.

It will be found that they are the weakest-minded and the hardest-hearted men that most love change.—Ruskin.

Fiction.—Truth severe, by fairy fiction drest.—Gray.

Every fiction since Homer has taught friendship, patriotism, generosity, contempt of death. These are the highest virtues; and the fictions which taught them were therefore of the highest, though not of unmixed, utility.—Sir J. Mackintosh.

I have often maintained that fiction may be much more instructive than real history.—Rev. John Foster.

Fiction is of the essence of poetry as well as of painting: there is a resemblance in one of human bodies, things, and actions which are not real, and in the other of a true story by fiction.—Dryden.[Pg 89]

Fiction is no longer a mere amusement; but transcendent genius, accommodating itself to the character of the age, has seized upon this province of literature, and turned fiction from a toy into a mighty engine.—Channing.

The best portraits are those in which there is a slight mixture of caricature; and we are not aware that the best histories are not those in which a little of the exaggeration of fictitious narrative is judiciously employed. Something is lost in accuracy; but much is gained in effect. The fainter lines are neglected; but the great characteristic features are imprinted on the mind forever.—Macaulay.

Those who delight in the study of human nature may improve in the knowledge of it, and in the profitable application of that knowledge, by the perusal of such fictions as those before us [Jane Austen's Novels].—Archbishop Whately.

Firmness.—The greatest firmness is the greatest mercy.—Longfellow.

Stand firm and immovable as an anvil when it is beaten upon.—St. Ignatius.

Flattery.—The art of flatterers is to take advantage of the foibles of the great, to foster their errors, and never to give advice which may annoy.—Molière.

He does me double wrong that wounds me with the flatteries of his tongue.—Shakespeare.

Flattery is often a traffic of mutual meanness, where, although both parties intend deception, neither are deceived, since words that cost little are exchanged for hopes that cost less.—Colton.

The most dangerous of all flattery is the inferiority of those about us.—Madame Swetchine.

Though flattery blossoms like friendship, yet there is a great difference in the fruit.—Socrates.[Pg 90]

The coin that is most current among mankind is flattery; the only benefit of which is that by hearing what we are not we may be instructed what we ought to be.—Swift.

Blinded as they are to their true character by self-love, every man is his own first and chiefest flatterer, prepared, therefore, to welcome the flatterer from the outside, who only comes confirming the verdict of the flatterer within.—Plutarch.

Flattery is an ensnaring quality, and leaves a very dangerous impression. It swells a man's imagination, entertains his fancy, and drives him to a doting upon his own person.—Jeremy Collier.

Because all men are apt to flatter themselves, to entertain the addition of other men's praises is most perilous.—Sir W. Raleigh.

Out of the pulpit, I trust none can accuse me of too much plainness of speech; but there, madame [Queen Mary], I am not my own master, but must speak that which I am commanded by the King of kings, and dare not, on my soul, flatter any one on the face of all the earth—John Knox.

Flowers.—Luther always kept a flower in a glass on his writing-table; and when he was waging his great public controversy with Eckius he kept a flower in his hand. Lord Bacon has a beautiful passage about flowers. As to Shakspeare, he is a perfect Alpine valley,—he is full of flowers; they spring, and blossom, and wave in every cleft of his mind. Even Milton, cold, serene, and stately as he is, breaks forth into exquisite gushes of tenderness and fancy when he marshals the flowers.—Mrs. Stowe.

Flowers, leaves, fruit, are the air-woven children of light.—Moleschott.

Ye pretty daughters of the Earth and Sun.—Sir Walter Raleigh.[Pg 91]

I always think the flowers can see us and know what we are thinking about.—George Eliot.

What a desolate place would be a world without a flower! It would be a face without a smile,—a feast without a welcome! Are not flowers the stars of the earth? and are not our stars the flowers of heaven?—Mrs. Balfour.

What a pity flowers can utter no sound! A singing rose, a whispering violet, a murmuring honeysuckle,—oh, what a rare and exquisite miracle would these be!—Beecher.

The bright mosaic, that with storied beauty, the floor of nature's temple tessellate.—Horace Smith.

Fools.—You pity a man who is lame or blind, but you never pity him for being a fool, which is often a much greater misfortune.—Sydney Smith.

A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant fool.—Molière.

Of all thieves fools are the worst; they rob you of time and temper.—Goethe.

Fortune makes folly her peculiar care.—Churchill.

It would be easier to endow a fool with intellect than to persuade him that he had none.—Babinet.

There are many more fools in the world than there are knaves, otherwise the knaves could not exist.—Bulwer-Lytton.

There are more fools than sages, and among sages there is more folly than wisdom.—Chamfort.

Foppery.—Foppery is never cured; it is the bad stamina of the mind, which, like those of the body, are never rectified; once a coxcomb and always a coxcomb.—Johnson.

Foppery is the egotism of clothes.—Victor Hugo.

Nature has sometimes made a fool; but a coxcomb is always of a man's own making.—Addison.[Pg 92]

Forbearance.—The little I have seen of the world teaches me to look upon the errors of others in sorrow, not in anger. When I take the history of one poor heart that has sinned and suffered, and represent to myself the struggles and temptations it has passed through, the brief pulsations of joy, the feverish inquietude of hope and fear, the pressure of want, the desertion of friends, I would fain leave the erring soul of my fellow-man with Him from whose hand it came.—Longfellow.

Forethought.—Human foresight often leaves its proudest possessor only a choice of evils.—Colton.

Whoever fails to turn aside the ills of life by prudent forethought, must submit to fulfill the course of destiny.—Schiller.

In life, as in chess, forethought wins.—Charles Buxton.

If a man take no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand.—Confucius.

Those old stories of visions and dreams guiding men have their truth: we are saved by making the future present to ourselves.—George Eliot.

Forgetfulness.—There is nothing, no, nothing, innocent or good that dies and is forgotten: let us hold to that faith or none. An infant, a prattling child, dying in the cradle, will live again in the better thoughts of those that loved it, and play its part through them in the redeeming actions of the world, though its body be burnt to ashes, or drowned in the deep sea. Forgotten! Oh, if the deeds of human creatures could be traced to their source, how beautiful would even death appear! for how much charity, mercy, and purified affection would be seen to have their growth in dusty graves!—Dickens.[Pg 93]

Forgiveness.—It is more easy to forgive the weak who have injured us, than the powerful whom we have injured. That conduct will be continued by our fears which commenced in our resentment. He that has gone so far as to cut the claws of the lion will not feel himself quite secure until he has also drawn his teeth.—Colton.

They never pardon who commit the wrong.—Dryden.

May I tell you why it seems to me a good thing for us to remember wrong that has been done us? That we may forgive it.—Dickens.

'Tis easier for the generous to forgive than for offense to ask it.—Thomson.

Life, that ever needs forgiveness, has, for its first duty, to forgive.—Bulwer-Lytton.

It is easy enough to forgive your enemies, if you have not the means to harm them.—Heinrich Heine.

More bounteous run rivers when the ice that locked their flow melts into their waters. And when fine natures relent, their kindness is swelled by the thaw.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Fortitude.—White men should exhibit the same insensibility to moral tortures that red men do to physical torments.—Théophile Gautier.

There is a strength of quiet endurance as significant of courage as the most daring feats of prowess.—Tuckerman.

Fortitude is the guard and support of the other virtues.—Locke.

Fortune.—Fortune loves only the young.—Charles V.

Ill fortune never crushed that man whom good fortune deceived not.—Ben Jonson.

It is often the easiest move that completes the game. Fortune is like the lady whom a lover carried off from all his rivals by putting an additional lace upon his liveries.—Bulwer-Lytton.[Pg 94]

The use we make of our fortune determines its sufficiency. A little is enough if used wisely, and too much if expended foolishly.—Bovée.

The fortunate circumstances of our lives are generally found at last to be of our own producing.—Goldsmith.

Fortune has been considered the guardian divinity of fools; and, on this score, she has been accused of blindness; but it should rather be adduced as a proof of her sagacity, when she helps those who certainly cannot help themselves.—Colton.

Fortunes made in no time are like shirts made in no time; it's ten to one if they hang long together.—Douglas Jerrold.

There is some help for all the defects of fortune; for if a man cannot attain to the length of his wishes, he may have his remedy by cutting of them shorter.—Cowley.

Fortune, to show us her power in all things, and to abate our presumption, seeing she could not make fools wise, she has made them fortunate.—Montaigne.

See'st thou not what various fortunes the Divinity makes man to pass through, changing and turning them from day to day?—Euripides.

Fortune is but a synonymous word for nature and necessity.—Bentley.

Foolish I deem him who, thinking that his state is blest, rejoices in security; for Fortune, like a man distempered in his senses, leaps now this way, now that, and no man is always fortunate.—Euripides.

They say Fortune is a woman and capricious. But sometimes she is a good woman, and gives to those who merit.—George Eliot.

If Fortune has fairly sat on a man, he takes it for granted that life consists in being sat upon. But to be coddled on Fortune's knee, and then have his ears boxed, that is aggravating.—Charles Buxton.[Pg 95]

Fraud.—The more gross the fraud the more glibly will it go down, and the more greedily will it be swallowed; since folly will always find faith wherever impostors will find impudence.—Colton.

Friendship.—Friendship has steps which lead up to the throne of God, though all spirits come to the Infinite; only Love is satiable, and like Truth, admits of no three degrees of comparison; and a simple being fills the heart.—Richter.

Very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.—Bible.

Fix yourself upon the wealthy. In a word, take this for a golden rule through life: Never, never have a friend that is poorer than yourself.—Douglas Jerrold.

Experience has taught me that the only friends we can call our own, who can have no change, are those over whom the grave has closed; the seal of death is the only seal of friendship.—Byron.

What is commonly called friendship even is only a little more honor among rogues.—Thoreau.

So great a happiness do I esteem it to be loved, that I fancy every blessing both from gods and men ready to descend spontaneously upon him who is loved.—Xenophon.

Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.—Thoreau.

The friendship between great men is rarely intimate or permanent. It is a Boswell that most appreciates a Johnson. Genius has no brother, no co-mate; the love it inspires is that of a pupil or a son.—Bulwer-Lytton.

The firmest friendships have been formed in mutual adversity; as iron is most strongly united by the fiercest flame.—Colton.[Pg 96]

Never contract a friendship with a man that is not better than thyself.—Confucius.

There are three friendships which are advantageous, and three which are injurious. Friendship with the upright, friendship with the sincere, and friendship with the man of much information,—these are advantageous. Friendship with the man of specious airs, friendship with the insinuatingly soft, friendship with the glib-tongued,—these are injurious.—Confucius.

Friendship survives death better than absence.—J. Petit Senn.

This communicating of a man's self to his friend works two contrary effects, for it redoubleth joys and cutteth griefs in half: for there is no man that imparteth his joys to his friend, but he joyeth the more; and no man that imparteth his griefs to his friend, but he grieveth the less.—Bacon.

Sweet is the memory of distant friends! Like the mellow rays of the declining sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.—Washington Irving.

It may be worth noticing as a curious circumstance, when persons past forty before they were at all acquainted form together a very close intimacy of friendship. For grafts of old wood to take, there must be a wonderful congeniality between the trees.—Whately.

An old friend is not always the person whom it is easiest to make a confidant of.—George Eliot.

Fun.—There is nothing like fun, is there? I haven't any myself, and I do like it in others. Oh, we need it,—we need all the counter-weights we can muster to balance the sad relations of life. God has made sunny spots in the heart; why should we exclude the light from them?—Haliburton.

Futurity.—The best preparation for the future is the present well seen to, the last duty done.—George MacDonald.[Pg 97]

We always live prospectively, never retrospectively, and there is no abiding moment.—Jacobi.

Another life, if it were not better than this, would be less a promise than a threat.—J. Petit Senn.

The spirit of man, which God inspired, cannot together perish with this corporeal clod.—Milton.


Gambling.—Gaming is a kind of tacit confession that the company engaged therein do, in general, exceed the bounds of their respective fortunes, and therefore they cast lots to determine upon whom the ruin shall at present fall, that the rest may be saved a little longer.—Blackstone.

A mode of transferring property without producing any intermediate good.—Johnson.

Gems.—How very beautiful these gems are! It is strange how deeply colors seem to penetrate one, like scent. I suppose that is the reason why gems are used as spiritual emblems in the Revelation of St. John. They look like fragments of heaven.—George Eliot.

Generosity.—A friend to everybody is often a friend to nobody, or else in his simplicity he robs his family to help strangers, and becomes brother to a beggar. There is wisdom in generosity as in everything else.—Spurgeon.

Generosity is the accompaniment of high birth; pity and gratitude are its attendants.—Corneille.

It is good to be unselfish and generous; but don't carry that too far. It will not do to give yourself to be melted down for the benefit of the tallow-trade; you must know where to find yourself.—George Eliot.[Pg 98]

If cruelty has its expiations and its remorses, generosity has its chances and its turns of good fortune; as if Providence reserved them for fitting occasions, that noble hearts may not be discouraged.—Lamartine.

Genius.—Genius is rarely found without some mixture of eccentricity, as the strength of spirit is proved by the bubbles on its surface.—Mrs. Balfour.

All great men are in some degree inspired.—Cicero.

This is the highest miracle of genius: that things which are not should be as though they were; that the imaginations of one mind should become the personal recollections of another.—Macaulay.

The path of genius is not less obstructed with disappointment than that of ambition.—Voltaire.

One misfortune of extraordinary geniuses is that their very friends are more apt to admire than love them.—Pope.

Genius speaks only to genius.—Stanislaus.

A nation does wisely, if not well, in starving her men of genius. Fatten them, and they are done for.—Charles Buxton.

Genius has no brother.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Genius never grows old; young to-day, mature yesterday, vigorous to-morrow: always immortal. It is peculiar to no sex or condition, and is the divine gift to woman no less than to man.—Juan Lewis.

Gentleman.—A gentleman's first characteristic is that fineness of structure in the body which renders it capable of the most delicate sensation; and of structure in the mind which renders it capable of the most delicate sympathies; one may say, simply, "fineness of nature." This is of course compatible with heroic bodily strength and mental[Pg 99] firmness; in fact, heroic strength is not conceivable without such delicacy.—Ruskin.

It is a grand old name, that of gentleman, and has been recognized as a rank and power in all stages of society. To possess this character is a dignity of itself, commanding the instinctive homage of every generous mind, and those who will not bow to titular rank will yet do homage to the gentleman. His qualities depend not upon fashion or manners, but upon moral worth; not on personal possessions, but on personal qualities. The Psalmist briefly describes him as one "that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart."—Samuel Smiles.

There is no man that can teach us to be gentlemen better than Joseph Addison.—Thackeray.

Gentleness.—Fearless gentleness is the most beautiful of feminine attractions, born of modesty and love.—Mrs. Balfour.

Gentleness is far more successful in all its enterprises than violence; indeed, violence generally frustrates its own purpose, while gentleness scarcely ever fails.—Locke.

Sweet speaking oft a currish heart reclaims.—Sidney.

The golden beams of truth and the silken cords of love, twisted together, will draw men on with a sweet violence, whether they will or not.—Cudworth.

Gifts.—One must be poor to know the luxury of giving!—George Eliot.

Riches, understanding, beauty, are fair gifts of God.—Luther.

And with them words of so sweet breath composed as made the things more rich.—Shakespeare.

How can that gift leave a trace which has left no void?—Madame Swetchine.[Pg 100]

The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity.—Mrs. Balfour.

Examples are few of men ruined by giving. Men are heroes in spending, very cravens in what they give.—Bovée.

When a friend asks, there is no to-morrow.—George Herbert.

Strange designs lurk under a gift. "Give the horse to his Holiness," said the cardinal. "I cannot serve you!"—Zimmermann.

Glory.—To a father who loves his children victory has no charms. When the heart speaks, glory itself is an illusion.—Napoleon.

Those who start for human glory, like the mettled hounds of Actæon, must pursue the game not only where there is a path, but where there is none. They must be able to simulate and dissimulate, to leap and to creep; to conquer the earth like Cæsar, or to fall down and kiss it like Brutus; to throw their sword like Brennus into the trembling scale; or, like Nelson, to snatch the laurels from the doubtful hand of Victory, while she is hesitating where to bestow them.—Colton.

Obloquy is a necessary ingredient in the composition of all true glory.—Burke.

The best kind of glory is that which is reflected from honesty,—such as was the glory of Cato and Aristides; but it was harmful to them both, and is seldom beneficial to any man whilst he lives; what it is to him after his death I cannot say, because I love not philosophy merely notional and conjectural, and no man who has made the experiment has been so kind as to come back to inform us.—Cowley.[Pg 101]

Nothing is so expensive as glory.—Sydney Smith.

The love of glory can only create a hero, the contempt of it creates a wise man.—Talleyrand.

Gluttony.—Whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame.—Bible.

The kitchen is their shrine, the cook their priest, the table their altar, and their belly their god.—Buck.

God.—He that doth the ravens feed, yea, providentially caters for the sparrow, be comfort to my age!—Shakespeare.

To escape from evil, we must be made as far as possible like God; and this resemblance consists in becoming just and holy and wise.—Plato.

Whenever I think of God I can only conceive him as a Being infinitely great and infinitely good. This last quality of the divine nature inspires me with such confidence and joy that I could have written even a miserere in tempo allegro.—Haydn.

All flows out from the Deity, and all must be absorbed in him again.—Zoroaster.

It were better to have no opinion of God at all than such an opinion as is unworthy of him; for the one is unbelief, and the other is contumely; and certainly superstition is the reproach of the Deity.—Bacon.

I have seen two miracles lately. I looked up, and saw the clouds above me in the noontide; and they looked like the sea that was hanging over me, and I could see no cord on which they were suspended, and yet they never fell. And then when the noontide had gone, and the midnight came, I looked again, and there was the dome of heaven, and it was spangled with stars, and I could see no pillars that held up the skies, and yet they never fell. Now He that holds the stars up and moves the clouds in their course can do all things, and I trust Him in the sight of these miracles.—Luther.[Pg 102]

This avenging God, rancorous torturer who burns his creatures in a slow fire! When they tell me that God made himself a man, I prefer to recognize a man who made himself a god.—Alfred de Musset.

This is one of the names which we give to that eternal, infinite, and incomprehensible being, the Creator of all things, who preserves and governs everything by his almighty power and wisdom, and is the only object of our worship.—Cruden.

Gold.—Midas longed for gold. He got gold so that whatever he touched became gold, and he, with his long ears, was little the better for it.—Carlyle.

A mask of gold hides all deformities.—Dekker.

There are two metals, one of which is omnipotent in the cabinet, and the other in the camp,—gold and iron. He that knows how to apply them both may indeed attain the highest station, but he must know something more to keep it.—Colton.

Thou true magnetic pole, to which all hearts point duly north, like trembling needles!—Byron.

Judges and senates have been bought for gold.—Pope.

Gold is, in its last analysis, the sweat of the poor, and the blood of the brave.—Joseph Napoleon.

Gold all is not that doth golden seem.—Spenser.

There is no place so high that an ass laden with gold cannot reach it.—Rojas.

Good.—When what is good comes of age and is likely to live, there is reason for rejoicing.—George Eliot.

How indestructibly the good grows, and propagates itself, even among the weedy entanglements of evil!—Carlyle.

Good, the more communicated, more abundant grows.—Milton.[Pg 103]

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.—Goldsmith.

The true and good resemble gold. Gold seldom appears obvious and solid, but it pervades invisibly the bodies that contain it.—Jacobi.

He is good that does good to others. If he suffers for the good he does, he is better still; and if he suffers from them to whom he did good, he is arrived to that height of goodness that nothing but an increase of his sufferings can add to it; if it proves his death, his virtue is at its summit,—it is heroism complete.—Bruyère.

That is good which doth good.—Venning.

The Pythagoreans make good to be certain and finite, and evil infinite and uncertain. There are a thousand ways to miss the white; there is only one to hit it.—Montaigne.

Good-humor.—Honest good-humor is the oil and wine of a merry meeting, and there is no jovial companionship equal to that where the jokes are rather small and the laughter abundant.—Washington Irving.

Affability, mildness, tenderness, and a word which I would fain bring back to its original signification of virtue,—I mean good-nature,—are of daily use: they are the bread of mankind and staff of life.—Dryden.

This portable quality of good-humor seasons all the parts and occurrences we meet with, in such a manner that there are no moments lost, but they all pass with so much satisfaction that the heaviest of loads (when it is a load), that of time, is never felt by us.—Steele.[Pg 104]

Gayety is to good-humor as perfumes to vegetable fragrance: the one overpowers weak spirits, the other recreates and revives them.—Johnson.

That inexhaustible good-nature, which is the most precious gift of Heaven, spreading itself like oil over the troubled sea of thought, and keeping the mind smooth and equable in the roughest weather.—Washington Irving.

Goodness.—Nothing rarer than real goodness.—Rochefoucauld.

True goodness is like the glow-worm in this, that it shines most when no eyes except those of Heaven are upon it.—Archdeacon Hare.

Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.—Pope.

Goodness thinks no ill where no ill seems.—Milton.

Gossip.—A long-tongued babbling gossip.—Shakespeare.

He sits at home until he has accumulated an insupportable load of ennui, and then he sallies forth to distribute it amongst his acquaintance.—Colton.

As to people saying a few idle words about us, we must not mind that, any more than the old church-steeple minds the rooks cawing about it.—George Eliot.

Government.—The proper function of a government is to make it easy for people to do good and difficult for them to do evil.—Gladstone.

Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.—Burke.[Pg 105]

Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants.—Burke.

Government owes its birth to the necessity of preventing and repressing the injuries which the associated individuals had to fear from one another. It is the sentinel who watches, in order that the common laborer be not disturbed.—Abbé Raynal.

But I say to you, and to our whole country, and to all the crowned heads and aristocratic powers and feudal systems that exist, that it is to self-government, the great principle of popular representation and administration, the system that lets in all to participate in the counsels that are to assign the good or evil to all, that we may owe what we are and what we hope to be.—Daniel Webster.

The culminating point of administration is to know well how much power, great or small, we ought to use in all circumstances.—Montesquieu.

Of governments, that of the mob is the most sanguinary, that of soldiers the most expensive, and that of civilians the most vexatious.—Colton.

Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest, and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him out of two evils to choose the least.—Thomas Paine.

Grace.—As amber attracts a straw, so does beauty admiration, which only lasts while the warmth continues; but virtue, wisdom, goodness, and real worth, like the loadstone, never lose their power. These are the true graces, which, as Homer feigns, are linked and tied hand in hand, because it is by their influence that human hearts are so firmly united to each other.—Burton.[Pg 106]

The king-becoming graces—devotion, patience, courage, fortitude.—Shakespeare.

Know you not, master, to some kind of men their graces serve them but as enemies? No more do yours; your virtues, gentle master, are sanctified and holy traitors to you. Oh, what a world is this, when what is comely envenoms him that bears it!—Shakespeare.

How inimitably graceful children are before they learn to dance!—Coleridge.

That word, grace, in an ungracious mouth, is but profane.—Shakespeare.

Grace comes as oft clad in the dusky robe of desolation as in white attire.—Sir J. Beaumont.

Gratitude.—Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people.—Johnson.

God is pleased with no music below so much as the thanksgiving songs of relieved widows and supported orphans; of rejoicing, comforted, and thankful persons.—Jeremy Taylor.

No metaphysician ever felt the deficiency of language so much as the grateful.—Colton.

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.—Goldsmith.

Gratitude is the virtue most deified and most deserted. It is the ornament of rhetoric and the libel of practical life.—J. W. Forney.

Grave.—Since the silent shore awaits at last even those who longest miss the old Archer's arrow, perhaps the early grave which men weep over may be meant to save.—Byron.[Pg 107]

The grave is, I suspect, the sole commonwealth which attains that dead flat of social equality that life in its every principle so heartily abhors; and that equality the grave will perpetuate to the end of time.—Bulwer-Lytton.

The reconciling grave.—Southern.

The grave where even the great find rest.—Pope.

Oh, how small a portion of earth will hold us when we are dead, who ambitiously seek after the whole world while we are living!—Philip, King of Macedon.

The cradle of transformation.—Mazzini.

The graves of those we have loved and lost distress and console us.—Arsène Houssaye.

Gravity.—The very essence of gravity is design, and consequently deceit; a taught trick to gain credit with the world for more sense and knowledge than a man is worth.—Sterne.

Gravity is but the rind of wisdom; but it is a preservative rind.—Joubert.

Gravity must be natural and simple. There must be urbanity and tenderness in it. A man must not formalize on everything. He who formalizes on everything is a fool, and a grave fool is perhaps more injurious than a light fool.—Cecil.

Greatness.—There is but one method, and that is hard labor; and a man who will not pay that price for greatness had better at once dedicate himself to the pursuit of the fox, or sport with the tangles of Neæra's hair, or talk of bullocks, and glory in the goad!—Sidney Smith.

A really great man is known by three signs,—generosity in the design, humanity in the execution, and moderation in success.—Bismarck.

The great men of the earth are but the marking stones on the road of humanity; they are the priests of its religion.—Mazzini.[Pg 108]

A multitude of eyes will narrowly inspect every part of an eminent man, consider him nicely in all views, and not be a little pleased when they have taken him in the worst and most disadvantageous lights.—Addison.

What you can manufacture, or communicate, you can lower the price of, but this mental supremacy is incommunicable; you will never multiply its quantity, nor lower its price; and nearly the best thing that men can generally do is—to set themselves, not to the attainment, but the discovery of this; learning to know gold, when we see it, from iron-glance, and diamond from flint-sand, being for most of us a more profitable employment than trying to make diamonds out of our own charcoal.—Ruskin.

Men in great place are thrice servants: servants of the sovereign or state, servants of fame, and servants of business; so as they have no freedom, neither in their persons, nor in their actions, nor in their times. It is a strange desire to seek power over others, and to lose power over a man's self.—Bacon.

The difference between one man and another is by no means so great as the superstitious crowd supposes. But the same feelings which in ancient Rome produced the apotheosis of a popular emperor, and in modern times the canonization of a devout prelate, lead men to cherish an illusion which furnishes them with something to adore.—Macaulay.

Great men never make a bad use of their superiority; they see it, they feel it, and are not less modest. The more they have, the more they know their own deficiencies.—Rousseau.

He who is great when he falls is great in his prostration, and is no more an object of contempt than when men tread on the ruins of sacred buildings, which men of piety venerate no less than if they stood.—Seneca.[Pg 109]

Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right using of strength.—Beecher.

Greatness seems in her [Madame de Maintenon] to take its noblest form, that of simplicity.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Grief.—Why destroy present happiness by a distant misery, which may never come at all, or you may never live to see it? for every substantial grief has twenty shadows, and most of them shadows of your own making.—Sydney Smith.

Some griefs are medicinable; and this is one.—Shakespeare.

While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates. You must wait till grief be digested. And then amusement will dissipate the remains of it.—Johnson.

Grief hallows hearts, even while it ages heads.—P. J. Bailey.

All the joys of earth will not assuage our thirst for happiness, while a single grief suffices to shroud life in a sombre veil, and smite it with nothingness at all points.—Madame Swetchine.

Grief has been compared to a hydra, for every one that dies two are born.—Calderon.

Grief, like night, is salutary. It cools down the soul by putting out its feverish fires; and if it oppresses her, it also compresses her energies. The load once gone, she will go forth with greater buoyancy to new pleasures.—Dr. Pulsford.

What's gone, and what's past help, should be past grief.—Shakespeare.

Guilt.—All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.—Shakespeare.

Think not that guilt requires the burning torches of the Furies to agitate and torment it. Frauds, crimes, remembrances of the past, terrors of the future,—these are the domestic Furies that are ever present to the mind of the impious.—Cicero.[Pg 110]

Guiltiness will speak though tongues were out of use.—Shakespeare.

Despair alone makes guilty men be bold.—Coleridge.

The sin lessens in human estimation only as the guilt increases.—Schiller.

There are no greater prudes than those women who have some secret to hide.—George Sand.

Gunpowder.—If we contrast the rapid progress of this mischievous discovery with the slow and laborious advances of reason, science, and the arts of peace, a philosopher, according to his temper, will laugh or weep at the folly of mankind.—Gibbon.

A coarse-grained powder, used by cross-grained people, playing at cross-grained purposes.—Marryatt.

Gunpowder is the emblem of politic revenge, for it biteth first, and barketh afterwards; the bullet being at the mark before the report is heard, so that it maketh a noise, not by way of warning, but of triumph.—Fuller.


Habits.—Habits are soon assumed; but when we strive to strip them off, 'tis being flayed alive.—Cowper.

Vicious habits are so odious and degrading that they transform the individual who practices them into an incarnate demon.—Cicero.

Unless the habit leads to happiness, the best habit is to contract none.—Zimmerman.

The law of the harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.—George D. Boardman.[Pg 111]

Habit, if wisely and skillfully formed, becomes truly a second nature, as the common saying is; but unskillfully and unmethodically directed, it will be as it were the ape of nature, which imitates nothing to the life, but only clumsily and awkwardly.—Bacon.

That beneficent harness of routine which enables silly men to live respectably and unhappy men to live calmly.—George Eliot.

Habits are the daughters of action, but they nurse their mothers, and give birth to daughters after her image, more lovely and prosperous.—Jeremy Taylor.

Hair.—The hair is the finest ornament women have. Of old, virgins used to wear it loose, except when they were in mourning.—Luther.

Her head was bare, but for her native ornament of hair, which in a simple knot was tied above; sweet negligence, unheeded bait of love!—Dryden.

The robe which curious nature weaves to hang upon the head.—Dekker.

Robed in the long night of her deep hair.—Tennyson.

Hand.—Other parts of the body assist the speaker, but these speak themselves. By them we ask, we promise, we invoke, we dismiss, we threaten, we entreat, we deprecate; we express fear, joy, grief, our doubts, our assent, our penitence; we show moderation, profusion; we mark number and time.—Quintilian.

The Greeks adored their gods by the simple compliment of kissing their hands; and the Romans were treated as atheists if they would not perform the same act when they entered a temple. This custom, however, as a religious ceremony, declined with Paganism; but was continued as a salutation by infe[Pg 112]riors to their superiors, or as a token of esteem among friends. At present it is only practiced as a mark of obedience from the subject to the sovereign, and by lovers, who are solicitous to preserve this ancient usage in its full power.—Disraeli.

Handsome.—They are as heaven made them, handsome enough if they be good enough; for handsome is that handsome does.—Goldsmith.

Happiness.—The foundation of domestic happiness is faith in the virtue of woman; the foundation of political happiness is confidence in the integrity of man; the foundation of all happiness, temporal and eternal, is reliance on the goodness of God.—Landor.

To remember happiness which cannot be restored is pain, but of a softened kind. Our recollections are unfortunately mingled with much that we deplore, and with many actions that we bitterly repent; still, in the most checkered life, I firmly think there are so many little rays of sunshine to look back upon that I do not believe any mortal would deliberately drain a goblet of the waters of Lethe if he had it in his power.—Dickens.

That man is never happy for the present is so true that all his relief from unhappiness is only forgetting himself for a little while. Life is a progress from want to want, not from enjoyment to enjoyment.—Johnson.

It is a lucky eel that escapes skinning. The best happiness will be to escape the worst misery.—George Eliot.

That all who are happy are equally happy is not true. A peasant and a philosopher may be equally satisfied, but not equally happy. Happiness consists in the multiplicity of agreeable consciousness. A peasant has not capacity for having equal happiness with a philosopher.—Johnson.[Pg 113]

Happiness doats on her work, and is prodigal to her favorite. As one drop of water hath an attraction for another, so do felicities run into felicities.—Landor.

Sensations sweet, felt in the blood, and felt along the heart.—Wordsworth.

Great happiness is the fire ordeal of mankind, great misfortune only the trial by water; for the former opens a large extent of futurity, whereas the latter circumscribes or closes it.—Richter.

Prospective happiness is perhaps the only real happiness in the world.—Alfred de Musset.

Nature and individuals are generally best when they are happiest, and deserve heaven most when they have learnt rightly to enjoy it. Tears of sorrow are only pearls of inferior value, but tears of joy are pearls or diamonds of the first water.—Richter.

How many people I have seen who would have plucked cannon-balls out of the muzzles of guns with their bare hands, and yet had not courage enough to be happy.—Théophile Gautier.

