Thursday, May 14, 2009

Quotations on Character

Full fathom five thy father lies;

Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:

Nothing of him that doth fade,
But dotli suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.

a. Tempest. Act. 1. Sc. 2. L. 396.

I am not so nice, To change true rules for old inventions.

b. Taming of the Shrew. Act III. Sc. 1.

L. 80.

Now, the melancholy god protect thee; and the tailor make thy doublet of changeable taffeta, for thy mind is a very opal.

c. Twelfth Night. Act II. Sc. 4. L. 74.

That we would do, We should do when we would; for this

"would" changes

And hath abatements and delays as many
As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents;
And then this " should " is like a spendthrift

That hurts by easing.

d. Hamlet. Act IV. Sc. 7. L. 119.

The love of wicked men converts to fear ; That fear to hate, and hate turns one or both To worthy danger and deserved death.

e. Richard II. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 65.

This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth

The tender leaves of hope; to-morrow blossoms,

And bears his blushing honours thick upon him :

The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,

And, when he thinks, good easy man, full surely

His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,

And then he falls, as I do. /. Henry VIII. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 352.

This world is not for aye, nor 'tis not strange That even our loves should with our fortunes

change. g. Hamlet. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 210.

When we were happy we had other names.
h. King John. Act V. Sc. 4. L. 7.

Life may change, but it may fly not;
Hope may vanish, but can die not;
Truth be veiled, but still it burneth ;
Love repulsed,—but it roturneth.
t. Shelley—Hellas. Semi-chorus.

Men must reap the things they sow,
Force from force must ever flow,
Or worse; but'tis a bitter woe
That love or reason cannot change.
j. Shelley—Lines Written among the Hills. L. 232.

Nought may endure but Mutability. k. Shklley—Mutability.

This sad vicissitude of things.

1. Laurence Sterne—Sermons. XVI.

The Character of Shimel.

The life of any one can by no means be changed after deatli; an evil life can in no wise be converted into a good life, or an infernal into an angelic life: because every spirit, from head to foot, is of the character of his love, and, therefore, of his life; and to convert this life into its opposite, would be to destroy the spirit utterly.

m. Swedenbobq—Heaven and Hell. 527.

White rose in red rose-garden

Is not so white;
Snowdrops, that plead for pardon

And pine for fright
Because the hard East blows
Over their maiden vows,

Grow not as this face grows from pale to bright.

n. Swinburne—Before the Mirror.

Not in vain the distance beacons. Forward,

forward let us range. Let the great world spin forever down the

ringing grooves of change.
o. Tennyson—Locksley Hall. St. 91.

The stone that is rolling, can gather no moss.
Who often remorcth is suer of loss.
p. Tusser—Five Hundred Points of Good
Ihisbandry. Lessons. St. 46.

Life is arched with changing skies:
Rarely are they what they seem :

Children we of smiles and sighs—
Much we know, but more we dream.
q. William Winter—Light and Shadow.

" A jolly place," said he, " in times of old ! But something ails it now ; the spot is curst." r. Wordsworth—Hart-leap Well. Pt, II.

As high as we have mounted in delight
In our dejection do we sink as low.
*. Wordsworth—Resolution and

Independence. St. 4.


Temple and tower went down, nor left n


Chaos of ruins!
t. Byron—Childe Harold. Canto IV.

St. 80.

The chaos of events.
«. Byron—The Prophecy of Dante.

Canto II. L. 6.
The world was void,

The populous and the powerful was a lump, Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless—

A lump of death—a chaos of hard clay. v. Byron—Darkness. L. 69.





Chaog, that reigns here In double night of darkness and of shades. a. Milton—Comus. L. 334.

Fate shall yield

To fickle Chance, and Chaos judge the strife. 6. Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. II.

L. 232.

Where eldest Night
And Chaos, ancestors of nature, hold
Eternal .anarchy, amidst the noise
Of endless wars, and by confusion stand.

c. Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. II.

L. 894.

Lo: thy dread empire, Chaos, is restored ;
Light dies before thy uncreating word :
Thy hand, great Anarch ! lets the curtain fall;
And universal darkness buries all.

d. PopE—Dunciad. Bk. IV. L. &49.

Then rose the seed of Chaos, and of Night, To blot out order and extinguish light. «. Pope— The Dunciad. Bk. IV. L. 13.

For he being dead, with him is beauty slain, And, beauty dead, black chaos comes again. /. Venus and Adorut. L. 1,019.

Nay, had I power, I should
Pour the sweet milk of concord into hell,
Uproar the universal peace, confound
All unity on earth.
g. Macbeth. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 97.


