C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.
A dearth of words a woman need not fear;But ’tis a task indeed to learn to hear:In that the skill of conversation lies;That shows or makes you both polite and wise.
A Deity believed, is joy begun;A Deity adored, is joy advanced;A Deity beloved, is joy matured.Each branch of piety delight inspires.
A foe to God was ne’er true friend to man,Some sinister intent taints all he does.
A man I knew who lived upon a smile;And well if fed him: he look’d plumb and fair,While rankest venom foam’d through every vein.
A soul without reflection, like a pileWithout inhabitant, to ruin runs.
Affliction is the good man’s shining scene;Prosperity conceals his brightest ray,As night to stars, woe lustre gives to man.
Against their wills what numbers ruin shun,Purely through want of wit to be undone!Nature has shown by making it so rare,That wit’s a jewel which we need not wear.
Amid my list of blessings infinite,Stands this the foremost, “That my heart has bled.”
An author! ’Tis a venerable name!How few deserve it, and what numbers claim!Unblest with sense above their peers refin’d,Who shall stand up, dictators to mankind?Nay, who dare shine, if not in virtue’s cause?That sole proprietor of just applause.
And cradles rock us nearer to the tomb:Our birth is nothing but our death begun.
And what is reason? Be she thus defined:Reason is upright stature in the soul.
Art thou not dearer to my eyes than light?Dost thou not circulate through all my veins?Mingle with life, and form my very soul?
As in smooth oil, the razor best is whet,So wit is by politeness sharpest set;Their want of edge from their offence is seen;Both pain us least when exquisitely keen.
At thirty man suspects himself a fool;Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan;At fifty chides his infamous delay,Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve,Resolves—and re-resolves; then dies the same.
Be wise to-day; ’tis madness to defer;Next day the fatal precedent will plead;Thus on, till wisdom is push’d out of life.
But wisdom, awful wisdom! which inspects,Discerns, compares, weighs, separates, infers,Seizes the right, and holds it to the last.
Can gold calm passion, or make reason shine?Can we dig peace, or wisdom, from the mine?Wisdom to gold prefer; for ’tis much lessTo make our fortune, than our happiness.
Can wealth give happiness? look round, and seeWhat gay distress! what splendid misery!Whatever fortune lavishly can pour,The mind annihilates, and calls for more.
Cares are employments; and without employThe soul is on a rack; the rack of rest,To souls most adverse; action all their joy.
Courts can give nothing to the wise and good,But scorn of pomp, and love of solitude.
Creation sleeps, ’Tis as the general pulseOf life stood still, and nature made a pause.
Critics on verse, as squibs on triumphs wait,Proclaim their glory, and augment the state;Hot, envious, noisy, proud, the scribbling fryBurn, hiss, and bounce, waste paper, ink, and die.
Death treads in pleasure’s footsteps round the world,When pleasure treads the paths which reason shuns.
Death wounds to cure: we fall; we rise; we reign!Spring from our fetters; fasten in the skies;Where blooming Eden withers in our sight:Death gives us more than was in Eden lost.This king of terrors is the prince of peace.
Early, bright, transient, chaste as morning dew,She sparkled, was exhal’d, and went to heaven.
Faith builds a bridge across the gulf of death,To break the stock blind nature cannot shun,And lands Thought smoothly on the further shore.
Fathers alone a father’s heart can knowWhat secret tides of still enjoyment flowWhen brothers love, but if their hate succeeds,They wage the war, but ’tis the father bleeds.
Final Ruin fiercely drivesHer ploughshare o’er creation.
First on thy friend deliberate with thyself;Pause, ponder, sift; not eager in the choice;Nor jealous of the chosen; fixing, fix:—Judge before friendship, then confide till death.
Fond man! the vision of a moment made!Dream of a dream! and shadow of a shade!
For her own breakfast she’ll project a scheme,Nor take her tea without a stratagem.
For what are men who grasp at praise sublime,But bubbles on the rapid stream of time,That rise, and fall, that swell, and are no more,Born, and forgot, ten thousand in an hour?
