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James Wood, comp. Dictionary of Quotations. 1899.


A fop is the mercer’s friend, the tailor’s fool, and his own foe.

Airs of importance are the credentials of impotence.

Call him wise whose actions, words, and steps are all a clear Because to a clear Why.

Calmness of will is a sign of grandeur. The vulgar, far from hiding their will, blab their wishes, A single spark of occasion discharges the child of passions into a thousand crackers of desire.

Conscience is wiser than science.

Der Mensch ist frei wie der Vogel im Käfig; er kann sich innerhalb gewisser Grenzen bewegen—Man is free as the bird in the cage: he has powers of motion within certain limits.

Each heart is a world. You find all within yourself that you find without. The world that surrounds you is the magic glass of the world within you.

Each particle of matter is an immensity, each leaf a world, each insect an inexplicable compendium.

Evasions are the common subterfuge of the hard-hearted, the false, and impotent, when called upon to assist.

Faces are as legible as books, only they are read in much less time, and are much less likely to deceive us.

Genius always gives its best at first, prudence at last.

God manifests Himself to men in all wise, good, humble, generous, great, and magnanimous souls.

Habit is too arbitrary a master for my liking.

He alone has energy that cannot be deprived of it.

He knows not how to speak who cannot be silent, still less how to act with vigour and decision.

He knows very little of mankind who expects, by facts or reasoning, to convince a determined party-man.

He only is an acute observer who can observe minutely without being observed.

He submits himself to be seen through a microscope who suffers himself to be caught in a fit of passion.

He that can conceal his joys is greater than he who can hide his griefs.

He who can at all times sacrifice pleasure to duty approaches sublimity.

He who can conceal his joys is greater than he who can conceal his griefs.

He who partakes in another’s joys is more humane than he who partakes in his griefs.

He who reforms himself has done more towards reforming the public than a crowd of noisy impotent patriots.

Indolence is the paralysis of the soul.

Intuition is the clear conception of the whole at once. It seldom belongs to man to say without presumption, “I came, I saw, I conquered.”

Lass die schwerste Pflicht dir die allerheiligste Pflicht sein—Let the most arduous duty be the most sacred of all to thee.

Learn the value of a man’s words and expressions, and you know him. Each man has a measure of his own for everything; this he offers you inadvertently in his words. He who has a superlative for everything wants a measure for the great or small.

Lerne vom Schlimmsten Gutes, und Schlimmes nicht vom Besten—Learn good from the worst, and not bad from the best.

Love sees what no eye sees; hears what no ear hears; and what never rose in the heart of man love prepares for its object.

Man is free as the bird is in its cage: he can move about within certain limits.

Mistrust the man who finds everything good, and the man who finds everything evil, and still more the man who is indifferent to everything.

Obstinacy is the strength of the weak.

Speak no evil of a man if you know it not of him for certain, and if you do know it, then ask yourself, “Why do I tell it?”

The craftiest wiles are too short and ragged a cloak to cover a bad heart.

The cruelty of the affectionate is more dreadful than that of the hardy.

The generous, who is always just, and the just who is always generous, may, unannounced, approach the throne of Heaven.

The great rule of moral conduct is, next to God, to respect time.

The jealous is possessed by a “fine mad devil” and a dull spirit at once.

The more honesty a man has, the less he affects the air of a saint.

The world that surrounds you is the magic glass of the world within you. To know yourself you have only to set down a true statement of those that ever loved or hated you.

There are but three classes of men—the retrograde, the stationary, and the progressive.

There is no mortal truly wise and restless at once; wisdom is the repose of minds.

Thinkers are scarce as gold; but he whose thoughts embrace all his subject, pursues it uninterruptedly and fearless of consequences, is a diamond of enormous size.

Too much gravity argues a shallow mind.

Trust him little who praises all, him less who censures all, and him least who is indifferent about all.

Weaknesses, so called, are neither more nor less than vice in disguise.

What is the elevation of the soul? A prompt, delicate, certain feeling for all that is beautiful, all that is grand; a quick resolution to do the greatest good by the smallest means; a great benevolence joined to a great strength and great humility.

Who forces himself on others is to himself a load. Impetuous curiosity is empty and inconstant. Prying intrusion may be suspected of whatever is little.

Who gives a trifle meanly is meaner than the trifle.

Who has a daring eye tells downright truths and downright lies.

Who, in the midst of just provocation to anger, instantly finds the fit word which settles all around him in silence, is more than wise or just; he is, were he a beggar, of more than royal blood—he is of celestial descent.

You are not very good if you are not better than your best friends imagine you to be.

You may depend upon it that he is a good man whose intimate friends are all good.