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He was worse than provincial—he was parochial. HENRY JAMES, JR.Of Thoreau. A Critical
Life of Hawthorne.
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.
SAMUEL JOHNSON—Boswell's Life. (1763)
O Dowglas, O Dowglas!
Howlat. St. XXXI. First printed in ap-
Poems. III. P. 146. (Ed. 1792) 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 is 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. HOLMES— Professor at the Breakfast Table. Ch.
III. Iris. 8
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. HOLMES— Professor at the Breakfast Table. Ch.
Wise to resolve, and patient to perform.
He is truly great that is little in himself, and that maketh no account of any height of honors. THOMAS À KEMPIS-Imitation of Christ. Bk.
I. Ch. III.
Gentle of speech, beneficent of mind.
But he whose inborn worth his acts commend,
E'en as he trod that day to God,
So walked he from his birth,
And clean mirth.
to Wolcott Balestier. (Adaptation of an
Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never
the twain shall meet Till earth and sky stand presently at God's
great judgment seat; But there is neither East nor West, border nor
breed nor birth When two strong men stand face to face, tho'
they come from the ends of the earth! KIPLING—Barrack-Room Ballads. Ballad of
East and West. 2
La physionomie n'est pas une règle qui nous soit donnée pour juger des hommes; elle nous peut servir de conjecture.
Physiognomy is not a guide that has been given us by which to judge of the character of men: it may only serve us for conjecture.
LA BRUYÈRE-Les Caractères. XII. 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. LA BRUYÈRE—The Characters or Manners of
the Present Age. Vol. II. Ch. XI.
For she was jes' the quiet kind
LOWELL-The Courtin'. St. 22.
On n'est jamais si ridicule par les qualités que l'on a que par celles que l'on affecte d'avoir.
The qualities we have do not make us so ridiculous as those which we affect to have. LA ROCHEFOUCAULD-Maximes. 134. 5
Famæ ac fidei damna majora sunt quam quæ astimari possunt.
The injury done to character is greater than can be estimated. Live-Annales. III. 72.
6 A tender heart; a will inflexible. LONGFELLOW-Christus. Pt. III. The New England Tragedies. John Endicott. Act III. Sc. 2.
His Nature's a glass of champagne with the
foam on 't, As tender as Fletcher, as witty as Beaumont; So his best things are done in the flash of the
It is by presence of mind in untried emergencies that the native metal of a man is tested. LOWELL-My Study Windows. Abraham Lincoln.
A nature wise With finding in itself the types of all,With watching from the dim verge of the time What things to be are visible in the gleams Thrown forward on them from the luminous
past, Wise with the history of its own frail heart, With reverence and sorrow, and with love, Broad as the world, for freedom and for man.
LOWELL-Prometheus. L. 216.
So mild, so merciful, so strong, so good,
Pt. V. L. 319.
Eripitur persona, manet res.
The mask is torn off, while the reality remains. LUCKETIUS—De Rerum Natura. III. 58.
Sensitive, swift to resent, but as swift in atoning for error. LONGFELLOW—Courtship of Miles Standish.
Pt. IX. The Wedding Day.
In this world a man must either be anvil or hainmer.
LONGFELLOW-Hyperion. Bk. IV. Ch. VI.
There thou beholdest the walls of Sparta, and every man a brick. LYCURGUS, according to PLUTARCH.
(See also BARHAM) We hardly know any instance of the strength and weakness of human nature so striking and so grotesque as the character of this haughty, vigilant, resolute, sagacious blue-stocking, half Mithridates and half Trissotin, bearing up against a world in arms, with an ounce of poison in one pocket and a quire of bad verses in the other.
MACAULAY-Frederick the Great. (1842)
For me Fate gave, whate'er she else denied,
Postscript 1887. L. 53.
And the chief-justice was rich, quiet, and infamous.
MACAULAY-Warren Hastings. (1841)
That I incline to hope rather than fear, Men look to the East for the dawning things, And gladly banish squint suspicion. for the light of a rising sun
MỊLTON—Comus. L. 410. But they look to the West, to the crimson West,
for the things that are done, are done. Quips and Cranks and wanton Wiles, DOUGLAS MALLOCH-East and West.
Nods and Becks and wreathèd Smiles.
MILTON-L'Allegro. L. 27. Now will I show myself to have more of the serpent than the dove; that is more knave Unrespited, unpitied, unreprieved. than fool.
MILTON—Paradise Lost. Bk. II. L. 185. MARLOWE—The Jew of Malta. Act II. Sc. 3.
Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall. Au demeurant, le meilleur fils du monde.
MILTON—Paradise Lost. Bk. III. L. 99. In other respects the best fellow in the world. 15 CLEMENT MAROT—Letter to Francis 1. For contemplation he and valor formed, 4
For softness she and sweet attractive grace. In all thy humours, whether grave or mellow, MILTON-Paradise Lost. Bk. IV. L. 297. Thou’rt such a touchy, testy, pleasant fellow;
(See also ROYDEN under FACE) Hast so much wit, and mirth, and spleen about thee,
Adam the goodliest man of men since born That there's no living with thee, or without His sons, the fairest of her daughters, Eve. thee.
