S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.
Countess of Blessington
[An Irish lady, celebrated for her beauty and accomplishments; born 1789; on the death of her husband she removed to London, where her house was for many years the resort of literatis and European celebrities; died 1849.]
When the sun shines on you, you see your friends. It requires sunshine to be seen by them to advantage.
“Like summer friends,Flies of estate and sunneshine.”Lady Blessington also said, “Friends are the thermometers by which we may judge the temperature of our fortunes.”Prince Louis Napoleon, on his election to the presidency of the French Republic in 1849, did not invite Lady Blessington to the Tuileries, although he had often been entertained by her in London. Meeting her one day in the Champs Élysées, he asked if she expected to remain long in Paris (Comptez-vous rester ici longtemps?). To which her cool reply was, “And you?” (Et vous?)
GEORGE HERBERT: The Answer.
Many minds that have withstood the most severe trials have been broken down by a succession of ignoble cares.
This and the following are from Lady Blessington’s Commonplace Book.There is no knowledge for which so great a price is paid as a knowledge of the world; and no one ever became an adept in it except at the expense of a hardened or a wounded heart.Men can pity the wrongs inflicted by other men on the gentler sex, but never those which they themselves inflict.A beautiful woman without fixed principles may be likened to those fair but rootless flowers which float in streams, driven by every breeze.Love-matches are made by people who are content, for a month of honey, to condemn themselves to a life of vinegar. [It was Dr. Johnson’s opinion that “only a weak man marries for love.”]A knowledge of the nothingness of life is seldom acquired except by those of superior minds.Religion converts despair, which destroys, into resignation, which submits.