From his big heart o’ercharg’d with generous sorrow;See the tide working upward to his eye,And stealing from him in large silent drops,Without his leave.
Give me, indulgent gods! with mind serene,And guiltless heart, to range the sylvan scene;No splendid poverty, no smiling care,No well-bred hate, or servile grandeur there.
Hast thou ne’er seen the comet’s flaming light?Th’ illustrious stranger passing, terror shedsOn gazing nations, from his fiery trainOf length enormous, takes his ample roundThrough depths of ether; coasts unnumber’d worlds,Of more than solar glory; doubles wideHeaven’s mighty cape; and then re-visits earth,From the long travel of a thousand years.
He rams his quill with scandal and with scoff,But ’tis so very foul, it won’t go off.
Heaven gives us friends to bless the present scene;Resumes them, to prepare us for the next.
Her tears, like drops of molten lead,With torment barn the passage to my heart.
High-built abundance, heap on heap! for what?To breed new wants, and beggar us the more,Then, make a richer scramble for the throng.
How is night’s sable mantle laboured o’er,How richly wrought with attributes divine!What wisdom shines! what love! this midnight pomp,This gorgeous arch, with golden worlds inlaid!Built with divine ambition.
How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,How complicate, how wonderful, is man!
How the tall temples, as to meet their gods,Ascend the skies!
I see the Judge enthroned; the flaming guard:The volume open’d!—open’d every heart!
If not to some peculiar end assign’d,Study’s the specious trifling of the mind;Or is at best a secondary aim,A chase for sport alone and not for game.
If you resent, and wish a woman ill,But turn her o’er one moment to her will.
Is not the mighty mind, that son of heaven!By tyrant life dethroned, imprison’d, pain’d?By death enlarg’d, ennobled, deify’d?Death but entombs the body; life the soul.
Is there a tongue like Delia’s o’er her cup,That runs for ages without winding up?
Joy is an import; joy is an exchange;Joy flies monopolists: it calls for two;Rich fruit! Heaven planted! never pluck’d by one.
Lemira’s sick; make haste, the doctor call,He comes: but where’s his patient?—at the ball;The doctor stares; her woman curtsies low,And cries, “My lady, sir, is always so:Diversions put her maladies to flight;True, she can’t stand, but she can dance all night:I’ve known my lady (for she loves a tune)For fevers take an opera in June:And, though perhaps you’ll think the practice bold,A midnight park is sov’reign for a cold.”
Let not the cooings of the world allure thee;Which of her lovers ever found her true?
Man’s rich restorative; his balmy bath,That supples, lubricates, and keep in playThe various movements of this nice machine,Which asks such frequent periods of repair,When tir’d with vain rotations of the day,Sleep winds us up for the succeeding dawn;Fresh we spin on, till sickness clogs our wheels,Or death quite breaks the spring, and motion ends.
Man’s science is the culture of his heart;And not to lose his plummet in the depthsOf nature, or the more profound of God.
Mankind praise against their will,And mix as much detraction as they can.
Men drop so fast, ere life’s mid stage we tread,Few know so many friends alive, as dead.
Men that would blush at being thought sincere,And feign, for glory, the few faults they want;That love a lie, where truth would pay as well;As if to them, vice shone her own reward.
Misfortune, like a creditor severe,But rises in demand for her delay;She makes a scourge of past prosperityTo sting thee more and double thy distress.
Much learning shows how little mortals know;Much wealth, how little worldlings can enjoy:At best, it babies us with endless toys,And keeps us children till we drop to dust.As monkeys at a mirror stand amazed,They fail to find what they so plainly see;Thus men, in shining riches, see the faceOf happiness, nor know it is a shade;But gaze, and touch, and peep, and peep again,And wish, and wonder it is absent still.
Night is fair virtue’s immemorial friend;The conscious moon, through every distant age,Has held a lamp to wisdom, and let fallOn contemplation’s eye her purging ray.
