Quotes by Isaac D'Israeli

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A circle may be small, yet it may be as mathematically beautiful and perfect as a large one. more...

It is a wretched taste to be gratified with mediocrity when the excellent lies before us. more...

After all, it is style alone by which posterity will judge of a great work, for an author can have nothing truly his own but his style. more...

It does not at first appear that an astronomer rapt in abstraction, while he gazes on a star, must feel more exquisite delight than a farmer who is conducting his team. more...

Great collections of books are subject to certain accidents besides the damp, the worms, and the rats; one not less common is that of the borrowers, not to say a word of the purloiners more...

A nickname a man may chance to wear out; but a system of calumnity, pursued by a faction, may descend even to posterity. This principal has taken full effect on this state favorite. more...

The great man who thinks greatly of himself, is not diminishing that greatness in heaping fuel on his fire. more...

Miscellanists are the most popular writers among every people; for it is they who form a communication between the learned and the unlearned, and, as it were, throw a bridge between those two great divisions of the public. more...

But, indeed, we prefer books to pounds; and we love manuscripts better than florins; and we prefer small pamphlets to war horses. more...

Style! style! why, all writers will tell you that it is the very thing which can least of all be changed. A man's style is nearly as much a part of him as his physiognomy, his figure, the throbbing of this pulse,-in short, as any part of his being is at least subjected to the action of the will. more...

The art of meditation may be exercised at all hours, and in all places, and men of genius, in their walks, at table, and amidst assemblies, turning the eye of the the mind upwards, can form an artificial solitude; retired amidst a crowd, calm amidst distraction, and wise amidst folly. more...

There is such a thing as literary fashion, and prose and verse have been regulated by the same caprice that cuts our coats and cocks our hats. more...

It is fortunate that Literature is in no ways injured by the follies of Collectors, since though they preserve the worthless, they necessarily defend the good. more...

The Plagiarism of orators is the art, or an ingenious and easy mode, which some adroitly employ to change, or disguise, all sorts of speeches of their own composition, or that of other authors, for their pleasure, or their utility; in such a manner that it becomes impossible even for the author himself to recognise his own work, his own genius, and his own style, so skilfully shall the whole be disguised. more...

Candour is the brightest gem of criticism. more...

To bend and prostrate oneself to express sentiments of respect, appears to be a natural motion. more...

The negroes are lovers of ludicrous actions, and hence all their ceremonies seem farcical. more...

A work, however, should be judged by its design and its execution, and not by any preconceived notion of what it ought to be according to the critic, rather than the author. more...

After the golden age of Latinity, we gradually slide into the silver, and at length precipitately descend into the iron. more...

The poet and the painter are only truly great by the mutual influences of their studies, and the jealousy of glory has only produced an idle contest. more...

Theories of genius are the peculiar constructions of our own philosophical times; ages of genius had passed away, and they left no other record than their works; no preconcerted theory described the workings of the imagination to be without imagination, nor did they venture to teach how to invent invention. more...

An excessive indulgence in the pleasures of social life constitutes the great interests of a luxuriant and opulent age. more...

Enthusiasm is that secret and harmonious spirit which hovers over the production of genius. more...

Fortune has rarely condescended to be the companion of genius. more...

Enthusiasm is that secret and harmonious spirit which hovers over the production of genius, throwing the reader of a book, or the spectator of a statue, into the very ideal presence whence these works have really originated. A great work always leaves us in a state of musing. more...

Philosophy becomes poetry, and science imagination, in the enthusiasm of genius. more...

The golden hour of invention must terminate like other hours, and when the man of genius returns to the cares, the duties, the vexations, and the amusements of life, his companions behold him as one of themselves - the creature of habits and infirmities. more...

To think, and to feel, constitute the two grand divisions of men of genius-the men of reasoning and the men of imagination. more...

Every work of Genius is tinctured by the feelings, and often originates in the events of times. more...

The act of contemplation then creates the thing created. more...

Centuries have not worm-eaten the solidity of this ancient furniture of the mind. more...

Proverbs were bright shafts in the Greek and Latin quivers... more...

The ancients, who in these matters were not perhaps such blockheads as some may conceive, considered poetical quotation as one of the requisite ornaments of oratory. more...

All this is labour which never meets the eye.... But too open and generous a revelation of the chapter and the page of the original quoted, has often proved detrimental to the legitimate honours of the quoter. They are unfairly appropriated by the next comer; the quoter is never quoted, but the authority he has afforded is produced by his successor with the air of an original research. more...

A well-read writer, with good taste, is one who has the command of the wit of other men; he searches where knowledge is to be found; and though he may not himself excel in invention, his ingenuity may compose one of those agreeable books, the deliciae of literature, that will out-last the fading meteors of his day. more...

The art of quotation requires more delicacy in the practice than those conceive who can see nothing more in a quotation than an extract. Whenever the mind of a writer is saturated with the full inspiration of a great author, a quotation gives completeness to the whole; it seals his feelings with undisputed authority. more...

It is generally supposed that where there is no QUOTATION, there will be found most originality; and as people like to lay out their money according to their notions, our writers usually furnish their pages rapidly with the productions of their own soil: they run up a quickset hedge, or plant a poplar, and get trees and hedges of this fashion much faster than the former landlords procured their timber. The greater part of our writers, in consequence, have become so original, that no one cares to imitate them; and those who never quote, in return are never quoted! more...

