Saturday, May 16, 2009

Quotations on Contention

Where wealth and freedom reign, contentment


And honour sinks where commerce long prevails, a. Goldsmith—The Traveller. L. 91.

Happy the man, of mortals happiest he,
Whose quiet mind from vain desires is free ;
Whom neither hopes deceive, nor fears tor-

But lives at peace, within himself content;
In thought, or act, accountable to none
But to himself, and to the gods alone.
6. Geo. Gbanvillk (Lord Lansdowne)—
Epittle to Mrs. Higgom, 1600. L. "ft.

Sweet are the thoughts that savour of content;
The quiet mind is richer than a crown ;
Sweet are the nights in careless slumber spent;
The poor estate scorns fortune's angry frown :
Such sweet content, such minds, such sleep,

such bliss,
Beggars enjoy, when princes oft do miss.

c. Robert Greene—Song. Farewell to


Let's live with that small pittance which we

have; Who covets more is evermore a slave.

d. Hebrick— The Covetous Still Captive.

Praise they that will times past, I joy to see My selfe now live: this age best pleaseth mee. «. Herrick—The Present Time Best


Let the world slide, let the world go;
A fig for care and a fig for woe!
If I can't pay, why I can owe,
And death makes equal the high and low.
/. John Hetwood— Be Merry Friends.

Little I ask; my wants are few;

I only wish a hut of stone,
(A eery plain brown stone will do),

That I may call my own;—
And close at hand is such a one
In yonder street that fronts the sun.

g. O. W. Holmes—Contentment.

Yes! in the poor man's garden grow,
Par more than herbs and flowers,

Kind thoughts, contentment, peace of mind,
And joy for weary hours.
A. Mabyhowitt—The Poor Man's Garden.

Contentment furnishes constant joy. Much covetonsness, constant grief. To the contented, even poverty is joy. To the discontented, even wealth is a vexation.

t. Ming Sum Paou Kkeh—In Chinese

Repository. Trans, by Dr. Milne.

0 what a glory doth this world put on For him who, with a fervent heart, goes forth Under the bright and glorious sky, and looks On duties well performed, and days well spent! j. Longfellow—Autumn.

Stone walls doe not a prison make,

Nor iron bars a cage,
Minda innocent and quiet take

That for an hermitage.

k. Lovelace—To Allhea from Prison.

Percy's Reliques. 343.

I rest content; I kiss your eyes,
I kiss your hair in my delight:
I kiss my hand and say "Good-night."
I. Joaquin Miller—Songs of the Sun-
Lands. Isles of the Amazons. Pt. V.
Introductory Stanzas.

So well to know

Her own, that what she wills to do or say

Seems wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best.

m. Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. VIII.

L. 548.

No eye to watch, and no tongue to wound us, All earth forgot, and all heaven around us! n. Moore—Come O'er the Sea.

The eagle nestles near the sun;

The dove's low nest for me!—
The eagle's on the crag; sweet one.

The dove's in our green tree!
For hearts that beat like thine and mine

Heaven blesses humble earth ;—
The angels of our Heaven shall shine

The angels of our Hearth!

o. J. J. Piatt—A Song of Content. i

Whate'er the passion, knowledge, fame, or pelf.

Not one will change his neighbor with him-
p. Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. II. L. 261.

For mine own pan, I could be well content
To entertain the lag-end of my life
With quiet hours.
g. Henry IV. Pt. I. ActV. Sc. 1.

L. 23.

He is well paid that is well satisfied.

r. Merchant of Venice. Act IV. Sc. 1.

L. 415.

He that commends me to mine own content Commends me to the thing I cannot get. s. Comedy of Errors. Act I. Sc. 2.

L. 33.

I earn that I eat, get that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness; glad of other men's good, content with my harm.

t. As You Lite It. Act III. Sc. 2.

L. 77.

If it were now to die, 'Twere now to be most happy; for I fear My soul hath her content so absolute That not another comfort like to this Succeeds in unknown fate.

.. Othello. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 191.




My crown is in ray heart, not on my head ; Not deck'd with diamonds and Indian stones, Nor to be seen: my crown is called content; A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.

0. Henry VI. Pt. III. Act III. Sc. 1.


My more-having would be as a sauce
To make me hunger more.
b. Macbeth. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 81.

Our content
Is our best having.

e. Henry VIII. Act IL Sc. 3. L. 23.

Shut up In measureless content.

d. Macbeth. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 17.

The shepherd's homely curds, His cold thin drink out of his leathern bottle, His wonted sleep under a fresh tree's shade, All which secure and sweetly he enjoys, Is far beyond a prince's delicates, His viands sparkling in a golden cup, His body couched in a curious bed, When care, mistrust, and treason wait on him.

e. Henry VI. Pt. III. Act II. Sc. 5.