All mankind are happier for having been happy, so that, if you make them happy now, you make them happy twenty years hence by the memory of it.—Sydney Smith.

We are no longer happy so soon as we wish to be happier.—Lamotte.

I have now reigned above fifty years in victory or peace, beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honors, power and pleasure, have waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to have been wanting to my felicity. In this situation, I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot: they amount to fourteen. O man, place not thy confidence in this present world!—The Caliph Abdalrahman.[Pg 114]

If I may speak of myself (the only person of whom I can speak with certainty), my happy hours have far exceeded, and far exceed, the scanty numbers of the caliph of Spain; and I shall not scruple to add that many of them are due to the pleasing labor of the present composition.—Gibbon.

For which we bear to live, or dare to die.—Pope.

We buy wisdom with happiness, and who would purchase it at such a price? To be happy we must forget the past, and think not of the future; and who that has a soul or mind can do this? No one; and this proves that those who have either know no happiness on this earth. Memory precludes happiness, whatever Rogers may say or write to the contrary, for it borrows from the past to embitter the present, bringing back to us all the grief that has most wounded, or the happiness that has most charmed us.—Byron.

The happiness you wot of is not a hundredth part of what you enjoy.—Charles Buxton.

Every human soul has the germ of some flowers within; and they would open if they could only find sunshine and free air to expand in. I always told you that not having enough of sunshine was what ailed the world. Make people happy, and there will not be half the quarreling, or a tenth part of the wickedness there is.—Mrs. L. M. Child.

Comparison, more than reality, makes men happy, and can make them wretched.—Feltham.

Happiness and misery are the names of two extremes, the utmost bounds whereof we know not.—Locke.

There comes forever something between us and what we deem our happiness.—Byron.

Philosophical happiness is to want little; civil or vulgar happiness is to want much, and to enjoy much.—Burke.[Pg 115]

How sad a sight is human happiness to those whose thoughts can pierce beyond an hour.—Young.

Plenteous joys, wanton in fullness.—Shakespeare.

Happiness is always the inaccessible castle which sinks in ruin when we set foot on it.—Arsène Houssaye.

For ages happiness has been represented as a huge precious stone, impossible to find, which people seek for hopelessly. It is not so; happiness is a mosaic, composed of a thousand little stones, which separately and of themselves have little value, but which united with art form a graceful design.—Mme. de Girardin.

The happiest women, like the happiest nations, have no history.—George Eliot.

The way to bliss lies not on beds of down.—Quarles.

The use we make of happiness gives us an eternal sentiment of satisfaction or repentance.—Rousseau.

Happiness is where we find it, but rarely where we seek it.—J. Petit Senn.

In regard to the affairs of mortals, there is nothing happy throughout.—Euripides.

Hardship.—The beginning of hardship is like the first taste of bitter food,—it seems for a moment unbearable; yet, if there is nothing else to satisfy our hunger, we take another bite and find it possible to go on.—George Eliot.

Haste.—Let your haste commend your duty.—Shakespeare.

The more haste ever the worst speed.—Churchill.

Hurry and cunning are the two apprentices of dispatch and skill; but neither of them ever learn their master's trade.—Colton.

All haste implies weakness.—George MacDonald.[Pg 116]

Hatred.—We hate some persons because we do not know them; and we will not know them because we hate them.—Colton.

Were one to ask me in which direction I think man strongest, I should say, his capacity to hate.—Beecher.

Love is rarely a hypocrite. But hate! how detect, and how guard against it. It lurks where you least expect it; it is created by causes that you can the least foresee; and civilization multiplies its varieties whilst it favors its disguise; for civilization increases the number of contending interests, and refinement renders more susceptible to the least irritation the cuticle of self-love.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Hatred is like fire—it makes even light rubbish deadly.—George Eliot.

Health.—Be it remembered that man subsists upon the air more than upon his meat and drink; but no one can exist for an hour without a copious supply of air. The atmosphere which some breathe is contaminated and adulterated, and with its vital principles so diminished, that it cannot fully decarbonize the blood, nor fully excite the nervous system.—Thackeray.

Those hypochondriacs, who, like Herodius, give up their whole time and thoughts to the care of their health, sacrifice unto life every noble purpose of living; striving to support a frail and feverish being here, they neglect an hereafter; they continue to patch up and repair their mouldering tenement of clay, regardless of the immortal tenant that must survive it; agitated by greater fears than the Apostle, and supported by none of his hopes, they "die daily."—Colton.

Refuse to be ill. Never tell people you are ill; never own it to yourself. Illness is one of those things which a man should resist on principle at the onset.—Bulwer-Lytton.[Pg 117]

Health is so necessary to all the duties, as well as pleasures, of life, that the crime of squandering it is equal to the folly.—Johnson.

There are two things in life that a sage must preserve at every sacrifice, the coats of his stomach and the enamel of his teeth. Some evils admit of consolations: there are no comforters for dyspepsia and the toothache.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Heart.—The heart is like the tree that gives balm for the wounds of man only when the iron has pierced it.—Chauteaubriand.

The heart is an astrologer that always divines the truth.—Calderon.

There are treasures laid up in the heart,—treasures of charity, piety, temperance, and soberness. These treasures a man takes with him beyond death when he leaves this world.—Buddhist Scriptures.

In aught that tries the heart, how few withstand the proof!—Byron.

The hearts of pretty women are like bonbons, wrapped up in enigmas.—J. Petit Senn.

A loving heart is the truest wisdom.—Dickens.

To judge human character rightly, a man may sometimes have very small experience, provided he has a very large heart.—Bulwer-Lytton.

The heart has reasons that reason does not understand.—Bossuet.

There are chords in the human heart, strange, varying strings, which are only struck by accident; which will remain mute and senseless to appeals the most passionate and earnest, and respond at last to the slightest casual touch. In the most insensible or childish minds there is some train of reflection which art can seldom lead, or skill assist, but which will reveal itself, as great truths have done, by chance, and when the discoverer has the plainest and simplest end in view.—Dickens.[Pg 118]

A willing heart adds feathers to the heel, and makes the clown a winged Mercury.—Joanna Baillie.

Some people's hearts are shrunk in them like dried nuts. You can hear 'em rattle as they walk.—Douglas Jerrold.

Heaven.—The love of heaven makes one heavenly.—Shakespeare.

Where is heaven? I cannot tell. Even to the eye of faith, heaven looks much like a star to the eye of flesh. Set there on the brow of night, it shines most bright, most beautiful; but it is separated from us by so great a distance as to be raised almost as high above our investigations as above the storms and clouds of earth.—Rev. Dr. Guthrie.

When at eve at the bounding of the landscape the heavens appear to recline so slowly on the earth, imagination pictures beyond the horizon an asylum of hope,—a native land of love; and nature seems silently to repeat that man is immortal.—Madame de Staël.

Few, without the hope of another life, would think it worth their while to live above the allurements of sense.—Atterbury.

Heaven is a place of restless activity, the abode of never-tiring thought. David and Isaiah will sweep nobler and loftier strains in eternity, and the minds of the saints, unclogged by cumbersome clay, will forever feast on the banquet of rich and glorious thought.—Beecher.

Heroes.—A light supper, a good night's sleep, and a fine morning have often made a hero of the same man who, by indigestion, a restless night, and a rainy morning would have proved a coward.—Chesterfield.

In analyzing the character of heroes it is hardly possible to separate altogether the share of Fortune from their own.—Hallam.[Pg 119]

Mankind is not disposed to look narrowly into the conduct of great victors when their victory is on the right side.—George Eliot.

No one is a hero to his valet.—Madame de Sévigné.

History.—The Grecian history is a poem, Latin history a picture, modern history a chronicle.—Chauteaubriand.

If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us! But passion and party blind our eyes, and the light which experience gives is a lantern on the stern, which shines only on the waves behind us!—Coleridge.

History, which is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.—Gibbon.

We must consider how very little history there is; I mean real, authentic history. That certain kings reigned and certain battles were fought we can depend upon as true; but all the coloring, all the philosophy of history, is conjecture.—Johnson.

History needs distance, perspective. Facts and events which are too well attested cease, in some sort, to be malleable.—Joubert.

To be entirely just in our estimate of other ages is not only difficult,—it is impossible. Even what is passing in our presence we see but through a glass darkly. The mind as well as the eye adds something of its own before an image, even of the clearest object, can be painted upon it; and in historical inquiries the most instructed thinkers have but a limited advantage over the most illiterate. Those who know the most approach least to agreement.—Froude.

The impartiality of history is not that of the mirror which merely reflects objects, but of the judge who sees, listens, and decides.—Lamartine.[Pg 120]

In every human character and transaction there is a mixture of good and evil: a little exaggeration, a little suppression, a judicious use of epithets, a watchful and searching skepticism with respect to the evidence on one side, a convenient credulity with respect to every report or tradition on the other, may easily make a saint of Laud, or a tyrant of Henry the Fourth.—Macaulay.

History is but a kind of Newgate calendar, a register of the crimes and miseries that man has inflicted on his fellow-man.—Washington Irving.

History has its foreground and its background, and it is principally in the management of its perspective that one artist differs from another. Some events must be represented on a large scale, others diminished; the great majority will be lost in the dimness of the horizon, and a general idea of their joint effect will be given by a few slight touches.—Macaulay.

Violent natures make history. The instruments they use almost always kill. Religion and philosophy have their vestments covered with innocent blood.—X. Doudan.

Each generation gathers together the imperishable children of the past, and increases them by new sons of light, alike radiant with immortality.—Bancroft.

What history is not richer, does not contain far more, than they by whom it is enacted, the present witnesses! What mortal understandeth his way?—Jacobi.

He alone reads history aright, who, observing how powerfully circumstances influence the feelings and opinions of men, how often vices pass into virtues, and paradoxes into axioms, learns to distinguish what is accidental and transitory in human nature from what is essential and immutable.—Macaulay.

Home.—Home is the grandest of all institutions.—Spurgeon.[Pg 121]

The first sure symptom of a mind in health is rest of heart, and pleasure felt at home.—Young.

To most men their early home is no more than a memory of their early years, and I'm not sure but they have the best of it. The image is never marred. There's no disappointment in memory, and one's exaggerations are always on the good side.—George Eliot.

Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.—Payne.

Stint yourself, as you think good, in other things; but don't scruple freedom in brightening home. Gay furniture and a brilliant garden are a sight day by day, and make life blither.—Charles Buxton.

Home is the seminary of all other institutions.—Chapin.

Honesty.—If he does really think that there is no distinction between virtue and vice, why, sir, when he leaves our houses let us count our spoons.—Johnson.

Persons lightly dipped, not grained, in generous honesty, are but pale in goodness.—Sir T. Browne.

Refined policy has ever been the parent of confusion, and ever will be so, as long as the world endures. Plain good intention, which is as easily discovered at the first view as fraud is surely detected at last, is, let me say, of no mean force in the government of mankind. Genuine simplicity of heart is a healing and cementing principle.—Burke.

Money dishonestly acquired is never worth its cost, while a good conscience never costs as much as it is worth.—J. Petit Senn.

The honest man is a rare variety of the human species.—Chamfort.

Honor.—Keep unscathed the good name, keep out of peril the honor, without which even your battered old soldier, who is hobbling into his grave on half pay and a wooden leg, would not change with Achilles.—Bulwer-Lytton.[Pg 122]

Hope.—Hope warps judgment in council, but quickens energy in action.—Bulwer-Lytton.

"I have a fine lot of hopes here in my basket," remarked the New Year; "they are a sweet-smelling flower—a species of roses."—Hawthorne.

Hope is the most beneficial of all the affections, and doth much to the prolongation of life, if it be not too often frustrated; but entertaineth the fancy with an expectation of good.—Bacon.

The mighty hopes that make us men.—Tennyson.

Thou captive's freedom, and thou sick man's health.—Cowley.

I have a knack of hoping, which is as good as an estate in reversion, if one can keep from the temptation of turning it into certainty, which may spoil all.—George Eliot.

Hope, folding her wings, looked backward and became regret.—George Eliot.

Hope is always liberal, and they that trust her promises make little scruple of reveling to-day on the profits of to-morrow.—Johnson.

It is necessary to hope, though hope should be always deluded; for hope itself is happiness and its frustrations, however frequent, are yet less dreadful than its extinction.—Johnson.

Hope is a delusion; no hand can grasp a wave or a shadow.—Victor Hugo.

Humanity.—A man's nature runs either to herbs or weeds: therefore let him seasonably water the one and destroy the other.—Bacon.

I own that there is a haughtiness and fierceness in human nature which will cause innumerable broils, place men in what situation you please.—Burke.[Pg 123]

Human nature is not so much depraved as to hinder us from respecting goodness in others, though we ourselves want it. This is the reason why we are so much charmed with the pretty prattle of children, and even the expressions of pleasure or uneasiness in some parts of the brute creation. They are without artifice or malice; and we love truth too well to resist the charms of sincerity.—Steele.

I do not know what comfort other people find in considering the weakness of great men, but 'tis always a mortification to me to observe that there is no perfection in humanity.—Montagu.

The true proof of the inherent nobleness of our common nature is in the sympathy it betrays with what is noble wherever crowds are collected. Never believe the world is base; if it were so, no society could hold together for a day.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Humility.—It is from out the depths of our humility that the height of our destiny looks grandest. Let me truly feel that in myself I am nothing, and at once, through every inlet of my soul, God comes in, and is everything in me.—Mountford.

Should any ask me, What is the first thing in religion? I would reply, The first, second, and third thing therein, nay all, is humility.—St. Augustine.

Epaminondas, that heathen captain, finding himself lifted up in the day of his public triumph, the next day went drooping and hanging down his head; but being asked what was the reason of his so great dejection, made answer: "Yesterday I felt myself transported with vainglory, therefore I chastise myself for it to-day."—Plutarch.

In humility imitate Jesus and Socrates.—Franklin.

Believe me, the much-praised lambs of humility would not bear themselves so meekly if they but possessed tigers' claws.—Heinrich Heine.[Pg 124]

Trees that, like the poplar, lift upwards all their boughs, give no shade and no shelter, whatever their height. Trees the most lovingly shelter and shade us when, like the willow, the higher soar their summits, the lowlier droop their bows.—Bulwer-Lytton.

If thou wouldst find much favor and peace with God and man, be very low in thine own eyes. Forgive thyself little and others much.—Archbishop Leighton.

Humor.—The genius of the Spanish people is exquisitely subtile, without being at all acute: hence there is so much humor and so little wit in their literature. The genius of the Italians, on the contrary, is acute, profound, and sensual, but not subtile; hence what they think to be humorous is merely witty.—Coleridge.

The oil and wine of merry meeting.—Washington Irving.

These poor gentlemen endeavor to gain themselves the reputation of wits and humorists, by such monstrous conceits as almost qualify them for bedlam; not considering that humor should always lie under the check of reason, and that it requires the direction of the nicest judgment, by so much the more as it indulges itself in the most boundless freedoms.—Addison.

Hyperbole.—Sprightly natures, full of fire, and whom a boundless imagination carries beyond all rules, and even what is reasonable, cannot rest satisfied with hyperbole.—Bruyère.

Let us have done with reproaching; for we may throw out so many reproachful words on one another that a ship of a hundred oars would not be able to carry the load.—Homer.

Hypocrisy.—Whoever is a hypocrite in his religion mocks God, presenting to him the outside, and reserving the inward for his enemy.—Jeremy Taylor.[Pg 125]

Hypocrisy has become a fashionable vice, and all fashionable vices pass for virtue.—Molière.

Hypocrisy is much more eligible than open infidelity and vice: it wears the livery of religion, and is cautious of giving scandal.—Swift.

Sin is not so sinful as hypocrisy.—Mme. de Maintenon.

As a man loves gold, in that proportion he hates to be imposed upon by counterfeits; and in proportion as a man has regard for that which is above price and better than gold, he abhors that hypocrisy which is but its counterfeit.—Cecil.

Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks invisible, except to God alone.—Milton.

Hypocrisy, detest her as we may, and no man's hatred ever wronged her yet, may claim this merit still: that she admits the worth of what she mimics with such care.—Cowper.

I hate hypocrites, who put on their virtues with their white gloves.—Alfred de Musset.

Such a man will omit neither family worship, nor a sneer at his neighbor. He will neither milk his cows on the first day of the week without a Sabbath mask on his face, nor remove it while he waters the milk for his customers.—George Mac Donald.

The fatal fact in the case of a hypocrite is that he is a hypocrite.—Chapin.

'Tis a cowardly and servile humor to hide and disguise a man's self under a vizor, and not to dare to show himself what he is. By that our followers are train'd up to treachery. Being brought up to speak what is not true, they make no conscience of a lie.—Montaigne.[Pg 126]


Ideas.—After all has been said that can be said about the widening influence of ideas, it remains true that they would hardly be such strong agents unless they were taken in a solvent of feeling. The great world-struggle of developing thought is continually foreshadowed in the struggle of the affections, seeking a justification for love and hope.—George Eliot.

Our ideas are transformed sensations.—Condillac.

In these days we fight for ideas, and newspapers are our fortresses.—Heinrich Heine.

Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprung up. That which was a weed in one intelligence becomes a flower in the other, and a flower again dwindles down to a mere weed by the same change. Healthy growths may become poisonous by falling upon the wrong mental soil, and what seemed a night-shade in one mind unfolds as a morning-glory in the other.—Holmes.

A fixed idea is like the iron rod which sculptors put in their statues. It impales and sustains.—Taine.

Old ideas are prejudices, and new ones caprices.—X. Doudan.

We live in an age in which superfluous ideas abound and essential ideas are lacking.—Joubert.

Ideas are like beards; men do not have them until they grow up.—Voltaire.

Our ideas, like orange-plants, spread out in proportion to the size of the box which imprisons the roots.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Idleness.—If idleness do not produce vice or malevolence, it commonly produces melancholy.—Sydney Smith.[Pg 127]

Idleness is the key of beggary, and the root of all evil.—Spurgeon.

In idleness there is perpetual despair.—Carlyle.

Doing nothing with a deal of skill.—Cowper.

From its very inaction, idleness ultimately becomes the most active cause of evil; as a palsy is more to be dreaded than a fever. The Turks have a proverb, which says, that the devil tempts all other men, but that idle men tempt the devil.—Colton.

The first external revelations of the dry-rot in men is a tendency to lurk and lounge; to be at street corners without intelligible reason; to be going anywhere when met; to be about many places rather than any; to do nothing tangible but to have an intention of performing a number of tangible duties to-morrow or the day after.—Dickens.

Idleness is only the refuge of weak minds, and the holiday of fools.—Chesterfield.

So long as idleness is quite shut out from our lives, all the sins of wantonness, softness, and effeminacy are prevented; and there is but little room for temptation.—Jeremy Taylor.

Let but the hours of idleness cease, and the bow of Cupid will become broken and his torch extinguished.—Ovid.

Ignorance.—Have the courage to be ignorant of a great number of things, in order to avoid the calamity of being ignorant of everything.—Sydney Smith.

There is no calamity like ignorance.—Richter.

'Tis sad work to be at that pass, that the best trial of truth must be the multitude of believers, in a crowd where the number of fools so much exceeds that of the wise. As if anything were so common as ignorance!—Montaigne.

Ignorance, which in behavior mitigates a fault, is, in literature, a capital offense.—Joubert.[Pg 128]

There is no slight danger from general ignorance; and the only choice which Providence has graciously left to a vicious government is either to fall by the people, if they are suffered to become enlightened, or with them, if they are kept enslaved and ignorant.—Coleridge.

To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of ignorance.—Alcott.

The true instrument of man's degradation is his ignorance.—Lady Morgan.

Ignorance is not so damnable as humbug, but when it prescribes pills it may happen to do more harm.—George Eliot.

The ignorant hath an eagle's wings and an owl's eyes.—George Herbert.

Ignorance is mere privation, by which nothing can be produced; it is a vacuity in which the soul sits motionless and torpid for want of attraction.—Johnson.

Illusion.—In youth we feel richer for every new illusion; in maturer years, for every one we lose.—Madame Swetchine.

Illusion is the first of all pleasures.—Voltaire.

Imagination.—We are all of us imaginative in some form or other, for images are the brood of desire.—George Eliot.

A vile imagination, once indulged, gets the key of our minds, and can get in again very easily, whether we will or no, and can so return as to bring seven other spirits with it more wicked than itself; and what may follow no one knows.—Spurgeon.

He who has imagination without learning has wings and no feet.—Joubert.

No man will be found in whose mind airy notions do not sometimes tyrannize, and force him to hope or fear beyond the limits of sober probability.—Johnson.[Pg 129]

Imitation.—Imitators are a servile race.—Fontaine.

Imitation causes us to leave natural ways to enter into artificial ones; it therefore makes slaves.—Dr. Vinet.

"Name to me an animal, though never so skillful, that I cannot imitate!" So bragged the ape to the fox. But the fox replied, "And do thou name to me an animal so humble as to think of imitating thee."—Lessing.

Immortality.—When I consider the wonderful activity of the mind, so great a memory of what is past, and such a capacity of penetrating into the future; when I behold such a number of arts and sciences, and such a multitude of discoveries thence arising; I believe and am firmly persuaded that a nature which contains so many things within itself cannot be mortal.—Cicero.

Whatsoever that be within us that feels, thinks, desires, and animates, is something celestial, divine, and consequently imperishable.—Aristotle.

The spirit of man, which God inspired, cannot together perish with this corporeal clod.—Milton.

All men's souls are immortal, but the souls of the righteous are immortal and divine.—Socrates.

What springs from earth dissolves to earth again, and heaven-born things fly to their native seat.—Marcus Antoninus.

The seed dies into a new life, and so does man.—George MacDonald.

Impatience.—Impatience turns an ague into a fever, a fever to the plague, fear into despair, anger into rage, loss into madness, and sorrow to amazement.—Jeremy Taylor.

Impossibility.—One great difference between a wise man and a fool is, the former only[Pg 130] wishes for what he may possibly obtain; the latter desires impossibilities.—Democritus.

Improvement.—Slumber not in the tents of your fathers. The world is advancing. Advance with it.—Mazzini.

People seldom improve when they have no other model but themselves to copy after.—Goldsmith.

Improvidence.—How full or how empty our lives, depends, we say, on Providence. Suppose we say, more or less on improvidence.—Bovée.

Income.—Our incomes are like our shoes; if too small, they gall and pinch us; but if too large, they cause us to stumble and to trip.—Colton.

Inconsistency.—Men talk as if they believed in God, but they live as if they thought there was none: their vows and promises are no more than words of course.—L'Estrange.

People are so ridiculous with their illusions, carrying their fool's caps unawares, thinking their own lies opaque while everybody else's are transparent, making themselves exceptions to everything, as if when all the world looked yellow under a lamp they alone were rosy.—George Eliot.

Inconstancy.—The catching court disease.—Otway.

Nothing that is not a real crime makes a man appear so contemptible and little in the eyes of the world as inconstancy.—Addison.

Indifference.—Nothing for preserving the body like having no heart.—J. Petit Senn.

Indifference is the invincible giant of the world.—Ouida.

Indigestion.—Old friendships are destroyed by toasted cheese, and hard salted meat has led to suicide. Unpleasant feelings of the body produce correspondent sensations in the mind, and a great[Pg 131] scene of wretchedness is sketched out by a morsel of indigestible and misguided food.—Sydney Smith.

Individuality.—There are men of convictions whose very faces will light up an era, and there are believing women in whose eyes you may almost read the whole plan of salvation.—T. Fields.

Individuality is everywhere to be spared and respected as the root of everything good.—Richter.

The epoch of individuality is concluded, and it is the duty of reformers to initiate the epoch of association. Collective man is omnipotent upon the earth he treads.—Mazzini.

Indolence.—I look upon indolence as a sort of suicide; for the man is effectually destroyed, though the appetite of the brute may survive.—Chesterfield.

Lives spent in indolence, and therefore sad.—Cowper.

Days of respite are golden days.—South.

So long as he must fight his way, the man of genius pushes forward, conquering and to conquer. But how often is he at last overcome by a Capua! Ease and fame bring sloth and slumber.—Charles Buxton.

Nothing ages like laziness.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Indulgence.—One wishes to be happy before becoming wise.—Mme. Necker.

Industry.—Mankind are more indebted to industry than ingenuity; the gods set up their favors at a price, and industry is the purchaser.—Addison.

Application is the price to be paid for mental acquisition. To have the harvest we must sow the seed.—Bailey.

Infidelity.—There is but one thing without honor; smitten with eternal barrenness, inability to do or to be,—insincerity, unbelief. He who be[Pg 132]lieves no thing, who believes only the shows of things, is not in relation with nature and fact at all.—Carlyle.

I would rather dwell in the dim fog of superstition than in air rarefied to nothing by the air-pump of unbelief; in which the panting breast expires, vainly and convulsively gasping for breath.—Richter.

If on one side there are fair proofs, and no pretense of proof on the other, and that the difficulties are more pressing on that side which is destitute of proof, I desire to know whether this be not upon the matter as satisfactory to a wise man as a demonstration.—Tillotson.

The nurse of infidelity is sensuality.—Cecil.

Men always grow vicious before they become unbelievers; but if you would once convince profligates by topics drawn from the view of their own quiet, reputation, and health, their infidelity would soon drop off.—Swift.

Infidelity gives nothing in return for what it takes away. What, then, is it worth? Everything valuable has a compensating power. Not a blade of grass that withers, or the ugliest weed that is flung away to rot and die, but reproduces something.—Dr. Chalmers.

Infirmities.—Never mind what a man's virtues are; waste no time in learning them. Fasten at once on his infirmities.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Influence.—He who wishes to exert a useful influence must be careful to insult nothing. Let him not be troubled by what seems absurd, but let him consecrate his energies to the creation of what is good. He must not demolish, but build. He must raise temples where mankind may come and partake of the purest pleasures.—Goethe.

If I can put one touch of a rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God.—George MacDonald.[Pg 133]

The city reveals the moral ends of being, and sets the awful problem of life. The country soothes us, refreshes us, lifts us up with religious suggestion.—Chapin.

It is the age that forms the man, not the man that forms the age. Great minds do indeed react on the society which has made them what they are, but they only pay with interest what they have received.—Macaulay.

In families well ordered there is always one firm, sweet temper, which controls without seeming to dictate. The Greeks represented Persuasion as crowned.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Ingratitude.—The great bulk of mankind resemble the swine, which in harvest gather and fatten upon the acorns beneath the oak, but show to the tree which bore them no other thanks than rubbing off its bark, and tearing up the sod around it.—Scriver.

One great cause of our insensibility to the goodness of our Creator is the very extensiveness of his bounty.—Paley.

Injustice.—The injustice of men subserves the justice of God, and often his mercy.—Madame Swetchine.

Ink.—A drop of ink may make a million think.—Byron.

Let there be gall enough in thy ink; though thou write with a goose-pen, no matter.—Shakespeare.

The colored slave that waits upon thought.—Mrs. Balfour.

Oh, she is fallen into a pit of ink, that the wide sea hath drops too few to wash her clean again!—Shakespeare.

My ways are as broad as the king's high road, and my means lie in an inkstand.—Southey.[Pg 134]

Innocence.—He's armed without that's innocent within.—Pope.

There is no courage but in innocence.—Southern.

There is no man so good who, were he to submit all his thoughts and actions to the law, would not deserve hanging ten times in his life.—Montaigne.

Innovation.—The ridiculous rage for innovation, which only increases the weight of the chains it cannot break, shall never fire my blood!—Schiller.

Dislike of innovation proceeds sometimes from the disgust excited by false humanity, canting hypocrisy, and silly enthusiasm.—Sydney Smith.

Insanity.—Insanity is not a distinct and separate empire; our ordinary life borders upon it, and we cross the frontier in some part of our nature.—Taine.

Inspiration.—Do we not all agree to call rapid thought and noble impulse by the name of inspiration? After our subtlest analysis of the mental process, we must still say that our highest thoughts and our best deeds are all given to us.—George Eliot.

Contagious enthusiasm.—Mrs. Balfour.

Instinct.—The instinct of brutes and insects can be the effect of nothing else than the wisdom and skill of a powerful ever-living agent.—Newton.

Instinct harmonizes the interior of animals as religion does the interior of men.—Jacobi.

All our first movements are good, generous, heroical; reflection weakens and kills them.—Aimé Martin.

An instinct is a propensity prior to experience, and independent of instruction.—Paley.

Insult.—It is only the vulgar who are always fancying themselves insulted. If a man treads on another's toe in good society do you think it is taken as an insult?—Lady Hester Stanhope.[Pg 135]

I once met a man who had forgiven an injury. I hope some day to meet the man who has forgiven an insult.—Charles Buxton.

Insurrection.—Insurrection unusually gains little; usually wastes how much! One of its worst kind of wastes, to say nothing of the rest, is that of irritating and exasperating men against each other by violence done; which is always sure to be injustice done, for violence does even justice unjustly.—Carlyle.

Intellect.—The commerce of intellect loves distant shores. The small retail dealer trades only with his neighbor; when the great merchant trades, he links the four quarters of the globe.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Intelligence.—The higher feelings, when acting in harmonious combination, and directed by enlightened intellect, have a boundless scope for gratification; their least indulgence is delightful, and their highest activity is bliss.—Combe.

Some men of a secluded and studious life have sent forth from their closet or their cloister, rays of intellectual light that have agitated courts and revolutionized kingdoms; like the moon which, though far removed from the ocean, and shining upon it with a serene and sober light, is the chief cause of all those ebbings and flowings which incessantly disturb that restless world of waters.—Colton.

Light has spread, and even bayonets think.—Kossuth.

Intelligence is a luxury, sometimes useless, sometimes fatal. It is a torch or a fire-brand according to the use one makes of it.—Fernan Caballero.

Intemperance.—The body, overcharged with the excess of yesterday, weighs down the mind together with itself, and fixes to the earth that particle of the divine spirit.—Horace.[Pg 136]

Intemperance is a great decayer of beauty.—Junius.

Intolerance.—Nothing dies so hard, and rallies so often, as intolerance.—Beecher.

Intolerance is the curse of every age and state.—Dr. Davies.

Invective.—Invective may be a sharp weapon, but over-use blunts its edge. Even when the denunciation is just and true, it is an error of art to indulge in it too long.—Tyndall.

Invention.—Invention is a kind of muse, which, being possessed of the other advantages common to her sisters, and being warmed by the fire of Apollo, is raised higher than the rest.—Dryden.

Invention, strictly speaking, is little more than a new combination of those images which have been previously gathered and deposited in the memory. Nothing can be made of nothing: he who has laid up no materials can produce no combinations.—Sir J. Reynolds.

Irony.—Irony is to the high-bred what billingsgate is to the vulgar; and when one gentleman thinks another gentleman an ass, he does not say it point-blank, he implies it in the politest terms he can invent.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Irresolution.—Irresolution is a worse vice than rashness. He that shoots best may sometimes miss the mark; but he that shoots not at all can never hit it. Irresolution loosens all the joints of a state; like an ague, it shakes not this nor that limb, but all the body is at once in a fit. The irresolute man is lifted from one place to another; so hatcheth nothing, but addles all his actions.—Feltham.

Irresolution on the schemes of life which offer themselves to our choice, and inconstancy in pursuing them, are the greatest causes of all our unhappiness.—Addison.[Pg 137]

Irresolute people let their soup grow cold between the plate and the mouth.—Cervantes.

Irritability.—Irritability urges us to take a step as much too soon as sloth does too late.—Cecil.

An irritable man lies like a hedgehog rolled up the wrong way, tormenting himself with his own prickles.—Hood.

Ivy.—The stateliest building man can raise is the ivy's food at last.—Dickens.

The ivy, like the spider, takes hold with her hands in king's palaces, as every twig is furnished with innumerable little fingers, by which it draws itself close, as it were, to the very heart of the old rough stone. Its clinging and beautiful tenacity has given rise to an abundance of conceits about fidelity, friendship, and woman's love, which have become commonplace simply from their appropriateness. It might also symbolize the higher love, unconquerable and unconquered, which has embraced this ruined world from age to age, silently spreading its green over the rents and fissures of our fallen nature.—Mrs. Stowe.


Jealousy.—What frenzy dictates, jealousy believes.—Gay.

Jealousy sees things always with magnifying glasses which make little things large, of dwarfs giants, suspicions truths.—Cervantes.

