Pearls of Thought
by Maturin M. Ballou
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Infinite riches in a little room.—MARLOWE.

BOSTON: HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY. The Riverside Press, Cambridge. 1881.



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The Riverside Press, Cambridge: Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Co.

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This Volume




Writers of an abler sort, Whose wit well managed, and whose classic style, Give Truth a lustre, and make Wisdom smile.


General observations drawn from particulars are the jewels of knowledge, comprehending great store in a little room.


Out of monuments, names, wordes, proverbs, traditions, private recordes, and evidences, fragments of stories, passages of bookes, and the like, we doe save and recover somewhat from the deluge of time.


I would fain coin wisdom,—mould it, I mean, into maxims, proverbs, sentences, that can easily be retained and transmitted.



A verse may find him whom a sermon flies.


The volume herewith presented is the natural result of the compiler's habit of transferring and classifying significant passages from known authors. No special course of reading has been pursued, the thoughts being culled from foreign and native tongues—from the moss-grown tomes of ancient literature and the verdant fields of to-day. The terse periods of others, appropriately quoted, become in a degree our own; and a just estimation is very nearly allied to originality, or, as the author of Vanity Fair tells us, "Next to excellence is the appreciation of it." Without indorsing the idea of a modern authority that the multiplicity of facts and writings is becoming so great that every available book must soon be composed of extracts only, still it is believed that such a volume as "Pearls of Thought" will serve the interest of general literature, and especially stimulate the mind of the thoughtful reader to further research. The pleasant duty of the compiler has been to follow the expressive idea of Colton, and he has made the same use of books as a bee does of flowers,—she steals the sweets from them, but does not injure them.

To the observant reader many familiar quotations will naturally occur, the absence of which may seem a singular omission in such a connection and classification, but doubtless such excerpts will be found in the "Treasury of Thought," a much more extended work by the same author, to which this volume is properly a supplement. Of course care has been taken not to repeat any portion of the previous collection.

M. M. B.



Ability.—Natural abilities can almost compensate for the want of every kind of cultivation, but no cultivation of the mind can make up for the want of natural abilities.—Schopenhaufer.

Words must be fitted to a man's mouth,—'twas well said of the fellow that was to make a speech for my Lord Mayor, when he desired to take measure of his lordship's mouth.—Selden.

Absence.—Absence in love is like water upon fire; a little quickens, but much extinguishes it.—Hannah More.

Absence from those we love is self from self! A deadly banishment.—Shakespeare.

Short retirement urges sweet return.—Milton.

Whatever is genuine in social relations endures despite of time, error, absence, and destiny; and that which has no inherent vitality had better die at once. A great poet has truly declared that constancy is no virtue, but a fact.—Tuckerman.

Frozen by distance.—Wordsworth.

Short absence quickens love, long absence kills it.—Mirabeau.

We often wish most for our friends when they are absent. Even in married life love is not diminished by distance. A man, like a burning-glass, should be placed at a certain distance from the object he wishes to dissolve, in order that the proper focus may be obtained.—Richter.

Abstinence.—Refrain to-night, and that shall lend a hand of easiness to the next abstinence; the next more easy; for use almost can change the stamp of nature, and either curb the devil, or throw him out with wondrous potency.—Shakespeare.

Abuse.—Abuse is not so dangerous when there is no vehicle of wit or delicacy, no subtle conveyance. The difference between coarse and refined abuse is as the difference between being bruised by a club and wounded by a poisoned arrow.—Johnson.

Accident.—What reason, like the careful ant, draws laboriously together, the wind of accident collects in one brief moment.—Schiller.

What men call accident is God's own part.—P. J. Bailey.

Acquirements.—Every noble acquisition is attended with its risks: he who fears to encounter the one must not expect to obtain the other.—Metastasio.

Action.—Action can have no effect upon reasonable minds. It may augment noise, but it never can enforce argument. If you speak to a dog, you use action; you hold up your hand thus, because he is a brute; and in proportion as men are removed from brutes, action will have the less influence upon them.—Johnson.

Heaven ne'er helps the man who will not act.—Sophocles.

When Demosthenes was asked what was the first part of an orator, what the second, and what the third? he answered, "Action." The same may I say. If any should ask me what is the first, the second, the third part of a Christian, I must answer, "Action."—T. Brooks.

Our best conjectures, as to the true spring of actions, are very uncertain; the actions themselves are all we must pretend to know from history. That Caesar was murdered by twenty-four conspirators, I doubt not; but I very much doubt whether their love of liberty was the sole cause.—Chesterfield.

Action is generally defective, and proves an abortion without previous contemplation. Contemplation generates, action propagates.—Owen Feltham.

Remember you have not a sinew whose law of strength is not action; you have not a faculty of body, mind, or soul, whose law of improvement is not energy.—E. B. Hall.

Our actions must clothe us with an immortality loathsome or glorious.—Colton.

Outward actions can never give a just estimate of us, since there are many perfections of a man which are not capable of appearing in actions.—Addison.

Mark this well, ye proud men of action! Ye are, after all, nothing but unconscious instruments of the men of thought.—Heinrich Heine.

Actors.—Players, sir! I look upon them as no better than creatures set upon tables and joint stools to make faces and produce laughter, like dancing dogs. But, sir, you will allow that some players are better than others? Yes, sir; as some dogs dance better than others.—Johnson.

Each under his borrowed guise the actor belongs to himself. He has put on a mask, beneath it his real face still exists; he has thrown himself into a foreign individuality, which in some sense forms a shelter to the integrity of his own character; he may indeed wear festive attire, but his mourning is beneath it; he may smile, divert, act, his soul is still his own; his inner life is undisturbed; no indiscreet question will lift the veil, no coarse hand will burst open the gates of the sanctuary.—Countess de Gasparin.

Oh, there be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, or man, have so strutted and bellowed, that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably!—Shakespeare.

An actor should take lessons from a painter and a sculptor. For an actor to represent a Greek hero it is imperative he should have thoroughly studied those antique statues which have lasted to our day, and mastered the particular grace they exhibited in their postures, whether sitting, standing, or walking. Nor should he make attitude his only study. He should highly develop his mind by an assiduous study of the best writers, ancient and modern, which will enable him not only to understand his parts, but to communicate a nobler coloring to his manners and mien.—Goethe.

Admiration.—Admiration and love are like being intoxicated with champagne; judgment and friendship like being enlivened.—Johnson.

Season your admiration for awhile.—Shakespeare.

I wonder whether the subtle measuring of forces will ever come to measuring the force there would be in one beautiful woman whose mind was as noble as her face was beautiful—who made a man's passion for her rush in one current with all the great aims of his life.—George Eliot.

Admiration is the base of ignorance.—Balthasar Gracian.

It is better in some respects to be admired by those with whom you live, than to be loved by them. And this not on account of any gratification of vanity, but because admiration is so much more tolerant than love.—Arthur Helps.

Admiration is a forced tribute, and to extort it from mankind (envious and ignorant as they are) they must be taken unawares.—James Northcote.

Adversity.—If adversity hath killed his thousands, prosperity hath killed his ten thousands; therefore adversity is to be preferred. The one deceives, the other instructs; the one miserably happy, the other happily miserable; and therefore many philosophers have voluntarily sought adversity and so much commend it in their precepts.—Burton.

Adversity borrows its sharpest sting from our impatience.—Bishop Horne.

Adversity is like the period of the former and of the latter rain,—cold, comfortless, unfriendly to man and to animal; yet from that season have their birth the flower and the fruit, the date, the rose, and the pomegranate.—Walter Scott.

Two powerful destroyers: Time and Adversity.—A. de Musset.

Our dependence upon God ought to be so entire and absolute that we should never think it necessary, in any kind of distress, to have recourse to human consolation.—Thomas a Kempis.

Adversity, like winter weather, is of use to kill those vermin which the summer of prosperity is apt to produce and nourish.—Arrowsmith.

Adversity, how blunt are all the arrows of thy quiver in comparison with those of Guilt!—Blair.

Advice.—People are sooner reclaimed by the side wind of a surprise than by downright admonition.—L'Estrange.

Agreeable advice is seldom useful advice.—Massillon.

Affectation.—All affectation proceeds from the supposition of possessing something better than the rest of the world possesses. Nobody is vain of possessing two legs and two arms, because that is the precise quantity of either sort of limb which everybody possesses.—Sydney Smith.

Affectation is certain deformity.—Blair.

Affection.—None of the affections have been noted to fascinate and bewitch, but love and envy.—Bacon.

None are so desolate but something dear, dearer than self, possesses or possess'd.—Byron.

Those childlike caresses which are the bent of every sweet woman, who has begun by showering kisses on the hard pate of her bald doll, creating a happy soul within that woodenness from the wealth of her own love.—George Eliot.

God give us leisure for these rights of love.—Shakespeare.

Afflictions.—Before an affliction is digested, consolation comes too soon; and after it is digested, it comes too late; but there is a mark between these two, as fine, almost, as a hair, for a comforter to take aim at.—Sterne.

Stars shine brightest in the darkest night; torches are better for beating; grapes come not to the proof till they come to the press; spices smell best when bruised; young trees root the faster for shaking; gold looks brighter for scouring; juniper smells sweetest in the fire; the palm-tree proves the better for pressing; chamomile, the more you tread it, the more you spread it. Such is the condition of all God's children: they are then most triumphant when most tempted; most glorious when most afflicted.—Bogatzky.

That which thou dost not understand when thou readest, thou shalt understand in the day of thy visitation. For many secrets of religion are not perceived till they be felt, and are not felt but in the day of a great calamity.—Jeremy Taylor.

Nothing so much increases one's reverence for others as a great sorrow to one's self. It teaches one the depths of human nature. In happiness we are shallow, and deem others so.—Charles Buxton.

Affliction, like the iron-smith, shapes as it smites.—Bovee.

