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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Burton
 
  A faithful friend is better than gold—a medicine for misery, an only possession.  1
  A mere madness, to live like a wretch, and die rich.  2
  A nightingale dies for shame if another bird sings better.  3
  Ambition, that high and glorious passion, which makes such havoc among the sons of men, arises from a proud desire of honor and distinction; and when the splendid trappings in which it is usually caparisoned are removed, will be found to consist of the mean materials of envy, pride, and covetousness.  4
  Aristotle said  *  *  *  melancholy men of all others are most witty.  5
  As amber attracts a straw, so does beauty admiration, which only lasts while the warmth continues.  6
  As clear and as manifest as the nose in a man’s face.  7
  As the rose-tree is composed of the sweetest flowers and the sharpest thorns,—as the heavens are sometimes overcast, alternately tempestuous and serene; so is the life of man intermingled with hopes and fears, with joy and sorrows, with pleasure and with pains.  8
  Be fearful only of thyself, and stand in awe of none more than thine own conscience.  9
  Birds of a feather will gather together.  10
  Build castles in the air.  11
  Carcasses bleed at the sight of the murderer.  12
  Comparisons are odious.  13
  Conquer thyself. Till thou hast done that thou art a slave; for it is almost as well for thee to be in subjection to another’s appetite as thy own.  14
  Conscience is a great ledger book in which all our offences are written and registered, and which time reveals to the sense and feeling of the offender.  15
  Contention is a hydra’s head; the more they strive the more they may: and as Praxiteles did by his glass, when he saw a scurvy face in it, brake it in pieces: but for that one he saw many more as bad in a moment.  16
  Cookery is become an art, a noble science; cooks are gentlemen.  17
  Covetous men are fools, miserable wretches, buzzards, madmen, who live by themselves, in perpetual slavery, fear, suspicion, sorrow, discontent, with more of gall than honey in their enjoyments; who are rather possessed by their money than possessors of it.  18
  Diseases crucify the soul of man, attenuate our bodies, dry them, wither them, shrivel them up like old apples, make them as so many anatomies.  19
  Employment, which Galen calls “nature’s physician,” is so essential to human happiness that indolence is justly considered as the mother of misery.  20
 