Night, sable goddess! from her ebon throne,In rayless majesty, now stretches forthHer leaden sceptre o’er a slumb’ring world.Silence, how dead! and darkness, how profound!Nor eye, nor list’ning ear, an object finds;Creation sleeps. ’Tis as the general pulseOf life stood still, and nature made a pause;An awful pause! prophetic of her end.
Nothing exceeds in ridicule, no doubt,A fool in fashion, but a fool that’s out;His passion for absurdity’s so strong,He cannot bear a rival in the wrong.
O how portentous is prosperity!How, comet-like, it threatens, while it shines!
O may my understanding ever readThis glorious volume, which thy wisdom made.
O sacred solitude! divine retreat!Choice of the prudent! envy of the greatBy thy pure stream, or in thy waving shade,We court fair wisdom, that celestial maid:The genuine offspring of her lov’d embrace,(Strangers on earth!) are innocence and peace.
Of folly, vice, disease, men proud we see,And (stranger still!) of blockhead’s flattery,Whose praise defames; as if a fool should mean,By spitting on your face, to make it clean.
Of plain sound sense life’s current coin is made;With that we drive the most substantial trade.
Oh, lost to virtue—lost to manly thought,Lost to the noble sallies of the soul!Who think it solitude to be alone.
On every thorn delightful wisdom grows;In every rill a sweet instruction flows.
One sun by day, by night ten thousand shine;And light us deep into the deity;How boundless in magnificence and might!O what a confluence of ethereal fires,From urns unnumber’d, down the steep of heaven,Streams to a point, and centres in my sight!Nor tarries there; I feel it at my heart:My heart, at once, it humbles, and exalts;Lays it in dust, and calls it to the skies.
Oh! the tender ties,Close twisted with the fibres of the heart!Which broken, break them, and drain off the soulOf human joy, and make it pain to live.
Oh! the pain of painsIs when the fair one, whom our soul is fond of,Gives transport, and receives it from another.
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.
Our funeral tears from different causes rise:Of various kinds they flow. From tender hearts,By soft contagion call’d, some burst at onceAnd stream obsequious to the leading eye.Some ask more time, by curious art distill’d.Some hearts, in secret hard, unapt to melt,Struck by the public eye, gush out amain.
Poor is the friendless master of a world:A world in purchase for a friend is gain.
Prayer ardent opens heaven, lets down a streamOf glory on the consecrated hourOf man, in audience with the Deity:Who worships the great God, that instant joinsThe first in heaven, and sets his foot on hell.
Procrastination is the thief of time:Year after year it steals, till all are fled,And to the mercies of a moment leavesThe vast concerns of an eternal scene.
Read nature; nature is a friend to truth;Nature is Christian, preaches to mankind;And bids dead matter aid us in our creed.
Religion crowns the statesman and the man,Sole source of public and of private peace.
See from behind her secret standThe sly informer minutes ev’ry faultAnd her dread diary with horror fills.
Sense is our helmet, wit is but the plume,The plume exposes, ’tis our helmet saves.Sense is the diamond, weighty, solid, sound,When cut by wit, it casts a brighter beam;Yet, wit apart, it is a diamond still.
Shall man alone, for whom all else revives,No resurrection know? Shall man alone,Imperial man! be sown in barren ground,Less privileged than grain, on which he feeds?
Shall man alone, whose fate, whose final fate,Hangs on that hour, exclude it from his thoughts?I think of nothing else—I see, I feel it!All nature like an earthquake, trembling round!All deities, like summer’s swarms on wing,All basking in the full meridian blaze!I see the Judge enthroned, the flaming guard!The volume open’d—open’d every heart!A sunbeam pointing out each secret thought!No patron! intercessor none! now pastThe sweet, the clement mediatorial hour!For guilt no plea! to pain no pause! no bound!Inexorable all! and all extreme!
Some future strain, in which the muse shall tellHow science dwindles, and how volumes swell.How commentators each dark passage shun,And hold their farthing candle to the sun.
