Wikiquote:Bartlett's 1919 Index/quotes-04
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Reported in ''Bartlett's Familiar Quotations'', 10th ed. (1919).
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Robert Browning. (1812–1889) 
- The sprinkled isles,
Lily on lily, that o'erlace the sea.
- And I have written three books on the soul,
Proving absurd all written hitherto,
And putting us to ignorance again.
- Just my vengeance complete,
The man sprang to his feet,
Stood erect, caught at God's skirts, and prayed!
So, I was afraid!
- Instans Tyrannus. vii.
- Oh never star
Was lost here but it rose afar.
- Waring. ii.
- When the liquor's out, why clink the cannikin?
- The Flight of the Duchess. xvi.
- The sin I impute to each frustrute ghost
Is—the unlit lamp and the ungirt loin,
Though the end in sight was a vice, I say.
- The Statue and the Bust.
- Lost, lost! one moment knelled the woe of years.
- Childe Roland to the dark Tower came. xxxiii.
- Just for a handful of silver he left us,
Just for a riband to stick in his coat.
- The lost Leader. i.
- We shall march prospering,—not thro' his presence;
Songs may inspirit us,—not from his lyre;
Deeds will be done,—while he boasts his quiescence,
Still bidding crouch whom the rest bade aspire.
- The lost Leader. ii.
- They are perfect; how else?—they shall never change:
We are faulty; why not?—we have time in store.
- Old Pictures in Florence. xvi.
- What's come to perfection perishes.
Things learned on earth we shall practise in heaven;
Works done least rapidly Art most cherishes.
- Old Pictures in Florence. xvii.
- What's come to perfection perishes.
- Italy, my Italy!
Queen Mary's saying serves for me
(When fortune's malice
Lost her Calais):
"Open my heart, and you will see
Graved inside of it ‘Italy.'"
- De Gustibus. ii.
- That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture.
- Home-Thoughts from Abroad. ii.
- God made all the creatures, and gave them our love and our fear,
To give sign we and they are his children, one family here.
- Saul. vi.
- How good is man's life, the mere living! how fit to employ
All the heart and the soul and the senses forever in joy!
- Saul. ix.
- 'T is not what man does which exalts him, but what man would do.
- Saul. xviii.
- O woman-country! 3 wooed not wed,
Loved all the more by earth's male-lands,
Laid to their hearts instead.
- By the Fireside. vi.
- That great brow
And the spirit-small hand propping it.
- By the Fireside. xxiii.
- If two lives join, there is oft a scar.
They are one and one, with a shadowy third;
One near one is too far.
- By the Fireside. xlvi.
- Only I discern
Infinite passion, and the pain
Of finite hearts that yearn.
- Two in the Campagna. xii.
- Round and round, like a dance of snow
In a dazzling drift, as its guardians, go
Floating the women faded for ages,
Sculptured in stone on the poet's pages.
- Women and Roses.
- How he lies in his rights of a man!
Death has done all death can.
And absorbed in the new life he leads,
He recks not, he heeds
Nor his wrong nor my vengeance; both strike
On his senses alike,
And are lost in the solemn and strange
Surprise of the change.
- Ah, did you once see Shelley plain,
And did he stop and speak to you,
And did you speak to him again?
How strange it seems, and new!
- Memorabilia. i.
- He who did well in war just earns the right
To begin doing well in peace.
- Luria. Act ii.
- And inasmuch as feeling, the East's gift,
Is quick and transient,—comes, and lo! is gone,
While Northern thought is slow and durable.
- Luria. Act v.
- A people is but the attempt of many
To rise to the completer life of one;
And those who live as models for the mass
Are singly of more value than they all.
- Luria. Act v.
- I count life just a stuff
To try the soul's strength on.
- In a Balcony.
- I count life just a stuff
- Was there nought better than to enjoy?
No feat which, done, would make time break,
And let us pent-up creatures through
Into eternity, our due?
No forcing earth teach heaven's employ?
- Dis aliter visum; or, Le Byron de nos Jours.
- There shall never be one lost good! What was, shall live as before;
The evil is null, is nought, is silence implying sound;
What was good shall be good, with for evil so much good more;
On the earth the broken arcs; in the heaven, a perfect round.
- Abt Vogler. ix.
- Then welcome each rebuff
That turns earth's smoothness rough,
Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand, but go!
