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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Hoyt & Roberts, comps.  Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations.  1922.
 
Genius
 
  Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementia.
  There is no great genius without a mixture of madness.
        Aristotle. Quoted by Burton—Anatomy of Melancholy. Assigned to Aristotle also by Seneca—Problem. 30. Same idea in Seneca.—De Tranquillitate Animi. XVII. 10. Cicero—Tusculum. I. 33. 80; also in De Div. I. 37.
  1
  Doing easily what others find it difficult is talent; doing what is impossible for talent is genius.
        Henri-Frederic Amiel—Journal.
  2
  As diamond cuts diamond, and one hone smooths a second, all the parts of intellect are whetstones to each other; and genius, which is but the result of their mutual sharpening, is character too.
        C. A. Bartol—Radical Problems. Individualism.
  3
Le Génie, c’est la patience.
  Genius is only patience.
        Buffon, as quoted by Madame de Staël in A. Stevens’ Study of the Life and Times of Mme. de Staël. Ch. III. P. 61. (Ed. 1881.) Le génie n’est qu’une plus grande aptitude à la patience. As narrated by Herault de Séchelles—Voyage à Montbar. P. 15, when speaking of a talk with Buffon in 1785. (Not in Buffon’s works.)
  4
  Genius … means the transcendent capacity of taking trouble.
        Carlyle—Frederick the Great. Bk. IV. Ch. III. Genius is a capacity for taking trouble. Leslie Stephen. Genius is an intuitive talent for labor. Jan Walæus.
  5
Patience is a necessary ingredient of genius.
        Benj. Disraeli—Contarini Fleming. Pt. IV. Ch. 5.
  6
  Fortune has rarely condescended to be the companion of genius.
        Isaac D’Israeli—Curiosities of Literature. Poverty of the Learned.
  7
  Many men of genius must arise before a particular man of genius can appear.
        Isaac D’Israeli—Literary Character of Men of Genius.
  8
  To think, and to feel, constitute the two grand divisions of men of genius—the men of reasoning and the men of imagination.
        Isaac D’Israeli—Literary Character of Men of Genius. Ch. II.
  9
  Philosophy becomes poetry, and science imagination, in the enthusiasm of genius.
        Isaac D’Israeli—Literary Character of Men of Genius. Ch. XII.
  10
  Every work of Genius is tinctured by the feelings, and often originates in the events of times.
        Isaac D’Israeli—Literary Character of Men of Genius. Ch. XXV.
  11
But genius must be born, and never can be taught.
        Dryden—Epistle X. To Congreve. L. 60.
  12
  When Nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it.
        Emerson—Method of Nature.
  13
  The hearing ear is always found close to the speaking tongue; and no genius can long or often utter anything which is not invited and gladly entertained by men around him.
        Emerson—Race.
  14
Vivitur ingenio, that damn’d motto there
Seduced me first to be a wicked player.
        Farquhar—Love and a Bottle. Epilogue written and spoken by Joseph Haynes. The motto “Vivitur ingenio” appears to have been displayed in Drury Lane Theatre.
  15
Genius and its rewards are briefly told:
A liberal nature and a niggard doom,
A difficult journey to a splendid tomb.
        Forster—Dedication of the Life and Adventures of Oliver Goldsmith.
  16
Genius is the power of lighting one’s own fire.
        John Foster.
  17
  Das erste und letzte, was vom Genie gefordert wird, ist Wahrheits-Liebe.
  The first and last thing required of genius is the love of truth.
        Goethe—Sprüche in Prosa. III.
  18
Here lies our good Edmund, whose genius was such
We scarcely can praise it or blame it too much;
Who, born for the universe, narrow’d his mind,
And to party gave up what was meant for mankind.
        Goldsmith—Retaliation. L. 29.
  19
  Perhaps, moreover, he whose genius appears deepest and truest excels his fellows in nothing save the knack of expression; he throws out occasionally a lucky hint at truths of which every human soul is profoundly though unutterably conscious.
        Hawthorne—Mosses from an Old Manse. The Procession of Life.
  20
 
