Reference > Quotations > C.N. Douglas, comp. > Forty Thousand Quotations > Primary Author Index
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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Lamb
 
        An album is a garden, not for show
Planted, but use; where wholesome herbs should grow.
  1
                        Gone before
To that unknown and silent shore.
  2
        I love to lose myself in other men’s minds.
When I am not walking, I am reading;
I cannot sit and think. Books think for me.
  3
        Suck, baby! suck! mother’s love grows by giving:
Drain the sweet founts that only thrive by wasting!
Black manhood comes when riotous guilty living
Hands thee the cup that shall be death in tasting.
  4
        The cheerful Sabbath bells, wherever heard,
Strike pleasant on the sense, most like the voice
Of one, who from the far-off hills proclaims
Tidings of good to Zion.
  5
        Thou in such a cloud dost bind us,
That our worst foes cannot find us,
And ill fortune, that would thwart us,
Shoots at rovers, shooting at us;
While each man, through thy height’ning steam,
Does like a smoking Etna seem.
  6
        Thou through such a mist dost show us,
That our best friends do not know us.
  7
  A clear fire, a clean hearth, and the rigor of the game.  8
  A miser is sometimes a grand personification of fear. He has a fine horror of poverty; and he is not content to keep want from the door, or at arm’s length, but he places it, by heaping wealth upon wealth, at a sublime distance!  9
  A side intelligencer.  10
  A woman asked a coachman, “Are you full inside”? Upon which Lamb put his head through the window, and said: “I am quite full inside; that last piece of pudding at Mr. Gillman’s did the business for me.”  11
  Antiquity! thou wondrous charm, what art thou? that, being nothing, art everything! When thou wert, thou wert not antiquity,—then thou wert nothing, but hadst a remoter antiquity, as thou calledst it to look back to with blind veneration; thou thyself being to thyself flat, jejune, modern! What mystery lurks in this retroversion? or what half Januses are we, that cannot look forward with the same idolatry with which we forever revert! The mighty future is as nothing, being everything! The past is everything, being nothing!  12
  Be not frightened at the hard words “imposition,” “imposture;” give, and ask no questions. Cast thy bread upon the waters. Some have, unawares, entertained angels.  13
  Books think for me, I can read anything which I call a book.  14
  Books which are no books.  15
  Clap an extinguisher upon your irony, if you are unhappily blessed with a vein of it.  16
  Hail to thy returning festival, old Bishop Valentine! great is thy name in the rubric. Like unto thee, assuredly, there is no other mitred father in the calendar.  17
  Half as sober as a judge.  18
  He found shelter among books, which insult not, and studies that ask no questions of a youth’s finances.  19
  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.  20
 
