Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

R. D. Blackmore, fully Richard Doddridge Blackmore

English Victorian Novelist and Poet

"An ounce of practice is worth a pound of precept."

"And through the dewy meadow's breast, fringed with shade, but touched on one side with the sun-smile, ran the crystal water, curving in its brightness like diverted hope."

"Because I rant not, neither rave of what I feel, can you be so shallow as to dream that I feel nothing?"

"But whatever lives or dies, business must be attended to; and the principal business of good Christians is, beyond all controversy, to fight with one another."

"For, according to our old saying, the three learned professions live by roguery on the three parts of a man. The doctor mauls our bodies the parson starves our souls, but the lawyer must be the adroitest knave, for he has to ensnare our minds."

"It seemed to me that if the lawyers failed to do their duty, they ought to pay people for waiting upon them, instead of making them pay for it."

"May be we are not such fools as we look. But though we be, we are well content, so long as we may be two fools together."

"Now let us bandy words no more... nothing is easier than sharp words, except to wish them unspoken."

"If anybody cares to read a simple tale told simply, I, John Ridd, of the parish of Oare, in the county of Somerset, yeoman and churchwarden, have seen and had a share in some doings of this neighborhood, which I will try to set down in order, God sparing my life and memory."

"I cannot go through all my thoughts, so as to make them clear to you, nor have I ever dwelt on things, to shape a story of them. I know not where the beginning was, nor where the middle ought to be, nor even how at the present time I feel, or think, or ought to think. If I look for help to those around me, who should tell me right and wrong (being older and much wiser), I meet sometimes with laughter, and at other times with anger... ...I think; and nothing ever comes of it. Nothing, I mean, which I can grasp, and have with any surety; nothing but faint images, and wonderment, and wandering... ...Often too I wonder at the odds of fortune, which made me (helpless as I am, and fond of peace, and reading), the heiress of this mad domain... ...You must be tired of this story, and the time I take to think, and the weariness of my telling; but my life from day to day shows so little variance. Among the riders there is none whose safe return I watch for- I mean none more than any other- and indeed there seems no risk."