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


Above the vulgar flight of common souls.


One source of the sublime is infinity.


Sublimity is Hebrew by birth.


Hear we not the hum of mighty workings?


The palpable obscure.


Nothing so effectually deadens the taste of the sublime as that which is light and radiant.


From the sublime to the ridiculous there is but one step.


How sublime is the audacious tautology of Mohammed, God is God!

W. R. Alger.

Anything which elevates the mind is sublime. Greatness of matter, space, power, virtue or beauty, are all sublime.


The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related that it is difficult to class them separately. One step above the sublime makes the ridiculous, and one step above the ridiculous makes the sublime again.

Thomas Paine.

Stupidity has its sublime as well as genius, and he who carries that quality to absurdity has reached it, which is always a source of pleasure to sensible people.


The sublime, when it is introduced at a seasonable moment, has often carried all before it with the rapidity of lightning, and shown at a glance the mighty power of genius.


“The sublime,” says Longinus, “is often nothing but the echo or image of magnanimity”; and where this quality appears in any one, even though a syllable be not uttered, it excites our applause and admiration.


The sublime only paints the true, and that too in noble objects; it paints it in all its phases, its cause and its effect; it is the most worthy expression or image of this truth. Ordinary minds cannot find out the exact expression, and use synonymes.

La Bruyère.

The sublime is the temple-step of religion, as the stars are of immeasurable space. When what is mighty appears in nature,—a storm, thunder, the starry firmament, death,—then utter the word “God” before the child. A great misfortune, a great blessing, a great crime, a noble action, are building-sites for a child’s church.