Charles Lamb, tired of lending his books threatened to chain Wordsworth's poems to his shelves, adding: "For of those who borrow, some read slow; some mean to read, but don't read; and some neither read nor mean to read, but borrow to leave you an opinion of their sagacity. I must do my money-borrowing friends the justice to say that there is nothing of this caprice or wantonness of alienation in them. When they borrow my money, they never fail to make use of it.
It is a little thing to speak a phrase of common comfort, which by daily use has almost lost its sense; yet on the ear of him who thought to die unmourned it will fall like choicest music.
Sentiment has a kind of divine alchemy, rendering grief itself the source of tenderest thoughts and far-reaching desires, which the sufferer cherishes as sacred treasures.
The course of none has been along so beaten a road that they remember not fondly some resting-places in their journeys, some turns of their path in which lovely prospects broke in upon them, some soft plats of green refreshing to their weary feet. Confiding love, generous friendship, disinterested humanity, require no recondite learning, no high imagination, to enable an honest heart to appreciate and feel them.
The mysteries of Nature and of humanity are not lessened, but increased, by the discoveries of philosophic skill.
To him who has thought, or done, or suffered much, the level days of his childhood seem at an immeasureable distance, far off as the age of chivalry, or as the line of Sesostris.
So his life has flowed
From its mysterious urn a sacred stream,
In whose calm depth the beautiful and pure
Alone are mirrored; which, though shapes of ill
May hover round its surface, glides in light,
And takes no shadow from them.
Gaiety and a light heart, in all virtue and decorum, are the best medicine for the young, or rather for all.—Solitude and melancholy are poison; they are deadly to all, and above all to the young.
'Tis a little thing To give a cup of water; yet its draught Of cool refreshment, drain'd by fever'd lips, May give a shock of pleasure to the frame More exquisite than when nectarean juice Renews the life of joy in happiest hours.
Let the great interests of the State depend
Upon the thousand chances that may sway
A piece of human frailty; swear to me
That ye will seek hereafter in yourselves
The means of sovereignty.
In our own honest hearts and chainless hands
Will be our safeguard.
Fill the seats of justice
With good men, not so absolute in goodness
As to forget what human frailty is.
’T is a little thing
To give a cup of water; yet its draught
Of cool refreshment, drained by fevered lips,
May give a shock of pleasure to the frame
More exquisite than when nectarean juice
Renews the life of joy in happiest hours.
Gentleman is a term which does not apply to any station, but to the mind and the feelings in every station.
Sympathy is the first great lesson which man should learn. It will be ill for him if he proceeds no farther; if his emotions are but excited to roll back on his heart, and to be fostered in luxurious quiet. But unless he learns to feel for things in which he has no personal interest, he can achieve nothing generous or noble.