C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.
A chine of honest bacon would please my appetite more than all the marrow-puddings, for I like them better plain, having a very vulgar stomach.
A confused mass of thoughts, tumbling over one another in the dark; when the fancy was yet in its first work, moving the sleeping images of things towards the light, there to be distinguished and then either chosen or rejected by the judgment.
A farce is that in poetry which grotesque (caricature) is in painting. The persons and actions of a farce are all unnatural, and the manners false, that is, inconsistent with the characters of mankind; and grotesque painting is the just resemblance of this.
A good conscience is a port which is landlocked on every side, where no winds can possibly invade. There a man may not only see his own image, but that of his Maker, clearly reflected from the undisturbed waters.
A happy genius is the gift of nature.
A knock-down argument; ’tis but a word and a blow.
A lazy frost, a numbness of the mind.
A lively faith will bear aloft the mind, and leave the luggage of good works behind.
A narrow mind begets obstinacy.
A successive title, long and dark, drawn from the mouldy rolls of Noah’s ark.
A taste which plenty does deprave loathes lawful goods, and lawless ill does crave.
A world of woes despatched in little space.
According to her cloth she cut her coat.
Affability, mildness, tenderness, and a word which I would fain bring back to its original signification of virtue,—I mean good-nature, are of daily use: they are the bread of mankind and staff of life.
All authors to their own defects are blind.
All below is strength, and all above is grace.
All delays are dangerous in war.
All habits gather by unseen degrees.
All objects lose by too familiar a view.
Among our crimes oblivion may be set.
An intrepid courage is at best but a holiday kind of virtue, to be seldom exercised, and never but in cases of necessity; affability, mildness, tenderness, and a word which I would fain bring back to its original signification of virtue, I mean good-nature, are of daily use; they are the bread of mankind and staff of life.
An ugly woman in a rich habit set out with jewels nothing can become.
And heaven had wanted one immortal song.
And plenty makes us poor.
And torture one poor word ten thousand ways.
And virtue, though in rags, will keep me warm.
Art may err, but nature cannot miss.
As for the women, though we scorn and flout them, we may live with, but cannot live without them.
As sure as a gun.
Be secret and discreet; the fairy favors are lost when not concealed.
Beauty is nothing else but a just accord and mutual harmony of the members, animated by a healthful constitution.
Believe these tears, which from my wounded heart bleed at my eyes.
Bestow, base man, thy idle threats elsewhere; my mother’s daughter knows not how to fear.
Bets at first were fool-traps, where the wise like spiders lay in ambush for the flies.
Better shun the bait than struggle in the snare.
Beware the fury of a patient man.
Blown roses hold their sweetness to the last.
Boileau’s numbers are excellent, his expressions noble, his thoughts just, his language pure, and his sense close.
Bold at the council board, but cautious in the field.
By education most have been misled.
Chaucer, I confess, is a rough diamond, and must be polished ere he shine.
Death ends our woes, and the kind grave shuts up the mournful scene.
Deathless laurel is the victor’s due.
Discover the opinion of your enemies, which is commonly the truest; for they will give you no quarter, and allow nothing to complaisance.
Empire! thou poor and despicable thing, when such as these make or unmake a king!
Ev’n wit’s a burthen, when it talks too long.
Even kings but play; and when their part is done, some other, worse or better, mounts the throne.
Even lust and envy sleep.
Even wit is a burden when it talks too long.
Fall silently like dew on roses.
Fate and the dooming gods are deaf to tears.
Fattened in vice, so callous and so gross, he sins and sees not, senseless of his loss.
Fearless of fortune, and resigned to fate.
Few are so wicked as to take delight in crimes unprofitable.
Fiction is of the essence of poetry as well as of painting; there is a resemblance in one of human bodies, things, and actions which are not real, and in the other of a true story by fiction.
For age but tastes of pleasures youth devours.
For my part, I can compare her (a gossip) to nothing but the sun; for, like him, she knows no rest, nor ever sets in one place but to rise in another.
For mysterious things of faith, rely on the proponent, Heaven’s authority.
For they can conquer who believe they can.
Forgiveness to the injured does belong; but they ne’er pardon, who commit the wrong.
Fortune befriends the bold.
Fortune’s unjust; she ruins oft the brave, and him who should be victor, makes the slave.
Fowls, by winter forced, forsake the floods, and wing their hasty flight to happier lands.
Genius must be born, and never can be taught.
Give the devil his due.
