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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

Edward Young 1683-1765 John Bartlett

    Tired nature’s sweet restorer, balmy sleep!
          Night Thoughts. Night i. Line 1.
    Night, sable goddess! from her ebon throne,
In rayless majesty, now stretches forth
Her leaden sceptre o’er a slumbering world.
          Night Thoughts. Night i. Line 18.
    Creation sleeps! ’T is as the general pulse
Of life stood still, and Nature made a pause,—
An awful pause! prophetic of her end.
          Night Thoughts. Night i. Line 23.
    The bell strikes one. We take no note of time
But from its loss.
          Night Thoughts. Night i. Line 55.
    Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour.
          Night Thoughts. Night i. Line 67.
    To waft a feather or to drown a fly.
          Night Thoughts. Night i. Line 154.
    Insatiate archer! could not one suffice?
Thy shaft flew thrice, and thrice my peace was slain;
And thrice, ere thrice yon moon had filled her horn.
          Night Thoughts. Night i. Line 212.
    Be wise to-day; ’t is madness to defer. 1
          Night Thoughts. Night i. Line 390.
    Procrastination is the thief of time.
          Night Thoughts. Night i. Line 393.
    At thirty, man suspects himself a fool;
Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan.
          Night Thoughts. Night i. Line 417.
    All men think all men mortal but themselves.
          Night Thoughts. Night i. Line 424.
    He mourns the dead who lives as they desire.
          Night Thoughts. Night ii. Line 24.
    And what its worth, ask death-beds; they can tell.
          Night Thoughts. Night ii. Line 51.
    Thy purpose firm is equal to the deed:
Who does the best his circumstance allows
Does well, acts nobly; angels could no more.
          Night Thoughts. Night ii. Line 90.
    “I ’ve lost a day!”—the prince who nobly cried,
Had been an emperor without his crown. 2
          Night Thoughts. Night ii. Line 99.
    Ah, how unjust to Nature and himself
Is thoughtless, thankless, inconsistent man!
          Night Thoughts. Night ii. Line 112.
    The spirit walks of every day deceased.
          Night Thoughts. Night ii. Line 180.
    Time flies, death urges, knells call, Heaven invites,
Hell threatens.
          Night Thoughts. Night ii. Line 292.
    Whose yesterdays look backwards with a smile.
          Night Thoughts. Night ii. Line 334.
    ’T is greatly wise to talk with our past hours,
And ask them what report they bore to heaven.
          Night Thoughts. Night ii. Line 376.
    Thoughts shut up want air,
And spoil, like bales unopen’d to the sun.
          Night Thoughts. Night ii. Line 466.
    How blessings brighten as they take their flight!
          Night Thoughts. Night ii. Line 602.
    The chamber where the good man meets his fate
Is privileg’d beyond the common walk
Of virtuous life, quite in the verge of heaven.
          Night Thoughts. Night ii. Line 633.
    A death-bed ’s a detector of the heart.
          Night Thoughts. Night ii. Line 641.
    Woes cluster. Rare are solitary woes;
They love a train, they tread each other’s heel. 3
          Night Thoughts. Night iii. Line 63.
    Beautiful as sweet,
And young as beautiful, and soft as young,
And gay as soft, and innocent as gay!
          Night Thoughts. Night iii. Line 81.
    Lovely in death the beauteous ruin lay;
And if in death still lovely, lovelier there;
Far lovelier! pity swells the tide of love. 4
          Night Thoughts. Night iii. Line 104.
    Heaven’s Sovereign saves all beings but himself
That hideous sight,—a naked human heart.
          Night Thoughts. Night iii. Line 226.
    The knell, the shroud, the mattock, and the grave,
The deep damp vault, the darkness and the worm.
          Night Thoughts. Night iv. Line 10.
    Man makes a death which Nature never made.
          Night Thoughts. Night iv. Line 15.
    And feels a thousand deaths in fearing one.
          Night Thoughts. Night iv. Line 17.