'Tis a monster begot upon itself, born on itself.—Shakespeare.

Women detest a jealous man whom they do not love, but it angers them when a man they do love is not jealous.—Ninon de L'Enclos.

A jealous man always finds more than he looks for.—Mlle. de Scudéry.[Pg 138]

Jealousy is the sister of love, as the devil is the brother of angels.—Boufflers.

Jesting.—Jests—Brain fleas that jump about among the slumbering ideas.—Heinrich Heine.

The jest loses its point when the wit is the first to laugh.—Schiller.

And generally, men ought to find the difference between saltness and bitterness. Certainly, he that hath a satirical vein, as he maketh others afraid of his wit, so he had need be afraid of other's memory.—Bacon.

Jewelry.—Jewels! It's my belief that when woman was made, jewels were invented only to make her the more mischievous.—Douglas Jerrold.

Jews.—Talk what you will of the Jews; that they are cursed: they thrive wherever they come; they are able to oblige the prince of their country by lending him money; none of them beg; they keep together; and as for their being hated, why Christians hate one another as much.—Selden.

They are a piece of stubborn antiquity, compared with which Stonehenge is in its nonage. They date beyond the Pyramids.—Lamb.

Joy.—The soul's calm sunshine, and the heartfelt joy.—Pope.

Worldly joy is like the songs which peasants sing, full of melodies and sweet airs.—Beecher.

Redundant joy, like a poor miser, beggar'd by his store.—Young.

We lose the peace of years when we hunt after the rapture of moments.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Joy is the best of wine.—George Eliot.

Joy in this world is like a rainbow, which in the morning only appears in the west, or towards the evening sky; but in the latter hours of day casts its triumphal arch over the east, or morning sky.—Richter.[Pg 139]

Judgment.—The more one judges, the less one loves.—Balzac.

I mistrust the judgment of every man in a case in which his own wishes are concerned.—Wellington.

Judgment and reason have been grand jurymen since before Noah was a sailor.—Shakespeare.

A flippant, frivolous man may ridicule others, may controvert them, scorn them; but he who has any respect for himself seems to have renounced the right of thinking meanly of others.—Goethe.

In judging of others a man laboreth in vain, often erreth, and easily sinneth; but in judging and examining himself, he always laboreth fruitfully.—Thomas à Kempis.

I have seen, when after execution judgment hath repented o'er his doom.—Shakespeare.

Foolish men imagine that because judgment for an evil thing is delayed, there is no justice, but an accident alone, here below. Judgment for an evil thing is many times delayed some day or two, some century or two, but it is sure as life, it is sure as death!—Carlyle.

Human judgment, like Luther's drunken peasant, when saved from falling on one side, topples over on the other.—Mazzini.

The contemporary mind may in rare cases be taken by storm; but posterity never. The tribunal of the present is accessible to influence; that of the future is incorrupt.—Gladstone.

Upon any given point, contradictory evidence seldom puzzles the man who has mastered the laws of evidence, but he knows little of the laws of evidence who has not studied the unwritten law of the human heart; and without this last knowledge a man of action will not attain to the practical, nor will a poet achieve the ideal.—Bulwer-Lytton.[Pg 140]

How little do they see what is, who frame their hasty judgment upon that which seems.—Southey.

Justice.—It is the pleasure of the gods—that what is in conformity with justice shall also be in conformity to the laws.—Socrates.

Justice delayed is justice denied.—Gladstone.

Justice advances with such languid steps that crime often escapes from its slowness. Its tardy and doubtful course causes too many tears to be shed.—Corneille.

Justice is truth in action.—Joubert.

At present we can only reason of the divine justice from what we know of justice in man. When we are in other scenes we may have truer and nobler ideas of it; but while we are in this life we can only speak from the volume that is laid open before us.—Pope.

Strike if you will, but hear.—Themistocles.

When Infinite Wisdom established the rule of right and honesty, He saw to it that justice should be always the highest expediency.—Wendell Phillips.

But Justice shines in smoky cottages, and honors the pious. Leaving with averted eyes the gorgeous glare obtained by polluted hands, she is wont to draw nigh to holiness, not reverencing wealth when falsely stamped with praise, and assigning each deed its righteous doom.—Æschylus.

God's mill grinds slow but sure.—George Herbert.

Who shall put his finger on the work of justice, and say, "It is there?" Justice is like the kingdom of God—it is not without us as a fact, it is within us as a great yearning.—George Eliot.

Justice claims what is due, polity what is seemly; justice weighs and decides, polity surveys and orders; justice refers to the individual, polity to the community.—Goethe.[Pg 141]


Kindness.—Yes! you may find people ready enough to do the Samaritan without the oil and twopence.—Sydney Smith.

Paradise is open to all kind hearts.—Béranger.

Kind words produce their own image in men's souls; and a beautiful image it is. They soothe and quiet and comfort the hearer. They shame him out of his sour, morose, unkind feelings. We have not yet begun to use kind words in such abundance as they ought to be used.—Pascal.

To cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.—Johnson.

To remind a man of a kindness conferred is little less than a reproach.—Demosthenes.

Kindness is the only charm permitted to the aged; it is the coquetry of white hair.—O. Feuillet.

Sow good services; sweet remembrances will grow from them.—Mme. de Staël.

Kings.—Kings wish to be absolute, and they are sometimes told that their best way to become so is to make themselves beloved by the people. This maxim is doubtless a very admirable one, and in some respects true; but unhappily it is laughed at in court.—Rousseau.

Implements of war and subjugation are the last arguments to which kings resort.—Patrick Henry.

A king ought not fall from the throne except with the throne itself; under its lofty ruins he alone finds an honored death and an honored tomb.—Alfieri.

One of the strongest natural proofs of the folly of hereditary right in kings is, that nature disapproves it; otherwise she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule by giving mankind an ass in place of a lion.—Thomas Paine.[Pg 142]

He on whom Heaven confers a sceptre knows not the weight till he bears it.—Corneille.

Kings' titles commonly begin by force which time wears off, and mellows into right; and power which in one age is tyranny is ripened in the next to true succession.—Dryden.

Kisses.—It is as old as the creation, and yet as young and fresh as ever. It preëxisted, still exists, and always will exist. Depend upon it, Eve learned it in Paradise, and was taught its beauties, virtues, and varieties by an angel, there is something so transcendent in it.—Haliburton.

Dear as remembered kisses after death.—Tennyson.

Or leave a kiss but in the cup, and I'll not look for wine.—Ben Jonson.

He kissed her and promised. Such beautiful lips! Man's usual fate—he was lost upon the coral reefs.—Douglas Jerrold.

Eden revives in the first kiss of love.—Byron.

You would think that, if our lips were made of horn, and stuck out a foot or two from our faces, kisses at any rate would be done for. Not so. No creatures kiss each other so much as birds.—Charles Buxton.

That farewell kiss which resembles greeting, that last glance of love which becomes the sharpest pang of sorrow.—George Eliot.

Stolen kisses are always sweetest.—Leigh Hunt.

Sharp is the kiss of the falcon's beak.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Four sweet lips, two pure souls, and one undying affection,—these are love's pretty ingredients for a kiss.—Bovée.

Knavery.—Unluckily the credulity of dupes is as inexhaustible as the invention of knaves. They[Pg 143] never give people possession; but they always keep them in hope.—Burke.

After long experience in the world I affirm, before God, I never knew a rogue who was not unhappy.—Junius.

By fools knaves fatten; by bigots priests are well clothed; every knave finds a gull.—Zimmerman.

Knowledge.—The sure foundations of the state are laid in knowledge, not in ignorance; and every sneer at education, at culture, at book learning, which is the recorded wisdom of the experience of mankind, is the demagogue's sneer at intelligent liberty, inviting national degeneracy and ruin.—G. W. Curtis.

Knowledge, like religion, must be "experienced," in order to be known.—Whipple.

The pleasure and delight of knowledge far surpasseth all other in nature. We see in all other pleasures there is satiety; and after they be used, their verdure departeth, which showeth well that they be but deceits of pleasure, and not pleasures; and that it was the novelty which pleased, not the quality; and therefore we see that voluptuous men turn friars, and ambitious princes turn melancholy. But of knowledge there is no satiety, but satisfaction and appetite are perpetually interchangeable.—Bacon.

What novelty is worth the sweet monotony where everything is known, and loved because it is known?—George Eliot.

The truth is, that most men want knowledge, not for itself, but for the superiority which knowledge confers; and the means they employ to secure this superiority are as wrong as the ultimate object, for no man can ever end with being superior who will not begin with being inferior.—Sydney Smith.

He who knows much has much to care for.—Lessing.[Pg 144]

Properly, there is no other knowledge but that which is got by working: the rest is yet all a hypothesis of knowledge; a thing to be argued of in schools; a thing floating in the clouds, in endless logic-vortices, till we try and fix it.—Carlyle.

He that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.—Bible.

To know by rote is no knowledge; it is only a retention of what is intrusted to the memory. That which a man truly knows may be disposed of without regard to the author, or reference to the book from whence he had it.—Montaigne.

He who cherishes his old knowledge, so as continually to acquire new, he may be a teacher of others.—Confucius.

A taste of every sort of knowledge is necessary to form the mind, and is the only way to give the understanding its due improvement to the full extent of its capacity.—Locke.

Knowledge has, in our time, triumphed, and is triumphing, over prejudice, and over bigotry. The civilized and Christian world is fast learning the great lesson, that difference of nation does not imply necessary hostility, and that all contact need not be war. The whole world is becoming a common field for intellect to act in. Energy of mind, genius, power, wheresoever it exists, may speak out in any tongue, and the world will hear it.—Daniel Webster.

Knowledge once gained casts a faint light beyond its own immediate boundaries.—Tyndall.

The shortest and the surest way of arriving at real knowledge is to unlearn the lessons we have been taught, to remount to first principles, and take nobody's word about them.—Bolingbroke.

Sorrow is knowledge; they who know the most must mourn the deepest o'er the fatal truth; the tree of knowledge is not that of life.—Byron.[Pg 145]

The seeds of knowledge maybe planted in solitude, but must be cultivated in public.—Johnson.

Knowledge dwells in heads replete with thoughts of other men; Wisdom, in minds attentive to their own.—Cowper.

It is the glorious prerogative of the empire of knowledge, that what it gains it never loses. On the contrary, it increases by the multiple of its own power; all its ends become means; all its attainments helps to new conquests.—Daniel Webster.

The love of knowledge in a young mind is almost a warrant against the infirm excitement of passions and vices.—Beecher.

There is nothing so minute, or inconsiderable, that I would not rather know it than not.—Johnson.

We always know everything when it serves no purpose, and when the seal of the irreparable has been set upon events.—Théophile Gautier.

All the knowledge that we mortals can acquire is not knowledge positive, but knowledge comparative, and subject to the errors and passions of humanity.—Bulwer-Lytton.


Labor.—Labor is the divine law of our existence; repose is desertion and suicide.—Mazzini.

Labor is life: from the inmost heart of the worker rises his God-given force, the sacred celestial life-essence breathed into him by Almighty God!—Carlyle.

The fact is nothing comes; at least nothing good. All has to be fetched.—Charles Buxton.

Genius begins great works, labor alone finishes them.—Joubert.[Pg 146]

As steady application to work is the healthiest training for every individual, so is it the best discipline of a state. Honorable industry always travels the same road with enjoyment and duty, and progress is altogether impossible without it.—Samuel Smiles.

Nature is just towards men. It recompenses them for their sufferings; it renders them laborious, because to the greatest toils it attaches the greatest rewards.—Montesquieu.

Virtue's guard is Labor, ease her sleep.—Tasso.

Alexander the Great, reflecting on his friends degenerating into sloth and luxury, told them that it was a most slavish thing to luxuriate, and a most royal thing to labor.—Barrow.

Many young painters would never have taken their pencils in hand if they could have felt, known, and understood, early enough, what really produced a master like Raphael.—Goethe.

He that thinks that diversion may not lie in hard labor forgets the early rising and hard riding of huntsmen.—Locke.

The pain of life but sweetens death; the hardest labor brings the soundest sleep.—Albert Smith.

What men want is not talent, it is purpose; not the power to achieve, but the will to labor.—Bulwer-Lytton.

The true epic of our times is not "arms and the man," but "tools and the man," an infinitely wider kind of epic.—Carlyle.

Labor is the curse of the world, and nobody can meddle with it without becoming proportionably brutified!—Hawthorne.

Land.—There is a distinct joy in owning land, unlike that which you have in money, in houses, in books, pictures, or anything else which men have devised. Personal property brings you into society with men. But land is a part of God's estate in the[Pg 147] globe; and when a parcel of ground is deeded to you, and you walk over it, and call it your own, it seems as if you had come into partnership with the original Proprietor of the earth.—Beecher.

Language.—The Creator has gifted the whole universe with language, but few are the hearts that can interpret it. Happy those to whom it is no foreign tongue, acquired imperfectly with care and pain, but rather a native language, learned unconsciously from the lips of the great mother.—Bulwer-Lytton.

The key to the sciences.—Bruyère.

A countryman is as warm in fustian as a king in velvet, and a truth is as comfortable in homely language as in fine speech. As to the way of dishing up the meat, hungry men leave that to the cook, only let the meat be sweet and substantial.—Spurgeon.

The machine of the poet.—Macaulay.

Poetry, indeed, cannot be translated; and, therefore, it is the poets that preserve the languages; for we would not be at the trouble to learn a language if we could have all that is written in it just as well in a translation. But as the beauties of poetry cannot be preserved in any language except that in which it was originally written, we learn the language.—Johnson.

Language most shows a man; speak that I may see thee: it springs out of the most retired and inmost part of us.—Ben Jonson.

If the way in which men express their thoughts is slipshod and mean, it will be very difficult for their thoughts themselves to escape being the same. If it is high flown and bombastic, a character for national simplicity and thankfulness cannot long be maintained.—Dean Alford.

Laughter.—Conversation never sits easier than when we now and then discharge ourselves in[Pg 148] a symphony of laughter; which may not improperly be called the chorus of conversation.—Steele.

The laughers are a majority.—Pope.

Learn from the earliest days to inure your principles against the perils of ridicule: you can no more exercise your reason, if you live in the constant dread of laughter, than you can enjoy your life if you are in the constant terror of death.—Sydney Smith.

How much lies in laughter: the cipher key, wherewith we decipher the whole man!—Carlyle.

God made both tears and laughter, and both for kind purposes; for as laughter enables mirth and surprise to breathe freely, so tears enable sorrow to vent itself patiently. Tears hinder sorrow from becoming despair and madness.—Leigh Hunt.

How inevitably does an immoderate laughter end in a sigh!—South.

Laughing, if loud, ends in a deep sigh; and all pleasures have a sting in the tail, though they carry beauty on the face.—Jeremy Taylor.

Laughter means sympathy.—Carlyle.

One good, hearty laugh is a bombshell exploding in the right place, while spleen and discontent are a gun that kicks over the man who shoots it off.—De Witt Talmage.

I am sure that since I had the use of my reason, no human being has ever heard me laugh.—Chesterfield.

I like the laughter that opens the lips and the heart, that shower at the same time pearls and the soul.—Victor Hugo.

Laughter is a most healthful exertion; it is one of the greatest helps to digestion with which I am acquainted; and the custom prevalent among our forefathers, of exciting it at table by jesters and buffoons, was founded on true medical principles.—Dr. Hufeland.[Pg 149]

Law.—With us, law is nothing unless close behind it stands a warm, living public opinion. Let that die or grow indifferent, and statutes are waste paper, lacking all executive force.—Wendell Phillips.

Of all the parts of a law, the most effectual is the vindicatory; for it is but lost labor to say, "Do this, or avoid that," unless we also declare, "This shall be the consequence of your non-compliance." The main strength and force of a law consists in the penalty annexed to it.—Blackstone.

If there be any one principle more widely than another confessed by every utterance, or more sternly than another imprinted on every atom of the visible creation, that principle is not liberty, but law.—Ruskin.

It would be very singular if this great shad-net of the law did not enable men to catch at something, balking for the time the eternal flood-tide of justice.—Chapin.

True law is right reason conformably to nature, universal, unchangeable, eternal, whose commands urge us to duty, and whose prohibitions restrain us from evil.—Cicero.

Aristotle himself has said, speaking of the laws of his own country, that jurisprudence, or the knowledge of those laws, is the principal and most perfect branch of ethics.—Blackstone.

In effect, to follow, not to force, the public inclination, to give a direction, a form, a technical dress, and a specific sanction, to the general sense of the community, is the true end of legislation.—Burke.

In the habits of legal men every accusation appears insufficient if they do not exaggerate it even to calumny. It is thus that justice itself loses its sanctity and its respect amongst men.—Lamartine.

Pity is the virtue of the law, and none but tyrants use it cruelly.—Shakespeare.[Pg 150]

It is a very easy thing to devise good laws; the difficulty is to make them effective. The great mistake is that of looking upon men as virtuous, or thinking that they can be made so by laws; and consequently the greatest art of a politician is to render vices serviceable to the cause of virtue.—Bolingbroke.

A mouse-trap; easy to enter but not easy to get out of.—Mrs Balfour.

What can idle laws do with morals?—Horace.

The law is a gun, which if it misses a pigeon always kills a crow; if it does not strike the guilty it hits some one else. As every crime creates a law, so in turn every law creates a crime.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Learning.—It adds a precious seeing to the eye.—Shakespeare.

You are to consider that learning is of great use to society; and though it may not add to the stock, it is a necessary vehicle to transmit it to others. Learned men are the cisterns of knowledge, not the fountain-heads.—James Northcote.

Learning makes a man fit company for himself.—Young.

Learning maketh young men temperate, is the comfort of old age, standing for wealth with poverty, and serving as an ornament to riches.—Cicero.

The chief art of learning, as Locke has observed, is to attempt but little at a time. The widest excursions of the mind are made by short flights frequently repeated; the most lofty fabrics of science are formed by the continued accumulation of single propositions.—Johnson.

No man can ever want this mortification of his vanity, that what he knows is but a very little, in comparison of what he still continues ignorant of. Consider this, and, instead of boasting thy knowledge of a few things, confess and be out of countenance for the many more which thou dost not understand.—Thomas à Kempis.[Pg 151]

Suppose we put a tax upon learning? Learning, it is true, is a useless commodity, but I think we had better lay it on ignorance; for learning being the property but of a very few, and those poor ones too, I am afraid we can get little among them; whereas ignorance will take in most of the great fortunes in the kingdom.—Fielding.

For ignorance of all things is an evil neither terrible nor excessive, nor yet the greatest of all; but great cleverness and much learning, if they be accompanied by a bad training is a much greater misfortune.—Plato.

No power can exterminate the seeds of liberty when it has germinated in the blood of brave men. Our religion of to-day is still that of martyrdom; to-morrow it will be the religion of victory.—Mazzini.

Leisure.—"Never less idle than when idle," was the motto which the admirable Vittoria Colonna wrought upon her husband's dressing-gown. And may we not justly regard our appreciation of leisure as a test of improved character and growing resources?—Tuckerman.

Leisure is gone; gone where the spinning-wheels are gone, and the pack-horses, and the slow wagons, and the peddlers who brought bargains to the door on sunny afternoons.—George Eliot.

Libels.—Undoubtedly the good fame of every man ought to be under the protection of the laws, as well as his life and liberty and property. Good fame is an outwork that defends them all and renders them all valuable. The law forbids you to revenge; when it ties up the hands of some, it ought to restrain the tongues of others.—Burke.

If it was a new thing, it may be I should not be displeased with the suppression of the first libel that should abuse me; but, since there are enough of them to make a small library, I am secretly pleased to see the number increased, and take delight in raising a heap of stones that envy has cast at me without doing me any harm.—Balzac.[Pg 152]

Liberty.—Liberty is the right to do what the laws allow; and if a citizen could do what they forbid, it would be no longer liberty, because others would have the same powers.—Montesquieu.

If the true spark of religious and civil liberty be kindled, it will burn. Human agency cannot extinguish it. Like the earth's central fire, it may be smothered for a time; the ocean may overwhelm it; mountains may press it down; but its inherent and unconquerable force will heave both the ocean and the land, and at some time or another, in some place or another, the volcano will break out and flame to heaven.—Daniel Webster.

Interwoven is the love of liberty with every ligament of the heart.—Washington.

Library.—A large library is apt to distract rather than to instruct the learner; it is much better to be confined to a few authors than to wander at random over many.—Seneca.

He has his Rome, his Florence, his whole glowing Italy, within the four walls of his library. He has in his books the ruins of an antique world, and the glories of a modern one.—Longfellow.

What a place to be in is an old library! It seems as though all the souls of all the writers that have bequeathed their labors to these Bodleians were reposing here, as in some dormitory, or middle state. I do not want to handle, to profane the leaves, their winding-sheets. I could as soon dislodge a shade. I seem to inhale learning, walking amid their foliage; and the odor of their old moth-scented coverings is fragrant as the first bloom of those sciential apples which grew amid the happy orchard.—Lamb.

Life.—Life is a quaint puzzle. Bits the most incongruous join into each other, and the scheme thus gradually becomes symmetrical and clear; when, lo! as the infant clasps his hands, and cries, "See, see! the puzzle is made out," all the pieces are swept[Pg 153] back into the box—black box with the gilded nails!—Bulwer-Lytton.

We never live, but we ever hope to live.—Pascal.

Life is like a beautiful and winding lane, on either side bright flowers, and beautiful butterflies, and tempting fruits, which we scarcely pause to admire and to taste, so eager are we to hasten to an opening which we imagine will be more beautiful still. But by degrees as we advance, the trees grow bleak; the flowers and butterflies fail, the fruits disappear, and we find we have arrived—to reach a desert waste.—G. A. Sala.

How small a portion of our life it is that we really enjoy! In youth we are looking forward to things that are to come; in old age we are looking backwards to things that are gone past; in manhood, although we appear indeed to be more occupied in things that are present, yet even that is too often absorbed in vague determinations to be vastly happy on some future day when we have time.—Colton.

The days of our years are three-score years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be four-score years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.—Bible.

When I reflect upon what I have seen, what I have heard, what I have done, I can hardly persuade myself that all that frivolous hurry and bustle and pleasure of the world had any reality; and I look on what has passed as one of those wild dreams which opium occasions, and I by no means wish to repeat the nauseous dose for the sake of the fugitive illusion.—Chesterfield.

Life is like a game of whist. I don't enjoy the game much, but I like to play my cards well, and see what will be the end of it.—George Eliot.

He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best; and he whose heart beats the quickest lives the longest.—James Martineau.[Pg 154]

Life is so complicated a game that the devices of skill are liable to be defeated at every turn by air-blown chances, incalculable as the descent of thistledown.—George Eliot.

When we embark in the dangerous ship called Life, we must not, like Ulysses, be tied to the mast; we must know how to listen to the songs of the sirens and to brave their blandishments.—Arsène Houssaye.

Life is thick sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes the greater is their power to harm us.—Voltaire.

The earnestness of life is the only passport to the satisfaction of life.—Theodore Parker.

I am convinced that there is no man that knows life well, and remembers all the incidents of his past existence, who would accept it again; we are certainly here to punish precedent sins.—Campbell.

The childhood of immortality.—Goethe.

So our lives glide on; the river ends we don't know where, and the sea begins, and then there is no more jumping ashore.—George Eliot.

We never think of the main business of life till a vain repentance minds us of it at the wrong end.—L'Estrange.

This tide of man's life after it once turneth and declineth ever runneth with a perpetual ebb and falling stream, but never floweth again.—Sir W. Raleigh.

If the first death be the mistress of mortals, and the mistress of the universe, reflect then on the brevity of life. "I have been, and that is all," said Saladin the Great, who was conqueror of the East. The longest liver had but a handful of days, and life itself is but a circle, always beginning where it ends.—Henry Mayhew.[Pg 155]

Why all this toil for the triumphs of an hour?—Young.

The cradle and the tomb, alas! so nigh.—Prior.

Life's short summer—man is but a flower.—Johnson.

Man lives only to shiver and perspire.—Sydney Smith.

O frail estate of human things!—Dryden.

Many think themselves to be truly God-fearing when they call this world a valley of tears. But I believe they would be more so, if they called it a happy valley. God is more pleased with those who think everything right in the world, than with those who think nothing right. With so many thousand joys, is it not black ingratitude to call the world a place of sorrow and torment?—Richter.

Life is a progress from want to want, not from enjoyment to enjoyment.—Johnson.

We never live: we are always in the expectation of living.—Voltaire.

Life does not count by years. Some suffer a lifetime in a day, and so grow old between the rising and the setting of the sun.—Augusta Evans.

Light.—Science and art may invent splendid modes of illuminating the apartments of the opulent; but these are all poor and worthless compared with the light which the sun sends into our windows, which he pours freely, impartially, over hill and valley, which kindles daily the eastern and western sky; and so the common lights of reason and conscience and love are of more worth and dignity than the rare endowments which give celebrity to a few.—Dr. Channing.

More light!—Goethe's last words.

Light! Nature's resplendent robe; without whose vesting beauty all were wrapt in gloom.—Thomson.[Pg 156]

Hail! holy light, offspring of heaven, first born!—Milton.

We should render thanks to God for having produced this temporal light, which is the smile of heaven and joy of the world, spreading it like a cloth of gold over the face of the air and earth, and lighting it as a torch, by which we might behold his works.—Caussin.

Likeness.—Like, but oh, how different!—Wordsworth.

Lips.—Lips like rosebuds peeping out of snow.—Bailey.

He kissed me hard, as though he'd pluck up kisses by the roots that grew upon my lips.—Shakespeare.

The lips of a fool swallow up himself.—Bible.

Literature.—Literature happens to be the only occupation in which wages are not given in proportion to the goodness of the work done.—Froude.

The literature of a people must spring from the sense of its nationality; and nationality is impossible without self-respect, and self-respect is impossible without liberty.—Mrs. Stowe.

Cleverness is a sort of genius for instrumentality. It is the brain of the hand. In literature, cleverness is more frequently accompanied by wit, genius, and sense, than by humor.—Coleridge.

When literature is the sole business of life, it becomes a drudgery. When we are able to resort to it only at certain hours, it is a charming relaxation. In my earlier days I was a banker's clerk, obliged to be at the desk everyday from ten till five o'clock; and I shall never forget the delight with which, on returning home, I used to read and write during the evening.—Rogers.[Pg 157]

Literary history is the great morgue where all seek the dead ones whom they love, or to whom they are related.—Heinrich Heine.

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.—Goldsmith.

Logic.—Logic differeth from rhetoric as the fist from the palm; the one close, the other at large.—Bacon.

Syllogism is of necessary use, even to the lovers of truth, to show them the fallacies that are often concealed in florid, witty, or involved discourses.—Locke.

Logic is the art of convincing us of some truth.—Bruyère.

Love.—Fie, fie! how wayward is this foolish love, that, like a testy babe, will scratch the nurse, and presently, all humbled, will kiss the rod!—Shakespeare.

Love is the cross and passion of the heart; its end, its errand.—P. L. Bailey.

Love is frightened at the intervals of insensibility and callousness that encroach by little and little on the dominion of grief, and it makes efforts to recall the keenness of the first anguish.—George Eliot.

Love while 't is day; night cometh soon, wherein no man or maiden may.—Joaquin Miller.

Love has a way of cheating itself consciously, like a child who plays at solitary hide-and-seek; it is pleased with assurances that it all the while disbelieves.—George Eliot.

As soon go kindle fire with snow, as seek to quench the fire of love with words.—Shakespeare.

Loves change sure as man or moon, and wane like warm full days of June.—Joaquin Miller.

Take of love as a sober man takes wine; do not get drunk.—Alfred de Musset.[Pg 158]

Love is the admiration and cherishing of the amiable qualities of the beloved person, upon the condition of yourself being the object of their action. The qualities of the sexes correspond. The man's courage is loved by the woman, whose fortitude again is coveted by the man. His vigorous intellect is answered by her infallible tact. Can it be true, what is so constantly affirmed, that there is no sex in souls? I doubt it—I doubt it exceedingly.—Coleridge.

As love increases prudence diminishes.—Rochefoucauld.

Never self-possessed, or prudent, love is all abandonment.—Emerson.

The desire to be beloved is ever restless and unsatisfied; but the love that flows out upon others is a perpetual well-spring from on high.—L. M. Child.

Love is love's reward.—Dryden.

The violence of love is as much to be dreaded as that of hate. When it is durable, it is serene and equable. Even its famous pains begin only with the ebb of love, for few are indeed lovers, though all would fain be.—Thoreau.

Love makes all things possible.—Shakespeare.

Economy in love is peace to nature, much like economy in worldly matters; we should be prudent, never love too fast; profusion will not, cannot, always last.—Peter Pindar. (John W. Wolcott.)

There is no fear in love, for perfect love casteth out fear.—Bible.

O love! thy essence is thy purity! Breathe one unhallowed breath upon thy flame and it is gone for ever, and but leaves a sullied vase,—its pure light lost in shame.—Landor.

The pale complexion of true love.—Shakespeare.

Love has no middle term; it either saves or destroys.—Victor Hugo.[Pg 159]

Young love is a flame; very pretty, often very hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. The love of the older and disciplined heart is as coals, deep-burning, unquenchable.—Beecher.

In love's war, he who flies is conqueror.—Mrs. Osgood.

Where there is room in the heart there is always room in the house.—Moore.

Love's like the measles, all the worse when it comes late in life.—Douglas Jerrold.

Only they conquer love who run away.—Carew.

The heart's hushed secret in the soft dark eye.—L. E. Landon.

Love, well thou know'st, no partnership allows; cupid averse rejects divided vows.—Prior.

Celestial rosy red, love's proper hue.—Milton.

Those who yield their souls captive to the brief intoxication of love, if no higher and holier feeling mingle with and consecrate their dream of bliss, will shrink trembling from the pangs that attend their waking.—Schlegel.

The first sigh of love is the last of wisdom.—Antoine Bret.

I have enjoyed the happiness of this world, I have lived and have loved.—Richter.

Life is a flower of which love is the honey.—Victor Hugo.

Love is a severe critic. Hate can pardon more than love.—Thoreau.

Young love-making, that gossamer web! Even the points it clings to—the things whence its subtle interlacings are swung—are scarcely perceptible: momentary touches of finger-tips, meetings of rays from blue and dark orbs, unfinished phrases, lightest changes of cheek and lip, faintest tremors. The web itself is made of spontaneous beliefs and indefinable joys, yearnings of one life towards another, visions of completeness, indefinite trust.—George Eliot.[Pg 160]

Love is the loadstone of love.—Mrs. Osgood.

Love is never lasting which flames before it burns.—Feltham.

The best part of woman's love is worship; but it is hard to her to be sent away with her precious spikenard rejected, and her long tresses, too, that were let fall ready to soothe the wearied feet.—George Eliot.

Love is an Oriental despot.—Madame Swetchine.

We must love as looking one day to hate.—George Herbert.

Love with old men is as the sun upon the snow, it dazzles more than it warms them.—J. Petit Senn.

Love is lowliness; on the wedding ring sparkles no jewel.—Richter.

Love alone is wisdom, love alone is power; and where love seems to fail, it is where self has stepped between and dulled the potency of its rays.—George MacDonald.

To speak of love is to make love.—Balzac.

A man may be a miser of his wealth; he may tie up his talent in a napkin; he may hug himself in his reputation; but he is always generous in his love. Love cannot stay at home; a man cannot keep it to himself. Like light, it is constantly traveling. A man must spend it, must give it away.—Macleod.

Repining love is the stillest; the shady flowers in this spring as in the other, shun sunlight.—Richter.

Love is like the moon; when it does not increase it decreases.—Ségur.

Love is the most terrible, and also the most generous of the passions: it is the only one that includes in its dreams the happiness of some one else.—Alphonse Karr.

A woman whom we truly love is a religion.—Emile de Girardin.[Pg 161]

Childhood is only a wearisome prologue: the first act of the human comedy opens only at the moment when love makes a breach in our hearts.—Arsène Houssaye.

The religion of humanity is love.—Mazzini.

He who is intoxicated with wine will be sober again in the course of the night, but he who is intoxicated by the cup-bearer will not recover his senses until the day of judgment.—Saadi.

Love reasons without reason.—Shakespeare.