Afflictions sent by Providence melt the constancy of the noble-minded but confirm the obduracy of the vile. The same furnace that hardens clay liquefies gold; and in the strong manifestations of divine power Pharoah found his punishment, but David his pardon.—Colton.

Though all afflictions are evils in themselves, yet they are good for us, because they discover to us our disease and tend to our cure.—Tillotson.

To love all mankind, from the greatest to the lowest (or meanest), a cheerful state of being is required; but in order to see into mankind, into life, and, still more, into ourselves, suffering is requisite.—Richter.

Count up man's calamities and who would seem happy? But in truth, calamity leaves fully half of your life untouched.—Charles Buxton.

Age.—Wrinkles are the tomb of love.—Sarros in.

It cuts one sadly to see the grief of old people; they've no way o' working it off; and the new spring brings no new shoots out on the withered tree.—George Eliot.

Autumnal green.—Dryden.

Ye old men, brief is the space of life allotted to you; pass it as pleasantly as ye can, not grieving from morning till eve. Since time knows not how to preserve our hopes, but, attentive to its own concerns, flies away.—Euripides.

The Grecian ladies counted their age from their marriage, not their birth.—Homer.

The vices of old age have the stiffness of it too; and as it is the unfittest time to learn in, so the unfitness of it to unlearn will be found much greater.—South.

Old men's eyes are like old men's memories; they are strongest for things a long way off.—George Eliot.

Serene, and safe from passion's stormy rage, how calm they glide into the port of age!—Shenstone.

Providence gives us notice by sensible declensions, that we may disengage from the world by degrees.—Jeremy Collier.

Age oppresses by the same degrees that it instructs us, and permits not that our mortal members, which are frozen with our years, should retain the vigor of our youth.—Dryden.

Old age adds to the respect due to virtue, but it takes nothing from the contempt inspired by vice, for age whitens only the hair.—J. Petit Senn.

Up to forty a woman has only forty springs in her heart. After that age she has only forty winters.—Arsene Houssaye.

I love everything that's old. Old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine.—Goldsmith.

Let us respect gray hairs, especially our own.—J. Petit Senn.

There are two things which grow stronger in the breast of man, in proportion as he advances in years: the love of country and religion. Let them be never so much forgotten in youth, they sooner or later present themselves to us arrayed in all their charms, and excite in the recesses of our hearts an attachment justly due to their beauty.—Chateaubriand.

Agitation.—Agitation is the marshaling of the conscience of a nation to mould its laws.—Sir R. Peel.

Agitation is the method that plants the school by the side of the ballot-box.—Wendell Phillips.

Agitation prevents rebellion, keeps the peace, and secures progress. Every step she gains is gained forever. Muskets are the weapons of animals. Agitation is the atmosphere of the brains.—Wendell Phillips.

Agriculture.—Agriculture is the foundation of manufactures, since the productions of nature are the materials of art.—Gibbon.

Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation but the only riches she can call her own.—Johnson.

Let the farmer for evermore be honored in his calling, for they who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God.—Thomas Jefferson.

Allegory.—Allegories and spiritual significations, when applied to faith, and that seldom, are laudable; but when they are drawn from the life and conversation, they are dangerous, and, when men make too many of them, pervert the doctrine of faith. Allegories are fine ornaments, but not of proof.—Luther.

The allegory of a sophist is always screwed; it crouches and bows like a snake, which is never straight, whether she go, creep, or lie still; only when she is dead, she is straight enough.—Luther.

Ambition.—It was not till after the terrible passage of the bridge of Lodi that the idea entered my mind that I might become a decisive actor in the political arena. Then arose for the first time the spark of great ambition.—Napoleon.

Well is it known that ambition can creep as well as soar. The pride of no person in a flourishing condition is more justly to be dreaded than that of him who is mean and cringing under a doubtful and unprosperous fortune.—Burke.

If there is ever a time to be ambitious, it is not when ambition is easy, but when it is hard. Fight in darkness; fight when you are down; die hard, and you won't die at all.—Beecher.

By that sin angels fell.—Shakespeare.

Where ambition can be so happy as to cover its enterprises, even to the person himself, under the appearance of principle, it is the most incurable and inflexible of all human passions.—Hume.

An ardent thirst of honor; a soul unsatisfied with all it has done, and an unextinguished desire of doing more.—Dryden.

Ambition is but the evil shadow of aspiration.—George MacDonald.

Think not ambition wise, because 'tis brave.—Sir W. Davenant.

Soar not too high to fall, but stoop to rise.—Massinger.

America.—Child of the earth's old age.—L. E. Langdon.

The name—American, must always exalt the pride of patriotism.—Washington.

In America we see a country of which it has been truly said that in no other are there so few men of great learning and so few men of great ignorance.—Buckle.

America is as yet in the youth and gristle of her strength.—Burke.

If all Europe were to become a prison, America would still present a loop-hole of escape; and, God be praised! that loop-hole is larger than the dungeon itself.—Heinrich Heine.

Ere long, thine every stream shall find a tongue, land of the many waters.—Hoffman.

America is rising with a giant's strength. Its bones are yet but cartilages.—Fisher Ames.

Amusement.—Amusement is the waking sleep of labor. When it absorbs thought, patience, and strength that might have been seriously employed, it loses its distinctive character, and becomes the task-master of idleness.—Willmott.

Analogy.—Analogy, although it is not infallible, is yet that telescope of the mind by which it is marvelously assisted in the discovery of both physical and moral truth.—Colton.

Anarchy.—The choking, sweltering, deadly, and killing rule of no rule; the consecration of cupidity and braying of folly, and dim stupidity and baseness, in most of the affairs of men. Slop-shirts attainable three-half-pence cheaper by the ruin of living bodies and immortal souls.—Carlyle.

Ancestry.—We take rank by descent. Such of us as have the longest pedigree, and are therefore the furthest removed from the first who made the fortune and founded the family, we are the noblest. The nearer to the fountain the fouler the stream: and that first ancestor who has soiled his fingers by labor is no better than a parvenu.—Froude.

Breed is stronger than pasture.—George Eliot.

The glory of ancestors sheds a light around posterity; it allows neither their good nor bad qualities to remain in obscurity.—Sallust.

Nobility of birth does not always insure a corresponding nobility of mind; if it did, it would always act as a stimulus to noble actions; but it sometimes acts as a clog rather than a spur.—Colton.

Honorable descent is in all nations greatly esteemed; besides, it is to be expected that the children of men of worth will be like their fathers, for nobility is the virtue of a family.—Aristotle.

A long series of ancestors shows the native lustre with advantage; but if he any way degenerate from his line, the least spot is visible on ermine.—Dryden.

The happiest lot for a man, as far as birth is concerned, is that it should be such as to give him but little occasion to think much about it.—Whately.

Ancients.—In tragedy and satire I maintain, against some critics, that this age and the last have excelled the ancients; and I would instance in Shakespeare of the former, in Dorset of the latter.—Dryden.

Though the knowledge they have left us be worth our study, yet they exhausted not all its treasures; they left a great deal for the industry and sagacity of after-ages.—Locke.

Angels.—In old days there were angels who came and took men by the hand and led them away from the city of destruction. We see no white-winged angels now. But yet men are led away from threatening destruction: a hand is put in theirs, which leads them forth gently towards a calm and bright land, so that they look no more backward; and the hand may be a little child's.—George Eliot.

Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep.—Milton.

Anger.—If a man meets with injustice, it is not required that he shall not be roused to meet it; but if he is angry after he has had time to think upon it, that is sinful. The flame is not wrong, but the coals are.—Beecher.

Temperate anger well becomes the wise.—Philemon.

When anger rushes, unrestrained, to action, like a hot steed, it stumbles in its way.—Savage.

Bad temper is its own scourge. Few things are bitterer than to feel bitter. A man's venom poisons himself more than his victim.—Charles Buxton.

Above all, gentlemen, no heat.—Talleyrand.

Anger ventilated often hurries towards forgiveness; anger concealed often hardens into revenge.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Keep cool and you command everybody.—St. Just.

I never work better than when I am inspired by anger; when I am angry I can write, pray, and preach well; for then my whole temperament is quickened, my understanding sharpened, and all mundane vexations and temptations depart.—Luther.

When one is in a good sound rage, it is astonishing how calm one can be.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Angling.—I give up fly-fishing; it is a light, volatile, dissipated pursuit. But ground-bait with a good steady float that never bobs without a bite is an occupation for a bishop, and in no way interferes with sermon-making.—Sydney Smith.

He that reads Plutarch shall find that angling was not contemptible in the days of Mark Antony and Cleopatra.—Izaak Walton.

Idle time not idly spent.—Sir Henry Wotton.

To see the fish cut with her golden oars the silver stream and greedily devour the treacherous bait.—Shakespeare.

Anticipation.—It has been well said that no man ever sank under the burden of the day. It is when to-morrow's burden is added to the burden of to-day that the weight is more than a man can bear.—George MacDonald.

The craving for a delicate fruit is pleasanter than the fruit itself.—Herder.

The hours we pass with happy prospects in view are more pleasing than those crowned with fruition. In the first instance, we cook the dish to our own appetite; in the latter, nature cooks it for us.—Goldsmith.

We are apt to rely upon future prospects, and become really expensive while we are only rich in possibility. We live up to our expectations, not to our possessions, and make a figure proportionable to what we may be, not what we are. We outrun our present income, as not doubting to disburse ourselves out of the profits of some future place, project, or reversion that we have in view.—Addison.

Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.—George Eliot.

Antiquarian.—A thorough-paced antiquarian not only remembers what all other people have thought proper to forget, but he also forgets what all other people think it proper to remember.—Colton.

The earliest and the longest has still the mastery over us.—George Eliot.

Antithesis.—Young people are dazzled by the brilliancy of antithesis, and employ it.—Bruyere.

Antithesis may be the blossom of wit, but it will never arrive at maturity unless sound sense be the trunk, and truth the root.—Colton.