    Wishing, of all employments, is the worst.
          Night Thoughts. Night iv. Line 71.
    Man wants but little, nor that little long. 5
          Night Thoughts. Night iv. Line 118.
    A God all mercy is a God unjust.
          Night Thoughts. Night iv. Line 233.
    ’T is impious in a good man to be sad.
          Night Thoughts. Night iv. Line 676.
    A Christian is the highest style of man. 6
          Night Thoughts. Night iv. Line 788.
    Men may live fools, but fools they cannot die.
          Night Thoughts. Night iv. Line 843.
    By night an atheist half believes a God.
          Night Thoughts. Night v. Line 177.
    Early, bright, transient, chaste as morning dew,
She sparkled, was exhal’d and went to heaven. 7
          Night Thoughts. Night v. Line 600.
    We see time’s furrows on another’s brow,
And death intrench’d, preparing his assault;
How few themselves in that just mirror see!
          Night Thoughts. Night v. Line 627.
    Like our shadows,
Our wishes lengthen as our sun declines. 8
          Night Thoughts. Night v. Line 661.
    While man is growing, life is in decrease;
And cradles rock us nearer to the tomb.
Our birth is nothing but our death begun. 9
          Night Thoughts. Night v. Line 717.
    That life is long which answers life’s great end.
          Night Thoughts. Night v. Line 773.
    The man of wisdom is the man of years.
          Night Thoughts. Night v. Line 775.
    Death loves a shining mark, a signal blow. 10
          Night Thoughts. Night v. Line 1011.
    Pygmies are pygmies still, though percht on Alps;
And pyramids are pyramids in vales.
Each man makes his own stature, builds himself.
Virtue alone outbuilds the Pyramids;
Her monuments shall last when Egypt’s fall.
          Night Thoughts. Night vi. Line 309.
    And all may do what has by man been done.
          Night Thoughts. Night vi. Line 606.
    The man that blushes is not quite a brute.
          Night Thoughts. Night vii. Line 496.
    Too low they build, who build beneath the stars.
          Night Thoughts. Night viii. Line 215.
    Prayer ardent opens heaven.
          Night Thoughts. Night viii. Line 721.
    A man of pleasure is a man of pains.
          Night Thoughts. Night viii. Line 793.
    To frown at pleasure, and to smile in pain.
          Night Thoughts. Night viii. Line 1045.
    Final Ruin fiercely drives
Her ploughshare o’er creation. 11
          Night Thoughts. Night ix. 167.
    ’T is elder Scripture, writ by God’s own hand,—
Scripture authentic! uncorrupt by man.
          Night Thoughts. Night ix. Line 644.
    An undevout astronomer is mad.
          Night Thoughts. Night ix. Line 771.
    The course of Nature is the art of God. 12
          Night Thoughts. Night ix. Line 1267.
    The love of praise, howe’er conceal’d by art,
Reigns more or less, and glows in ev’ry heart.
          Love of Fame. Satire i. Line 51.
    Some for renown, on scraps of learning dote,
And think they grow immortal as they quote.
          Love of Fame. Satire i. Line 89.
    Titles are marks of honest men, and wise;
The fool or knave that wears a title lies.
          Love of Fame. Satire i. Line 145.
    They that on glorious ancestors enlarge,
Produce their debt instead of their discharge.
          Love of Fame. Satire i. Line 147.
    None think the great unhappy but the great. 13
          Love of Fame. Satire i. Line 238.
    Unlearned men of books assume the care,
As eunuchs are the guardians of the fair.
          Love of Fame. Satire ii. Line 83.
    The booby father craves a booby son,
And by Heaven’s blessing thinks himself undone.
          Love of Fame. Satire ii. Line 165.
    Where Nature’s end of language is declin’d,
And men talk only to conceal the mind. 14
          Love of Fame. Satire ii. Line 207.
    Be wise with speed;
A fool at forty is a fool indeed.
          Love of Fame. Satire ii. Line 282.
    And waste their music on the savage race. 15
          Love of Fame. Satire v. Line 228.
