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Quotes of the day: Charles Lamb

Published Tuesday, February 09, 2016 @ 5:55 PM EST
Feb 09 2016

Charles Lamb (February 10, 1775 – December 27, 1834) was an English writer and essayist, best known for his Essays of Elia and for the children's book Tales from Shakespeare, which he produced with his sister, Mary Lamb (1764–1847). (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A pun is not bound by the laws which limit nicer wit. It is a pistol let off at the ear; not a feather to tickle the intellect.

Alas! can we ring the bells backward? Can we unlearn the arts that pretend to civilize, and then burn the world? There is a march of science; but who shall beat the drums for its retreat?

Asparagus inspires gentle thoughts.

Boys are capital fellows in their own way, among their mates; but they are unwholesome companions for grown people.

Brandy and water spoils two good things.

Cards are war, in disguise of a sport.

Clap an extinguisher upon your irony if you are unhappily blessed with a vein of it.

Credulity is the man's weakness, but the child's strength.

He is no lawyer who cannot take two sides.

Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see the world hath more fools in it than ever.

I always arrive late at the office, but I make up for it by leaving early.

I am determined that my children shall be brought up in their father's religion, if they can find out what it is.

I could never hate anyone I knew.

I'd like to grow very old as slowly as possible.

It is good to love the unknown.

Lawyers, I suppose, were children once.

Let us live for the beauty of our own reality.

Man is a gaming animal. He must always be trying to get the better in something or other.

My motto is: Contented with little, yet wishing for more.

My theory is to enjoy life, but the practice is against it.

New Year's Day is every man's birthday.

Newspapers always excite curiosity. No one ever lays one down without a feeling of disappointment.

Nothing puzzles me more than time and space, and yet nothing puzzles me less, as I never think about them.

Pain is life-the sharper, the more evidence of life.

Riches are chiefly good because they give us time.

The beggar wears all colors fearing none.

The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.

The human species, according to the best theory I can form of it, is composed of two distinct races, the men who borrow and the men who lend.

The measure of choosing well, is, whether a man likes and finds good in what he has chosen.

The most common error made in matters of appearance is the belief that one should disdain the superficial and let the true beauty of one's soul shine through. If there are places on your body where this is a possibility, you are not attractive- you are leaking.

The red-letter days, now become, to all intents and purposes, dead- letter days.

The teller of a mirthful tale has latitude allowed him. We are content with less than absolute truth.

We gain nothing by being with such as ourselves. We encourage one another in mediocrity. I am always longing to be with men more excellent than myself.

We grow gray in our spirit long before we grow gray in our hair.


(February 10 is also the birthday of Bertolt Brecht, Boris Pasternak, Doug Larson, and William Allen White.)

Categories: Charles Lamb, Quotes of the day


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