 
  Every man for himself, his own ends, the devil for all.  21
  False friendship like the ivy, decays and ruins the walls it embraces; but true friendship gives new life and animation to the object it supports.  22
  Food, improperly taken, not only produced original diseases, but affords those that are already engendered both matter and sustenance; so that, let the father of disease be what it may. Intemperance is certainly its mother.  23
  Gluttony is the source of all our infirmities, and the fountain of all our diseases. As a lamp is choked by a superabundance of oil, a fire extinguished by excess of fuel, so is the natural health of the body destroyed by intemperate diet.  24
  Have not too low thoughts of thyself. The confidence a man hath of his being pleasant in his demeanor is a means whereby he infallibly cometh to be such.  25
  He is only fantastical that is not in fashion.  26
  I have no wife or children, good or bad, to provide for; a mere spectator of other men’s fortunes and adventures, and how they play their parts; which, methinks, are diversely presented unto me, as from a common theatre or scene.  27
  I may not here omit those two main plagues, and common dotages of human kind, wine and women, which have infatuated and besotted myriads of people: they go commonly together.  28
  I say to thee be thou satisfied. It is recorded of the hares that with a general consent they went to drown themselves out of a feeling of their misery; but when they saw a company of frogs more fearful than they were, they began to take courage and comfort again. Confer thine estate with others.  29
  I would help others, out of a fellow-feeling.  30
  Idleness is the badge of the gentry, the bane of body and mind, the nurse of naughtiness, the stepmother of discipline, the chief author of all mischief, one of the seven deadly sins, the cushion upon which the devil chiefly reposes, and a great cause not only of melancholy, but of many other diseases; for the mind is naturally active, and, if it is not occupied about some honest business, it rushes into mischief or sinks into melancholy.  31
  If adversity hath killed his thousands, prosperity hath killed his ten thousands; therefore adversity is to be preferred. The one deceives, the other instructs; the one miserably happy, the other happily miserable.  32
  If the world will be gulled, let it be gulled.  33
  It never yet happened to any man since the beginning of the world, nor ever will, to have all things according to his desire, or to whom fortune was never opposite and adverse.  34
  Let the world have their May-games, wakes, whetsunales, their dancings and concerts; their puppet-shows, hobby horses, tabors, bagpipes, balls, barley-breaks, and whatever sports and recreations please them best, provided they be followed with discretion.  35
  Like Æsop’s fox, when he had lost his tail, would have all his fellow foxes cut off theirs.  36
  Like dogs in a wheel, birds in a cage, or squirrels in a chain, ambitious men still climb and climb, with great labor, and incessant anxiety, but never reach the top.  37
  Make a virtue of necessity.  38
  Matches are made in heaven.  39
  Melancholy advanceth men’s conceits more than any humor whatever.  40
  Misery assails riches, as lightning does the highest towers; or as a tree that is heavy laden with fruit breaks its own boughs, so do riches destroy the virtue of their possessor.  41
  No cord or cable can draw so forcibly, or bind so fast, as love can do with only a single thread.  42
  No rule is so general, which admits not some exception.  43
  Of all vanities of fopperies, the vanity of high birth is the greatest. True nobility is derived from virtue, not from birth. Titles, indeed, may be purchased, but virtue is the only coin that makes the bargain valid.  44
  Our wrangling lawyers  *  *  *  are so litigious and busy here on earth, that I think they will plead their clients’ causes hereafter, some of them in hell.  45
  Our writings are so many dishes, our readers guests, our books like beauty; that which one admires another rejects; so are we approved as men’s fancies are inclined.  46
  Out of too much learning become mad.  47
  Penny wise, pound foolish.  48
  Perigrination charms our senses such unspeakable and sweet variety that some count him that never traveled—a kind of prisoner, and pity his case: that, from his cradle to his old age, he beholds the same still, still,—still, the same, the same.  49
  Put his shoulder to the wheel.  50
  Set a beggar on horseback, and he will ride a gallop.  51
  Sickness is the mother of modesty, as it puts us in mind of our mortality, and while we drive on heedlessly in the full career of worldly pomp and jollity, kindly pulls us by the ear, and brings us to a sense of our duty.  52
  So good things may be abused, and that which was first invented to refresh men’s weary spirits.  53
  Speak with contempt of no man. Every one hath a tender sense of reputation. And every man hath a sting, which he may, if provoked too far, dart out at one time or other.  54
  Sports and gaming, whether pursued from a desire of gain or love of pleasure, are as ruinous to the temper and disposition of the party addicted to them, as they are to his fame and fortune.  55
  Temperance is a bridle of gold; he who uses it rightly is more like a god than a man.  56
  The band of conjugal love is adamantine.  57
  The passions and desires, like the two twists of a rope, mutually mix one with the other, and twine inextricably round the heart; producing good if moderately indulged; but certain destruction if suffered to become inordinate.  58
  The world produces for every pint of honey a gallon of gall, for every dram of pleasure a pound of pain, for every inch of mirth an ell of moan; and as the ivy twines around the oak, so does misery and misfortune encompass the happy man. Felicity, pure and unalloyed felicity, is not a plant of earthly growth; her gardens are the skies.  59
  There are true graces, which, as Homer feigns, are linked and tied hand in hand, because it is by their influence that human hearts are so firmly united to each other.  60
  They are proud in humility, proud in that they are not proud.  61
  They lard their lean books with the fat of other’s works.  62
  ’Tis the beginning of hell in this life, and a passion not to be excused. Every other sin hath some pleasure annexed to it, or will admit of an excuse: envy alone wants both.  63
  Titles, indeed, may be purchased; but virtue is the only coin that makes the bargain valid.  64
  To enlarge or illustrate this power of the effects of love is to set a candle in the sun.  65
  To think well of every other man’s condition, and to dislike our own, is one of the misfortunes of human nature. “Pleased with each other’s lot, our own we hate.”  66
  We can say nothing but what hath been said,  *  *  *  Our poets steal from Homer  *  *  *  Our story-dressers do as much; he that comes last is commonly best.  67
  Where God hath a temple, the devil will have a chapel.  68
  Why doth one man’s yawning make another yawn?  69
  Wit without an employment is a disease.  70
  Worldly wealth is the Devil’s bait; and those whose minds feed upon riches recede, in general, from real happiness, in proportion as their stores increase; as the moon, when she is fullest, is farthest from the sun.  71
 
 
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