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.
 
Leigh Hunt
 
  It is books that teach us to refine our pleasures when young, and which, having so taught us, enable us to recall them with satisfaction when old.
Leigh Hunt.    
  1
 
  Large eyes were admired in Greece, where they still prevail. They are the finest of all, when they have the internal look; which is not common. The stag or antelope eye of the orientals is beautiful and lamping, but is accused of looking skittish and indifferent. “The epithet of stag-eyed,” says Lady Wortley Montague, speaking of a Turkish love-song,” pleases me extremely; and I think it a very lively image of the fire and indifference in his mistress’s eyes.” We lose in depth of expression when we go to inferior animals for comparisons with human beauty. Homer calls Juno ox-eyed; and the epithet suits well with the eyes of that goddess, because she may be supposed, with all her beauty, to want a certain humanity. Her large eyes look at you with a royal indifference. Shakspeare has kissed them, and made them human. Speaking of violets, he describes them as being
        “Sweeter than the lids of Juno’s eyes.”
  This is shutting up their pride, and subjecting them to the lips of love. Large eyes may become more touching under this circumstance than any others, because of the field which the large lids give for the veins to wander in, and the trembling amplitude of the ball beneath. Little eyes must be good-tempered, or they are ruined. They have no other resource. But this will beautify them enough. They are made for laughing, and should do their duty.
Leigh Hunt.    
  2
 
  God made both tears and laughter, and both for kind purposes; for as laughter enables mirth and surprise to breathe freely, so tears enable sorrow to vent itself patiently. Tears hinder sorrow from becoming despair and madness; and laughter is one of the very privileges of reason, being confined to the human species.
Leigh Hunt.    
  4
 
  We must regard every matter as an entrusted secret which we believe the person concerned would wish to be considered as such. Nay, further still, we must consider all circumstances as secrets intrusted which would bring scandal upon another if told, and which it is not our certain duty to discuss, and that in our own persons and to his face. The divine rule of doing as we would be done by is never better put to the test than in matters of good and evil speaking. We may sophisticate with ourselves upon the manner in which we should wish to be treated, under many circumstances; but everybody recoils instinctively from the thought of being spoken ill of in his absence.
Leigh Hunt.    
  5
 
  It is a delicious moment, certainly, that of being well nestled in bed, and feeling that you shall drop gently to sleep. The good is to come, not past: the limbs have just been tired enough to render the remaining in one posture delightful; the labour of the day is gone. A gentle failure of the perceptions creeps over you; the spirit of consciousness disengages itself once more, and with slow and hushing degrees, like a mother detaching her hand from that of a sleeping child, the mind seems to have a balmy lid closing over it, like the eye: it is closed, the mysterious spirit has gone to take its airy rounds.
Leigh Hunt.    
  6
 
  For the qualities of sheer wit and humour, Swift had no superior, ancient or modern.
Leigh Hunt.    
  7
 
 
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