Sydney Smith


English Clergyman and Essayist

Author Quotes

We cultivate literature on a little oat meal.

Let the Dean and Canons lay their heads together and the thing will be done.

My living in Yorkshire was so far out of the way, that it was actually twelve miles from a lemon.

Preaching has become a byword for long and dull conversation of any kind; and whoever wishes to imply, in any piece of writing, the absence of everything agreeable and inviting, calls it a sermon.

The church is the great lost and found department.

There are many ways of being frivolous, only one way of being intellectually great; that is honest labor.

We know nothing of tomorrow, our business is to be good and happy today

Life is a difficulty in the country, and it requires a good deal of forethought to steer the ship, when you are twelve miles from a lemon.

Never desert your own line of talent. Be what nature intended you for and you will succeed.

Pride is not the heritage of man; humility should dwell with frailty, and atone for ignorance, error, and imperfection.

The dearest things in the world are our neighbor's eyes; they cost everybody more than anything else in housekeeping.

There is but one method, and that is hard labor; and a man who will not pay that price for greatness had better at once dedicate himself to the pursuit of the fox, or to talk of bullocks, and glory in the goad.

We must despise no sort of talents; they all have their separate uses and duties; all have the happiness of man for their object; they all improve, exalt, and gladden life.

Live always in the best company when you read.

Never give way to melancholy; resist it steadily, for the habit will encroach.

Pulpit discourses have insensibly dwindled from speaking to reading; a practice of itself sufficient to stifle every germ of eloquence.

The fact is that in order to do anything in this world worth doing, we must not stand shivering on the bank thinking of the cold and the danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can.

There is not the least use in preaching to anyone, unless you chance to catch them ill.

We shall generally find that the triangular person has got into the square hole, the oblong into the triangular, and a square person has squeezed himself into the round hole.

Looked as if she had walked straight out of the ark.

Never talk for half a minute without pausing and giving others a chance to join in.

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.

The haunts of happiness are varied, but I have more often found her among little children, home firesides, and country houses than anywhere else.

There is one piece of advice, in a life of study, which I think no one will object to; and that is, every now and then to be completely idle - to do nothing at all.

We talk of human life as a journey; but how variously is that journey performed! There are those who come forth girt, and shod, and mantled, to walk on velvet lawns and smooth terraces, where every gale is arrested and every beam is tempered. There are others who walk on the Alpine paths of life, against driving misery, and through stormy sorrows, over sharp afflictions; walk with bare feet and naked breast, jaded, mangled, and chilled.

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English Clergyman and Essayist