sharing my love of books with you

Tag: Quick Quotes (Page 1 of 7)

Death the Consoler

“And, as she looked around, she saw how Death, the consoler,

Laying his hand upon many a heart, had healed it forever.”

Henry Waldsworth Longfellow, Evangeline

Longfellow on Mocking-bird Songs

“Then from a neighboring thicket the mocking-bird, wildest of singers,
Swinging aloft on a willow spray that hung o’er the water,
Shook from his little throat such floods of delirious music,
That the whole air and the woods and the waves seemed silent to listen.
Plaintive at first were the tones, and sad; then soaring to madness
Seemed they to follow or guide the revel of frenzied Bacchantes.
Single notes were then heard, in sorrowful, low lamentation;
Till, having gathered them all, he hung them abroad in derision,
As when, after a storm, a gust of wind through the tree-tops
Shakes down the rattling rain in a crystal shower on the branches.”

Henry Waldsworth Longfellow, Evangeline

Father Felician on Affection

“Thereupon the priest, her friend and father-confessor,

Said, with a smile, “O daughter! thy God thus speaketh within thee!

Talk not of wasted affection, affection never was wasted;

If it enrich not the heart of another, its waters, returning

Back to their springs, like the rain, shall fill them full of refreshment;

That which the fountain sends forth returns again to the fountain,

Patience; accomplish thy labor; accomplish thy work of affection!

Sorrow and silence are strong, and patient endurance is godlike.

Purified, strengthened, perfected, and rendered more worthy of heaven!”

Father Felician to Evangeline, in Evangeline, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Lawrence Buell on Longfellow’s Hiawatha

“A fairer reading of Longfellow’s work, however, would be this: Hiawatha was a one-time experiment for him, not to be taken as the quintessence of his muse but as one among other occasional attempts to extend his treatment of American life beyond the regional and cultural boundaries he knew best… Although his experiment failed by any exacting standard, at least it was vigorous enough to establish itself, along with James Fenimore Cooper’s novels, ahead of the thousand of other contemporary literary evocations of Indian life.”

Lawrence Buell, in the introduction to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Selected Poems

William Charvat on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Longfellow was one of the greatest of all promoters of the arts. Ninety percent of all the poems he ever wrote contained some favorable reference to poetry, poets, artists, art, scholars, or literature. Bards are sublime, grand, immortal; singers are sweet; songs are beautiful; art is wondrous; books are household treasures. Hans Sachs is remembered after kaisers are forgotten. Micheal Angelo is impudent to cardinals. John Alden, the scholar, wins out over Miles Standish, the man of action.”

William Charvat, as quoted by Lawrence Buell, in the introduction to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Selected Poems

Lawrence Buell on Longfellow’s Writing

“Longfellow continually writes about disappointed hopes, the need to accommodate oneself to diminished expectations, and the pressures of coping with the fear that the reality of social or personal chaos is more than we can bear.”

Lawrence Buell, in the introduction to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Selected Poems

Roosevelt on the Strenuous Life

“In speaking to you, men of the greatest city of the West, men of the state which gave to the country Lincoln and Grant, men who preeminently and distinctly embody all that is most American in the American character, I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life; the life and toil of effort; of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires more easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph.”

spoken by Theodore Roosevelt April 10, 1899 in Chicago before the Hamilton Club, as quoted in Lion in the White House by Aida D. Donald


Astrolabe – an astronomical instrument used in ancient times to determine the position of the sun or stars

“Man is the astrolabe of God; but it requires an astronomer to know the astrolabe. If a vegetable-seller or a greengrocer should possess the astrolabe, what benefit would he derive from it? With that astrolabe what would he know of the movements of the circling heavens and the stations of the planets, their influences, transits and so forth? But in the hands of the astronomer the astrolabe is of great benefit, for ‘He who knows himself knows his Lord’.

Just as this copper astrolabe is the mirror of the heavens, so the human being – We have honored the Children of Adam – is the astrolabe of God. When God causes a man to have knowledge of Him and to know Him and to be familiar with Him, through the astrolabe of his own being he beholds moment by moment and flash by flash the manifestation of God and His infinite beauty, and that beauty is never absent from his mirror.”

from “Two Discourses” by Rumi, translated by A.J. Arberry

“[An astrolabe] consists of rotating discs and rulers to show the positions of astronomical objects at any given time throughout the year.” (BBC Sky at Night Magazine) I am including this link to BBC’s Sky at Night Magazine article on astrolabes in case you would like to read more (and because I used their quote). I had no idea what these were, but it is fascinating to think astronomy has been so advanced for so many centuries. The image below is a replica of an astrolabe used in the ancient Islamic world, perhaps even in the time of Rumi. Image also courtesy of BBC’s Sky at Night Magazine article.

Mr. Roosevelt on Mrs. Roosevelt

“There is nothing the world – no possible success, military or political which is worth weighing in the balance for one moment against the happiness that comes to those fortunate enough to make a real love match – a match in which lover and sweetheart will never be lost in husband and wife… I am just as much devoted to Mrs. Roosevelt now as ever I was.”

from a personal letter by Theodore Roosevelt, as quoted in Lion in the White House by Aida D. Donald

Major General Wood on Roosevelt

“In December 1898, Major General Leonard Wood wrote to the adjutant-general of the army in support of the initiative to grant Roosevelt the Medal of Honor. Wood’s letter is, even today, the best nonpartisan account of the colonel’s bravery ever written:

Colonel Roosevelt, accompanied only by four or five men, led a very desperate and extremely gallant charge on San Juan Hill, thereby setting a splendid example to the troops and encouraging them to pass over the open country intervening between their position and the trenches of the enemy… He gathered up a few men and led them to the charge… The charge in itself was an extremely gallant one, and the example set a most inspiring one to the troops in that part of the line… There was no doubt that the magnificent example set by Colonel Roosevelt had a very encouraging effect and had great weight in bringing up the troops behind him. During the assault, Colonel Roosevelt was the first to reach the trenches in his part of the line and killed one of the enemy with his own hand… His services on the day in question were of great value and of a most distinguished character.

Major General Leonard Wood
Lion in the White House, Aida D. Donald
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