Recently Added Essays

  1. “On some of the old actors”

  2. Charles Lamb

    Of all the actors who flourished in my time--a melancholy phrase if taken aright, reader--Bensley had most of the swell of soul, was greatest in the delivery of heroic conceptions, the emotions consequent upon the presentment of a great idea to the fancy.

  3. “Grace before meat”

  4. Charles Lamb

    The form then of the benediction before eating has its beauty at a poor man's table, or at the simple and unprovocative repasts of children. It is here that the grace becomes exceedingly graceful.

  5. “Sins of government, Sins of the nation; or, a Discourse for the fast”

  6. Anna Laetitia Barbauld

    Every individual, my brethren, who has a sense of religion, and a desire of conforming his conduct to its precepts, will frequently retire into himself to discover his faults; and having discovered, to repent of, -- and having repented of, to amend them. Nations have likewise their faults to repent of, their conduct to examine.

  7. “A Proposal to Girdle the Earth ”

  8. Nellie Bly

    I always have a comfortable feeling that nothing is impossible if one applies a certain amount of energy in the right direction

  9. “On needlework”

  10. Mary Lamb

    At all events, let us not confuse the motives of economy with those of simple pastime.

  11. “On suicide”

  12. Thomas De Quincey

    These statements tended to one of two results: either they unsanctified the characters of those who founded and nursed the Christian church; or they sanctified suicide.

  13. “On suicide”

  14. Thomas De Quincey

    These statements tended to one of two results: either they unsanctified the characters of those who founded and nursed the Christian church; or they sanctified suicide.

  15. “Sanity of true genius”

  16. Charles Lamb

    So far from the position holding true, that great wit (or genius, in our modern way of speaking), has a necessary alliance with insanity, the greatest wits, on the contrary, will ever be found to be the sanest writers.

  17. “Popular fallacies”

  18. Charles Lamb

    Coolness is as often the result of an unprincipled indifference to truth or falsehood, as of a sober confidence in a man's own side in a dispute.

  19. “The principle of evil ”

  20. Thomas De Quincey

    Doubt there can be little that without any religion, any sense of dependency, or gratitude, or reverence as to superior natures, man would rapidly have deteriorated.

  21. “The loveliest sight for woman's eyes ”

  22. Thomas De Quincey

    The holiest sight upon which the eyes of God settle in Almighty sanction and perfect blessing is the love which soon kindles between the mother and her infant.

  23. “The loveliest sight for woman's eyes ”

  24. Thomas De Quincey

    The holiest sight upon which the eyes of God settle in Almighty sanction and perfect blessing is the love which soon kindles between the mother and her infant.

  25. “On criticism”

  26. William Hazlitt

    Criticism is an art that undergoes a great variety of changes, and aims at different objects at different times.

  27. “The maid-servant ”

  28. Leigh Hunt

    One of the completest of all is the fair, where she walks through an endless round of noise, and toys, and gallant apprentices, and wonders. Here she is invited in by courteous and well-dressed people, as if she were a mistress.

  29. “Charles Lamb”

  30. Thomas De Quincey

    Charles Lamb, if any ever was is amongst the class here contemplated; he, if any ever has, ranks amongst writers whose works are destined to be forever unpopular, and yet forever interesting; interesting, moreover, by means of those very qualities which guarantee their non-popularity.

  31. “On will-making ”

  32. William Hazlitt

    The art of will-making chiefly consists in baffling the importunity of expectation. I do not so much find fault with this when it is done as a punishment and oblique satire on servility and selfishness.

  33. “The literature of knowledge and the literature of power”

  34. Thomas De Quincey

    There is, first, the Literature of Knowledge; and, secondly, the Literature of Power. The function of the first is — to teach; the function of the second is — to move

  35. “On knocking at the gate, in Macbeth ”

  36. Thomas De Quincey

    ...but that, the further we press in our discoveries, the more we shall see proofs of design and self-supporting arrangement where the careless eye had seen nothing but accident!

  37. “Why the pagans could not invest their gods with any iota of grandeur”

  38. Thomas De Quincey

    My object is to show that the ancients, that even the Greeks, could not support the idea of immortality.

  39. “Measure of value”

  40. Thomas De Quincey

    Of all the men of talents, whose writings I have read up to this hour, Mr. Malthus has the most perplexed understanding. He is not only confused himself, but is the cause that confusion is in other men.

  41. “A complaint of the decay of beggars in the metropolis ”

  42. Charles Lamb

    There was a dignity springing from the very depth of their desolation; as to be naked is to be so much nearer to the being a man, than to go in livery.

  43. “The Jews as a separate people ”

  44. Thomas De Quincey

    ...amongst the Jews every custom, the most trivial, is also part of their legislation; and their legislation is also their religion.

  45. “Modern gallantry ”

  46. Charles Lamb

    He was the Preux Chevalier of Age; the Sir Calidore, or Sir Tristan, to those who have no Calidores or Tristans to defend them.

  47. “How to write English”

  48. Thomas De Quincey

    Among world-wide objects of speculation, objects rising to the dignity of a mundane or cosmopolitish value, which challenge at this time more than ever a growing intellectual interest, is the English language.

