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.

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