Apology.—An apology in the original sense was a pleading off from some charge or imputation, by explaining or defending principles or conduct. It therefore amounted to a vindication.—Crabbe.

Brother, brother, we are both in the wrong.—Gay.

Apothegms.—Nor do apothegms only serve for ornament and delight, but also for action and civil use, as being the edge tools of speech, which cut and penetrate the knots of business and affairs.—Bacon.

Exclusively of the abstract sciences, the largest and worthiest portion of our knowledge consists of aphorisms, and the greatest and best of men is but an aphorism.—Coleridge.

Proverbs are potted wisdom.—Charles Buxton.

Appeal.—Seeing all men are not [OE]dipuses to read the riddle of another man's inside, and most men judge by appearances, it behooves a man to barter for a good esteem, even from his clothes and outside. We guess the goodness of the pasture by the mantle we see it wears.—Feltham.

Appearances.—It is the appearances that fill the scene; and we pause not to ask of what realities they are the proxies. When the actor of Athens moved all hearts as he clasped the burial urn, and burst into broken sobs, how few then knew that it held the ashes of his son!—Bulwer-Lytton.

What waste, what misery, what bankruptcy, come from all this ambition to dazzle others with the glare of apparent worldly success, we need not describe. The mischievous results show themselves in a thousand ways—in the rank frauds committed by men who dare to be dishonest, but do not dare to seem poor; and in the desperate dashes at fortune, in which the pity is not so much for those who fail, as for the hundreds of innocent families who are so often involved in their ruin.—Samuel Smiles.

Foolish men mistake transitory semblances for eternal fact, and go astray more and more.—Carlyle.

What is a good appearance? It is not being pompous and starchy; for proud looks lose hearts, and gentle words win them. It is not wearing fine clothes; for such dressing tells the world that the outside is the better part of the man. You cannot judge a horse by his harness; but a modest, gentlemanly appearance, in which the dress is such as no one could comment upon, is the right and most desirable thing.—Spurgeon.

He was a man who stole the livery of the court of heaven to serve the devil in.—Pollok.

I more and more see this, that we judge men's abilities less from what they say or do, than from what they look. 'T is the man's face that gives him weight. His doings help, but not more than his brow.—Charles Buxton.

Appetite.—Some people have a foolish way of not minding, or pretending not to mind, what they eat. For my part, I mind very studiously; for I look upon it, that he who does not mind this, will hardly mind anything else.—Johnson.

Here's neither want of appetite nor mouths; pray Heaven we be not scant of meat or mirth.—Shakespeare.

This dish of meat is too good for any but anglers, or very honest men.—Izaak Walton.

And do as adversaries do in law,—strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.—Shakespeare.

The table is the only place where we do not get weary during the first hour.—Brillat Savarin.

Appreciation.—Contemporaries appreciate the man rather than the merit; but posterity will regard the merit rather than the man.—Colton.

It so falls out that what we have we prize not to the worth while we enjoy it; but being lacked and lost, why, then we rack the value.—Shakespeare.

A man is known to his dog by the smell—to the tailor by the coat—to his friend by the smile; each of these know him, but how little or how much depends on the dignity of the intelligence. That which is truly and indeed characteristic of man is known only to God.—Ruskin.

He who seems not to himself more than he is, is more than he seems.—Goethe.

Light is above us, and color surrounds us; but if we have not light and color in our eyes, we shall not perceive them outside us.—Goethe.

When a nation gives birth to a man who is able to produce a great thought, another is born who is able to understand and admire it.—Joubert.

No story is the same to us after a lapse of time; or rather we who read it are no longer the same interpreters.—George Eliot.

Next to invention is the power of interpreting invention; next to beauty the power of appreciating beauty.—Margaret Fuller.

You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some with you.—Joubert.

Architecture.—Architecture is the art which so disposes and adorns the edifices raised by man, for whatsoever uses, that the sight of them may contribute to his mental health, power, and pleasure.—Ruskin.

Argument.—There is no arguing with Johnson; for if his pistol misses fire he knocks you down with the butt end of it.—Goldsmith.

Weak arguments are often thrust before my path; but although they are most unsubstantial, it is not easy to destroy them. There is not a more difficult feat known than to cut through a cushion with a sword.—Bishop Whately.

Treating your adversary with respect is giving him an advantage to which he is not entitled. The greatest part of men cannot judge of reasoning, and are impressed by character; so that if you allow your adversary a respectable character, they will think that, though you differ from him, you may be in the wrong. Treating your adversary with respect is striking soft in a battle.—Johnson.

The soundest argument will produce no more conviction in an empty head than the most superficial declamation; as a feather and a guinea fall with equal velocity in a vacuum.—Colton.

An ill argument introduced with deference will procure more credit than the profoundest science with a rough, insolent, and noisy management.—Locke.

One may say, generally, that no deeply rooted tendency was ever extirpated by adverse argument. Not having originally been founded on argument, it cannot be destroyed by logic.—G. H. Lewes.

A reason is often good, not because it is conclusive, but because it is dramatic,—because it has the stamp of him who urges it, and is drawn from his own resources. For there are arguments ex homine as well as ad hominem.—Joubert.

If I were to deliver up my whole self to the arbitrament of special pleaders, to-day I might be argued into an atheist, and to-morrow into a pickpocket.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Aristocracy.—And lords, whose parents were the Lord knows who.—De Foe.

What can they see in the longest kingly line in Europe, save that it runs back to a successful soldier?—Walter Scott.

If in an aristocracy the people be virtuous, they will enjoy very nearly the same happiness as in a popular government, and the state will become powerful.—Montesquieu.

An aristocracy is the true, the only support of a monarchy. Without it the State is a vessel without a rudder—a balloon in the air. A true aristocracy, however, must be ancient. Therein consists its real force,—its talismanic charm.—Napoleon.

I never could believe that Providence had sent a few men into the world, ready booted and spurred to ride, and millions ready saddled and bridled to be ridden.—Richard Rumbold.

Armor.—The best armor is to keep out of gunshot.—Lord Bacon.

Our armor all is strong, our cause the best; then reason wills our hearts should be as good.—Shakespeare.

Art.—Rules may teach us not to raise the arms above the head; but if passion carries them, it will be well done: passion knows more than art.—Baron.

It is a great mortification to the vanity of man that his utmost art and industry can never equal the meanest of nature's productions, either for beauty or value. Art is only the underworkman, and is employed to give a few strokes of embellishment to those pieces which come from the hand of the master.—Hume.

The mission of art is to represent nature; not to imitate her.—W. M. Hunt.

True art is not the caprice of this or that individual, it is a solemn page either of history or prophecy; and when, as always in Dante and occasionally in Byron, it combines and harmonizes this double mission, it reaches the highest summit of power.—Mazzini.

Art is the right hand of Nature. The latter has only given us being, the former has made us men.—Schiller.

Art does not imitate nature, but it founds itself on the study of nature—takes from nature the selections which best accord with its own intention, and then bestows on them that which nature does not possess, namely, the mind and the soul of man.—Bulwer-Lytton.

The mother of useful arts is necessity; that of the fine arts is luxury.—Schopenhaufer.

He who seeks popularity in art closes the door on his own genius, as he must needs paint for other minds and not for his own.—Washington Allston.

In art, form is everything; matter, nothing.—Heinrich Heine.

Strange thing art, especially music. Out of an art a man may be so trivial you would mistake him for an imbecile, at best a grown infant. Put him into his art, and how high he soars above you! How quietly he enters into a heaven of which he has become a denizen, and, unlocking the gates with his golden key, admits you to follow, an humble, reverent visitor.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Art does not imitate, but interpret.—Mazzini.

The artist is the child in the popular fable, every one of whose tears was a pearl. Ah! the world, that cruel step-mother, beats the poor child the harder to make him shed more pearls.—Heinrich Heine.

In art there is a point of perfection, as of goodness or maturity in nature; he who is able to perceive it, and who loves it, has perfect taste; he who does not feel it, or loves on this side or that, has an imperfect taste.—Bruyere.

Never judge a work of art by its defects.—Washington Allston.

Asceticism.—I recommend no sour ascetic life. I believe not only in the thorns on the rosebush, but in the roses which the thorns defend. Asceticism is the child of sensuality and superstition. She is the secret mother of many a secret sin. God, when he made man's body, did not give us a fibre too much, nor a passion too many. I would steal no violet from the young maiden's bosom; rather would I fill her arms with more fragrant roses. But a life merely of pleasure, or chiefly of pleasure, is always a poor and worthless life, not worth the living; always unsatisfactory in its course, always miserable in its end.—Theodore Parker.

In hope to merit heaven by making earth a hell.—Byron.

Three forms of asceticism have existed in this weak world. Religious asceticism, being the refusal of pleasure and knowledge for the sake—as supposed—of religion; seen chiefly in the Middle Ages. Military asceticism, being the refusal of pleasure and knowledge for the sake of power; seen chiefly in the early days of Sparta and Rome. And monetary asceticism, consisting in the refusal of pleasure and knowledge for the sake of money; seen in the present days of London and Manchester.—Ruskin.

Aspiration.—The negro king desired to be portrayed as white. But do not laugh at the poor African; for every man is but another negro king, and would like to appear in a color different from that with which Fate has bedaubed him.—Heinrich Heine.

There is no sorrow I have thought more about than that—to love what is great, and try to reach it, and yet to fail.—George Eliot.

The heart is a small thing, but desireth great matters. It is not sufficient for a kite's dinner, yet the whole world is not sufficient for it.—Quarles.

There must be something beyond man in this world. Even on attaining to his highest possibilities, he is like a bird beating against his cage. There is something beyond, O deathless soul, like a sea-shell, moaning for the bosom of the ocean to which you belong!—Chapin.

Oh for a muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention! A kingdom for a stage, princes to act, and monarchs to behold the swelling scene.—Shakespeare.

