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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Simms
 
  Ambition is frequently the only refuge which life has left to the denied or mortified affections. We chide at the grasping eye, the daring wing, the soul that seems to thirst for sovereignty only, and know not that the flight of this ambitious bird has been from a bosom or home that is filled with ashes.  1
  Better that we should err in action than wholly refuse to perform. The storm is so much better than the calm, as it declares the presence of a living principle. Stagnation is something worse than death. It is corruption also.  2
  But for that blindness which is inseparable from malice, what terrible powers of evil would it possess! Fortunately for the world, its venom, like that of the rattlesnake, when most poisonous, clouds the eye of the reptile, and defeats its aim.  3
  Distinction is an eminence that is attained but too frequently at the expense of a fireside.  4
  Have I done anything for society? I have then done more for myself. Let that truth be always present to thy mind, and work without cessation.  5
  He who would acquire fame must not show himself afraid of censure. The dread of censure is the death of genius.  6
  I know not that there is anything in nature more soothing to the mind than the contemplation of the moon, sailing, like some planetary bark, amidst a sea of bright azure. The subject is certainly hackneyed: the moon has been sung by poet and poetaster. Is there any marvel that it should be so?  7
  It is a bird-flight of the soul, when the heart declares itself in song. The affections that clothe themselves with wings are passions that have been subdued to virtues.  8
  It should console us for the fact that sin has not totally disappeared from the world, that the saints are not wholly deprived of employment.  9
  Love is but another name for that inscrutable presence by which the soul is connected with humanity.  10
  Modesty is policy, no less than virtue.  11
  Neither praise nor blame is the object of true criticism. Justly to discriminate, firmly to establish, wisely to prescribe and honestly to award—these are the true aims and duties of criticism.  12
  No doubt solitude is wholesome, but so is abstinence after a surfeit. The true life of man is in society.  13
  Not to sorrow freely is never to open the bosom to the sweets of the sunshine.  14
  Our cares are the mothers, not only of our charities and virtues, but of our best joys and most cheering and enduring pleasures.  15
  Our possessions are wholly in our performances. He owns nothing to whom the world owes nothing.  16
  Our true acquisitions lie only in our charities. We gain only as we give. There is no beggar so destitute as he who can afford nothing to his neighbor.  17
  Philosophy is reason with the eyes of the soul.  18
  Revelation may not need the help of reason, but man does, even when in possession of revelation. Reason may be described as the candle in the man’s hand, to which revelation brings the necessary flame.  19
  Solitude bears the same relation to the mind that sleep does to the body. It affords it the necessary opportunities for repose and recovery.  20
 
 
  Stagnation is something worse than death, it is corruption also.  21
  Tact is one of the first of mental virtues, the absence of which is frequently fatal to the best of talents. Without denying that it is a talent of itself, it will suffice if we admit that it supplies the place of many talents.  22
  Tears are the natural penalties of pleasure. It is a law that we should pay for all that we enjoy.  23
  The amiable is a duty most certainly, but must not be exercised at the expense of any of the virtues. He who seeks to do the amiable always, can only be successful at the frequent expense of his manhood.  24
  The birth of a child is the imprisonment of a soul.  25
  The conditions of conquest are always easy. We have but to toil awhile, endure awhile, believe always, and never turn back.  26
  The death of censure is the death of genius.  27
  The effect of character is always to command consideration. We sport and toy and laugh with men or women who have none, but we never confide in them.  28
  The fool is willing to pay for anything but wisdom. No man buys that of which he supposes himself to have an abundance already.  29
  The only true source of politeness is consideration,—that vigilant moral sense which never loses sight of the rights, the claims, and the sensibilities of others. This is the one quality, over all others, necessary to make a gentleman.  30
  The proverb answers where the sermon fails as a well-charged pistol will do more execution than a whole barrel of gunpowder idly exploded in the air.  31
  The true law of the race is progress and development. Whenever civilization pauses in the march of conquest, it is overthrown by the barbarian.  32
  The wonder is not that the world is so easily governed, but that so small a number of persons will suffice for the purpose. There are dead weights in political and legislative bodies as in clocks, and hundreds answer as pulleys who would never do for politicians.  33
  There is a native baseness in the ambition which seeks beyond its desert, that never shows more conspicuously than when, no matter how, it temporarily gains its object.  34
  There is no doubt such a thing as chance, but I see no reason why Providence should not make use of it.  35
  To feel oppressed by obligation is only to prove that we are incapable of a proper sentiment of gratitude. To receive favors from the unworthy is simply to admit that our selfishness is superior to our pride. Most men remember obligations, but not often to be grateful for them. The proud are made sour by the remembrance and the vain silent.  36
  To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.  37
  Vanity is so constantly solicitous of self, that even where its own claims are not interested, it indirectly seeks the aliment which it loves, by showing how little is deserved by others.  38
  Vanity may be likened to the smooth-skinned and velvet-footed mouse, nibbling about forever in expectation of a crumb; while self-esteem is too apt to take the likeness of the huge butcher’s dog, who carries off your steaks, and growls at you as he goes.  39
  We must calculate not on the weather, nor on fortune, but upon God and ourselves. He may fail us in the gratification of our wishes, but never in the encounter with our exigencies.  40
  What we call genius may, perhaps, in more strict propriety, be described as the spirit of discovery. Genius is the very eye of intellect and the wing of thought. It is always in advance of its time. It is the pioneer for the generation which it precedes. For this reason it is called a seer—and hence its songs have been prophecies.  41
  What we call vice in our neighbor may be nothing less than a crude virtue. To him who knows nothing more of precious stones than he can learn from a daily contemplation of his breastpin, a diamond in the mine must be a very uncompromising sort of stone.  42
  Who is it that called time the avenger, yet failed to see that death was the consoler. What mortal afflictions are there to which death does not bring full remedy? What hurts of hope and body does it not repair? “This is a sharp medicine,” said Raleigh, speaking of the axe, “but it cures all disorders.”  43
 
 
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