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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Southey
 
        Affliction is not sent in vain—
From that good God who chastens whom He loves!
  1
        Ambition is an idol, on whose wings
Great minds are carried only to extreme;
To be sublimely great or to be nothing.
  2
        Ay! idleness! the rich folks never fail
To find some reason why the poor deserve
Their miseries.
  3
        Death! to the happy thou art terrible;
But how the wretched love to think of thee,
O thou true comforter! the friend of all
Who have no friend beside!
  4
                        Easier were it
To hurl the rooted mountain from its base,
Than force the yoke of slavery upon men
Determin’d to be free.
  5
        Four things which are not in thy treasury,
I lay before thee, Lord, with this petition:—
      My nothingness, my wants,
      My sins, and my contrition.
  6
        From his brimstone bed, at break of day,
  A-walking the Devil is gone,
To look at his little snug farm of the world,
  And see how his stock went on.
  7
        Green moss shines there with ice encased;
The long grass bends its spear-like form;
And lovely is the silvery scene
When faint the sun-beams smile.
  8
                How beautiful is night!
A dewy freshness fills the silent air,
No mist obscures, nor cloud, nor speck, nor stain
Breaks the serene heaven:
In full-orb’d glory yonder moon divine
Rolls through the dark blue depths.
Beneath her steady ray
The desert circle spreads,
Like the round ocean, girdled with the sky,
How beautiful is night!
  9
        How little do they see what is, who frame
Their hasty judgment upon that which seems.
  10
        I can remember, with unsteady feet,
Tottering from room to room, and finding pleasure
In flowers, and toys, and sweetmeats, things which long
Have lost their power to please; which when I see them,
Raise only now a melancholy wish
I were the little trifler once again,
Who could be pleas’d so lightly.
  11
        “It was the English,” Kaspar cried,
  “Who put the French to rout;
But what they kill’d each other for,
  I could not well make out.
But every body said,” quoth he,
“That ’twas a famous victory.
They say it was a shocking sight
  After the field was won;
For many thousand bodies here
  Lay rotting in the sun:
But things like that, you know, must be
  After a famous victory.”
  12
        Let us depart! the universal sun
Confines not to one land his blessed beams;
Nor is man rooted, like a tree, whose seed
The winds on some ungenial soil have cast
There, where it cannot prosper.
  13
        Man hath a weary pilgrimage,
  As through the world he wends;
On every stage, from youth to age,
  Still discontent attends.
  14
        Mild arch of promise! on the evening sky
Thou shinest fair with many a lovely ray,
Each in the other melting.
  15
        She comes majestic with her swelling sails,
  The gallant Ship: along her watery way,
Homeward she drives before the favouring gales;
  Now flirting at their length the streamers play,
And now they ripple with the ruffling breeze.
  16
                          Then more fierce
The conflict grew; the din of arms—the yell
Of savage rage—the shriek of agony—
The groan of death, commingled in one sound
Of undistinguish’d horrors; while the sun,
Retiring slow beneath the plain’s far verge,
Shed o’er the quiet hills his fading light.
  17
        There are three things a wise man will not trust,—
The wind, the sunshine of an April day,
And woman’s plighted faith.
  18
        There was not, on that day, a speck to stain
The azure heaven; the blessed sun alone,
In unapproachable divinity,
Career’d, rejoicing in his fields of light.
  19
        Thou hast been called, O sleep! the friend of woe;
But ’tis the happy who have called thee so.
  20
 
 
        Three things a wise man will not trust,
The wind, the sunshine of an April day,
And woman’s plighted faith.
  21
                        ’Tis a history
Handed from ages down; a nurse’s tale—
Which children, open-ey’d and mouth’d devour;
And thus as garrulous ignorance relates,
We learn it and believe.
  22
                What a world were this
How unendurable its weight, if they
Whom Death hath sundered did not meet again!
  23
        What will not woman, gentle woman, dare,
When strong affection stirs her spirit up.