God never made His work for man to mend.
Good Heaven, whose darling attribute we find is boundless grace, and mercy to mankind, abhors the cruel.
Good sense and good-nature are never separated, though the ignorant world has thought otherwise. Good-nature, by which I mean beneficence and candor, is the product of right reason.
Great souls forgive not injuries till time has put their enemies within their power, that they may show forgiveness is their own.
Great wits are sure to madness near allied, and thin partitions do their bounds divide.
Griefs assured are felt before they come.
Had covetous men, as the fable goes of Briareus, each of them one hundred hands, they would all of them be employed in grasping and gathering, and hardly one of them in giving or laying out, but all in receiving, and none in restoring; a thing in itself so monstrous that nothing in nature besides is like it, except it be death and the grave—the only things I know which are always carrying off the spoils of the world and never making restitution. For otherwise all the parts of the universe, as they borrow of one another, so they still pay what they borrow, and that by so just and well-balanced an equality that their payments always keep pace with their receipts.
Happy the man, and happy he alone—he who can call to-day his own.
Having mourned your sin, for outward Eden lost, find paradise within.
He lards with flourishes his long harangue.
He who proposes to be an author should first be a student.
He who trusts a secret to his servant makes his own man his master.
He who would pry behind the scenes oft sees a counterfeit.
He’s a sure card.
Her eyes, her lips, her cheeks, her shape, her features, seem to be drawn by love’s own hand, by love himself in love.
Her head was bare, but for her native ornament of hair, which in a simple knot was tied above—sweet negligence, unheeded bait of love!
Heroic poetry has ever been esteemed the greatest work of human nature.
Hide, for shame, Romans, your grandsires’ images, that blush at their degenerate progeny!
His hair just grizzled as in a green old age.
His little children, climbing for a kiss, welcome their father’s late return at night.
His tribe were God Almighty’s gentlemen.
Home is the sacred refuge of our life.
How strangely high endeavors may be blessed, where piety and valor jointly go.
Humility and resignation are our prime virtues.
Hushed as midnight silence.
I am resolved to grow fat and look young till forty, and then slip out of the world with the first wrinkle and the reputation of five and twenty.
I can forgive a foe, but not a mistress and a friend; treason is there in its most horrid shape, where trust is greatest!
I feel my sinews slackened with the fright, and a cold sweat trills down all over my limbs, as if I were dissolving into water.
I find she loves him because she hides it. Love teaches cunning even to innocence; and when he gets possession, his first work is to dig deep within a heart, and there lie hid, and like a miser in the dark, feast alone.
I have not wept these forty years; but now my mother comes afresh into my eyes.
I maintain, against the enemies of the stage, that patterns of piety, decently represented, may second the precepts.
I must leave you to the satisfaction of your own conscience, which, though a silent panegyric, is yet the best.
I never knew the old gentleman with the scythe and hour-glass bring anything but gray hairs, thin cheeks, and loss of teeth.
I scarcely understand my own intent, but, silkworm-like, so long within have wrought, that I am lost in my own web of thought.
I thought your love eternal. Was it tied so loosely that a quarrel could divide?
I was too hasty to condemn unheard; and you perhaps too prompt in your replies.
If one must be rejected, one succeed, make him my lord within whose faithful breast is fixed my image, and who loves me best.
If thou dost still retain the same ill habits, the same follies, too, still thou art bound to vice, and still a slave.
If you are for a merry jaunt, I will try for once who can foot it farthest.
Ill fortune seldom comes alone.
Ill habits gather by unseen degrees,—as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas.
Ill news is winged with fate, and flies apace.
Imagining is in itself the very height and life of poetry, which, by a kind of enthusiasm or extraordinary emotion of the soul, makes it seem to us that we behold those things which the poet paints.
Imitation pleases, because it affords matter for inquiring into the truth or falsehood of imitation, by comparing its likeness or unlikeness with the original.
Imitators are but a servile kind of cattle.
Interest makes all seem reason that leads to it.
Is no return due from a grateful breast?
It is a madness to make fortune the mistress of events, because in herself she is nothing, but is ruled by prudence.
It speaks no less than God in every line.
It’s a hard world, neighbors, if a man’s oath must be his master.
Let cheerfulness on happy fortune wait.
Let grace and goodness be the principal loadstone of thy affections. For love, which hath ends, will have an end; whereas that which is founded on true virtue will always continue.
Like some tall tree, the monster of the wood, o’ershading all that under him would grow.