L. 47.

'Tis better to be lowly born,
And range with humble livers in content,
Than to be perk'd up in a glistering grief,
And wear a golden sorrow.
/. Henry VIII. Act II. Sc. 3. L. 19.

'Tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door; but 'tis enough, 'twill serve. n. Romeo and Juliet. Act III. Sc. 1.

L. 102.

The noblest mind the best contentment has. A. Spenser—Faerie Queene. Bk. I.

Canto I. St. 35.

Dear little head, that lies in calm content Within the gracious hollow that God made

In every human shoulder, where He meant Some, tired head for comfort should be laid.

1. Celia Thaxter—Song.

An elegant Sufficiency, Content,
Retirement, rural Quiet, Friendship, Books,
Ease and alternate Labor, useful Life,
Progressive Virtue, and approving Heaven !
j. Thomson—Ihc Seasons, Spring.

L. 1,159.

This is the charm, by sages often told,

Converting all it touches into gold :

Content can soothe, where'er by fortune


Can rear a garden in the desert waste.
k. Henby Kirk White—Clifton Grort.


There is a jewel which no Indian mines can


No chymic art can counterfeit; It makes men rich in greatest poverty, Makes water wine; turns wooden cups to


The homely whistle to sweet music's strain, Seldom it comes;—to few from Heaven sent, That much in little, all in naught. Content. 1. John Wilbye—Madrigalet. There h a


A Man he seems of cheerful yesterdays
And confident to-morrows.
m. Wordsworth—The Excursion.

Bk. VII.

Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And having nothing, yet hath all.
n. Sir Henry Wotton— The Character of
a Happy Life.

Give me, indulgent gods! with mind serene,
And guiltless heart, to range the sylvan scene;
No splendid poverty, no smiling care,
No well-bred hate, or servile grandeur, there.
o. Young—Love of Fame. Satire I.

L. 235.


Did thrust (as now) in others' corn his sickle. p. Du Bartas—Divine Wectes and

Workes. Second Week, Second Day.
Pt. II.

He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.

i/. Burke—Reflection* on the Revolution in France. Vol. III. P. 195.

'Tis a hydra's head contention; the more they strive the more they may : and as Praxiteles did by his glass, when he saw a scurvy face in it, brake it in pieces; but for that one he saw many more as bad in a moment.

r. Burton—Anat. of Mel. Pt. II. Sc. 3.

Mem. 7.

Some say, compared to Bononcini,
That Mynheer Handel's but a ninny ;
Others aver,—that lie to Handel
Is scarcely fit to hold a candle :
Strange all this difference should be,
'Twixt tweedle-dum and twecdle-dec !
t. John Byrom—Epigram on the FeKds

between Handel and Bononcini.

Great contest follows, and much learned dust
Involves the combatants; each claiming truth,
And truth disclaiming both.
t. Cowper— Task. Bk. III. L. 161.




Bo when two dogs are fighting in the streets, When a third dog one of the two dogs meets: With angry teeth he bites him to the bone, And this dog smarts for what that dog has

done, o. Hknry Fielding—Tom Thumb the

Great. Act I. Sc. 5. L. 85.

Not hate, but glory, made these chiefs contend;

And each brave foe was in his soul a friend. 6. Homkb— The Iliad. Bk. VII. L. 364.

Pope's trans.

Contentions fierce, Ardent, and dire, spring from no petty cause.

c. Soott—Peveril of the Peak. Ch. XL.

It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces.

d. William H. Skwabd—Speech. The

Irrepressible Conflict. Oct. 25, 1858.

Thus when a barber and collier fight,
The barber beats the luckless collier—white;
The dusty collier heaves his ponderous sack,
And, big with vengeance, beats the barber—

black. In comes the brick-dust man, with grime


And beats the collier and the barber—red ; Black, red, and white, in various clouds are

toss'd. And in the dust they raise the combatants are


«. Christophkb Smabt—Soliloquy of the

Princess Periwinkle in "A Trip to

Cambridge." See " CampbelFs

Specimens of the British

Poet*." Vol. VI.

P. 185.

Birds in their little nests agree:
And 'tis a shameful sight,
When children of one family
Fall out, and chide, and fight.
/. Isaac Watts—Divine Songs.



Method is not less requisite in ordinary conversation than in writing, provided a man would talk to make himself understood.

g. Addison—The Spectator. No. 476.

