This little book is not put forth

This little book is not put forth to supply an imperative demand, but rather with the hope of creating one. So far as is known to the writer, no such compilation is in existence, but the custom of using appropriate quotations on dinner menus, cards, invitations, etc., is growing, and of the many who desire to use such citations, not all know just where to find them. ~Katharine B. Wood, “Preface,” Quotations for Occasions, 1896TPVgb:C-0sAAAAYAAJ; QE2

And as hearbes and trees are bettered

And as hearbes and trees are bettered and fortified by being transplanted, so formes of speach are embellished and graced by variation…. As in our ordinary language, we shall sometimes meete with excellent phrases, and quaint metaphors, whose blithnesse fadeth through age, and colour is tarnish by to common using them…. ~Michel de Montaigne, “Upon some Verses of Virgill,” translated by John FlorioTPVgb 1603 version

Whatever we may say against collections which

Whatever we may say against collections, which present authors in a disjointed form, they nevertheless bring about many excellent results. We are not always so composed, so full of wisdom, that we are able to take in at once the whole scope of a work according to its merits. Do we not mark in a book passages which seem to have a direct reference to ourselves? Young people especially, who have failed in acquiring a complete cultivation of mind, are roused in a praiseworthy way by brilliant passages… ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, translated from Germanquoted in Beautiful thoughts from German and Spanish authors, by Craufurd Tait Ramage, 1884

Nor do apophthegms only serve for ornament

Nor do apophthegms only serve for ornament and delight, but also for action and civil use, as being the edge-tools of speech which cut and penetrate the knots of business and affairs: for occasions have their revolutions, and what has once been advantageously used may be so again, either as an old thing or a new one. ~Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning, translated from Latin (“secures aut mucrones verborum”)TPVgb

At any rate nothing was more characteristic

At any rate, nothing was more characteristic of him [Walter Benjamin] in the thirties than the little notebooks with black covers which he always carried with him and in which he tirelessly entered in the form of quotations what daily living and reading netted him in the way of “pearls” and “coral.” On occasion he read from them aloud, showed them around like items from a choice and precious collection. ~Hannah ArendtTPVgb

As a good housewife out of divers

As a good housewife out of divers fleeces weaves one piece of cloth, a bee gathers wax and honey out of many flowers, and makes a new bundle of all… I have laboriously collected this Cento out of divers writers, and… I have wronged no authors, but given every man his own…. I can say of myself, Whom have I injured? The matter is theirs most part, and yet mine… ~Robert Burton, The Anatomy of MelancholyTPVgb

Unless created as freestanding works quotations resemble

Unless created as freestanding works, quotations resemble “found” art. They are analogous, say, to a piece of driftwood identified as formally interesting enough to be displayed in an art museum or to a weapon moved from an anthropological to an artistic display…. The presenter of found art, whether material or verbal, has become a sort of artist. He has not made the object, but he has made it as art. ~Gary Saul Morson, The Words of Others: From Quotations to Culture, 2011TPVgb, UWP, p.94

Why lift aphorisms from a novel at

Why lift aphorisms from a novel at all? [Geoffrey] Bennington speculates that one’s chief motivation for taking such a course, at least in the domain of the eighteenth-century novel,… has been (and he quotes Derrida) to “monumentalize inscriptions now made lapidary: ‘the rest’ in peace.” In other words, the anthologizer sets out to rescue the essence, the “surplus” of a novelistic text and to create a monument to it. In this connection Bennington appropriates a notion from Freudian psychoanalysis to make his point. He sees the drive to anthologize as a “manifestation of repressed anality; the precious metal of the maxim is easily enough identified with the faeces, a ‘reste’ detached from the body. The ‘orderliness’ of the anthology can also be linked to Freud’s description of anal eroticism.Bennington alludes here to the kind of anthology that seeks to extract sententious propositions from a novel and then to reclassify them into “eternal” rubrics: “Man,” “Love,” “Life,” and the like. ~Mark Bell, Aphorism in the Francophone Novel of the Twentieth Century, 1997TPVgb, QE2

Proverbs embrace the wide sphere of human

Proverbs embrace the wide sphere of human existence, they take all the colours of life, they are often exquisite strokes of genius, they delight by their airy sarcasm or their caustic satire, the luxuriance of their humour, the playfulness of their turn, and even by the elegance of their imagery, and the tenderness of their sentiment. They give a deep insight into domestic life, and open for us the heart of man, in all the various states which he may occupy

Gnomic wisdom however is notoriously polychrome and

Gnomic wisdom, however, is notoriously polychrome, and proverbs depend for their truth entirely on the occasion they are applied to. Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it… ~George Santayana, “Chapter VIII: Prerational Morality,” The Life of Reason: Volume Five, Reason in Science, 1906TPVgb reprinted

