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“WITH the enormous and steady increase in the rolume of our literature, we must rely more and more upon sympathetic selection, judicious eliting, and the inderer who knows where to exercise discretion. Any simpleton may write a book, but it requires high skill to make an index.”
Rossiter Johnson : Manuscript.
“ONE must spend time in gathering knowledge to give it out richly."
Edmund Clarence Stedman : Poets of America, chap. 9. A DICTIONARY
QUOTATIONS IN PROSE.
A. ABILITY - see
- see Work. Men who undertake considerable things, even in a regular way way, ought to give us ground to presume ability.
Burke : Reflections on the Revolution in France. As we advance in life, we learn the limits of our abilities. 2 Froude: Short Studies on Great Subjects. Education.
The possession of great powers no doubt carries with it a contempt for mere external show. 3
Garfield : Oration on Miss Booth. The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.
4 Gibbon : Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Ch. 68. There is great ability in knowing how to conceal one's ability. 5
La Rochefoucauld: Reflections. No. 245. Degrees infinite of lustre Chere must always be, but the weakest among us has a gift, however seemingly trivial, which is peculiar to him, and which, worthily used, will be a gift also to his race forever. 6
Ruskin: Modern Painters. Pt. ii. Sec. i. Ch. 7. No man is the wiser for his learning. It may administer matter to work in, or objects to work upon; but wit and wisdom are born with a man. 7
John Selden : Table Talk. Learning. The measure of capacity is the measure of sphere to either
Elizabeth Oakes Smith : MS. ABSENCE
Absence is not of matter: the body does not make it. Absence quickens our love and elevates our affections. Absence is the invisible and incorporeal mother of ideal beauty. 9 Landor : Imaginary Conversations. Kosciusko
man or woman.
Among the defects of the bill, which were numerous, one provision was conspicuous by its presence, and one by its absence. 10 Lord John Russell : Letter to the Electors of London,
April 6, 1859, soliciting re-election. I dote on his very absence, and I wish them a fair departure. 11 Shakespeare: Merchant of Venice. Act i. Sc. 2.
Cassius and Brutus shone with pre-eminent lustre, for the very reason that their very images were not displayed. 12
Tacitus: Annals. Bk. iii. Ch. 76.
Chapter of accidents.
Lord Chesterfield : Letter, Feb. 16, 1753. ACHIEVEMENT
Many things difficult to design prove easy to performance. 14
Johnson : Rasselas. Ch. 13. ACQUAINTANCE.
'Tis a lamentable thing, I swear, that one has not the liberty of choosing one's acquaintance as one does one's clothes.
15 Congrere : The Way of the World. Act iii. Sc. 10. If a man is worth knowing at all, he is worth knowing well. 16 Alexander Smith : Dreamthorp. On the Writing
of Essays. ACTING see Stage, The.
No one knows better than myself, after all my association with artists of sculpture and painting, how truly my art comprehends all the others, and surpasses them in so far as the study of mind is more than matter. Victor Hugo makes one of his heroines, an actress, say: “My art endows me with a searching eye, a knowledge of the soul and the soul's workings, and, spite of all your skill, I read you to the depths.” This is a truth more or less powerful as one is more or less gifted by the good God. 17 Charlotte Cushman: Letters and Memories of Her
Life. Ch. 8. Extract from a letter to Miss Elizabeth
Peabody of Boston. (Edited by Emma Stebbins.) Familiar comedy is often more powerful on the theatre than in the page; imperial tragedy is always less.
18 Johnson : Works. V. 122. (Oxford Edition, 1825.)
The delight of tragedy proceeds from our consciousness of fiction: if we thought murders and treasons real, they would please no more.
19 Johnson: Works. V. 121. (Oxford Edition, 1825.)