  24
  A fastidious taste is like a squeamish appetite; the one has its origin in some disease of the mind, as the other has in some ailment of the stomach.  25
  A house is never perfectly furnished for enjoyment unless there is a child in it rising three years old, and a kitten rising six weeks.  26
  A man may be cheerful and contented in celibacy, but I do not think he can ever be happy; it is an unnatural state, and the best feelings of his nature are never called into action.  27
  A stubborn mind conduces as little to wisdom or even to knowledge as a stubborn temper to happiness.  28
  A wise judge, by the craft of the law, was never seduced from its purpose.  29
  Among the poor, the approach of dissolution is usually regarded with a quiet and natural composure, which it is consolatory to contemplate, and which is as far removed from the dead palsy of unbelief as it is from the delirious raptures of fanaticism. Theirs is a true, unhesitating faith, and they are willing to lay down the burden of a weary life, in the sure and certain hope of a blessed immortality.  30
  As sure as God is good, so surely there is no such thing as necessary evil.  31
  Be thankful that your lot has fallen on times when, though there may be many evil tongues and exasperated spirits, there are none who have fire and fagot at command.  32
  Beasts, birds, and insects, even to the minutest and meanest of their kind, act with the unerring providence of instinct; man, the while, who possesses a higher faculty, abuses it, and therefore goes blundering on.  33
  Beware of those who are homeless by choice! You have no hold on a human being whose affections are without a top-root!  34
  “But what good came of it at last?” quoth little Peterkin. “Why, that I cannot tell,” said he; “but ’twas a famous victory.”  35
  Call not that man wretched, who whatever ills he suffers, has a child to love.  36
  Faith in the hereafter is as necessary for the intellectual as the moral character; and to the man of letters, as well as to the Christian, the present forms but the slightest portion of his existence.  37
  For a young and presumptuous poet a disposition to write satires is one of the most dangerous he can encourage. It tempts him to personalities, which are not always forgiven after he has repented and become ashamed of them.  38
  Happy it were for us all if we bore prosperity as well and as wisely as we endure adverse fortune.  39
  He who never relaxes into sportiveness is a wearisome companion; but beware of him who jests at everything! Such men disparage by some ludicrous association, all objects which are presented to their thoughts, and thereby render themselves incapable of any emotion which can either elevate or soften them; they bring upon their moral being an influence more withering than the blasts of the desert.  40
  He whose heart is not excited upon the spot which a martyr has sanctified by his sufferings, or at the grave of one who has largely benefited mankind, must be more inferior to the multitude in his moral, than he can, possibly be raised above them in his intellectual nature.  41
  His sweetest dreams were still of that dear voice that soothed his infancy.  42
  How little do they see what is, who frame their hasty judgments upon that which seems!  43
  I have heard a good story of Charles Fox. When his house was on fire, he found all efforts to save it useless, and, being a good draughtsman, he went up to the next hill to make a drawing of the fire,—the best instance of philosophy I ever heard of.  44
  I have told you of the Spaniard who always put on his spectacles when about to eat cherries, that they might look bigger and more tempting. In like manner I make the most of my enjoyments; and though I do not cast my eyes away from my troubles, I pack them in as little compass as I can for myself, and never let them annoy others.  45
  If you would be pungent, be brief; for it is with words as with sunbeams—the more they are condensed the deeper they burn.  46
  It behooves us always to bear in mind, that while actions are always to be judged by the immutable standard of right and wrong, the judgments which we pass upon men must be qualified by considerations of age, country, station, and other accidental circumstances; and it will then be found that he who is most charitable in his judgment is generally the least unjust.  47
  It is not for man to rest in absolute contentment. He is born to hopes and aspirations, as the sparks fly upward, unless he has brutified his nature, and quenched the spirit of immortality, which is his portion.  48
  It is only our mortal duration that we measure by visible and measurable objects; and there is nothing mournful in the contemplation for one who knows that the Creator made him to be the image of his own eternity, and who feels that in the desire for immortality he has sure proof of his capacity for it.  49
  It was a goodly sight to see the embattled pomp, as with the step of stateliness the barbed steeds came on, to see the pennons rolling their long waves before the gale, and banners, broad and bright, tossing their blazonry.  50
  John Bunyan had a great dread of spiritual pride; and once, after he had preached a very fine sermon, and his friends crowded round to shake him by the hand, while they expressed the utmost admiration of his eloquence, he interrupted them, saying: “Ay! you need not remind me of that, for the devil told me of it before I was out of the pulpit!”  51
  Live as long as you may, the first twenty years are the longest half of your life.  52
  My notions of life are much the same as they are about traveling; there is a good deal of amusement on the road; but, after all, one wants to be at rest.  53
