Thursday, May 14, 2009

Quotations on Books


Oh. say! what is that thing call'd light,

Which I must ne'er enjoy ?
What are the blessings of the sight?

Oh, tell your poor blind boy !

a. Colley Cibbeb— The Blind Boy.

None so blind as those that will not see. 6. Mathew Henry—Commentaries.

Jeremiah XX.

Dispel this cloud, the light of heaven restore ; tiive me to see, and Ajax asks no more. e. Homkb— Iliad. Bk. 17. L. 730.

Pope's trans.

O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon,
Irrecoverably dark ! total eclipse,
Without all hope of day.
it. Milton—Satiison Agonistes. L. 80.

O loss of sight, of thee I most complain!
Blind among enemies, O worse than chains,
Dungeon, or beggary, or decrepit age!
«. Milton—Samson Agonistet. L. 67.

These eyes, tho' clear
To outward view of blemish or of spot,
Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot,
Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear
Of sun, or moon, or star, throughout the year,
Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not
Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot
Of heart or hope; but still bear up and steer
Right onward.
/. Milton—Sonnet XXII. L. 1.

But love is blind, and lovers cannot see The pretty follies that themselves commit; g. Merchant of Venice. Act II. Sc. VI.

L. 36.

He that is strucken blind cannot forget The precious treasure of his eyesight lost. h. Romeo and Juliet. Act I. Sc. 1.

L. 238.

There's none so blind as they that won't see. t. Swift—Pulite Conversation.

Dialogue III.

And when a damp

Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand The Thing became a trumpet; whence he


Soul-animating strains—alas! too few. j. Wordsworth—Scorn Not. the Sonnet; Critic, You Have Frowned.


What though my winged hours of bliss have


Like angel-visits, few and far between,
t. Campbell—The Pleasure.' of Hope.

Pt. II. L. 375..

Unending is this bliss. The pillared firmament and all the spheres May sink, perchance, in the long lapse of years,

Swallowed in Night's abyss—
But to the dwellers in Eternity
A thousand years shall as a moment be.
1. Abraham Coles—The Microcosm and
Other Poems. P. 289.

Domestic Happiness, thou only bliss
Of Paradise, that has survived the fall!
m. Cowper— The Task. Bk. III. L .41.

Vain, very vain, my weary search to find
That bliss which only centres in the mind.
71. Goldsmith— The Traveller. L. 423.

The hues of bliss more brightly glow,
Chastis'd by sabler tints of woe.
o. Gray—Ode on the Pleasure anting

from Vicissitude. L. 45.

And for our country 'tis a bliss to die.
p. Homer—Iliad. Bk. XV. L. 583.

Pope's tram.

Alas ! by some degree of woe

We every bliss must gain;
The heart can ne'er a transport know,

That never feels a pain.

q. Lord Lyttleton—Song.

But such a sacred and home-felt delight,
Such sober certainty of waking bliss,
I never heard till now.
r. Milton—Comut. L. 262.

Bliss in possession will not last;
Remember'd joys are never past;
At once the fountain, stream, and sea,
They were,—they are,—they yet shall be.
s. Montgomery—The Little Cloud.

Condition, circumstance, is not the thing;
Bliss is the same in subject or in king.
t. Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. IV. L. 57.

Some place the bliss in action, some in ease, Those call it pleasure, and contentment these, u. Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. IV. L. 21.

The way to bliss lies not on beds of down, And he that had no cross deserves no crown. v. Quarles—Esther.

I know I am—that simplest bliss
The millions of my brothers miss.
I know the fortune to be born,
Even to the meanest wretch they scorn.
u: Bayard Taylor—Prince Deukalion.

Act IV.

Health is the vital principle of bliss,
And exercise of health.
t. Thomson—The Castle nf Indolence.

Canto II. St. 55. 62



We thinke no greater blisse then such
To be as be we would,
When blessed none but such as be
The same as be they should.

a. William Warner—Albion's England.

Bk. X. Ch. LIX. St. 68.

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very Heaven !

b. Wordsworth—The Prelude. Bk. XI.

That inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude.

c. Wordsworth—/ Wandered Lonely.

The spider's most attenuated thread
Is cord, is cable, to man's tender tie
On earthly bliss; it breaks at every breeze.

d. Yocng—Sight Thoughts. Night 1.

L. 178.


An Arab, by his earnest gaze,

Has clothed a lovely maid with blushes; A smile within his eyelids plays

And into words his longing gushes.

«. Wm. R. Alger—Oriental Poetry. Lore Sowing and Reaping Roses.

