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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Jane Porter
 
  A cheerful temper spreads like the dawn, and all vapors disperse before it. Even the tear dries on the cheek, and the sigh sinks away half-breathed when the eye of benignity beams upon the unhappy.  1
  A sincere acquaintance with ourselves teaches us humility; and from humility springs that benevolence which compassionates the transgressors we condemn, and prevents the punishments we inflict from themselves partaking of crime, in being rather the wreakings of revenge than the chastisements of virtue.  2
  Any base heart can devise means of vileness, and affix the ugly shapings of its own fancy to the actions of those around him; but it requires loftiness of mind, and the heaven-born spirit of virtue, to imagine greatness where it is not, and to deck the sordid objects of nature in the beautiful robes of loveliness and light.  3
  Beauty of form affects the mind, but then it must be understood that it is not the mere shell that we admire; we are attracted by the idea that this shell is only a beautiful case adjusted to the shape and value of a still more beautiful pearl within. The perfection of outward loveliness is the soul shining through its crystalline covering.  4
  But the most annoying of all public reformers is the personal satirist. Though he may be considered by some few as a useful member of society, yet he is only ranked with the hangman, whom we tolerate because he executes the judgment we abhor to do ourselves, and avoid with a natural detestation of his office. The pen of the one and the cord of the other are inseparable in our minds.  5
  Compulsion hardly restores right; love yields all things.  6
  Dr. Johnson has said that the chief glory of a country arises from its authors. But then that is only as they are oracles of wisdom; unless they teach virtue, they are more worthy of a halter than of the laurel.  7
  Guilt is a spiritual Rubicon.  8
  Happiness is not perfected until it is shared.  9
  He that easily believes rumors has the principle within him to augment rumors. It is strange to see the ravenous appetite with which some devourers of character and happiness fix upon the sides of the innocent and unfortunate.  10
  How different is the ready hand, tearful eye, and soothing voice, from the ostentatious appearance which is called pity!  11
  How much better is it to weep at joy than to joy at weeping!  12
  I never yet heard man or woman much abused, that I was not inclined to think the better of them; and to transfer any suspicion or dislike to the person who appeared to take delight in pointing out the defects of a fellow-creature.  13
  If cowardice were not so completely a coward as to be unable to look steadily upon the effects of courage, he would find that there is no refuge so sure as dauntless valor.  14
  Imparting knowledge, is only lighting other men’s candle at our lamp, without depriving ourselves of any flame.  15
  In the career of female fame, there are few prizes to be obtained which can vie with the obscure state of a beloved wife or a happy mother.  16
  It depends on education (that holder of the keys which the Almighty hath put into our hands) to open the gates which lead to virtue or to vice, to happiness or misery.  17
  It has been wisely said, “that well may thy guardian angel suffer thee to lose thy locks, when thou darest wilfully to lay thy head in the lap of temptation!” Was it not easier for the hero of Judæa to avoid the touch of the fair Philistine, than to elude her power when held in her arms?  18
  It is not designed that the road should be made too smooth for us here upon earth.  19
  Lachrymal counsellors, with one foot in the cave of despair, and the other invading the peace of their friends, are the paralyzers of action, the pests of society, and the subtlest homicides in the world; they poison with a tear; and convey a dagger to the heart while they press you to their bosoms.  20
 
 
  Life is a warfare; and he who easily desponds deserts a double duty—he betrays the noblest property of man, which is dauntless resolution; and he rejects the providence of that All-Gracious Being who guides and rules the universe.  21
  Magnanimity is above circumstance; and any virtue which depends on that is more of constitution than of principle.  22
  National antipathy is the basest, because the most illiberal and illiterate of all prejudices.  23
  Nobility, without virtue, is a fine setting without a gem.  24
  People do not always understand the motives of sublime conduct, and when they are astonished they are very apt to think they ought to be alarmed. The truth is none are fit judges of greatness but those who are capable of it.  25
  Plain dealing is easiest and best.  26
  Self-love leads men of narrow minds to measure all mankind by their own capacity.  27
  That grief is the most durable which flows inward, and buries its streams with its fountain, in the depths of the heart.  28
  The best manner of avenging ourselves is by not resembling him who has injured us; and it is hardly possible for one man to be more unlike another than he that forbears to avenge himself of wrong is to him who did the wrong.  29
  The bliss of the drunkard is a visible picture of the expectation of the dying atheist, who hopes no more than to lie down in the grave with the “beasts that perish.”  30
  The doubts of love are never to be wholly overcome; they grow with its various anxieties, timidities, and tenderness, and are the very fruits of the reverence in which the admired object is beheld.  31
  The flatterer easily insinuates himself into the closet, while honest merit stands shivering in the hall or antechamber.  32
  The fruition of what is unlawful must be followed by remorse. The core sticks in the throat after the apple is eaten, and the sated appetite loathes the interdicted pleasure for which innocence was bartered.  33
  The mob is a sort of bear; while your ring is through its nose, it will even dance under your cudgel; but should the ring slip, and you lose your hold, the brute will turn and rend you.  34
  The only impregnable citadel of virtue is religion; for there is no bulwark of mere morality, which some temptation may not overtop or undermine, and destroy.  35
  The perfection of outward loveliness is the soul shining through its crystalline covering.  36
  The platform or the altar of love may be analyzed and explained; it is constructed of virtue, beauty, and affection. Such is the pyre, such is the offering; but the ethereal spark must come from heaven, that lights the sacrifice.  37
  The pure in heart are slow to credit calumnies, because they hardly comprehend what motives can be inducements to the alleged crimes.  38
  The virtues, like the muses, are always seen in groups. A good principle was never found solitary in any breast.  39
  There is nothing so clear-sighted and sensible as a noble mind in a low estate.  40
  These hearts which suck up friendship like water, and yield it again with the first touch, might as well expect to squeeze a sponge and find it hold its moisture, as to retain affections which they are forever dashing from them.  41
  True virtue, when she errs, needs not the eyes of men to excite her blushes; she is confounded at her own presence, and covered with confusion of face.  42
  Virtue is despotic; life, reputation, every earthly good, must be surrendered at her voice. The law may seem hard, but it is the guardian of what it commands; and is the only sure defence of happiness.  43
  Virtue, without the graces, is like a rich diamond unpolished—it hardly looks better than a common pebble; but when the hand of the master rubs off the roughness, and forms the sides into a thousand brilliant surfaces, it is then that we acknowledge its worth, admire its beauty, and long to wear it in our bosoms.  44
  We all know that a lie needs no other grounds than the invention of the liar; and to take for granted as truth all that is alleged against the fame of others is a species of credulity that men would blush at on any other subject.  45
  We value the devotedness of friendship rather as an oblation to vanity than as a free interchange of hearts; an endearing contract of sympathy, mutual forbearance, and respect!  46
  When Alexander had subdued the world, and wept that none were left to dispute his arms, his tears were an involuntary tribute to a monarchy that he knew not, man’s empire over himself.  47
  When the cup of any sensual pleasure is drained to the bottom, there is always poison in the dregs. Anacreon himself declares that “the flowers swim at the top of the bowl!”  48
  Where there is any good disposition, confidence begets faithfulness; but distrust, if it do not produce treachery, never fails to destroy every inclination to evince fidelity. Most people disdain to clear themselves from the accusations of mere suspicion.  49
 
 
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