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

Page 934

Pliny the Younger. (61–105 A.D.)
    Modestus said of Regulus that he was “the biggest rascal that walks upon two legs.”
          Letters. Book i. Letter v. 14. 1
    There is nothing to write about, you say. Well, then, write and let me know just this,—that there is nothing to write about; or tell me in the good old style if you are well. That ’s right. I am quite well. 2
          Letters. Book i. Letter xi. 1.
    Never do a thing concerning the rectitude of which you are in doubt.
          Letters. Book i. Letter xviii. 5.
    The living voice is that which sways the soul.
          Letters. Book ii. Letter iii. 9.
    An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit. 3
          Letters. Book ii. Letter xv. 1.
    He [Pliny the Elder] used to say that “no book was so bad but some good might be got out of it.” 4
          Letters. Book iii. Letter v. 10.
    This expression of ours, “Father of a family.”
          Letters. Book v. Letter xix. 2.
    That indolent but agreeable condition of doing nothing. 5
          Letters. Book viii. Letter ix. 3.
    Objects which are usually the motives of our travels by land and by sea are often overlooked and neglected if they lie under our eye…. We put off from time to time going and seeing what we know we have an opportunity of seeing when we please.
          Letters. Book viii. Letter xx. 1.
    His only fault is that he has no fault. 6
          Letters. Book ix. Letter xxvi. 1.
Note 1.
Book vi. Letter xvi. contains the description of the eruption of Vesuvius, A. D. 79, as witnessed by Pliny the Elder. [back]
Note 2.
This comes to inform you that I am in a perfect state of health, hoping you are in the same. Ay, that ’s the old beginning.—Colman: The Heir at Law, act iii. sc. 2. [back]
Note 3.
See Goldsmith, Quotation 95. [back]
Note 4.
”There is no book so bad,” said the bachelor, “but something good may be found in it.”—Cervantes: Don Quixote, part ii. chap. iii. [back]
Note 5.
Il dolce far niente (The sweet do nothing).—A well known Italian proverb. [back]
Note 6.
See Carlyle, Quotation 20. [back]