SOUTHEY, Robert Quotes
(1774-1848), English poet laureate
Affliction is not sent in vain from the good God who chastens those that he loves.
How little do they see what is, who frame their hasty judgments upon that which seems.
It is not for man to rest in absolute contentment.—He is born to hopes and aspirations as the sparks fly upward, unless he has brutified his nature and quenched the spirit of immortality which is his portion.
He whose heart is not excited on the spot which a martyr has sanctified by his sufferings, or at the grave of one who has greatly benefited mankind, must be more inferior to the multitude in his moral, than he possibly can be above them in his intellectual nature.
If you would be pungent, be brief; for it is with words as with sunbeams— the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.
It is quite right that there should be a heavy duty on cards; not only on moral grounds; not only because they act on a social party like a torpedo, silencing the merry voice and numbing the play of the features; not only to fill the hunger of the public purse, which is always empty, however much you may put into it; but also because every pack of cards is a malicious libel on courts, and on the world, seeing that the trumpery with number one at the head is the best part of them; and that it gives kings and queens no other companions than knaves.
That charity is bad which takes from independence its proper pride, and from mendicity its proper shame.
While actions are always to be judged by the immutable standard of right and wrong, the judgment we pass upon men must be qualified by considerations of age, country, situation, and other incidental circumstances; and it will then be found, that he who is most charitable in his judgment, is generally the least unjust.
Call not that man wretched, who, whatever ills he suffers, has a child to love.
A good man and a wise man may, at times, be angry with the world, and at times grieved for it; but no man was ever discontented with the world if he did his duty in it.
There is no security in a good disposition if the support of good principles, that is to say, of religion—of Christian faith, be wanting.—It may be soured by misfortune, corrupted by wealth, blighted by neediness, and lose all its original brightness, if destitute of that support.
Whoever has tasted the breath of morning, knows that the most invigorating and delightful hours of the day are commonly spent in bed, though it is the evident intention of nature that we should profit by them.
I have told you of the Spaniard who always put on his spectacles when about to eat cherries, that they might look bigger and more tempting. In like manner I make the most of my enjoyments; and though I do not cast my cares away, I pack them in as little compass as I can, and carry them as conveniently as I can for myself, and never let them annoy others.
The disappointed man turns his thoughts toward a state of existence where his wiser desires may be fixed with the certainty of faith.—The successful man feels that the objects he has ardently pursued fail to satisfy the craving of an immortal spirit. The wicked man turneth away from his wickedness, that he may save his soul alive.
Never let a man imagine that he can pursue a good end by evil means, without sinning against his own soul.—The evil effect on himself is certain.
As surely as God is good, so surely there is no such thing as necessary evil.
There is some soul of goodness in things evil, would men observantly distil it out.
The loss of a friend is like that of a limb; time may heal the anguish of the wound, but the loss cannot be repaired.
What a world were this; how unendurable its weight, if they whom death had sundered did not meet again?
There is a magic in that little word, home; it is a mystic circle that surrounds comforts and virtues never known beyond its hallowed limits.
The creator made us to be the image of his own eternity, and in the desire for immortality we feel we have sure proof of our capacity for it.
Faith in the hereafter is as necessary for the intellectual, as for the moral character; and to the man of letters, as well as the Christian, the present forms but the slightest portion of his existence.
My ways are as broad as the king's high road, and my means lie in an inkstand.
Beasts, birds, and insects, even to the minutest and meanest of their kind, act with the unerring providence of instinct; man, the while, who possesses a higher faculty, abuses it, and therefore goes blundering on. They, by their unconscious and unhesitating obedience to the laws of nature, fulfill the end of their existence; he, in willful neglect of the laws of God, loses sight of the end of his.
The march of intellect is proceeding at quick time; and if its progress be not accompanied by a corresponding improvement in morals and religion, the faster it proceeds, with the more violence will you be hurried down the road to ruin.
How little do they see what really is, who frame their hasty judgment upon that which seems.
While actions are always to be judged by the immutable standard of right and wrong, the judgments we pass upon men must be qualified by considerations of age, country, station, and other accidental circumstances; and it will then be found that he who is most charitable in his judgment is generally the least unjust.
Easier were it to hurl the rooted mountain from its base, than force the yoke of slavery upon men determined to be free.
Take away love, and not physical nature only, but the heart of the moral world would be palsied.
The true one of youth's love, proving a faithful help-meet in those years when the dream of life is over, and we live in its realities.
Oh, let the steps of youth be cautious how they advance into a dangerous world; our duty only can conduct us safe, our passions are seducers; and of all, the strongest is love.
Order is the sanity of the mind, the health of the body, the peace of the city, the security of the state.—As the beams to a house, as the bones to the body, so is order to all things.
Philosophy is of two kinds: that which relates to conduct, and that which relates to knowledge. The first teaches us to value all things at their real worth, to be contented with little, modest in prosperity, patient in trouble, equal-minded at all times. It teaches us our duty to our neighbor and ourselves. But it is he who possesses both that is the true philosopher. The more he knows, the more he is desirous of knowing; and yet the farther he advances in knowledge, the better he understands how little he can attain, and the more deeply he feels that God alone can satisfy the infinite desires of an immortal soul. To understand this is the height and perfection of philosophy.
Would you judge of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of pleasure, take this rule: whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes off the relish of spiritual things; in short, whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, that is sin to you, however innocent it may be in itself.
The pulpit is the clergyman's parade; the parish is his field of active service.
John Bunyan had a great dread of spiritual pride; and once, after he had preached a very fine sermon, and his friends crowded round to shake him by the hand, while they expressed the utmost admiration of his eloquence, he interrupted them, saying: "Ay! you need not remind me of that, for the Devil told me of it before I was out of the pulpit!"
My notions of life are much the same as they are about travelling; there is a good deal of amusement on the road, but, after all, one wants to be at rest.
What blockheads are those wise persons, who think it necessary that a child should comprehend everything it reads.
The history of any private family, however humble, could it be fully related for five or six generations, would illustrate the state and progress of society better than the most elaborate dissertation.
Little, indeed, does it concern us in this our mortal stage, to inquire whence the spirit hath come; but of what infinite concern is the consideration whither it is going. Surely such consideration demands the study of a life.
There are three things that ought to be considered before some things are spoken,—the manner, the place, and the time.
A fastidious taste is like a squeamish appetite; the one has its origin in some disease of the mind, as the other has in some ailment of the stomach.
Be thankful that your lot has fallen on times when, though there may be many evil tongues and exasperated spirits, there are none who have fire and fagot at command.
Beware of those who are homeless by choice! You have no hold on a human being whose affections are without a taproot!
War, even in the best state of an army, with all the alleviations of courtesy and honor, with all the correctives of morality and religion, is nevertheless so great an evil, that to engage in it without a clear necessity is a crime of the blackest dye. When the necessity is clear, it then becomes a crime to shrink from it.
Some people seem born with a head in which the thin partition than divides great wit from folly is wanting.
A good man and a wise man may at times be angry with the world, at times grieved for it; but be sure no man was ever discontented with the world who did his duty in it.