Walter Savage Landor Quotes


Belief in the future life is the appetite of reason.

Music is God's gift to man the only art of Heaven given to earth the only art of earth we take to Heaven.

Around the child bend all the threeSweet Graces: Faith Hope Charity.Around the man bend other faces;Pride Envy Malice are his Graces.

Friendships are the purer and the more ardent the nearer they come to the presence of God the Sun not only of righteousness but of love.

Something of the severe hath always been appertaining to order and to grace; and the beauty that is not too liberal is sought the most ardently and loved the longest.

There is a gravity which is not austere nor captious which belongs not to melancholy nor dwells in contraction of heart: but arises from tenderness and hangs upon reflection.

A mercantile democracy may govern long and widely; a mercantile aristocracy cannot stand.

The flame of anger bright and brief sharpens the barb of love.

Heat and animosity contest and conflict may sharpen the wits although they rarely do; they never strengthen the understanding clear the perspicacity guide the judgment or improve the heart.

The spirit of Greece passing through and ascending above the world hath so animated universal nature that the very rocks and woods the very torrents and wilds burst forth with it.

True wit to every man is that which falls on another.

As we sometimes find one thing while we are looking for another so if truth escaped me happiness and contentment fell in my way.

He who first praises a book becomingly is next in merit to the author.

Authors are like cattle going to a fair: those of the same field can never move on without butting one another.

All schools of philosophy and almost all authors are rather to be frequented for exercise than for weight.

Truth like the juice of the poppy in small quantities calms men; in larger heats and irritates them and is attended by fatal consequences in excess.

A wise man will always be a Christian because the perfection of wisdom is to know where lies tranquillity of mind and how to attain it which Christianity teaches.

No ashes are lighter than those of incense and few things burn out sooner.

Democracy is always the work of kings. Ashes which in themselves are sterile fertilize the land they are cast upon.

Merit has rarely risen of itself but a pebble or a twig is often quite sufficient for it to spring from to the highest ascent. There is usually some baseness before there is any elevation.

Cats ask plainly for what they want.

The highest price we can pay for anything; is to ask it.

Nature I loved and next to Nature Art.

Modesty and diffidence make a man unfit for public affairs; they also make him unfit for brothels.

Patience piety and salutary knowledge spring up and ripen under the harrow of affliction; before there is wine or oil the grape must be trodden and the oil pressed.

We fancy that our afflictions are sent us directly from above; sometimes we think it in piety and contrition but oftener in moroseness and discontent.

Friendship may sometimes step a few paces in advance of truth.

Study is the bane of childhood the oil of youth the indulgence of adulthood and a restorative in old age.

There is no eloquence which does not agitate the soul.

He who brings ridicule to bear against truth finds in his hand a blade without a hilt.

Friendship is a vase which when it is flawed by heat or violence or accident may as well be broken at once; it can never be trusted after.

We talk on principal but act on motivation.

Do not expect to be acknowledged for what you are much less for what you would be; since no one can well measure a great man but upon the bier.

Ambition is but avarice on stilts and masked. God sometimes sends a famine sometimes a pestilence and sometimes a hero for the chastisement of mankind; none of them surely for our admiration.

Fancy is imagination in her youth and adolescence. Fancy is always excursive; imagination not seldom is sedate.

There are proud men of so much delicacy that it almost conceals their pride and perfectly excuses it.

There is no more certain sign of a narrow mind of stupidity and of arrogance than to stand aloof from those who think differently from us.

Political men like goats usually thrive best among inequalities.

If in argument we can make a man angry with us we have drawn him from his vantage ground and overcome him.

Solitude is the audience-chamber of God.

In argument truth always prevails finally; in politics falsehood always.

Ambition does not see the earth she treads on: The rock and the herbage are of one substance to her.

Ambition is but avarice on stilts and masked.

Where power is absent we may find the robe of genius but we miss the throne.

The very beautiful rarely love at all; those precious images are placed above the reach of the passions: Time alone is permitted to efface them.

In the morn of life we are alert we are heated in its noon and only in its decline do we repose.