 
  How often you are irresistibly drawn to a plain, unassuming woman, whose soft silvery tones render her positively attractive! In the social circle, how pleasant it is to hear a woman talk in that low key which always characterizes the true lady. In the sanctuary of home, how such a voice soothes the fretful child and cheers the weary husband!  21
  I cannot sit and think; books think for me.  22
  I conceive disgust at these impertinent and misbecoming familiarities inscribed upon your ordinary tombstone.  23
  I know that a sweet child is the sweetest thing in nature, not even excepting the delicate creatures which bear them; but the prettier the kind of a thing is, the more desirable it is that it should be pretty of its kind. One daisy differs not much from another in glory; but a violet should look and smell the daintiest.  24
  I love to lose myself in other men’s minds. When I am not walking, I am reading. I cannot sit and think; books think for me. I have no repugnances. Shaftesbury is not too genteel for me, nor Jonathan Wild too low.  25
  If dirt was trumps, what hands you would hold!  26
  If there be a regal solitude, it is a sick-bed. How the patient lords it there!  27
  In the indications of female poverty there can be no disguise. No woman dresses below herself from caprice.  28
  In the negro countenance you will often meet with strong traits of benignity. I have felt yearnings of tenderness towards some of these faces, or rather masks, that have looked out kindly upon one in casual encounters in the streets and highways.  29
  Is the world all grown up? Is childhood dead? Or is there not in the bosom of the wisest and the best some of the child’s heart left, to respond to its earliest enchantments?  30
  It is good to have friends at court.  31
  It is with some violence to the imagination that we conceive of an actor belonging to the relations of private life, so closely do we identify these persons in our mind with the characters which they assume upon the stage.  32
  Judge not man by his outward manifestation of faith; for some there are who tremblingly reach out shaking hands to the guidance of faith; others who stoutly venture in the dark their human confidence, their leader, which they mistake for faith; some whose hope totters upon crutches; others who stalk into futurity upon stilts. The difference is chiefly constitutional with them.  33
  Man, while he loves, is never quite depraved.  34
  Milton almost requires a solemn service of music to be played before you enter upon him. But he brings his music, to which who listen had need bring docile thoughts and purged ears.  35
  Much depends upon when and where you read a book. In the five or six impatient minutes before the dinner is quite ready, who would think of taking up the Faerie Queen for a stop-gap, or a volume of Bishop Andrews’s Sermons?  36
  Neat, not gaudy.  37
  Newspapers always excite curiosity. No one ever lays one down without a feeling of disappointment.  38
  No one ever regarded the first of January with indifference. It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left. It is the nativity of our common Adam. Of all sound of bells (bells the music highest bordering upon heaven), most solemn and touching is the peal which rings out the old year. I never heard it without a gathering-up of my mind to a concentration of all the images that have been diffused over the past twelve-month. All I have done or suffered, performed or neglected—in that regretted time. I begin to know its worth as when a person dies. It takes a personal color; nor was it a poetical flight of a contemporary, when he exclaimed: “I saw the skirts of the departing year.” It is no more than what in sober sadness, every one of us seems to be conscious of in that awful leave-taking.  39
  No work is worse than overwork; the mind preys on itself,—the most unwholesome of food.  40
  Not if I know myself at all.  41
  O money, money, how blindly thou hast been worshipped, and how stupidly abused! Thou are health and liberty and strength, and he that has thee may rattle his pockets at the foul fiend!  42
  Our appetites, of one or another kind, are excellent spurs to our reason, which might otherwise but feebly set about the great ends of preserving and continuing the species.  43
  Rags, which are the reproach of poverty, are the beggar’s robes, and graceful insignia of his profession, his tenure, his full dress, the suit in which he is expected to show himself in public.  44
  Satire does not look pretty upon a tombstone.  45
  Sentimentally I am disposed to harmony, but organically I am incapable of a tune.  46
  Shut not thy purse-strings always against painted distress. Act a charity sometimes. When a poor creature (outwardly and visibly such) comes before thee, do not stay to inquire whether the “seven small children,” in whose name he implores thy assistance, have a veritable existence. Rake not into the bowels of unwelcome truth to save a halfpenny. It is good to believe him.  47
  Since all the maids are good and lovable, from whence come the evil wives?  48
  So near are the boundaries of panegyric and invective, that a worn-out sinner is sometimes found to make the best declaimer against sin. The same high-seasoned descriptions which in his unregenerate state served to inflame his appetites, in his new province of a moralist will serve him (a little turned) to expose the enormity of those appetites in other men.  49
  The compliments of the season to my worthy masters, and a merry first of April to us all. We have all a speck of the motley.  50
  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.  51
  The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.  52
  The measure of choosing well is whether a man likes what he has chosen.  53
  The Muses were dumb while Apollo lectured.  54
  The music nighest bordering upon heaven.  55
  The vices of some men are magnificent.  56
  There are like to be short graces where the devil plays host.  57
  There is a pleasure in affecting affectation.  58
  They are a piece of stubborn antiquity, compared with which Stonehenge is in its nonage. They date beyond the Pyramids.  59
  This is the magnanimity of authorship, when a writer having a topic presented to him, fruitful of beauties for common minds, waives his privilege, and trusts to the judicious few for understanding the reason of his abstinence.  60
  To be thankful for what we grasp exceeding our proportion, is to add hypocrisy to injustice.  61
  Vocal portraits of the national mind.  62
  We encourage one another in mediocrity.  63
  We gain nothing by being with such as ourselves. We encourage one another in mediocrity. I am always longing to be with men more excellent than myself.  64
  What a place to be in is an old library! It seems as though all the souls of all the writers that have bequeathed their labors to these Bodleians were reposing here as in some dormitory, or middle state. I do not want to handle, to profane the leaves, their winding-sheets. I could as soon dislodge a shade. I seem to inhale learning, walking amid their foliage; and the odor of their old moth-scented coverings is fragrant as the first bloom of those sciential apples which grew amid the happy orchard.  65
  While childhood, and while dreams, producing childhood, shall be left, imagination shall not have spread her holy wings totally to fly the earth.  66
  Your absence of mind we have borne, till your presence of body came to be called in question by it.  67
 
 
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