Alexander Smith Quotes | Quotes by Alexander Smith

1If a man is worth knowing at all, he is worth knowing well.

2Eternity doth wear upon her face the veil of time. They only see the veil, and thus they know not what they stand so near!

3One never hugs one's good luck so affectionately as when listening to the relation of some horrible misfortunes which has overtaken others.

4A single soul is richer than all the worlds.

5Most brilliant star upon the crest of Time Is England. England!

6The truly great rest in the knowledge of their own deserts, nor seek the conformation of the world.

7The pale child, Eve, leading her mother, Night.

8There is no ghost so difficult to lay as the ghost of an injury.

9Looking forward into an empty year strikes one with a certain awe, because one finds therein no recognition. The years behind have a friendly aspect, and they are warmed by the fires we have kindled, and all their echoes are the echoes of our own voices.

10We have two lives; The soul of man is like the rolling world, One half in day, the other dipt in night; The one has music and the flying cloud, The other, silence and the wakeful stars.

Alexander Smith Quotes

11A man does not plant a tree for himself; he plants it for posterity.

12Love is but the discovery of ourselves in others, and the delight in the recognition.

13Sweet April's tears, Dead on the hem of May.

14I would rather be remembered by a song than by a victory.

15I go into my library, and all history unrolls before me. I breathe the morning air of the world while the scent of Eden's roses yet lingered in it, while it vibrated only to the world's first brood of nightingales, and to the laugh of Eve. I see the pyramids building; I hear the shoutings of the armies of Alexander.

16If you wish to preserve your secret, wrap it up in frankness.

17In the entire circle of the year there are no days so delightful as those of a fine October, when the trees are bare to the mild heavens, and the red leaves bestrew the road, and you can feel the breath of winter, morning and evening - no days so calm, so tenderly solemn, and with such a reverent meekness in the air.

18If you do your fair day's work, you are certain to get your fair day's wage - in praise or pudding, whichever happens to suit your taste.

19Happiness never lays its finger on its pulse. If we attempt to steal a glimpse of its features it disappears.

20Not on the stage alone, in the world also, a man's real character comes out best in his asides.

Alexander Smith Quotes

21Some books are drench猫d sandsOn which a great soul's wealth lies all in heaps,Like a wrecked argosy.

22To be occasionally quoted is the only fame I care for.

23I have learned to prize the quiet, lightning deed, not the applauding thunder at its heels that men call fame.

24In winter, when the dismal rain Comes down in slanting lines, And Wind, that grand old harper, smote His thunder-harp of pines.

25A poem round and perfect as a star.

26If the egotist is weak, his egotism is worthless. If the egotist is strong, acute, full of distinctive character, his egotism is precious, and remains a possession of the race.

27The greatness of an artist or a writer does not depend on what he has in common with other artists and writers, but on what he has peculiar to himself.

28There is a slow-growing beauty which only comes to perfection in old age.... I have seen sweeter smiles on a lip of seventy than I ever saw on a lip of seventeen. There is the beauty of youth, and there is also the beauty of holiness鈥攁 beauty much more seldom met; and more frequently found in the arm-chair by the fire, with grandchildren around its knee, than in the ball-room or the promenade.

29Fame is but an inscription on a grave, and glory the melancholy blazon on a coffin lid.

30Every man's road in life is marked by the grave of his personal likings.

Alexander Smith Quotes

31To have to die is a distinction of which no man is proud.

32Good-humor and, generosity carry day with the popular heart all the world over.

33To bring the best human qualities to anything like perfection, to fill them with the sweet juices of courtesy and charity, prosperity, or, at all events, a moderate amount of it, is required,--just as sunshine is needed for the ripening of peaches and apricots.

34It is a characteristic of pleasure that we can never recognize it to be pleasure till after it is gone.

35My friend is not perfect-no more than I am-and so we suit each other admirable.

36And in any case, to the old man, when the world becomes trite, the triteness arises not so much from a cessation as from a transference of interest. What is taken from this world is given to the next. The glory is in the east in the morning, it is in the west in the afternoon, and when it is dark the splendour is irradiating the realm of the under-world. He would only follow.

37If we were to live here always, with no other care than how to feed, clothe, and house ourselves, life would be a very sorry business. It is immeasurably heightened by the solemnity of death.

38Winter does not work only on a broad scale; he is careful in trifles.

39In the entire circle of the year there are no days so delightful as those of a fine October.

40The discovery of a grey hair when you are brushing out your whiskers of a morning鈥攆irst fallen flake of the coming snows of age鈥攊s a disagreeable thing.... So are flying twinges of gout, shortness of breath on the hill-side, the fact that even the moderate use of your friend's wines at dinner upsets you. These things are disagreeable because they tell you that you are no longer young鈥攖hat you have passed through youth, are now in middle age, and faring onward to the shadows in which, somewhere, a grave is hid.

Alexander Smith Quotes

41There is a certain even-handed justice in Time; and for what he takes away he gives us something in return. He robs us of elasticity of limb and spirit, and in its place he brings tranquility and repose鈥攖he mild autumnal weather of the soul.

42My heart like moon-charmed waters, all unrest.

43The man who in this world can keep the whiteness of his soul is not likely to lose it in any other.

44The great man is the man who does a thing for the first time.

45We are never happy; we can only remember that we were so once.

46If you wish to make a man look noble, your best course is to kill him. What superiority he may have inherited from his race, what superiority nature may have personally gifted him with, comes out in death.

47The only thing a man knows is himself.

48Each time we love,We turn a nearer and a broader markTo that keen archer, Sorrow, and he strikes.

49It is the sternest philosophy, but on the whole the truest, that, in the wide arena of the world, failure and success are not accidents, as we so frequently suppose, but the strictest justice.

50An old novel has a history of its own.

Alexander Smith Quotes

51In my garden I spend my days, in my library I spend my nights. My interests are divided between my geraniums and my books. With the flower I am in the present; with the book I am in the past.

52Thoughts must come naturally, like wild-flowers; they cannot be forced in a hot-bed, even although aided by the leaf-mould of your past.

53The sun was down, And all the west was paved with sullen fire. I cried, Behold! the barren beach of hell At ebb of tide.

54Trees are your best antiques

55Seated in my library at night, and looking on the silent faces of my books, I am occasionally visited by a strange sense of the supernatural.

56Vanity in its idler moments is benevolent, is as willing to give pleasure as to take it, and accepts as sufficient reward for its services a kind word or an approving smile.

57A brave soul is a thing which all things serve.

58The pleased sea on a white-breasted shore-- A shore that wears on her alluring brows Rare shells, far brought, the love-gifts of the sea, That blushed a tell-tale.

59To sit for one's portrait is like being present at one's own creation.

60Every day travels toward death; the last only arrives at it.