Girls blush, sometimes, because they are alive, Half wishing they were dead to save the

shame. The sudden blush devours them, neck and

brow; They have drawn too near the fire of life, like


And flare up bodily, wings and all.
/. E. B. Browning—Aurora Ltlgh.

Bk. II. L. 732.

Blushed like the waves of hell. g. Byron— The Devifs Driie.

St. 5.

Pure friendship's well-feigned blush.
A. Byron—Stanzas to Her who can Best

Understand Them. St. 12.

So sweet the blush of bashfulness,
E'en pity scarce can wish it less!
i. Byron—Bride of Abydos. Canto 1.

St. 8.

'Tis not on youth's smooth cheek the blush

alone, which fades so fast, But the tender bloom of heart is gone, ere

youth itself be past.
j. Byron—Stanzas for Music.

Who has not seen that feeling born of flame
Crimson the cheek at mention of a name?
The rapturous touch of some divine surprise
Flash deep suffusion of celestial dyes:
When hands clasped hands, and lips to lips

were pressed,

And the heart's secret was at once confessed? k. Abraham Coles—Man, tlie Microcosm.

P 25

I pity bashful men, who feel the pain
Of fancied scorn and undeserved disdain,
And bear the marks upon a blushing face,
Of needless shame, and self-impos'd disgrace.
1. Cowper— Conversation. L. 347.

Once he saw a youth blushing, and addressed him, "Courage, my boy; that is the complexion of virtue." in. Diogenes Laertius—Diogenef. VI.

A blush is no language: only a dubious flag- signal which may mean either of two contradictories.

n. Geobge Eliot—Daniel Deronda.

Bk. V. Ch. XXXV.

The rising blushes, which her cheek o'er-


Are opening roses in the lily's bed.
o. Gay—Diane. Act II. 8c. 3.

Blushing is the colour of virtue.
p. Matthew Hknhy—Commentaries.

Jeremiah III.

Such a blush

In the midst of brown was born,
Like red poppies grown with corn.
q. Hood—Ruth.

While mantling on the maiden's cheek
Young roses kindled into thought.
r. Moore—Evenings in Greece.

Evening II. Song.

From every blush that kindles in thy cheeks, Ten thousand little loves and graces spring To revel in the roses.

*. Nicholas Rows—Tamerlane. Act I.

8c. 1.

And bid the cheek be ready with a blush
Modest as morning when she coldly eyes
The youthful Phoebus.

t. Troilus and Cressida. Act I. Sc. 3.

L. 228.

By noting of the lady I have mark'd A thousand blushing apparitions To start into her face, a thousand innocent


In angel whiteness beat away those blushes. u. Much Ado About Nothing. Act IV.

Sc. 1. L. 160.

Come, quench your blushes and present


That which you are, mistress o' the feast.. v. Tlie Winter's Tale. Act IV. Sc.. 4.

L. 67.

Where now I have no one to blush with me, To cross their arms and hang their heads with

mine, ic. Tlif Rapr of Lucrrce. L. 792.



I will go wash;

And when my face is fair, you shall perceive
Whether I blush or no.
a. Coriolanut. Act I. Sc. 9. L. 68.

Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes.
That banish what they sue for.

6. Measure for Measure. Act II. Sc. 4.

L. 162.

Two red fires in both their faces blazed ;

She thought he blush'd, *

And, blushing with him, wistly on him gazed.

c. The Rape of Lucrece. Line 1,353.

Yet will she blush, here be it said,
To hear her secrets so bewrayed.

d. The Passionate Pilgrim, ft. XIX.

L. 351.

How pretty

Her blushing was, and how she blush'd again.

e. Tkwysos— The Princess. It. III.

L. 83.

The man that blushes is not quite a brute. /. Youbg—Night Thoughts. Night VII.

L. 496.


Oh, swiftly glides the bonnie boat,

Just parted from the shore, And to the fisher's chorus-note.

Soft moves the dipping oar!

g. Joahna Baillie—Song. Oh, Swiftly glides the Bonnie Boat.

On the car

Drops the light drip of the suspended oar. h. Byron— Childe Harold. Canto III.

St. 86.

But oars alone can ne'er prevail

To reach the distant coast;
The breath of Heaven must swell the sail,

Or all the toil is lost.

t. Cowpeb—Human Frailty. St. 6.

We lie and listen to the hissing waves, Wherein our boat seems sharpening its keel,

Which on the sea's face all unthankful graves An arrowed scratch as with a tool of steel. j. John Davidson—In a Miuic-Hall and Other Poems. For Lovers. L. 17.

And all the way, to guide their chime, With falling oars they kept the time, t. Andrew Makvell—Bermudas.