Some o’erenamor’d of their bags run mad,Groan under gold, yet weep for want of bread.
Some weep in perfect justice to the dead,As conscious all their love is in arrear.
Still seems it strange, that thou shouldst live for ever?Is it less strange, that thou shouldst live at all?This is a miracle, and that no more.
Talents angel-bright,If wanting worth, are shining instrumentsIn false ambition’s hand, to finish faultsIllustrious, and give infamy renown.
Teach me my days to number, and applyMy trembling heart to wisdom.
The bell strikes one. We take no note of time,But from its loss. To give it then a tongue,Is wise in man.
The blood will follow where the knife is driven,The flesh will quiver where the pincers tear.
The death-bed of the just is yet undrawnBy mortal hand—it merits a divine.Angels should paint it—angels ever there—There on a post of honour and of joy.A death-bed’s a detector of the heart;—Here tired dissimulation drops her mask:Virtue alone has majesty in death.
The first sure symptom of a mind in health,Is rest of heart, and pleasure felt at home.
The love of praise, howe’er conceal’d by art,Reigns, more or less, and glows, in ev’ry heart:The proud, to gain it, toils on toils endure;The modest shun it, but to make it sure.
The love of praise, howe’er concealed by art,Reigns more or less and glows in every heart.
The man how bless’d, who, sick of gaudy scenes,(Scenes apt to thrust between us and ourselves,)Is led by choice to take his fav’rite walkBeneath death’s gloomy, silent, cypress shades,Unpierc’d by vanity’s fantastic ray;To read his monuments, to weigh his dust,Visit his vaults, and dwell among the tombs.
The man who builds, and wants wherewith to pay,Provides a home from which to run away.
The man who consecrates his hoursBy vig’rous effort and an honest aim,At once he draws the stink of life and death;He walks with nature, and her paths are peace.
The most magnificent and costly dome,Is but an upper chamber to a tomb;No spot on earth but has supplied a grave,And human skulls the spacious ocean pave.
The nodding plums,Which makes poor man’s humiliation proud;Boast of our ruin! triumph of our dust!
The selfish heart deserves the pain it feels;More gen’rous sorrow, while it sinks, exalts,And conscious virtue mitigates the pang.
The world’s all title-page; there’s no contents;The world’s all face; the man who shows his heartIs hooted for his nudities, and scorn’d.
Their various cares in one great point combineThe business of their lives, that is—to dine.
They that on glorious ancestors enlarge,Produce their debt, instead of their discharge.
This prospect vast, what is it?—weigh’d aright,’Tis nature’s system of divinity,And every student of the night inspires.’Tis elder scripture, writ by God’s own hand:Scripture authentic! uncorrupt by man.
Thou, my all!My theme! my inspiration! and my crown!My strength in age; my rise in low estate!My soul’s ambition, pleasure, wealth!—my world!My light in darkness! and my life in death!My boast through time! bliss through eternity!Eternity, too short to speak Thy praise!Or fathom Thy profound of love to man!
Though man sits still, and takes his ease,God is at work on man;No means, no moment unemploy’d,To bless him, if He can.
Thy pleasure points the shaft, and bends the bow;The cluster blasts, or bids it brightly glow.
Time is eternity,Pregnant with all eternity can give;Pregnant with all that makes Archangels smile.Who murders time, he crushes in the birthA power ethereal, only not adored.
’Tis great, ’tis manly, to disdain disguise;It shows our spirit, or it proves our strength.
’Tis greatly wise to talk with our past hours,And ask them what report they’ve borne to heaven,And how they might have borne more welcome news,Their answers form what men experience call;If wisdom’s friend, her best; if not, worst foe.
To know the world, not love her, is thy point;She gives but little, nor that little long.
To-day is yesterday returned; returnedFull-powered to cancel, expiate, raise, adorn,And reinstate us on the rock of peace:Let it not share its predecessor’s fate,Nor like its elder sisters die a fool.
To-morrow is a satire on to-day,And shows its weakness.
