Thursday, May 14, 2009


A cheerful temper, joined with innocence, will make beauty attractive, knowledge delightful, and wit good-natured. It will lighten sickness, poverty, and affliction, convert ignorance into an amiable simplicity, and render deformity itself agreeable. —Addison.

Comparisons.—Oft on the dappled turf at ease
I sit, and play with similes,
Loose types of things, through all degrees.
— Wordsworth, To the Daisy.

Like—but oh! how different!

—Ibid., The Mountain Echo.

Like the dew on the mountain,

Like the foam on the river,
Like the bubble on the fountain,

Thou art gone, and forever! —Scott.

As sunshine, broken in the rill,
Though turned astray, is sunshine still.

—Thomas Moore. A soul as white as heaven.

—Beaumont and Fletcher.
So we grew together,
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
Two lovely berries, molded on one stem.

—Shakespeare, Midsummer Night's Dream.

One simile that solitary shines

In the dry desert of a thousand lines.


The rose that all are praising
Is not the rose for me.

—Thomas Haynes Bayly.

Like our shadows,
Our wishes lengthen as our sun declines.

— Young.

It is not growing like a tree
In bulk doth make men better be,
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sear.

A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May,
Although it fall and die that night ;
It was the plant and flower of life.

—Ben Jonson.

By ocean's shore we still prolonged our stay
Like men, who, thinking of a journey near,
Advance in thought, while yet their limbs delay.
—Dante, Purgatorio, Wright, Tr.

We meet thee, like a pleasant thought,
When such are wanted.
—Wordsworth, To the Daisy.

Philosophy is the romance of the aged, and Religion the only future history for us all.
Balbi, Life and Times of Dante.

O night, And storm, and darkness! ye are wondrous strong,

Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light
Of a dark eye in woman!

An idler is a watch that wants both hands ;
As useless if it goes as if it stands.
— Cowper, Retirement.

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

—Shakespeare, Merchant of Venioe.
The good are better made by ill,
As odors crushed are sweeter still.
—Samuel Rogers.

O Cuckoo ! shall I call thee Bird, Or but a wandering voice ? — Wordsworth. Some flowers of Eden we still inherit, But the trail of the serpent is over them all.
—Thomas Moore.

The blood more stirs To rouse a lion than to start a hare!
Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part I.

There was a laughing Devil in his sneer.

Boston State House is the hub of the Solar System. You couldn't pry that out of a Boston man if you had the tire of all creation straightened out for a crowbar.
—O. W. Holmes, Autocrat.

Strange! that a harp of a thousand strings
Should keep in tune so long.
—Isaac Watts.

Don Carlos.—And pray, how fares the brave Victorian?

Hypolito.—Indifferent well; that is to say, not well.

A damsel has ensnared him with the glances
Of her dark, roving eyes, as herdsmen catch
A steer of Andalusia with a lazo.
He is in love.

Don C.— And is it faring ill

To be in love ?

Hyp.— In his case very ill.

Don O.-Why so?

Hyp.—For many reasons. First and foremost
Because he is in love with an ideal;
A creature of his own imagination;
A child of air; an echo of his heart;
And, like a lily on a river floating,
She floats upon the river of his thoughts.

Don G.—A common thing with poets. But who is
This floating lily ? For, in fine, some woman,
Some living woman,—not a mere ideal,—
Must wear the outward semblance of his thought.
Who is it 2 Tell me.

Hyp.— Well, it is a woman!

But, look you, from the coffer of his heart,
He brings forth precious jewels to adorn her,
As pious prjests adorn some favorite saint
With gems and gold, until at length she gleams
One blaze of glory. Without these, you know,
And the priest's benediction, 'tis a doll.
—Longfellow, The Spanish Student.

Say—the world is a nettle ; disturb it, it stings:

Grasp it firmly, it stings not. On one of two things,

If you would not be stung, it behooves you to settle:

Avoid it, or crush it. —Owen Meredith.

Tender-handed grasp a nettle

And it stings you for your pains;
Grasp it like a man of mettle
And it soft as silk remains.
—Aaron Hill.

He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument.
—Shakespeare, Henry V.

Every man has in himself a continent of undiscovered character. Happy he who acts the Columbus to his own soul!

Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
Like seasoned timber, never gives.
— George Herbert.

Atheism, Aspiration, Beauty, Blind

So will a greater fame redound to thee,
To have formed a party by thyself alone.

—Dante, Paradise, xvi.

Atheism.—Forth from his dark and lonely hiding-
(Portentous sight!) the owlet Atheism, [place
Sailing on obscene wings athwart the noon,
Drops his blue-fringed lids, and holds them close,
And, hooting at the glorious sun in heaven,
Cries out, " Where is it ?"

A little philosophy inclineth a man's mind to atheism, hut depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion.

Attention.—The one serviceable, safe, certain, remunerative, attainable quality in every study and in every pursuit is the quality of attention. My own invention, or imagination, such as it is, I can most truthfully assure you,would never have served me as it has but for the habit of commonplace, humble, patient, daily, toiling, drudging attention. —Dickens.

Aspiration.—Still doth the soul, from its lone fastness high,

Upon our life a rilling effluence send;
And when it falls, fight as we will, we die;
And while it lasts we cannot wholly end.

—Matthew Arnold.

" When I'm a man!" is the poetry of youth.
" When I was young!" is the poetry of old age
" When I'm a man," the stripling cries,
And strives the coming years to scan—
"Ah, then I shall be strong and wise,
When I'm a man!"
" When I was young," the old man sighs,
" Bravely the lark and linnet sung
Their carol under sunny skies,
When I was young I"

***** The boy's bright dream is all before,

The man's romance lies far behind. Had we the present and no more,

Fate were unkind.