Like the faint streaks of light broke loose from darkness, and dawning into blushes.
Long pains, with use of bearing, are half eased.
Lord of yourself, uncumbered with a wife.
Love is a child that talks in broken language, yet then he speaks most plain.
Love reckons hours for months, and days for years; and every little absence is an age.
Lucky men are favorites of Heaven.
Many things impossible to thought have been by need to full perfection brought.
Men are but children of a larger growth.
Men’s virtues I have commended as freely as I have taxed their crimes.
Merit challenges envy.
My hands are guilty, but my heart is free.
My right eye itches, some good luck is near.
Near the Cimmerians, in his dark abode, deep in a cavern dwells the drowsy god.
New vows to plight, and plighted vows to break.
No king nor nation one moment can retard the appointed hour.
No more delay, vain boaster, but begin.
None but the brave deserves the fair.
Not the mountain ice, congealed to crystals, is so frosty chaste as thy victorious soul, which conquers man, and man’s proud tyrant, passion.
Nothing to build, and all things to destroy.
O cursed hunger of pernicious gold!
O freedom, first delight of human kind!
O impudent! regardful of thy own, whose thoughts are centred on thyself alone!
O, happy youth! for whom thy fate reserved so fair a bride.
Oh, frail estate of human things!
Once more for pity, that I may keep the flavor upon my lips till we meet again.
Our summer such a russet livery wears as in a garment often dyed appears.
Parting is worse than death; it is death of love!
Pity melts the mind to love.
Pity only on fresh objects stays, but with the tedious sight of woes decays.
Pleasure never comes sincere to man; but lent by heaven upon hard usury.
Poplicola’s doors were opened on the outside, to save the people even the common civility of asking entrance; where misfortune was a powerful recommendation, and where want itself was a powerful mediator.
Repartee is the soul of conversation.
Resolv’d to ruin or to rule the state.
Restless at home, and ever prone to range.
Revealed religion first, informed thy sight, and reason saw not till faith sprung to light.
Riches cannot rescue from the grave, which claims alike the monarch and the slave.
Satire among the Romans, but not among the Greeks, was a bitter invective poem.
Satire is a kind of poetry in which human vices are reprehended.
Sculptors are obliged to follow the manners of the painters, and to make many ample folds, which are unsufferable hardness, and more like a rock than a natural garment.
Seas are the fields of combat for the winds; but when they sweep along some flowery coast, their wings move mildly, and their rage is lost.
Second thoughts, they say, are best.
Shakespeare was naturally learned; he needed not the spectacles of the books to read nature; he looked inward, and found her there.
She brought her cheek up close, and leaned on his; at which he whispered kisses back on hers.
She hugged the offender and forgave the offense—sex to the last!
She stammers; oh, what grace in lisping lies!
Silence in times of suffering is the best.
Since a true knowledge of nature gives us pleasure, a lively imitation of it, either in poetry or painting, must produce a much greater; for both these arts are not only true imitations of nature, but of the best nature.
Since every man that lives is born to die, and none can boast sincere felicity, with equal minds what happens let us bear.
So the false spider, when her nets are spread, deep ambushed in her silent den does lie.
Some of our philosophizing divines have too much exalted the faculties of our souls, when they have maintained that by their force mankind has been able to find out God.
Stiff in opinion, always in the wrong.
Such only can enjoy the country who are capable of thinking when they are there; then they are prepared for solitude, and in that case solitude is prepared for them.
Sweet the pleasure after pain.
That crawling insect, who from mud began, warmed by my beams, and kindled into man!
That gloomy outside, like a rusty chest, contains the shining treasure of a soul resolved and brave.
The art of clothing the thought in apt, significant and sounding words.
The blushing beauties of a modest maid.
The bravest men are subject most to chance.
The bride, lovely herself, and lovely by her side a bevy of bright nymphs, with sober grace came glittering like a star, and took her place.
The commendation of adversaries is the greatest triumph of a writer, because it never comes unless extorted.
The elephant is never won by anger; nor must that man who would reclaim a lion take him by the teeth.
The emperor one day took up a pencil which fell from the hand of Titian, who was then drawing his picture; and upon the compliment which Titian made him on that occasion he said, “Titian deserves to be served by Cæsar.”
The end of satire is the amendment of vices by correction; and he who writes honestly is no more an enemy to the offender than the physician to the patient when he prescribes harsh remedies.