It seems to me that the coming of love is like the coming of spring—the date is not to be reckoned by the calendar. It may be slow and gradual; it may be quick and sudden. But in the morning, when we wake and recognize a change in the world without, verdure on the trees, blossoms on the sward, warmth in the sunshine, music in the air, we say spring has come.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Love and a cough cannot be hid.—George Herbert.

Love is the most dunder-headed of all the passions; it never will listen to reason. The very rudiments of logic are unknown to it. "Love has no wherefore," says one of the Latin poets.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Love in marriage should be the accomplishment of a beautiful dream, and not, as it too often is, the end.—Alphonse Karr.

One dies twice: to cease to live is nothing, but to cease to love and to be loved is an insupportable death.—Voltaire.

The heart of a woman is never so full of affection that there does not remain a little corner for flattery and love.—Mauvaux.

Love is always blind and tears his hands whenever he tries to gather roses.—Arsène Houssaye.

Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination.—Voltaire.[Pg 162]

Oh! I was mad to intoxicate myself with the wine of love, and to extend my hand to the crown of poets. Pleasure! Poetry! you are perfidious friends. Pain follows you closely.—Arsène Houssaye.

If love gives wit to fools, it undoubtedly takes it from wits.—Alphonse Karr.

In love, as in everything else, experience is a physician who never comes until after the disorder is cured.—Mme. de la Tour.

One expresses well only the love he does not feel.—Alphonse Karr.

In love, as in war, a fortress that parleys is half taken.—Marguerite de Valois.

A supreme love, a motive that gives a sublime rhythm to a woman's life, and exalts habit into partnership with the soul's highest needs, is not to be had where and how she wills: to know that high initiation, she must often tread where it is hard to tread, and feel the chill air, and watch through darkness.—George Eliot.

To love one who loves you, to admire one who admires you, in a word, to be the idol of one's idol, is exceeding the limit of human joy; it is stealing fire from heaven and deserves death.—Madame de Girardin.

But to enlarge or illustrate this power and effects of love is to set a candle in the sun.—Burton.

There are as many kinds of love as there are races. A great tall German, learned, virtuous, phlegmatic, said one day: "Souls are sisters, fallen from heaven, who all at once recognize and run to meet each other." A little dry Frenchman, hot-blooded, witty, lively, replied to him: "You are right; you can always find shoes to fit."—Taine.

Love supreme defies all sophistry.—George Eliot.

It is strange that men will talk of miracles, revelations, inspiration, and the like, as things past, while love remains.—Thoreau.[Pg 163]

The love of man to woman is a thing common, and of course, and at first partakes more of instinct and passion than of choice; but true friendship between man and man is infinite and immortal.—Plato.

We look at the one little woman's face we love, as we look at the face of our mother earth, and see all sorts of answers to our own yearnings.—George Eliot.

Take away love, and not physical nature only, but the heart of the moral world would be palsied.—Southey.

Among all the many kinds of first love, that which begins in childish companionship is the strongest and most enduring; when passion comes to unite its force to long affection, love is at its spring-tide.—George Eliot.

Nothing quickens the perceptions like genuine love. From the humblest professional attachment to the most chivalric devotion, what keenness of observation is born under the influence of that feeling which drives away the obscuring clouds of selfishness, as the sun consumes the vapor of the morning.—Tuckerman.

Luck.—Hope nothing from luck, and the probability is that you will be so prepared, forewarned, and forearmed, that all shallow observers will call you lucky.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Luxury.—Whenever vanity and gayety, a love of pomp and dress, furniture, equipage, buildings, great company, expensive diversions, and elegant entertainments get the better of the principles and judgments of men and women, there is no knowing where they will stop, nor into what evils, natural, moral, or political, they will lead us.—John Adams.

He repents on thorns that sleeps in beds of roses.—Quarles.[Pg 164]

O brethren, it is sickening work to think of your cushioned seats, your chants, your anthems, your choirs, your organs, your gowns, and your bands, and I know not what besides, all made to be instruments of religious luxury, if not of pious dissipation, while ye need far more to be stirred up and incited to holy ardor for the propagation of the truth as it is in Jesus.—Spurgeon.

O Luxury! Thou curst of heaven's decree.—Goldsmith.

Superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but competency lives longer.—Shakespeare.

Lying.—Lying's a certain mark of cowardice.—Southern.

There are people who lie simply for the sake of lying.—Pascal.

Every brave man shuns more than death the shame of lying.—Corneille.

It is a hard matter for a man to lie all over, nature having provided king's evidence in almost every member. The hand will sometimes act as a vane, to show which way the wind blows, even when every feature is set the other way; the knees smite together and sound the alarm of fear under a fierce countenance; the legs shake with anger, when all above is calm.—Washington Allston.

Lies exist only to be extinguished.—Carlyle.

A lie that is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies.—Tennyson.


Madness.—Many a man is mad in certain instances, and goes through life without having it perceived. For example, a madness has seized a person of supposing himself obliged literally to pray continually; had the madness turned the opposite[Pg 165] way, and the person thought it a crime ever to pray, it might not improbably have continued unobserved.—Johnson.

Man.—It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness. It is more dangerous yet to leave him ignorant of either; but very beneficial that he should be made sensible of both.—Pascal.

Man, I tell you, is a vicious animal.—Molière.

He is of the earth, but his thoughts are with the stars. Mean and petty his wants and his desires; yet they serve a soul exalted with grand, glorious aims,—with immortal longings,—with thoughts which sweep the heavens, and wander through eternity. A pigmy standing on the outward crest of this small planet, his far-reaching spirit stretches outward to the infinite, and there alone finds rest.—Carlyle.

Alas! what does man here below? A little noise in much obscurity.—Victor Hugo.

What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and movement, how express and admirable! in action, how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals!—Shakespeare.

Every man is a divinity in disguise, a god playing the fool. It seems as if heaven had sent its insane angels into our world as to an asylum. And here they will break out into their native music, and utter at intervals the words they have heard in heaven; then the mad fit returns, and they mope and wallow like dogs!—Emerson.

In my youth I thought of writing a satire on mankind; but now in my age I think I should write an apology for them.—Walpole.[Pg 166]

Man is a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal.—Alexander Hamilton.

I considered how little man is, yet, in his own mind, how great! He is lord and master of all things, yet scarce can command anything. He is given a freedom of his will; but wherefore? Was it but to torment and perplex him the more? How little avails this freedom, if the objects he is to act upon be not as much disposed to obey as he is to command!—Burke.

Men's natures are neither white nor black, but brown.—Charles Buxton.

He is compounded of two very different ingredients, spirit and matter; but how such unallied and disproportioned substances should act upon each other, no man's learning yet could tell him.—Jeremy Collier.

Man is the highest product of his own history. The discoverer finds nothing so grand or tall as himself, nothing so valuable to him. The greatest star is at the small end of the telescope, the star that is looking, not looked after nor looked at.—Theodore Parker.

Men are but children of a larger growth; our appetites are apt to change as theirs, and full as craving, too, and full as vain.—Dryden.

Little things are great to little men.—Goldsmith.

Man himself is the crowning wonder of creation; the study of his nature the noblest study the world affords.—Gladstone.

Limited in his nature, infinite in his desires.—Lamartine.

Manners.—A man ought to carry himself in the world as an orange tree would if it could walk up and down in the garden, swinging perfume from every little censer it holds up to the air.—Beecher.[Pg 167]

All manners take a tincture from our own.—Pope.

I have seen manners that make a similar impression with personal beauty, that give the like exhilaration and refine us like that; and in memorable experiences they are suddenly better than beauty, and make that superfluous and ugly. But they must be marked by fine perception, the acquaintance with real beauty. They must always show control; you shall not be facile, apologetic, or leaky, but king over your word; and every gesture and action shall indicate power at rest. They must be inspired by the good heart. There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy, and not pain, around us.—Emerson.

We perhaps never detect how much of our social demeanor is made up of artificial airs, until we see a person who is at once beautiful and simple: without the beauty, we are apt to call simplicity awkwardness.—George Eliot.

We cannot always oblige, but we can always speak obligingly.—Voltaire.

Nature is the best posture-master.—Emerson.

Good breeding consists in having no particular mark of any profession, but a general elegance of manners.—Johnson.

Men are like wine; not good before the lees of clownishness be settled.—Feltham.

The person who screams, or uses the superlative degree, or converses with heat, puts whole drawing-rooms to flight. If you wish to be loved, love measure. You must have genius or a prodigious usefulness if you will hide the want of measure.—Emerson.

We are to carry it from the hand to the heart, to improve a ceremonial nicety into a substantial duty, and the modes of civility into the realities of religion.—South.[Pg 168]

Better were it to be unborn than to be ill-bred.—Sir W. Raleigh.

Simplicity of manner is the last attainment. Men are very long afraid of being natural, from the dread of being taken for ordinary.—Jeffrey.

Kings themselves cannot force the exquisite politeness of distance to capitulate, hid behind its shield of bronze.—Balzac.

Comport thyself in life as at a banquet. If a plate is offered thee, extend thy hand and take it moderately; if it be withdrawn, do not detain it. If it come not to thy side, make not thy desire loudly known, but wait patiently till it be offered thee.—Epictetus.

Good manners and good morals are sworn friends and firm allies.—Bartol.

The "over-formal" often impede, and sometimes frustrate, business by a dilatory, tedious, circuitous, and (what in colloquial language is called) fussy way of conducting the simplest transactions. They have been compared to a dog which cannot lie down till he has made three circuits round the spot.—Whately.

Martyrs.—Even in this world they will have their judgment-day, and their names, which went down in the dust like a gallant banner trodden in the mire, shall rise again all glorious in the sight of nations.—Mrs. Stowe.

It is not the death that makes the martyr, but the cause.—Canon Dale.

It is admirable to die the victim of one's faith; it is sad to die the dupe of one's ambition.—Lamartine.

God discovers the martyr and confessor without the trial of flames and tortures, and will hereafter entitle many to the reward of actions which they had never the opportunity of performing.—Addison.[Pg 169]

Matrimony.—When a man and woman are married their romance ceases and their history commences.—Rochebrune.

It resembles a pair of shears, so joined that they cannot be separated; often moving in opposite directions, yet always punishing any one who comes between them.—S. Smith.

Married in haste, we repent at leisure.—Congreve.

I believe marriages would in general be as happy, and often more so, if they were all made by the Lord Chancellor, upon a due consideration of the characters and circumstances, without the parties having any choice in the matter.—Johnson.

Hanging and wiving go by destiny.—Shakespeare.

The married man is like the bee that fixes his hive, augments the world, benefits the republic, and by a daily diligence, without wronging any, profits all; but he who contemns wedlock, like a wasp, wanders an offence to the world, lives upon spoil and rapine, disturbs peace, steals sweets that are none of his own, and, by robbing the hives of others, meets misery as his due reward.—Feltham.

One can, with dignity, be wife and widow but once.—Joubert.

Few natures can preserve through years the poetry of the first passionate illusion. That can alone render wedlock the seal that confirms affection, and not the mocking ceremonial that consecrates its grave.—Bulwer-Lytton.

It's hard to wive and thrive both in a year.—Tennyson.

Maids want nothing but husbands, and when they have them, they want everything.—Shakespeare.

Wedlock's like wine, not properly judged of till the second glass.—Douglas Jerrold.[Pg 170]

A good wife is like the ivy which beautifies the building to which it clings, twining its tendrils more lovingly as time converts the ancient edifice into a ruin.—Johnson.

He that marries is like the Doge who was wedded to the Adriatic. He knows not what there is in that which he marries: mayhap treasures and pearls, mayhap monsters and tempests, await him.—Heinrich Heine.

A husband is a plaster that cures all the ills of girlhood.—Molière.

There is more of good nature than of good sense at the bottom of most marriages.—Thoreau.

The love of some men for their wives is like that of Alfieri for his horse. "My attachment for him," said he, "went so far as to destroy my peace every time that he had the least ailment; but my love for him did not prevent me from fretting and chafing him whenever he did not wish to go my way."—Bovée.

No navigator has yet traced lines of latitude and longitude on the conjugal sea.—Balzac.

Has any one ever pinched into its pilulous smallness the cobweb of pre-matrimonial acquaintanceship?—George Eliot.

Mediocrity.—Mediocrity is excellent to the eyes of mediocre people.—Joubert.

Mediocrity is now, as formerly, dangerous, commonly fatal, to the poet; but among even the successful writers of prose, those who rise sensibly above it are the very rarest exceptions.—Gladstone.

Meditation.—Chewing the cud of sweet and bitter fancy.—Shakespeare.

'Tis greatly wise to talk with our past hours, and ask them what report they bore to heaven, and how they might have borne more welcome news.—Young.[Pg 171]

Meditation is that exercise of the mind by which it recalls a known truth, as some kind of creatures do their food, to be ruminated upon till all vicious parts be extracted.—Bishop Horne.

Meekness.—The flower of meekness grows on a stem of grace.—J. Montgomery.

A boy was once asked what meekness was. He thought for a moment and said, "Meekness gives smooth answers to rough questions."—Mrs. Balfour.

Melancholy.—Melancholy is a fearful gift; what is it but the telescope of truth?—Byron.

A lazy frost, a numbness of the mind.—Dryden.

Demoniac frenzy, moping melancholy.—Milton.

The noontide sun is dark, and music discord, when the heart is low.—Young.

Memory.—Memory is what makes us young or old.—Alfred de Musset.

No canvas absorbs color like memory.—Willmott.

Of all the faculties of the mind, memory is the first that flourishes, and the first that dies.—Colton.

Joy's recollection is no longer joy; but sorrow's memory is sorrow still.—Byron.

A sealed book, at whose contents we tremble.—L. E. Landon.

And fondly mourn the dear delusions gone.—Prior.

How can such deep-imprinted images sleep in us at times, till a word, a sound, awake them?—Lessing.

In literature and art memory is a synonym for invention; it is the life-blood of imagination, which faints and dies when the veins are empty.—Willmott.

Memory is the scribe of the soul.—Aristotle.[Pg 172]

The memory has as many moods as the temper, and shifts its scenery like a diorama.—George Eliot.

We must always have old memories and young hopes.—Arsène Houssaye.

They teach us to remember; why do not they teach us to forget? There is not a man living who has not, some time in his life, admitted that memory was as much of a curse as a blessing.—F. A. Durivage.

Mercy.—Mercy more becomes a magistrate than the vindictive wrath which men call justice!—Longfellow.

Nothing emboldens sin so much as mercy.—Shakespeare.

'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes the throned monarch better than his crown.—Shakespeare.

Give money, but never lend it. Giving it only makes a man ungrateful; lending it makes him an enemy.—Dumas.

Mercy among the virtues is like the moon among the stars,—not so sparkling and vivid as many, but dispensing a calm radiance that hallows the whole. It is the bow that rests upon the bosom of the cloud when the storm is past. It is the light that hovers above the judgment-seat.—Chapin.

We hand folks over to God's mercy, and show none ourselves.—George Eliot.

Among the attributes of God, although they are all equal, mercy shines with even more brilliancy than justice.—Cervantes.

Milton.—His poetry reminds us of the miracles of Alpine scenery. Nooks and dells, beautiful as fairy land, are embosomed in its most rugged and gigantic elevations. The roses and myrtles bloom unchilled on the verge of the avalanche.—Macaulay.[Pg 173]

Mind.—It is with diseases of the mind as with diseases of the body, we are half dead before we understand our disorder, and half cured when we do.—Colton.

The end which at present calls forth our efforts will be found when it is once gained to be only one of the means to some remoter end. The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope.—Johnson.

Minds filled with vivid, imaginative thoughts, are the most indolent in reproducing. Clear, cold, hard minds are productive. They have to retrace a very simple design.—X. Doudan.

The mind is the atmosphere of the soul.—Joubert.

What is this little, agile, precious fire, this fluttering motion which we call the mind?—Prior.

Just as a particular soil wants some one element to fertilize it, just as the body in some conditions has a kind of famine for one special food, so the mind has its wants, which do not always call for what is best, but which know themselves and are as peremptory as the salt sick sailor's call for a lemon or raw potato.—Holmes.

The best way to prove the clearness of our mind is by showing its faults; as when a stream discovers the dirt at the bottom, it convinces us of the transparency of the water.—Pope.

A mind once cultivated will not lie fallow for half an hour.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Mischief.—The opportunity to do mischief is found a hundred times a day, and that of doing good once a year.—Voltaire.

Miser.—The miser swimming in gold seems to me like a thirsty fish.—J. Petit Senn.[Pg 174]

In all meanness there is a deficit of intellect as well as of heart, and even the cleverness of avarice is but the cunning of imbecility.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Misery.—There are a good many real miseries in life that we cannot help smiling at, but they are the smiles that make wrinkles and not dimples.—Holmes.

Misery is so little appertaining to our nature, and happiness so much so, that we in the same degree of illusion only lament over that which has pained us, but leave unnoticed that which has rejoiced us.—Richter.

Misfortune.—If all the misfortunes of mankind were cast into a public stock, in order to be equally distributed among the whole species, those who now think themselves the most unhappy would prefer the share they are already possessed of before that which would fall to them by such a division.—Socrates.

Depend upon it, that if a man talks of his misfortunes there is something in them that is not disagreeable to him; for where there is nothing but pure misery, there never is any recourse to the mention of it.—Johnson.

Flowers never emit so sweet and strong a fragrance as before a storm. Beauteous soul! when a storm approaches thee be as fragrant as a sweet-smelling flower.—Richter.

Our bravest lessons are not learned through success, but misadventure.—Alcott.

There is a chill air surrounding those who are down in the world, and people are glad to get away from them, as from a cold room.—George Eliot.

Men shut their doors against the setting sun.—Shakespeare.

He that is down needs fear no fall.—Bunyan.[Pg 175]

Moderation.—Till men have been some time free, they know not how to use their freedom. The natives of wine countries are generally sober. In climates where wine is a rarity intemperance abounds. A newly liberated people may be compared to a Northern army encamped on the Rhine or the Xeres. It is said that, when soldiers in such a situation first find themselves able to indulge without restraint in such a rare and expensive luxury, nothing is to be seen but intoxication. Soon, however, plenty teaches discretion; and after wine has been for a few months their daily fare, they become more temperate than they had ever been in their own country. In the same manner, the final and permanent fruits of liberty are wisdom, moderation, and mercy.—Macaulay.

The superior man wishes to be slow in his words, and earnest in his conduct.—Confucius.

Let a man take time enough for the most trivial deed, though it be but the paring of his nails. The buds swell imperceptibly, without hurry or confusion; as if the short spring days were an eternity.—Thoreau.

It is a little stream which flows softly, but freshens everything along its course.—Madame Swetchine.

Modesty.—False modesty is the last refinement of vanity. It is a lie.—Bruyère.

The first of all virtues is innocence; the next is modesty. If we banish Modesty out of the world, she carries away with her half the virtue that is in it.—Addison.

He of his port was meek as is a maid.—Chaucer.

Modesty is the lowest of the virtues, and is a confession of the deficiency it indicates. He who undervalues himself is justly undervalued by others.—Hazlitt.

Modesty, who, when she goes, is gone forever.—Landor.[Pg 176]

Modesty is the conscience of the body.—Balzac.

There are as many kinds of modesty as there are races. To the English woman it is a duty; to the French woman a propriety.—Taine.

Virtue which shuns the day.—Addison.

Modesty and the dew love the shade. Each shine in the open day only to be exhaled to heaven.—J. Petit Senn.

Modesty is still a provocation.—Poincelot.

Modesty is the chastity of merit, the virginity of noble souls.—E. de Girardin.

Money.—Wisdom, knowledge, power—all combined.—Byron.

Oh, what a world of vile ill-favored faults looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year!—Shakespeare.

It is my opinion that a man's soul may be buried and perish under a dung-heap, or in a furrow of the field, just as well as under a pile of money.—Hawthorne.

If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some; for he that goes a-borrowing goes a-sorrowing.—Franklin.

Make all you can, save all you can, give all you can.—Wesley.

The avaricious love of gain, which is so feelingly deplored, appears to us a principle which, in able hands, might be guided to the most salutary purposes. The object is to encourage the love of labor, which is best encouraged by the love of money.—Sydney Smith.

Ready money is Aladdin's lamp.—Byron.

Money does all things; for it gives and it takes away, it makes honest men and knaves, fools and philosophers; and so forward, mutatis mutandis, to the end of the chapter.—L'Estrange.[Pg 177]

Mammon is the largest slave-holder in the world.—Fred. Saunders.

But for money and the need of it, there would not be half the friendship in the world. It is powerful for good if divinely used. Give it plenty of air and it is sweet as the hawthorn; shut it up and it cankers and breeds worms.—George MacDonald.

Money, the life-blood of the nation.—Swift.

Moon.—The silver empress of the night.—Tickell.

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank.—Shakespeare.

Mysterious veil of brightness made.—Butler.

Cynthia, fair regent of the night.—Gay.

The maiden moon in her mantle of blue.—Joaquin Miller.

Morals.—Every age and every nation has certain characteristic vices, which prevail almost universally, which scarcely any person scruples to avow, and which even rigid moralists but faintly censure. Succeeding generations change the fashion of their morals with the fashion of their hats and their coaches; take some other kind of wickedness under their patronage, and wonder at the depravity of their ancestors.—Macaulay.

We like the expression of Raphael's faces without an edict to enforce it. I do not see why there should not be a taste in morals formed on the same principle.—Hazlitt.

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.—Thoreau.

Morning.—Vanished night, shot through with orient beams.—Milton.

The dewy morn, with breath all incense, and with cheek all bloom.—Byron.[Pg 178]

Jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain top.—Shakespeare.

When the glad sun, exulting in his might, comes from the dusky-curtained tents of night.—Emma C. Embury.

The cock, that is the trumpet of the morn, doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat awake the god of day.—Shakespeare.

Its brightness, mighty divinity! has a fleeting empire over the day, giving gladness to the fields, color to the flowers, the season of the loves, harmonious hour of wakening birds.—Calderon.

Temperate as the morn.—Shakespeare.

I was always an early riser. Happy the man who is! Every morning day comes to him with a virgin's love, full of bloom and freshness. The youth of nature is contagious, like the gladness of a happy child.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Mother.—Children, look in those eyes, listen to that dear voice, notice the feeling of even a single touch that is bestowed upon you by that gentle hand! Make much of it while yet you have that most precious of all good gifts, a loving mother. Read the unfathomable love of those eyes; the kind anxiety of that tone and look, however slight your pain. In after life you may have friends, fond, dear friends, but never will you have again the inexpressible love and gentleness lavished upon you which none but a mother bestows.—Macaulay.

Nature's loving proxy, the watchful mother.—Bulwer-Lytton.

I believe I should have been swept away by the flood of French infidelity, if it had not been for one thing, the remembrance of the time when my sainted mother used to make me kneel by her side, taking my little hands folded in hers, and caused me to repeat the Lord's Prayer.—Thomas Randolph.[Pg 179]

The mother's yearning, that completest type of the life in another life which is the essence of real human love, feels the presence of the cherished child even in the base, degraded man.—George Eliot.

When Eve was brought unto Adam, he became filled with the Holy Spirit, and gave her the most sanctified, the most glorious of appellations. He called her Eva, that is to say, the Mother of All. He did not style her wife, but simply mother,—mother of all living creatures. In this consists the glory and the most precious ornament of woman.—Luther.

There is in all this cold and hollow world no fount of deep, strong, deathless love, save that within a mother's heart.—Hemans.

Motive.—The morality of an action depends upon the motive from which we act. If I fling half-a-crown to a beggar with intention to break his head, and he picks it up and buys victuals with it, the physical effect is good; but with respect to me, the action is very wrong.—Johnson.

Whatever touches the nerves of motive, whatever shifts man's moral position, is mightier than steam, or caloric, or lightning.—Chapin.

Let the motive be in the deed and not in the event. Be not one whose motive for action is the hope of reward.—Kreeshna.

We must not inquire too curiously into motives. They are apt to become feeble in the utterance: the aroma is mixed with the grosser air. We must keep the germinating grain away from the light.—George Eliot.

Every activity proposes to itself a passivity, every labor enjoyment.—Jacobi.

Mourning.—Oh, for the touch of a vanished hand, and the sound of a voice that is still!—Tennyson.[Pg 180]

The meek-ey'd morn appears, mother of dews.—Thomson.

Music.—Sentimentally I am disposed to harmony, but organically I am incapable of a tune.—Lamb.

All musical people seem to be happy; it is the engrossing pursuit; almost the only innocent and unpunished passion.—Sydney Smith.

Where painting is weakest, namely, in the expression of the highest moral and spiritual ideas, there music is sublimely strong.—Mrs. Stowe.

There is something marvelous in music. I might almost say that music is, in itself, a marvel. Its position is somewhere between the region of thought and that of phenomena; a glimmering medium between mind and matter, related to both and yet differing from either. Spiritual, and yet requiring rhythm; material, and yet independent of space.—Heinrich Heine.

The hidden soul of harmony.—Milton.

Give me some music! music, moody food of us that trade in love.—Shakespeare.

Explain it as we may, a martial strain will urge a man into the front rank of battle sooner than an argument, and a fine anthem excite his devotion more certainly than a logical discourse.—Tuckerman.

Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie.—Milton.

Music, in the best sense, does not require novelty; nay, the older it is, and the more we are accustomed to it, the greater its effect.—Goethe.

Music, which gentler on the spirit lies than tired eyelids upon tired eyes.—Tennyson.

Melodies die out like the pipe of Pan, with the ears that love them and listen for them.—George Eliot.[Pg 181]

Music can noble hints impart, engender fury, kindle love, with unsuspected eloquence can move and manage all the man with secret art.—Addison.

Music is the harmonious voice of creation; an echo of the invisible world; one note of the divine concord which the entire universe is destined one day to sound.—Mazzini.


Naïveté.—Naïveté is the language of pure genius and of discerning simplicity. It is the most simple picture of a refined and ingenious idea; a masterpiece of art in him in whom it is not natural.—Mendelssohn.

Name.—A virtuous name is the precious only good for which queens and peasants' wives must contest together.—Schiller.

A man's name is not like a mantle which merely hangs about him, and which one perchance may safely twitch and pull, but a perfectly fitting garment, which, like the skin, has grown over and over him, at which one cannot rake and scrape without injuring the man himself.—Goethe.

Napoleon.—Whose game was empires, and whose stakes were thrones.—Byron.

Napoleon I. might have been the Washington of France; he preferred to be another Attila,—a question of taste.—F. A. Durivage.

Nature.—Nature has no mind; every man who addresses her is compelled to force upon her for a moment the loan of his own mind. And if she answers a question which his own mind puts to her, it is only by such a reply as his own mind teaches to her parrot-like lips. And as every man has a different mind, so every man gets a different answer.—Bulwer-Lytton.[Pg 182]

Nature will be buried a great time, and yet revive upon the occasion or temptation: like as it was with Æsop's damsel, turned from a cat to a woman, who sat very demurely at the board's end till a mouse ran before her.—Bacon.

Virtue, as understood by the world, is a constant struggle against the laws of nature.—De Finod.

Nature,—a thing which science and art never appear to see with the same eyes. If to an artist Nature has a soul, why, so has a steam-engine. Art gifts with soul all matter that it contemplates; science turns all that is already gifted with soul into matter.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Nature is too thin a screen; the glory of the One breaks in everywhere.—Emerson.

Nature is poetic, but not mankind. When one aims at truth it is easier to find the poetic side of nature than of man.—X. Doudan.

All nature is a vast symbolism; every material fact has sheathed within it a spiritual truth.—Chapin.

Nature is no sentimentalist,—does not cosset or pamper us. We must see that the world is rough and surly, and will not mind drowning a man or a woman, but swallows your ships like a grain of dust. The cold, inconsiderate of persons, tingles your blood, benumbs your feet, freezes a man like an apple. The diseases, the elements, fortune, gravity, lightning, respect no persons.—Emerson.

Nature imitates herself. A grain thrown into good ground brings forth fruit: a principle thrown into a good mind brings forth fruit. Everything is created and conducted by the same Master,—the root, the branch, the fruits,—the principles, the consequences.—Pascal.

A noble nature can alone attract the noble, and alone knows how to retain them.—Goethe.

Nature, the vicar of the almighty Lord.—Chaucer.[Pg 183]

A poet ought not to pick Nature's pocket. Let him borrow, and so borrow as to repay by the very act of borrowing. Examine nature accurately, but write from recollection, and trust more to the imagination than the memory.—Coleridge.

We, by art, unteach what Nature taught.—Dryden.

Nature is the armory of genius. Cities serve it poorly, books and colleges at second hand; the eye craves the spectacle of the horizon, of mountain, ocean, river and plain, the clouds and stars; actual contact with the elements, sympathy with the seasons as they rise and roll.—Alcott.

Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of Nature. She shows us only surfaces, but she is million fathoms deep.—Emerson.

Nature is an absolute and jealous divinity. Lovely, eloquent, and instructive in all her inequalities and contrasts, she hides her face, and remains mute to those who, by attempting to re-fashion her, profane her.—Mazzini.

Necessity.—Necessity is a bad recommendation to favors of any kind, which as seldom fall to those who really want them, as to those who really deserve them.—Fielding.

It is observed in the golden verses of Pythagoras, that power is never far from necessity. The vigor of the human mind quickly appears when there is no longer any place for doubt and hesitation, when diffidence is absorbed in the sense of danger, or overwhelmed by some resistless passion.—Johnson.

When God would educate a man He compels him to learn bitter lessons. He sends him to school to the necessities rather than to the graces, that, by knowing all suffering, he may know also the eternal consolation.—Celia Burleigh.

Necessity may render a doubtful act innocent, but it cannot make it praiseworthy.—Joubert.[Pg 184]

What was once to me mere matter of the fancy now has grown the vast necessity of heart and life.—Tennyson.

Neglect.—He that thinks he can afford to be negligent is not far from being poor.—Johnson.

News.—Give to a gracious message an host of tongues; but let ill tidings tell themselves when they be felt.—Shakespeare.

Newspapers.—In these times we fight for ideas, and newspapers are our fortresses.—Heinrich Heine.

Before this century shall run out journalism will be the whole press. Mankind will write their book day by day, hour by hour, page by page. Thought will spread abroad with the rapidity of light; instantly conceived, instantly written, instantly understood at the extremities of the earth; it will spread from Pole to Pole, suddenly burning with the fervor of soul which made it burst forth; it will be the reign of the human mind in all its plenitude; it will not have time to ripen, to accumulate in the form of a book; the book will arrive too late; the only book possible from day to day is a newspaper.—Lamartine.

Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.—Napoleon.

They preach to the people daily, weekly; admonishing kings themselves; advising peace or war with an authority which only the first Reformers and a long-past class of Popes were possessed of; inflicting moral censure; imparting moral encouragement, consolation, edification; in all ways diligently "administering the discipline of the Church." It may be said, too, that in private disposition the new preachers somewhat resemble the mendicant Friars of old times; outwardly, full of holy zeal; inwardly, not without stratagem, and hunger for terrestrial things.—Carlyle.[Pg 185]

These papers of the day have uses more adequate to the purposes of common life than more pompous and durable volumes.—Johnson.

Night.—Wisdom mounts her zenith with the stars.—Mrs. Barbauld.

The day is done, and the darkness falls from the wings of night.—Longfellow.

Sable-vested night, eldest of things.—Milton.

O mysterious night! Thou art not silent: many tongues hast thou.—Joanna Baillie.

Night, when deep sleep falleth on men.—Bible.

No.—No is a surly, honest fellow, speaks his mind rough and round at once.—Walter Scott.

Learn to say No! and it will be of more use to you than to be able to read Latin.—Spurgeon.

The woman who really wishes to refuse contents herself with saying No. She who explains wants to be convinced.—Alfred de Musset.

Nobility.—Virtue is the first title of nobility.—Molière.

Nonsense.—Nonsense is to sense as shade to light—it heightens effect.—Fred. Saunders.

Nothing.—There is nothing useless to men of sense; clever people turn everything to account.—Fontaine.

Variety of mere nothings gives more pleasure than uniformity of something.—Richter.

Novels.—Novels are sweet. All people with healthy literary appetites love them—almost all women; a vast number of clever, hard-headed men,—Judges, bishops, chancellors, mathematicians,—are notorious novel readers, as well as young boys and sweet girls, and their kind, tender mothers.—Thackeray.[Pg 186]

We must have books for recreation and entertainment, as well as books for instruction and for business; the former are agreeable, the latter useful, and the human mind requires both. The canon law and the codes of Justinian shall have due honor and reign at the universities, but Homer and Virgil need not therefore be banished. We will cultivate the olive and the vine, but without eradicating the myrtle and the rose.—Balzac.

