SCOTT, Sir Walter Quotes
(1771-1832), Scottish novelist and poet
If you have no friends to share or rejoice in your success in life—if you cannot look back to those to whom you owe gratitude, or forward to those to whom you ought to afford protection, still it is no less incumbent on you to move steadily in the path of duty: for your active exertions are due not only to society; but in humble gratitude to the Being who made you a member of it, with powers to serve yourself and others.
Adversity is like the period of the former and of the latter rain,—cold, comfortless, unfriendly to man and to animal; yet from that season have their birth the flower and the fruit, the date, the rose, and the pomegranate.
A grandfather is no longer a social institution.—Men do not live in the past.—They merely look back.—Forward is the universal cry.
The most learned, acute, and diligent student cannot, in the longest life, obtain an entire knowledge of this one volume. The more deeply he works the mine, the richer and more abundant he finds the ore, new light continually beams from this source of heavenly knowledge, to direct the conduct, and illustrate the work of God and the ways of men; and he will at last leave the world confessing, that the more he studied the Scriptures, the fuller conviction he had of his own ignorance, and of their inestimable value.
The race of mankind would perish did they cease to aid each other.—We cannot exist without mutual help. All therefore that need aid have a right to ask it from their fellowmen; and no one who has the power of granting can refuse it without guilt.
It is wonderful what strength of purpose and boldness and energy of will are roused by the assurance that we are doing our duty.
The pith of conversation does not consist in exhibiting your own superior knowledge on matters of small importance, but in enlarging, improving, and correcting the information you possess, by the authority of others.
Credit is like a looking-glass, which, when once sullied by a breath, may be wiped clear again; but if once cracked can never be repaired.
Dinna curse him, sir; I have heard it said that a curse was like a stone flung up to the heavens, and most likely to return on the head of him that sent it.
Is death the last sleep? No, it is the last and final awakening.
O, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.
Distance in truth produces in idea the same effect as in real perspective.—Objects are softened, rounded, and rendered doubly graceful.—The harsher and more ordinary points of character are melted down, and those by which it is rememered are the more striking outlines that mark sublimity, grace, or beauty.—There are mists, too, as in the natural horizon, to conceal what is less pleasing in distant objects; and there are happy lights, to stream in full glory upon those points which can profit by brilliant illumination.
A man may with more impunity be guilty of an actual breach, either of real good breeding or good morals, than appear ignorant of the most minute points of fashionable etiquette.
He who indulges his sense in any excesses, renders himself obnoxious to his own reason; and to gratify the brute in him, displeases the man, and sets his two natures at variance.
The faces which have charmed us the most escape us the soonest.
Where lives the man that has not tried how mirth can into folly glide, and folly into sin!
A sound head, an honest heart, and an humble spirit are the three best guides through time and to eternity.
The consequences of our crimes long survive their commission, and, like the ghosts of the murdered, forever haunt the steps of the malefactor.
Hope is brightest when it dawns from fears.
We build statues of snow, and weep to see them melt.
Greatness of any kind has no greater foe than the habit of drinking.
The reason of the law is the law.
Literature is a great staff, but a sorry crutch.
True love's the gift which God hath given to man alone beneath the heaven. The silver link, the silver tie, which heart to heart, and mind to mind, in body and in soul can bind.
Oh, why should man's success remove the very charms that wake his love!
In peace, love tunes the shepherd's reed; in war, he mounts the warrior's steed; in halls, in gay attire is seen; in hamlets, dances on the green. Love rules the court, the camp, the grove, and men below, and saints above; for love is heaven, and heaven is love.
From my experience, not one in twenty marries the first love; we build statues of snow, and weep to see them melt.
No scene of life but teems with mortal woe.
When passion rules, how rare the hours that fall to virtue's share.
The sincere and earnest approach of the Christian to the throne of the Almighty, teaches the best lesson of patience under affliction, since wherefore should we mock the Deity with supplications, when we insult him by murmuring under his decrees?
When a man has not a good reason for doing a thing, he has one good reason for letting it alone.
It is a great dishonor to religion to imagine that it is an enemy to mirth and cheerfulness, and a severe exacter of pensive looks and solemn faces.
There are those to whom a sense of religion has come in storm and tempest; there are those whom it has summoned amid scenes of revelry and idle vanity; there are those, too, who have heard its "still small voice" amid rural leisure and placid retirement. But perhaps the knowledge which causeth not to err is most frequently impressed upon the mind during the season of affliction.
Ridicule is the weapon most feared by enthusiasts of every description; from its predominance over such minds it often checks what is absurd, but fully as often smothers that which is noble.
The legendary tablets of the past.
Teach self-denial, and make its practice pleasurable, and you can create for the world a destiny more sublime than ever issued from the brain of the wildest dreamer.
There never did, and never will exist anything permanently noble and excellent in the character which is a stranger to the exercise of resolute self-denial.
Sordid selfishness doth contract and narrow our benevolence, and cause us, like serpents, to infold ourselves within ourselves, and to turn out our stings to all the world besides.
When we think of death, a thousand sins, which we have trodden as worms beneath our feet, rise up against us as flaming serpents.
Guilt, though it may attain temporal splendor, can never confer real happiness. The evident consequences of our crimes long survive their commission, and, like the ghosts of the murdered, forever haunt the steps of the malefactor.
Oh! many a shaft, at random sent, finds mark the archer little meant; and many a word, at random spoken, may soothe or wound a heart that's broken.
I cannot tell how the truth may be; I say the tale as it was said to me.
Love is loveliest when embalmed in tears.
Tears are the softening showers which cause the seed of heaven to spring up in the human heart.
Courtesy of temper, when it is used to veil churlishness of deed, is but a knight's girdle around the breast of a base clown.
Better that they had ne'er been born who read to doubt, or read to scorn.
Guilt, though it may attain temporal splendor, can never confer real happiness; the evil consequences of our crimes long survive their commission, and, like the ghosts of the murdered, forever haunt the steps of the malefactor; while the paths of virtue, though seldom those of worldly greatness, are always those of pleasantness and peace.
Though wit be very useful, yet unless a wise man has the keeping of it, that knows when, where, and how to apply it, it is like wild fire, that runs hissing about, and blows up everything that comes in its way.
O woman! in our hours of ease, uncertain, coy, and hard to please, and variable as the shade, by the light quivering aspen made; when pain and anguish wring the brow, a ministering angel thou.
This world is a dream within a dream; and as we grow older, each step is an awakening. The youth awakes, as he thinks, from childhood; the full-grown man despises the pursuits of youth as visionary; and the old man looks on manhood as a feverish dream. Death the last sleep? No! it is the last and final awakening!
Youth, when thought is speech and speech is truth.