The fortitude of a Christian consists in patience, not in enterprises which the poets call heroic, and which are commonly the effects of interest, pride and worldly honor.
The gems of heaven, that gild night’s sable throne.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the radiant sun, is Nature’s eye.
The gods from heaven survey the fatal strife, and mourn the miseries of human life.
The good we have enjoyed from Heaven’s free will, and shall we murmur to endure the ill?
The greater part performed achieves the less.
The idea of the painter and the sculptor is undoubtedly that perfect and excellent example of the mind, by imitation of which imagined form all things are represented which fall under human sight.
The love of liberty with life is given.
The lucky have whole days which still they choose; the unlucky have but hours, and those they lose.
The mourner yew and builder oak were there.
The night, proceeding on with silent pace, stood in her noon, and viewed with equal face her sleepy rise and her declining race.
The perverseness of my fate is such that he’s not mine because he’s mine too much.
The propriety of thoughts and words, which are the hidden beauties of a play, are but confusedly judged in the vehemence of action.
The province of the soul is large enough to fill up every cranny of your time, and leave you much to answer for if one wretch be damned by your neglect.
The scum that rises upmost, when the nation boils.
The secret pleasure of a generous act is the great mind’s great bribe.
The spongy clouds are filled with gathering rain.
The sun was set, and Vesper, to supply his absent beams, had lighted up the sky.
The tears that stood considering in her eyes.
The trees were unctuous fir, and mountain ash.
The winds are out of breath.
The wise for cure on exercise depend: God never made His work for man to mend.
The wretched have no friends.
Their smiles and censures are to me the same.
There is a proud modesty in merit.
These are the effects of doting age,—vain doubts and idle cares and overcaution.
They live too long who happiness outlive.
This hand, I cannot but in death resign!
This is the porcelain clay of human kind.
Those fair ideas to my aid I’ll call, and emulate my great original.
Those wanting wit, affect gravity and go by the name of solid men.
Those who accuse him to have wanted learning give him the greater commendation.
Those who are prosperously unjust are entitled to panegyric, but afflicted virtue is stabbed with reproaches.
Those who believe that the praises which arise from valor are superior to those which proceed from any other virtues have not considered.
Thou strong seducer, opportunity! of womankind, half are undone by thee.
Thy shape in every part so clean as might instruct the sculptor’s art.
Time’s abyss, the common grave of all.
To breed up the son to common sense is evermore the parent’s least expense.
To so perverse a sex all grace is vain.
To-morrow do thy worst, for I have lived to-day.
Treason is greatest where trust is greatest.
Trust reposed in noble natures obliges them the more.
Truth is the object of our understanding, as good is of our will; and the understanding can no more be delighted with a lie than the will can choose an apparent evil.
’T was grief no more, or grief and rage were one within her soul; at last ’t was rage alone.
Uncertain whose the narrowest span,—the clown unread, or half-read gentleman.
Unhappy sex, whose beauty is your snare.
Virtue in distress, and vice in triumph make atheists of mankind.
Virtue is her own reward.
Virtue without success is a fair picture shown by an ill light; but lucky men are favorites of heaven; all own the chief, when fortune owns the cause.
Virtue, the more it is exposed, like purest linen, laid in open air, will bleach the more, and whiten to the view.
We by art unteach what Nature taught.
We can never be grieved for their miseries who are thoroughly wicked, and have thereby justly called their calamities on themselves.
We derive all that is pardonable in us from ancient fountains.
We see, though ordered for the best, permitted laurels grace the lawless brow, the unworthy raised, the worthy cast below.
Welcome as kindly showers to long-parched earth.
When bounteous autumn rears her head, he joys to pull the ripened pear.
When fate summons, monarchs must obey.
When monarch reason sleeps, this mimic wakes.
When we view elevated ideas of Nature, the result of that view is admiration, which is always the cause of pleasure.
Whence but from heaven could men unskilled in arts, in several ages born, in several parts, weave such agreeing truths?
Whistling to keep myself from being afraid.
Who think too little, and who talk too much.
Who thinks all science, as all virtue, vain.
Wicked spirits may by their cunning carry further in a seeming confederacy or subserviency to the designs of a good angel.
With such deceits he gained their easy hearts, too prone to credit his perfidious arts.
Woman’s honor, as nice as ermine, will not bear a soil.
Words are but pictures of our thoughts.
Ye moon and stars, bear witness to the truth.
Youth should watch joys and shoot them as they fly.
Zeal, the blind conductor of the will.