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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
N. P. Willis
 
        Content dwells with him, for his mind is fed,
And temperance has driven out unrest.
  1
                He led on; but thoughts
Seem’d gathering round which troubled him. The veins
Grew visible upon his swarthy brow,
And his proud lip was press’d as if with pain.
He trod less firmly; and his restless eye
Glanc’d forward frequently, as if some ill
He dared not meet were there.
  2
        His eye was blue and calm, as is the sky
In the serenest noon.
  3
        How like a mounting devil in the heart
Rules the unreined ambition!
  4
        I love to go and mingle with the young
In the gay festal room—when every heart
Is beating faster than the merry tune,
And their blue eyes are restless, and their lips
Parted with eager joy, and their round cheeks
Flush’d with the beautiful motion of the dance.
  5
                    ———I have won
Thy heart, my gentle girl! but it hath been
When that soft eye was on me; and the love
I told beneath the evening influence,
Shall be as constant as its gentle star.
  6
        I’m weary of my lonely hut
  And of its blasted tree,
The very lake is like my lot,
  So silent constantly—
I’ve liv’d amid the forest gloom
  Until I almost fear—
When will the thrilling voices come
  My spirit thirsts to hear?
  7
        If e’er I win a parting token,
  ’Tis something that has lost its power—
A chain that has been used and broken,
  A ruin’d glove, a faded flower;
Something that makes my pleasure less,
Something that means—forgetfulness.
  8
        It is the month of June,
  The month of leaves and roses,
When pleasant sights salute the eyes
  And pleasant scents the noses.
  9
        Let us weep in our darkness—but weep not for him!
Not for him—who, departing, leaves millions in tears!
Not for him—who has died full of honor and years!
Not for him—who ascended Fame’s ladder so high.
From the round at the top he has stepped to the sky.
  10
        Night comes, with love upon the breeze,
  And the calm clock strikes, stilly, “ten!”
  I start to hear it beat, for then
I know that thou art on thy knees—
  And at that hour, where’er thou be,
  Ascends to heaven a prayer for me!
  11
        Press on!—“for in the grave there is no work
And no device”—Press on! while yet ye may!
  12
        The perfect world, by Adam trod,
Was the first temple—built by God—
His fiat laid the corner stone,
And heaved its pillars, one by one.
  13
        The Spring is here—the delicate footed May,
With its slight fingers full of leaves and flowers,
And with it comes a thirst to be away,
In lovelier scenes to pass these sweeter hours.
  14
        The world well tried, the sweetest thing in life
Is the unclouded welcome of a wife.
  15
        Your love in a cottage is hungry,
  Your vine is a nest for flies—
Your milkmaid shocks the Graces,
  And simplicity talks of pies!
You lie down to your shady slumber
  And wake with a bug in your ear,
And your damsel that walks in the morning
  Is shod like a mountaineer.
  16
  A flirt is like a dipper attached to a hydrant; every one is at liberty to drink from it, but no one desires to carry it away.  17
  A lamp is lit in woman’s eye, that souls, else lost on earth, remember angels by.  18
  Ah me! the world is full of meetings such as this,—a thrill, a voiceless challenge and reply, and sudden partings after!  19
  As expressive as the face.  20
 
