Reference > Quotations > S. Austin Allibone, comp. > Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay
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S. Austin Allibone, comp.  Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay.  1880.
 
Antiquities
 
  The great magazine for all kinds of treasure is supposed to be the bed of the Tiber. We may be sure, when the Romans lay under the apprehensions of seeing their city sacked by a barbarous enemy, that they would take care to bestow such of their riches that way as could best bear the water.
Joseph Addison.    
  1
 
  A man that is in Rome can scarce see an object that does not call to mind a piece of a Latin poet or historian.
Joseph Addison.    
  2
 
  There are in Rome two sets of antiquities,—the Christian and the Heathen: the former, though of a fresher date, are so embroiled with fable and legend that one receives but little satisfaction.
Joseph Addison.    
  3
 
  The antiquaries are for cramping their subject into as narrow a space as they can; and for reducing the whole extent of a science into a few general maxims.
Joseph Addison.    
  4
 
  Several supercilious critics will treat an author with the greatest contempt if he fancies the old Romans wore a girdle.
Joseph Addison.    
  5
 
  Our admiration of the antiquities about Naples and Rome does not so much arise out of their greatness as uncommonness.
Joseph Addison.    
  6
 
  When a man sees the prodigious pains our forefathers have been at in these barbarous buildings, one cannot but fancy what miracles of architecture they would have left us had they been instructed in the right way.
Joseph Addison.    
  7
 
  As for the observation of Machiavel, traducing Gregory the Great, that he did what in him lay to extinguish all heathen antiquities: I do not find that those zeals last long; as it appeared in the succession of Sabinian, who did revive the former antiquities.
Francis Bacon.    
  8
 
  In matters of antiquity, if their originals escape due relation, they fall into great obscurities, and such as future ages seldom reduce into a resolution.  9
 
  [An antiquary] is one that has his being in this age, but his life and conversation is in the days of old. He despises the present age as an innovation, and slights the future; but has a great value for that which is past and gone, like the madman that fell in love with Cleopatra. All his curiosities take place of one another according to their seniority, and he values them not by their abilities, but their standing. He has a great veneration for words that are stricken in years and are grown so aged that they have outlived their employments…. He values things wrongfully upon their antiquity, forgetting that the most modern are really the most ancient of all things in the world, like those that reckon their pounds before their shillings and pence, of which they are made up.
Samuel Butler: Characters.    
  10
 
  It is with antiquity as with ancestry; nations are proud of the one, and individuals of the other.
Charles Caleb Colton.    
  11
 
  The ancient pieces are beautiful because they resemble the beauties of nature; and nature will ever be beautiful which resembles those beauties of antiquity.
John Dryden.    
  12
 
  In the dark recesses of antiquity, a great poet may and ought to feign such things as he finds not there, if they can be brought to embellish that subject which he treats.
John Dryden.    
  13
 
  The prints which we see of antiquities may contribute to form our genius and to give us great ideas.
John Dryden.    
  14
 
  We have a mistaken notion of antiquity, calling that so which in truth is the world’s nonage.
Joseph Glanvill.    
  15
 
 
 
  The volumes of antiquity, like medals, may very well serve to amuse the curious; but the works of the moderns, like the current coin of a kingdom, are much better for immediate use: the former are often prized above their intrinsic value, and kept with care; the latter seldom pass for more than they are worth, and are often subject to the merciless hands of sweating critics and clipping compilers: the works of antiquity were ever praised, those of the moderns read: the treasures of our ancestors have our esteem, and we boast the passion: those of contemporary genius engage our heart, although we blush to own it: the visits we pay the former resemble those we pay the great: the ceremony is troublesome, and yet such as we would not choose to forego: our acquaintance with modern books is like sitting with a friend; our pride is not flattered in the interview, but it gives more internal satisfaction.
Oliver Goldsmith: Citizen of the World, Letter LXXV.    
  16
 
  Considering the casualties of wars, transmigrations, especially that of the general flood, there might probably be an obliteration of all those monuments of antiquity that ages precedent at some time have yielded.
Sir Matthew Hale.    
  17
 
  Antiquity, what is it else (God only excepted) but man’s authority born some ages before us? Now, for the truth of things, time makes no alteration; things are still the same they are, let the time be past, present, or to come. Those things which we reverence for antiquity, what were they at their first birth? Were they false?—time cannot make them true. Were they true?—time cannot make them more true. The circumstance, therefore, of time, in respect of truth and error is merely impertinent.
John Hales, the Ever-Memorable: Of Inquiry and Private Judgment in Religion.    
  18
 
  It is looked upon as insolence for a man to adhere to his own opinion against the current stream of antiquity.
John Locke.    
  19
 
  He had … that sort of exactness which would have made him a respectable antiquary.
Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay.    
  20
 
  The dearest interests of parties have frequently been staked on the results of the researches of antiquaries.
Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay.    
  21
 
  It is considerable that some urns have had inscriptions on them expressing that the lamps were burning.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  22
 
 
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