Be our joys three-parts pain!
Strive, and hold cheap the strain;
Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge the throe!
- Rabbi Ben Ezra.
- What I aspired to be,
And was not, comforts me.
- Rabbi Ben Ezra.
- How sad and bad and mad it was!
But then, how it was sweet!
- Confessions. ix.
- So may a glory from defect arise.
- Deaf and Dumb.
- This could but have happened once,—
And we missed it, lost it forever.
- Youth and Art. xvii.
- Fear death?—to feel the fog in my throat,
The mist in my face.
. . . . . . .
No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers,
The heroes of old;
Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life's arrears
Of pain, darkness, and cold.
- It's wiser being good than bad;
It's safer being meek than fierce;
It's fitter being sane than mad.
My own hope is, a sun will pierce
The thickest cloud earth ever stretched;
That after Last returns the First,
Though a wide compass round be fetched;
That what began best can't end worst,
Nor what God blessed once prove accurst.
- Apparent Failure. vii.
- But how carve way i' the life that lies before,
If bent on groaning ever for the past?
- Balaustion's Adventure.
- Better have failed in the high aim, as I,
Than vulgarly in the low aim succeed,—
As, God be thanked! I do not.
- The Inn Album. iv.
- "With this same key
Shakespeare unlocked his heart" once more!
Did Shakespeare? If so, the less Shakespeare he!
- House. x.
- God's justice, tardy though it prove perchance,
Rests never on the track until it reach
- Good, to forgive;
Best, to forget!
Living, we fret;
Dying, we live.
- Dedication to La Saisiaz.
- Can we love but on condition that the thing we love must die?
- La Saisiaz.
- Sky—what a scowl of cloud
Till, near and far,
Ray on ray split the shroud:
Splendid, a star!
- The two Poets of Croisic.
- As if true pride
Were not also humble!
- In an Album.
- As if true pride
- Wanting is—what?
Where is the blot?
- Wanting—is what?
- Never the time and the place
And the loved one all together!
- Never the Time and the Place.
- But little do or can the best of us:
That little is achieved through Liberty.
- Why I am a Liberal.
- There is no truer truth obtainable
By Man than comes of music.
- Charles Avison.
Robert Burns (1759–1796) 
- Some wee short hours ayont the twal.
- Death and Dr. Hornbook.
- When chill November's surly blast
Made fields and forests bare.
- Man was made to Mourn.
- O Life! how pleasant is thy morning,
Young Fancy's rays the hills adorning!
Cold-pausing Caution's lesson scorning,
We frisk away,
Like schoolboys at th' expected warning,
To joy and play.
- Epistle to James Smith.
- And like a passing thought, she fled
In light away.
- The Vision.
- Affliction's sons are brothers in distress;
A brother to relieve,—how exquisite the bliss!
- A Winter Night.
- What 's done we partly may compute,
But know not what 's resisted.
- Address to the Unco Guid.
- O life! thou art a galling load,
Along a rough, a weary road,
To wretches such as I!
- We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu'd the gowans fine.
- Auld Lang Syne.
- Dweller in yon dungeon dark,
Hangman of creation, mark!
Who in widow weeds appears,
Laden with unhonoured years,
Noosing with care a bursting purse,
Baited with many a deadly curse?
- Ode on Mrs. Oswald.
- To make a happy fireside clime
To weans and wife,—
That is the true pathos and sublime
Of human life.
- Epistle to Dr. Blacklock.
- Liberty 's in every blow!
Let us do or die.
- To see her is to love her,
And love but her forever;
For Nature made her what she is,
And never made anither!
- Bonny Lesley.
- 'T is sweeter for thee despairing
Than aught in the world beside,—Jessy!
Samuel Johnson. (1709–1784) 
- Catch, then, oh catch the transient hour;
Improve each moment as it flies!
Life 's a short summer, man a flower; He dies—alas! how soon he dies!
- Winter. An Ode.
- Officious, innocent, sincere,
Of every friendless name the friend.
- Verses on the Death of Mr. Robert Levet. Stanza 2.
- In misery's darkest cavern known,
His useful care was ever nigh 4
Where hopeless anguish pour'd his groan, And lonely want retir'd to die.
- Verses on the Death of Mr. Robert Levet. Stanza 5.
- And sure th' Eternal Master found
His single talent well employ'd.
