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


The end must justify the means.


O most lame and impotent conclusion!


A bad ending follows a bad beginning.


From little spark may burst a mighty flame.


The evening shows the day, and death crowns life.


Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.


  • Great floods have flown
  • From simple sources.
  • Shakespeare.

  • What dire offence from am’rous causes springs,
  • What mighty contests rise from trivial things.
  • Pope.

    That from small fires comes oft no small mishap.


  • O! lady, we receive but what we give,
  • And in our life alone doth nature live;
  • Ours is her wedding-garment, ours her shroud!
  • Coleridge.

  • The blood will follow where the knife is driven,
  • The flesh will quiver where the pincers tear.
  • Young.

  • From hence, let fierce contending nations know,
  • What dire effects from civil discord flow.
  • Addison.

  • So comes a reckoning when the banquet’s o’er,
  • The dreadful reckoning, and men smile no more.
  • Gay.

  • Who soweth good seed shall surely reap;
  • The year grows rich as it groweth old;
  • And life’s latest sands are its sands of gold.
  • Julia C. R. Dorr.

  • Sure of the Spring that warms them into birth,
  • The golden germs thou trustest to the Earth;
  • Heed’st thou as well to sow in Time the seeds
  • Of Wisdom for Eternity—good deeds?
  • Schiller.

  • The thorns which I have reap’d are of the tree
  • I planted,—they have torn me, and I bleed:
  • I should have known what fruit would spring from such a seed.
  • Byron.

  • We shape ourselves the joy or fear
  • Of which the coming life is made,
  • And fill our Future’s atmosphere
  • With sunshine or with shade.
  • Whittier.

    Is not this a lamentable thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should be made parchment? that parchment, being scribbled o’er, should undo a man?


    The present is the living sum-total of the whole past.


    Consequences are unpitying. Our deeds carry their terrible consequences, quite apart from any fluctuations that went before—consequences that are hardly ever confined to ourselves.

    George Eliot.