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.
 
Dr. T. Brown
 
  How many opportunities have we of giving delight to those who live in our domestic circle, which would be lost before we could diffuse it to those who are distant from us! Our love, therefore, our desire of giving happiness, our pleasure in having given it, are stronger within the limits of this sphere of daily and hourly intercourse than beyond it. Of those who are beyond this sphere, the individuals most familiar to us are those whose happiness we must always know better how to promote than the happiness of strangers, with whose particular habits and inclinations we are little if at all acquainted.
Dr. Brown: Lects. on the Philos. of the Human Mind.    
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  If there be an exception to this gradual scale of importance according to intimacy, it must be in the case of one who is absolutely a stranger…. Accordingly, we find that by a provision which might be termed singular, if we did not think of the universal bounty and wisdom of God, a modification of our general regard has been prepared in the sympathetic tendencies of our nature for this case also. There is a species of affection to which the stranger gives birth merely as being a stranger. He is received and sheltered by our hospitality almost with the zeal with which our friendship delights to receive one with whom we have lived in cordial union, whose virtues we know and revere, and whose kindness has been to us no small part of the happiness of our life.
Dr. T. Brown: Lects. on the Philos. of the Human Mind.    
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  It is this desire of the happiness of those whom we love which gives to the emotion of love itself its principal delight, by affording to us constant means of gratification. He who truly wishes the happiness of any one cannot be long without discovering some means of contributing to it. Reason itself, with all its light, is not so rapid in discoveries of this sort as simple affection, which sees means of happiness, and of important happiness, where reason scarcely could think that any happiness was to be found, and has already by many kind offices produced the happiness of hours before reason could have suspected that means so slight could have given even a moment’s pleasure. It is this, indeed, which contributes in no inconsiderable degree to the perpetuity of affection. Love, the mere feeling of tender admiration, would in many cases have soon lost its power over the fickle heart, and in many other cases would have had its power greatly lessened, if the desire of giving happiness, and the innumerable little courtesies and cares to which this desire gives birth, had not thus in a great measure diffused over a single passion the variety of many emotions.
Dr. T. Brown: Lects. on the Philos. of the Human Mind.    
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