- Verses on the Death of Mr. Robert Levet. Stanza 7.
- Then with no throbs of fiery pain,
No cold gradations of decay,
Death broke at once the vital chain,
And freed his soul the nearest way.
- Verses on the Death of Mr. Robert Levet. Stanza 9.
- That saw the manners in the face.
- Lines on the Death of Hogarth.
- Philips, whose touch harmonious could remove
The pangs of guilty power and hapless love!
Rest here, distress'd by poverty no more;
Here find that calm thou gav'st so oft before;
Sleep undisturb'd within this peaceful shrine,
Till angels wake thee with a note like thine!
- Epitaph on Claudius Philips, the Musician.
- A Poet, Naturalist, and Historian,
Who left scarcely any style of writing untouched,
And touched nothing that he did not adorn.
- Epitaph on Goldsmith.
- How small of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure!
Still to ourselves in every place consigned,
Our own felicity we make or find.
With secret course, which no loud storms annoy,
Glides the smooth current of domestic joy.
- Lines added to Goldsmith's Traveller.
- Trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay.
- Line added to Goldsmith's Deserted Village.
- From thee, great God, we spring, to thee we tend,—
Path, motive, guide, original, and end.
- Motto to the Rambler. No. 7.
- I am not so lost in lexicography as to forget that words are the daughters of earth, and that things are the sons of heaven.
- Preface to his Dictionary.
- Words are men's daughters, but God's sons are things.
- Boulter's Monument. (Supposed to have been inserted by Dr. Johnson, 1745.)
Whoever wishes to attain an English style, familiar but not coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison.
- Life of Addison.
- To be of no church is dangerous. Religion, of which the rewards are distant, and which is animated only by faith and hope, will glide by degrees out of the mind unless it be invigorated and reimpressed by external ordinances, by stated calls to worship, and the salutary influence of example.
- Life of Milton.
- The trappings of a monarchy would set up an ordinary commonwealth.
- Life of Milton.
- His death eclipsed the gayety of nations, and impoverished the public stock of harmless pleasure.
- Life of Edmund Smith (alluding to the death of Garrick).
- That man is little to be envied whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plain of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Iona.
- Journey to the Western Islands: Inch Kenneth.
- He is no wise man that will quit a certainty for an uncertainty.
- The Idler. No. 57.
- What is read twice is commonly better remembered than what is transcribed.
- The Idler. No. 74.
- This world, where much is to be done and little to be known.
- Prayers and Meditations. Against inquisitive and perplexing Thoughts.
- Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people.
- Tour to the Hebrides. Sept. 20, 1773.
- A fellow that makes no figure in company, and has a mind as narrow as the neck of a vinegar-cruet.
- Tour to the Hebrides. Sept. 30, 1773.
- The atrocious crime of being a young man, which the honourable gentleman has with such spirit and decency charged upon me, I shall neither attempt to palliate nor deny; but content myself with wishing that I may be one of those whose follies may cease with their youth, and not of that number who are ignorant in spite of experience.
- Pitt's Reply to Walpole. Speech, March 6, 1741. This is the composition of Johnson, founded on some note or statement of the actual speech. Johnson said, "That speech I wrote in a garret, in Exeter Street." Boswell: Life of Johnson, 1741.
- Towering in the confidence of twenty-one.
- Letter to Bennet Langton. Jan. 9, 1758.
- Gloomy calm of idle vacancy.
- Letter to Boswell. Dec. 8, 1763.
- Wharton quotes Johnson as saying of Dr. Campbell, "He is the richest author that ever grazed the common of literature."
Life of Johnson (Boswell) 
- Tom Birch is as brisk as a bee in conversation; but no sooner does he take a pen in his hand than it becomes a torpedo to him, and benumbs all his faculties.
- 11 Vol. i. Chap. vii. 1743.
- Wretched un-idea'd girls.
- 12 Vol. i. Chap. x. 1752.
- This man [Chesterfield], I thought, had been a lord among wits; but I find he is only a wit among lords.
- 14 Vol. ii. Chap. i. 1754.
- Sir, he [Bolingbroke] was a scoundrel and a coward: a scoundrel for charging a blunderbuss against religion and morality; a coward, because he had not resolution to fire it off himself, but left half a crown to a beggarly Scotchman to draw the trigger at his death.
- 15 Vol. ii. Chap. i. 1754.
