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On the long dusty ribbon of the long city street, The pageant of life is passing me on multitudin
ous feet, With a word here of the hills, and a song there
of the sea And—the great movement changes the pageant
passes me. MASEFIELD All ye that pass by!
Nor love thy life, nor hate; but what thou liv'st Live well; how long or short permit to heav'n.
MILTON—Paradise Lost. Bk. XI. L. 553.
While we least think it he prepares his Mate. Mate, and the King's pawn played, it never
ceases, Though all the earth is dust of taken pieces. MASEFIELDWidow in the Bye Street. Pt. I.
call the brimming instant back; Time's an affair of instants spun to days; If man must make an instant gold, or black, Let him, he may; but Time must go his ways. Life may be duller for an instant's blaze. Life's an affair of instants spun to years, Instants are only cause of all these tears.
MASEFIELD-Widow in the Bye Street. Pt. V.
Were I to live my life over again, I should live it just as I have done. I neither complain of the past, nor do I fear the future. MONTAIGNE-Essays On Repentance. Bk.
III. Ch. II.
(See also BROWNE, MOORE) 18 La vie est vaine: Un peu
d'amour, Un peu de haine
Un peu d'espoir,
A dream, a doom;
Life is but play;
A throb, a tear:
And then good day.
Presque Trop. (Nought and too Much.) English Trans. by Author. Quoted by DU MAURIER in Trilby
(See also CHANCEL, DE Puis)
Life is a mission. Every other definition of life is false, and leads all who accept it astray. Religion, science, philosophy, though still at variance upon many points, all agree in this, that every existence is an aim.
MAZZINI-Life and Writings. Ch. V.
'Tis not the whole of life to live; Nor all of death to die.
MONTGOMERY—The Issues of Life and Death.
And, Lo! the phantom Caravan has reach'd Vain were the man, and false as vain,
The NOTHING it set out from. Oh, make haste! Who said, were he ordained to run
OMAR KHAYYAM–Rubaiyat. St. XLVIII. His long career of life again
refers to FONTENELLE, “Si je recommençais Upon this Checker-board of Nights and Days; ma carrière, je ferai tout ce que j'ai fait.” Hìther and thither moves, and checks, and slays, (See also MONTAIGNE)
And one by one back in the Closet lays. The longer one lives the more he learns.
OMAR KHAYYAM–Rubaiyat. LXIX. Firze
GERALD's trans. MOORE-Dream of Hindoostan.
(See also HUXLEY) 3 A narrow isthmus 'twixt two boundless seas,
And fear not lest Existence closing your The past, the future, two eternities.
Account should lose or know the type no more: MOORE-Lalla Rookh. Veiled Prophet. Idea given as a quotation in the Spectator. No.
The Eternal Sáki from that Bowl has poured
Millions of Bubbles like us and will pour. 590, Sept. 6, 1714.
OMAR KHAYYAM–Rubaiyat. FITZGERALD'S (See also LILLO)
Trans. (In the edition of 1889 the second Life is a waste of wearisome hours,
line reads: Account and mine, should know Which seldom the rose of enjoyment adorns, the like no more.) And the heart that is soonest awake to the
(See also Bacon) flowers, Is always the first to be touch'd by the thorns. My life is like the summer rose MOOREOh! Think not My Spirits are always That opens to the morning sky, as Light.
But ere the shade of evening close
Is scatter'd on the ground to die. Sor on one string are all life's jewels strung. Claimed by PATRICK O’KELLY. The Simile. WILLIAM MORRIS—Life and Death of Jason. Pub. 1824. Authorship doubted. The lines Bk. 17. L. 1170.
appeared in a Philadelphia paper about
1815-16, attributed to RICHARD HENRY I would not live alway; I ask not to stay
This also, that I live, I consider a gift of God. 7
OviD-Tristium. 1. 1. 20. Our days begin with trouble here, our life is but a span,
This life a theatre we well may call, And cruel death is always near, so frail a thing is Where very actor must perform with art, man.
