C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Striking the electric chain wherewith we are darkly bound.


  • Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be
  • Ere one can say “it lightens.”
  • Shakespeare.

  • The earth is rocking, the skies are riven—
  • Jove in a passion, in god-like fashion,
  • Is breaking the crystal urns of heaven.
  • Robert Buchanan.

  • For the poplars showed
  • The white of their leaves, the amber grain
  • Shrunk in the wind—and the lightning now
  • Is tangled in tremulous skeins of rain.
  • T. B. Aldrich.

  • Stretches, for leagues and leagues, the Wire,
  • A hidden path for a Child of Fire—
  • Over its silent spaces sent,
  • Swifter than Ariel ever went,
  • From continent to continent.
  • Wm. Henry Burleigh.

  • Swift as a shadow, short as any dream;
  • Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
  • That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
  • And ere a man hath power to say “Behold!”
  • The jaws of darkness do devour it up.
  • Shakespeare.

    Is it a fact—or have I dreamt it—that by means of electricity the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time? Rather, the round globe is a vast head, a brain, instinct with intelligence; or shall we say it is itself a thought, nothing but thought, and no longer the substance which we dreamed it.

    Nathaniel Hawthorne.