A little grain of the romance is no ill ingredient to preserve and exalt the dignity of human nature, without which it is apt to degenerate into everything that is sordid, vicious, and low.—Swift.

Novelty.—The enormous influence of novelty—the way in which it quickens observation, sharpens sensation, and exalts sentiment—is not half enough taken note of by us, and is to me a very sorrowful matter. And yet, if we try to obtain perpetual change, change itself will become monotonous; and then we are reduced to that old despair, "If water chokes, what will you drink after it?" The two points of practical wisdom in the matter are, first, to be content with as little novelty as possible at a time; and secondly, to preserve, as as much possible, the sources of novelty.—Ruskin.

Novelty is the great-parent of pleasure.—South.


Obedience.—To obey is better than sacrifice.—Bible.

How will you find good? It is not a thing of choice, it is a river that flows from the foot of the Invisible Throne, and flows by the path of obedience.—George Eliot.

Oblivion.—Oblivion is the flower that grows best on graves.—George Sand.

The grave of human misery.—Alfred de Musset.[Pg 187]

Observation.—It is the close observation of little things which is the secret of success in business, in art, in science, and in every pursuit in life. Human knowledge is but an accumulation of small facts, made by successive generations of men,—the little bits of knowledge and experience carefully treasured up by them growing at length into a mighty pyramid.—Samuel Smiles.

Observation made in the cloister, or in the desert, will generally be as obscure as the one, and as barren as the other; but he that would paint with his pencil must study originals, and not be over fearful of a little dust.—Colton.

Each one sees what he carries in his heart.—Goethe.

Occupation.—The want of occupation is no less the plague of society than of solitude.—Rousseau.

The busy have no time for tears.—Byron.

One of the principal occupations of man is to divine woman.—Lacretelle.

Ocean.—Wave rolling after wave in torrent rapture.—Milton.

It plays with the clouds, it mocks the skies, or like a cradled creature lies.—Barry Cornwall.

The visitation of the winds, who take the ruffian billows by the top, curling their monstrous heads.—Shakespeare.

Office.—The gratitude of place-expectants is a lively sense of future favors.—Walpole.

Opinion.—The men of the past had convictions, while we moderns have only opinions.—Heinrich Heine.

Wind puffs up empty bladders; opinion, fools.—Socrates.[Pg 188]

Our pet opinions are usually those which place us in a minority of a minority amongst our own party: very happily, else those poor opinions, born with no silver spoon in their mouths, how would they get nourished and fed?—George Eliot.

Those who never retract their opinions love themselves more than they love truth.—Joubert.

It has been shrewdly said that when men abuse us, we should suspect ourselves, and when they praise us, them. It is a rare instance of virtue to despise censure which we do not deserve, and still more rare to despise praise, which we do. But that integrity that lives only on opinion would starve without it.—Colton.

There never was in the world two opinions alike, no more than two hairs or two grains. The most universal quality is diversity.—Montaigne.

The history of human opinion is scarcely anything more than the history of human errors.—Voltaire.

If a man should register all his opinions upon love, politics, religion, learning, etc., beginning from his youth, and so go on to old age, what a bundle of inconsistencies and contradictions would appear at last.—Swift.

One of the mistakes in the conduct of human life is, to suppose that other men's opinions are to make us happy.—Burton.

It is with true opinions which one has the courage to utter as with pawns first advanced on the chess-board; they may be beaten, but they have inaugurated a game which must be won.—Goethe.

The feeble tremble before opinion, the foolish defy it, the wise judge it, the skillful direct it.—Mme. Roland.

Opportunity.—The cleverest of all devils is opportunity.—Vieland.

Chance opportunities make us known to others, and still more to ourselves.—Rochefoucauld.[Pg 189]

What is opportunity to the man who can't use it? An unfecundated egg, which the waves of time wash away into nonentity.—George Eliot.

There is no man whom Fortune does not visit once in his life; but when she does not find him ready to receive her, she walks in at the door and flies out at the window.—Cardinal Imperiali.

The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us, and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.—George Eliot.

Every one has a fair turn to be as great as he pleases.—Jeremy Collier.

A philosopher being asked what was the first thing necessary to win the love of a woman, answered: "Opportunity."—Moore.

Opportunity, sooner or later, comes to all who work and wish.—Lord Stanley.

You will never "find" time for anything. If you want time you must make it.—Charles Buxton.

Opposition.—The effects of opposition are wonderful. There are men who rise refreshed on hearing of a threat,—men to whom a crisis which intimidates and paralyzes the majority—demanding, not the faculties of prudence and thrift, but comprehension, immovableness, the readiness of sacrifice—comes graceful and beloved as a bride!—Emerson.

Nobody loves heartily unless people take pains to prevent it.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Oratory.—Orators are most vehement when they have the weakest cause, as men get on horseback when they cannot walk.—Cicero.

Metaphor is the figure most suitable for the orator, as men find a positive pleasure in catching resemblances for themselves.—Aristotle.[Pg 190]

Those orators who give us much noise and many words, but little argument and less wit, and who are most loud when they are least lucid, should take a lesson from the great volume of Nature; she often gives us the lightning even without the thunder, but never the thunder without the lightning.—Colton.

An orator without judgment is a horse without a bridle.—Theophrastus.

When the Roman people had listened to the diffuse and polished discourses of Cicero, they departed, saying one to another, "What a splendid speech our orator has made!" But when the Athenians heard Demosthenes, he so filled them with the subject-matter of his oration, that they quite forgot the orator, and left him at the finish of his harangue, breathing revenge, and exclaiming, "Let us go and fight against Philip!"—Colton.

Let not a day pass without exercising your powers of speech. There is no power like that of oratory. Cæsar controlled men by exciting their fears; Cicero, by captivating their affections and swaying their passions. The influence of the one perished with its author; that of the other continues to this day.—Henry Clay.

It was reckoned the fault of the orators at the decline of the Roman empire, when they had been long instructed by rhetoricians, that their periods were so harmonious as that they could be sung as well as spoken. What a ridiculous figure must one of these gentlemen cut, thus measuring syllables and weighing words when he should plead the cause of his client!—Goldsmith.

Originality.—Originality is nothing but judicious imitation.—Voltaire.

One couldn't carry on life comfortably without a little blindness to the fact that everything has been said better than we can put it ourselves.—George Eliot.[Pg 191]

The most original writers borrowed one from another. Boiardo has imitated Pulci, and Ariosto Boiardo. The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbor's, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.—Voltaire.

All originality is estrangement.—G. H. Lawes.


Pain.—Psychical pain is more easily borne than physical, and if I had my choice between a bad conscience and a bad tooth, I should choose the former.—Heinrich Heine.

The same refinement which brings us new pleasures exposes us to new pains.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Pardon.—Pardon is the virtue of victory.—Mazzini.

The heart has always the pardoning power.—Madame Swetchine.

The offender never pardons.—George Herbert.

Love is on the verge of hate each time it stoops for pardon.—Bulwer-Lytton.

These evils I deserve, yet despair not of his final pardon whose ear is ever open, and his eye gracious to readmit the supplicant.—Milton.

Having mourned your sin, for outward Eden lost, find paradise within.—Dryden.

Parent.—The sacred books of the ancient Persians say: If you would be holy instruct your children, because all the good acts they perform will be imputed to you.—Montesquieu.

Partiality.—Partiality in a parent is commonly unlucky; for fondlings are in danger to be made fools, and the children that are least cockered make the best and wisest men.—L'Estrange.[Pg 192]

As there is a partiality to opinions, which is apt to mislead the understanding, so there is also a partiality to studies, which is prejudicial to knowledge.—Locke.

Partiality is properly the understanding's judging according to the inclination of the will and affections, and not according to the exact truth of things, or the merits of the cause.—South.

Parting.—In every parting there is an image of death.—George Eliot.

Party.—He knows very little of mankind who expects, by any facts or reasoning, to convince a determined party-man.—Lavater.

He that aspires to be the head of a party will find it more difficult to please his friends than to perplex his foes.—Colton.

Passions.—Passions makes us feel but never see clearly.—Montesquieu.

Passions are likened best to floods and streams: the shallow murmur, but the deep are dumb.—Sir Walter Raleigh.

The passions are the voice of the body.—Rousseau.

The advice given by a great moralist to his friend was, that he should compose his passions; and let that be the work of reason which would certainly be the work of time.—Addison.

A vigorous mind is as necessarily accompanied with violent passions as a great fire with great heat.—Burke.

There are moments when our passions speak and decide for us, and we seem to stand by and wonder. They carry in them an inspiration of crime, that in one instant does the work of long premeditation.—George Eliot.[Pg 193]

The blossoms of passion, gay and luxuriant flowers, are brighter and fuller of fragrance, but they beguile us and lead us astray, and their odor is deadly.—Longfellow.

"All the passions," says an old writer, "are such near neighbors, that if one of them is on fire the others should send for the buckets." Thus love and hate being both passions, the one is never safe from the spark that sets the other ablaze. But contempt is passionless; it does not catch, it quenches fire.—Bulwer-Lytton.

All the passions seek after whatever nourishes them. Fear loves the idea of danger.—Joubert.

It is the excess and not the nature of our passions which is perishable. Like the trees which grow by the tomb of Protesilaus, the passions flourish till they reach a certain height, but no sooner is that height attained than they wither away.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Past.—Let the dead past bury its dead.—Longfellow.

Oh vanished times! splendors eclipsed for aye! Oh suns behind the horizon that have set.—Victor Hugo.

It is to live twice, when we can enjoy the recollections of our former life.—Martial.

I desire no future that will break the ties of the past.—George Eliot.

Patience.—There is one form of hope which is never unwise, and which certainly does not diminish with the increase of knowledge. In that form it changes its name and we call it patience.—Bulwer-Lytton.

It's easy finding reasons why other folks should be patient.—George Eliot.

Patience, sovereign o'er transmuted ills.—Johnson.[Pg 194]

There's no music in a "rest," that I know of, but there's the making of music in it. And people are always missing that part of the life melody, always talking of perseverance, and courage, and fortitude; but patience is the finest and worthiest part of fortitude, and the rarest, too.—Ruskin.

The two powers which in my opinion constitute a wise man are those of bearing and forbearing.—Epictetus.

Enter into the sublime patience of the Lord. Be charitable in view of it. God can afford to wait; why cannot we, since we have Him to fall back upon? Let patience have her perfect work, and bring forth her celestial fruits.—G. MacDonald.

'Tis all men's office to speak patience to those that wring under the load of sorrow; but no man's virtue nor sufficiency to be so moral when he shall endure the like himself.—Shakespeare.

He that hath patience hath fat thrushes for a farthing.—George Herbert.

Imitate time. It destroys slowly. It undermines, wears, loosens, separates. It does not uproot.—Joubert.

God is with the patient.—Koran.

Patience, the second bravery of man, is, perhaps, greater than the first.—Antonio de Solis.

Patience—the truest fortitude.—Milton.

Patriotism.—In peace patriotism really consists only in this—that every one sweeps before his own door, minds his own business, also learns his own lesson, that it may be well with him in his own house.—Goethe.

Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong.—Decatur.

How dear is fatherland to all noble hearts.—Voltaire.[Pg 195]

Let our object be our country, our whole country, and nothing but our country. And, by the blessing of God, may that country itself become a vast and splendid monument, not of oppression and terror, but of wisdom, of peace, and of liberty, upon which the world may gaze with admiration forever!—Daniel Webster.

There can be no affinity nearer than our country.—Plato.

Of the whole sum of human life no small part is that which consists of a man's relations to his country, and his feelings concerning it.—Gladstone.

Peace.—They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.—Bible.

Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace.—Shakespeare.

Lovely concord and most sacred peace doth nourish virtue, and fast friendship breed.—Spenser.

Peace gives food to the husbandman, even in the midst of rocks; war brings misery to him, even in the most fertile plains.—Menander.

Peace, dear nurse of arts, plenties, and joyful birth.—Shakespeare.

A land rejoicing and a people blest.—Pope.

Pedant.—As pedantry is an ostentatious obtrusion of knowledge, in which those who hear us cannot sympathize, it is a fault of which soldiers, sailors, sportsmen, gamesters, cultivators, and all men engaged in a particular occupation, are quite as guilty as scholars; but they have the good fortune to have the vice only of pedantry, while scholars have both the vice and the name for it too.—S. Smith.

With loads of learned lumber in his head.—Pope.[Pg 196]

It is not a circumscribed situation so much as a narrow vision that creates pedants; not having a pet study or science, but a narrow, vulgar soul, which prevents a man from seeing all sides and hearing all things; in short, the intolerant man is the real pedant.—Richter.

Perfection.—It is reasonable to have perfection in our eye that we may always advance towards it, though we know it can never be reached.—Johnson.

Perfection does not exist; to understand it is the triumph of human intelligence; to desire to possess it is the most dangerous kind of madness.—Alfred de Musset.

That historian who would describe a favorite character as faultless raises another at the expense of himself. Zeuxis made five virgins contribute their charms to his single picture of Helen; and it is as vain for the moralist to look for perfection in the mind, as for the painter to expect to find it in the body.—Colton.

Trifles make perfection, but perfection is no trifle.—Michael Angelo.

He who boasts of being perfect is perfect in folly. I never saw a perfect man. Every rose has its thorns, and every day its night. Even the sun shows spots, and the skies are darkened with clouds. And faults of some kind nestle in every bosom.—Spurgeon.

Faultily faultless, icily regular, splendidly null, dead perfection; no more.—Tennyson.

Persecution.—Of all persecutions, that of calumny is the most intolerable. Any other kind of persecution can affect our outward circumstances only, our properties, our lives; but this may affect our characters forever.—Hazlitt.[Pg 197]

Perseverance.—Great effects come of industry and perseverance; for audacity doth almost bind and mate the weaker sort of minds.—Bacon.

Let us only suffer any person to tell us his story, morning and evening, but for one twelve-month, and he will become our master.—Burke.

Perpetual pushing and assurance put a difficulty out of countenance, and make a seeming impossibility give way.—Jeremy Collier.

Much rain wears the marble.—Shakespeare.

I'm proof against that word failure. I've seen behind it. The only failure a man ought to fear is failure in cleaving to the purpose he sees to be best.—George Eliot.

Every man who observes vigilantly, and resolves steadfastly, grows unconsciously into genius.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Perseverance is not always an indication of great abilities. An indifferent poet is invulnerable to a repulse, the want of sensibility in him being what a noble self-confidence was in Milton. These excluded suitors continue, nevertheless, to hang their garlands at the gate, to anoint the door-post, and even kiss the very threshold of her home, though the Muse beckons them not in.—Wordsworth.

Perverseness.—The strength of the donkey mind lies in adopting a course inversely as the arguments urged, which, well considered, requires as great a mental force as the direct sequence.—George Eliot.

Philosophy.—Philosophy is the art of living.—Plutarch.

Philosophy consists not in airy schemes, or idle speculations; the rule and conduct of all social life is her great province.—Thomson.

The philosopher knows the universe and knows not himself.—Fontaine.[Pg 198]

Philosophy is the rational expression of genius.—Lamartine.

It is a maxim received among philosophers themselves from the days of Aristotle down to those of Sir William Hamilton, that philosophy ceases where truth is acknowledged.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Physiognomy.—It is a point of cunning to wait upon him with whom you speak with your eye, as the Jesuits give it in precept; for there be many wise men that have secret hearts and transparent countenances.—Bacon.

As the language of the face is universal, so 'tis very comprehensive; no laconism can reach it; 'tis the short-hand of the mind, and crowds a great deal in a little room.—Jeremy Collier.

The distinguishing characters of the face, and the lineaments of the body, grow more plain and visible with time and age; but the peculiar physiognomy of the mind is most discernible in children.—Locke.

What knowledge is there, of which man is capable, that is not founded on the exterior; the relation that exists between visible and invisible, the perceptible and the imperceptible?—Lavater.

Piety.—Among the many strange servilities mistaken for pieties one of the least lovely is that which hopes to flatter God by despising the world and vilifying human nature.—G. H. Lewes.

Piety softens all that courage bears.—Madame Swetchine.

Piety is a kind of modesty. It makes us turn aside our thoughts, as modesty makes us cast down our eyes in the presence of whatever is forbidden.—Joubert.

Piety is not an end, but a means of attaining the highest degree of culture by perfect peace of mind. Hence it is to be observed that those who make piety an end and aim in itself for the most part become hypocrites.—Goethe.[Pg 199]

Pity.—Pity is not natural to man. Children are always cruel. Savages are always cruel. Pity is acquired and improved by the cultivation of reason. We may have uneasy sensations from seeing a creature in distress, without pity; for we have not pity unless we wish to relieve them. When I am on my way to dine with a friend, and, finding it late, bid the coachman make haste, if I happen to attend when he whips his horses, I may feel unpleasantly that the animals are put to pain, but I do not wish him to desist; no, sir, I wish him to drive on.—Johnson.

Pity is sworn servant unto love, and this be sure, wherever it begin to make the way, it lets the master in.—Daniel.

Those many that need pity, and those infinities of people that refuse to pity, are miserable upon a several charge, but yet they almost make up all mankind.—Jeremy Taylor.

Of all the sisters of Love one of the most charming is Pity.—Alfred de Musset.

Place.—In place there is a license to do good and evil, whereof the latter is a curse; for in evil the best condition is not to will; the second, not to can.—Lord Bacon.

Where you are is of no moment, but only what you are doing there. It is not the place that ennobles you, but you the place; and this only by doing that which is great and noble.—Petrarch.

I take sanctuary in an honest mediocrity.—Bruyère.

A true man never frets about his place in the world, but just slides into it by the gravitation of his nature, and swings there as easily as a star.—Chapin.[Pg 200]

Plagiarism.—Nothing is sillier than this charge of plagiarism. There is no sixth commandment in art. The poet dare help himself wherever he lists—wherever he finds material suited to his work. He may even appropriate entire columns with their carved capitals, if the temple he thus supports be a beautiful one. Goethe understood this very well, and so did Shakespeare before him.—Heinrich Heine.

Pleasure.—Consider pleasures as they depart, not as they come.—Aristotle.

We have not an hour of life in which our pleasures relish not some pain, our sours some sweetness.—Massinger.

How many there are that take pleasure in toil: that can outrise the sun, outwatch the moon, and outrun the field's wild beasts! merely out of fancy and delectation, they can find out mirth in vociferation, music in the barking of dogs, and be content to be led about the earth, over hedges and through sloughs, by the windings and the shifts of poor affrighted vermin; yet, after all, come off, as Messalina, tired, and not satisfied with all that the brutes can do. But were a man enjoined to this that did not like it, how tedious and how punishable to him would it prove! since, in itself, it differs not from riding post.—Feltham.

Boys immature in knowledge pawn their experience to their present pleasure.—Shakespeare.

'Tis a wrong way to proportion other men's pleasures to ourselves. 'Tis like a child's using a little bird—"Oh, poor bird, thou shalt sleep with me"—so lays it in his bosom and stifles it with his hot breath. The bird had rather be in the cold air. And yet, too, 'tis the most pleasing flattery to like what other men like.—Selden.

There is no pleasure but that some pain is nearly allied to it.—Menander.[Pg 201]

All fits of pleasure are balanced by an equal degree of pain or languor; 'tis like spending this year part of the next year's revenue.—Swift.

Fly the pleasure that bites to-morrow.—George Herbert.

Look upon pleasures not upon that side that is next the sun, or where they look beauteously, that is, as they come towards you to be enjoyed, for then they paint and smile, and dress themselves up in tinsel, and glass gems, and counterfeit imagery.—Jeremy Taylor.

Pleasure has its time; so, too, has wisdom. Make love in thy youth, and in old age attend to thy salvation.—Voltaire.

A man of pleasure is a man of pains.—Young.

Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought. Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.—Johnson.

What would we not give to still have in store the first blissful moment we ever enjoyed!—Rochepèdre.

Most pleasures embrace us but to strangle.—Montaigne.

Poetry.—Poetry is the apotheosis of sentiment.—Madame de Staël.

Poetry is the sister of sorrow. Every man that suffers and weeps is a poet; every tear is a verse, and every heart a poem.—Marc André.

Much is the force of heaven-bred poesy.—Shakespeare.

Poetry, good sir, in my opinion, is like a tender virgin, very young, and extremely beautiful, whom divers other virgins—namely, all the other sciences—make it their business to enrich, polish, and adorn; and to her it belongs to make use of them all, and on her part to give a lustre to them all.—Cervantes.

Poetry is the overflowing of the soul.—Tuckerman.[Pg 202]

Poetry is enthusiasm with wings of fire, it is the angel of high thoughts, that inspires us with the power of sacrifice.—Mazzini.

Poetry is the music of thought, conveyed to us in the music of language.—Chatfield.

The great secret of morals is love, or a going out of our own nature, and an identification of ourselves with the beautiful which exists in thought, action, or person, not our own. A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another, and of many others; the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own. The great instrument of moral good is imagination, and poetry administers to the effect by acting upon the cause.—Shelley.

Truth shines the brighter clad in verse.—Pope.

It is a shallow criticism that would define poetry as confined to literary productions in rhyme and metre. The written poem is only poetry talking, and the statue, the picture, and the musical composition are poetry acting. Milton and Goethe, at their desks, were not more truly poets than Phidias with his chisel, Raphael at his easel, or deaf Beethoven bending over his piano, inventing and producing strains which he himself could never hope to hear.—Ruskin.

Thought in blossom.—Bishop Ken.

It is a ruinous misjudgment, too contemptible to be asserted, but not too contemptible to be acted upon, that the end of poetry is publication.—George MacDonald.

Wisdom married to immortal verse.—Wordsworth.

By poetry we mean the art of employing words in such a manner as to produce an illusion on the imagination; the art of doing by means of words what the painter does by means of colors.—Macaulay.[Pg 203]

Thoughts, that voluntary move harmonious numbers.—Milton.

The world is so grand and so inexhaustible that subjects for poems should never be wanted. But all poetry should be the poetry of circumstance; that is, it should be inspired by the Real. A particular subject will take a poetic and general character precisely because it is created by a poet. All my poetry is the poetry of circumstance. It wholly owes its birth to the realities of life.—Goethe.

Nothing which does not transport is poetry. The lyre is a winged instrument.—Joubert.

Perhaps there are no warmer lovers of the muse than those who are only permitted occasionally to gain her favors. The shrine is more reverently approached by the pilgrim from afar than the familiar worshiper. Poetry is often more beloved by one whose daily vocation is amid the bustle of the world. We read of a fountain in Arabia upon whose basin is inscribed, "Drink and away;" but how delicious is that hasty draught, and how long and brightly the thought of its transient refreshment dwells in the memory!—Tuckerman.

Old-fashioned poetry, but choicely good.—Izaak Walton.

Poetry is not made out of the understanding. The question of common sense is always: "What is it good for?" a question which would abolish the rose and be triumphantly answered by the cabbage.—Lowell.

The poetry of earth is never dead.—Keats.

Poets.—Poets, like race-horses, must be fed, not fattened.—Charles IX.

True poets, like great artists, have scarcely any childhood, and no old age.—Madame Swetchine.

Modern poets mix much water with their ink.—Goethe.[Pg 204]

There is nothing of which Nature has been more bountiful than poets. They swarm like the spawn of cod-fish, with a vicious fecundity, that invites and requires destruction. To publish verses is become a sort of evidence that a man wants sense; which is repelled not by writing good verses, but by writing excellent verses.—Sydney Smith.

There is a pleasure in poetic pains which only poets know.—Wordsworth.

An artist that works in marble or colors has them all to himself and his tribe, but the man who moulds his thoughts in verse has to employ the materials vulgarized by everybody's use, and glorify them by his handling.—Holmes.

A little shallowness might be useful to many a poet! What is depth, after all? Is the pit deeper than the shallow mirror which reflects its lowest recesses?—Heinrich Heine.

We praise the dramatic poet who possesses the art of drawing tears—a talent which he has in common with the meanest onion!—Heinrich Heine.

I have observed a gardener cut the outward rind of a tree (which is the surtout of it), to make it bear well: and this is a natural account of the usual poverty of poets, and is an argument why wits, of all men living, ought to be ill clad. I have always a sacred veneration for any one I observe to be a little out of repair in his person, as supposing him either a poet or a philosopher; because the richest minerals are ever found under the most ragged and withered surfaces of the earth.—Swift.

Words become luminous when the poet's finger has passed over them its phosphorescence.—Joubert.

Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration; the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present.—Shelley.[Pg 205]

Poets are far rarer births than kings.—Ben Jonson.

One might discover schools of the poets as distinctly as schools of the painters, by much converse in them, and a thorough taste of their manner of writing.—Pope.

They learn in suffering what they teach in song.—Shelley.

Policy.—He has mastered all points who has combined the useful with the agreeable.—Horace.

At court one becomes a sort of human ant-eater, and learns to catch one's prey by one's tongue.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Measures, not men, have always been my mark.—Goldsmith.

In a troubled state, we must do as in foul weather upon a river, not think to cut directly through, for the boat may be filled with water; but rise and fall as the waves do, and give way as much as we conveniently can.—Seldon.

To manage men one ought to have a sharp mind in a velvet sheath.—George Eliot.

Politeness.—Politeness is fictitious benevolence. It supplies the place of it among those who see each other only in public, or but little. Depend upon it, the want of it never fails to produce something disagreeable to one or other. I have always applied to good breeding what Addison, in his "Cato," says of honor: "Honor's a sacred tie: the law of kings; the noble mind's distinguishing perfection; that aids and strengthens Virtue where it meets her, and imitates her actions where she is not."—Johnson.

Self-command is the main elegance.—Emerson.

Politeness smooths wrinkles.—Joubert.

Politeness is as natural to delicate natures as perfume is to flowers.—De Finod.[Pg 206]

Politics.—It is the misfortune of all miscellaneous political combinations, that with the purest motives of their more generous members are ever mixed the most sordid interests and the fiercest passions of mean confederates.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong.—Daniel O'Connell.

Those who think must govern those who toil.—Goldsmith.

The man who can make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, grow on the spot where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and render more essential service to the country, than the whole race of politicians put together.—Swift.

Jarring interests of themselves create the according music of a well-mixed state.—Pope.

Wise men and gods are on the strongest side.—Sir C. Sedley.

The thorough-paced politician must laugh at the squeamishness of his conscience, and read it another lecture.—South.

A thousand years scarce serve to form a state; an hour may lay it in the dust.—Byron.

Extended empire, like extended gold, exchanges solid strength for feeble splendor.—Johnson.

Possessions.—It so falls out that what we have we prize not to the worth whiles we enjoy it; but being lacked and lost, why then we rack the value; then we find the virtue that possession would not show us whiles it was ours.—Shakespeare.

All comes from and will go to others.—George Herbert.

In life, as in chess, one's own pawns block one's way. A man's very wealth, ease, leisure, children, books, which should help him to win, more often checkmate him.—Charles Buxton.[Pg 207]

In all worldly things that a man pursues with the greatest eagerness and intention of mind imaginable, he finds not half the pleasure in the actual possession of them as he proposed to himself in the expectation.—South.

As soon as women become ours we are no longer theirs.—Montaigne.

Attainment is followed by neglect, and possession by disgust. The malicious remark of the Greek epigrammatist on marriage may apply to every other course of life,—that its two days of happiness are the first and the last.—Johnson.

Posterity.—Posterity preserves only what will pack into small compass. Jewels are handed down from age to age, less portable valuables disappear.—Lord Stanley.

The drafts which true genius draws upon posterity, although they may not always be honored so soon as they are due, are sure to be paid with compound interest in the end.—Colton.

Poverty.—Many good qualities are not sufficient to balance a single want—the want of money.—Zimmerman.

Few save the poor feel for the poor.—L. E. Landon.

Thou shalt know by experience how salt the savor is of others' bread, and how sad a path it is to climb and descend another's stairs.—Dante.

Riches endless is as poor as winter, to him that ever fears he shall be poor.—Shakespeare.

A poor man resembles a fiddler, whose music, though liked, is not much praised, because he lives by it; while a gentleman performer, though the most wretched scraper alive, throws the audience into raptures.—Goldsmith.

He is not poor that little hath, but he that much desires.—Daniel.[Pg 208]

The wicked man's tempter, the good man's perdition, the proud man's curse, the melancholy man's halter.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Power.—The weakest living creature, by concentrating his powers on a single object, can accomplish something. The strongest, by dispensing his over many, may fail to accomplish anything. The drop, by continually falling, bores its passage through the hardest rock. The hasty torrent rushes over it with hideous uproar, and leaves no trace behind.—Carlyle.

Oh for a forty parson power.—Byron.

Power is so characteristically calm, that calmness in itself has the aspect of power, and forbearance implies strength. The orator who is known to have at his command all the weapons of invective is most formidable when most courteous.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Praise.—Expect not praise without envy until you are dead. Honors bestowed on the illustrious dead have in them no admixture of envy; for the living pity the dead; and pity and envy, like oil and vinegar, assimilate not.—Colton.

Praise is the best diet for us after all.—Sydney Smith.

Desert being the essential condition of praise, there can be no reality in the one without the other.—Washington Allston.

Damn with faint praise.—Pope.

Counsel is not so sacred a thing as praise, since the former is only useful among men, but the latter is for the most part reserved for the gods.—Pythagoras.

Praise undeserved is satire in disguise.—Broadhurst.

One good deed, dying tongueless, slaughters a thousand waiting upon that. Our praises are our wages.—Shakespeare.[Pg 209]

Prayer.—The Lord's Prayer contains the sum total of religion and morals.—Wellington.

Nymph, in thy orisons be all my sins remembered.—Shakespeare.

'Tis heaven alone that is given away; 'tis only God may be had for the asking.—Lowell.

Let our prayers, like the ancient sacrifices, ascend morning and evening. Let our days begin and end with God.—Channing.

The few that pray at all pray oft amiss.—Cowper.

Such words as Heaven alone is fit to hear.—Dryden.

What are men better than sheep or goats, that nourish a blind life within the brain, if, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer both for themselves and those who call them friends!—Tennyson.

Prayer ardent opens heaven.—Young.

Solicitude is the audience-chamber of God.—Landor.

The best answer to all objections urged against prayer is the fact that man cannot help praying; for we may be sure that that which is so spontaneous and ineradicable in human nature has its fitting objects and methods in the arrangements of a boundless Providence.—Chapin.

He prayeth best who loveth best.—Coleridge.

Preaching.—Preachers say, do as I say, not as I do. But if a physician had the same disease upon him that I have, and he should bid me do one thing and he do quite another, could I believe him?—Selden.

Preface.—Your opening promises some great design.—Horace.

A preface, being the entrance of a book, should invite by its beauty. An elegant porch announces the splendor of the interior.—Disraeli.[Pg 210]

A good preface is as essential to put the reader into good humor, as a good prologue is to a play, or a fine symphony is to an opera, containing something analogous to the work itself; so that we may feel its want as a desire not elsewhere to be gratified. The Italians call the preface—La salsa del libro—the sauce of the book; and, if well-seasoned, it creates an appetite in the reader to devour the book itself.—Disraeli.

Prejudice.—He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that.—J. Stuart Mill.

Prejudice, which sees what it pleases, cannot see what is plain.—Aubrey de Vere.

All looks yellow to the jaundiced eye.—Pope.

Prejudice is the reason of fools.—Voltaire.

Ignorance is less remote from the truth than prejudice.—Diderot.

Present, The.—Since Time is not a person we can overtake when he is gone, let us honor him with mirth and cheerfulness of heart while he is passing.—Goethe.

Man, living, feeling man, is the easy sport of the over-mastering present.—Schiller.

'Tis but a short journey across the isthmus of Now.—Bovée.

The present hour is always wealthiest when it is poorer than the future ones, as that is the pleasantest site which affords the pleasantest prospect.—Thoreau.

Let us enjoy the fugitive hour. Man has no harbor, time has no shore, it rushes on and carries us with it.—Lamartine.

Presentiment.—We walk in the midst of secrets—we are encompassed with mysteries. We know not what takes place in the atmosphere that[Pg 211] surrounds us—we know not what relations it has with our minds. But one thing is sure, that, under certain conditions, our soul, through the exercise of mysterious functions, has a greater power than reason, and that the power is given it to antedate the future,—ay, to see into the future.—Goethe.