The heavens are as deep as our aspirations are high.—Thoreau.

It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them.—George Eliot.

Associates.—Costly followers are not to be liked; lest while a man maketh his train longer, he makes his wings shorter.—Bacon.

Be very circumspect in the choice of thy company. In the society of thine equals thou shall enjoy more pleasure; in the society of thy superiors thou shalt find more profit. To be the best in the company is the way to grow worse; the best means to grow better is to be the worst there.—Quarles.

A man should live with his superiors as he does with his fire: not too near, lest he burn; nor too far off, lest he freeze.—Diogenes.

As there are some flowers which you should smell but slightly to extract all that is pleasant in them, and which, if you do otherwise, emit what is unpleasant and noxious, so there are some men with whom a slight acquaintance is quite sufficient to draw out all that is agreeable; a more intimate one would be unsatisfactory and unsafe.—Landor.

Those who are unacquainted with the world take pleasure in the intimacy of great men; those who are wiser dread the consequences.—Horace.

Atheism.—By burning an atheist, you have lent importance to that which was absurd, interest to that which was forbidding, light to that which was the essence of darkness. For atheism is a system which can communicate neither warmth nor illumination except from those fagots which your mistaken zeal has lighted up for its destruction.—Colton.

One of the most daring beings in creation, a contemner of God, who explodes his laws by denying his existence.—John Foster.

Authority.—Reasons of things are rather to be taken by weight than tale.—Jeremy Collier.

The world is ruled by the subordinates, not by their chiefs.—Charles Buxton.

Authors.—Authors may be divided into falling stars, planets, and fixed stars: the first have a momentary effect. The second have a much longer duration. But the third are unchangeable, possess their own light, and work for all time.—Schopenhaufer.

Satire lies about men of letters during their lives, and eulogy after their death.—Voltaire.

It is commonly the personal character of a writer which gives him his public significance. It is not imparted by his genius. Napoleon said of Corneille, "Were he living I would make him a king;" but he did not read him. He read Racine, yet he said nothing of the kind of Racine. It is for the same reason that La Fontaine is held in such high esteem among the French. It is not for his worth as a poet, but for the greatness of his character which obtrudes in his writings.—Goethe.

Choose an author as you choose a friend.—Roscommon.

Herder and Schiller both in their youth intended to study as surgeons, but Destiny said: "No, there are deeper wounds than those of the body,—heal the deeper!" and they wrote.—Richter.

A woman who writes commits two sins: she increases the number of books, and decreases the number of women.—Alphonse Karr.

Thanks and honor to the glorious masters of the pen.—Hood.

The society of dead authors has this advantage over that of the living: they never flatter us to our faces, nor slander us behind our backs, nor intrude upon our privacy, nor quit their shelves until we take them down.—Colton.

Clear writers, like clear fountains, do not seem so deep as they are, the turbid looks most profound.—Landor.

When we look back upon human records, how the eye settles upon writers as the main landmarks of the past.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Autumn.—Season of mist and mellow fruitfulness.—Keats.

The Sabbath of the year.—Logan.

Avarice.—Though avarice will preserve a man from being necessitously poor, it generally makes him too timorous to be wealthy.—Thomas Paine.

Avarice is more unlovely than mischievous.—Landor.

The German poet observes that the Cow of Isis is to some the divine symbol of knowledge, to others but the milch cow, only regarded for the pounds of butter she will yield. O tendency of our age, to look on Isis as the milch cow!—Bulwer-Lytton.

Worse poison to men's souls, doing more murders in this loathsome world than any mortal drug.—Shakespeare.

Avarice is generally the last passion of those lives of which the first part has been squandered in pleasure, and the second devoted to ambition. He that sinks under the fatigue of getting wealth, lulls his age with the milder business of saving it.—Johnson.


Babblers.—Who think too little, and who talk too much.—Dryden.

They always talk who never think.—Prior.

Talkers are no good doers.—Shakespeare.

Babe.—It is curious to see how a self-willed, haughty girl, who sets her father and mother and all at defiance, and can't be managed by anybody, at once finds her master in a baby. Her sister's child will strike the rock and set all her affections flowing.—Charles Buxton.

Bargain.—What is the disposition which makes men rejoice in good bargains? There are few people who will not be benefited by pondering over the morals of shopping.—Beecher.

A dear bargain is always disagreeable, particularly as it is a reflection upon the buyer's judgment.—Pliny.

Bashfulness.—Bashfulness may sometimes exclude pleasure, but seldom opens any avenue to sorrow or remorse.—Johnson.

Bashfulness is a great hindrance to a man, both in uttering his sentiments and in understanding what is proposed to him; 'tis therefore good to press forward with discretion, both in discourse and company of the better sort.—Bacon.

Beauty.—The beautiful is always severe.—Segur.

For converse among men, beautiful persons have less need of the mind's commending qualities. Beauty in itself is such a silent orator, that it is ever pleading for respect and liking, and, by the eyes of others is ever sending to their hearts for love. Yet even this hath this inconvenience in it—that it makes its possessor neglect the furnishing of the mind with nobleness. Nay, it oftentimes is a cause that the mind is ill.—Feltham.

Man has still more desire for beauty than knowledge of it; hence the caprices of the world.—X. Doudan.

No better cosmetics than a severe temperance and purity, modesty and humility, a gracious temper and calmness of spirit; no true beauty without the signature of these graces in the very countenance.—John Ray.

An appearance of delicacy, and even of fragility, is almost essential to beauty.—Burke.

I am of opinion that there is nothing so beautiful but that there is something still more beautiful, of which this is the mere image and expression,—a something which can neither be perceived by the eyes, the ears, nor any of the senses; we comprehend it merely in the imagination.—Cicero.

A lovely girl is above all rank.—Charles Buxton.

There is more or less of pathos in all true beauty. The delight it awakens has an indefinable, and, as it were, luxurious sadness, which is perhaps one element of its might.—Tuckerman.

Beauty is the first present nature gives to women and the first it takes away.—Mere.

In ourselves, rather than in material nature, lie the true source and life of the beautiful. The human soul is the sun which diffuses light on every side, investing creation with its lovely hues, and calling forth the poetic element that lies hidden in every existing thing.—Mazzini.

Beauty is God's handwriting, a wayside sacrament.—Milton.

Beauty deceives women in making them establish on an ephemeral power the pretensions of a whole life.—Bignicout.

If there is a fruit that can be eaten raw, it is beauty.—Alphonse Karr.

Those critics who, in modern times, have the most thoughtfully analyzed the laws of aesthetic beauty, concur in maintaining that the real truthfulness of all works of imagination—sculpture, painting, written fiction—is so purely in the imagination, that the artist never seeks to represent the positive truth, but the idealized image of a truth.—Bulwer-Lytton.

An outward gift which is seldom despised, except by those to whom it has been refused.—Gibbon.

It is impossible that beauty should ever distinctly apprehend itself.—Goethe.

Bed.—The bed is a bundle of paradoxes: we go to it with reluctance, yet we quit it with regret; we make up our minds every night to leave it early, but we make up our bodies every morning to keep it late.—Colton.

What a delightful thing rest is! The bed has become a place of luxury to me! I would not exchange it for all the thrones in the world.—Napoleon.

Beggars.—He is never out of the fashion, or limpeth awkwardly behind it. He is not required to put on court mourning. He weareth all colors, fearing none. His costume hath undergone less change than the Quaker's. He is the only man in the universe who is not obliged to study appearances.—Lamb.

Aspiring beggary is wretchedness itself.—Goldsmith.

Benevolence.—There cannot be a more glorious object in creation than a human being, replete with benevolence, meditating in what manner he might render himself most acceptable to his Creator by doing most good to his creatures.—Fielding.

Genuine benevolence is not stationary but peripatetic. It goeth about doing good.—Nevins.

It is an argument of a candid, ingenuous mind to delight in the good name and commendations of others; to pass by their defects and take notice of their virtues; and to speak or hear willingly of the latter; for in this indeed you may be little less guilty than the evil speaker, in taking pleasure in evil, though you speak it not.—Leighton.

The root of all benevolent actions is filial piety and fraternal love.—Confucius.

True benevolence is to love all men. Recompense injury with justice, and kindness with kindness.—Confucius.

It is in contemplating man at a distance that we become benevolent.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Bible.—As those wines which flow from the first treading of the grapes are sweeter and better than those forced out by the press, which gives them the roughness of the husk and the stone, so are those doctrines best and sweetest which flow from a gentle crush of the Scriptures and are not wrung into controversies and commonplaces.—Bacon.

They who are not induced to believe and live as they ought by those discoveries which God hath made in Scripture, would stand out against any evidence whatever; even that of a messenger sent express from the other world.—Atterbury.

But what is meant, after all, by uneducated, in a time when books have come into the world—come to be household furniture in every habitation of the civilized world? In the poorest cottage are books—is one book, wherein for several thousands of years the spirit of man has found light and nourishment and an interpreting response to whatever is deepest in him.—Carlyle.

A stream where alike the elephant may swim and the lamb may wade.—Gregory the Great.

All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more strongly the truths come from on high, and contained in the sacred writings.—Herschel.

I am heartily glad to witness your veneration for a book which, to say nothing of its holiness or authority, contains more specimens of genius and taste than any other volume in existence.—Landor.

Bigotry.—A proud bigot, who is vain enough to think that he can deceive even God by affected zeal, and throwing the veil of holiness over vices, damns all mankind by the word of his power.—Boileau.

Persecuting bigots may be compared to those burning lenses which Lenhenhoeck and others composed from ice; by their chilling apathy they freeze the suppliant; by their fiery zeal they burn the sufferer.—Colton.

A man must be excessively stupid, as well as uncharitable, who believes there is no virtue but on his own side.—Addison.

The worst of mad men is a saint run mad.—Pope.