Like the watermen who advance forward while they look backward. I. Montaigne—Bk. II. Ch. XXIX.

Of Profit and Honesty.

Faintly as tolls the evening chime,
Our voices keep tune and our oars keep time.
Soon as the woods on shore look dim,
We'll sing at St. Ann's our parting hymn ;
Row, brothers, row, the stream runs fast,
The rapids are near and the daylight's past!
in. Moore—A Canadian Boat Song.

Gracefully, gracefully glides our bark
On the bosom of Father Thames,

And before her bows the wavelets dark
Break into a thousand gems.
n. Thos. Noel—A Thames Voyage.

Learn of the little nautilus to sail,

Spread the thin oar, and catch the driving

gale. o. Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. III. L. 177.

The oars were silver: Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke. p. Antony and Cleopatra. Act II. Sc. 2.

L. 199.


Books are the legacies that a great genius leaves to mankind, which are delivered down from generation to generation, as presents to the posterity of those who are yet unborn.

q. Addison—The Spectator. No. 166.

That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed with profit. r. Alcott— Table Talk. Bk. I.


The books that charmed us in youth recall the delight ever afterwards; we are hardly persuaded there are any like them, any deserving equally our affections. Fortunate if the best fall in our way during this susceptible and forming periods of our lives.

t. Alcott— Table Talk. Bk. I.


Books are delightful when prosperity happily smiles; when adversity threatens, they are inseparable comforters. They give strength to human compacts, nor are grave opinions brought forward without books. Arts and sciences, the benefits of which no mind can calculate, depend upon books.

t. Ricuabd Aunoervyle (Richard De

Bury)—Philobiblon. Ch. I.

You, O Books, are the golden vessels of the temple, the arms of the clerical militia with which the missiles of the most wicked arc destroyed ; fruitful olives, vines of Kngaddi, fig- trees knowing no sterility; burning lamps to be ever held in the hand.

u. Richard Avnubrvyle (Richard Do

Bury)—Phibttiblon. Ch. XV. «4



Books must follow sciences, and not sciences books. a. Bacon—Proposition touching

Amendment of Laws.

But the images of men's wits and knowledges remain in books, exempted from the wrong of time, and capable of perpetual renovation.

6. Bacon—Advancement of Learning,

Bk. I. Advantages of Learning.

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.

c. Bacon—Essay. Of Studies.

Worthy books

Are not companions—they are solitudes : We lose ourselves in them and all our cares.

d. Bailey—Festiw. Sc. A Village Feast.


That place that does contain My books, the best companions, is to me A glorious court, where hourly I converse With the old sages and philosophers; And sometimes, for variety, I confer With kings and emperors, and weigh their counsels.

e. Beaumont And Fletcher—The Elder

Brother. Act I. Sc. 2.

Books, books, books! I had found the secret of a garret room Piled high with cases in my father's name; Piled high, packed large,—where, creeping in

and out

Among the giant fossils of my past,
Like some small nimble mouse between the


Of a mastodon, I nibbled here and there
At this or that box, pulling through the gap,
In heats of terror, haste, victorious joy,
The first book first. And how I felt it beat
Under my pillow, in the morning's dark.
An hour before the sun would let me read !
My books!

At last, because the time was ripe,
I chanced upon the poets.
/. E. B. Browning—Aurora Leigh.

Bk. I. L. 830.

We get no good

By being ungenerous, even to a hook,
And calculating profits—so much help
By so much reading. It is rather when
We gloriously forget ourselves, and plunge
Soul-forward, headlong, into a book's pro-

Impassioned for its beauty, and salt of truth—
'Tis then we get the right good from a book.
g. E. B. Browning—Aurora Leigh.

Bk. I. L. 700.

Some said, John, print it, others said, Not so;

Some said, It might do good, others said. No.

h. Bunyan—Apology for his Book. L. 39.

Some books are lies frae end to end.
i. Burns—Death and Dr. Hornbook.

'Tis pleasant, sure, to see one's name in print; A book'sabook, although there's nothing in't. j. Byron—English Bards and Scotch

Reviewers. L. 51.

All that Mankind has done, thought, gained or been it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of Books. They are the chosen possession of men.

t. Cahlyle—Heroes and Hero Worship.

Lecture V.

If a book come from the heart, it will contrive to reach other hearts; all art and au- thorcraft are of small amount to that.

/. Carlyle—Heroes and Hero Worship.

Lecture II.

If time is precious, no book that will not improve by repeated readings deserves to be read at all. m. Carlyle— Essays. Goethe's Helena.

In books lies the soul of the whole Past Time; the articulate audible voice of the Past, when the body and material substance of it has altogether vanished like a dream.