- Is not a patron, my lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached ground encumbers him with help?
- 16 Vol. ii. Chap. ii. 1755.
- I am glad that he thanks God for anything.
- 17 Vol. ii. Chap. ii. 1755.
- If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, sir, should keep his friendship in a constant repair.
- 18 Vol. ii. Chap. ii. 1755.
- Being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned.
- 19 Vol. ii. Chap. iii. 1759.
- Sir, I think all Christians, whether Papists or Protestants, agree in the essential articles, and that their differences are trivial, and rather political than religious.
- 21 Vol. ii. Chap. v. 1763.
- The noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the high-road that leads him to England.
- 22 Vol. ii. Chap. v. 1763.
- If he does really think that there is no distinction between virtue and vice, why, sir, when he leaves our houses let us count our spoons.
- 23 Vol. ii. Chap. v. 1763.
- Sir, your levellers wish to level down as far as themselves; but they cannot bear levelling up to themselves.
- 24 Vol. ii. Chap. v. 1763.
- A man ought to read just as inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good.
- 25 Vol. ii. Chap. vi. 1763.
- Sherry is dull, naturally dull; but it must have taken him a great deal of pains to become what we now see him. Such an access of stupidity, sir, is not in Nature.
- 26 Vol. ii. Chap. ix. 1763.
- Sir, a woman preaching is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.
- 27 Vol. ii. Chap. ix. 1763.
- I look upon it, that he who does not mind his belly will hardly mind anything else.
- 29 Vol. ii. Chap. ix. 1763.
- This was a good dinner enough, to be sure, but it was not a dinner to ask a man to.
- 30 Vol. ii. Chap. ix. 1763.
- A very unclubable man.
- 31 Vol. ii. Chap. ix. 1764.
- I do not know, sir, that the fellow is an infidel; but if he be an infidel, he is an infidel as a dog is an infidel; that is to say, he has never thought upon the subject.
- 32 Vol. iii. Chap. iii. 1769.
- It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives.
- 33 Vol. iii. Chap. iv. 1769.
- That fellow seems to me to possess but one idea, and that is a wrong one.
- 35 Vol. iii. Chap. v. 1770.
- I am a great friend to public amusements; for they keep people from vice.
- 36 Vol. iii. Chap. viii. 1772.
- A cow is a very good animal in the field; but we turn her out of a garden.
- 37 Vol. iii. Chap. viii. 1772.
- Much may be made of a Scotchman if he be caught young.
- 38 Vol. iii. Chap. viii. 1772.
- A man may write at any time if he will set himself doggedly to it.
- 39 Vol. iv. Chap. ii. 1773.
- Let him go abroad to a distant country; let him go to some place where he is not known. Don't let him go to the devil, where he is known.
- 40 Vol. iv. Chap. ii. 1773.
- Was ever poet so trusted before?
- 41 Vol. v. Chap. vi. 1774.
- Attack is the reaction. I never think I have hit hard unless it rebounds.
- 42 Vol. v. Chap. vi. 1775.
- A man will turn over half a library to make one book.
- 43 Vol. v. Chap. viii. 1775.
- Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
- 44 Vol. v. Chap. ix. 1775.
- Hell is paved with good intentions.
- 46 Vol. v. Chap. ix. 1775.
- Knowledge is of two kinds: we know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.
- 48 Vol. v. Chap. ix. 1775.
- I never take a nap after dinner but when I have had a bad night; and then the nap takes me.
- 49 Vol. vi. Chap. i. 1775.
- In lapidary inscriptions a man is not upon oath.
- 50 Vol. vi. Chap. i. 1775.
- There is now less flogging in our great schools than formerly,—but then less is learned there; so that what the boys get at one end they lose at the other.
- 51 Vol. vi. Chap. i. 1775.
- There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.
- 53 Vol. vi. Chap. iii. 1776.
- No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.
- 54 Vol. vi. Chap. iii. 1776.
- Questioning is not the mode of conversation among gentlemen.
- 55 Vol. vi. Chap. iv. 1776.
- A man is very apt to complain of the ingratitude of those who have risen far above him.
- 56 Vol. vi. Chap. iv. 1776.
- All this [wealth] excludes but one evil,—poverty.
- 57 Vol. vi. Chap. ix. 1777.
- Employment, sir, and hardships prevent melancholy.