Biography.—As in the case of painters, who have undertaken to give us a beautiful and graceful figure, which may have some slight blemishes, we do not wish them to pass over such blemishes altogether, nor yet to mark them too prominently. The one would spoil the beauty, and the other destroy the likeness of the picture.—Plutarch.

Biographies of great, but especially of good men, are most instructive and useful as helps, guides, and incentives to others. Some of the best are almost equivalent to gospels—teaching high living, high thinking, and energetic action for their own and the world's good.—Samuel Smiles.

It is rarely well executed. They only who live with a man can write his life with any genuine exactness and discrimination; and few people, who have lived with a man, know what to remark about him.—Johnson.

History can be formed from permanent monuments and records; but lives can only be written from personal knowledge, which is growing every day less, and in a short time is lost forever.—Johnson.

Occasionally a single anecdote opens a character; biography has its comparative anatomy, and a saying or a sentiment enables the skillful hand to construct the skeleton.—Willmott.

To be ignorant of the lives of the most celebrated men of antiquity is to continue in a state of childhood all our days.—Plutarch.

Birth.—Noble in appearance, but this is mere outside; many noble born are base.—Euripides.

Blessings.—The good things of life are not to be had singly, but come to us with a mixture; like a schoolboy's holiday, with a task affixed to the tail of it.—Charles Lamb.

Blessedness consists in the accomplishment of our desires, and in our having only regular desires.—St. Augustine.

We mistake the gratuitous blessings of Heaven for the fruits of our own industry.—L'Estrange.

Health, beauty, vigor, riches, and all the other things called goods, operate equally as evils to the vicious and unjust as they do as benefits to the just.—Plato.

How blessings brighten as they take their flight!—Young.

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many: not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.—Charles Dickens.

Blush.—The ambiguous livery worn alike by modesty and shame.—Mrs. Balfour.

I have mark'd a thousand blushing apparitions to start into her face; a thousand innocent shames, in angel whiteness, bear away those blushes.—Shakespeare.

The glow of the angel in woman.—Mrs. Balfour.

Such blushes as adorn the ruddy welkin or the purple morn.—Ovid.

Luminous escapes of thought.—Moore.

Blustering.—Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposing beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field—that, of course, they are many in number,—or, that, after all, they are other than the little, shriveled, meagre, hopping, though loud and troublesome, insects of the hour.—Burke.

There are braying men in the world as well as braying asses; for what is loud and senseless talking any other than a way of braying.—L'Estrange.

Wine and the sun will make vinegar without any shouting to help them.—George Eliot.

Boasting.—Usually the greatest boasters are the smallest workers. The deep rivers pay a larger tribute to the sea than shallow brooks, and yet empty themselves with less noise.—W. Secker.

With all his tumid boasts, he's like the sword-fish, who only wears his weapon in his mouth.—Madden.

Every braggart shall be found an ass.—Shakespeare.

Self-laudation abounds among the unpolished, but nothing can stamp a man more sharply as ill-bred.—Charles Buxton.

Boldness.—Who bravely dares must sometimes risk a fall.—Smollett.

Women like brave men exceedingly, but audacious men still more.—Lemesles.

Bondage.—The iron chain and the silken cord, both equally are bonds.—Schiller.

Books.—If a secret history of books could be written, and the author's private thoughts and meanings noted down alongside of his story, how many insipid volumes would become interesting, and dull tales excite the reader!—Thackeray.

When a new book comes out I read an old one.—Rogers.

Be as careful of the books you read as of the company you keep; for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as the latter.—Paxton Hood.

Homeliness is almost as great a merit in a book as in a house, if the reader would abide there. It is next to beauty, and a very high art.—Thoreau.

A book is good company. It is full of conversation without loquacity. It comes to your longing with full instruction, but pursues you never. It is not offended at your absent-mindedness, nor jealous if you turn to other pleasures. It silently serves the soul without recompense, not even for the hire of love. And yet more noble,—it seems to pass from itself, and to enter the memory, and to hover in a silvery transfiguration there, until the outward book is but a body, and its soul and spirit are flown to you, and possess your memory like a spirit.—Beecher.

If the crowns of all the kingdoms of Europe were laid down at my feet in exchange for my books and my love of reading, I would spurn them all.—Fenelon.

We ought to regard books as we do sweetmeats, not wholly to aim at the pleasantest, but chiefly to respect the wholesomest; not forbidding either, but approving the latter most.—Plutarch.

To buy books only because they were published by an eminent printer, is much as if a man should buy clothes that did not fit him, only because made by some famous tailor.—Pope.

The medicine of the mind.—Diodorus.

Let every man, if possible, gather some good books under his roof.—Channing.

Wise books for half the truths they hold are honored tombs.—George Eliot.

Bores.—I am constitutionally susceptible of noises. A carpenter's hammer, in a warm summer's noon, will fret me into more than midsummer madness. But those unconnected, unset sounds are nothing to the measured malice of music.—Lamb.

These, wanting wit, affect gravity, and go by the name of solid men.—Dryden.

If we engage into a large acquaintance and various familiarities, we set open our gates to the invaders of most of our time; we expose our life to a quotidian ague of frigid impertinences which would make a wise man tremble to think of.—Cowley.

The symptoms of compassion and benevolence, in some people, are like those minute guns which warn you that you are in deadly peril!—Madame Swetchine.

Borrowing.—You should only attempt to borrow from those who have but few of this world's goods, as their chests are not of iron, and they are, besides, anxious to appear wealthier than they really are.—Heinrich Heine.

According to the security you offer to her, Fortune makes her loans easy or ruinous.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Bravery.—True bravery is shown by performing without witnesses what one might be capable of doing before all the world.—Rochefoucauld.

'Tis late before the brave despair.—Thompson.

The bravest men are subject most to chance.—Dryden.

The truly brave are soft of heart and eyes.—Byron.

People glorify all sorts of bravery except the bravery they might show on behalf of their nearest neighbors.—George Eliot.

Brevity.—To make pleasures pleasant shorten them.—Charles Buxton.

Was there ever anything written by mere man that was wished longer by its readers, excepting Don Quixote, Robinson Crusoe, and the Pilgrim's Progress?—Johnson.

A sentence well couched takes both the sense and understanding. I love not those cart-rope speeches that are longer than the memory of man can fathom.—Feltham.

I saw one excellency was within my reach—it was brevity, and I determined to obtain it.—Jay.

Be brief; for it is with words as with sunbeams—the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.—Southey.

Concentration alone conquers.—Charles Buxton.

The more an idea is developed, the more concise becomes its expression: the more a tree is pruned, the better is the fruit.—Alfred Bougeart.

Oratory, like the Drama, abhors lengthiness; like the Drama, it must be kept doing. It avoids, as frigid, prolonged metaphysical soliloquy. Beauties themselves, if they delay or distract the effect which should be produced on the audience, become blemishes.—Bulwer-Lytton.

The fewer words the better prayer.—Luther.

Business.—Not because of any extraordinary talents did he succeed, but because he had a capacity on a level for business and not above it.—Tacitus.


Calumny.—Neglected calumny soon expires; show that you are hurt, and you give it the appearance of truth.—Tacitus.

Calumny crosses oceans, scales mountains, and traverses deserts with greater ease than the Scythian Abaris, and, like him, rides upon a poisoned arrow.—Colton.

Cant.—The affectation of some late authors to introduce and multiply cant words is the most ruinous corruption in any language.—Swift.

There is such a thing as a peculiar word or phrase cleaving, as it were, to the memory of the writer or speaker, and presenting itself to his utterance at every turn. When we observe this, we call it a cant word or a cant phrase.—Paley.

Caution.—Whenever our neighbor's house is on fire, it cannot be amiss for the engines to play a little on our own. Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident a security.—Burke.

Censure.—Censure pardons the ravens, but rebukes the doves.—Juvenal.

We do not like our friends the worse because they sometimes give us an opportunity to rail at them heartily. Their faults reconcile us to their virtues.—Hazlitt.

Censure is like the lightning which strikes the highest mountains.—Balthasar Gracian.

Chance.—There must be chance in the midst of design; by which we mean that events which are not designed necessarily arise from the pursuit of events which are designed.—Paley.

Chance generally favors the prudent.—Joubert.

It is strictly and philosophically true in nature and reason that there is no such thing as chance or accident; it being evident that these words do not signify anything really existing, anything that is truly an agent or the cause of any event; but they signify merely men's ignorance of the real and immediate cause.—Adam Clarke.

What can be more foolish than to think that all this rare fabric of heaven and earth could come by chance, when all the skill of art is not able to make an oyster!—Jeremy Taylor.

He who distrusts the security of chance takes more pains to effect the safety which results from labor. To find what you seek in the road of life, the best proverb of all is that which says: "Leave no stone unturned."—Bulwer-Lytton.

Change.—The great world spins forever down the ringing grooves of change.—Tennyson.

A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.—Byron.

In this world of change, naught which comes stays, and naught which goes is lost.—Madame Swetchine.

Character.—As there is much beast and some devil in man, so is there some angel and some God in him. The beast and the devil may be conquered, but in this life never destroyed.—Coleridge.

Character is not cut in marble—it is not something solid and unalterable. It is something living and changing, and may become diseased as our bodies do.—George Eliot.

Grit is the grain of character. It may generally be described as heroism materialized,—spirit and will thrust into heart, brain, and backbone, so as to form part of the physical substance of the man.—Whipple.

Depend upon it, you would gain unspeakably if you would learn with me to see some of the poetry and the pathos, the tragedy and the comedy, lying in the experience of a human soul that looks out through dull gray eyes, and that speaks in a voice of quite ordinary tones.—George Eliot.

Character is the diamond that scratches every other stone—Bartol.

Character is human nature in its best form. It is moral order embodied in the individual. Men of character are not only the conscience of society, but in every well-governed state they are its best motive power; for it is moral qualities in the main which rule the world.—Samuel Smiles.