  Never let any man imagine that he can pursue a good end by evil means, without sinning against his own soul! Any other issue is doubtful; the evil effect on himself is certain.  54
  Of all the sights which can soften and humanize the heart of man, there is none that ought so surely to reach it as that of innocent children enjoying the happiness which is their proper and natural portion.  55
  One fault begets another; one crime renders another necessary.  56
  One of our poets—which is it?—speaks of an everlasting now.  57
  Order is the sanity of the mind, the health of the body, the peace of the city, the security of the state. As the beams to a house, as the bones to the microcosm of man, so is order to all things.  58
  Our knowledge is our power, God our strength.  59
  Some voluntary castaways there will always be, whom no fostering kindness and no parental care can preserve from self-destruction; but if any are lost for want of care and culture, there is a sin of omission in the society to which they belong.  60
  Take away love, and not physical nature only, but the heart of the moral world, would be palsied.  61
  That charity is bad which takes from independence its proper pride, from mendicity its salutary shame.  62
  The disappointed man turns his thoughts toward a state of existence where his wiser desires may be fixed with the certainty of faith; the successful man feels that the objects which he has ardently pursued fail to satisfy the cravings of an immortal spirit; the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness, that he may save his soul alive.  63
  The history of any private family, however humble, could it be fully related for five or six generations, would illustrate the state and progress of society better than the most elaborate dissertation.  64
  The loss of a friend is like that of a limb. Time may heal the anguish of the wound, but the loss cannot be repaired.  65
  The march of intellect.  66
  The pulpit is a clergyman’s parade; the parish is his field of active service.  67
  The true one of youth’s love, proving a faithful helpmate in those years when the dream of life is over, and we live in its realities.  68
  There are some readers who have never read an essay on taste; and if they take my advice they never will, for they can no more improve their taste by so doing than they could improve their appetite or digestion by studying a cookery-book.  69
  There are three things a wise man will not trust,—the wind, the sunshine of an April day, and woman’s plighted faith.  70
  There are three things in speech that ought to be considered before some things are spoken—the manner, the place and the time.  71
  There is a magic in that little word,—it is a mystic circle that surrounds comforts and virtues never known beyond its hallowed limits.  72
  There is healing in the bitter cup.  73
  There is no security in a good disposition if the support of good principles—that is to say, of religion, of Christian faith—be wanting. It may be soured by misfortune, it may be corrupted by wealth, it may be blighted by neediness, it may lose all its original brightness, if destitute of that support.  74
  There was a time when I believed in the persuadability of man, and had the mania of man-mending. Experience has taught me better. The ablest physician can do little in the great lazar-house of society. He acts the wisest part who retires from the contagion.  75
  They who once engage in iniquitous designs miserably deceive themselves when they think that they will go so far and no farther; one fault begets another, one crime renders another necessary; and thus they are impelled continually downward into a depth of guilt, which at the commencement of their career they would have died rather than have incurred.  76
  Though looks and words, by the strong mastery of his practiced will, are overruled, the mounting blood betrays an impulse in its secret spring too deep for his control.  77
  War, even in the best state of an army, with all the alleviations of courtesy and honor, with all the correctives of morality and religion, is nevertheless so great an evil, that to engage in it without a clear necessity is a crime of the blackest dye. When the necessity is clear, it then becomes a crime to shrink from it.  78
  What blockheads are those wise persons who think it necessary that a child should comprehend everything it reads!  79
  What will not woman, gentle woman, dare when strong affection stirs her spirit up?  80
  Whatever strengthens our local attachments is favorable both to individual and national character, our home, our birthplace, our native land. Think for a while what the virtues are which arise out of the feelings connected with these words, and if you have any intellectual eyes, you will then perceive the connection between topography and patriotism.  81
  Where Washington hath left his awful memory a light for after-times.  82
  Whoever has tasted the breath of morning knows that the most invigorating and most delightful hours of the day are commonly spent in bed; though it is the evident intention of nature that we should enjoy and profit by them.  83
  Without religion the highest endowments of intellect can only render the possessor more dangerous if he be ill disposed; if well disposed, only more unhappy.  84
  Would you judge of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of pleasures, take this rule: whatever weakens your reason impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off the relish of spiritual things: in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself.  85
  Ye who dwell at home, ye do not know the terrors of the main.  86
 
 
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