  49. “Murder as a fine art”

  50. Thomas De Quincey

    A new paper on Murder as a Fine Art might open thus: that on the model of those Gentlemen Radicals who had voted a monument to Palmer, etc., it was proposed to erect statues to such murderers as should by their next-of-kin, or other person interested in their glory, make out a claim either of superior atrocity, or, in equal atrocity, of superior neatness, continuity of execution, perfect preparation or felicitous originality, smoothness or _curiosa felicitas_ (elaborate felicity).

  51. “The world of books”

  52. Leigh Hunt

    To be actually on the spot, to look with one's own eyes upon the places in which our favorite heroes or heroines underwent the circumstances that made us love them--this may surely make up for an advantage on the side of the description in the book.

  53. “My books”

  54. Leigh Hunt

    nothing while I live and think can deprive me of my value for such treasures.

  55. “The Bound God”

  56. Grace Little Rhys

    That huge and helpless sleeper became to me as the God in the soul of man that was struggling in its sleep, trying to free itself, trying to rise from the earth.

  57. “Radiances”

  58. Grace Little Rhys

    We should be more grateful to the flowers did we realize this gift of theirs; they are the lamps of the daytime, unspeakably bright.

  59. “An Essay on Essays”

  60. Katharine Fullerton Gerould

    A good essay is neither intoxicant nor purge nor anodyne; it is a mental stimulant.

  61. “February”

  62. Edith Wharton

    There is no explanation of the crowding of the other department [stores] except the fact that woman, however valiant, however tried, however suffering and however self-denying, must eventually, in the long run, and at whatever cost to her pocket and her ideals, begin to shop again.

  63. “Harems and Ceremonies”

  64. Edith Wharton

    To occidental travelers the most vivid impression produced by a first contact with the Near East is the surprise of being in a country where the human element increases instead of diminishing the delight of the eye. Nothing is as democratic in appearance as a society of which the whole structure hangs on the whim of one man.

  65. “Ringside Seats”

  66. Katharine Fullerton Gerould

    Dempsey, in the ring, spoke for himself, defined himself, illustrated, to any eye that watched him, the quintessential gladiator.

  67. “Daughters of the Air ”

  68. Grace Little Rhys

    What a pity that natural wonders so soon cease to astonish. For a few seasons the child is astonished at the wind.

  69. “Reverence”

  70. Edith Wharton

    The deeper civilization of a country may to a great extent be measured by the care she gives to her flower-garden, the corner of her life where the supposedly "useless" arts and graces flourish.

  71. “On Being a Sport”

  72. Katharine Fullerton Gerould

    To be a good sport, it is not quite enough to face the danger bravely when it comes: you must, to some extent, welcome it.

  73. “Arachne, or the Housekeeper”

  74. Grace Little Rhys

    Very many are the offices and faculties of women; we can hardly count her different guises, so many does she wear in this tumult of increasing life.

  75. “On Westminster Abbey”

  76. Joseph Addison

    The Condition of the People who lye in i[Westminster Abbey], are apt to fill the Mind with a kind of Melancholy, or rather Thoughtfulness, that is not disagreeable.

  77. “Twenty-four Hours in London”

  78. Richard Steele

    It is an inexpressible pleasure to know a little of the world, and be of no character or significancy in it.

  79. “On the weather”

  80. Jerome K. Jerome

    The weather is like the government—always in the wrong.

  81. “On memory”

  82. Jerome K. Jerome

    It is the brightness, not the darkness, that we see when we look back. The sunshine casts no shadows on the past

  83. “On being idle”

  84. Jerome K. Jerome

    There are plenty of lazy people and plenty of slow-coaches, but a genuine idler is a rarity.

  85. “On dress and deportment”

  86. Jerome K. Jerome

    Why shouldn’t we dress a little gayly? I am sure if we did we should be happier.

  87. “Wilful sadness in literature”

  88. Louise Imogen Guiney

    The moment [art] speaks out fully, lets us know all, ceases to represent a choice and a control of its own material, ceases to be, in short, an authority and a mystery, and prefers to set up for a mere Chinese copy of life.

  89. “Quiet London”

  90. Louise Imogen Guiney

    It is as if tremendous London, her teeming thoughts troubling her, said 'Hush!' in the ear of all her own.

  91. “The under dog”

  92. Louise Imogen Guiney

    Fate must have her joke sometimes, as well as the least of us, and she suffers cheap energy to fill the newspapers for a lustrum, and genius to await identification at the morgue

  93. “On railways and things”

  94. Hilaire Belloc

    "New lines of travel are like canals cut through the stagnant marsh of an old civilisation."

  95. “On them”

  96. Hilaire Belloc

    "If one had the time one could watch Them day after day, and never see Them do a single kind or good thing, or be moved by a single virtuous impulse."

  97. “On advertisement”

  98. Hilaire Belloc

    "And there it is. There is no moral; there is no conclusion or application. The world is not quite infinite--but it is astonishingly full."

  99. “War and warriors”

  100. Charles Colton

    With one solitary exception, all warfare is built upon hypocrisy, acting upon ignorance.

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Quotidiana by Patrick Madden

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