He whose life seems fair, if all his errors and follies were articled against him would seem vicious and miserable.—Jeremy Taylor.

In common discourse we denominate persons and things according to the major part of their character: he is to be called a wise man who has but few follies.—Watts.

Never does a man portray his own character more vividly than in his manner of portraying another.—Richter.

We are not that we are, nor do we treat or esteem each other for such, but for that we are capable of being.—Thoreau.

Charity.—Charity is a principle of prevailing love to God and good-will to men, which effectually inclines one endued with it to glorify God, and to do good to others.—Cruden.

The highest exercise of charity is charity towards the uncharitable.—Buckminster.

The charities that soothe, and heat, and bless, lie scattered at the feet of men like flowers.—Wordsworth.

Prayer carries us half way to God, fasting brings us to the door of his palace, and alms-giving procures us admission.—Koran.

Shall we repine at a little misplaced charity, we who could no way foresee the effect,—when an all-knowing, all-wise Being showers down every day his benefits on the unthankful and undeserving?—Atterbury.

As the purse is emptied the heart is filled.—Victor Hugo.

What we employ in charitable uses during our lives is given away from ourselves: what we bequeath at our death is given from others only, as our nearest relations.—Atterbury.

Goodness answers to the theological virtue of charity, and admits no excess but error; the desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall; but in charity there is no excess: neither can angel or man come into danger by it.—Bacon.

Poplicola's doors were opened on the outside, to save the people even the common civility of asking entrance; where misfortune was a powerful recommendation, and where want itself was a powerful mediator.—Dryden.

When thy brother has lost all that he ever had, and lies languishing, and even gasping under the utmost extremities of poverty and distress, dost thou think to lick him whole again only with thy tongue?—South.

What we frankly give, forever is our own.—Granville.

Faith and hope themselves shall die, while deathless charity remains.—Prior.

The place of charity, like that of God, is everywhere.—Professor Vinet.

People do not care to give alms without some security for their money; and a wooden leg or a withered arm is a sort of draftment upon heaven for those who choose to have their money placed to account there.—Mackenzie.

Chastity.—Chastity enables the soul to breathe a pure air in the foulest places; continence makes her strong, no matter in what condition the body may be; her sway over the senses makes her queenly; her light and peace render her beautiful.—Joubert.

Cheerfulness.—Cheerfulness is also an excellent wearing quality. It has been called the bright weather of the heart.—Samuel Smiles.

There is no Christian duty that is not to be seasoned and set off with cheerishness,—which in a thousand outward and intermitting crosses may yet be done well, as in this vale of tears.—Milton.

Such a man, truly wise, creams of nature, leaving the sour and the dregs for philosophy and reason to lap up.—Swift.

Be thou like the bird perched upon some frail thing, although he feels the branch bending beneath him, yet loudly sings, knowing full well that he has wings.—Mme. de Gasparin.

Children.—With children we must mix gentleness with firmness; they must not always have their own way, but they must not always be thwarted. If we never have headaches through rebuking them, we shall have plenty of heartaches when they grow up. Be obeyed at all costs. If you yield up your authority once, you will hardly ever get it again.—Spurgeon.

The smallest children are nearest to God, as the smallest planets are nearest the sun.—Richter.

The death of a child occasions a passion of grief and frantic tears, such as your end, brother reader, will never inspire.—Thackeray.

Childhood has no forebodings; but then, it is soothed by no memories of outlived sorrow.—George Eliot.

Children are excellent physiognomists and soon discover their real friends. Luttrell calls them all lunatics, and so in fact they are. What is childhood but a series of happy delusions?—Sydney Smith.

The clew of our destiny, wander where we will, lies at the cradle foot.—Richter.

A house is never perfectly furnished for enjoyment unless there is a child in it rising three years old, and a kitten rising three weeks.—Southey.

Children have more need of models than of critics.—Joubert.

The bearing and training of a child is woman's wisdom.—Tennyson.

One of the greatest pleasures of childhood is found in the mysteries which it hides from the skepticism of the elders, and works up into small mythologies of its own.—Holmes.

Do not shorten the beautiful veil of mist covering childhood's futurity, by too hastily drawing away; but permit that joy to be of early commencement and of long duration, which lights up life so beautifully. The longer the morning dew remains hanging in the blossoms of flowers, the more beautiful the day.—Richter.

Where children are there is the golden age.—Novalis.

In the man whose childhood has known caresses there is always a fibre of memory that can be touched to gentle issues.—George Eliot.

The first duty towards children is to make them happy. If you have not made them happy, you have wronged them; no other good they may get can make up for that.—Charles Buxton.

Christ.—Our religion sets before us, not the example of a stupid stoic who had by obstinate principles hardened himself against all sense of pain beyond the common measures of humanity, but an example of a man like ourselves, that had a tender sense of the least suffering, and yet patiently endured the greatest.—Tillotson.

However consonant to reason his precepts appeared, nothing could have tempted men to acknowledge him as their God and Saviour but their being firmly persuaded of the miracles he wrought.—Addison.

Imitate Jesus Christ.—Franklin.

The history of Christ is as surely poetry as it is history, and in general, only that history is history which might also be fable.—Novalis.

Christianity.—Christianity is within a man, even as he is gifted with reason; it is associated with your mother's chair, and with the first remembered tones of her blessed voice.—Coleridge.

There was never law, or sect, or opinion, did so much magnify goodness as the Christian religion doth.—Bacon.

No religion ever appeared in the world whose natural tendency was so much directed to promote the peace and happiness of mankind. It makes right reason a law in every possible definition of the word. And therefore, even supposing it to have been purely a human invention, it had been the most amiable and the most useful invention that was ever imposed on mankind for their good.—Lord Bolingbroke.

Far beyond all other political powers of Christianity is the demiurgic power of this religion over the kingdoms of human opinion.—De Quincey.

Christianity is the companion of liberty in all its conflicts,—the cradle of its infancy and the divine source of its claims.—De Tocqueville.

Nature never gives to a living thing capacities not particularly meant for its benefit and use. If nature gives to us capacities to believe that we have a Creator whom we never saw, of whom we have no direct proof, who is kind and good and tender beyond all that we know of kindness and goodness and tenderness on earth, it is because the endowment of capacities to conceive a Being must be for our benefit and use; it would not be for our benefit and use if it were a lie.—Bulwer-Lytton.

A man can no more be a Christian without facing evil and conquering it than he can be a soldier without going to battle, facing the cannon's mouth, and encountering the enemy in the field.—Chapin.

There was never found in any age of the world, either philosophy, or sect or religion, or law or discipline, which did so highly exalt the good of communion, and depress good private and particular, as the holy Christian faith: hence it clearly appears that it was one and the same God that gave the Christian law to men who gave those laws of nature to the creatures.—Bacon.

Christianity is intensely practical. She has no trait more striking than her common sense.—Charles Buxton.

Christianity ruined emperors, but saved peoples. It opened the palaces of Constantinople to the barbarians, but it opened the doors of cottages to the consoling angels of the Saviour.—Alfred de Musset.

Always put the best interpretation on a tenet. Why not on Christianity, wholesome, sweet, and poetic? It is the record of a pure and holy soul, humble, absolutely disinterested, a truth-speaker, and bent on serving, teaching, and uplifting men. Christianity taught the capacity, the element, to love the All-perfect without a stingy bargain for personal happiness. It taught that to love him was happiness,—to love him in others' virtues.—Emerson.

Christian faith is a grand cathedral with divinely pictured windows. Standing without, you see no glory nor can possibly imagine any; standing within, every ray of light reveals a harmony of unspeakable splendors.—Hawthorne.

Christians are like the several flowers in a garden, that have each of them the dew of heaven, which, being shaken with the wind, they let fall at each other's roots, whereby they are jointly nourished, and become nourishers of each other.—Bunyan.

Church.—The Church is a union of men arising from the fellowship of religious life; a union essentially independent of, and differing from, all other forms of human association.—Rev. Dr. Neander.

A place where misdevotion frames a thousand prayers to saints.—Donne.

She may still exist in undiminished vigor, when some traveler from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London bridge, to sketch the ruins of St. Paul's.—Macaulay.

Surely the church is a place where one day's truce ought to be allowed to the dissensions and animosities of mankind.—Burke.

God never had a house of prayer but Satan had a chapel there.—De Foe.

The church is a sort of hospital for men's souls, and as full of quackery as the hospital for their bodies. Those who are taken into it live like pensioners in their Retreat or Sailors' Snug Harbor, where you may see a row of religious cripples sitting outside in sunny weather.—Thoreau.

Circumstances.—Circumstances are the rulers of the weak; they are but the instruments of the wise.—Samuel Lover.

What saves the virtue of many a woman is that protecting god, the impossible.—Balzac.

Civilization.—Mankind's struggle upwards, in which millions are trampled to death, that thousands may mount on their bodies.—Mrs. Balfour.

The old Hindoo saw, in his dream, the human race led out to its various fortunes. First men were in chains which went back to an iron hand. Then he saw them led by threads from the brain, which went upward to an unseen hand. The first was despotism, iron and ruling by force. The last was civilization, ruling by ideas.—Wendell Phillips.

Nations, like individuals, live and die; but civilization cannot die.—Mazzini.

Clergymen.—The life of a conscientious clergyman is not easy. I have always considered a clergyman as the father of a larger family than he is able to maintain. I would rather have Chancery suits upon my hands than the cure of souls. I do not envy a clergyman's life as an easy life, nor do I envy the clergyman who makes it an easy life.—Johnson.

Clergymen consider this world only as a diligence in which they can travel to another.—Napoleon.

The clergy are as like as peas.—Emerson.

Commander.—The right of commanding is no longer an advantage transmitted by nature like an inheritance; it is the fruit of labors, the price of courage.—Voltaire.

The trident of Neptune is the sceptre of the world.—Antoine Lemierre.

He who rules must humor full as much as he commands.—George Eliot.

