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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Crabbe
 
        A club there is of smokers—dare you come
To that close, clouded, hot, narcotic room?
When, midnight past, the very candles seem
Dying for air, and give a ghastly gleam;
When curling fumes in lazy wreaths arise,
And prosing topers rub their winking eyes.
  1
        Beauties, when disposed to sleep,
Should from the eye of keen inspector keep:
The lovely nymph who would her swain surprise,
May close her mouth, but not conceal her eyes;
Sleep from the fairest face some beauty takes,
And all the homely features homelier makes.
  2
        Blest be the gracious Power, who taught mankind
To stamp a lasting image of the mind!
Beasts may convey, and tuneful birds may sing,
Their mutual feelings, in the opening spring;
But Man alone has skill and power to send
The heart’s warm dictates to the distant friend;
’Tis his alone to please, instruct, advise
Ages remote, and nations yet to rise.
  3
        Books cannot always please, however good,
Minds are not ever craving for their food.
  4
        But jest apart what virtue canst thou trace
In that broad brim that hides thy sober face?
Does that long-skirted drab, that over-nice
And formal clothing, prove a scorn of vice?
Then for thine accent—what in sound can be
So void of grace as dull monotony?
  5
        Circles in water, as they wider flow
The less conspicuous in their progress grow,
And when at last they trench upon the shore,
Distinction ceases and they’re view’d no more.
  6
        Come, now again, thy woes impart,
  Tell all thy sorrows, all thy sin,
We cannot heal the throbbing heart
  Till we discern the wounds within.
  7
        Ease leads to habit, as success to ease,
He lives by rule who lives himself to please.
  8
        Fortunes are made, if I the facts may state—
Though poor myself, I know the fortunate;
First, there’s a knowledge of the way from whence
Good fortune comes—and this is sterling sense:
Then perseverance, never to decline
The chase of riches till the prey is thine;
And firmness never to be drawn away
By any passion from that noble prey—
By love, ambition, study, travel, fame,
Or the vain hope that lives upon a name.
  9
        From powerful causes spring the empiric’s gains,
Man’s love of life, his weakness, and his pains;
These first induce him the vile trash to try,
Then lend his name that other men may buy.
  10
        Genius! thou gift of Heav’n! thou Light divine!
Amid what dangers art thou doom’d to shine!
Oft will the body’s weakness check thy force,
Oft damp thy Vigour, and impede thy course;
And trembling nerves compel thee to restrain
Thy noble efforts, to contend with pain;
Or Want (sad guest!) will in thy presence come,
And breathe around her melancholy gloom:
To Life’s low cares will thy proud thought confine,
And make her sufferings, her impatience, thine.
  11
        Habit with him was all the test of truth,
“It must be right: I’ve done it from my youth.”
  12
        He, fairly looking into life’s account,
Saw frowns and favours were of like amount;
And viewing all—his perils, prospects, purse;
He said, “content;—’t is well it is no worse.”
  13
        Her air, her manners, all who saw admired;
Courteous though coy, and gentle, though retired:
The joy of youth and health her eyes display’d,
And ease of heart her every look convey’d.
  14
        His liberal soul with every sect agreed,
Unheard their reasons, he received their creed.
  15
        In general satire, every man perceives
A slight attack, yet neither fears nor grieves.
  16
        In this wild world the fondest and the best
Are the most tried, most troubled and distress’d.
  17
        Jane borrow’d maxims from a doubting school,
And took for truth the test of ridicule;
Lucy saw no such virtue in a jest,
Truth was with her of ridicule the test.
  18
        Man yields to custom as he bows to fate.
In all things ruled—mind, body and estate;
In pain or sickness, we for cure apply
To them we know not, and we know not why.
  19
        Men famed for wit, of dangerous talents vain,
Treat those of common parts with proud disdain;
The powers that wisdom would, improving, hide,
They blaze abroad, with inconsid’rate pride;
While yet but mere probationers for fame,
They seize the honor they should then disclaim:
Honor so hurried to the light must fade,
The lasting laurels flourish in the shade.
  20
 