With good and gentle-humored hearts
I choose to chat where'ernt come
Whate'er the subject be that starts.
But if I get among the glum
I hold my tongue to tell the truth
And keep my breath to cool my broth.
h. John Byroh—Careless Content.

In conversation avoid the extremes of forwardness and reserve, t. Cato.

But conversation, choose what theme we may,
And chiefly when religion leads the way,
Should flow, like waters after summershow'rs,
Not as if raised by mere mechanic powers.
j. Cowpbb—Conversation. L. 703.

Conversation is a game of circles.
k. Emerson—Essays. Circles.

Conversation is the laboratory and workshop of the student.

/. Emkbson—Society and Solitude. Clubs.

I never, with important air,
In conversation overbear.

My tongue within my lips I rein ;
For who talks much must talk in vain.
m. Gay—Fables. Pt. I. Introduction.

L. 53.

With thee conversing I forget the way. n. Gay—Trivia. Bk. II. L. 480.

They would talk of nothing but high life and high-lived company, with other fashionable topics, such as pictures, taste, Shakespeare, and the musical glasses.

o. Goldsmith— Vicar of Wakefield.

Ch. IX.

And when you stick on conversation's burs, Don't strew your pathway with those dreadful

urt. p. O. W. Holmes—A Rhymed Lesson.


Discourse, the sweeter banquet of the mind. q. Homer— The Odyssey. Bk. 15. I,. 433.

Pope's trans.

His conversation does not show the minute hand ; but he strikes the hour very correctly. r. Sam'L Johnson—Johnsoniana.

Kearsley. L. 604.

Questioning is not the mode of conversation among gentlemen, s. Sam'l Johnson—Bosu-clVs Life of

Johnson. Vol. VI. Ch. IV. 1776.

' 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. t. Sam'l Johnson—Boswelfs Life of

Johnson. 1743.

A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years' study of books.

M. Longfellow—Quoted from the Chinese in Hyperion. Ch. VII. 114



Men of great conversational powers almost universally practise a sort of lively sophistry and exaggeration which deceives for the moment both themselves and their auditors.

a. Macaulay—Essay. Oil the Athenian


With thee conversing I forget all time:
All seasons and their change, all please alike.

b. Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. IV.

L. 639.

Form'd hy thy converse, happily to steer
From grave to gay, from lively to severe.

c. Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. IV. L. 379.

A dearth of words a woman need not fear;
But 'tis a task indeed to learn to hear :
In that the skill of conversation lies;
That shows or makes you both polite and wise.

d. Young—Love of Fame. Satire V.

L. 57.

Or light or dark, or short or tall,
She sets a springe to snare them all:
All's one to her—above her fan
She'd make sweet eyes at Caliban.

e. T. B. Aldrich—Quatrains. Coquette.

Like a lovely tree

She grew to womanhood, and between whiles
Rejected several suitors, just to learn
How to accept a better in his turn.
/. Byron—Don Juan. Canto II. St. 128.

Such is your cold coquette, who can't say

" No," And won't say " Yes," and keeps you on and


On a lee-shore, till it begins to blow, Then sees your heart wreck'd, with an inward scoffing.

g. Byeon—Don Juan. Canto XII. St. 63. In the School of Coquettes

Madam Rose is a scholar;—
O, they fish with all nets
In the School of Coquettes!
When her brooch she forgets

'Tis to show her new collar;
In the School of Coquettes

Madam Rose is a scholar !

h. Austin Dobson—Rose-Leaves. Circe.

How happy could I be with either,

Were t'other dear charmer away! But while ye thus tease me together,

To neither a word will I say.

i. Gay—Beggar's Opera. Act II. 8c. 2.

Coquetry is the essential characteristic, and the prevalent humor of women; but they do not all practise it, because the coquetry of some is restrained by fear or by reason.

j. La Rochefoucauld—Maxims and

Moral Sentences. No. 252.

It is a species of coquetry to make a parade of never practising it. *. La Rochefoucauld—Maxims and

Moral /Sentence*. No. 110.

The greatest miracle of love is the cure of coquetry.

1. La Rochefoucauld—Maxims and

Moral Sentences. No. 359.

Women know not the whole of their coquetry. Hi. La Rochefoucauld—Maxims and

Moral Sentences. No. 342.

Coquetry whets the appetite; flirtation depraves it. Coquetry is the thorn that guards the rose—easily trimmed off when once plucked. Flirtation is like the slime on water-plants, making them hard to handle, and when caught, only to be cherished in slimy waters.

re. Ik Marvel—Reveries of a Bachelor.

Sea Coal. I.

Ye belles, and ye flirts, and ye pert little things, Who trip in this frolicsome round,

Pray tell me from whence this impertinence


The sexes at once to confound ?
o. Whitehead—Song for Ranelagh.