We should not neglect a presentiment. Every man has within him a spark of divine radiance which is often the torch which illumines the darkness of our future.—Madame de Girardin.

Press.—The press is not only free, it is powerful. That power is ours. It is the proudest that man can enjoy. It was not granted by monarchs, it was not gained for us by aristocracies; but it sprang from the people, and, with an immortal instinct, it has always worked for the people.—B. Disraeli.

Presumption.—Presumption is our natural and original disease.—Montaigne.

Presumption never stops in its first attempt. If Cæsar comes once to pass the Rubicon, he will be sure to march further on, even till he enters the very bowels of Rome, and breaks open the Capitol itself. He that wades so far as to wet and foul himself, cares not how much he trashes further.—South.

He that presumes steps into the throne of God.—South.

Pretence.—As a general rule, people who flagrantly pretend to anything are the reverse of that which they pretend to. A man who sets up for a saint is sure to be a sinner, and a man who boasts that he is a sinner is sure to have some feeble, maudlin, sniveling bit of saintship about him which is enough to make him a humbug.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Pretension.—Pretences go a great way with men that take fair words and magisterial looks for current payment.—L'Estrange.[Pg 212]

Pride.—I have been more and more convinced, the more I think of it, that in general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes. All the other passions do occasional good; but whenever pride puts in its word, everything goes wrong; and what it might really be desirable to do, quietly and innocently, it is mortally dangerous to do proudly.—Ruskin.

Pride's chickens have bonny feathers, but they are an expensive brood to rear—they eat up everything, and are always lean when brought to market.—Alexander Smith.

When pride thaws look for floods.—Bailey.

Pride, like laudanum and other poisonous medicines, is beneficial in small, though injurious in large, quantities. No man who is not pleased with himself, even in a personal sense, can please others.—Frederick Saunders.

Pride is seldom delicate; it will please itself with very mean advantages.—Johnson.

Principles.—Principle is a passion for truth.—Hazlitt.

Principles, like troops of the line, are undisturbed, and stand fast.—Richter.

Whatever lies beyond the limits of experience, and claims another origin than that of induction and deduction from established data, is illegitimate.—G. H. Lewes.

The value of a principle is the number of things it will explain; and there is no good theory of disease which does not at once suggest a cure.—Emerson.

What is the essence and the life of character? Principle, integrity, independence, or, as one of our great old writers has it, "that inbred loyalty unto virtue which can serve her without a livery."—Bulwer-Lytton.[Pg 213]

The change we personally experience from time to time we obstinately deny to our principles.—Zimmerman.

Printing.—Things printed can never be stopped; they are like babies baptized, they have a soul from that moment, and go on forever.—George Meredith.

Prison.—Young Crime's finishing school.—Mrs. Balfour.

The worst prison is not of stone. It is of a throbbing heart, outraged by an infamous life.—Beecher.

Procrastination.—Indulge in procrastination, and in time you will come to this, that because a thing ought to be done, therefore you can't do it.—Charles Buxton.

The man who procrastinates struggles with ruin.—Hesiod.

There is, by God's grace, an immeasurable distance between late and too late.—Madame Swetchine.

Prodigality.—This is a vice too brave and costly to be kept and maintained at any easy rate; it must have large pensions, and be fed with both hands, though the man who feeds it starve for his pains.—Dr. South.

When I see a young profligate squandering his fortune in bagnios, or at the gaming-table, I cannot help looking on him as hastening his own death, and in a manner digging his own grave.—Goldsmith.

The gains of prodigals are like fig-trees growing on a precipice: for these, none are better but kites and crows; for those, only harlots and flatterers.—Socrates.

Progress.—All that is human must retrograde if it do not advance.—Gibbon.[Pg 214]

What matters it? say some, a little more knowledge for man, a little more liberty, a little more general development. Life is so short! He is a being so limited! But it is precisely because his days are few, and he cannot attain to all, that a little more culture is of importance to him. The ignorance in which God leaves man is divine; the ignorance in which man leaves himself is a crime and a shame.—X. Doudan.

Revolutions never go backwards.—Emerson.

What pains and tears the slightest steps of man's progress have cost! Every hair-breadth forward has been in the agony of some soul, and humanity has reached blessing after blessing of all its vast achievement of good with bleeding feet.—Bartol.

Progress is lame.—St. Bueve.

We know what a masquerade all development is, and what effective shapes may be disguised in helpless embryos. In fact, the world is full of hopeful analogies and handsome dubious eggs called possibilities.—George Eliot.

The pathway of progress will still, as of old, bear the traces of martyrdom, but the advance is inevitable.—G. H. Lewes.

Nations are educated through suffering, mankind is purified through sorrow. The power of creating obstacles to progress is human and partial. Omnipotence is with the ages.—Mazzini.

Every age has its problem, by solving which, humanity is helped forward.—Heinrich Heine.

Men of great genius and large heart sow the seeds of a new degree of progress in the world, but they bear fruit only after many years.—Mazzini.

It is curious to note the old sea-margins of human thought. Each subsiding century reveals some new mystery; we build where monsters used to hide themselves.—Longfellow.[Pg 215]

The activity of to-day and the assurance of to-morrow.—Emerson.

The moral law of the universe is progress. Every generation that passes idly over the earth without adding to that progress by one degree remains uninscribed upon the register of humanity, and the succeeding generation tramples its ashes as dust.—Mazzini.

A fresh mind keeps the body fresh. Take in the ideas of the day, drain off those of yesterday. As to the morrow, time enough to consider it when it becomes to-day.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Promise.—Promises hold men faster than benefits: hope is a cable and gratitude a thread.—J. Petit Senn.

Proof.—In the eyes of a wise judge proofs by reasoning are of more value than witnesses.—Cicero.

Give me the ocular proof; make me see't; or at the least, so prove it, that the probation bear no hinge, no loop, to hang a doubt upon.—Shakespeare.

Prosperity.—Prosperity makes some friends and many enemies.—Vauvenargues.

That fortitude which has encountered no dangers, that prudence which has surmounted no difficulties, that integrity which has been attacked by no temptation, can at best be considered but as gold not yet brought to the test, of which therefore the true value cannot be assigned.—Johnson.

Alas for the fate of men! Even in the midst of the highest prosperity a shadow may overturn them; but if they be in adverse fortune a moistened sponge can blot out the picture.—Æschylus.

Prosperity lets go the bridle.—George Herbert.

Proverbs.—Proverbs are somewhat analogous to those medical formulas which, being in frequent use, are kept ready made up in the chemists' shops, and which often save the framing of a distinct prescription.—Bishop Whately.[Pg 216]

The study of proverbs may be more instructive and comprehensive than the most elaborate scheme of philosophy.—Motherwell.

The proverbial wisdom of the populace in the street, on the roads, and in the markets, instructs the ear of him who studies man more fully than a thousand rules ostentatiously displayed.—Lavater.

Prudence.—There is no amount of praise which is not heaped on prudence; yet there is not the most insignificant event of which it can make us sure.—Rochefoucauld.

Too many, through want of prudence, are golden apprentices, silver journeymen, and copper masters.—Whitfield.

Men of sense often learn from their enemies. Prudence is the best safeguard. This principle cannot be learned from a friend, but an enemy extorts it immediately. It is from their foes, not their friends, that cities learn the lesson of building high walls and ships of war. And this lesson saves their children, their homes, and their properties.—Aristophanes.

Punctuality.—The most indispensable qualification of a cook is punctuality. The same must be said of guests.—Brillat Savarin.

Punctuality is the stern virtue of men of business, and the graceful courtesy of princes.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Punishment.—One man meets an infamous punishment for that crime which confers a diadem upon another.—Juvenal.

It is as expedient that a wicked man be punished as that a sick man be cured by a physician; for all chastisement is a kind of medicine.—Plato.

Punishment is lame, but it comes.—George Herbert.

If punishment makes not the will supple it hardens the offender.—Locke.[Pg 217]

Don't let us rejoice in punishment, even when the hand of God alone inflicts it. The best of us are but poor wretches just saved from shipwreck: can we feel anything but awe and pity when we see a fellow-passenger swallowed by the waves?—George Eliot.

The work of eradicating crimes is not by making punishment familiar, but formidable.—Goldsmith.

The public have more interest in the punishment of an injury than he who receives it.—Cato.

The best of us being unfit to die, what an inexpressible absurdity to put the worst to death!—Hawthorne.

Puns.—I have very little to say about puns; they are in very bad repute, and so they ought to be. The wit of language is so miserably inferior to the wit of ideas, that it is very deservedly driven out of good company. Sometimes, indeed, a pun makes its appearance which seems for a moment to redeem its species; but we must not be deceived by them: it is a radically bad race of wit.—Sydney Smith.

Conceits arising from the use of words that agree in sound but differ in sense.—Addison.

Purposes.—Man proposes, but God disposes.—Thomas à Kempis.

A man's heart deviseth his way; but the Lord directeth his steps.—Bible.

It is better by a noble boldness to run the risk of being subject to half of the evils which we anticipate, than to remain in cowardly listlessness for fear of what may happen.—Herodotus.

Purposes, like eggs, unless they be hatched into action, will run into decay.—Smiles.

Pursuit.—The rapture of pursuing is the prize the vanquished gain.—Longfellow.

The fruit that can fall without shaking, indeed is too mellow for me.—Lady Montagu.[Pg 218]


Quacks.—Pettifoggers in law and empirics in medicine have held from time immemorial the fee simple of a vast estate, subject to no alienation, diminution, revolution, nor tax—the folly and ignorance of mankind.—Colton.

Nothing more strikingly betrays the credulity of mankind than medicine. Quackery is a thing universal, and universally successful. In this case it becomes literally true that no imposition is too great for the credulity of men.—Thoreau.

Qualities.—Wood burns because it has the proper stuff in it; and a man becomes famous because he has the proper stuff in him.—Goethe.

Quarrels.—Coarse kindness is, at least, better than coarse anger; and in all private quarrels the duller nature is triumphant by reason of its dullness.—George Eliot.

The quarrels of lovers are like summer storms. Everything is more beautiful when they have passed.—Mme. Necker.

Questions.—There are innumerable questions to which the inquisitive mind can, in this state, receive no answer: Why do you and I exist? Why was this world created? And, since it was to be created, why was it not created sooner?—Johnson.

Quotation.—In quoting of books, quote such authors as are usually read; others you may read for your own satisfaction, but not name them.—Selden.

If these little sparks of holy fire which I have thus heaped up together do not give life to your prepared and already enkindled spirit, yet they will sometimes help to entertain a thought, to actuate a passion, to employ and hallow a fancy.—Jeremy Taylor.[Pg 219]

If the grain were separated from the chaff which fills the works of our National Poets, what is truly valuable would be to what is useless in the proportion of a mole-hill to a mountain.—Burke.

It is the beauty and independent worth of the citations, far more than their appropriateness, which have made Johnson's Dictionary popular even as a reading-book.—Coleridge.

Ruin half an author's graces by plucking bon-mots from their places.—Hannah More.

I take memorandums of the schools.—Swift.

The obscurest sayings of the truly great are often those which contain the germ of the profoundest and most useful truths.—Mazzini.

To select well among old things is almost equal to inventing new ones.—Trublet.

Why are not more gems from our great authors scattered over the country? Great books are not in everybody's reach; and though it is better to know them thoroughly than to know them only here and there, yet it is a good work to give a little to those who have neither time nor means to get more. Let every bookworm, when in any fragrant, scarce old tome he discovers a sentence, a story, an illustration, that does his heart good, hasten to give it.—Coleridge.

A couplet of verse, a period of prose, may cling to the rock of ages as a shell that survives a deluge.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Selected thoughts depend for their flavor upon the terseness of their expression, for thoughts are grains of sugar, or salt, that must be melted in a drop of water.—J. Petit Senn.

As people read nothing in these days that is more than forty-eight hours old, I am daily admonished that allusions, the most obvious, to anything in the rear of our own times need explanation.—De Quincey.[Pg 220]


Rain.—Clouds dissolved the thirsty ground supply.—Roscommon.

The kind refresher of the summer heats.—Thomson.

Vexed sailors curse the rain for which poor shepherds prayed in vain.—Waller.

The spongy clouds are filled with gathering rain.—Dryden.

Rainbow.—That smiling daughter of the storm.—Colton.

Born of the shower, and colored by the sun.—J. C. Prince.

God's glowing covenant.—Hosea Ballou.

Rank.—If it were ever allowable to forget what is due to superiority of rank, it would be when the privileged themselves remember it.—Madame Swetchine.

I weigh the man, not his title; 'tis not the king's stamp can make the metal better.—Wycherley.

Of the king's creation you may be; but he who makes a count ne'er made a man.—Southerne.

Rashness.—Rashness and haste make all things insecure.—Denham.

We may outrun by violent swiftness that which we run at, and lose by overrunning.—Shakespeare.

Reading.—Read, and refine your appetite; learn to live upon instruction; feast your mind and mortify your flesh; read, and take your nourishment in at your eyes, shut up your mouth, and chew the cud of understanding.—Congreve.

Deep versed in books, but shallow in himself.—Milton.[Pg 221]

The love of reading enables a man to exchange the wearisome hours of life, which come to every one, for hours of delight.—Montesquieu.

There was, it is said, a criminal in Italy, who was suffered to make his choice between Guicciardini and the galleys. He chose the history. But the war of Pisa was too much for him. He changed his mind, and went to the oars.—Macaulay.

Exceedingly well read and profited in strange concealments.—Shakespeare.

The reader, who would follow a close reasoner to the summit of the absolute principle of any one important subject, has chosen a chamois-hunter for his guide. He cannot carry us on his shoulders; we must strain our sinews, as he has strained his; and make firm footing on the smooth rock for ourselves, by the blood of toil from our own feet.—Coleridge.

Reason.—Reason lies between the spur and the bridle.—George Herbert.

Many are destined to reason wrongly; others not to reason at all; and others to persecute those who do reason.—Voltaire.

If reasons were as plenty as blackberries I would give no man a reason upon compulsion.—Shakespeare.

We can only reason from what is; we can reason on actualities, but not on possibilities.—Bolingbroke.

I do not call reason that brutal reason which crushes with its weight what is holy and sacred; that malignant reason which delights in the errors it succeeds in discovering; that unfeeling and scornful reason which insults credulity.—Joubert.

I have no other but a woman's reason: I think him so, because I think him so.—Shakespeare.

Reason 's progressive; instinct is complete: swift instinct leaps; slow reason feebly climbs.—Young.[Pg 222]

Faith evermore looks upward and descries objects remote; but reason can discover things only near,—sees nothing that's above her.—Quarles.

How can finite grasp infinity?—Dryden.

Let us not dream that reason can ever be popular. Passions, emotions, may be made popular, but reason remains ever the property of the few.—Goethe.

Reason is, so to speak, the police of the kingdom of art, seeking only to preserve order. In life itself a cold arithmetician who adds up our follies. Sometimes, alas! only the accountant in bankruptcy of a broken heart.—Heinrich Heine.

Sure He that made us with such large discourse, looking before and after, gave us not that capability and godlike reason to rust in us unused.—Shakespeare.

Reason may cure illusions but not suffering.—Alfred de Musset.

Reciprocity.—There is one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one's life, that word is reciprocity. What you do not wish done to yourself, do not do to others.—Confucius.

Reconciliation.—It is much safer to reconcile an enemy than to conquer him; victory may deprive him of his poison, but reconciliation of his will.—Owen Feltham.

Rectitude.—The great high-road of human welfare lies along the highway of steadfast well-doing, and they who are the most persistent, and work in the truest spirit, will invariably be the most successful.—Samuel Smiles.

If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see.—Thoreau.

No man can do right unless he is good, wise, and strong. What wonder we fail?—Charles Buxton.[Pg 223]

Refinement.—Refinement that carries us away from our fellow-men is not God's refinement.—Beecher.

Refinement is the lifting of one's self upwards from the merely sensual, the effort of the soul to etherealize the common wants and uses of life.—Beecher.

Reflection.—We are told, "Let not the sun go down on your wrath." This, of course, is best; but, as it generally does, I would add, never act or write till it has done so. This rule has saved me from many an act of folly. It is wonderful what a different view we take of the same event four-and-twenty hours after it has happened.—Sydney Smith.

Reform.—We are reformers in spring and summer; in autumn and winter we stand by the old—reformers in the morning, conservatives at night. Reform is affirmative, conservatism is negative; conservatism goes for comfort, reform for truth.—Emerson.

Long is the way and hard, that out of hell leads up to light.—Milton.

Conscious remorse and anguish must be felt, to curb desire, to break the stubborn will, and work a second nature in the soul.—Rowe.

They say best men are moulded out of faults, and, for the most, become much more the better for being a little bad!—Shakespeare.

Regret.—Why is it that a blessing only when it is lost cuts as deep into the heart as a sharp diamond? Why must we first weep before we can love so deeply that our hearts ache?—Richter.

Religion.—Natural religion supplies still all the facts which are disguised under the dogma of popular creeds. The progress of religion is steadily to its identity with morals.—Emerson.[Pg 224]

I endeavor in vain to give my parishioners more cheerful ideas of religion; to teach them that God is not a jealous, childish, merciless tyrant; that He is best served by a regular tenor of good actions, not by bad singing, ill-composed prayers, and eternal apprehensions. But the luxury of false religion is to be unhappy!—Sydney Smith.

Nowhere would there be consolation if religion were not.—Jacobi.

Monopolies are just as injurious to religion as to trade. With competition religions preserve their strength, but they will never again flourish in their original glory until religious freedom, or, in other words, free trade among the gods, is introduced.—Heinrich Heine.

A religion giving dark views of God, and infusing superstitious fear of innocent enjoyment, instead of aiding sober habits, will, by making men abject and sad, impair their moral force, and prepare them for intemperance as a refuge from depression or despair.—Channing.

Religion is the hospital of the souls that the world has wounded.—J. Petit Senn.

Ah! what a divine religion might be found out if charity were really made the principle of it instead of faith.—Shelley.

The ship retains her anchorage yet drifts with a certain range, subject to wind and tide. So we have for an anchorage the cardinal truths of the gospel.—Gladstone.

The best religion is the most tolerant.—Emile de Girardin.

Remembrance.—The greatest comfort of my old age, and that which gives me the highest satisfaction, is the pleasing remembrance of the many benefits and friendly offices I have done to others.—Cato.[Pg 225]

Pleasure is the flower that fades; remembrance is the lasting perfume.—Boufflers.

Remorse.—Remorse is the punishment of crime; repentance its expiation. The former appertains to a tormented conscience; the latter to a soul changed for the better.—Joubert.

Remorse sleeps in the atmosphere of prosperity.—Rousseau.

Unnatural deeds do breed unnatural troubles. Infected minds to their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets.—Shakespeare.

Truth severe, by fairy fiction drest.—Gray.

Repartee.—The impromptu reply is precisely the touchstone of the man of wit.—Molière.

Repentance.—-Repentance clothes in grass and flowers the grave in which the past is laid.—Sterling.

He repents on thorns that sleeps in beds of roses.—Quarles.

Beholding heaven, and feeling hell.—Moore.

Is it not in accordance with divine order that every mortal is thrown into that situation where his hidden evils can be brought forth to his own view, that he may know them, acknowledge them, struggle against them, and put them away?—Anna Cora Ritchie.

Repentance is second innocence.—De Bonald.

Repose.—Repose is agreeable to the human mind; and decision is repose. A man has made up his opinions; he does not choose to be disturbed; and he is much more thankful to the man who confirms him in his errors, and leaves him alone, than he is to the man who refutes him, or who instructs him at the expense of his tranquillity.—Sydney Smith.

Rest is the sweet sauce of labor.—Plutarch.[Pg 226]

Reproach.—Few love to hear the sins they love to act.—Shakespeare.

The silent upbraiding of the eye is the very poetry of reproach; it speaks at once to the imagination.—Mrs. Balfour.

Republic.—Though I admire republican principles in theory, yet I am afraid the practice may be too perfect for human nature. We tried a republic last century and it failed. Let our enemies try next. I hate political experiments.—Walpole.

The same fact that Boccaccio offers in support of religion, might be adduced in behalf of a republic: "It exists in spite of its ministers."—Heinrich Heine.

At twenty, every one is republican.—Lamartine.

Reputation.—Reputation is one of the prizes for which men contend: it is, as Mr. Burke calls it, "the cheap defence and ornament of nations, and the nurse of manly exertions;" it produces more labor and more talent then twice the wealth of a country could ever rear up. It is the coin of genius; and it is the imperious duty of every man to bestow it with the most scrupulous justice and the wisest economy.—Sydney Smith.

An eminent reputation is as dangerous as a bad one.—Tacitus.

Reputation is but the synonym of popularity; dependent on suffrage, to be increased or diminished at the will of the voters.—Washington Allston.

My name and memory I leave to men's charitable speeches, to foreign nations, and to the next age.—Bacon.

The blaze of reputation cannot be blown out, but it often dies in the socket.—Johnson.

One may be better than his reputation or his conduct, but never better than his principles.—Laténa.[Pg 227]

Request.—No music is so charming to my ear as the requests of my friends, and the supplications of those in want of my assistance.—Cæsar.

He who goes round about in his requests wants commonly more than he chooses to appear to want.—Lavater.

Resignation.—O Lord, I do most cheerfully commit all unto Thee.—Fénelon.

Let God do with me what He will, anything He will; and, whatever it be, it will be either heaven itself, or some beginning of it.—Mountford.

A man that fortune's buffets and rewards has ta'en with equal thanks.—Shakespeare.

Trust in God, as Moses did, let the way be ever so dark; and it shall come to pass that your life at last shall surpass even your longing. Not, it may be, in the line of that longing, that shall be as it pleaseth God; but the glory is as sure as the grace, and the most ancient heavens are not more sure than that.—Robert Collyer.

Vulgar minds refuse to crouch beneath their load; the brave bear theirs without repining.—Thomson.

"My will, not thine, be done," turned Paradise into a desert. "Thy will, not mine, be done," turned the desert into a paradise, and made Gethsemane the gate of heaven.—Pressense.

Resignation is the courage of Christian sorrow.—Dr. Vinet.

Responsibility.—Responsibility educates.—Wendell Phillips.

Restlessness.—The mind is found most acute and most uneasy in the morning. Uneasiness is, indeed, a species of sagacity—a passive sagacity. Fools are never uneasy.—Goethe.

Always driven towards new shores, or carried hence without hope of return, shall we never, on the ocean of age cast anchor for even a day?—Lamartine.[Pg 228]

Retribution.—Nemesis is lame, but she is of colossal stature, like the gods; and sometimes, while her sword is not yet unsheathed, she stretches out her huge left arm and grasps her victim. The mighty hand is invisible, but the victim totters under the dire clutch.—George Eliot.

"One soweth and another reapeth" is a verity that applies to evil as well as good.—George Eliot.

Revenge.—Revenge at first, though sweet, bitter ere long back on itself recoils.—Milton.

Revenge is a debt, in the paying of which the greatest knave is honest and sincere, and, so far as he is able, punctual.—Colton.

There are some professed Christians who would gladly burn their enemies, but yet who forgive them merely because it is heaping coals of fire on their heads.—F. A. Durivage.

Revery.—In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts bring sad thoughts to the mind.—Wordsworth.

Revolution.—The working of revolutions, therefore, misleads me no more; it is as necessary to our race as its waves to the stream, that it may not be a stagnant marsh. Ever renewed in its forms, the genius of humanity blossoms.—Herder.

Great revolutions are the work rather of principles than of bayonets, and are achieved first in the moral, and afterwards in the material sphere.—Mazzini.

All experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.—Jefferson.

Nothing has ever remained of any revolution hut what was ripe in the conscience of the masses.—Ledru Rollin.[Pg 229]

Revolution is the larva of civilization.—Victor Hugo.

We deplore the outrages which accompany revolutions. But the more violent the outrages, the more assured we feel that a revolution was necessary! The violence of these outrages will always lie proportioned to the ferocity and ignorance of the people: and the ferocity and ignorance of the people will be proportioned to the oppression and degradation under which they have been accustomed to live.—Macaulay.

Let them call it mischief; when it's past and prospered, 't will be virtue.—Ben Jonson.

Rhetoric.—In composition, it is the art of putting ideas together in graceful and accurate prose; in speaking, it is the art of delivering ideas with propriety, elegance, and force; or, in other words, it is the science of oratory.—Locke.

Rhetoric without logic is like a tree with leaves and blossoms, but no root; yet more are taken with rhetoric than logic, because they are caught with a free expression, when they understand not reason.—Selden.

The florid, elevated, and figurative way is for the passions; for love and hatred, fear and anger, are begotten in the soul by showing their objects out of their true proportion, either greater than the life, or less; but instruction is to be given by showing them what they naturally are. A man is to cheated into passion, but reasoned into truth.—Dryden.

All the art of rhetoric, besides order and clearness, are for nothing else but to insinuate wrong ideas, move the passions, and thereby mislead the judgment.—Locke.

Rhetoric is very good, or stark naught; there's no medium in rhetoric.—Selden.

Riches.—The shortest road to riches lies through contempt of riches.—Seneca.[Pg 230]

One cause, which is not always observed, of the insufficiency of riches, is that they very seldom make their owner rich.—Johnson.

Of all the riches that we hug, of all the pleasures we enjoy, we can carry no more out of this world than out of a dream.—Bonnell.

If the search for riches were sure to be successful, though I should become a groom with a whip in my hand to get them, I will do so. As the search may not be successful, I will follow after that which I love.—Confucius.

I have a rich neighbor that is always so busy that he has no leisure to laugh; the whole business of his life is to get money, more money, that he may still get more. He is still drudging, saying what Solomon says, "The diligent hand maketh rich." And it is true, indeed; but he considers not that it is not in the power of riches to make a man happy; for it was wisely said by a man of great observation that "there be as many miseries beyond riches as on this side of them."—Izaak Walton.

Riches, though they may reward virtues, yet they cannot cause them; he is much more noble who deserves a benefit, than he who bestows one.—Owen Feltham.

In these times gain is not only a matter of greed, but of ambition.—Joubert.

Ridicule.—Some men are, in regard to ridicule, like tin-roofed buildings in regard to hail: all that hits them bounds rattling off, not a stone goes through.—Beecher.

Rogues.—Rogues are always found out in some way. Whoever is a wolf will act as a wolf; that is the most certain of all things.—La Fontaine.

Many a man would have turned rogue if he knew how.—Hazlitt.[Pg 231]

Ruin.—To be ruined your own way is some comfort. When so many people would ruin us, it is a triumph over the villany of the world to be ruined after one's own pattern.—Douglas Jerrold.


Sacrifice.—You cannot win without sacrifice.—Charles Buxton.

What you most repent of is a lasting sacrifice made under an impulse of good-nature. The good-nature goes, the sacrifice sticks.—Charles Buxton.

Sadness.—Take my word for it, the saddest thing under the sky is a soul incapable of sadness.—Countess de Gasparin.

Our sadness is not sad, but our cheap joys.—Thoreau.

Salary.—Other rules vary; this is the only one you will find without exception: That in this world the salary or reward is always in the inverse ratio of the duties performed.—Sydney Smith.

Sarcasm.—A true sarcasm is like a sword-stick—it appears, at first sight, to be much more innocent than it really is, till, all of a sudden, there leaps something out of it—sharp and deadly and incisive—which makes you tremble and recoil.—Sydney Smith.

Satire.—To lash the vices of a guilty age.—Churchill.

Thou shining supplement of public laws!—Young.

By satire kept in awe, shrink from ridicule, though not from law.—Byron.

When dunces are satiric I take it for a panegyric.—Swift.

Scandal.—Believe that story false that ought not to be true.—Sheridan.[Pg 232]

Scandal has something so piquant, it is a sort of cayenne to the mind.—Byron.

School.—More is learned in a public than in a private school from emulation: there is the collision of mind with mind, or the radiation of many minds pointing to one centre—Johnson.

Let the soldier be abroad if he will; he can do nothing in this age. There is another personage abroad,—a person less imposing,—in the eyes of some, perhaps, insignificant. The schoolmaster is abroad; and I trust to him, armed with his primer, against the soldier in full military array.—Brougham.

The whining school-boy, with his satchel, and shining morning face, creeping like a snail, unwillingly to school.—Shakespeare.

Science.—They may say what they like; everything is organized matter. The tree is the first link of the chain, man is the last. Men are young, the earth is old. Vegetable and animal chemistry are still in their infancy. Electricity, galvanism,—what discoveries in a few years!—Napoleon.

Human science is uncertain guess.—Prior.

Twin-sister of natural and revealed religion, and of heavenly birth, science will never belie her celestial origin, nor cease to sympathize with all that emanates from the same pure home. Human ignorance and prejudice may for a time seem to have divorced what God has joined together; but human ignorance and prejudice shall at length pass away, and then science and religion shall be seen blending their parti-colored rays into one beautiful bow of light, linking heaven to earth and earth to heaven.—Prof. Hitchcock.

Science is a first rate piece of furniture for a man's upper chamber, if he has common sense on the ground-floor. But if a man hasn't got plenty of good common sense, the more science he has the worse for his patient.—Holmes.[Pg 233]

Scriptures.—The majesty of Scripture strikes me with admiration, as the purity of the Gospel has its influence on my heart. Peruse the works of our philosophers; with all their pomp of diction, how mean, how contemptible, are they, compared with the Scriptures! Is it possible that a book at once so simple and sublime should be merely the work of man? The Jewish authors were incapable of the diction, and strangers to the morality contained in the Gospel, the marks of whose truths are so striking and inimitable that the inventor would be a more astonishing character than the hero.—Rousseau.

Secrecy.—Thou hast betrayed thy secret as a bird betrays her nest, by striving to conceal it.—Longfellow.

Never confide your secrets to paper: it is like throwing a stone in the air, and if you know who throws the stone, you do not know where it may fall.—Calderon.

People addicted to secrecy are so without knowing why; they are not so for cause, but for secrecy's sake.—Hazlitt.

Sect.—The effective strength of sects is not to be ascertained merely by counting heads.—Macaulay.

All sects are different, because they come from men; morality is everywhere the same, because it comes from God.—Voltaire.

Fierce sectarianism breeds fierce latitudinarianism.—De Quincey.

Self-Abnegation.—'Tis much the doctrine of the times that men should not please themselves, but deny themselves everything they take delight in; not look upon beauty, wear no good clothes, eat no good meat, etc., which seems the greatest accusation that can be upon the Maker of all good things. If they are not to be used why did God make them?—Selden.[Pg 234]

Self-abnegation, that rare virtue that good men preach and good women practice.—Holmes.

Self-Examination.—We neither know nor judge ourselves,—others may judge, but cannot know us,—God alone judges, and knows too.—Wilkie Collins.

It belongs to every large nature, when it is not under the immediate power of some strong unquestioning emotion, to suspect itself, and doubt the truth of its own impressions, conscious of possibilities beyond its own horizon.—George Eliot.

There are two persons in the world we never see as they are,—one's self and one's other self.—Arsène Houssaye.

Selfishness.—Our infinite obligations to God do not fill our hearts half as much as a petty uneasiness of our own; nor his infinite perfections as much as our smallest wants.—Hannah More.

It is astonishing how well men wear when they think of no one but themselves.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Our selfishness is so robust and many-clutching that, well encouraged, it easily devours all sustenance away from our poor little scruples.—George Eliot.

There is an ill-breeding to which, whatever our rank and nature, we are almost equally sensitive,—the ill-breeding that comes from want of consideration for others.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Self-Love.—That household god, a man's own self.—Flavel.

The greatest of all flatterers is self-love.—Rochefoucauld.

Self-love exaggerates both our faults and our virtues.—Goethe.

Whatever discoveries we may have made in the regions of self-love, there still remain many unknown lands.—Rochefoucauld.[Pg 235]

Selfishness, if but reasonably tempered with wisdom, is not such an evil trait.—Ruffini.

A prudent consideration for Number One.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Oh, the incomparable contrivance of Nature who has ordered all things in so even a method that wherever she has been less bountiful in her gifts, there she makes it up with a larger dose of self-love, which supplies the former deficits and makes all even.—Erasmus.

The most inhibited sin in the canon.—Shakespeare.