Young men soon give, and soon forget affronts ;

Old age is slow in both.
h. Addison—Oato. Act II. Sc. 5.

No great genius was ever without some mixture of madness, nor can anything grand or superior to the voice of common mortals be spoken except by the agitated soul.

t. Aristotle.

Both man and womankind belie their nature
When they are not kind.
j. Bailey—Festus. Sc. Home.

Zealous, yet modest; innocent, though free;
Patient of toil; serene amidst alarms;
Inflexible in Hi it h ; invincible in arms.
k. Beattie—JVw: Minstrel. Bk. I. St. 11.

See! There is Jackson standing like a stone wall.

1. Bernard E. Bee—'Battle of Manassas (Bull Run). July 21, 1861.

Many men are mere warehouses full of merchandise—the head, the heart, are stuffed with goods. * * * There are apartments in their souls which were once tenanted by taste, and love, and joy, and worship, but they are all deserted now, and the rooms are filled with earthy and material things. m. Henry Ward Beecheb— Life


Many men build as cathedrals were built, the part nearest the ground finished ; but that part which soars toward heaven, the turrets and the spires, forever incomplete.

n. Henry Ward Beecheh—Life


No, when the fight begins within himself,
A man's worth something.

0. Robert Browning—Men and Women.

Bishop Blougram's Apology,

Incivility is not a Vice of the Soul, but the effect of several Vices; of Vanity, Ignorance of Duty, Laziness, Stupidity, Distraction, Contempt of others, and Jealousy. p. De La Brdyere—The Characters or

Manners of the Present Age.
Vol. II. Ch. XI.

All men that are ruined, are ruined on the side of their natural propensities. q. Burke—Letters. Letter I. On a

Regicide Peace.

He was not merely a chip of the old Block, but the old Block itself. r. Burke— About Wm. Pitt—WraxalFs

Memoin. Vol. II. P. 342.

Hannibal, as he had mighty virtues, so had he many vices; * he had two distinct persons in him.

1. Burton—Anatomy of Melancholy.

Democritus to the Reader.

Heroic, stoic Cato, the sententious, Who lent his lady to his friend Hortensius. t. Byron—Don Juan. Canto VI. St. 7.

So well she acted all and every part

By turns—with that vivacious versatility, Which many people take for want of heart.

They err—'tis merely what is call'd mobility, A thing of temperament and not of art, Though seeming so, from its supposed fa--

cility; And false—though true; for surely they're


Who are strongly acted on by what is nearest. u. Byron—Don Juan. Canto XVI.

St. 97.




With more capacity for love than earth Bestows on most of mortal mould and birth. His early dreams of good out-stripp'd the


And troubled manhood follow'd baffled youth, a. Byron—Lara. Canto I. St. 18.

Genteel in personage.
Conduct, and equipage;
Noble by heritage.
Generous and free.
6. Henry Carey—The Contrivances.

Act I. Sc. 2. L. 22.

Clever men are good, but they are not the best.

c. Carlyle—Goethe. Edinburgh

Review, 1828.

It can be said of him. When he departed he took a Man's life with him. No sounder piece of British manhood was put together in that eighteenth century of Time.

d. Carlyle—Sir Walter Scott. London

and Westminster Review. 1838.

It is in general more profitable to reckon up our defects than to boast of our attainments.

e. Carlyle—Essays. Signs of the Times.

We are firm believers in the maxim that, for all right judgment of any man or thing, it is useful, nay, essential, to see his good qualities before pronouncing on his bad.

/. Carlyle—Essays. Goethe.

Every one is the son of his own works. g. Cervantes—Don Quixote. Pt. I.

Bk. IV. Ch. XX.

I can look sharp as well as another, and let me alone to keep the cobwebs out of my eyes. h. Cervantes—Don Quixote. Pt. II.


Thou art a cat, and rat, and a coward to boot, i. Cervantes—Don (Quixote. Pt. I.

Bk. III. Ch. VIII.

He was a verray perfight gentil knight. j. Chaucer—Canterbury Talcs. Prologue.

L. 72.

The nation looked upon him as a deserter, and he shrunk into insignificancy and an Earldom.

t. Earl Of Chesterfield—Character of Pulteney. 1763.

He (Hampden) had a head to contrive, a tongue to persuade, and a hand to execute, any mischief.

1. En. Hyde Clarendon—History of the Rebellion. Vol. III. Bk. VII.

Ib numbers warmly pure, and sweetly strong. m. Collins—Ode to Simplicity.