 
  Fine taste is an aspect of genius itself, and is the faculty of delicate appreciation, which makes the best effects of art our own.  21
  Flirtation is a circulating library, in which we seldom ask twice for the same volume.  22
  Gentleness is the great point to be obtained in the study of manners.  23
  He who binds his soul to knowledge steals the key of heaven.  24
  Her closed lips were delicate as the tinted penciling of veins upon a flower; and on her cheek the timid blood had faintly melted through, like something that was half afraid of light.  25
  Her luxuriant hair;—it was like the sweep of a swift wing in visions!  26
  How beautiful it is for a man to die on the walls of Zion! to be called like a watch-worn and weary sentinel, to put his armor off, and rest in heaven.  27
  I have unlearned contempt; it is a sin that is engendered earliest in the soul, and doth beset it like a poison worm feeding on all its beauty.  28
  I knelt, and with the fervor of a lip unused to the cool breath of reason, told my love.  29
  If there is anything that keeps the mind open to angel visits, and repels the ministry of ill, it is human love.  30
  In comparing men and books, one must always remember this important distinction,—that one can put the books down at any time. As Macaulay says, “Plato is never sullen, Cervantes is never petulant, Demosthenes never comes unseasonably, Dante never stays too long.”  31
  It is godlike to unloose the spirit, and forget yourself in thought.  32
  It was Dean Swift who ignored the bill of fare, and asked for a bill of the company.  33
  Like Melrose Abbey, large cities should especially be viewed by moonlight.  34
  Maturity is most rapid in the low latitudes, where pineapples and women most do thrive.  35
  Nature has thrown a veil of modest beauty over maidenhood and moss-roses.  36
  Nature’s noblemen are everywhere,—in town and out of town, gloved and rough-handed, rich and poor. Prejudice against a lord, because he is a lord, is losing the chance of finding a good fellow, as much as prejudice against a ploughman because he is a ploughman.  37
  O, when the heart is full, when bitter thoughts come crowding thickly up for utterance, and the poor common words of courtesy are such a very mockery, how much the bursting heart may pour itself in prayer!  38
  One gets sensitive about losing mornings after getting a little used to them with living in the country. Each one of these endlessly varied daybreaks is an opera but once performed.  39
  One lamp, thy mother’s love, amid the stars shall lift its pure flame changeless, and before the throne of God burn through eternity.  40
  Pitch a lucky man into the Nile, says the Arabian proverb, and he will come up with a fish in his mouth!  41
  Press on! for in the grave there is no work and no device. Press on! while yet you may.  42
  She was the pride of her familial sphere—the daily joy of all who on her gracefulness might gaze, and in the light and music of her way have a companion’s portion.  43
  Some noble spirits mistake despair for content.  44
  Spring is a beautiful piece of work; and not to be in the country to see it done is the not realizing what glorious masters we are, and how cheerfully, minutely, and unflaggingly the fair fingers of the season broider the world for us.  45
  Temptation hath a music for all ears.  46
  The children of the poor are so apt to look as if the rich would have been over-blest with such! Alas for the angel capabilities, interrupted so soon with care, and with after life so sadly unfulfilled?  47
  The dust is old upon my “sandal-shoon” and still I am a pilgrim.  48
  The ear in man and beast is an evidence of blood and high breeding.  49
  The expressive word “quiet” defines the dress, manners, bow, and even physiognomy of every true denizen of St. James and Bond street.  50
  The innocence that feels no risk and is taught no caution is more vulnerable than guilt, and oftener assailed.  51
  The innumerable stars shining in order, like a living hymn written in light.  52
  The Italians say that a beautiful woman by her smiles draws tears from our purse.  53
  The lily and the rose in her fair face striving for precedence.  54
  The night is made for tenderness,—so still that the low whisper, scarcely audible, is heard like music,—and so deeply pure that the fond thought is chastened as it springs and on the lip made holy.  55
  The rain is playing its soft pleasant tune fitfully on the skylight, and the shade of the fast-flying clouds across my book passed with delicate change.  56
  The smallest pebble in the well of truth has its peculiar meaning, and will stand when man’s best monuments have passed away.  57
  The soul of man createth its own destiny of power; and as the trial is intenser here, his being hath a nobler strength in heaven.  58
  The starlight of the brain.  59
  The taste forever refines in the study of women.  60
  The value of life deepens incalculably with the privileges of travel.  61
  There are so few invalids who are invariably and conscientiously untemptable by those deadly domestic enemies, sweetmeats, pastry, and gravies, that the usual civilities at a meal are very like being politely assisted to the grave.  62
  There is a gentle element, and man may breathe it with a calm, unruffled soul, and drink its living waters, till his heart is pure; and this is human happiness.  63
  There is no divining-rod whose dip shall tell us at twenty what we shall most relish at thirty.  64
  There is to me a daintiness about early flowers that touches me like poetry. They blow out with such a simple loveliness among the common herbs of pastures, and breathe their lives so unobtrusively, like hearts whose beatings are too gentle for the world.  65
  ’T is the work of many a dark hour, many a prayer, to bring the heart back from an infant gone.  66
  Vulgarity is more obvious in satin than in homespun.  67
  We may believe that we shall know each other’s forms hereafter; and in the bright fields of the better land call the lost dead to us.  68
  What is ambition? It is a glorious cheat! Angels of light walk not so dazzlingly the sapphire walls of heaven.  69
  Wisdom, sits alone, topmost in heaven: she is its light, its God; and in the heart of man she sits as high, though groveling minds forget her oftentimes, seeing but this world’s idols.  70
  Woe for my vine-clad home, that it should ever be so dark to me, with its bright threshold and its whispering tree!  71
 
 
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