Or laugh it through, and make a farce of all, New England Primer. (1777)
Or learn to bear with grace his tragic part.
PALLADAS. Epitaph in Palatine Anthology. While some no other cause for life can give X. 72. As translated by ROBERT BLAND. But a dull habitude to live.
(From the Greek.) Part of this SIR THOMAS OLDHAM—To the Memory of Norwent. Par. 5. SHADWELL wished to have inscribed on the (See also DICKENS)
monument in Westminster Abbey to his
father, THOMAS SHADWELL. You know how little while we have to stay,
(See Quotations under ACTING, WORLD) And, once departed, may return no more.
19 CMAR KHAYYAM-Rubaiyat. St. III. Fitz Condition de l'homme, inconstance, ennui, GERALD's Trans.
The state of man is inconstancy, ennui, Ah Love! could you and I with him conspire anxiety. To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire PASCAL-Pensées. Art. VI. 46.
Would we not shatter it to bits--and then Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire?
On s'eveille, on se léve, on s'habille, et l'on sort; OMAR KHAYYAM-Rubaiyat. St. IX. FITZ On rentre, on dine, on soupe, on se couche, et GERALD's Trans.
One awakens, one rises, one dresses, and one Think, in this batter'd Caravanserai
goes forth; Whose portals are alternate Night and Day, One returns, one dines, one sups, one retires How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp
and one sleeps. Abode his destin'd Hour and went his way.
De Puis. OMAR KHAYYAM-Rubaiyat. St. XVII. Fitz
(See also MONTENAEKEN) GERALD's Trans.
Natura vero nihil hominibus brevitate vitæ I came like Water, and like Wind I go.
præstitit melius. OMAR KHAYYAM-Rubaiyat. St. XXVIII. Nature has given man no better thing than 13
shortness of life. A Moment's Halt-a momentary taste
PLINY the Elder--Historia Naturalis. VII. Of BEING from the Well amid the Waste
Half my life is full of sorrow,
Half of joy, still fresh and new;
But the other one is true.
Let us (since life can little more supply
POPE Essay on Man. Ep. I. L. 1. Placed on this isthmus of a middle state. POPE-Essay on Man. Ep. II. L. 3.
(See also LILLO) Fix'd like a plant on his peculiar spot, To draw nutrition, propagate and rot. POPE-Essay on Man. Ep. II. L. 63.
(See also As You LIKE IT)
Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Psalms. XXXIX. 4.
As for man his days are as grass; as a flower of the field so he flourisheth.
Psalms. CIII. 15. 17
The wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
Psalms. CIII. 16.
On life's vast ocean diversely we sail,
POPE—Essay on Man. Ep. II. L. 107.
(See also OMAR) 7 Like following life through creatures you dissect, You lose it in the moment you detect.
POPE-Moral Essays. Ep. I. L. 29.
POPE-Moral Essays. Ep. II. L. 243.
Our Life is nothing but a Winter's day;
Man. (1633) Quoted in different forms
Man's life is like a Winter's day:
Learn to live well, or fairly make your will;
stage. POPE-Second Book of Horace. Ep. II. L.
Et là commençay à penser qu'il est bien vray ce que l'on dit, que la moitié du monde ne sçait comment l'aultre vit.
And there I began to think that it is very true, which is said, that half the world does not know how the other half lives. RABELAIS-Pantagruel. Ch. XXXII.
Through the sequester'd vale of rural life
(See also Gay)
(See also LILLO) Who breathes must suffer; and who thinks, must
mourn; And he alone is bless'd who ne'er was born. PRIOR—Solomon on the Vanity of the World.
Bk. III. L. 240.
Vivat, fifat, pipat, bibat.
May he live, fife, pipe, drink.
Called by Epistemon, “O secret apocalypti
que." It suggests "Old King Cole." The romance of life begins and ends with two blank pages. Age and extreme old age.