MILTON-Paradise Lost. Bk. IV. L. 323. MARTIAL-Epigrams. Bk. XII. Ep. 47. Trans. by Addison. Spectator. No. 68. Her virtue and the conscience of her worth, (Šee also ARISTOPHANES)
That would be wooed, and not unsought be won. And, but herself, admits no parallel.
MILTON-Paradise Lost. Bk. VIII. L. 502. MASSINGER-Duke of Milan. Act IV. Sc. 3. (See also SENECA, THEOBALD)
Les hommes, fripons en détail, sont en gros de
très-honnêtes gens. Hereafter he will make me know,
Men, who are rogues individually, are in And I shall surely find.
the mass very honorable people. He was too wise to err, and 0,
MONTESQUIEU-De l'Esprit. XXV. C. 2. Too good to be unkind. MEDLEY-Hymn. Claimed for Rev. THOMAS Good at a fight, but better at a play; East, but not found.
Godlike in giving, but the devil to pay. 7
MOORE-On a Cast of Sheridan's Hand.
To those who know thee not, no words can
And those who know thee, know all words are 8
faint! Sae true his heart, sae smooth his speech,
To set the Cause above renown,
To love the game beyond the prize,
ner's Wife. Attributed also to JEAN ADAM, The foe that comes with fearless eyes;
And dearer yet the brotherhood
That binds the brave of all the earth. In men whom men condemn as ill
HENRY J. NEWBOLT—The Island Race. Clifton I find so much of goodness still,
Video meliora proboque,
Deteriora sequor. Between the two, where God has not.
I see and approve better things, I follow JOAQUIN MILLEK-Byron. St. 1. (Bear ed. the worse.
1909, changes "I hesitate" to "I do not OviD-Metamorphoses. VII. 20. Same in dare.")
PETRARCH-To Laura in Life. XXI. (See also first quotation under topic)
Every man has at times in his mind the He that has light within his own clear breast ideal of what he should be, but is not. This May sit i' the centre, and enjoy bright day: ideal may be high and complete, or it may be But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts quite low and insufficient; yet in all men that Benighted walks under the mid-day sun;
really seek to improve, it is better than the Himself his own dungeon.
actual character. * Man never falls so MILTON—Comus. L. 381.
low that he can see nothing higher than himself. 11
THEODORE PARKER-Critical and MiscellaYet, where an equal poise of hope and fear
neous Writings. Essay I. A Lesson for the Does arbitrate the event, my nature is
I ne se déboutonna jamais.
Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will He never unbuttons himself.
trust, Said of SIR ROBERT PEEL, according to Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust. CROKER.
POPE—Prologue to Satires. L. 332. Udum et molle lutum es: nunc, nunc properandus What then remains, but well our power to use, et acri
And keep good-humor still whate'er we lose? Fingendus sine fine rota.
And trust me, dear, good-humor can prevail, Thou art moist and soft clay; thou must When airs, and flights, and screams, and scolding instantly be shaped by the glowing wheel.
fail. PERSIUS-Satires. III. 23.
POPE-Rape of the Lock. Canto V. L. 29. 3
14 Tecum habita, et noris quam sit tibi curta Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the supellex.
soul. Retire within thyself, and thou will discover POPE-Rape of the Lock. Canto V. L. 34. how small a stock is there. PERSIUS. Satires. IV. 52.
No man's defects sought they to know; 4
So never made themselves a foe. Grand, gloomy and peculiar, he sat upon No man's good deeds did they commend; the throne, a sceptred hermit, wrapped in the So never rais'd themselves a friend. solitude of his awful originality.
PRIOR-Epitaph. CHARLES PHILLIPS—Character of Napoleon I.
So much his courage and his mercy strive, Optimum et emendatissimum existimo, qui He wounds to cure, and conquers to forgive. ceteris ita ignoscit, tanquam ipse quotidie
PRIOR-Ode in Imitation of Horace. Bk. III. peccet; ita peccatis abstinet, tanquam nemini Ode II. ignoscat. The highest of characters, in my estimation,
He that sweareth is his, who is as ready to pardon the moral Till no man trust him. errors of mankind, as if he were every day He that lieth guilty of some himself; and at the same time
Till no man believe him; as cautious of committing a fault as if he never He that borroweth forgave one.
Till no man will lend him; PLINY the Younger—Epistles. VIII. 22 Let him go where
No man knoweth him. Good-humor only teaches charms to last,
HUGH RHODES—Cautions. Still makes new conquests and maintains the
past. POPE-Epistle to Miss Blount. With the Works
Nie zeichnet der Mensch den eignen Charakof Voiture.
ter schärfer als in seiner Manier, einen Fremden
zu zeichnen. 7 Of Manners gentle, of Affections mild;
A man never shows his own character In Wit a man; Simplicity, a child.
so plainly as by his manner of portraying POPE-Epitaph XI.
