Hoyt & Roberts, comps. Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations. 1922.


The medicine chest of the soul.
Inscription on a Library. From the Greek.

Nutrimentum spiritus.
Food for the soul.
Inscription on Berlin Royal Library.

The richest minds need not large libraries.
Amos Bronson Alcott—Table Talk. Bk. I. Learning-Books.

Libraries are as the shrines where all the relics of the ancient saints, full of true virtue, and that without delusion or imposture, are preserved and reposed.

That place that does contain
My books, the best companions, is to me
A glorious court, where hourly I converse
With the old sages and philosophers;
And sometimes, for variety, I confer
With kings and emperors, and weigh their counsels;
Calling their victories, if unjustly got,
Unto a strict account, and, in my fancy,
Deface their ill-placed statues.
Beaumont and Fletcher—The Elder Brother. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 177.

A library is but the soul’s burial-ground. It is the land of shadows.
Henry Ward Beecher—Star Papers. Oxford. Bodleian Library.

All round the room my silent servants wait,
My friends in every season, bright and dim.
Barry Cornwall—My Books.

A great library contains the diary of the human race.
Dawson—Address on Opening the Birmingham Free Library.

It is a vanity to persuade the world one hath much learning, by getting a great library.
Fuller—The Holy and Profane States. Of Books. Maxim 1.

Every library should try to be complete on something, if it were only the history of pinheads.
Holmes—Poet at the Breakfast Table. VIII.

The first thing naturally when one enters a scholar’s study or library, is to look at his books. One gets a notion very speedily of his tastes and the range of his pursuits by a glance round his book-shelves.
Holmes—Poet at the Breakfast Table. VIII.

What a place to be in is an old library! It seems as though all the souls of all the writers that have bequeathed their labours to these Bodleians were reposing here as in some dormitory, or middle state. I do not want to handle, to profane the leaves, their winding-sheets. I could as soon dislodge a shade. I seem to inhale learning, walking amid their foliage; and the odor of their old moth-scented coverings is fragrant as the first bloom of those sciential apples which grew amid the happy orchard.
Lamb—Essays of Elia. Oxford in the Vacation.

I love vast libraries; yet there is a doubt,
If one be better with them or without,—
Unless he use them wisely, and, indeed,
Knows the high art of what and how to read.
J. G. Saxe—The Library.

’Tis well to borrow from the good and great;
’Tis wise to learn; ’tis God-like to create!
J. G. Saxe—The Library.

Come, and take choice of all my library,
And so beguile thy sorrow.
Titus Andronicus. Act IV. Sc. 1. L. 34.

A circulating library in a town is as an evergreen tree of diabolical knowledge.
R. B. Sheridan—The Rivals. Act I. Sc. 2.

Shelved around us lie
The mummied authors.
Bayard Taylor—The Poet’s Journal. Third Evening.

Thou can’st not die. Here thou art more than safe
Where every book is thy epitaph.
Henry Vaughan. On Sir Thomas Bodley’s Library.