»i. Carlyle—Heroes and Hero Worship.

The Hero o,« a Man of Letters.

In the poorest cottage are Books: is one Book, wherein for several thousands of years the spirit of man has found light, and nourishment, and an interpreting response to whatever is Deepest in him.

o. Carlyle—Essays. Corn-Law Rhymes.

The true University of these days is a collection of Books. p. Carlyle—Heroes and Hero- Worship.

The Hero as a Han of Letters.

" There is no book so bad," said thebachelor, "but something good may be found in it." a. Cervantes—Don Quixote. Pt. II.

Ch. III.

It is chiefly through books that we enjoy intercourse with superior minds, and these invaluable means of communication are in the reach of all. In the best books, great men talk to us, give us their most precious thoughts, and pour their souls into ours.

r. Channing—On Self-Culture.



And as for me, though than I konne but lytc,
On bokes for to rede I me delyte,
And to hem yeve I feyth and ful credence.
And in myn herte have hem in reverence
So uertely, that ther is game noon,
That fro my bokes maketh me to goon,
But yt be seldome on the holy day.
Save, certeynly, when that the monthe of May
Is comen, and that I here the foules synge,
And that the floures gynnen for to sprynge,
Farwel my boke, and my devocion.
a. Chauceb—Legends of Goode Women.

Prologue. L. 29.

Go, litel boke ! go litel myn tregedie! 6. Cuauckb—Canterbury Tales. Troilta and Creseide. Book V. L. 1,800.

0 little booke, thou art so unconning, How darst thou put thyself in prees for dred ? e. Chauceb—The Flower and the Leaf.

L. 591.

It is saying less than the truth to affirm that an excellent book (and the remark holds almost equally good of a Raphael as of a Milton) is like a well-chosen and well-tended fruit tree. Its fruits are not of one season only. With the due and natural intervals, we may recur to it year after year, and it will supply the same nourishment and the same gratification, if only we ourselves return to it with the same healthful appetite.

d. Coleridge—Literary Remaim.

Prospectus of Lectures.

Books should, not Business, entertain the


And Sleep, as undisturb'd as Death, the Night. «. Cowlky—Of Myself.

Books cannot always please, however good ;
Minds are not ever craving for their food.
/. Cbabbe— The Borough. Letter XXIV.
Schools. L. 402.

The monument of vanished mindes.
g. Sir Wm. Davenant—Gondlbert.

Bk. II. Canto V.

Books should to one of these four ends conduce,

For wisdom, piety, delight, or use.
h. Sib John Dkniiam—Of Prudence.

He ate and drank the precious words,

His spirit grew robust;
He knew no more that he was poor,

Nor that his frame was dust.
He danced along the dingy days,

And this bequest of wings Was but a book. What liberty

A loosened spirit brings !

»'. Emily Dickinson—A Book.

(Ed. 1891).

Golden volumes! richest treasures,
Objects of delicious pleasures !
You my eyes rejoicing please,
You my hands in rapture seize!
Brilliant wits and musing sages.
Lights who beam'd through many ages!
Left to your conscious leaves their story,
And dared to trust you with their glory;
And now their hope of fame achiev'd,
Dear volumes! you have not deceived !
j. Isaac Disbaeli—Curiosities of

Literature. Libraries.

The spectacles of books.
k. Dbyden—Essay on Dramatic Poetry.

Books are the best things, well used : abused, among the worst.

I. Emebson—The American Scholar.

In every man's memory, with the hours when life culminated are usually associated certain books which met his views. To. Emebson—Letters and Social Aims.

QuotatUm and Originality.

There are many virtues in books, but the essential value is the adding of knowledge to our stock by the record of new facts, and, better, by the record of intuitions which distribute facts, and are the formulas which supersede all histories.

n. Emebson—Letters and Social Aims.

Persian Poetry.

We prize books, and they prize them most who are themselves wise, o. Emebson—Letters and Social Ainu.

Quotation and Originality.

Learning hath gained most by those books by which the Printers have lost. p. Fulleb—The Holy and the Profane

State. Of Books.

Some Books are onely cursorily to be tasted of. q. Fulleb—The Holy and the Profane

State. Of Books.

Books are necessary to correct the vices of the polite; but those vices are ever changing, and the antidote should be changed accordingly—should still be new.

r. Goldsmith—The Citizen of the World. Letter LXXII.

I armed her against the censures of the world; showed her that books were sweet un- reproaching companions to the miserable, and that if they could not bring us to enjoy life, they would at least teach us to endure it.

s. Goldsmith— Vicar of Wakefield.


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