- 58 Vol. vi. Chap. ix. 1777.
- When a man is tired of London he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.
- 59 Vol. vi. Chap. ix. 1777.
- He was so generally civil that nobody thanked him for it.
- 60 Vol. vi. Chap. ix. 1777.
- Goldsmith, however, was a man who whatever he wrote, did it better than any other man could do.
- 61 Vol. vii. Chap. iii. 1778.
- Johnson said that he could repeat a complete chapter of "The Natural History of Iceland" from the Danish of Horrebow, the whole of which was exactly thus: "There are no snakes to be met with throughout the whole island." 62 [Chap. lxxii.]
- 63 Vol. vii. Chap. iv. 1778.
- As the Spanish proverb says, "He who would bring home the wealth of the Indies must carry the wealth of the Indies with him," so it is in travelling,—a man must carry knowledge with him if he would bring home knowledge.
- 64 Vol. vii. Chap. v. 1778.
- The true, strong, and sound mind is the mind that can embrace equally great things and small.
- 65 Vol. vii. Chap. vi. 1778.
- I remember a passage in Goldsmith's "Vicar of Wakefield," which he was afterwards fool enough to expunge: "I do not love a man who is zealous for nothing."… There was another fine passage too which he struck out: "When I was a young man, being anxious to distinguish myself, I was perpetually starting new propositions. But I soon gave this over; for I found that generally what was new was false."
- 66 Vol. vii. Chap. viii. 1779.
- Claret is the liquor for boys, port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy.
- 67 Vol. vii. Chap. viii. 1779.
- A Frenchman must be always talking, whether he knows anything of the matter or not; an Englishman is content to say nothing when he has nothing to say.
- 68 Vol. vii. Chap. x.
- Of Dr. Goldsmith he said, "No man was more foolish when he had not a pen in his hand, or more wise when he had."
- 69 Vol. vii. Chap. x.
- The applause of a single human being is of great consequence.
- 70 Vol. vii. Chap. x.
- The potentiality of growing rich beyond the dreams of avarice.
- 72 Vol. viii. Chap. ii.
- Classical quotation is the parole of literary men all over the world.
- 73 Vol. viii. Chap. iii. 1781.
- My friend was of opinion that when a man of rank appeared in that character [as an author], he deserved to have his merits handsomely allowed.
- 75 Vol. viii. Chap. iii. 1781.
- I never have sought the world; the world was not to seek me.
- 77 Vol. viii. Chap. v. 1783.
- He is not only dull himself, but the cause of dullness in others.
- 79 Vol. viii. Chap. v. 1784.
- You see they 'd have fitted him to a T.
- 80 Vol. viii. Chap. v. 1784.
- I have found you an argument; I am not obliged to find you an understanding.
- 81 Vol. viii. Chap. v. 1784.
- Who drives fat oxen should himself be fat.
- 83 Vol. viii. Chap. v. 1784.
- Blown about with every wind of criticism.
- 85 Vol. viii. Chap. x. 1784.
- If the man who turnips cries
Cry not when his father dies,
'T is a proof that he had rather
Have a turnip than his father.
- Piozzi, 30.
- He was a very good hater.
- Piozzi, 39.
- The law is the last result of human wisdom acting upon human experience for the benefit of the public.
- Piozzi, 58.
- The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.
- Piozzi, 154.
- Dictionaries are like watches; the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true.
- Piozzi, 178.
- Books that you may carry to the fire and hold readily in your hand, are the most useful after all.
- Hawkins. 197.
- Round numbers are always false.
- Hawkins. 235.
- As with my hat 86 upon my head
I walk'd along the Strand,
I there did meet another man With his hat in his hand.
- George Steevens. 310.
- Abstinence is as easy to me as temperance would be difficult.
- Hannah More. 467.
- The limbs will quiver and move after the soul is gone.
- Northcote. 487.
- Hawkesworth said of Johnson, "You have a memory that would convict any author of plagiarism in any court of literature in the world."
- Kearsley. 600.
- His conversation does not show the minute-hand, but he strikes the hour very correctly.
- Kearsley. 604.
- Hunting was the labour of the savages of North America, but the amusement of the gentlemen of England.
- Kearsley. 606.
- I am very fond of the company of ladies. I like their beauty, I like their delicacy, I like their vivacity, and I like their silence.
- Seward. 617.