There is a vast deal of vital air in loving words.

That which moveth the heart most is the best poetry; it comes nearest unto God the source of all power.

Ambition has but one reward for all: A little power a little transient fame; A grave to rest in and a fading name!

The most pernicious of absurdities is that weak blind stupid faith is better than the constant practice of every human virtue.

An ingenuous mind feels in unmerited praise the bitterest reproof.

An ingenious mind feels in unmerited praise the bitterest reproof.

An ingenuous mind feels in unmerited praise the bitterest reproof. If you reject it you are unhappy if you accept it you are undone.

Justice is often pale and melancholy; but Gratitude her daughter is constantly in the flow of spirits and the bloom of loveliness.

A true philosopher is beyond the reach of fortune.

Little men build up great ones but the snow colossus soon melts; the good stand under the eye of God and therefore stand.

No truer word save God's was ever spoken Than that the largest heart is soonest broken.

Experience is our only teacher both in war and peace.

Was genius ever ungrateful? Mere talents are dry leaves tossed up and down by gusts of passion and scattered and swept away; but Genius lies on the bosom of Memory and Gratitude at her feet.

The only effect of public punishment is to show the rabble how bravely it can be borne; and that every one who hath lost a toe-nail hath suffered worse.

Hope is the mother of faith.

I have suffered more from my bad dancing than from all the misfortunes and miseries of my life put together.

Many laws as certainly make bad men as bad men make many laws.

When we play the fool how wideThe theatre expands! beside How long the audience sits before us!How many prompters! what a chorus!

It is delightful to kiss the eyelashes of the beloved--is it not? But never so delightful as when fresh tears are on them.

Men like nails lose their usefulness when they lose their direction and begin to bend.

God scatters beauty as he scatters flowers O'er the wide earth and tells us all are ours. A hundred lights in every temple burn And at each shrine I bend my knee in turn.

There is delight in singing though none hear beside the singer.

Those who are quite satisfied sit still and do nothing; those who are not quite satisfied are the sole benefactors of the world.

It is as wise to moderate our belief as our desires.

Two evils of almost equal weight may befall the man of erudition; never to be listened to and to be listened to always.

When a cat flatters ... he is not insincere: you may safely take it for real kindness.

Cats like men are flatterers.

Truth sometimes corner unawares upon Caution and sometimes speaks in public as unconsciously as in a dream.

Life is but sighs; and when they cease 'tis over.

When a woman hath ceased to be quite the same to us it matters little how different she becomes.

Consciousness of error is to a certain extent a consciousness of understanding; and correction of error is the plainest proof of energy and mastery.

Goodness does not more certainly make men happy than happiness makes them good.

Piety--warm soft and passive as the ether round the throne of Grace--is made callous and inactive by kneeling too much.

The wise become as the unwise in the enchanted chambers of Power whose lamps make every face the same colour.

O Music! how it grieves me that imprudence intemperance gluttony should open their channels into thy sacred stream.

Let a gentleman be known to have been cheated of twenty pounds and it costs him forty a-year for the remainder of his life.

Every sect is a moral check on its neighbour. Competition is as wholesome in religion as in commerce.

Children are what the mothers are.

The religion of Christ is peace and good-will --the religion of Christendom is war and ill-will.

The moderate are not usually the most sincere for the same circumspection which makes them moderate makes them likewise retentive of what could give offence.

Circumstances form the character; but like petrifying matters they harden while they form.

The sweetest souls like the sweetest flowers soon canker in cities and no purity is rarer there than the purity of delight.

Life and death appear more certainly ours than whatsoever else; and yet hardly can that be called ours which comes without our knowledge and goes without it.

Old trees in their living state are the only things that money cannot command.

Cruelty in all countries is the companion of anger; but there is only one and never was another on the globe where she coquets both with anger and mirth.

What is companionship where nothing that improves the intellect is communicated and where the larger heart contracts itself to the model and dimension of the smaller?

My thoughts are my company I can bring them together select them detain them dismiss them

I sometimes think that the most plaintive ditty has brought a fuller joy and of longer duration to its composer that the conquest of Persia to the Macedonian.

