The Works of William Makepeace Thackeray

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Page 126 - Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, And without sneering, teach the rest to sneer; Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike, Just hint a fault and hesitate dislike...
Page 158 - To them his heart, his love, his griefs, were given, But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven. As some tall cliff, that lifts its awful form, Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm, Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread, Eternal sunshine settles on its head.
Page 95 - Whilst all the stars that round her burn, And all the planets in their turn, Confirm the tidings as they roll, And spread the truth from pole to pole. What though, in solemn silence, all Move round the dark terrestrial ball; What though no real voice nor sound...
Page 131 - Night primeval and of Chaos old ! Before her, fancy's gilded clouds decay, And all its varying rainbows die away. Wit shoots in vain its momentary fires, The meteor drops, and in a flash expires. As one by one, at dread Medea's strain, The sick'ning stars fade off th' ethereal plain ; As Argus
Page 162 - Amidst these humble bowers to lay me down ; To husband out life's taper at the close. And keep the flame from wasting by repose. I still had hopes, for pride attends us still, Amidst the swains to show my...
Page 162 - O blest retirement, friend to life's decline, Retreats from care that never must be mine, How blest is he who crowns, in shades like these, A youth of labor with an age of ease...
Page 57 - Having finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theatre of action ; and, bidding an affectionate farewell to this august body, under whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer my commission and take my leave of the employments of my public life.
Page 131 - Thus at her felt approach, and secret might, Art after art goes out, and all is night. See skulking Truth to her old cavern fled, Mountains of casuistry heaped o'er her head ! Philosophy, that leaned on Heaven before, Shrinks to her second cause, and is no more.
Page 95 - Mirth is short and transient, cheerfulness fixed and permanent. Those are often raised into the greatest transports of mirth, who are subject to the greatest depressions of melancholy; on the contrary, cheerfulness, though it does not give the mind such an exquisite gladness, prevents us from falling into any depths of sorrow. Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of day-light in the mind, and fills it with...
Page 120 - He began on it ; and when first he mentioned it to Swift, the Doctor did not much like the project. As he carried it on, he showed what he wrote to both of us, and we now and then gave a correction, or a word or two of advice ; but it was wholly of his own writing. When it was done, neither of us thought it would succeed. We showed it to Congreve ; who, after reading it over, said, it would either take greatly, or be damned confoundedly.

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