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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Lytton
 
                    Alone!—that worn-out word,
So idly spoken, and so coldly heard;
Yet all that poets sing, and grief hath known,
Of hopes laid waste, knells in that word—Alone.
  1
                        As pure as a pearl,
And as perfect; a noble and innocent girl.
  2
        Ay, these young things lie safe in our hearts just so long
As their wings are in growing; and when these are strong
They break it, and farewell! the bird flies!
  3
        Curses are like young chickens,
And still come home to roost!
  4
        For something in the envy of the small
Still loves the vast democracy of death!
  5
        However we pass Time, he passes still,
  Passing away whatever the pastime,
And, whether we use him well or ill,
  Some day he gives us the slip for the last time.
  6
        In life there are meetings which seem
Like a fate.
  7
        In the lexicon of youth, which fate reserves
For a bright manhood, there is no such word
As—fail.
  8
                No true love there can be without
Its dread penalty—jealousy.
  9
        Not a truth has to art or to science been given,
But brows have ached for it, and souls toil’d and striven;
And many have striven, and many have fail’d,
And many died, slain by the truth they assail’d.
  10
        O hour, of all hours, the most bless’d upon earth,
The blessed hour of our dinners!
  11
        Oh, better no doubt is a dinner of herbs,
When season’d by love, which no rancor disturbs
And sweeten’d by all that is sweetest in life
Than turbot, bisque, ortolans, eaten in strife!
But if, out of humor, and hungry, alone
A man should sit down to dinner, each one
Of the dishes of which the cook chooses to spoil
With a horrible mixture of garlic and oil,
The chances are ten against one, I must own,
He gets up as ill-tempered as when he sat down.
  12
        That man is great, and he alone,
Who serves a greatness not his own,
  For neither praise nor pelf:
Content to know and be unknown:
  Whole in himself.
  13
        That, in tracing the shade, I shall find out the sun,
Trust to me!
  14
                                That’s best
Which God sends. ’Twas His will: it is mine.
  15
        The Devil, my friends, is a woman just now.
’Tis a woman that reigns in Hell.
  16
        ’Tis more brave
To live, than to die.
  17
                To all facts there are laws,
The effect has its cause, and I mount to the cause.
  18
                        ’Twas a hand
White, delicate, dimpled, warm, languid, and bland.
The hand of a woman is often, in youth,
Somewhat rough, somewhat red, somewhat graceless, in truth;
Does its beauty refine, as its pulses grow calm,
Or as sorrow has crossed the life line in the palm?
  19
                        Unseen hands delay
The coming of what oft seems close in ken,
And, contrary, the moment, when we say
“’Twill never come!” comes on us even then.
  20
 
 
        We are our own fates. Our own deeds
Are our doomsmen. Man’s life was made
Not for men’s creeds,
But men’s actions.
  21
        We may live without poetry, music and art;
We may live without conscience, and live without heart;
We may live without friends; we may live without books;
But civilized man cannot live without cooks.
He may live without books—what is knowledge but grieving?
He may live without hope—what is hope but deceiving?
He may live without love—what is passion but pining?
But where is the man that can live without dining?
  22
        Weary the cloud falleth out of the sky,
  Dreary the leaf lieth low.
All things must come to the earth by and by,
  Out of which all things grow.
  23
                    What’s saved affords
No indication of what’s lost.
  24
                        Who seeks for aid
Must show how service sought can be repaid.
  25
        Words, however, are things; and the man who accords
To his language the license to outrage his soul,
Is controll’d by the words he disdains to control.
  26
  Archæology is not only the handmaid of history, it is also the conservator of art.  27
  Courtesy is a duty public servants owe to the humblest member of the public.  28
  Do not think that years leave us and find us the same!  29
  Glory is priceless.  30
  Happiness and virtue react upon each other—the best are not only the happiest, but the happiest are usually the best.  31
  In all cases of heart-ache, the application of another man’s disappointment draws out the pain and allays the irritation.  32
  In beginning the world, if you don’t wish to get chafed at every turn, fold up your pride carefully, put it under lock and key, and only let it out to air upon grand occasions. Pride is a garment all stiff brocade outside, all grating sackcloth on the side next to the skin.  33
  In the lexicon of youth which fate reserves for a bright manhood, there is no such word as fail.  34
  In these days half our diseases come from neglect of the body in overwork of the brain.  35
  Life, that ever needs forgiveness, has, for its first duty, to forgive.  36
  Man hazards the condition and loses the virtues of freeman, in proportion as he accustoms his thoughts to view without anguish or shame his lapse into the bondage of debtor.  37
  Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm; it moves stones, it charms brutes. Enthusiasm is the genius of sincerity, and truth accomplishes no victories without it.  38
  Refuse to be ill. Never tell people you are ill; never own it to yourself. Illness is one of those things which a man should resist on principle at the onset.  39
  Rest is sweet after strife.  40
  The rust rots the steel which use preserves.  41
  The thing which must be, must be for the best; God helps us do our duty and not shrink.  42
  There is a pleasure which is born of pain.  43
  There is certainly something of exquisite kindness and thoughtful benevolence in that rarest of gifts,—fine breeding.  44
  There is war in the skies!  45
  War, when decisive, has a quick and practical philosophy of its own, and the difficulties that seem largest in its progress usually vanish at its close.  46
  Wherever progress ends, decline invariably begins; but remember that the healthful progress of society is like the natural life of man—it consists in the gradual and harmonious development of all its constitutional powers, all its component parts, and you introduce weakness and disease into the whole system whether you attempt to stint or to force its growth.  47
 
 
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