    For her own breakfast she ’ll project a scheme,
Nor take her tea without a stratagem.
          Love of Fame. Satire vi. Line 190.
    Think naught a trifle, though it small appear;
Small sands the mountain, moments make the year,
And trifles life.
          Love of Fame. Satire vi. Line 208.
    One to destroy is murder by the law,
And gibbets keep the lifted hand in awe;
To murder thousands takes a specious name,
War’s glorious art, and gives immortal fame.
          Love of Fame. Satire vii. Line 55.
    How commentators each dark passage shun,
And hold their farthing candle to the sun.
          Love of Fame. Satire vii. Line 97.
    The man that makes a character makes foes.
          To Mr. Pope. Epistle i. Line 28.
    Their feet through faithless leather met the dirt,
And oftener chang’d their principles than shirt.
          To Mr. Pope. Epistle i. Line 277.
    Accept a miracle instead of wit,—
See two dull lines with Stanhope’s pencil writ.
          Lines written with the Diamond Pencil of Lord Chesterfield.
    Time elaborately thrown away.
          The Last Day. Book i.
    There buds the promise of celestial worth.
          The Last Day. Book iii.
    In records that defy the tooth of time.
          The Statesman’s Creed.
    Great let me call him, for he conquered me.
          The Revenge. Act i. Sc. 1.
    Souls made of fire, and children of the sun,
With whom revenge is virtue.
          The Revenge. Act v. Sc. 2.
    The blood will follow where the knife is driven,
The flesh will quiver where the pincers tear.
          The Revenge. Act v. Sc. 2.
    And friend received with thumps upon the back. 16
          Universal Passion.
Note 1.
See Congreve, Quotation 10. [back]
Note 2.
Suetonius says of the Emperor Titus: “Once at supper, reflecting that he had done nothing for any that day, he broke out into that memorable and justly admired saying, ‘My friends, I have lost a day!’”—Suetonius: Lives of the Twelve Cæsars. (Translation by Alexander Thomson.) [back]
Note 3.
See Shakespeare, Hamlet, Quotation 196. [back]
Note 4.
See Beaumont and Fletcher, Quotation 24. Dryden, Quotation 46. [back]
Note 5.
Man wants but little here below,
Nor wants that little long.
Oliver Goldsmith: The Hermit, stanza 8. [back]
Note 6.
See Dryden, Quotation 17. [back]
Note 7.
See Dryden, Quotation 37. [back]
Note 8.
See Dryden, Quotation 11. [back]
Note 9.
See Bishop Hall, Quotation 2. [back]
Note 10.
See Quarles, Quotation 1. [back]
Note 11.
Stern Ruin’s ploughshare drives elate
Full on thy bloom.
Robert Burns: To a Mountain Daisy. [back]
Note 12.
See Sir Thomas Browne, Quotation 3. [back]
Note 13.
See Nicholas Rowe, Quotation 1. [back]
Note 14.
Speech was made to open man to man, and not to hide him; to promote commerce, and not betray it.—Lloyd: State Worthies (1665; edited by Whitworth), vol. i. p. 503.

Speech was given to the ordinary sort of men whereby to communicate their mind; but to wise men, whereby to conceal it.—Robert South: Sermon, April 30, 1676.

The true use of speech is not so much to express our wants as to conceal them.—Oliver Goldsmith: The Bee, No. 3. (Oct. 20, 1759.)

Ils ne se servent de la pensée que pour autoriser leurs injustices, et emploient les paroles que pour déguiser leurs pensées (Men use thought only to justify their wrong doings, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts).—Francis M. Voltaire: Dialogue xiv. Le Chapon et la Poularde (1766).

When Harel wished to put a joke or witticism into circulation, he was in the habit of connecting it with some celebrated name, on the chance of reclaiming it if it took. Thus he assigned to Talleyrand, in the “Nain Jaune,” the phrase, “Speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts.”—Fournier: L’Esprit dans l’Histoire. [back]
Note 15.
And waste their sweetness on the desert air.—Thomas Gray: Elegy, stanza 14. Charles Churchill: Gotham, book ii. line 20. [back]
Note 16.
The man that hails you Tom or Jack,
And proves, by thumping on your back.
William Cowper: On Friendship. [back]