That part of a work one author

That part of a work of one author found in another is not of itself piracy, or sufficient to support an action; a man may adopt part of the work of another; he may so make use of another’s labors for the promotion of science and the benefit of the public. ~Lord Ellenborough, quoted in Bouvier’s Law Dictionary by John Bouvier, 8th edition, 3rd revision by Francis Rawle, Vol III, 1914TPVgb

These fruit thoughts of a students learned leisure

These fruit-thoughts of a student’s learned leisure, may aptly become the seed-thoughts for many vacant and desultory hours of other men. Our American mind, although so often strained to the top of its bent, refuses a total relaxation. “Studious of change, and pleased with novelty,” it carries somewhat of its spontaneous activity even into its vacations, and finds, as Sir William Jones said of himself, sufficient repose in a change of occupation. For such periods of remitted toil our book is designed, engaging the mind with suggestions rather than taxing it with problems. ~James Elmes, Classic Quotations: A Thought-Book of the Wise Spirits of All Ages and All Countries, Fit for All Men and All Hours, 1863TPVgb:evpDAAAAYAAJ

This is one of the results that

This is one of the results of that adventurous spirit which is now stalking forth and raging for its own innovations. We have not only rejected AUTHORITY, but have also cast away EXPERIENCE; and often the unburthened vessel is driving to all points of the compass, and the passengers no longer know whither they are going. The wisdom of the wise, and the experience of ages, may be preserved by QUOTATION. ~Isaac D’Israeli, “Quotation,” A Second Series of Curiosities of Literature, Volume I, second edition, 1824TPVgb

Euphonic and harmonious expressions forcible just profound

Euphonic and harmonious expressions, forcible and just expressions, profound and comprehensive expressions, and especially apt and witty expressions, each have their specific influence upon different minds, and their common influence upon all minds…. It is therefore high time our most valuable aphorisms and paragraphs were put in order for frequent perusal, and for handy reference, as the circumstances of life call up subjects. ~Charles Simmons, “Aphorisms Introductory,” Laconic Manual and Brief Remarker, 1852TPVgb, QE2

Take my advice dear reader dont talk

Take my advice, dear reader, don’t talk epigrams even if you have the gift. I know, to those have, the temptation is almost irresistible. But resist it. Epigram and truth are rarely commensurate. Truth has to be somewhat chiselled, as it were, before it will quite fit into an epigram. ~Joseph Farrell, “About Conversation,” The Lectures of a Certain Professor, 1877TPVgb

They never get ahead an inch because

They never get ahead an inch, because they are always hugging some coward maxim, which they can only interpret literally…. Of what use is it “to be sawing about a set of maxims to which there is a complete set of antagonist maxims”? Proverbs, it has been well said, should be sold in pairs, a single one being but a half-truth. ~William Mathews, “Decision,” Getting On In The World; Or, Hints on Success in Life, 1873TPVgb

I believe it was gayelord hauser the

I believe it was Gayelord Hauser, the nutritionist, who said that “you are what you eat,” but if you happen to be an intellectual, you are what you quote. ~Joseph Epstein, “Quotatious,” A Line Out for a Walk: Familiar Essays, 1991TPVgb, UWP, p.94; “Quotationality defines us. We are what we quote.” -Gary Saul Morson, The Words of Others: From Quotations to Culture, 2011, p.38, TPVgb, UWP

What remains therefore but that our last

What remains therefore, but that our last Recourse must be had to large Indexes, and little Compendiums; Quotations must be plentifully gathered, and bookt in Alphabet; To this End, tho’ Authors need be little consulted, yet Criticks, and Commentators, and Lexicons carefully must. But above all, those judicious Collectors of bright Parts, and Flowers, and Observanda’s, are to be nicely dwelt on; by some called the Sieves and Boulters of Learning; tho’ it is left undetermined, whether they dealt in Pearls or Meal; and consequently, whether we are more to value that which passed thro’, or what staid behind. ~Jonathan Swift, “A Digression In Praise of Digressions,” A Tale of a Tub: Written for the Universal Improvement of Mankind. To Which is Added, An Account of a Battel Between the Antient and Modern Books in St. James’s Library, 1704TPVgb

The wise men of old have sent

The wise men of old have sent most of their morality down the stream of time in the light skiff of apothegm or epigram; and the proverbs of nations, which embody the commonsense of nations, have the brisk concussion of the most sparkling wit. ~Edwin P. Whipple, lecture delivered before the Boston Mercantile Library Association, December 1845quoted in Literature and Life: Lectures, 1851; TPVgb