PAUL JEAN RICHTER.
Der Mensch hat hier dritthalb Minuten, eine zu lächeln-eine zu seufzen-und eine halbe zu lieben: denn mitten in dieser Minute stirbt
Man has here two and a half minutes-one to smile, one to sigh, and a half to love: for in the midst of this minute he dies. JEAN PAUL RICHTER-Hesperus. IV. 2
Jeder Mensch hat eine Regen-Ecke seines Lebens aus der ihm das schlimme Wetter nachzieht.
Every man has a rainy corner of his life out of which foul weather proceeds and follows after him. JEAN PAUL RICHTER—Titan. Zykel 123. 3
Die Parzen und Furien ziehen auch mit verbundnen Händen um das Leben, wie die Grazien und die Sirenen.
The Fates and Furies, as well as the Graces and Sirens, glide with linked hands over life. JEAN PAUL ŘICHTER—Titan. Zykel 140.
Ignavia nemo immortalis factus: neque quisquam parens liberis, uti æterni forent, optavit; magis, uti boni honestique vitam exigerent.
No one has become immortal by sloth; nor has any parent prayed that his children should live forever; but rather that they should lead an honorable and upright life.
SALLUST-Jugurtha. LXXXV. Say, what is life? "Tis to be born,
A helpless Babe, to greet the light With a sharp wail, as if the morn
Foretold a cloudy noon and night; To weep, to sleep, and weep again, With sunny smiles between; and then?
J. G. SAXE--The Story of Life. (See also DYER, KING LEAR, also TENNYSON
under BABYHOOD) Wir, wir leben! Unser sind die Stunden Und der Lebende hat Recht.
We, we live! ours are the hours, and the living have their claims. SCHILLER-An die Freude. St. 1.
Nur Thaten geben dem Leben Stärke, nur Maas ihm Reiz.
Only deeds give strength to life, only moderation gives it charm. JEAN PAUL ŘICHTER—Titan. Zykel 145.
5 I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
When I counted my scanty store.
Nicht der Tummelplatz des Lebens sein Gehalt bestimmt seinen Werth.
'Tis not the mere stage of life but the part we play thereon that gives the value. SCHILLER—Fiesco. III. 2.
Nicht seine Freudenseite kehrte dir
Life did not present its sunny side to thee.
SCHILLER-Marie Stuart. II. 3. 136. Wouldst thou wisely, and with pleasure, Pass the days of life's short measure, From the slow one counsel take, But a tool of him ne'er make; Ne'er as friend the swift one know, Nor the constant one as foe. SCHILLER-Proverbs of Confucius. E. A.
BOWRING's trans. 17
Des Lebens Mai blüht einmal und nicht wieder.
The May of life blooms once and never again.
SCHILLER-Resignation. St. 2. O'er Ocean, with a thousand masts, sails forth
the strípling boldOne boat, hard rescued from the deep, draws
into port the old! SCHILLER—Votive Tablets. Expectation and
I worked for a menial's hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
Life would have paid. JESSIE B. RITTENHOUSE-My Wage. 7 In speaking to you men of the greatest city of the West, men of the state which gave to the country Lincoln and Grant, men who preeminently and distinctly embody all that is most American in the American character, I wish to preach not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life. ROOSEVELT. At Appomattox Day celebra
tion of the Hamilton Club of Chicago.
April 10, 1899.
CHRISTINA G. ROSSETTI—Saints and Angels.
Pt. II. Edited by Wm. Chappell. (See also KING LEAR, NEW ENGLAND PRIMER)
The very life which we enjoy is short.
I've lived and loved.
Song in Act II. Sc. 6. COLERIDGE's trans.
The game of life looks cheerful when one carries a treasure safe in his heart. SCHILLER—Wallenstein. Pt. I. Piccolomini.
Act III. 4.
Sein Spruch war: leben und leben lassen.