True happiness ne’er entered at an eye;True happiness resides in things unseen.
Virtue alone outbuilds the Pyramids;Her monuments shall last, when Egypt’s fall.
Virtue, our present peace, our future prize,Man’s unprecarious, natural estate,Improvable at will, in virtue lies;Its tenure sure; its income is divine.
We bleed, we tremble, we forget, we smile—The mind turns fool, before the cheek is dry.
We push time from us, and we wish him back;
*****Life we think long and short; death seek and shun.
What day, what hour, but knocks at human hearts,To wake the soul to sense of future scenes?Deaths stand like Mercurys, in every way,And kindly point us to our journey’s end.
What is a miracle?—’Tis a reproach,’Tis an implicit satire on mankind;And while it satisfies, it censures too.
What is station high?’Tis a proud mendicant; it boasts, and begs;It begs an alms of homage from the throng,And oft the throng denies its charity.
What so foolish as the chase of fame?How vain the prize! how impotent our aim!For what are men who grasp at praise sublime,But bubbles on the rapid stream of time,That rise and fall, that swell, and are no more,Born and forgot, ten thousand in an hour.
What’s female beauty but an air divine,Through which the mind’s all gentle graces shine?They, like the sun, irradiate all between;The body charms because the soul is seen.Hence men are often captives of a face—They know not why—of no peculiar grace;Some forms, though bright, no mortal man can bear;Some none resist, though not exceeding fair.
Whatever farce the boastful hero plays,Virtue alone has majesty in death.
When men of infamy to grandeur soar,They light a torch to show their shame the more,Those governments which curb not evils, cause!And a rich knave’s a libel on our laws.
When reason, like the skilful charioteer,Can break the fiery passions to the bit,And, spite of their licentious sallies, keepThe radiant tract of glory; passions, then,Are aids and ornaments. Triumphant reason,Firm in her seat, and swift in her career,Enjoys their violence, and, smiling, thanksTheir formidable flame, for bright renown.
Where heart meets heart, reciprocally soft,Each other’s pillow to repose divine.
Where is the dust that has not been alive?The spade, the plough, disturb our ancestors;From human mould we reap our daily bread.
Where nature’s end of language is declined,And men talk only to conceal the mind.
Where, where for shelter shall the guilty fly,When consternation turns the good man pale?
While man is growing, life is in decrease,And cradles rock us nearer to the tomb;Our birth is nothing but our death begun.
Who does the best his circumstance allows,Does well, acts nobly; angels could no more.
Who fails to grieve when just occasion calls,Or grieves too much, deserves not to be blest:Inhuman, or effeminate, his heart.
Who never loved ne’er suffered, he feels nothing,Who nothing feels but for himself alone.
Who rounded in his palm these spacious orb
*****Numerous as glittering gems of morning dew,Or sparks from populous cities in a blaze,And set the bosom of old night on fire.
Who tells me he denies his soul’s immortal,Whate’er his boast, has told me he’s a knave;His duty, ’tis to love himself alone,Nor care though mankind perish, if he smiles,Who thinks ere long the man shall wholly die,Is dead already; nought but brute survives.
Why wish for more?Wishing of all employments is the worst.
Wisdom, though richer than Peruvian mines,And sweeter than the sweet ambrosial hive,What is she, but the means of happiness?That unobtain’d, than folly more a fool.
Wit, how delicious to man’s dainty taste!’Tis precious as the vehicle of sense;But, as its substitute, a dire disease;Pernicious talent! flatter’d by the world,By the blind world, which thinks the talent rare.Wisdom is rare—wit abounds.Passion can give it; sometimes wine inspiresThe lucky flash, and madness rarely fails.
Woes cluster; rare are solitary woes;They love a train, they tread each other’s heel.
Women were made to give our eyes delight;A female sloven is an odious sight.
Your learning, like the lunar beam, affordsLight, but not heat; it leaves you undevout,Frozen at heart, while speculation shines.
A Christian is the highest style of man.