Ofttimes nothing profits more than self-esteem, grounded on just and right.—Milton.

Whose thoughts are centered on thyself alone.—Dryden.

Self-reliance.—The spirit of self-help is the root of all genuine growth in the individual; and, exhibited in the lives of many, it constitutes the true source of national vigor and strength. Help from without is often enfeebling in its effects, but help from within invariably invigorates. Whatever is done for men or classes, to a certain extent takes away the stimulus and necessity of doing for themselves; and where men are subjected to over-guidance and over-government, the inevitable tendency is to render them comparatively helpless.—Samuel Smiles.

Doubt whom you will, but never yourself.—Bovée.

A person under the firm persuasion that he can command resources virtually has them.—Livy.

The supreme fall of falls is this, the first doubt of one's self.—Countess de Gasparin.

It's right to trust in God; but if you don't stand to your halliards, your craft'll miss stays, and your faith'll be blown out of the bolt-ropes in the turn of a marlinspike.—George MacDonald.[Pg 236]

The best lightning-rod for your protection is your own spine.—Emerson.

Sensibility.—The wild-flower wreath of feeling, the sunbeam of the heart.—Halleck.

Sensibility is the power of woman.—Lavater.

Feeling loves a subdued light.—Madame Swetchine.

Sensitiveness.—Solomon's Proverbs, I think, have omitted to say, that as a sore palate findeth grit, so an uneasy consciousness heareth innuendoes.—George Eliot.

That chastity of honor which felt a stain like a wound.—Burke.

Sentiment.—Cure the drunkard, heal the insane, mollify the homicide, civilize the Pawnee, but what lessons can be devised for the debaucher of sentiment?—Emerson.

Separation.—Indifferent souls never part. Impassioned souls part, and return to one another, because they can do no better.—Madame Swetchine.

Shakespeare.—There is only one writer in whom I find something that reminds me of the directness of style which is found in the Bible. It is Shakespeare.—Heinrich Heine.

Far from fearing, as an inferior artist would have done, the juxtaposition of the familiar and the divine, the wildest and most fantastic comedy with the loftiest and gravest tragedy, Shakespeare not only made such apparently discordant elements mutually heighten and complete the general effect which he contemplated, but in so doing teaches us that, in human life, the sublime and ridiculous are always side by side, and that the source of laughter is placed close by the fountain of tears.—T. B. Shaw.

Shakespeare is a great psychologist, and whatever can be known of the heart of man may be found in his plays.—Goethe.[Pg 237]

In Shakespeare one sentence begets the next naturally; the meaning is all inwoven. He goes on kindling like a meteor through the dark atmosphere.—Coleridge.

No man is too busy to read Shakespeare.—Charles Buxton.

Shakespeare's personages live and move as if they had just come from the hand of God, with a life that, though manifold, is one, and, though complex, is harmonious.—Mazzini.

Sweetest Shakespeare, fancy's child.—Milton.

And rival all but Shakespeare's name below.—Campbell.

Shakespeare is one of the best means of culture the world possesses. Whoever is at home in his pages is at home everywhere.—H. N. Hudson.

His imperial muse tosses the creation like a bauble from hand to hand to embody any capricious thought that is uppermost in her mind. The remotest spaces of nature are visited, and the farthest sundered things are brought together by a subtle spiritual connection.—Emerson.

I think most readers of Shakespeare sometimes find themselves thrown into exalted mental conditions like those produced by music.—O. W. Holmes.

Whatever other learning he wanted he was master of two books unknown to many profound readers, though books which the last conflagration can alone destroy. I mean the book of Nature and of Man.—Young.

If ever Shakespeare rants, it is not when his imagination is hurrying him along, but when he is hurrying his imagination along.—Macaulay.

It was said of Euripides, that every verse was a precept; and it may be said of Shakespeare, that from his works may be collected a system of civil and economical prudence.—Johnson.[Pg 238]

The genius of Shakespeare was an innate university.—Keats.

Shame.—Nature's hasty conscience.—Maria Edgeworth.

Mortifications are often more painful than real calamities.—Goldsmith.

Ship.—A prison with the chance of being drowned.—Johnson.

Cradle of the rude imperious surge.—Shakespeare.

Silence.—The main reason why silence is so efficacious an element of repute is, first, because of that magnification which proverbially belongs to the unknown; and, secondly, because silence provokes no man's envy, and wounds no man's self-love.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Give thy thoughts no tongue.—Shakespeare.

True gladness doth not always speak; joy bred and born but in the tongue is weak.—Ben Jonson.

I hear other men's imperfections, and conceal my own.—Zeno.

Silence in times of suffering is the best.—Dryden.

Silence! coeval with eternity.—Pope.

Silence is the sanctuary of prudence.—Balthasar Gracian.

The unspoken word never does harm.—Kossuth.

Silence is the understanding of fools and one of the virtues of the wise.—Bonnard.

Speech is often barren; but silence also does not necessarily brood over a full nest. Your still fowl, blinking at you without remark, may all the while be sitting on one addled nest-egg; and when it takes to cackling, will have nothing to announce but that addled delusion.—George Eliot.

Silence gives consent.—Goldsmith.[Pg 239]

Silence is the safest response for all the contradiction that arises from impertinence, vulgarity, or envy.—Zimmerman.

Simplicity.—Simplicity is doubtless a fine thing, but it often appeals only to the simple. Art is the only passion of true artists. Palestrina's music resembles the music of Rossini, as the song of the sparrow is like the cavatina of the nightingale. Choose.—Madame de Girardin.

Simplicity is Nature's first step, and the last of Art.—P. J. Bailey.

The world could not exist if it were not simple. This ground has been tilled a thousand years, yet its powers remain ever the same; a little rain, a little sun, and each spring it grows green again.—Goethe.

The fairest lives, in my opinion, are those which regularly accommodate themselves to the common and human model, without miracle, without extravagance.—Montaigne.

There is a majesty in simplicity which is far above the quaintness of wit.—Pope.

Sin.—Original sin is in us like the beard: we are shaved to-day, and look clean, and have a smooth chin; to-morrow our beard has grown again, nor does it cease growing while we remain on earth. In like manner original sin cannot be extirpated from us; it springs up in us as long as we exist; Nevertheless, we are bound to resist it to our utmost strength, and to cut it down unceasingly.—Luther.

Sin, in fancy, mothers many an ugly fact.—Theodore Parker.

There is no immunity from the consequences of sin; punishment is swift and sure to one and all.—Hosea Ballou.

Every man has his devilish minutes.—Lavater.

Death from sin no power can separate.—Milton.[Pg 240]

Our sins, like to our shadows, when our day is in its glory, scarce appeared. Towards our evening how great and monstrous they are!—Sir J. Suckling.

'Tis the will that makes the action good or ill.—Herrick.

Guilt, though it may attain temporal splendor, can never confer real happiness. The evident consequences of our crimes long survive their commission, and, like the ghosts of the murdered, forever haunt the steps of the malefactor.—Sir Walter Scott.

Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.—Shakespeare.

Sin is disease, deformity, and weakness.—Plato.

Sin and her shadow death.—Milton.

If ye do well, to your own behoof will ye do it; and if ye do evil, against yourselves will ye do it.—Koran.

It is the sin which we have not committed which seems the most monstrous.—Boileau.

There are sins of omission as well as those of commission.—Madame Deluzy.

Sincerity.—Sincerity is to speak as we think, to do as we pretend and profess, to perform and make good what we promise, and really to be what we would seem and appear to be.—Tillotson.

The whole faculties of man must be exerted in order to call forth noble energies; and he who is not earnestly sincere lives in but half his being, self-mutilated, self-paralyzed.—Coleridge.

Skepticism.—Skepticism is slow suicide.—Emerson.

Skill.—Nobody, however able, can gain the very highest success, except in one line. He may rise above others, but he will fall below himself.—Charles Buxton.[Pg 241]

Whatever may be said about luck, it is skill that leads to fortune.—Walter Scott.

The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.—Gibbon.

Slander.—Done to death by slanderous tongues.—Shakespeare.

Slugs crawl and crawl over our cabbages, like the world's slander over a good name. You may kill them, it is true, but there is the slime.—Douglas Jerrold.

Slander lives upon succession, forever housed where it gets possession.—Shakespeare.

When the absent are spoken of, some will speak gold of them, some silver, some iron, some lead, and some always speak dirt, for they have a natural attraction towards what is evil, and think it shows penetration in them. As a cat watching for mice does not look up though an elephant goes by, so are they so busy mousing for defects, that they let great excellences pass them unnoticed. I will not say it is not Christian to make beads of others' faults, and tell them over every day; I say it is infernal. If you want to know how the devil feels, you do know if you are such an one.—Beecher.

If parliament were to consider the sporting with reputation of as much importance as sporting on manors, and pass an act for the preservation of fame as well as game, there are many would thank them for the bill.—Sheridan.

Sleep.—When one asked Alexander how he could sleep so soundly and securely in the midst of danger, he told them that Parmenio watched. Oh, how securely may they sleep over whom He watches that never slumbers nor sleeps! "I will," said David, "lay me down and sleep, for thou, Lord, makest me to dwell in safety."—Venning.

After life's fitful fever he sleeps well.—Shakespeare.[Pg 242]

Sleep is no servant of the will; it has caprices of its own; when courted most, it lingers still; when most pursued, 'tis swiftly gone.—Bowring.

Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep.—Bible.

Heaven trims our lamps while we sleep.—Alcott.

Night's sepulchre.—Byron.

Sleep is pain's easiest salve, and doth fulfill all offices of death, except to kill.—Donne.

Sleep, to the homeless thou art home; the friendless find in thee a friend.—Ebenezer Elliott.

The soul shares not the body's rest.—Maturin.

Our foster nurse of nature is repose.—Shakespeare.

Sloth.—Sloth, if it has prevented many crimes, has also smothered many virtues.—Colton.

Smile.—A woman has two smiles that an angel might envy—the smile that accepts a lover afore words are uttered, and the smile that lights on the first-born baby.—Haliburton.

Smiles are smiles only when the heart pulls the wire.—Winthrop.

Those happiest smiles that played on her ripe lips seemed not to know what guests were in her eyes, which parted thence as pearls from diamonds dropped.—Shakespeare.

The smile that was childlike and bland.—Bret Harte.

A soul only needs to see a smile in a white crape bonnet in order to enter the palace of dreams.—Victor Hugo.

Sneer.—The most insignificant people are the most apt to sneer at others. They are safe from reprisals, and have no hope of rising in their own esteem but by lowering their neighbors. The severest[Pg 243] critics are always those who have either never attempted, or who have failed in original composition.—Hazlitt.

Society.—If you wish to appear agreeable in society, you must consent to be taught many things which you know already.—Lavater.

Formed of two mighty tribes, the bores and bored.—Byron.

Society undergoes continual changes; it is barbarous, it is civilized, it is Christianized, it is rich, it is scientific; but this change is not amelioration. For everything that is given something is taken. Society acquires new arts, and loses old instincts. The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet; he has a fine Geneva watch, but cannot tell the hour by the sun.—Emerson.

We take our colors, chameleon-like, from each other.—Chamfort.

Society is the union of men, and not men themselves; the citizen may perish, and yet man may remain.—Montesquieu.

There are four varieties in society; the lovers, the ambitious, observers, and fools. The fools are the happiest.—Taine.

Society is the offspring of leisure; and to acquire this forms the only rational motive for accumulating wealth, notwithstanding the cant that prevails on the subject of labor.—Tuckerman.

Intercourse is the soul of progress.—Charles Buxton.

One ought to love society if he wishes to enjoy solitude. It is a social nature that solitude works upon with the most various power. If one is misanthropic, and betakes himself to loneliness that he may get away from hateful things, solitude is a silent emptiness to him.—Zimmermann.[Pg 244]

The most lucrative commerce has ever been that of hope, pleasure, and happiness, the merchandise of authors, priests, and kings.—Madame Roland.

The more I see of men the better I think of animals.—Tauler.

Soldier.—A soldier seeking the bubble reputation even in the cannon's mouth.—Shakespeare.

Policy goes beyond strength, and contrivance before action; hence it is that direction is left to the commander, execution to the soldier, who is not to ask Why? but to do what he is commanded.—Xenophon.

Without a home must the soldier go, a changeful wanderer, and can warm himself at no home-lit hearth.—Schiller.

Soldiers looked at as they ought to be: they are to the world as poppies to corn fields.—Douglas Jerrold.

Solitude.—Solitude is dangerous to reason without being favorable to virtue. Pleasures of some sort are necessary to the intellectual as to the corporal health, and those who resist gayety will be likely for the most part to fall a sacrifice to appetite, for the solicitations of sense are always at hand, and a dram to a vacant and solitary person is a speedy and seducing relief. Remember that the solitary person is certainly luxurious, probably superstitious, and possibly mad. The mind stagnates for want of employment, and is extinguished, like a candle in foul air.—Johnson.

To be exempt from the passions with which others are tormented, is the only pleasing solitude.—Addison.

Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius.—Gibbon.

Solitude has but one disadvantage; it is apt to give one too high an opinion of one's self. In the world we are sure to be often reminded of every known or supposed defect we may have.—Byron.[Pg 245]

Through the wide world he only is alone who lives not for another.—Rogers.

Solitude is the worst of all companions when we seek comfort and oblivion.—Méry.

Sophistry.—The juggle of sophistry consists, for the most part, in using a word in one sense in all the premises, and in another sense in the conclusion.—Coleridge.

There is no error which hath not some appearance of probability resembling truth, which, when men who study to be singular find out, straining reason, they then publish to the world matter of contention and jangling.—Sir W. Raleigh.

Sorrow.—Our sweetest songs are those which tell of saddest thought.—Shelley.

If hearty sorrow be a sufficient ransom for offence, I tender it here; I do as truly suffer as e'er I did commit.—Shakespeare.

And weep the more, because I weep in vain.—Gray.

The man who has learned to triumph over sorrow wears his miseries as though they were sacred fillets upon his brow, and nothing is so entirely admirable as a man bravely wretched.—Seneca.

Sorrow more beautiful than beauty's self.—Keats.

The violence of sorrow is not at the first to be striven withal; being, like a mighty beast, sooner tamed with following than overthrown by withstanding.—Sir P. Sidney.

Never morning wore to evening, but some heart did break.—Tennyson.

Sorrow being the natural and direct offspring of sin, that which first brought sin into the world must, by necessary consequence, bring in sorrow too.—South.[Pg 246]

In extent sorrow is boundless. It pours from ten million sources, and floods the world. But its depth is small. It drowns few.—Charles Buxton.

It is the veiled angel of sorrow who plucks away one thing and another that bound us here in ease and security, and, in the vanishing of these dear objects, indicates the true home of our affections and our peace.—Chapin.

The mind profits by the wreck of every passion, and we may measure our road to wisdom by the sorrows we have undergone.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Earth hath no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.—Moore.

Sorrow breaks seasons, and reposing hours; makes the night morning, and the noontide night.—Shakespeare.

Sorrow is not evil, since it stimulates and purifies.—Mazzini.

Sorrows must die with the joys they outnumber.—Schiller.

He that hath so many causes of joy, and so great, is very much in love with sorrow and peevishness, who loses all these pleasures, and chooses to sit down on his little handful of thorns. Such a person is fit to bear Nero company in his funeral sorrow for the loss of one of Poppea's hairs, or help to mourn for Lesbia's sparrow; and because he loves it, he deserves to starve in the midst of plenty, and to want comfort while he is encircled with blessings.—Jeremy Taylor.

Soul.—Had I no other proof of the immortality of the soul than the oppression of the just and the triumph of the wicked in this world, this alone would prevent my having the least doubt of it. So shocking a discord amidst a general harmony of things would make me naturally look for a cause; I should say to myself we do not cease to exist with this life; everything reassumes its order after death.—Rousseau.[Pg 247]

What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind. What is the soul? It is immaterial.—Hood.

The human soul is hospitable, and will entertain conflicting sentiments and contradictory opinions with much impartiality.—George Eliot.

Our immortal souls, while righteous, are by God himself beautified with the title of his own image and similitude.—Sir W. Raleigh.

Specialty.—No one can exist in society without some specialty. Eighty years ago it was only necessary to be well dressed and amiable; to-day a man of this kind would be too much like the garçons at the cafés.—Taine.

Speech.—Sheridan once said of some speech, in his acute, sarcastic way, that "it contained a great deal both of what was new and what was true: but that unfortunately what was new was not true, and what was true was not new."—Hazlitt.

God has given us speech in order that we may say pleasant things to our friends, and tell bitter truths to our enemies.—Heinrich Heine.

The common fluency of speech in many men, and most women, is owing to a scarcity of matter and a scarcity of words; for whoever is a master of language and has a mind full of ideas, will be apt in speaking to hesitate upon the choice of both; whereas common speakers have only one set of ideas, and one set of words to clothe them in; and these are always ready at the mouth: so people come faster out of a church when it is almost empty, than when a crowd is at the door.—Dean Swift.

Speech is like cloth of Arras, opened and put abroad, whereby the imagery doth appear in figure; whereas in thoughts they lie but as in packs.—Plutarch.[Pg 248]

Never is the deep, strong voice of man, or the low, sweet voice of woman, finer than in the earnest but mellow tones of familiar speech, richer than the richest music, which are a delight while they are heard, which linger still upon the ear in softened echoes, and which, when they have ceased, come, long after, back to memory, like the murmurs of a distant hymn.—Henry Giles.

Half the sorrows of women would be averted if they could repress the speech they know to be useless—nay, the speech they have resolved not to utter.—George Eliot.

Sport.—Dwell not too long upon sports; for as they refresh a man that is weary, so they weary a man that is refreshed.—Fuller.

Spring.—Stately Spring! whose robe-folds are valleys, whose breast-bouquet is gardens, and whose blush is a vernal evening.—Richter.

Fair-handed Spring unbosoms every grace.—Thomson.

The spring, the summer, the chiding autumn, angry winter, change their wonted liveries.—Shakespeare.

Sweet daughter of a rough and stormy sire, hoar Winter's blooming child, delightful Spring.—Mrs. Barbauld.

Ye may trace my step o'er the wakening earth, by the winds which tell of the violet's birth.—Mrs. Hemans.

Stars.—These preachers of beauty, which light the world with their admonishing smile.—Emerson.

I am as constant as the northern star; of whose true, fixed, and resting quality there is no fellow in the firmament.—Shakespeare.

The stars are so far,—far away!—L. E. Landon.[Pg 249]

Day hath put on his jacket, and around his burning bosom buttoned it with stars.—Holmes.

The evening star, love's harbinger, appeared.—Milton.

Statesman.—The great difference between the real statesman and the pretender is, that the one sees into the future, while the other regards only the present; the one lives by the day, and acts on expediency; the other acts on enduring principles and for immortality.—Burke.

The worth of a state, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it.—J. Stuart Mill.

Storms.—When splitting winds make flexible the knees of knotted oaks.—Shakespeare.

Strength.—Oh! it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant.—Shakespeare.

Study.—Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.—Bacon.

Whatever study tends neither directly nor indirectly to make us better men and citizens is at best but a specious and ingenious sort of idleness, and the knowledge we acquire by it only a creditable kind of ignorance, nothing more.—Bolingbroke.

There is no one study that is not capable of delighting us after a little application to it.—Pope.

They are not the best students who are most dependent on books. What can be got out of them is at best only material: a man must build his house for himself.—George MacDonald.

The man who has acquired the habit of study, though for only one hour every day in the year, and keeps to the one thing studied till it is mastered, will be startled to see the way he has made at the end of a twelvemonth.—Bulwer-Lytton.[Pg 250]

Style.—The style is the man.—Buffon.

As it is a great point of art, when our matter requires it, to enlarge and veer out all sail, so to take it in and contract it is of no less praise when the argument doth ask it.—Ben Jonson.

Not poetry, but prose run mad.—Pope.

There is a certain majesty in plainness; as the proclamation of a prince never frisks it in tropes or fine conceits, in numerous and well-turned periods, but commands in sober natural expressions.—South.

In the present day our literary masonry is well done, but our architecture is poor.—Joubert.

Perhaps that is nearly the perfection of good writing which is original, but whose truth alone prevents the reader from suspecting that it is so; and which effects that for knowledge which the lense effects for the sunbeam, when it condenses its brightness in order to increase its force.—Colton.

A temperate style is alone classical.—Joubert.

Obscurity and affectation are the two great faults of style. Obscurity of expression generally springs from confusion of ideas; and the same wish to dazzle, at any cost, which produces affectation in the manner of a writer, is likely to produce sophistry in his reasoning.—Macaulay.

Style is the gossamer on which the seeds of truth float through the world.—Bancroft.

The lively phraseology of Montesquieu was the result of long meditation. His words, as light as wings, bear on them grave reflections.—Joubert.

Subordination.—The usual way that men adopt to appease the wrath of those whom they have offended, when they are at their mercy, is humble submission; whereas a bold front, a firm and resolute bearing,—means the very opposite,—have been at times equally successful.—Montaigne.[Pg 251]

Reverences stand in awe of yourself.—Sydney Smith.

He who reigns within himself, and rules passions, desires, and fears, is more than a king.—Milton.

Success.—It is a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failure.—Samuel Smiles.

From mere success nothing can be concluded in favor of any nation upon whom it is bestowed.—Atterbury.

He that would relish success to purpose should keep his passion cool, and his expectation low.—Jeremy Collier.

The road to success is not to be run upon by seven-leagued boots. Step by step, little by little, bit by bit,—that is the way to wealth, that is the way to wisdom, that is the way to glory. Pounds are the sons, not of pounds, but of pence.—Charles Buxton.

The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well; and doing well whatever you do, without a thought of fame.—Longfellow.

Nothing can seem foul to those that win.—Shakespeare.

All the proud virtue of this vaunting world fawns on success and power, however acquired.—Thomson.

A successful career has been full of blunders.—Charles Buxton.

The man who succeeds above his fellows is the one who, early in life, clearly discerns his object, and towards that object habitually directs his powers. Thus, indeed, even genius itself is but fine observation strengthened by fixity of purpose. Every man who observes vigilantly and resolves steadfastly grows unconsciously into genius.—Bulwer-Lytton.[Pg 252]

Success soon palls. The joyous time is when the breeze first strikes your sails, and the waters rustle under your bows.—Charles Buxton.

Success at first doth many times undo men at last.—Venning.

Suicide.—Suicide itself, that fearful abuse of the dominion of the soul over the body, is a strong proof of the distinction of their destinies. Can the power that kills be the same that is killed? Must it not necessarily be something superior and surviving? The act of the soul, which in that fatal instant is in one sense so great an act of power, can it at the same time be the act of its own annihilation? The will kills the body, but who kills the will?—Auguste Nicolas.

Those men who destroy a healthful constitution of body by intemperance as manifestly kill themselves as those who hang, or poison, or drown themselves.—Sherlock.

He who, superior to the checks of nature, dares make his life the victim of his reason, does in some sort that reason deify, and takes a flight at heaven.—Young.

Summer.—Child of the sun, refulgent Summer comes.—Thomson.

Beneath the Winter's snow lie germs of summer flowers.—Whittier.

Sun.—The glorious sun stays in his course, and plays the alchemist, turning with the splendor of his precious eyes the meagre, cloddy earth to glittering gold.—Shakespeare.

The downward sun looks out effulgent from amid the flash of broken clouds.—Thomson.

Sunday.—If the Sunday had not been observed as a day of rest during the last three centuries, I have not the slightest doubt that we should have been at this moment a poorer people and less civilized.—Macaulay.[Pg 253]

Oh, what a blessing is Sunday, interposed between the waves of worldly business like the divine path of the Israelites through Jordan! There is nothing in which I would advise you to be more strictly conscientious than in keeping the Sabbath-day holy. I can truly declare that to me the Sabbath has been invaluable.—W. Wilberforce.

Superstition.—A peasant can no more help believing in a traditional superstition than a horse can help trembling when he sees a camel.—George Eliot.

Religion worships God, while superstition profanes that worship.—Seneca.

Every inordination of religion that is not in defect is properly called superstition.—Jeremy Taylor.

The child taught to believe any occurrence a good or evil omen, or any day of the week lucky, hath a wide inroad made upon the soundness of his understanding.—Watts.

Superstition is the only religion of which base souls are capable.—Joubert.

It is of such stuff that superstitions are commonly made; an intense feeling about ourselves which makes the evening star shine at us with a threat, and the blessing of a beggar encourage us. And superstitions carry consequences which often verify their hope or their foreboding.—George Eliot.

We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible. You cannot educate a man wholly out of the superstitious fears which were implanted in his imagination, no matter how utterly his reason may reject them.—Holmes.

Surety.—He who is surety is never sure. Take advice, and never be security for more than you are quite willing to lose. Remember the words of the wise man. "He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it; and he that hateth suretyship is sure."—Spurgeon.[Pg 254]

Surfeit.—They are sick, that surfeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing.—Shakespeare.

Satiety comes of riches, and contumaciousness of satiety.—Solon.

Suspicion.—To be suspicious is to invite treachery.—Voltaire.

There is no rule more invariable than that we are paid for our suspicions by finding what we suspect.—Thoreau.

Suspicion has its dupes, as well as credulity.—Madame Swetchine.

Don't seem to be on the lookout for crows, else you'll set other people watching.—George Eliot.

Sympathy.—Surely, surely, the only true knowledge of our fellow-man is that which enables us to feel with him—which gives us a fine ear for the heart-pulses that are beating under the mere clothes of circumstance and opinion.—George Eliot.

Next to love, sympathy is the divinest passion of the human heart.—Burke.

Outward things don't give, they draw out. You find in them what you bring to them. A cathedral makes only the devotional feel devotional. Scenery refines only the fine-minded.—Charles Buxton.

Of all the virtues necessary to the completion of the perfect man, there is none to be more delicately implied and less ostentatiously vaunted than that of exquisite feeling or universal benevolence.—Bulwer-Lytton.

I would go fifty miles on foot to kiss the hand of that man whose generous heart will give up the reins of his imagination into his author's hands; be pleased, he knows not why, and cares not wherefore.—Sterne.[Pg 255]


Tact.—A tact which surpassed the tact of her sex as much as the tact of her sex surpasses the tact of ours.—Macaulay.

Talent.—It is adverse to talent to be consorted and trained up with inferior minds or inferior companions, however high they may rank. The foal of the racer neither finds out his speed, nor calls out his powers, if pastured out with the common herd that are destined for the collar and the yoke.—Colton.

Whatever you are from nature, keep to it; never desert your own line of talent. Be what nature intended you for, and you will succeed; be anything else, and you will be ten thousand times worse than nothing!—Sydney Smith.

Gross and vulgar minds will always pay a higher respect to wealth than to talent; for wealth, although it be a far less efficient source of power than talent, happens to be far more intelligible.—Colton.

As to great and commanding talents, they are the gift of Providence in some way unknown to us. They rise where they are least expected. They fail when everything seems disposed to produce them, or at least to call them forth.—Burke.

Talent is the capacity of doing anything that depends on application and industry, and it is a voluntary power, while genius is involuntary.—Hazlitt.

Talent, lying in the understanding, is often inherited; genius, being the action of reason or imagination, rarely or never.—Coleridge.

It always seemed to me a sort of clever stupidity only to have one sort of talent,—almost like a carrier-pigeon.—George Eliot.[Pg 256]

Talking.—I know a lady that loves talking so incessantly, she won't give an echo fair play; she has that everlasting rotation of tongue, that an echo must wait till she dies, before it can catch her last words!—Congreve.

Talkers are no good doers.—Shakespeare.

When I think of talking, it is of course with a woman. For talking at its best being an inspiration, it wants a corresponding divine quality of receptiveness, and where will you find this but in woman?—Holmes.

Who think too little and who talk too much.—Dryden.

They talk most who have the least to say.—Prior.

Taste.—Taste is the power of relishing or rejecting whatever is offered for the entertainment of the imagination.—Goldsmith.

There are some readers who have never read an essay on taste; and if they take my advice they never will; for they can no more improve their taste by so doing than they could improve their appetite or digestion by studying a cookery-book.—Southey.

Those internal powers, active and strong, and feelingly alive to each fine impulse.—Akenside.

All our tastes are but reminiscences.—Lamartine.

Teaching.—Count it one of the highest virtues upon earth to educate faithfully the children of others, which so few, and scarcely any, do by their own.—Luther.

The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Tears.—The overflow of a softened heart.—Madame Swetchine.

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.—Bible.[Pg 257]

In woman's eye the unanswerable tear.—Byron.

Blest tears of soul-felt penitence.—Moore.

God washes the eyes by tears until they can behold the invisible land where tears shall come no more. O love! O affliction! ye are the guides that show us the way through the great airy space where our loved ones walked; and, as hounds easily follow the scent before the dew be risen, so God teaches us, while yet our sorrow is wet, to follow on and find our dear ones in heaven.—Beecher.

The kind oblation of a falling tear.—Dryden.

A penitent's tear is an undeniable ambassador, and never returns from the throne of grace unsatisfied.—Spencer.

Fate and the dooming gods are deaf to tears.—Dryden.

We praise the dramatic poet who possesses the art of drawing tears, a power which he has in common with the meanest onion.—Heinrich Heine.

Her tears her only eloquence.—Rogers.

Eye-offending brine.—Shakespeare.

The tears which flow, and the honors that are paid, when the founders of the republic die, give hope that the republic itself may be immortal.—Daniel Webster.

All my mother came into mine eyes, and gave me up to tears.—Shakespeare.

The tear that is wiped with a little address may be followed, perhaps, by a smile.—Cowper.

Virtue is the daughter of Religion. Her sole treasure is her tears.—Madame Swetchine.

Nothing dries sooner than a tear.—George Herbert.

My plenteous joys, wanton in fullness, seek to hide themselves in drops of sorrow.—Shakespeare.[Pg 258]

Bright as young diamonds in their infant dew.—Dryden.

Tears are sometimes the happiest smiles of love.—Stendhal.

Tediousness.—The sin of excessive length.—Shirley.

Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale, vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.—Shakespeare.

Teeth.—Teeth like falling snow for white.—Cowley.

Such a pearly row of teeth that sovereignty would have pawned her jewels for them.—Sterne.

Temperance.—Temperance puts wood on the fire, meal in the barrel, flour in the tub, money in the purse, credit in the country, contentment in the house, clothes on the back, and vigor in the body.—Franklin.

I consider the temperance cause the foundation of all social and political reform.—Cobden.

If temperance prevails, then education can prevail; if temperance fails, then education must fail.—Horace Mann.

Temperance to be a virtue must be free and not forced. Virtue may be defended, as vice may be withstood, by a statute, but no virtue is or can be created by a law, any more than by a battering ram a temple or obelisk can be reared.—Bartol.

If you wish to keep the mind clear and the body healthy, abstain from all fermented liquors.—Sydney Smith.

Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy.—Voltaire.

He who would keep himself to himself should imitate the dumb animals, and drink water.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Temptation.—No man is matriculated to the art of life till he has been well tempted.—George Eliot.[Pg 259]

Temptation is a fearful word. It indicates the beginning of a possible series of infinite evils. It is the ringing of an alarm bell, whose melancholy sounds may reverberate through eternity. Like the sudden, sharp cry of "Fire!" under our windows by night, it should rouse us to instantaneous action, and brace every muscle to its highest tension.—Horace Mann.

Most confidence has still most cause to doubt.—Dryden.

It is a most fearful fact to think of, that in every heart there is some secret spring that would be weak at the touch of temptation, and that is liable to be assailed. Fearful, and yet salutary to think of, for the thought may serve to keep our moral nature braced. It warns us that we can never stand at ease, or lie down in the field of life, without sentinels of watchfulness and camp-fires of prayer.—Chapin.

Love cries victory when the tears of a woman become the sole defense of her virtue.—La Fontaine.

When devils will their blackest sins put on, they do suggest at first with heavenly shows.—Shakespeare.

The devil tempts us not: it is we tempt him, beckoning his skill with opportunity.—George Eliot.

Better shun the bait than struggle in the snare.—Dryden.

There are times when it would seem as if God fished with a line, and the devil with a net.—Madame Swetchine.

Tenderness.—When death, the great reconciler, has come, it is never our tenderness that we repent of, but our severity.—George Eliot.