Quomodo fabula, sic vita: non quam diu, sed His saying was: live and let live.
quam bene acta sit, refert. SCHILLER—Wallenstein's Lager. VI. 106. As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but 110.
how good it is, is what matters. From a boy
SENECA-Epistles. LXXXVII. I gloated on existence. Earth to me
(See also As You LIKE IT) Seemed all-sufficient and my sojourn there
14 One trembling opportunity for joy:
Prima quæ vitam dedit hora, carpit. ALAN SEEGER-Sonnet. I Loved.
The hour which gives us life begins to
take it away. Tota vita nihil aliud quam ad mortem iter est.
SENECA-Hercules Furens. VIII. 74. The whole of life is nothing but a journey to death.
The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good SENECA-Consol. ad Polybium. 29.
and ill together.
All's Well That Ends Well. Act IV. Sc. 3. Vita, si scias uti, longa est.
L. 80. Life, if thou knowest how to use it, is long enough.
O excellent! I love long life better than figs. SENECA-De Brevitate Vitæ. II.
Antony and Cleopatra. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 32. Exigua pars est vitae quam nos vivimus. And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
The part of life which we really live is short. Finds tongues in trees, books in the running SENECA-De Brevitate Vitæ. II.
Sermons in stones, and good in everything. Si ad naturam vivas, nunquam eris pauper;
As You Like It. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 15. si ad opinionem, numquam dives. If you live according to nature, you never
And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe. will be poor; if according to the world's
And then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot; caprice, you will never be rich.
And thereby hangs a tale. SENECA —Epistolæ Ad Lucilium. XVI.
As You Like It. Act II. Sc. 7. L. 25.
Last phrase in The Taming of the Shrew. Act 7
IV. Sc. 1; Othello. Act III. Sc. 1. The Molestum est, semper vitam inchoare; male Merry Wives of Windsor. Act I. Sc. 4. vivunt qui semper vivere incipiunt.
As You Like It. Act II. Sc. 7. RABELAIS. It is a tedious thing to be always begin Bk. V. Ch. IV. ning life; they live badly who always begin
(See also POPE, SENECA) to live. SENECA—Epistolæ Ad Lucilium. XXIII.
Why, what should be the fear? 8
I do not set my life at a pin's fee. Ante senectutem curavi ut bene viverem, in
Hamlet. Act I. Sc. 4. L. 66. senectute (curo) ut bene moriar; bene autem mori est libenter mori.
20 Before old age I took care to live well; in
And a man's life's no more than to say "One." old age I take care to die well; but to die well
Hamlet. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 74. is to die willingly.
21 SENECA-Epistolae Ad Lucilium. LXI. O gentlemen, the time of life is short!
To spend that shortness basely were too long,
If life did ride upon a dial's point,
Still ending at the arrival of an hour.
Henry IV. Pt. I. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 82.
Let life be short; else shame will be too long. Atqui vivere, militare est.
Henry V. Act IV. Sc. 5. L. 23. But life is a warfare. SENECA-Epistolæ Ad Lucilium. XCVI. The sands are number'd that make up my life; 11
Here must I stay, and here my life must end. Propra vivere et singulos dies singulas vitas Henry VI. Pt. III. Act I. Sc. 4. L. 25 puta.
24 Make haste to live, and consider each day I cannot tell what you and other men a life.
Think of this life; but, for my single self, SENECA—Epistolæ Ad Lucilium. CI.
I had as lief not be as live to be 12
In awe of such a thing as I myself. Non domus hoc corpus sed hospitium et
Julius Cæsar. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 93. quidem breve.
25 This body is not a home, but an inn; and This day I breathed first: time is come round, that only for a short time.
And where I did begin there shall I end; SENECA—Epistolæ Ad Lucilium. CXX. My life is run his compass. (See also DRYDEN)
Julius Cæsar, Act V. Sc. 3. L. 23.