Cruelty is no more the cure of crimes than it is the cure of sufferings; compassion in the first instance is good for both; I have known it to bring compunction when nothing else would.

Even the weakest disputant is made so conceited by what he calls religion as to think himself wiser than the wisest who thinks differently from him.

Even the weakest disputant is made so conceited by what he calls religion as to think himself wiser than the wisest who think differently from him.

We cannot conquer fate and necessity yet we can yield to them in such a manner as to be greater than if we could.

There is only one word of tenderness we could say which we have not said oftentimes before ; and there is no consolation in it. The happy never say and never hear said farewell.

Consult duty not events.

The sublime is contained in a grain of dust.

We cannot be contented because we are happy and we cannot be happy because we are contented.

Contentment is better than divinations or visions.

Men universally are ungrateful towards him who instructs them unless in the hours or in the intervals of instruction he presents a sweet-cake to their self-love.

The habit of pleasing by flattery makes a language soft; the fear of offending by truth makes it circuitous and conventional.

What is reading but silent conversation?

No friendship is so cordial or so delicious as that of girl for girl; no hatred so intense and immovable as that of woman for woman.

When the mind loses its feeling for elegance it grows corrupt and groveling and seeks in the crowd what ought to be found at home.

The vain poet is of the opinion that nothing of his can be too much: he sends to you basketful after basketful of juiceless fruit covered with scentless flowers.

Immoderate power like other intemperance leaves the progeny weaker and weaker until nature as in compassion covers it with her mantle and it is seen no more.

Next in criminality to him who violates the laws of his country is he who violates the language.

The eyes of critics whether in commending or carping are both on one side like a turbot's.

Cruelty is the highest pleasure to the cruel man; it is his love.

Cruelty if we consider it as a crime is the greatest of all; if we consider it as a madness we are equally justifiable in applying to it the readiest and the surest means of oppression.

Absurdities are great or small in proportion to custom or insuetude.

The foundation of domestic happiness is faith in the virtue of woman.

There is nothing on earth divine except humanity.

The tomb is the pedestal of greatness. I make a distinction between God's great and the king's great.

Greatness as we daily see it is unsociable.

How delightful it is to see a friend after a length of absence! How delightful to chide him for that length of absence to which we owe such delight.

Delay in justice is injustice.

Not dancing well I never danced at all--and how grievously has my heart ached when others where in the full enjoyment of that conversation which I had no right even to partake.

Teach him to live unto God and unto thee; and he will discover that women like the plants in woods derive their softness and tenderness from the shade.

I warmed both hands before the fire of life; It sinks and I am ready to depart.

I strove with none for none was worth my strife. Nature I loved and next to Nature Art: I warm'd both hands before the fire of life; It sinks and I am ready to depart.

States like men have their growth their manhood their decrepitude their decay.

The happiest of pillows is not that which love first presses! it is that which death has frowned on and passed over.

Great men always pay deference to greater.

We listen to those whom we know to be of the same opinion as ourselves and we call them wise for being of it; but we avoid such as differ from us.

Religion is the eldest sister of philosophy: on whatever subjects they may differ it is unbecoming in either to quarrel and most so about their inheritance.

A great man knows the value of greatness; he dares not hazard it he will not squander it.

It is easy to look down on others; to look down on ourselves is the difficulty.

I hate false words and seek with care difficulty and moroseness those that fit the thing.

Despotism sits nowhere so secure as under the effigy and ensigns of freedom.

Other offences even the greatest are the violation of one law: despotism is the violation of all.

No good writer was ever long neglected; no great man overlooked by men equally great. Impatience is a proof of inferior strength and a destroyer of what little there may be.

A smile is ever the most bright and beautiful with a tear upon it. What is the dawn without the dew? The tear is rendered by the smile precious above the smile itself.

Of all failures to fail in a witticism is the worst and the mishap is the more calamitous in a drawn-out and detailed one

There is no easy path leading out of life and few easy ones that lie within it.

