I have started reading Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations and some of the quotes below are from that work. I may blog the book later, but I assume that given the amount of quotes in that work I may just decide to incorporate some of the good quotes from the book into future quotes posts without actually doing a lot of talking about the book itself here on the blog (I’ve handled other books of a similar nature in a similar manner in the past). Of course as you may be aware I’ve already used a lot of quotes which are also included in this book in past quotes posts; I should probably make clear – again – that I do try quite hard to avoid reposting quotes that I’ve already covered elsewhere. I should note also that I ‘read’ this book in a different way from how I read e.g. The Oxford Book of Aphorisms; there are a lot of crappy quotes in this book, and I’m not going to spend a lot of time reading about what religious nutters have said about Angels or Jesus, or perhaps what people who lived 200 years ago wrote about gardens, or butterflies, or mermaids. Especially as quite a few of the quoted writers had an annoying habit of being wearisomely verbose. Anyway, some quotes:

i. “Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.” (Carlyle)

ii. “I am certain there is too much certainty in the world.” (Michael Crichton)

iii. “We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we’re told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems. Every one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears.” (-ll-)

iv. “A politician is someone who promises you a bridge, even when there is no river.” (Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram)

v. “What makes old age so sad is, not that our joys but that our hopes cease.” (Jean Paul)

vi. “We all, when we are well, give good advice to the sick.” (Terence)

vii. “Affectation is an awkward and forced imitation of what should be genuine and easy, wanting the Beauty that accompanies what is natural.” (Locke)

viii. He who boasts of his descent, praises the  deeds of another. (Seneca)

ix. “Nothing is more dishonourable than an old man, heavy with years, who has no other evidence of his having lived long except his age.” (-ll-)

x. “A crowd of fellow-sufferers is a miserable kind of comfort.” (-ll-)

xi. “Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambitions.” (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

xii. “Be always displeased at what thou art, if thou desire to attain to what thou art not; for where thou hast pleased thyself, there thou abidest.” (Francis Quarles)

xiii. “Ambition has but one reward for all:
A little power, a little transient fame,
A grave to rest in, and a fading name!” (William Winter, according to Hoyt’s… – often (seemingly) incorrectly attributed Walter Savage Landor)

xiv. “Predominant opinions are generally the opinions of the generation that is vanishing.” (Benjamin Disraeli)

xv. “Fear not the anger of the wise to raise;
Those best can bear reproof who merit praise.” (Pope)

xvi. “Apes are apes though clothed in scarlet.” (Ben Jonson)

xvii. ““We all know dogmatists who are more concerned about holding their opinions than about investigating their truth. … if they are mistaken, they will never discover it; they have condemned themselves to perpetual error. Human beings (including myself) sometimes use their beliefs for wish-fulfillment. Too often we believe what we want to be true.” (David Wolfe)

xviii. “That writer does the most, who gives his reader the most knowledge, and takes from him the least time.” (Charles Caleb Colton)

xix. “No author ever drew a character, consistent to human nature, but what he was forced to ascribe to it many inconsistencies.” (Edward Bulwer-Lytton)

xx. “As we advance in life we learn the limits of our abilities.” (James Froude)


March 23, 2013 - Posted by | Books, Quotes/aphorisms

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