Two Thousand and Ten Choice Quotations

in Poetry and Prose

From the Masterminds of All Ages

Arranged for Daily Use


Thomas W. Handford



This is a book especially for the thoughtful. Its compilation has been the pleasant work of many years. The arrangement of these quotations in daily portions—a page for every day in the year—suggests that this book is eminently suitable for daily use by those who love to nurture heart and mind with great and noble thoughts. The body needs its daily food, and in this volume a daily mental repast is offered to the reader. Ten minutes each morning spent in the perusal of the page for the day will supply the mind with material for wise musings through all the day. The limits of a volume of four hundred pages render it impossible to present more than a limited number of these best thoughts of cultured minds. The winnowing fan has been used unsparingly, and it is hoped that for the most part these pages will be found to contain only the "finest of the wheat." Great thoughts are valuable not only for the truth they contain, but for the truth they suggest. The thought that provokes thought is much more valuable than the thought that is only the echo of an accepted truth. The clergyman, the editor, and the orator will find this volume exceedingly helpful. Great care has been exercised in choosing the headings to these various selections. With this book the literary aspirant need never be at a loss for themes or subjects; for, apart from the quotations proper, there are two thousand and ten suggested subjects worthy of discussion. The brevity of most of these quotations will enhance their value for public use, and those who are often called upon to write in autograph albums will find hundreds of selections suitable for that purpose.


January First

1. New Year and Old Year

New Year, if you were bringing Youth, As you are bringing Age, I would not have it back, in sooth; I have no strength to wage Lost battles over. Let them be, Bury your dead, O Memory! Good-bye, since you are gone, Old Year, And my past life, good-bye! I shed no tear upon your bier, For it is well to die. New Year, your worst will be my best—What can an old man want but rest?

R. H. Stoddard.

2. Up and Onward

We do not believe there is any force in today to rival or recreate that beautiful yesterday. We linger in the ruins of the old tent, where once we had bread and shelter, and organs, nor believe that the spirit can feed, cover, and nerve us again. We cannot again find aught so dear, so sweet, so graceful. But we sit and weep in vain. The voice of the Almighty saith, "Up and onward for evermore!" We cannot stay amid the ruins.

R. W. Emerson.

January Second

3. Daily Mercies

New mercies, each returning day, Hover around us while we pray; New perils past, new sins forgiven, New thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven.

John Keble.

4. Lofty Ideals

Our safety is in having lofty ideals, and in constant labor to secure their realization. Let the getting of money be a man's ideal, and he will of necessity grow toward the dust; let a man hunger and thirst after the kingdom of God, and he will grow into strength and enjoy an unspeakable peace.

Joseph Parker.

5. "Was" and "Is.

The years have linings just as goblets do: The old year is the lining of the new; Filled with the wine of precious memories, The golden was doth line the silver is.

C. F. Bates.

6. Thoughts are Imperishable

Thoughts will keep from age to age, and cannot ever be marked as "perishable goods," but still there may be a wrong done society by means of that robbery which thinking commits against doing. This calamity befell some of the Christian centuries in which almost all the religious leaders became writers. There were ten men to suggest for one man to perform. It is now generally doubted that there were anything near as many saints as there were lives of saints, for the mind had cultivated the art of sacred biography, and had reached the ability to make a volume out of a name whose real pious exploits were worthy of only a page. The lives of the saints were more numerous and wonderful than the saints themselves. At least, great works were absent, and abundant words were present in all those dark centuries.

David Swing.

January Third

7. Speech

Speech is but broken light upon the depth of the unspoken.

George Eliot.

8. Completeness

Where true love bestows its sweetness, Where true friendship lays its hand, Dwells all greatness, all completeness, All the wealth of every land. Man is greater than condition, And where man himself bestows, He begets and gives position; To the gentlest that he knows.


9. Grace before Books

I own that I am disposed to say grace upon other occasions besides my dinner. Why have we no form of grace for books, those spiritual repasts—a grace before Milton—a grace before Shakespeare—a devotional exercise proper to be said before reading the Faerie Queen?

Charles Lamb.

10. But One True Life

There is but one true, real and right life for rational beings; only one life worth living, and worth living in this world, or in any other life, past, present, or to come. And that is the eternal life which was before all worlds, and will be after all are passed away—and that is neither more nor less than a good life; a life of good feelings, good thoughts, good words, good deeds—the life of Christ and of God.

Charles Kingsley.

11. The Power of Thought

What a grand power is the power of thought! And what a grand being is man when he uses it aright; because, after all, it is the use made of it that is the important thing. Character comes out of thought; or rather thought comes out of character. The particular thoughts are like the blossoms on the trees; they tell of what kind it is. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is."

Sir Walter Raleigh.