There is no easy path leading out of life and few are the easy ones that lie within it.

The deafest man can hear praise and is slow to think any an excess.

Wherever there is excessive wealth there is also in the train of it excessive poverty.

Moroseness is the evening of turbulence.

Death stands above me whispering low I know not what into my ear; Of his strange language all I know Is there is not a word of fear.

Nothing is pleasanter to me than exploring in a library.

Everything that looks to the future elevates human nature.

Everything that looks to the future elevates human nature; for never is life so low or so little as when occupied with the present.

Those who speak against the great do not usually speak from morality but from envy.

The heart that once has been bathed in love's pure fountain retains the pulse of youth forever.

No thoroughly occupied person was ever found really miserable.

Politeness is not always a sign of wisdom; but the want of it always leaves room for a suspicion of folly if folly and imprudence are the same.

Ridicule has followed the vestiges of truth but never usurped her place.

Dignity in private men and in governments has been little else than a stately and stiff perseverance in oppression; and spirit as it is called little else than the foam of hard-mouthed insolence.

We may receive so much light as not to see and so much philosophy as to be worse than foolish.

Falsehood is for a season.

Wrong is but falsehood put in practice.

Virtue is presupposed in friendship.

The happy never say and never hear said farewell.

We often fancy that we suffer from ingratitude while in reality we suffer from self-love.

Tyrants never perish from tyranny but always from folly -when their fantasies have built up a palace for which the earth has no foundation.

Great men too often have greater faults than little men can find room for.

Fleas know not whether they are upon the body of a giant or upon one of ordinary size.

Those who in living fill the smallest space In death have often left the greatest void.

A good cook is the peculiar gift of the gods. He must be a perfect creature from the brain to the palate from the palate to the finger's end.

Every great writer is a writer of history let him treat on almost any subject he may.

Prose on certain occasions can bear a great deal of poetry; on the other hand poetry sinks and swoons under a moderate weight of prose.

Great men lose somewhat of their greatness by being near us; ordinary men gain much.

Nations like individuals interest us in their growth.

Every good writer has much idiom; it is the life and spirit of language.

And Modesty who when she goes Is gone for ever.

A man's vanity tells him what is honor a man's conscience what is justice.

In honest truth a name given to a man is no better than a skin given to him; what is not natively his own falls off and comes to nothing.

We are no longer happy so soon as we wish to be happier.

How sweet and sacred idleness is!

We are poor indeed when we have no half-wishes left us. The heart and the imagination close the shutters the instant they are gone.

We think that we suffer from ingratitude while in reality we suffer from self-love.

The worse of ingratitude lies not in the ossified heart of him who commits it but we find it in the effect it produces on him against whom it was committed.

Every witticism is an inexact thought; that which is perfectly true is imperfectly witty.

You should indeed have longer tarried By the roadside before you married.

A little praise is good for a shy temper; it teaches it to rely on the kindness of others.

Kings play at war unfairly with republics; they can only lose some earth and some creatures they value as little while republics lose in every soldier a part of themselves.

Fame they tell you is air; but without air there is no life for any; without fame there is none for the best.

Sculpture and painting are moments of life; poetry is life itself.

Principles do not mainly influence even the principled; we talk on principle but we act on interest.

I strove with none; for none was worth my strife.

I have since written what no tide Shall ever wash away what men Unborn shall read o'er ocean wide And find Ianthe's name agen.

Shakespeare is not our poet but the world's.

We oftener say things because we can say them well than because they are sound and reasonable.

As the pearl ripens in the obscurity of its shell so ripens in the tomb all the fame that is truly precious.

The writing of the wise are the only riches our posterity cannot squander.

Clear writers like fountains do not seem so deep as they are; the turbid look the most profound.

O what a thing is age! Death without death's quiet.

The Siren waits thee singing song for song.

I never did a single wise thing in the whole course of my existence although I have written many which have been thought so.

Wisdom consisteth not in knowing many things nor even in knowing them thoroughly; but in choosing and in following what conduces the most certainly to our lasting happiness and true glory.