JEAN PAUL RICHTER—Titan. Zykel 110. 'Tis from high Life high Characters are drawn; A Saint in Crape is twice a Saint in Lawn:
Devout yet cheerful, active yet resigned.
ROGERS—Pleasures of Memory.
Was never eie did see that face,
Was never minde did minde his grace, POPE-Moral Essays. Ep. I. Pt. II.
That ever thought the travell long,
But eies and eares and ev'ry thought With too much Quickness ever to be taught; Were with his sweete perfections caught. With too much Thinking to have common MATHEW ROYDEN—An Elegie. On the Death Thought.
of Sir Philip Sidney. POPE-Moral Essays. Ep. II. L. 97. 10
It is of the utmost importance that a nation From loveless youth to unrespected age,
should have a correct standard by which to No passion gratified, except her rage,
weigh the character of its rulers. So much the fury still outran the wit,
LORD JOHN RUSSELL—Introduction to the 3rd That pleasure miss'd her, and the scandal hit. Vol. of the Correspondence of the Duke of POPE-Moral Essays. Ep. II. L. 125.
Bedford. 11 In men we various ruling passions find;
Da krabbeln sie num, wie die Ratten auf In women two almost divide the kind;
der Keule des Hercules. Those only fixed, they first or last obey,
They (the present generation) are like rats The love of pleasure, and the love of sway.
crawling about the club of Hercules. POPE-Moral Essays. Ep. II. L. 207.
SCHILLER-Die Räuber. I. 2.
I grant him bloody, Zahlen mit dem, was sie thun, edle mit dem, was Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful, sie sind.
Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin Common natures pay with what they do, That has a name. noble ones with what they are.
Macbeth. Act IV. Sc. 3. L. 57.
There is a kind of character in thy life,
That to the observer doth thy history
Fully unfold. Do you seek Alcides' equal? None is, Measure for Measure. Act I. Sc. 1. L. 28. except himself. SENECA—Hercules Furens. I. 1. 84.
Nature hath fram'd strange fellows in her time: (See also MASSINGER)
Some that will evermore peep through their eyes,
And laugh, like parrots, at a bagpiper: I know him a notorious liar, And other of such vinegar aspect Think him a great way fool, solely a coward; That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile, Yet these fix'd evils sit so fit in him,
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable. That they take place, when virtue's steely bones Merchant of Venice. Act I. Sc. 1. L. 51. Look bleak i' the cold wind. All's Well That Ends Well. Act I. Sc. 1. When he is best, he is a little worse than a L. 111.
man, and when he is worst, he is little better
than a beast. He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Merchant of Venice. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 94. Ill-faced, worse-bodied, shapeless everywhere; Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
You are thought here to be the most senseless Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
and fit man for the constable of the watch; there Comedy of Errors. Act IV. Sc. 2. L. 19. fore bear you the lantern.
Much Ado About Nothing. Act III. Sc. 3. Though I am not splenitive and rash,
Why, now I see there's mettle in and
even from this instant do build on thee a better There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good opinion than ever before.
Othello. Act IV. Sc. 2. L. 205. fellowship in thee. Henry IV. Pt. I. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 154.
He hath a daily beauty in his life
That makes me ugly.
Othello. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 19.
Right; as snow in harvest.
Richard III. Act I. Sc. 4. L. 240.
Now do I play the touch,
To try if thou be current gold indeed. This bold bad man.
Richard III. Act IV. Sc. 2. L. 9. Henry VIII. Act II. Sc. 2. (See also SPENSER)
How this grace
Speaks his own standing! what a mental power O, he sits high in all the people's hearts:
This eye shoots forth! How big imagination And that which would appear offence in us. Moves in this lip! to the dumbness of the gesture His countenance, like richest alchemy,
One might interpret. Will change to virtue and to worthiness.
Timon of Athens. Act I. Sc. 1. L. 30. Julius Cæsar. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 157.
The trick of singularity.
Twelfth Night Act II. Sc. 5. L. 164.
He wants wit that wants resolved will.
Two Gentlemen of Verona. Act II. Sc. 6.
L. 12. I do profess to be no less than I seem; to serve him truly that will put me in trust; to His words are bonds, his oaths are oracles; love him that is honest; to converse with him His love sincere, his thoughts immaculate; that is wise, and says little; to fear judgment; to fight when I cannot choose; and to eat no fish. His heart as far from fraud as heaven from earth. King Lear. Act I. Sc. 4. L. 14.
Two Gentlemen of Verona. Act II. Sc. 7.
L. 75. What thou wouldst highly, That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false, As headstrong as an allegory on the banks of And yet wouldst wrongly win.
the Nile. Macbeth. Act I. Sc. 5. L. 21.
SHERIDAN–Rivals. Act III. St. 3.