But, brother, toiling in the night,

Still count yourself not all unblest,
If in the east there gleams a light,
Or in the west.

—Blackwood's Magazine.

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low vaulted past!
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast.
Till thou at last art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea

—O. W. Holmes.

O paradise, O paradise!

Who doth not crave for rest,
Who would not seek the happy land

Where they that loved are blest ?
Where loyal hearts and true

Stand ever in the light,
All rapture through and through,
In God's most holy light.

For myself alone I doubt;
All is well, I know, without;
I alone the beauty mar,
I alone the music jar.
Yet with hands by evil stained,
And an ear by discord pained,
I am groping for the keys
Of the heavenly harmonies.
—J. G. Whittier.

The desire of the moth for the star,
Of the night for the morrow,
The devotion to something afar
From the sphere of our sorrow!

Into the sunshine,
Full of the light,
Leaping and flashing
From morn till night!
Glorious fountain!
Let my heart be
Fresh, changeful, constant,

Upward, like thee! —J. R. Lowell. Ballads.—I knew a very wise man that believed that if a man were permitted to make all the ballads he need not care who should make the laws of a nation.
—Andrew Fletcher.

I had rather be a kitten and cry mew, than one of these same metre ballad-mongers.
—Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I.

Beauty.—A thing of beauty is a joy forever;
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams and health and quiet
breathing. —John Keats.

A blind man is a poor man, and blind a poor man is;
For the former seeth no man, and the latter no man sees. —Longfellow (Translation)

Thou hast no faults, or I no faults can spy,
Thou art all beauty, or all blindness I.
—Christopher Codrington.

Change.—Changed! There the epitaph of all the years

Was sounded! I am changed too. Let it be. Yet it is sad to know my latest tears Were faithful to a memory—not to thee.
—Owen Meredith. Charity.—Then gently scan your brother man,

Still gentler, sister woman ;
Though they may gang a kennin wrang,
To step aside is human.

What's done we partly may compute,
But know not what's resisted.

An old man broken with the storms of state Is come to lay his weary bones among ye: Give him a little earth for charity.
—Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

Alas for the rarity Of Christian charity Under the sun !
—Thomas Hood.

Accusation & Action Quotations

Accusation.—Again, men of Athens, I conceive abuse to differ from accusation in this, that accusation has to do with offenses for which the laws provide penalties, abuse with the scandal which enemies speak against each other according to their humor.—Demosthenes, On the Crown, Kennedy, Tr.

Action.—Every man has experienced how feelings which end in themselves and do not express themselves in action, leave the heart debilitated. We get feeble and sickly in character when we feel keenly, and cannot do the thing we feel.—Robertson. The flighty purpose never is o'ertook, Unless the deed go with it: from the moment The very firstlings of my heart shall be The firstlings of my hands.


.No boasting like a fool;

This deed I'll do before the purpose cool.

—Shakespeare. Macbeth

Adversity.—Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,

Wears yet a precious jewel in his head, And this our life, exempt from public haunt, . Finds tongues in trees, books in the running

brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in everything.

—Shakespeare, As You Like It, In the adversity of our best friends we often find something which does not displease us.—Rochefoucauld.

I am convinced that we have a degree of delight, and that no small one, in the real misfortunes and pains of others.—Burke. For of fortune's sharpe adversite,

The worst kind of infortune is this:
A man that hath been in prosperite
And it remember when it passed is.

—Chaucer—Tr. and Or. imbition.—0 fading honors of the dead!

0 high ambition lowly laid! —Scott. Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition: By that sin fell the angels; how can man, then, The image of his Maker, hope to win by't ? Love thyself last: cherish those hearts that hate thee:

Corruption wins not more than honesty.
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,
To silence envious tongues: be just and fear not.
Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's,
Thy God's and truth's; then if thou fall'st, O

Cromwell I
Thou fall'st a blessed martyr.
—Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

But 'tis a common proof
That lowliness is young ambition's ladder
Whereto the climber upward turns his face;
But when he once attains the utmost round
He then unto the ladder turns his back,
Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
By which he did ascend.

—Shakespeare, Julius Caesar. Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,

Their homely joys, and destiny obscure Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile The short and simple annals of the poor.


Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition, though in hell;
Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.

—Milton's Satan.

I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself
And falls on the other. —Macbeth.

QUOTATIONS are literary fragments gathered from many sources


A clever compilation of pithy quotations, alphabetically arranged according to sentiment

H Morton

Copyright 1893 By The Penn Publishing Company


QUOTATIONS are literary fragments gathered from many sources, chosen because of some striking originality in the thought or expression, or because they embody a sterling truth universally recognized and approved.

A collection of these literary fragments is interesting and valuable for several different reasons.

1. An apt quotation—" what oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed "—is often a saving of time. By its use, one may in a single terse phrase explicate an idea that would otherwise have required to be amplified into several sentences of original composition.

2. Many persons enjoy a comfortable sense of being sustained in their own opinions, when some writer or speaker of recognized ability can be cited as having voiced the same sentiments. All the force of his incisive thought comes to the support of those who quote his words. A Scotch listener is prepossessed by a well-chosen quotation from Burns; an American audience is favorably disposed toward the orator who

interweaves with his own thoughts some memorable words of Washington or Jefferson; and to preface a statement with the words, " Shakespeare says "—is practically to forestall criticism.

3. To the one who merely scans the fragments in a desultory way, the book becomes a master of ceremonies at a grand authors' levee, introducing the reader to many master minds, hitherto strangers to him, but henceforth to be his chosen friends. Most people date their interest in their favorite author from the time when some bright saying of his accidentally attracted their attention, and led to a further study of his works.

For some one of these—or similar—reasons, Quotations may find a place in the useful corner of the library shelf.

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