A foe to God was never true friend to man.
A fool at forty is a fool indeed.
A friend is worth all hazards we can run.
A God all mercy is a God unjust.
A God alone can comprehend a God.
A land of levity is a land of guilt.
A man of pleasure is a man of pains.
A shameless woman is the worst of men.
A tender smile, our sorrow’s only balm.
A time there is when like a thrice-told tale long-rifled life of sweets can yield no more.
Affliction is the good man’s shining scene; prosperity conceals his brightest rays; as night to stars, woe lustre gives to man.
Ah, how unjust to nature and himself is thoughtless, thankless, inconsistent man!
All may do what has by man been done.
Amid my list of blessings infinite stands this the foremost, “That my heart has bled.”
An angel’s arm can’t snatch me from the grave—legions of angels can’t confine me there!
An undevout astronomer is mad.
And all may do what has by man been done.
And in their height of kindness are unkind.
And made youth younger, and taught life to live.
Applause which owes to man’s short outlook all its charms.
Around the neck what dross are gold and pearl!
As in smooth oil the razor best is whet, so wit is by politeness keenest set.
Authors now find, as once Achilles found, the whole is mortal if a part’s unsound.
Be wise to-day; ’tis madness to defer.
Beautiful as sweet! and young as beautiful! and soft as young! and gay as soft! and innocent as gay!
Beware what earth calls happiness; beware all joys but joys that never can expire.
Bid abhorrence hiss it round the world.
Body and soul like peevish man and wife, united jar, and yet are loath to part.
But fate ordains that dearest friends must part.
By night an atheist half believes a God.
Can eternity belong to me, poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour?
Can wealth give happiness? look round and see, what gay distress! what splendid misery!
Dark lattice! letting in eternal day!
Death is the crown of life.
Death loves a shining mark, a signal blow.
Dreams where thought, in fancy’s maze, runs mad.
Earth’s highest station ends in—Here he lies.
Even the best must own patience and resignation are the pillars of human peace on earth.
Faith builds a bridge across the gulf of death.
Faith is not reason’s labor, but repose.
Fame is the shame of immortality, and is itself a shadow.
Fancy and pride seek things at vast expense.
Far beneath a soul immortal is a mortal joy.
Few are the faults we flatter when alone.
For envy, to small minds, is flattery.
For what are men who grasp at praise sublime, but bubbles on the rapid stream of time?
Friendship is the wine of life.
Gay mellow silks her mellow charms infold, and nought of Lyce but herself is old.
Gold glitters most where virtue shines no more, as stars from absent suns have leave to shine.
Graceful to sight and elegant to thought.
Groan under gold, yet weep for want of bread.
Guard well thy thoughts: our thoughts are heard in heaven.
He mourns the dead who lives as they desire.
He that is ungrateful has no guilt but one; all other crimes may pass for virtues in him.
He that lives in perpetual suspicion lives the life of a sentinel,—of a sentinel never relieved, whose business it is to look out for and expect an enemy, which is an evil not very far short of perishing by him.
He who, superior to the checks of Nature, dares make his life the victim of his reason, does in some soft that reason deify, and take a flight at heaven.
Heaven looks down on earth with all her eyes.
Hold their farthing candle to the sun.
Horace appears in good humor while he censures, and therefore his censure has the more weight as supposed to proceed from judgment, not from passion.
How blessings brighten as they take their flight!
How many sleep who keep the world awake!
How must a spirit, late escaped from earth, the truth of things new blazing in its eyes, look back astonished on the ways of men, whose lives’ whole drift is to forget their graves!
How populous, how vital is the grave!
How science dwindles, and how volumes swell!
How wretched is the man who never mourned!
Humble love, and not proud science, keeps the door of heaven.
I envy none the gilding of their woe.
If satire charms, strike faults, but spare the man.
If we did but know how little some enjoy of the great things that they possess, there would not be much envy in the world.
If wrong our hearts, our heads are right in vain.
