Home  »  Familiar Quotations  »  Page 291

John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

Page 291

Jonathan Swift. (1667–1745) (continued)
    He had been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in phials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers.
          Gulliver’s Travels. Part iii. Chap. v. Voyage to Laputa.
    It is a maxim, that those to whom everybody allows the second place have an undoubted title to the first.
          Tale of a Tub. Dedication.
    Seamen have a custom, when they meet a whale, to fling him out an empty tub by way of amusement, to divert him from laying violent hands upon the ship. 1
          Tale of a Tub. Preface.
    Bread is the staff of life. 2
          Tale of a Tub. Preface.
    Books, the children of the brain.
          Tale of a Tub. Sect. i.
    As boys do sparrows, with flinging salt upon their tails. 3
          Tale of a Tub. Sect. vii.
    He made it a part of his religion never to say grace to his meat.
          Tale of a Tub. Sect. xi.
    How we apples swim! 4
          Brother Protestants.
    The two noblest things, which are sweetness and light.
          Battle of the Books.
    The reason why so few marriages are happy is because young ladies spend their time in making nets, not in making cages.
          Thoughts on Various Subjects.
    Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being eminent.
          Thoughts on Various Subjects.
    A nice man is a man of nasty ideas.
          Thoughts on Various Subjects.
Note 1.
In Sebastian Munster’s “Cosmography” there is a cut of a ship to which a whale was coming too close for her safety, and of the sailors throwing a tub to the whale, evidently to play with. This practice is also mentioned in an old prose translation of the “Ship of Fools.”—Sir James Mackintosh: Appendix to the Life of Sir Thomas More. [back]
Note 2.
See Mathew Henry, Quotation 10. [back]
Note 3.
Till they be bobbed on the tails after the manner of sparrows.—Francis Rabelais: book ii. chap. xiv. [back]
Note 4.
Ray: Proverbs. Mallet: Tyburn. [back]