A learned historian declared to me of

A learned historian declared to me of a contemporary, that the latter had appropriated his researches; he might, indeed, and he had a right to refer to the same originals; but if his predecessor had opened the sources for him, gratitude is not a silent virtue. ~Isaac D’Israeli, “Quotation,” A Second Series of Curiosities of Literature, Volume I, second edition, 1824TPVgb

Whoever reads only to transcribe or quote

Whoever reads only to transcribe or quote shining remarks without entering into the genius and spirit of the author, will be apt to be misled out of a regular way of thinking, and the product of all this will be found to be a manifest incoherent piece of patchwork. ~Attributed to Swift in A Dictionary of Thoughts, Being a Cyclopedia of Laconic Quotations from the Best Authors, Both Ancient and Modern by Tryon Edwards, 1891TPVgb quoted

A quoting author is just as ridiculous

A quoting author is just as ridiculous as a country girl upon her first coming to town; who being decked up by the help of her friends, should make public acknowledgement from whom she received her stockings, her shirt, her stays, &c. so that if every person was there to claim their own, she would be left as naked as the jay in the fable; or as such a pye-bald author, say writer rather, say compiler, say publisher, say second-hand cook, who gives you a beggar’s dish out of fragments; or say printer’s sign-post, upon which are pasted the heterogeneous scraps of many authors. ~”Thoughts on Quotations,” The Town and Country Magazine; Or, Universal Repository of Knowledge, Instruction, and Entertainment, February 1776TPVgb, QE2

My readers who may at first be

My readers, who may at first be apt to consider Quotation as downright pedantry, will be surprised when I assure them, that next to the simple imitation of sounds and gestures, Quotation is the most natural and most frequent habitude of human nature. For, Quotation must not be confined to passages adduced out of authors. He who cites the opinion, or remark, or saying of another, whether it has been written or spoken, is certainly one who quotes; and this we shall find to be universally practiced. ~James Boswell, “The Hypochondriack,” No.XXI, The London Magazine: Or, Gentleman’s Monthly Intelligencer, June 1779TPVgb

A common place book is what a provident poet

A Common-place-Book is what a provident Poet cannot subsist without, for this proverbial Reason, that great Wits have short Memories; and whereas, on the other Hand, Poets being LYARS by Profession, ought to have good Memories; to reconcile these, a Book of this sort is in the Nature of a Supplemental Memory; or a Record of what occurs remarkable in every Day’s Reading or Conversation: There you enter not only your own Original Thoughts, (which, a hundred to one, are few and insignificant) but such of other Men as you think fit to make your own by entering them there. For take this for a Rule, when an Author is in your Books, you have the same Demand upon him for his Wit, as a Merchant has for your Money, when you are in his. ~Jonathan Swift, “A Letter of Advice to a Young Poet: Together With a Proposal for the Encouragement of Poetry in this Kingdom,” 1721TPVgb

The multiplicity of facts and writings is

The multiplicity of facts and writings is become so great that every thing must soon be reduced to extracts and dictionaries. ~Voltairequoted in Sylva; Or, The Wood: Being a Collection of Anecdotes, Dissertations, Characters, Apophthegms, Original Letters, Bon Mots, and Other Little Things, by A Society of the Learned, 1786

It is perfectly delightful to take advantage

It is perfectly delightful to take advantage of the conscientious labors of those who go through and through volume after volume, divide with infinite patience the gold from the dross, and present us with the pure and shining coin. Such men may be likened to bees who save us numberless journeys by giving us the fruit of their own. ~Robert G. Ingersoll, introduction to Modern Thinkers by Van Buren Denslow, 1884TPVgb, QE2

Such do not always understand the authors

Such do not always understand the authors whose names adorn their barren pages, and which are taken, too, from the third or the thirtieth hand. Those who trust to such false quoters will often learn how contrary this transmission is to the sense and application of the original. Every transplantation has altered the fruit of the tree; every new channel, the quality of the stream in its remove from the spring-head. ~Isaac D’Israeli, “Quotation,” A Second Series of Curiosities of Literature, Volume I, second edition, 1824TPVgb

There is a homely directness about these

There is a homely directness about these rustic apothegms which makes them far more palatable than the strained and sophisticated epigrams of the characters of Oscar Wilde’s plays, who are ever striving strenuously to dazzle us with verbal pyrotechnics. ~Brander Matthews, “American Aphorisms,” Harper’s Magazine, November 1915, Vol. CXXXITPVgb:6o4XAQAAIAAJ; professor of dramatic literature, Columbia University