Theatre.—A man who enters the theatre is immediately struck with the view of so great a multitude, participating of one common amusement; and experiences, from their very aspect, a superior sensi[Pg 260]bility or disposition of being affected with every sentiment which he shares with his fellow-creatures.—Hume.

The theatre has often been at variance with the pulpit; they ought not to quarrel. How much it is to be wished that the celebration of nature and of God were intrusted to none but men of noble minds!—Goethe.

Theories.—Most men take least notice of what is plain, as if that were of no use; but puzzle their thoughts, and lose themselves in those vast depths and abysses which no human understanding can fathom.—Sherlock.

Metaphysicians can unsettle things, but they can erect nothing. They can pull down a church, but they cannot build a hovel.—Cecil.

Thought.—I have asked several men what passes in their minds when they are thinking, and I could never find any man who could think for two minutes together. Everybody has seemed to admit that it was a perpetual deviation from a particular path, and a perpetual return to it; which, imperfect as the operation is, is the only method in which we can operate with our minds to carry on any process of thought.—Sydney Smith.

A delicate thought is a flower of the mind.—Rollin.

Earnest men never think in vain though their thoughts may be errors.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Though an inheritance of acres may be bequeathed, an inheritance of knowledge and wisdom cannot. The wealthy man may pay others for doing his work for him, but it is impossible to get his thinking done for him by another, or to purchase any kind of self-culture.—Samuel Smiles.

Thoughts shut up want air, and spoil like bales unopened to the sun.—Young.[Pg 261]

Good thoughts are blessed guests, and should be heartily welcomed, well fed, and much sought after. Like rose leaves, they give out a sweet smell if laid up in the jar of memory.—Spurgeon.

Thought is invisible nature—nature is invisible thought.—Heinrich Heine.

Ingenious philosophers tell you, perhaps, that the great work of the steam-engine is to create leisure for mankind. Do not believe them, it only creates a vacuum for eager thought to rush in.—George Eliot.

Wherever a great mind utters its thoughts,—there is Golgotha.—Heinrich Heine.

"Give me," said Herder to his son, as he lay in the parched weariness of his last illness, "give me a great thought, that I may quicken myself with it."—Richter.

You shall see them on a beautiful quarto page, where a neat rivulet of text shall meander through a meadow of margin.—Sheridan.

Fully to understand a grand and beautiful thought requires, perhaps, as much time as to conceive it.—Joubert.

Many men's thoughts are not acorns, but merely pebbles.—Charles Buxton.

A vivid thought brings the power to paint it; and in proportion to the depth of its source is the force of its projection.—Emerson.

Threats.—Those that are the loudest in their threats are the weakest in the execution of them.—Colton.

It makes a great difference in the force of a sentence whether a man be behind it or no.—Emerson.

Time.—Time's abyss, the common grave of all.—Dryden.

Come what come may, time and the hour run through the roughest day.—Shakespeare.[Pg 262]

Time makes more converts than reason.—Thomas Paine.

Time stoops to no man's lure.—Swinburne.

Time is the wisest councillor.—Pericles.

Time is a wave which never murmurs, because there is no obstacle to its flow.—Madame Swetchine.

Time hath often cured the wound which reason failed to heal.—Seneca.

The slow sweet hours that bring us all things good.—Tennyson.

Part with it as with money, sparing; pay no moment but in purchase of its worth; and what its worth! ask death-beds, they can tell.—Young.

The crutch of Time accomplishes more than the club of Hercules.—Balthaser Gracian.

Time is the shower of Danæ; each drop is golden.—Madame Swetchine.

Title.—How impious is the title of "sacred majesty" applied to a worm, who, in the midst of his splendor, is crumbling into dust!—Thomas Paine.

The three highest titles that can be given a man are those of martyr, hero, saint.—Gladstone.

Toleration.—The responsibility of tolerance lies with those who have the wider vision.—George Eliot.

Error tolerates, truth condemns.—Fernan Caballero.

Toleration is the best religion.—Victor Hugo.

Tongue.—When we advance a little into life, we find that the tongue of man creates nearly all the mischief of the world.—Paxton Hood.

Travel.—Rather see the wonders of the world abroad, than, living dully sluggardized at home wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness.—Shakespeare.[Pg 263]

Of dead kingdoms I recall the soul, sitting amid their ruins.—N. P. Willis.

The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and, instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.—Johnson.

To see the world is to judge the judges.—Joubert.

The bee, though it finds every rose has a thorn, comes back loaded with honey from his rambles, and why should not other tourists do the same.—Haliburton.

Treason.—Treason pleases, but not the traitor.—Cervantes.

The man was noble; but with his last attempt he wiped it out; betrayed his country; and his name remains to the ensuing age abhorred.—Shakespeare.

Trifles.—A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles.—Shakespeare.

We are not only pleased but turned by a feather. The history of a man is a calendar of straws. If the nose of Cleopatra had been shorter, said Pascal, in his brilliant way, Antony might have kept the world.—Willmott.

A drop of water is as powerful as a thunderbolt.—Huxley.

Riches may enable us to confer favors; but to confer them with propriety and with grace requires a something that riches cannot give: even trifles may be so bestowed as to cease to be trifles. The citizens of Megara offered the freedom of their city to Alexander; such an offer excited a smile in the countenance of him who had conquered the world; but he received this tribute of their respect with complacency on being informed that they had never offered it to any but to Hercules and himself.—Colton.

There is a kind of latent omniscience not only in every man but in every particle.—Emerson.[Pg 264]

It is in those acts called trivialities that the seeds of joy are forever wasted, until men and women look round with haggard faces at the devastation their own waste has made, and say, the earth bears no harvest of sweetness—calling their denial knowledge.—George Eliot.

The chains which cramp us most are those which weigh on us least.—Madame Swetchine.

Little things console us, because little things afflict us.—Pascal.

Trouble.—Annoyance is man's leaven; the element of movement, without which we would grow mouldy.—Feuchtersleben.

Truth.—Veracity is a plant of Paradise, and the seeds have never flourished beyond the walls.—George Eliot.

Nothing so beautiful as truth.—Des Cartes.

All high truth is poetry. Take the results of science: they glow with beauty, cold and hard as are the methods of reaching them.—Charles Buxton.

Truth never turns to rebuke falsehood; her own straightforwardness is the severest correction.—Thoreau.

Whenever you look at human nature in masses, you find every truth met by a counter truth, and both equally true.—Charles Buxton.

Truth need not always be embodied; enough if it hovers around like a spiritual essence, which gives one peace, and fills the atmosphere with a solemn sweetness like harmonious music of bells.—Goethe.

Dare to be true; nothing can need a lie.—George Herbert.

We must never throw away a bushel of truth because it happens to contain a few grains of chaff; on the contrary, we may sometimes profitably receive a bushel of chaff for the few grains of truth it may contain.—Dean Stanley.[Pg 265]

The first great work is that yourself may to yourself be true.—Roscommon.

In troubled water you can scarce see your face, or see it very little, till the water be quiet and stand still: so in troubled times you can see little truth; when times are quiet and settled, then truth appears.—Selden.

Men are as cold as ice to the truth, hot as fire to falsehood.—La Fontaine.

The way of truth is like a great road. It is not difficult to know it. The evil is only that men will not seek it. Do you go home and search for it.—Mencius.

Speaking truth is like writing fair, and comes only by practice; it is less a matter of will than of habit; and I doubt if any occasion can be trivial which permits the practice and formation of such a habit.—Ruskin.

Forgetting that the only eternal part for man to act is man, and that the only immutable greatness is truth.—Lamartine.

Truth takes the stamp of the souls it enters. It is rigorous and rough in arid souls, but tempers and softens itself in loving natures.—Joubert.

Truth severe, by fairy fiction drest.—Gray.

The only amaranthine flower on earth is virtue; the only lasting treasure, truth.—Cowper.

Blunt truths make more mischief than nice falsehoods do.—Pope.

Truth has rough flavors if we bite through.—George Eliot.

Truth is a torch, but one of enormous size; so that we slink past it in rather a blinking fashion for fear it should burn us.—Goethe.

All truths are not to be repeated, still it is well to hear them.—Mme. du Deffaud.[Pg 266]

It is only when one is thoroughly true that there can be purity and freedom. Falsehood always avenges itself.—Auerbach.

Nothing from man's hands, nor law, nor constitution, can be final. Truth alone is final.—Charles Sumner.

Verity is nudity.—Alfred de Musset.

Twilight.—Parting day dies like the dolphin, whom each pang imbues with a new color as it gasps away, the last still loveliest, till 'tis gone, and all is gray.—Byron.

Softly the evening came. The sun from the western horizon, like a magician, extended his golden wand o'er the landscape.—Longfellow.

Twilight gray hath in her sober livery all things clad.—Milton.

The day is done; and slowly from the scene the stooping sun upgathers his spent shafts, and puts them back into his golden quiver!—Longfellow.

The weary sun hath made a golden set, and, by the bright track of his fiery car, gives token of a goodly day to-morrow.—Shakespeare.


Ugliness.—I do not know that she was virtuous; but she was always ugly, and with a woman, that is half the battle.—Heinrich Heine.

Ugliness, after virtue, is the best guardian of a young woman.—Mme. de Genlis.

Understanding.—The eye of the understanding is like the eye of the sense; for as you may see great objects through small crannies or holes, so you may see great axioms of nature through small and contemptible instances.—Bacon.[Pg 267]

In its wider acceptation, understanding is the entire power of perceiving and conceiving, exclusive of the sensibility; the power of dealing with the impressions of sense, and composing them into wholes, according to a law of unity: and in its most comprehensive meaning it includes even simple apprehension.—Coleridge.

Unselfishness.—The essence of true nobility is neglect of self. Let the thought of self pass in, and the beauty of great action is gone, like the bloom from a soiled flower.—Froude.

Uprightness.—To redeem a world sunk in dishonesty has not been given thee. Solely over one man therein thou hast quite absolute control. Him redeem, him make honest.—Thomas Carlyle.

Urbanity.—Poor wine at the table of a rich host is an insult without an apology. Urbanity ushers in water that needs no apology, and gives a zest to the worst vintage.—Zimmermann.

Usefulness.—Nothing in this world is so good as usefulness. It binds your fellow-creatures to you, and you to them; it tends to the improvement of your own character; and it gives you a real importance in society, much beyond what any artificial station can bestow.—Sir B. C. Brodie.

On the day of his death, in his eightieth year, Elliott, "the Apostle of the Indians," was found teaching an Indian child at his bed-side. "Why not rest from your labors now?" asked a friend. "Because," replied the venerable man, "I have prayed God to render me useful in my sphere, and He has heard my prayers; for now that I can no longer preach, He leaves me strength enough to teach this poor child the alphabet."—Rev. J. Chaplin.

There is but one virtue—the eternal sacrifice of self.—George Sand.[Pg 268]


Valentine.—Hail to thy returning festival, old Bishop Valentine! Great is thy name in the rubric. Like unto thee, assuredly, there is no other mitred father in the calendar.—Charles Lamb.

The fourteenth of February is a day sacred to St. Valentine! It was a very odd notion, alluded to by Shakespeare, that on this day birds begin to couple; hence, perhaps, arose the custom of sending on this day letters containing professions of love and affection.—Noah Webster.

Valor.—Valor gives awe, and promises protection to those who want heart or strength to defend themselves. This makes the authority of men among women, and that of a master buck in a numerous herd.—Sir W. Temple.

How strangely high endeavors may be blessed, where piety and valor jointly go.—Dryden.

Those who believe that the praises which arise from valor are superior to those which proceed from any other virtues have not considered.—Dryden.

Vanity.—Verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity.—Bible.

Our vanities differ as our noses do: all conceit is not the same conceit, but varies in correspondence with the minutiæ of mental make in which one of us differs from another.—George Eliot.

One of the few things I have always most wondered at is, that there should be any such thing as human vanity. If I had any, I had enough to mortify it a few days ago; for I lost my mind for a whole day.—Pope.

Greater mischiefs happen often from folly, meanness, and vanity than from the greater sins of avarice and ambition.—Burke.[Pg 269]

It is vanity which makes the rake at twenty, the worldly man at forty, and the retired man at sixty. We are apt to think that best in general for which we find ourselves best fitted in particular.—Pope.

O frail estate of human things.—Dryden.

The vainest woman is never thoroughly conscious of her beauty till she is loved by the man who sets her own passion vibrating in return.—George Eliot.

Vanity is the quicksand of reason.—George Sand.

To be vain is rather a mark of humility than pride. Vain men delight in telling what honors have been done them, what great company they have kept, and the like; by which they plainly confess that these honors were more than their due and such as their friends would not believe if they had not been told. Whereas a man truly proud thinks the greatest honors below his merits, and consequently scorns to boast. I, therefore, deliver it as a maxim, that whoever desires the character of a proud man ought to conceal his vanity.—Swift.

Vexations.—Petty vexations may at times be petty, but still they are vexations. The smallest and most inconsiderable annoyances are the most piercing. As small letters weary the eye most, so also the smallest affairs disturb us most.—Montaigne.

Vice.—As to the general design of providence, the two extremes of vice may serve (like two opposite biases) to keep up the balance of things. When we speak against one capital vice, we ought to speak against its opposite; the middle betwixt both is the point for virtue.—Pope.

This is the essential evil of vice; it debases a man.—Chapin.

It is only in some corner of the brain which we leave empty that Vice can obtain a lodging. When she knocks at your door be able to say: "No room for your ladyship: pass on."—Bulwer-Lytton.[Pg 270]

I ne'er heard yet that any of these bolder vices wanted less impudence to gainsay what they did, than to perform it first.—Shakespeare.

Wise men will apply their remedies to vices, not to names; to the causes of evil which are permanent, not the occasional organs by which they act, and the transitory modes in which they appear.—Burke.

One vice worn out makes us wiser than fifty tutors.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Vicissitudes.—We do not marvel at the sunrise of a joy, only at its sunset! Then, on the other hand, we are amazed at the commencement of a sorrow-storm; but that it should go off in gentle showers we think quite natural.—Richter.

Who ordered toil as the condition of life, ordered weariness, ordered sickness, ordered poverty, failure, success,—to this man a foremost place, to the other a nameless struggle with the crowd; to that a shameful fall, or paralyzed limb, or sudden accident; to each some work upon the ground he stands on, until he is laid beneath it.—Thackeray.

Victory.—Victory or Westminster Abbey.—Nelson.

Victory may be honorable to the arms, but shameful to the counsels, of a nation.—Bolingbroke.

Victory belongs to the most persevering.—Napoleon.

It is more difficult to look upon victory than upon battle.—Walter Scott.

Villainy.—Villainy, when detected, never gives up, but boldly adds impudence to imposture.—Goldsmith.

Villainy that is vigilant will be an overmatch for virtue, if she slumber at her post.—Colton.

Violence.—Nothing good comes of violence.—Luther.

Violence does even justice unjustly.—Carlyle.

Vehemence without feeling is rant.—H. Lewes.[Pg 271]

Virtue.—I willingly confess that it likes me better when I find virtue in a fair lodging than when I am bound to seek it in an ill-favored creature.—Sir P. Sidney.

This is the tax a man must pay to his virtues—they hold up a torch to his vices, and render those frailties notorious in him which would have passed without observation in another.—Colton.

True greatness is sovereign wisdom. We are never deceived by our virtues.—Lamartine.

It would not be easy, even for an unbeliever, to find a better translation of the rule of virtue from the abstract into the concrete, than to endeavor so to live that Christ would approve our life.—John Stuart Mill.

Most men admire virtue, who follow not her lore.—Milton.

To be able under all circumstances to practice five things constitutes perfect virtue: these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.—Confucius.

Of the two, I prefer those who render vice lovable to those who degrade virtue.—Joubert.

No man can purchase his virtue too dear, for it is the only thing whose value must ever increase with the price it has cost us. Our integrity is never worth so much as when we have parted with our all to keep it.—Colton.

Virtue can see to do what virtue would by her own radiant light, though sun and moon were in the flat sea sunk.—Milton.

Virtue is voluntary, vice involuntary.—Plato.

Virtue is a rough way but proves at night a bed of down.—Wotton.

Is virtue a thing remote? I wish to be virtuous, and lo! virtue is at hand.—Confucius.[Pg 272]

Virtues that shun the day and lie concealed in the smooth seasons and the calm of life.—Addison.

That virtue which requires to be ever guarded is scarce worth the sentinel.—Goldsmith.

Why expect that extraordinary virtues should be in one person united, when one virtue makes a man extraordinary? Alexander is eminent for his courage; Ptolemy for his wisdom; Scipio for his continence; Trajan for his love of truth; Constantius for his temperance.—Zimmermann.

Virtue dwells at the head of a river, to which we cannot get but by rowing against the stream.—Feltham.

Our virtues live upon our income, our vices consume our capital.—J. Petit Senn.

Wealth is a weak anchor, and glory cannot support a man; this is the law of God, that virtue only is firm, and cannot be shaken by a tempest.—Pythagoras.

All bow to virtue and then walk away.—De Finod.

Virtue is an angel; but she is a blind one, and must ask of Knowledge to show her the pathway that leads to her goal. Mere knowledge, on the other hand, like a Swiss mercenary, is ready to combat either in the ranks of sin or under the banners of righteousness,—ready to forge cannon-balls or to print New Testaments, to navigate a corsair's vessel or a missionary ship.—Horace Mann.

Vulgarity.—The vulgarity of inanimate things requires time to get accustomed to; but living, breathing, bustling, plotting, planning, human vulgarity is a species of moral ipecacuanha, enough to destroy any comfort.—Carlyle.

Dirty work wants little talent and no conscience.—George Eliot.[Pg 273]


Waiting.—It is the slowest pulsation which is the most vital. The hero will then know how to wait, as well as to make haste. All good abides with him who waiteth wisely.—Thoreau.

Want.—Nothing makes men sharper than want.—Addison.

Hundreds would never have known want if they had not first known waste.—Spurgeon.

It is not from nature, but from education and habits, that our wants are chiefly derived.—Fielding.

If any one say that he has seen a just man in want of bread, I answer that it was in some place where there was no other just man.—St. Clement.

War.—Take my word for it, if you had seen but one day of war, you would pray to Almighty God that you might never see such a thing again.—Wellington.

Wherever there is war, there must be injustice on one side or the other, or on both. There have been wars which were little more than trials of strength between friendly nations, and in which the injustice was not to each other, but to the God who gave them life. But in a malignant war there is injustice of ignobler kind at once to God and man, which must be stemmed for both their sakes.—Ruskin.

Civil wars leave nothing but tombs.—Lamartine.

The fate of war is to be exalted in the morning, and low enough at night! There is but one step from triumph to ruin.—Napoleon.

Woe to the man that first did teach the cursed steel to bite in his own flesh, and make way to the living spirit.—Spenser.

Providence for war is the best prevention of it.—Bacon.[Pg 274]

The bodies of men, munition, and money, may justly be called the sinews of war.—Sir W. Raleigh.

War is the matter which fills all history, and consequently the only or almost the only view in which we can see the external of political society is in a hostile shape; and the only actions to which we have always seen, and still see, all of them intent, are such as tend to the destruction of one another.—Burke.

As long as mankind shall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than on their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters.—Gibbon.

The fate of a battle is the result of a moment,—of a thought: the hostile forces advance with various combinations, they attack each other and fight for a certain time; the critical moment arrives, a mental flash decides, and the least reserve accomplishes the object.—Napoleon.

The feast of vultures, and the waste of life.—Byron.

I abhor bloodshed, and every species of terror erected into a system, as remedies equally ferocious, unjust, and inefficacious against evils that can only be cured by the diffusion of liberal ideas.—Mazzini.

Weakness.—Weakness is thy excuse, and I believe it; weakness to resist Philistian gold: what murderer, what traitor, parricide, incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it? All wickedness is weakness.—Milton.

The strength of man sinks in the hour of trial; but there doth live a Power that to the battle girdeth the weak.—Joanna Baillie.

How many weak shoulders have craved heavy burdens?—Joubert.

Weakness is born vanquished.—Madame Swetchine.[Pg 275]

Wealth.—An accession of wealth is a dangerous predicament for a man. At first he is stunned, if the accession be sudden; he is very humble and very grateful. Then he begins to speak a little louder, people think him more sensible, and soon he thinks himself so.—Cecil.

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.—Tupper.

Men pursue riches under the idea that their possession will set them at ease, and above the world. But the law of association often makes those who begin by loving gold as a servant, finish by becoming themselves its slaves; and independence without wealth is at least as common as wealth without independence.—Colton.

Weeping.—What women would do if they could not cry, nobody knows! What poor, defenseless creatures they would be!—Douglas Jerrold.

Welcome.—Heaven opened wide her ever-during gates, harmonious sound! on golden hinges turning.—Milton.

Wickedness.—The happiness of the wicked passes away like a torrent.—Racine.

The hatred of the wicked is only roused the more from the impossibility of finding any just grounds on which it can rest; and the very consciousness of their own injustice is only a grievance the more against him who is the object of it.—Rousseau.

Wickedness is a wonderfully diligent architect of misery, of shame, accompanied with terror and commotion, and remorse, and endless perturbation.—Plutarch.[Pg 276]

What rein can hold licentious wickedness, when down the hill he holds his fierce career?—Shakespeare.

Wife.—Thy wife is a constellation of virtues; she's the moon, and thou art the man in the moon.—Congreve.

A light wife doth make a heavy husband.—Shakespeare.

O woman! thou knowest the hour when the goodman of the house will return, when the heat and burden of the day are past; do not let him at such time, when he is weary with toil and jaded with discouragement, find upon his coming to his habitation that the foot which should hasten to meet him is wandering at a distance, that the soft hand which should wipe the sweat from his brow is knocking at the door of other houses.—Washington Irving.

Her pleasures are in the happiness of her family.—Rousseau.

Hanging and wiving goes by destiny.—Shakespeare.

The wife safest and seemliest by her husband stays.—Milton.

Will.—In the schools of the wrestling master, when a boy falls he is bidden to get up again, and to go on wrestling day by day till he has acquired strength; and we must do the same, and not be like those poor wretches who, after one failure, suffer themselves to be swept along as by a torrent. You need but will, and it is done; but if you relax your efforts, you will be ruined; for ruin and recovery are both from within.—Epictetus.

Winter.—After summer ever more succeeds the barren winter with his nipping cold.—Shakespeare.[Pg 277]

Winter binds our strengthened bodies in a cold embrace constringent.—Thomson.

Wisdom.—Wisdom for a man's self is, in many branches thereof, a depraved thing: it is the wisdom of rats, that will be sure to leave a house some time before it fall; it is the wisdom of the fox, that thrusts out the badger, who digged and made room for him; it is the wisdom of the crocodiles, that shed tears when they would devour.—Bacon.

Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.—Coleridge.

Human wisdom makes as ill use of her talent when she exercises it in rescinding from the number and sweetness of those pleasures that are naturally our due, as she employs it favorably, and well, in artificially disguising and tricking out the ills of life to alleviate the sense of them.—Montaigne.

It may be said, almost without qualification, that true wisdom consists in the ready and accurate perception of analogies. Without the former quality, knowledge of the past is uninstructive; without the latter, it is deceptive.—Whately.

You read of but one wise man, and all that he knew was—that he knew nothing.—Congreve.

To be wiser than other men is to be honester than they; and strength of mind is only courage to see and speak the truth.—Hazlitt.

Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers.—Tennyson.

Seize wisdom ere 'tis torment to be wise; that is, seize wisdom ere she seizes thee.—Young.

Wisdom married to immortal verse.—Wordsworth.

No man can be wise on an empty stomach.—George Eliot.

Among mortals second thoughts are wisest.—Euripides.[Pg 278]

Wishes.—The apparently irreconcilable dissimilarity between our wishes and our means, between our hearts and this world, remains a riddle.—Richter.

Wit.—I have no more pleasure in hearing a man attempting wit, and failing, than in seeing a man trying to leap over a ditch, and tumbling into it.—Johnson.

Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting; it is a most sharp sauce.—Shakespeare.

Wit must grow like fingers. If it be taken from others 'tis like plums stuck upon blackthorns; there they are for a while, but they come to nothing.—Selden.

If he who has little wit needs a master to inform his stupidity, he who has much frequently needs ten to keep in check his worldly wisdom, which might otherwise, like a high-mettled charger, toss him to the ground.—Scriver.

To place wit above sense is to place superfluity above utility.—Madame de Maintenon.

Woe.—No scene of mortal life but teems with mortal woe.—Walter Scott.

Thus woe succeeds a woe, as wave a wave.—Herrick.

So many miseries have crazed my voice, that my woe-wearied tongue is still.—Shakespeare.

Woman.—Who does know the bent of woman's fantasy?—Spenser.

Pretty women without religion are like flowers without perfume.—Heinrich Heine.

The happiest women, like the happiest nations, have no history.—George Eliot.

To a gentleman every woman is a lady in right of her sex.—Bulwer-Lytton.[Pg 279]

They never reason, or, if they do, they either draw correct inferences from wrong premises, or wrong inferences from correct premises; and they always poke the fire from the top.—Bishop Whately.

The woman must not belong to herself; she is bound to alien destinies. But she performs her part best who can take freely, of her own choice, the alien to her heart, can bear and foster it with sincerity and love.—Richter.

God has placed the genius of women in their hearts; because the works of this genius are always works of love.—Lamartine.

Women for the most part do not love us. They do not choose a man because they love him, but because it pleases them to be loved by him. They love love of all things in the world, but there are very few men whom they love personally.—Alphonse Karr.

Woman is the Sunday of man; not his repose only, but his joy; the salt of his life.—Michelet.

Women see through and through each other; and often we most admire her whom they most scorn.—Charles Buxton.

It goes far to reconciling me to being a woman when I reflect that I am thus in no danger of ever marrying one.—Lady Montague.

Men are women's playthings; woman is the devil's.—Victor Hugo.

Sing of the nature of woman, and the song shall be surely full of variety,—old crotchets and most sweet closes,—it shall be humorous, grave, fantastic, amorous, melancholy, sprightly,—one in all, and all in one!—Beaumont.

Her step is music and her voice is song.—Bailey.

Woman is a miracle of divine contradictions.—Michelet.[Pg 280]

Woman, sister! there are some things which you do not execute as well as your brother, man; no, nor ever will. Pardon me, if I doubt whether you will ever produce a great poet from your choirs, or a Mozart, or a Phidias, or a Michael Angelo, or a great philosopher, or a great scholar. By which last is meant, not one who depends simply on an infinite memory, but also on an infinite and electrical power of combination; bringing together from the four winds, like the angel of the resurrection, what else were dust from dead men's bones, into the unity of breathing life. If you can create yourselves into any of these grand creators, why have you not?—De Quincey.

There are three things a wise man will not trust: the wind, the sunshine of an April day, and woman's plighted faith.—Southey.

Woman is mistress of the art of completely embittering the life of the person on whom she depends.—Goethe.

Women generally consider consequences in love, seldom in resentment.—Colton.

Just corporeal enough to attest humanity, yet sufficiently transparent to let the celestial origin shine through.—Ruffini.

There are female women, and there are male women.—Charles Buxton.

To think of the part one little woman can play in the life of a man, so that to renounce her may be a very good imitation of heroism, and to win her may be a discipline!—George Eliot.

Men at most differ as heaven and earth; but women, worst and best, as heaven and hell.—Tennyson.

Women of forty always fancy they have found the Fountain of Youth, and that they remain young in the midst of the ruins of their day.—Arsène Houssaye.[Pg 281]

A woman's hopes are woven of sunbeams; a shadow annihilates them.—George Eliot.

There remains in the faces of women who are naturally serene and peaceful, and of those rendered so by religion, an after-spring, and later, an after-summer, the reflex of their most beautiful bloom.—Richter.

Women see without looking; their husbands often look without seeing.—Louis Desnoyeas.

She was in the lovely bloom and spring-time of womanhood; at that age when, if ever, angels be for God's good purposes enthroned in mortal forms, they may be, without impiety, supposed to abide in such as hers. Cast in so slight and exquisite a mould, so mild and gentle, so pure and beautiful, that earth seemed not her element, nor its rough creatures her fit companions.—Dickens.

There is a woman at the beginning of all great things.—Lamartine.

There is something still more to be dreaded than a Jesuit, and that is a Jesuitess.—Eugene Sue.

The honor of woman is badly guarded when it is guarded by keys and spies. No woman is honest who does not wish to be.—Adrian Dupuy.

Words.—There are words which sever hearts more than sharp swords; there are words, the point of which sting the heart through the course of a whole life.—Fredrika Bremer.

Words are often everywhere as the minute-hands of the soul, more important than even the hour-hands of action.—Richter.

"The last word" is the most dangerous of infernal machines; and husband and wife should no more fight to get it than they would struggle for the possession of a lighted bomb-shell.—Douglas Jerrold.

Words, like glass, darken whatever they do not help us to see.—Joubert.[Pg 282]

If we use common words on a great occasion they are the more striking, because they are felt at once to have a particular meaning, like old banners, or every-day clothes, hung up in a sacred place.—George Eliot.

Words are but the signs and counters of knowledge, and their currency should be strictly regulated by the capital which they represent.—Colton.

World.—The world is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel.—Horace Walpole.

Creation's heir, the world, the world is mine.—Goldsmith.

Contact with the world either breaks or hardens the heart.—Chamfort.

Why, then the world's mine oyster, which I with sword will open.—Shakespeare.

Worship.—Worship as though the Deity were present. If my mind is not engaged in my worship, it is as though I worshiped not.—Confucius.

Writing.—Writing, after all, is a cold and coarse interpreter of thought. How much of the imagination, how much of the intellect, evaporates and is lost while we seek to embody it in words! Man made language and God the genius.—Bulwer-Lytton.

We must write as Homer wrote, not what he wrote.—Théophile Vian.

Wrong.—There is no sort of wrong deed of which a man can bear the punishment alone; you can't isolate yourself and say that the evil that is in you shall not spread. Men's lives are as thoroughly blended with each other as the air they breathe: evil spreads as necessarily as disease.—George Eliot.[Pg 283]

My soul is sick with every day's report of wrong and outrage with which earth is filled.—Cowper.


Youth.—The canker galls the infants of the spring, too oft before their buttons be disclosed; and in the morn and liquid dew of youth contagious blastments are most imminent.—Shakespeare.

Reckless youth makes rueful age.—Moore.

In general, a man in his younger years does not easily cast off a certain complacent self-conceit, which principally shows itself in despising what he has himself been a little time before.—Goethe.

Too young for woe, though not for tears.—Washington Irving.

O youth! thou often tearest thy wings against the thorns of voluptuousness.—Victor Hugo.

O youth! ephemeral song, eternal canticle! The world may end, the heavens fall, yet loving voices would still find an echo in the ruins of the universe.—Jules Janin.

The youthful freshness of a blameless heart.—Washington Irving.

The heart of youth is reached through the senses; the senses of age are reached through the heart.—Rétif de la Bretonne.

Agreeable surprises are the perquisites of youth.—Bulwer-Lytton.


Zeal.—I like men who are temperate and moderate in everything. An excessive zeal for that which is good, though it may not be offensive to me, at all events raises my wonder, and leaves me in a difficulty how I should call it.—Montaigne.[Pg 284]

In the ardor of pursuit men soon forget the goal from which they start.—Schiller.

Experience shows that success is due less to ability than to zeal. The winner is he who gives himself to his work, body and soul.—Charles Buxton.

Tell zeal it lacks devotion.—Sir W. Raleigh.

Nothing to build and all things to destroy.—Dryden.

Nothing can be fairer, or more noble, than the holy fervor of true zeal.—Molière.

People give the name of zeal to their propensity to mischief and violence, though it is not the cause, but their interest, that inflames them.—Montaigne.

The frenzy of nations is the statesmanship of fate.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Zealot.—When we see an eager assailant of one of these wrongs, a special reformer, we feel like asking him, What right have you, sir, to your one virtue? Is virtue piecemeal?—Emerson.

What I object to Scotch philosophers in general is, that they reason upon man as they would upon a divinity; they pursue truth without caring if it be useful truth.—Sydney Smith.

I have never known a trader in philanthropy who was not wrong in his head or heart somewhere or other.—Coleridge.

They have an idol, to which they consecrate themselves high-priests, and deem it holy work to offer sacrifices of whatever is most precious.—Hawthorne.

The end crowns all; and that old common arbitrator, Time, will one day end all.—Shakespeare.

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