There is the love of knowing without the love of learning; the beclouding here leads to extravagant conduct.

n. Confucius—Analects. Bk. XVII.

Ch. vin.

An honest man, close-button'd to the chin, Broadcloth without, and a warm heart within. o. Cowper—Epittle to Joseph Hill.

Elegant as simplicity, and warm
As ecstasy.
p. Cowper— Table Talk. Line 588.

He cannot drink five bottles, bilk the score,
Then kill a constable, and drink five more;
But he can draw a pattern, make a tart,
And has the ladies' etiquette by heart.
q. Cowper—Progress of Error. L. 191.

His mind his kingdom, and his will his law. r. Cowper— Truth. Line 405.

The Frenchman, easy, debonair and brisk,
Give him his lass, his fiddle, and his frisk,
Is always happy, reign whoever may,
And laughs the sense of mis'ry far away,
jr. Cowper— Table Talk. L. 237.

Virtue and vice had boundaries in old time,
Not to be pass'd.

t. Cowper— The Task. Bk. III. L. 75.

0 could I flow like thee ! and make thy stream My great example, as it is my theme: Though deep, yet clear; though gentle, yet

not dull;

Strong without rage, without o'crflowing full, u. Sir John Denha.m—Cooper's Hill.

L. 189.

Did you ever hear of Captain Wattle? He was all for love and a little for the bottle. v. Chas. Dibdin—Captain Wattle and

Miss Rol.

He's tough, ma'am,—tough is J. B.; tough and de-vilish sly. u'. Dickens—Dombey and Son. Ch. VII.

A man so various, that he seem'd to be
Not one, but all mankind's epitome;
Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong,
Was everything by starts, and nothing long;
But in the course of one revolving moon.
Was chymist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon.
x. Dryden—Absalom and Achitophel.

Pt. 1. L. 54T).

For every inch that is not fool, is rogue. y. Dryden—Absalom and Achitophel.

Pt. II. L. 463.

Her wit was more than man, her innocence a child. z. Dryden—Elegy on Mrs. Kittigrew.

L. 70.




Plain without pomp, and rich without a show. a. Dryden—The Flower and the Leaf.

L. 187.

So over violent, or over civil, That every man with him was God or Devil. 6. Dbyden—Absalom and Achitophel.

Pt. I. L. 557.

Thus all below is strength, and all above is grace, e. Drydkn—Epistle to Oonoreve. L. 19.

There is a great deal of unmapped country within us which would have to be taken into account in an explanation of our gusts and storms.

d. George Eliot—Daniel Deronda.

Bk. III. Ch. XXIV.

Character is higher than intellect. * * * A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think.

«. Emerson—The American Scholar.

No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character. /. Emerson—Essay. On Character.

A great character, founded on the living rock of principle, is, in fact, not a solitary phenomenon, to be at once perceived, limited, and described. It is a dispensation of Providence, designed to have not merely an immediate, but a continuous, progressive, and never-ending agency. It survives the man who possessed it; survives his age,—perhaps his country, his language.

g. Ed. Evebett—Speech. July 4, 1835.

The Youth of Washington.

Every one of us, whatever our speculative opinions, knows better than he practices, and recognizes a better law than he obeys.

h. Fbocdk—Short Studies on Great

Subjects. On Progress. Pt. II.

Human improvement is from within outwards.

i. Froudb—Short Studies on Great

Subjects. Divui Cxtar.

Oar thoughts and our conduct are our own. j. Frocde—Short Studies on Great

Subjects. Education.

Hearts of oak are our ships,
Gallant tars are our men.
t. Garrick—Hearts of Oat.

In every deed of mischief, he had a heart to resolve, a head to contrive, and a hand to execute.

I. Gibbon—Decline and Fall of the Roman

Empire. Ch. XLVIII. A. D. 1180.

Sept. 24.

That man may last, but never lives,
Who much receives, but nothing gives;
Whom none can love, whom none can


Creation's blot, creation's blank. m. Thomas Gibbons— When Jesus Dwelt.

A man not perfect, but of heart

So high, of such heroic rage. That even his hopes became a part

Of earth's eternal heritage.

n. R. W. Gilder—At the President's Grave.


To be engaged in opposing wrong affords, under the conditions of our mental constitution, but a slender guarantee for being right.

o. Gladstone—Time and Place of Homer.


Here lies David Garrick—describe me, who

can, An abridgment of all that was pleasant in


As an actor, confess'd without rival to shine;
As a wit, if not first, in the very first line.
p. Goldsmith—Retaliation. L. 93.