Commerce.—She may well be termed the younger sister, for, in all emergencies, she looks to agriculture both for defense and for supply.—Colton.

Commerce defies every wind, outrides every tempest, and invades every zone.—Bancroft.

Common Sense.—If common sense has not the brilliancy of the sun it has the fixity of the stars.—Fernan Caballero.

Communists.—One who has yearnings for equal division of unequal earnings. Idler or bungler, he is willing to fork out his penny and pocket your shilling.—Ebenezer Elliott.

Your leaders wish to level down as far as themselves; but they cannot bear leveling up to themselves. They would all have some people under them; why not then have some people above them.—Johnson.

Communism possesses a language which every people can understand. Its elements are hunger, envy, death.—Heinrich Heine.

Comparison.—All comparisons are odious.—Cervantes.

If we rightly estimate what we call good and evil, we shall find it lies much in comparison.—Locke.

Compassion.—The dew of compassion is a tear.—Byron.

Compensation.—Cloud and rainbow appear together. There is wisdom in the saying of Feltham, that the whole creation is kept in order by discord, and that vicissitude maintains the world. Many evils bring many blessings. Manna drops in the wilderness—corn grows in Canaan.—Willmott.

It is some compensation for great evils that they enforce great lessons.—Bovee.

Complaining.—We do not wisely when we vent complaint and censure. Human nature is more sensible of smart in suffering than of pleasure in rejoicing, and the present endurances easily take up our thoughts. We cry out for a little pain, when we do but smile for a great deal of contentment.—Feltham.

Our condition never satisfies us; the present is always the worst. Though Jupiter should grant his request to each, we should continue to importune him.—Fontaine.

Conceit.—Wind puffs up empty bladders; opinion, fools.—Socrates.

Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.—Bible.

Nature has sometimes made a fool, but a coxcomb is always of a man's own making.—Addison.

Everything without tells the individual that he is nothing; everything within persuades him that he is everything.—X. Doudan.

Apes look down on men as degenerate specimens of their own race, just as Hollanders regard the German language as a corruption of the Dutch.—Heinrich Heine.

If its colors were but fast colors, self-conceit would be a most comfortable quality. But life is so humbling, mortifying, disappointing to vanity, that a man's great idea of himself gets washed out of him by the time he is forty.—Charles Buxton.

One's self-satisfaction is an untaxed kind of property which it is very unpleasant to find depreciated.—George Eliot.

The pious vanity of man makes him adore his own qualities under the pretense of worshiping those of God.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Confidence.—Confidence imparts a wondrous inspiration to its possessor. It bears him on in security, either to meet no danger, or to find matter of glorious trial.—Milton.

Society is built upon trust, and trust upon confidence of one another's integrity.—South.

Conscience.—Conscience is not law; no, God and reason made the law, and have placed conscience within you to determine.—Sterne.

There are moments when the pale and modest star, kindled by God in simple hearts, which men call conscience, illumines our path with truer light than the flaming comet of genius on its magnificent course.—Mazzini.

No thralls like them that inward bondage have.—Sir P. Sidney.

Some people have no perspective in their conscience. Their moral convictions are the same on all subjects. They are like a reader who speaks every word with equal emphasis.—Beecher.

Conscience enables us not merely to learn the right by experiment and induction, but intuitively and in advance of experiment; so, in addition to the experimental way whereby we learn justice from the facts of human history, we have a transcendental way, and learn it from the facts of human nature, and from immediate consciousness.—Theodore Parker.

A man's own conscience is his sole tribunal; and he should care no more for that phantom "opinion" than he should fear meeting a ghost if he cross the churchyard at dark.—Lytton.

Conscience is a coward, and those faults it has not strength enough to prevent it seldom has justice enough to accuse.—Goldsmith.

To say that we have a clear conscience is to utter a solecism: had we never sinned we should have had no conscience.—Carlyle.

The most miserable pettifogging in the world is that of a man in the court of his own conscience.—Beecher.

Conscience serves us especially to judge of the actions of others.—J. Petit Senn.

It is astonishing how soon the whole conscience begins to unravel if a single stitch drops; one single sin indulged in makes a hole you could put your head through.—Charles Buxton.

A still small voice.—Bible.

Constancy.—A good man it is not mine to see; could I see a man possessed of constancy, that would satisfy me.—Confucius.

Constancy is the chimera of love.—Vauvenargues.

Constancy is the complement of all the other human virtues.—Mazzini.

Contempt.—No sacred fane requires us to submit to contempt.—Goethe.

There is not in human nature a more odious disposition than a proneness to contempt, which is a mixture of pride and ill-nature. Nor is there any which more certainly denotes a bad mind; for in a good and benign temper there can be no room for this sensation.—Fielding.

Contentment.—That happy state of mind, so rarely possessed, in which we can say, "I have enough," is the highest attainment of philosophy. Happiness consists, not in possessing much, but in being content with what we possess. He who wants little always has enough.—Zimmermann.

It is both the curse and blessing of our American life that we are never quite content. We all expect to go somewhere before we die, and have a better time when we get there than we can have at home. The bane of our life is discontent. We say we will work so long, and then we will enjoy ourselves. But we find it just as Thackeray has expressed it. "When I was a boy," he said, "I wanted some taffy—it was a shilling—I hadn't one. When I was a man, I had a shilling, but I didn't want any taffy."—Robert Collyer.

Submission is the only reasoning between a creature and its Maker; and contentment in his will is the best remedy we can apply to misfortunes.—Sir W. Temple.

Where God hath put exquisite tinge upon the shell washed in the surf, and planted a paradise of bloom in a child's cheek, let us leave it to the owl to hoot, and the frog to croak, and the fault-finder to complain.—De Witt Talmage.

Contrast.—The lustre of diamonds is invigorated by the interposition of darker bodies; the lights of a picture are created by the shades. The highest pleasure which nature has indulged to sensitive perception is that of rest after fatigue.—Johnson.

Controversy.—He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.—Burke.

What Tully says of war may be applied to disputing,—it should be always so managed as to remember that the only true end of it is peace: but generally true disputants are like true sportsmen,—their whole delight is in the pursuit; and a disputant no more cares for the truth than the sportsman for the hare.—Pope.

I am yet apt to think that men find their simple ideas agree, though in discourse they confound one another with different names.—Locke.

A man takes contradiction much more easily than people think, only he will not bear it when violently given, even though it be well-founded. Hearts are flowers; they remain open to the softly-falling dew, but shut up in the violent down-pour of rain.—Richter.

Conversation.—They who have the true taste of conversation enjoy themselves in a communication of each other's excellences, and not in a triumph over their imperfections.—Addison.

It is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others.—Montaigne.

Your reasons at dinner have been sharp and sententious; pleasant without scurrility, witty without affectation, audacious without impudency, learned without opinion, and strange without heresy.—Shakespeare.

No one will ever shine in conversation who thinks of saying fine things; to please one must say many things indifferent, and many very bad.—Francis Lockier.

Conversation warms the mind, enlivens the imagination, and is continually starting fresh game that is immediately pursued and taken, and which would never have occurred in the duller intercourse of epistolary correspondence.—Franklin.

Coquetry.—The most effective coquetry is innocence.—Lamartine.

God created the coquette as soon as he had made the fool.—Victor Hugo.

Affecting to seem unaffected.—Congreve.

Though 'tis pleasant weaving nets, 'tis wiser to make cages.—Moore.

Beautiful tyrant! Fiend angelical!—Shakespeare.

New vows to plight, and plighted vows to break.—Dryden.

Courage.—God holds with the strong.—Mazzini.

Courage is generosity of the highest order, for the brave are prodigal of the most precious things.—Colton.

Courage that grows from constitution often forsakes the man when he has occasion for it; courage which arises from a sense of duty acts in a uniform manner.—Addison.

Courage from hearts, and not from numbers, grows.—Dryden.

As to moral courage, I have very rarely met with the two o'clock in the morning courage. I mean unprepared courage, that which is necessary on an unexpected occasion, and which, in spite of the most unforeseen events, leaves full freedom of judgment and decision.—Napoleon.

Courage our greatest failings does supply.—Waller.

To bear is to conquer our fate.—Campbell.

Moral courage is more worth having than physical; not only because it is a higher virtue, but because the demand for it is more constant. Physical courage is a virtue which is almost always put away in the lumber room. Moral courage is wanted day by day.—Charles Buxton.

It is only in little matters that men are cowards.—William Henry Herbert.

Any coward can fight a battle when he's sure of winning; but give me the man who has pluck to fight when he's sure of losing.—George Eliot.

He who would arrive at fairy land must face the phantoms.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Courtier.—The court is like a palace built of marble; I mean that it is made up of very hard and very polished people.—La Bruyere.

With the people of court the tongue is the artery of their withered life, the spiral-spring and flag-feather of their souls.—Richter.

Covetousness.—Desire of having is the sin of covetousness.—Shakespeare.

The character of covetousness is what a man generally acquires more through some niggardness or ill grace, in little and inconsiderable things, than in expenses of any consequence.—Pope.

The world itself is too small for the covetous.—Seneca.

Cowardice.—At the bottom of a good deal of the bravery that appears in the world there lurks a miserable cowardice. Men will face powder and steel because they cannot face public opinion.—Chapin.

Credulity.—Quick believers need broad shoulders.—George Herbert.

Let us believe what we can and hope for the rest.—De Finod.

When credulity comes from the heart it does no harm to the intellect.—Joubert.

What believer sees a disturbing omission or infelicity? The text, whether of prophet or of poet, expands for whatever we can put into it, and even his bad grammar is sublime.—George Eliot.

Observe your enemies for they first find out your faults.—Antishenes.

Action is generally defective, and proves an abortion without previous contemplation. Contemplation generates, action propagates.—Feltham.

Crime.—If poverty is the mother of crimes, want of sense is the father of them.—Bruyere.

Crimes lead into one another. They who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.—Burke.

