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James Wood, comp. Dictionary of Quotations. 1899.


A dwarf sees farther than the giant when he has the giant’s shoulders to mount on.

A man of maxims only is like a Cyclops with one eye, and that eye in the back of his head.

A rogue is a roundabout fool.

A sight to dream of, not to tell.

A woman’s friendship borders more closely on love than a man’s.

As idle as a painted ship / Upon a painted ocean.

Chance is but the pseudonym of God for those particular cases which He does not choose to subscribe openly with His own sign-manual.

Death but supplies the oil for the inextinguishable lamp of life.

Democracy is the healthful life-blood which circulates through the veins and arteries, which supports the system, but which ought never to appear externally, and as the mere blood itself.

Dewdrops are the gems of morning, but the tears of mournful eve.

Earth with her thousand voices praises God.

Ere sin could blight or sorrow fade, / Death came with friendly care, / The opening bud to heaven conveyed, / And bade it blossom there.

Every human feeling is greater and larger than the exciting cause—a proof, I think, that man is designed for a higher state of existence.

Experience to most men is like the stern-lights of a ship, which illumine only the track it has passed.

Friends should be weighed, not told.

Genius is the power of carrying the feelings of childhood into the powers of manhood.

Good and bad men are less so than they seem.

Greatness and goodness are not means, but ends.

He prayeth best who loveth best / All things, both great and small; / For the dear Lord who loveth us, / He made and loveth all.

He that loves Christianity better than truth will soon love his own sect or party better than Christianity.

Humour is consistent with pathos, while wit is not.

In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly.

In wonder all philosophy began; in wonder it ends; and admiration fills up the interspace.

Infancy presents body and spirit in unity; the body is all animated.

Intense study of the Bible will keep any man from being vulgar in point of style.

Joy is the sweet voice, joy the luminous cloud.

Language is the armoury of the human mind, and at once contains the trophies of its past, and the weapons of its future, conquests.

Men of genius are rarely much annoyed by the company of vulgar people, because they have a power of looking at such persons as objects of amusement of another race altogether.

Men of humour are always in some degree men of genius; wits are rarely so, although a man of genius may, amongst other gifts, possess wit, as Shakespeare.

Motives are symptoms of weakness, and supplements for the deficient energy of the living principle, the law within us.

Neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder / Shall wholly do away, I ween, / The marks of that which once hath been.

No sound is dissonant which tells of life.

Now! it is gone. Our brief hours travel post, / Each with its thought or deed, its Why or How; / But know, each parting hour gives up a ghost / To dwell within thee—an eternal Now!

O sleep, / It is a gentle thing, / Beloved from pole to pole!

Oh, worse than all! Oh, pang all pangs above, / Is kindness counterfeiting absent love!

Old friends burn dim, like lamps in noisome air; / Love them for what they are; nor love them less; / Because to thee they are not what they were.

One thought includes all thought, in the sense that a grain of sand includes the universe.

Our own heart, and not other men’s opinions, forms our true honour.

Painting is the intermediate between a thought and a thing.

Plagiarists are always suspicious of being stolen from.

Poetry has given me the habit of wishing to discover the good and the beautiful in all that meets and surrounds me.

Prose, words in their best order; poetry, the best words in the best order.

Religion is the most gentlemanly thing in the world. It alone will gentilise, if unmixed with cant.

Remorse is as the heart in which it grows: / If that be gentle, it drops balmy dews / Of true repentance; but if proud and gloomy, / It is the poison tree that, pierced to the inmost, / Weeps only tears of poison.

Reviewers are usually people who would have been poets, historians, biographers, if they could; they have tried their talents at one or the other, and have failed; therefore they turn critics.

So lonely ’twas, that God himself / Scarce seeméd there to be.

Sometimes / ’Tis well to be bereft of promised good, / That we may lift the soul, and contemplate / With lively joy the joys we cannot share.

Study of the Bible will keep any man from being vulgar in style.

Sublimity is Hebrew by birth.

Talent, lying in the understanding, is often inherited; genius, being the action of reason and imagination, rarely or never.

The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions,—the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss, a smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment in the disguise of a playful raillery, and the countless other infinitesimals of pleasant thought and feeling.

The more we know, the greater our thirst for knowledge. The water-lily, in the midst of waters, opens its leaves and expands its petals at the first pattering of showers, and rejoices in the raindrops with a quicker sympathy than the parched shrub in a sandy desert.

There is nothing insignificant, nothing!

This she knows in joys and woes, / That saints will aid if men will call; / For the blue sky bends over all.

’Tis God / Diffused through all that doth make all one whole.

’Tis the sublime of man, / Our noontide majesty, to know ourselves / Parts and proportions of one wondrous whole! / This fraternises man, this constitutes / Our charities and bearings.

To be wroth with one we love, / Doth work like madness in the brain.

To carry on the feelings of childhood into the powers of manhood, to combine the child’s sense of wonder and novelty with the appearances which every day, for perhaps forty years, has rendered familiar; this is the character and privilege of genius, and one of the marks which distinguish genius from talent.

To know, to esteem, to love, and then to part, / Makes up life’s tale to many a feeling heart.

To most men experience is like the stern lights of a ship, which illumine only the track it has passed.

Truth is a good dog; but beware of barking too close to the heels of an error, lest you get your brains kicked out.

Unmingled joys to no one here befall; / Who least, hath some; who most, hath never all.

Water, water everywhere, / And all the boards did shrink, / Water, water everywhere, / Nor any drop to drink.

When a man mistakes his thoughts for persons and things, this is madness.

Work without hope draws nectar in a sieve, / And hope without an object cannot live.

You do not believe, you only believe that you believe.

You may depend upon it, religion is, in its essence, the most gentlemanly thing in the world. It will alone gentilise, if unmixed with cant; and I know nothing else that will, alone; certainly not the army, which is thought to be the grand embellisher of manners.

Youth beholds happiness gleaming in the prospect. Age looks back on the happiness of youth, and, instead of hopes, seeks its enjoyment in the recollection of hope.