I am sure of nothing so little as my own intentions.
If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. As to that regular, uninterrupted love of writing. . . I do not understand it. I feel it as a torture, which I must get rid of, but never as a pleasure.
If I am fool, it is, at least, a doubting one and I envy no one the certainty of his self-approved wisdom.
In general I do not draw well with literary men -- not that I dislike them but I never know what to say to them after I have praised their last publication..
Tis pleasant, sure, to see one's name in printA book's a book, although there's nothing in't.
Nothing can confound a wise man more than laughter from a dunce.
If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. As to that regular, uninterrupted love of writing. I do not understand it. I feel it as a torture, which I must get rid of, but never as a pleasure. On the contrary, I think composition a great pain.
When we think we lead we are most led.
Opinions are made to be changed -- or how is truth to be got at
Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company.
For in itself a thought,A slumbering thought, is capable of years,And curdles a long life into one hour.
What should I have known or written had I been a quiet, mercantile politician or a lord in waiting A man must travel, and turmoil, or there is no existence.
Truth is always strange, stranger than fiction.
I only go out to get me a fresh appetite for being alone.
My great comfort is, that the temporary celebrity I have wrung from the world has been in the very teeth of all opinions and prejudices.
To withdraw myself from myself has ever been my sole, my entire, my sincere motive in scribbling at all.
But words are things, and a small drop of ink,Falling like dew, upon a thought, producesThat which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
I really cannot know whether I am or am not the Genius you are pleased to call me, but I am very willing to put up with the mistake, if it be one.
This is the patent age of new inventionsFor killing bodies, and saving souls,All propagated with the best of intentions.
I am so convinced of the advantages of looking at mankind instead of reading about them, . . . that I think there should be a law amongst us to set our young men abroad for a term among the few allies our wars have left us.
Once more upon the waters yet once more And the waves bound beneath me as a steed That knows his rider.
On the ear Drops the light drip of the suspended oar.
Oh why should the spirit of mortal be proud Like a fast-flitting meteor, a fast-flying cloud, A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave, He passes from life to his rest in the grave.
Oh that the desert were my dwelling-place, With one fair spirit for my minister, William Knox. 1789-1825.
Oh for one hour of blind old Dandolo, The octogenarian chief, Byzantium's conquering foe