Our Garrick's a salad ; for in him we see
Oil, vinegar, sugar, and saltness agree.
q. Goldsmith—Retaliation. L. 11.

Though equal to all things, for all things


Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit. r. Goldsmith—Retaliation. L. 37.

Hands, that the rod of empire might have

swayed, Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre.

s. Gkay—Elegy in a Country Churchyard.

St. 12.

Rugged strength and radiant beauty—
These were one in Nature's plan;

Humble toil and heavenward duty—
These will form the perfect man.
t. Sabaii J. Hale—Iron. St. VI.

Green be the turf above thee,

Friend of my better days! None knew thee but to love thee,

Nor named thee but to praise.

u. Fitz-greene Halleck—On the death of Joseph R. Drake.

Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail, and mankind the vessel. v. J. C. and A. W. Hare— Guesses at


Anyone must be mainly ignorant or thoughtless, who is surprised at everything he sees; or wonderfully conceited who expects everything to conform to his standard of propriety.

w. Wm. Hazlitt—Lectures on the English Comic Writers. On Wit and Humour.




Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
Like season'd timber, never gives;

But though the whole world turn to coal,
Then chiefly lives.
a. Hebbebt—The Church. Vertue.

'Tis the same with common natures ;
Use 'em kindly, they rebel:
But, be rough as Nutmeg-graters,
And the rogues obey you well.
6. Aabon Hill—Verses Written on a

Window, In a Journey to Scotland.

0 Douglas, O Douglas! Tendir and trewe.

c. Sib Richard Holland—The Buke of

Howlat. St. XXXI.

We must have a weak spot or two in a character before we can love it much. People that do not laugh or cry, or take more of anything than U good for them, or use anything but dictionary-words, are admirable subjects for biographies. But we don't care most for those flat pattern flowers that press best in the herbarium.

d. 0. W. Holmes—The Professor at the

Breakfast Table. Ch. III. Iris.

Whatever comes from the brain carries the hue of the place it came from, and whatever comes from the heart carries the heat and color of its birthplace.

e. 0. W. Holmes— The Professor at the

Breakfast Table. Ch. VI.

But he whose inborn worth his acts commend, Of gentle soul, to human race a friend. /. Homer— Odyssey. Bk. 19. L.383.

Pope's trans.

Gentle of speech, beneficent of mind.
g. Homer— Odyssey. Bk. IV. L. 917.

Pope's trans.

In death a hero, as in life a friend!
A. Homer—Iliad. Bk. 17. L. 758.

Pope's trans.

Wise to resolve, and patient to perform.
». Homes— Odyssey. Bk. IV. L. 872.

Pope's trans.

The love of moral beauty, and that retention of the spirit of youth, which is implied by the indulgence of a poetical taste, are evidences of good disposition in any man, and argue well for the largeness of his mind in other respects.

j. LllOH Hunt—Men, Women and Books.

Of Statesmen Who Have Written


A Soul of power, a well of lofty Thought A chastened Hope that ever points to Heaven, t. John Hdnter—Sonnet. A Replication

of Rhymes.

He was worse than provincial—he was parochial.

/. Henby James, Jr.—Of Thareau. A

Critical Life of Hawthorne.

Where the vivacity of the intellect and the strength of the passions, exceed the development of the moral faculties, the character is likely to be embittered or corrupted by extremes, either of adversity or prosperity.

m. Mrs. Jameson—Studies. On the Female


A very unclubable man.
n. Sam'l Johnson—BoswelFs Life of

Johnson. 1764. Note.

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.

o. Sam'l Johnson—BoswelFs Life of

Johnson. 1763,

Officious, innocent, sincere,
Of every friendless name the friend.
p. Sam'l Johnson—Verses on the Death

of Mr. Robert Level. St. 2.

The heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, or the hand to execute. q. Junius—City Address and the King's

Answer. Letter XXXVII.

He is truly great that is little in himself, and that maketh no account of any height of honors.

r. Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of

Christ. Bk. I. Ch. III.

When a man dies they who survive him ask what property he has left behind. The angel who bends over the dying man asks what good deeds he has sent before him.

s. The Koran.

First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen.

t. Gen. Henry Lee—Funeral Oration

on Washington.

First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his fellow citizens. w. Resolution on Washington's Death.

Prepared by Richard Henry Lkk and

offered in the House of Representatives

by John Marshall.

They eat, and drink, and scheme, and plod,

They go to church on Sunday ; And many are afraid of God,—

And more of Mrs. Grttndy.

v. Frederick Locker—The Jester't Plea.

No comments:

Post a Comment