In human hearts what bolder thoughts can rise than man’s presumption on to-morrow’s dawn? Where is to-morrow?
In our world, death deputes intemperance to do the work of age.
In records that defy the tooth of time.
It is falling in love with our own mistaken ideas that makes fools and beggars of half mankind.
It is greatly wise to talk with our past hours, and ask them what report they bore to heaven, and how they might have borne more welcome news.
It’s not enough plagues, wars, and famine rise to lash our crimes, but must our wives be wise?
Jealousy, thou grand counterpoise for all the transports beauty can inspire!
Joy wholly from without, is false, precarious, and short. From without it may be gathered; but, like gathered flowers, though fair, and sweet for a season, it must soon wither, and become offensive. Joy from within is like smelling the rose on the tree; it is more sweet and fair, it is lasting; and, I must add, immortal.
Knocks at our hearts, and finds our thoughts at home.
Lean not on earth; it will pierce thee to the heart; a broken reed at best; but oft a spear, on its sharp point Peace bleeds and Hope expires.
Learning makes a man fit company for himself.
Leisure is pain; takes off our chariot wheels; how heavily we drag the load of life.
Less base the fear of death than fear of life.
Let no man trust the first false step of guilt; it hangs upon a precipice, whose steep descent in last perdition ends.
Life is the triumph of our mouldering clay; death, of the spirit infinite! divine!
Like other tyrants, death delights to smite what, smitten, most proclaims the pride of power and arbitrary nod.
Long-travelled in the ways of men.
Man is not made to question, but adore.
Man makes a death, which nature never made.
Man was not made to question, but adore.
Man, know thyself! all wisdom centres there.
Man’s caution often into danger turns, and his guard falling crushes him to death.
Men may live fools, but fools they cannot die.
Men talk only to conceal the mind.
More hearts pine away in secret anguish for the want of kindness from those who should be their comforters than for any other calamity in life.
Much learning shows how little mortals know; much wealth, how little worldlings can enjoy.
Nature is frugal, and her wants are few.
No man ever thought too highly of his nature or too meanly of himself.
None think the great unhappy but the great.
Not all on books their criticism waste; the genius of a dish some justly taste, and eat their way to fame.
Nothing in nature, much less conscious being, was e’er created solely for itself.
O majestic night! nature’s great ancestor!
On argument alone my faith is built.
On such a theme it were impious to be calm; passion is reason, transport, temper, here!
On the soft bed of luxury, most kingdoms have expired.
Our thoughts are heard in heaven!
Our waking dreams are fatal.
Our wishes lengthen, as our sun declines.
Part with it as with money, sparing; pay no moment but in purchase of its worth: and what its worth ask death-beds; they can tell.
Pity swells the tide of love.
Poor in abundance, famished at a feast, man’s grief is but his grandeur in disguise, and discontent is immortality.
Poor is the friendless master of a world.
Poor pensioner on the bounty of an hour.
Possession, why more tasteless than pursuit? Why is a wish far dearer than a crown? that wish accomplished, why the grave of bliss? Because in the great future, buried deep, beyond our plans of empire and renown, lies all that man with ardor should pursue; and He who made him bent him to the right.
Prayer ardent opens heaven.
Procrastination is the thief of time; year after year it steals, till all are fled, and to the mercies of a moment leaves the vast concerns of an eternal scene.
Reason’s progressive; instinct is complete; swift instinct leaps; slow reason feebly climbs.
Remember that God is as near to our mouth when we speak as that man is who leans his ear to our whispers.
Satire recoils whenever charged too high; round your own fame the fatal splinters fly.
Scorn the proud man that is ashamed to weep.
See how they beg an alms of flattery!
Seize wisdom ere ’tis torment to be wise; that is, seize wisdom ere she seizes thee.
Some for renown on scraps of learning dote, and think they grow immortal as they quote.
Some wits, like oracles, deal in ambiguities, but not with equal success; for though ambiguities are the first excellence of an impostor, they are the last of a wit.
