After over fifty years of varied reading the Liberal party leader Viscount Samuel (1870 -1963) collected around a thousand quotations for his own use. In 1947 the Cresset Press decided to publish about half of these arranged under several heads. We at Jot HQ were sufficiently impressed by the noble lord’s wide reading and discernment to select what we feel were some of the most perceptive of these pieces of wisdom.
It seems to me that we all look at nature too much, and live with her too little.
The question of common-sense is always “ What is it good for?”—-a question which would abolish the rose and be answered triumphantly by the cabbage.
Keats is an example of literature untouched by science
It is just when ideas are lacking that a phrase is most welcome
Of what use is freedom of thought if it will not produce freedom of action?
Absence of occupation is not rest.
Great learning and great shallowness go together very well under one hat.
The depths of the fathomless loyalty that is in the heart of the dog.
Crime is the anti-social form of the struggle for existence
No, Sir; we had talk enough, but no conversation; there was nothing
Dr SAMUEL JOHNSON
Man is certainly a benevolent animal. A. never sees B. in distress without thinking C. ought to relieve him directly.
The more wit you have, the more good nature you must show, to induce people to pardon your superiority, for that is no easy matter.
Do not think that what your thoughts dwell upon is of no matter. Your thoughts are making you.
The singular completeness of limited men.
Shaw hated first editions. They are always the worst, he declared.
The puritan through Life’s sweet garden goes
To pluck the thorn and cast away the rose
A platitude is a truth we are tired of hearing
Poetry is emotion put into measure. The emotion must come by nature, but the measure can be acquired by art.
The discoveries of science leave the world as full of poetry as they found it.
Elsewhere the radical smites at iron or rotten wood; in England it is a cushion on springs.
Of all the thirty-six alternatives, running away is the best.
It’s a simple formula: do your best and hope someone likes it