 
Genius, like humanity, rusts for want of use.
        Hazlitt—Table Talk. On Application to Study.
  21
  Nature is the master of talents; genius is the master of nature.
        J. G. Holland—Plain Talk on Familiar Subjects. Art and Life.
  22
  Gift, like genius, I often think only means an infinite capacity for taking pains.
        Ellice Hopkins—Work amongst Working Men. In Notes and Queries, Sept. 13, 1879. P. 213, a correspondent, H. P. states that he was the first to use the exact phrase, “Genius is the capacity for taking pains.”
  23
At ingenium ingens
Inculto latet sub hoc corpore.
  Yet a mighty genius lies hid under this rough exterior.
        Horace—Satires. Bk. I. 3. 33.
  24
  Genius is a promontory jutting out into the infinite.
        Victor Hugo—Wm. Shakespeare.
  25
  We declare to you that the earth has exhausted its contingent of master-spirits. Now for decadence and general closing. We must make up our minds to it. We shall have no more men of genius.
        Victor Hugo—Wm. Shakespeare. Bk. V. Ch. I.
  26
  The true Genius is a mind of large general powers, accidentally determined to some particular direction.
        Samuel Johnson—Life of Cowley.
  27
  Entre esprit et talent il y a la proportion du tout à sa partié.
  Intelligence is to genius as the whole is in proportion to its part.
        La Bruyère—The Characters or Manners of the Present Age. Opinions.
  28
  Many a genius has been slow of growth. Oaks that flourish for a thousand years do not spring up into beauty like a reed.
        G. H. Lewes—Spanish Drama. Life of Lope De Vega. Ch. II.
  29
      All the means of action—
The shapeless masses, the materials—
Lie everywhere about us. What we need
Is the celestial fire to change the flint
Into transparent crystal, bright and clear.
That fire is genius!
        Longfellow—Spanish Student. Act I. Sc. 5.
  30
  There is no work of genius which has not been the delight of mankind, no word of genius to which the human heart and soul have not, sooner or later, responded.
        Lowell—Among my Books. Rousseau and the Sentimentalists.
  31
  Talent is that which is in a man’s power! genius is that in whose power a man is.
        Lowell—Among my Books. Rousseau and the Sentimentalists.
  32
Three-fifths of him genius and two-fifths sheer fudge.
        Lowell—Fable for Critics. L. 1,296.
  33
Ubi jam valideis quassatum est viribus ævi
Corpus, et obtuseis ceciderunt viribus artus,
Claudicat ingenium delirat linguaque mensque.
  When the body is assailed by the strong force of time and the limbs weaken from exhausted force, genius breaks down, and mind and speech fail.
        Lucretius—De Rerum Natura. III. 452.
  34
Talk not of genius baffled. Genius is master of man;
Genius does what it must, and talent does what it can.
Blot out my name, that the spirits of Shakespeare and Milton and Burns
Look not down on the praises of fools with a pity my soul yet spurns.
        Owen Meredith—Last Words. Pub. in Cornhill Mag. Nov. 1860. P. 516.
  35
Ingenio stat sine morte decus.
  The honors of genius are eternal.
        Propertius—Elegiæ. III. 2. 24.
  36
Ilud ingeniorum velut præcox genus, non temere unquam pervenit ad frugem.
  It seldom happens that a premature shoot of genius ever arrives at maturity.
        Quintilian—De Institutione Oratoria. I. 3. 1.
  37
Das Licht des Genie’s bekam weniger
Fett, als das Licht des Lebens.
  The lamp of genius burns quicker than the lamp of life.
        Schiller—Fiesco. II. 17.
  38
Nullum sæculum magnis ingeniis clausum est.
  No age is shut against great genius.
        Seneca—Epistolæ Ad Lucilium. CII.
  39
        There is none but he
Whose being I do fear; and, under him,
My Genius is rebuk’d: as, it is said,
Mark Antony’s was by Cæsar.
        Macbeth. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 54.
  40
Marmora Mæonii vincunt monumenta libelli
Vivitur ingenio; cætera mortis erunt.
  The poets’ scrolls will outlive the monuments of stone. Genius survives; all else is claimed by death.
        Spenser—Shepherd’s Calendar. Colin’s Emblem. End. (1715). Quoted. Peacham—Minerva Britanna I. (1612). Said to be from Consolatio ad Liviam, by an anonymous author, written shortly after Mæcenas’ death. Attributed to Vergil and Ovid. See Notes and Queries, Jan., 1918, p. 12. Robinson Ellis—Appendix Vergiliana. Riese—Anthologia Latina.
  41
  Genius is essentially creative; it bears the stamp of the individual who possesses it.
        Madame de Staël—Corinne. Bk. VII. Ch. I.
  42
  Genius inspires this thirst for fame: there is no blessing undesired by those to whom Heaven gave the means of winning it.
        Madame de Staël—Corinne. Bk. XVI. Ch. I.
  43
Genius can never despise labour.
        Abel Stevens—Life of Madame de Staël. Ch. XXXVIII.
  44
Genius loci.
  The presiding genius of the place.
        Vergil—Æneid. VII. 136. Genius signifies a divinity. Monumental stones were inscribed by the ancient Romans, “Genio loci”—“To the Divinity of the locality.” Altar to the Unknown God. (See Acts XVII. 23).
  45
 
 
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