Corruption is a tree, whose branches are
Of an immeasurable length : they spread
Ev'rywhere; and the dew that drops from

thence Hath infected some chairs and stools of

authority. p. Beaumont And Fletcher—Hnnest

Man's Fortune. Act III. Sc. 3.

9 * * thieves at home must hang; but he

that puts

Into his overgorged and bloated purse
The wealth of Indian provinces, escapes.
q. Cowper— Task. Bk. I. L. 736.

When rogues like these (a sparrow cries)
To honours and employments rise,
I court no favor, ask no place.
For such preferment is disgrace.
r. G Ay—Fables. Pt. II. Fable 2.

Like a young eagle, who has lent his plume,
To fledge the shaft by which he meets his doom,
See their own feathers pluck'd, to wing the dart,
Which rank corruption destines for their

s. Moore—Corruption.

At length corruption, like a general flood
(So long by watchful ministers withstood),
Shall deluge all; and avarice, creeping on.
Spread like a low-born mist, and blot the sun.
t. Pops—Moral Essays. Ep. III. L. 135.

Blest paper credit! last and best supply !
That lends corruption lighter wings to fly.
u. Pope—Moral Essays. Ep. III. L. 39.




America I half brother of the world !
With something good and bad of every land,
a. HaiLi:v—Fettus. Sc. The Surface.

L. 340.

A people who are still, as it were, bnt in the gristle, and' not yet hardened into the bone of manhood.

6. Bubke—Speech on Conciliation with

America. Works. Vol. II.

Young man, there is America—which at this day serves for little more than to amuse you with stories of savage men and uncouth manners; yet shall, before you taste of death, show itself equal to the whole of that commerce which now attracts the envy of the world.

c. Bubke—Speech on Conciliation with

America, Works. Vol. II.

Columbia, Columbia, to glory arise,

The queen of the world and the child of the

skies) Thy genius commands thee; with rapture


While ages on ages thy splendors unfold. d. Timothy Dwioht— Columbia.

Down to the Plymouth Rock, that had been

to their feet as a doorstep Into a world unknown,—the corner-stone of

a nation! e. Longfellow—Courtship of Miles

Standuh. Ft. V. St. 2.

Earth's biggest Country's gut her soul
An' risen up Earth's Greatest Nation.
/. Lowell—The Biglow Papers. Second
Series. No. 7. St. 21.

In the four quarters of the globe, who reads an American book ? or goes to an American play? or looks at an American picture or statue?

g. Sydney Smith— Works. Vol.11.

America. (Edinburgh Review, 1820.)

America has furnished to the world the character of Washington ! And if our American institutions had done nothing else, that alone would have entitled them to the respect of mankind. A. Daniel Webster—Completion of

Bunker Hill Monument. June 17, 1843. Vol. I. P. 105.

Lo! body and soul!—this land I

Mighty Manhattan, with spires, and

The sparkling and hurrying tides, and the


The varied and ample land,—the South
And the North in the light—Ohio's shores,

and flashing Missouri, And ever the far-spreading prairies, covered

with grass and corn.

i. Walt Whitman—Sequel to Drum-Taps.

When Lilacs Last in the Door- Yard

Bloom'd. St. 12.


Egypt! from whose all dateless tombs arose
Forgotten Pharaohs from their long repose,
And shook within their pyramids to hear
A new Cambyses thundering in their ear;
While the dark shades of forty ages stood
Like startled giants by Nile's famous flood.
j. Bybon— The Age of Bronze. V.


England ! my country, great and free!
Heart of the world, I leap to thee !
k. Bailey—Fcstus. Sc. The Surface.

L. 376.

Be England what she will. With all her faults, she is my country still. 1. Churchill—The Farewell.

England, a happy land we know,
Where follies naturally grow,
Where, without culture they arise,
And tow'r above the common size.
m. Churchill—Ghost. Bk. I. L. 111.

The land of scholars, and the nurse of arms. n. Goldsmith— The Traveller. L. 356.

His home!—the Western giant smiles,
And turns the spotty globe to find it;—

This little speck the British Isles?
'Tis but a freckle,—never mind it.
o. O. W. Holmes—,4 Good Time Going.

The noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the high-road that leads him to England.

p. Sam'l Johnson—BoxwelVs Life of

Johnson. Vol. II. Ch. V. 1763.

Oh, when shall Britain, conscious of her claim,
Stand emulous of Greek and Roman fame?
In living medals see her wars enroll'd.
And vanquished realms supply recording

q. Pope—Moral Essays. Epistle to

Addifon. L. 53.

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