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

Page 581

Thomas Carlyle. (1795–1881) (continued)
      Literary men are … a perpetual priesthood.
          Richter. State of German Literature. (1827.)
      I came hither [Craigenputtoch] solely with the design to simplify my way of life and to secure the independence through which I could be enabled to remain true to myself.
          Letter to Goethe, 1828.
      Clever men are good, but they are not the best.
          Goethe. Edinburgh Review, 1828.
      We are firm believers in the maxim that for all right judgment of any man or thing it is useful, nay, essential, to see his good qualities before pronouncing on his bad.
          Goethe. Edinburgh Review, 1828.
      How does the poet speak to men with power, but by being still more a man than they?
          Burns. Edinburgh Review, 1828.
      A poet without love were a physical and metaphysical impossibility.
          Burns. Edinburgh Review, 1828.
      His religion at best is an anxious wish,—like that of Rabelais, a great Perhaps. 1 
          Burns. Edinburgh Review, 1828.
    We have oftener than once endeavoured to attach some meaning to that aphorism, vulgarly imputed to Shaftesbury, which however we can find nowhere in his works, that “ridicule is the test of truth.” 2 
          Voltaire. Foreign Review, 1829.
Note 1.
Browning: Bishop Bloughram’s Apology, “The grand perhaps.” [back]
Note 2.
How comes it to pass, then, that we appear such cowards in reasoning, and are so afraid to stand the test of ridicule?—Shaftesbury: Characteristics. A Letter concerning Enthusiasm, sect. 2.
  Truth, ’t is supposed, may bear all lights; and one of those principal lights or natural mediums by which things are to be viewed in order to a thorough recognition is ridicule itself.—Shaftesbury: Essay on the Freedom of Wit and Humour, sect. 1.
  ’T was the saying of an ancient sage (Gorgias Leontinus, apud Aristotle’s “Rhetoric,” lib. iii. c. 18), that humour was the only test of gravity, and gravity of humour. For a subject which would not bear raillery was suspicious; and a jest which would not bear a serious examination was certainly false wit.—Ibid. sect. 5. [back]