Soon as man, expert from time, has found the key of life, it opes the gates of death.
That chastity of look which seems to hang a veil of purest light over all beauties, and by forbidding most inflames desire.
That hideous sight—a naked human heart.
That life is long which answers life’s great end.
That man lives greatly, whatever his fate or fame, who greatly dies.
The body charms because the soul is seen.
The body’s wisdom to conceal the mind.
The clouds may drop down titles and estates, wealth may seek us; but wisdom must be sought.
The dispute about religion, and the practice of it, seldom go together.
The farthest from the fear are often nearest to the stroke of fate.
The fool or knave who wears a title lies.
The house of laughter makes a house of woe.
The knell, the shroud, the mattock, and the grave, the deep, damp vault, the darkness and the worm.
The man that blushes is not quite a brute.
The man that makes a character makes foes.
The man who builds and wants wherewith to pay, provides a home from which to run away.
The most magnificent and costly dome is but an upper chamber to a tomb.
The soft whispers of the God in man.
The spirit walks of every day deceased.
The stars have fought their battles leagued with man.
The storehouse of the world.
The tree that bears no fruit deserves no name; the man of wisdom is the man of years.
The weak have remedies, the wise have joys; superior wisdom is superior bliss.
The world is all title-page without contents.
The wretched impotence of gold.
Their methods various, but alike their aim; the sloven and the fopling are the same.
There is ever a certain languor attending the fulness of prosperity. When the heart has no more to wish, it yawns over its possessions, and the energy of the soul goes out, like a flame that has no more to devour.
There is nothing of which men are more liberal than their good advice, be their stock of it ever so small; because it seems to carry in it an intimation of their own influence, importance, or worth.
They most enjoy the world who least admire.
Think nought a trifle, though it small appear; small sands the mountain, moments make the year.
Thou shining supplement of public law!
Though wrong the mode, comply; more sense is shown in wearing others’ follies than our own.
Thought discovered is the more possessed.
Thought in the mind may come forth gold or dross; when coined in words, we know its real worth.
Thoughts shut up want air, and spoil like bales unopened to the sun.
Time elaborately thrown away.
Time on his head has snowed, yet still ’tis borne aloft.
Time wasted is existence; used, is life.
Tired nature’s sweet restorer, balmy sleep!
’Tis greatly wise to talk with our past hours.
’Tis impious in a good man to be sad.
To murder thousands takes a specious name.
Too low they build who build beneath the stars.
Triflers not even in trifles can excel.
True happiness resides in things not seen.
True wisdom is the price of happiness.
Vain is the world, but only to the vain.
We rise in glory as we sink in pride.
We see time’s furrows on another’s brow; how few themselves in that just mirror see!
We take no note of time but from its loss.
What ardently we wish, we soon believe.
What folly can be ranker? Like our shadows, our wishes lengthen as our sun declines.
What is revenge but courage to call in our honor’s debts, and wisdom to convert others’ self-love into our own protection?
What is this world? thy school, O Misery!
What’s female beauty but an air divine?
What’s true beauty but fair virtue’s face,—virtue made visible in outward grace?
Whatever other learning he wanted, he was master of two books unknown to many profound readers, though books which the last conflagration can alone destroy,—I mean the book of nature and that of man.
When men once reach their autumn, sickly joys fall off apace, as yellow leaves from trees.
When pain can’t bless, heaven quits us in despair.
When women sue, they sue to be denied.
Where boasting ends, there dignity begins.
Where Nature’s end of language is declined, and men talk only to conceal the mind.
Who borrow much, then fairly make it known, and damn it with improvements not their own.
Who does the best his circumstance allows, does well, acts nobly; angels could no more.
Whose yesterdays look backward with a smile.
Why all this toil for triumphs of an hour?
Will no superior genius snatch the quill, and save me on the brink from writing ill?
Wisdom is rare, Lorenzo! wit abounds.
With fame, in just proportion, envy grows.
With the talents of an angel a man may be a fool.
Wonder is involuntary praise.