 
        No class escapes them—from the poor man’s pay
The nostrum takes no trifling part away;
Time, too, with cash is wasted; ’tis the fate
Of real helpers, to be called too late;
This find the sick, when (time and patience gone)
Death with a tenfold terror hurries on.
  21
        O days remember’d well! remember’d all!
The bitter sweet, the honey and the gall;
Those garden rambles in the silent night,
Those trees so shady, and that moon so bright,
That thickset alley by the arbor clos’d,
That woodbine seat where we at last repos’d;
And then the hopes that came and then were gone,
Quick as the clouds beneath the moon past on.
  22
        Oh how the passions, insolent and strong,
Bear our weak minds their rapid course along;
Make us the madness of their will obey;
Then die and leave us to our griefs a prey!
  23
        Oh! ’tis a precious thing, when wives are dead,
To find such numbers who will serve instead;
And in whatever state a man be thrown,
’Tis that precisely they would wish their own.
  24
        Oh! Conscience! Conscience! Man’s most faithful friend,
Him canst thou comfort, ease, relieve, defend:
But if he will thy friendly checks forego,
Thou art, oh! woe for me, his deadliest foe!
  25
        Oh! rather give me commentators plain,
Who with no deep researches vex the brain;
Who from the dark and doubtful love to run,
And hold their glimmering tapers to the sun.
  26
        See Time has touched me gently in his race,
And left no odious furrows in my face.
  27
        Shall he who soars, inspired by loftier views,
Life’s little cares and little pains refuse?
Shall he not rather feel a double share
Of mortal woe, when doubly armed to bear?
  28
          Soldiers in arms! Defenders of our soil!
Who from destruction save us; who from spoil
Protect the sons of peace, who traffic or who toil;
Would I could duly praise you, that each deed
Your foes might honor, and your friends might read.
  29
        Such harmony in motion, speech and air,
That without fairness, she was more than fair.
  30
        Temp’rate in every place,—abroad, at home,
Thence will applause, and hence will profit come;
And health from either—he in time prepares
For sickness, age, and their attendant cares.
  31
        The coward never on himself relies,
But to an equal for assistance flies.
  32
        The gentle fair on nervous tea relies,
Whilst gay good-nature sparkles in her eyes;
An inoffensive scandal fluttering round,
Too rough to tickle, and too light to wound.
  33
        The wife was pretty, trifling, childish, weak;
She could not think, but would not cease to speak.
  34
        Through the sharp air a flaky torrent flies,
Mocks the slow sight, and hides the gloomy skies;
The fleecy clouds their chilly bosoms bare,
And shed their substance on the floating air.
  35
        ’Tis easiest dealing with the firmest mind—
More just when it resists, and, when it yields, more kind.
  36
        To every class we have a school assign’d,
Rules for all ranks, and food for every mind:
Yet one there is, that small regard to rule
Or study pays, and still is deem’d a school;
That, where a deaf, poor, patient widow sits,
And awes some thirty infants as she knits;
Infants of humble, busy wives, who pay
Some trifling price for freedom through the day.
At this good matron’s hut the children meet,
Who thus becomes the mother of the street.
  37
        Void of all honor, avaricious, rash,
The daring tribe compound their boasted trash—
Tincture of syrup, lotion, drop, or pill;
All tempt the sick to trust the lying bill.
  38
        What is a church? Our honest sexton tells,
’Tis a tall building, with a tower and bells.
  39
        “What is a church?” Let truth and reason speak;
They would reply—“The faithful pure and meek,
From Christian folds, the one selected race,
Of all professions, and in every place.”
  40
        When winter stern his gloomy front uprears,
A sable void the barren earth appears;
The meads no more their former verdure boast,
Fast-bound their streams, and all their beauty lost;
The herds, the flocks, in icy garments mourn, and wildly murmur for the Spring’s return;
From snow-topp’d hills the whirlwinds keenly blow,
Howl through the woods, and pierce the vales below,
Through the sharp air a flaky torrent flies,
Mocks the slow sight, and hides the gloomy skies.
  41
        Wine is like anger; for it makes us strong,
Blind and impatient; and it leads us wrong;
The strength is quickly lost; we feel the error long.
  42
  An infatuated man is not only foolish, but wild.  43
  Cut and come again.  44
  Dreams are like portraits; and we find they please because they are confessed resemblances.  45
  Experience finds few of the scenes that lively hope designs.  46
  Fears of sinning let in thoughts of sin.  47
  Genius, thou gift of Heaven! thou light divine!  48
  Impertinence will intermeddle in things in which it has no concern, showing a want of breeding, or, more commonly, a spirit of sheer impudence.  49
  In idle wishes fools supinely stay; be there a will, and wisdom finds a way.  50
  In this fool’s paradise he drank delight.  51
  In this wild world the fondest and the best are the most tried, most troubled and distressed.  52
  Learning is better worth than house or land.  53
  Man yields to custom as he bows to fate,—in all things ruled, mind, body, and estate.  54
  Men of many words sometimes argue for the sake of talking; men of ready tongues frequently dispute for the sake of victory; men in public life often debate for the sake of opposing the ruling party, or from any other motive than the love of truth.  55
  Monuments themselves memorials need.  56
  Secrets with girls, like guns with boys, are never valued till they make a noise.  57
  Some hearts are hidden, some have not a heart.  58
  There is no mind so weak and powerless as not to have its inclinations, and none so guarded as to be without its prepossessions.  59
  Thy face the index of a feeling mind.  60
  Vice in its own pure native ugliness.  61
  Virtue alone is happiness below.  62
  Whatever amuses, serves to kill time, to lull the faculties, and to banish reflection. Whatever entertains, usually awakens the understanding or gratifies the fancy. Whatever diverts, is lively in its nature, and sometimes tumultuous in its effects.  63
 
 
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