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

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Mrs. Greville. (c. 1793)
    Nor peace nor ease the heart can know
  Which, like the needle true,
Turns at the touch of joy or woe,
  But turning, trembles too.
          A Prayer for Indifference.
Horace Walpole. (1717–1797)
    Harry Vane, Pulteney’s toad-eater,
          Letter to Sir Horace Mann, 1742.
    The world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those who feel.
          Letter to Sir Horace Mann, 1770.
    A careless song, with a little nonsense in it now and then, does not misbecome a monarch. 1
          Letter to Sir Horace Mann, 1774.
    The whole [Scotch] nation hitherto has been void of wit and humour, and even incapable of relishing it. 2
          Letter to Sir Horace Mann, 1778.
William Collins. (1721–1759)
    In numbers warmly pure and sweetly strong.
          Ode to Simplicity.
    Well may your hearts believe the truths I tell:
’T is virtue makes the bliss, where’er we dwell. 3
          Oriental Eclogues. 1, Line 5.
    How sleep the brave who sink to rest
By all their country’s wishes bless’d!
          Ode written in the year 1746.
    By fairy hands their knell is rung; 4
By forms unseen their dirge is sung;
Note 1.
A little nonsense now and then
Is relished by the wisest men.
Anonymous. [back]
Note 2.
It requires a surgical operation to get a joke well into a Scotch understanding.—Sydney Smith: Lady Holland’s Memoir, vol. i. p. 15. [back]
Note 3.
See Pope, Quotation 56. [back]
Note 4.
Var. By hands unseen the knell is rung;
By fairy forms their dirge is sung. [back]