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. more...

Quotation, like much better things, has its abuses. One may quote till one compiles. The ancient lawyers used to quote at the bar till they had stagnated their own cause. more...

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. more...

Bayle, when writing on "Comets," discovered this; for having collected many things applicable to his work, as they stood quoted in some modern writers, when he came to compare them with their originals, he was surprised to find that they were nothing for his purpose! the originals conveyed a quite contrary sense to that of the pretended quoters, who often, from innocent blundering, and sometimes from purposed deception, had falsified their quotations. This is an useful story for second-hand authorities! more...

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. more...

Whenever we would prepare the mind by a forcible appeal, an opening quotation is a symphony preluding on the chords whose tones we are about to harmonize. more...

A poet is a painter of the soul. more...

Time the great destroyer of other men's happiness, only enlarges the patrimony of literature to its possessor. more...

Happy the man when he has not the defects of his qualities. more...

Many men of genius must arise before a particular man of genius can appear. more...

The most noble criticism is that in which the critic is not the antagonist so much as the rival of the author. more...

Those who do not read criticism will rarely merit to be criticised. more...

The Self-Educated are marked by stubborn peculiarities. more...

Education, however indispensable in a cultivated age, produces nothing on the side of genius. When education ends, genius often begins. more...

Literary friendship is a sympathy not of manners, but of feelings. more...

The poet must be alike polished by an intercourse with the world as with the studies of taste; one to whom labour is negligence, refinement a science, and art a nature. more...

A great work always leaves us in a state of musing. more...

Beware of the man of one book. [Lat., Home unius libri, or, cave ab homine unius libri.] more...

Golden volumes! richest treasures, Objects of delicious pleasures! You my eyes rejoicing please, You my hand in rapture seize! Brilliant wits and musing sages, Lights who beam'd through many ages! Left to your conscious leaves their story, And dared to trust you with their glory; And now their hope of fame achiev'd, Dear volumes! you have not deceived! more...

One may quote till one compiles. more...

The art of quotation requires more delicacy in the practice than those conceive who can see nothing more in a quotation than an extract. more...

The greater part of our writers, . . . have become so original, that no one cares to imitate them: and those who never quote in return are seldom quoted. more...

Self-love is a principle of action; but among no class of human beings has nature so profusely distributed this principle of life and action as through the whole sensitive family of genius. more...

The delights of reading impart the vivacity of youth even to old age. more...

If the golden gate of preferment is not usually opened to men of real merit, persons of no worth have entered it in a most extraordinary manner. more...

Quotations, like much better things, has its abuses. more...

Solitude is the nurse of enthusiasm, enthusiasm is the true part of genius. more...

There is a society in the deepest solitude. more...

Every production of genius must be the production of enthusiasm. more...

Mediocrity can talk, but it is for genius to observe. more...

Plagiarists, at least, have the merit of preservation. more...

The wisdom of the wise, and the experience of ages, may be preserved by quotation. more...

The wise make proverbs, and fools repeat them. more...

Romance has been elegantly defined as the offspring of fiction and love. more...

To think, and to feel, constitute the two grand divisions of men of genius - the men of reasoning and the men of imagination. more...

Great collections of books are subject to certain accidents besides the damp, the worms, and the rats; one not less common is that of the borrowers, not to say a word of the purloiners. more...

The art of meditation may be exercised at all hours, and in all places; and men of genius, in their walks, at table, and amidst assemblies, turning the eye of the mind inwards, can form an artificial solitude; retired amidst a crowd, calm amidst distraction, and wise amidst folly. more...

Solitude is the nurse of enthusiasm, and enthusiasm is the true parent of genius. In all ages solitude has been called for - has been flown to. more...

The delight of opening a new pursuit, or a new course of reading, imparts the vivacity and novelty of youth even to old age. more...

Literature is an avenue to glory, ever open for those ingenious men who are deprived of honours or of wealth. more...

The greater part of our writers,... have become so original, that no one cares to imitate them: and those who never quote in return are seldom quoted. more...

And, after all, it is style alone by which posterity will judge of a great work, for an author can have nothing truly his own but his style. more...

There is an art of reading, an art of thinking, and an art of writing. more...

The defects of great men are the consolation of the dunces. more...

Whenever we would prepare the mind by a forcible appeal, an opening quotation is a symphony preluding on the chords those tones we are about to harmonize. more...

To bend and prostrate oneself to express sentiments of respect, appears to be a natural motion more...

An excessive indulgence in the pleasures of social life constitutes the great interests of a luxuriant and opulent age more...

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-a frequent review of Proverbs should enter into our readings; and although they are no longer the ornaments of conversation, they have not ceased to be the treasures of Thought! more...

Bayle, when writing on Comets, discovered this; for having collected many things applicable to his work, as they stood quoted in some modern writers, when he came to compare them with their originals, he was surprised to find that they were nothing for his purpose! the originals conveyed a quite contrary sense to that of the pretended quoters, who often, from innocent blundering, and sometimes from purposed deception, had falsified their quotations. This is an useful story for second-hand authorities! more...


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