Criticism.—Solomon says rightly: "The wounds made by a friend are worth more than the caresses of a flatterer." Nevertheless, it is better that the friend wound not at all.—Joseph de Maistre.

The rule in carving holds good as to criticism,—never cut with a knife what you can cut with a spoon.—Charles Buxton.

The critic eye, that microscope of wit.—Pope.

Men have commonly more pleasure in the criticism which hurts, than in that which is innocuous; and are more tolerant of the severity which breaks hearts and ruins fortunes, than of that which falls impotently on the grave.—Ruskin.

Certain critics resemble closely those people who when they would laugh show ugly teeth.—Joubert.

Every one is eagle-eyed to see another's faults and his deformity.—Dryden.

For I am nothing if not critical.—Shakespeare.

He who stabs you in the dark with a pen would do the same with a penknife, were he equally safe from detection and the law.—Quintilian.

Silence is the severest criticism.—Charles Buxton.

All the other powers of literature are coy and haughty, they must be long courted, and at last are not always gained; but criticism is a goddess easy of access and forward of advance, she will meet the slow and encourage the timorous. The want of meaning she supplies with words, and the want of spirit she recompenses with malignity.—Johnson.

It is a barren kind of criticism which tells you what a thing is not.—Rufus Griswold.

The legitimate aim of criticism is to direct attention to the excellent. The bad will dig its own grave, and the imperfect may be safely left to that final neglect from which no amount of present undeserved popularity can rescue it.—Bovee.

There are some critics who change everything that comes under their hands to gold, but to this privilege of Midas they join sometimes his ears!—J. Petit Senn.

Cruelty.—Cruelty, the sign of currish kind.—Spenser.

One of the ill effects of cruelty is that it makes the by-standers cruel. How hard the English people grew in the time of Henry VIII. and Bloody Mary.—Charles Buxton.

Man's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn.—Burns.

Cruelty, like every other vice, requires no motive outside of itself; it only requires opportunity.—George Eliot.

Cultivation.—Cultivation is the economy of force.—Liebig.

The highest purpose of intellectual cultivation is to give a man a perfect knowledge and mastery of his own inner self; to render our consciousness its own light and its own mirror. Hence there is the less reason to be surprised at our inability to enter fully into the feelings and characters of others. No one who has not a complete knowledge of himself will ever have a true understanding of another.—Novalis.

Neither the naked hand, nor the understanding, left to itself, can do much; the work is accomplished by instruments and helps of which the need is not less for the understanding than the hand.—Bacon.

... Without art, a nation is a soulless body; without science, a straying wanderer. Without warmth and light, nature cannot thrive, nor humanity increase: the light and warmth of humanity is "art and science."—Kozlay.

Cunning.—Cunning has effect from the credulity of others, rather than from the abilities of those who are cunning. It requires no extraordinary talents to lie and deceive.—Johnson.

Cleverness and cunning are incompatible. I never saw them united. The latter is the resource of the weak, and is only natural to them; children and fools are always cunning, but clever people never.—Byron.

Discourage cunning in a child; cunning is the ape of wisdom.—Locke.

Cunning signifies especially a habit or gift of overreaching, accompanied with enjoyment and a sense of superiority. It is associated with small and dull conceit, and with an absolute want of sympathy or affection. It is the intensest rendering of vulgarity, absolute and utter.—Ruskin.

Curiosity.—A person who is too nice an observer of the business of the crowd, like one who is too curious in observing the labor of the bees, will often be stung for his curiosity.—Pope.

The gratification of curiosity rather frees us from uneasiness than confers pleasure; we are more pained by ignorance than delighted by instruction. Curiosity is the thirst of the soul.—Johnson.

Custom.—The despotism of custom is on the wane; we are not content to know that things are; we ask whether they ought to be.—John Stuart Mill.

Immemorial custom is transcendent law.—Menu.

In this great society wide lying around us, a critical analysis would find very few spontaneous actions. It is almost all custom and gross sense.—Emerson.

Custom doth make dotards of us all.—Carlyle.

Cynics.—It will be very generally found that those who sneer habitually at human nature, and affect to despise it, are among its worst and least pleasant samples.—Dickens.

Cynicism is old at twenty.—Bulwer-Lytton.


Dandy.—A dandy is a clothes-wearing man,—a man whose trade, office, and existence consist in the wearing of clothes. Every faculty of his soul, spirit, person, and purse is heroically consecrated to this one object,—the wearing of clothes wisely and well; so that as others dress to live, he lives to dress.—Carlyle.

A fool may have his coat embroidered with gold, but it is a fool's coat still.—Rivarol.

Danger.—It is better to meet danger than to wait for it. He that is on a lee shore, and foresees a hurricane, stands out to sea, and encounters a storm to avoid a shipwreck.—Colton.

Death.—It is not death, it is dying, that alarms me.—Montaigne.

What is death? To go out like a light, and in a sweet trance to forget ourselves and all the passing phenomena of the day, as we forget the phantoms of a fleeting dream; to form, as in a dream, new connections with God's world; to enter into a more exalted sphere, and to make a new step up man's graduated ascent of creation.—Zschokke.

Heaven gives its favorites early death.—Byron.

Our respect for the dead, when they are just dead, is something wonderful, and the way we show it more wonderful still. We show it with black feathers and black horses; we show it with black dresses and black heraldries; we show it with costly obelisks and sculptures of sorrow, which spoil half of our beautiful cathedrals. We show it with frightful gratings and vaults, and lids of dismal stone, in the midst of the quiet grass; and last, and not least, we show it by permitting ourselves to tell any number of falsehoods we think amiable or credible in the epitaph.—Ruskin.

There are remedies for all things but death.—Carlyle.

We understand death for the first time when he puts his hand upon one whom we love.—Mme. de Stael.

Too early fitted for a better state.—Dryden.

Death, the dry pedant, spares neither the rose nor the thistle, nor does he forget the solitary blade of grass in the distant waste. He destroys thoroughly and unceasingly. Everywhere we may see how he crushes to dust plants and beasts, men and their works. Even the Egyptian pyramids, that would seem to defy him, are trophies of his power,—monuments of decay, graves of primeval kings.—Heinrich Heine.

There is no fireside, howsoe'er defended, but has one vacant chair!—Longfellow.

And though mine arm should conquer twenty worlds, there's a lean fellow beats all conquerors.—Thomas Dekker.

Death is a commingling of eternity with time.—Goethe.

To the Christian, whose life has been dark with brooding cares that would not lift themselves, and on whom chilling rains of sorrow have fallen at intervals through all his years, death is but the clearing-up shower; and just behind it are the songs of angels, and the serenity and glory of heaven.—Beecher.

That golden key that opes the palace of eternity.—Milton.

When death gives us a long lease of life, it takes as hostages all those whom we have loved.—Madame Necker.

Man makes a death which nature never made.—Young.

The golden ripple on the wall came back again, and nothing else stirred in the room. The old, old fashion! The fashion that came in with our first garments, and will last unchanged until our race has run its course, and the wide firmament is rolled up like a scroll. The old, old fashion—Death! Oh, thank God, all who see it, for that older fashion yet—of Immortality!—Dickens.

God's finger touched him, and he slept.—Tennyson.

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.—Bible.

Nature intends that, at fixed periods, men should succeed each other by the instrumentality of death. We shall never outwit Nature; we shall die as usual.—Fontenelle.

After life's fitful fever he sleeps well.—Shakespeare.

Flesh is but the glass which holds the dust that measures all our time, which also shall be crumbled into dust.—George Herbert.

Death expecteth thee everywhere; be wise, therefore, and expect death everywhere.—Quarles.

The world. Oh, the world is so sweet to the dying!—Schiller.

The world is full of resurrections. Every night that folds us up in darkness is a death; and those of you that have been out early, and have seen the first of the dawn, will know it,—the day rises out of the night like a being that has burst its tomb and escaped into life.—George MacDonald.

The dissolution of forms is no loss in the mass of matter.—Pliny.

Faith builds a bridge across the gulf of death.—Young.

Debt.—He that dies pays all debts.—Shakespeare.

Poverty is hard, but debt is horrible; a man might as well have a smoky house and a scolding wife, which are said to be the two worst evils of our life.—Spurgeon.

The first step in debt is like the first step in falsehood, almost involving the necessity of proceeding in the same course, debt following debt as lie follows lie. Haydon, the painter, dated his decline from the day on which he first borrowed money.—Samuel Smiles.

Do not accustom yourself to consider debt only as an inconvenience; you will find it a calamity.—Johnson.

That swamp [of debt] which tempts men towards it with such a pretty covering of flowers and verdure. It is wonderful how soon a man gets up to his chin there,—in a condition in which, spite of himself, he is forced to think chiefly of release, though he had a scheme of the universe in his soul.—George Eliot.

Youth is in danger until it learns to look upon debts as furies.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Deceit.—No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true.—Hawthorne.

Idiots only may be cozened twice.—Dryden.

It is a double pleasure to deceive the deceiver.—Fontaine.

There is less misery in being cheated than in that kind of wisdom which perceives, or thinks it perceives, that all mankind are cheats.—Chapin.

Like unto golden hooks that from the foolish fish their baits do hide.—Spenser.

Libertines are hideous spiders that often catch pretty butterflies.—Diderot.

Decency.—As beauty of body, with an agreeable carriage, pleases the eye, and that pleasure consists in that we observe all the parts with a certain elegance are proportioned to each other; so does decency of behavior which appears in our lives obtain the approbation of all with whom we converse, from the order, consistency, and moderation of our words and actions.—Steele.

Virtue and decency are so nearly related that it is difficult to separate them from each other but in our imagination.—Tully.

Declamation.—Fine declamation does not consist in flowery periods, delicate allusions, or musical cadences, but in a plain, open, loose style, where the periods are long and obvious; where the same thought is often exhibited in several points of view.—Goldsmith.

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