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Pereant qui ante nos nostra dixerent.

Perish those who said our good things before we did. Ælius DONATUS, according to St. JEROME

Commentary on Ecclesiastes. Ch. I. Referring to the words of TERENCE.

their own; it is no longer thyme or marjolaine: so the pieces borrowed from others he will transform and mix up into a work all his own. MONTAIGNEEssays. Bk. I. Ch. XXV.




Amongst so many borrowed things, am glad if I can steal one, disguising and altering it for some new service. MONTAIGNEEssays. Of Physiognomy.

(See also CHURCHILL)
He liked those literary cooks
Who skim the cream of others' books;
And ruin half an author's graces
By plucking bon-mots from their places.
HANNAH MORE-Florio, the Bas Blue.

Take the whole range of imaginative literature, and we are all wholesale borrowers. In every matter that relates to invention, to use, or beauty or form, we are borrowers.

WENDELL PHILLIPSLecture. The Lost Arts.


When Shakespeare is charged with debts to his authors, Landor replies, “Yet he was more original than his originals. He breathed upon dead bodies and brought them into life.” EMERSONLetters and Social Aims. Quotation

and Originality. It has come to be practically a sort of rule in literature, that a man, having once shown himself capable of original writing, is entitled thenceforth to steal from the writings of others at discretion.


He that readeth good writers and pickes out their flowres for his own nose, is lyke a foole. STEPHEN GOSSON–In the School of Abuse.







Leurs écrits sont des vois qu'ils nous ont faits

d'avance. Their writings are thoughts stolen from us

by anticipation. PIRON—La Métromanie. III. 6. Next o'er his books his eyes began to roll, In pleasing memory of all he stole; How here he sipp'd, how there he plunder'd snug, And suck'd all o'er like an industrious bug.

POPE-Dunciad. Bk. I. L. 127.

When 'Omer smote 'is bloomin' lyre,

He'd 'eard men sing by land an' sea; An' what he thought 'e might require,

E went an' took—the same as me. KIPLING-Barrack-Room Ballads. Introduction.

(See also BURTON)



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My books need no one to accuse or judge you: the page which is yours stands up against you and says, “You are a thief.”

MARTIAL-Epigrams. Bk. I. Ep. 53.

Why, simpleton, do you mix your verses with mine? What have you to do, foolish man, with writings that convict you of theft? Why do you attempt to associate foxes with lions, and make owls pass for eagles? Though you had one of Ladas's legs, you would not be able, blockhead, to run with the other leg of wood.

MARTIALEpigrams. Bk. X. Ep. 100.

The seed ye sow,


reaps; The wealth ye find, another keeps: The robes ye weave, another wears: The arms ye forge another bears. SHELLEYTo the Men of England.

(See also VERGIL)


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Every age has its pleasures, its style of wit, Men may scoff, and men may pray, and its own ways.

But they pay
NICHOLAS BOILEAU-DESPREAUXThe Art of Every pleasure with a pain.
Poetry. Canto III. L. 374.

HENLEYBallade of Truisms.
But pleasures are like poppies spread;

Follow pleasure, and then will pleasure flee, You seize the flower, its bloom is shed.

Flee pleasure, and pleasure will follow thee. Or like the snow falls in the river,

HEYWOOD-Proverbs. Pt. I. Ch. X.
A moment white then melts forever.
BURNS—Tam o' Shanter. L. 59.
(See also TAGORE)

Ficta voluptatis causa sint proxima veris.

Let the fictitious sources of pleasure be as The rule of my life is to make business a pleas

near as possible to the true.

HORACE-Ars Poetica. 338. ure, and pleasure my business. AARON BURRLetter to Pichon.

Sperne voluptates; nocet empta dolore voluptas. Doubtless the pleasure is as great

Despise pleasure; pleasure bought by pain Of being cheated as to cheat.

is injurious. BUTLERHudibras. Pt. II. Canto III. L. 1. HORACEEpistles. I. 2. 55.




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And painefull

pleasure turnes to pleasing paine. SPENSERFaerie Queene. Bk. III. Canto X. St. 60.

(See also DRYDEN)



The roses of pleasure seldom last long enough to adorn the brow of him who plucks them; for they are the only roses which do not retain their sweetness after they have lost their beauty. HANNAH MOREEssays on Various Subjects.

On Dissipation.
God made all pleasures innocent.

Mrs. NORTONLady of La Garaye. Pt. I. Quod licet est ingratum quod non licet acrius urit.

What is lawful is undesirable; what is unlawful is very attractive. OVID-Amorum. II. 19. 3.


Non quam multis placeas, sed qualibus stude.

Do not care how many, but whom, you please. SYRUS-Maxims.

22 Prævalent illicita.

Things forbidden have a secret charm.
TACITUS-Annales. XIII. 1.

(See also OVID)





Blanda truces animos fertur mollisse voluptas.

Alluring pleasure is said to have softened the savage dispositions (of early mankind). OVID-Ars Amatoria. Bk. II. 477.



Pleasure is frail like a dewdrop, while it laughs it dies. But sorrow is strong and abiding. Let sorrowful love wake in your eyes. RABINDRATH TAGORE-Gardener. 27.

(See also BURNS)
I built my soul a lordly pleasure-house,
Wherein at ease for aye to dwell.
TENNYSONThe Palace of Art. St. 1.

Nam id arbitror
Adprime in vita esse utile ut ne quid nimis.

I hold this to be the rule of life, "Too much of anything is bad.” TERENCE-Andria. I. 1. 33.


Usque adeo nulli sincera voluptas,
Solicitique aliquid lætis intervenit.

No one possesses unalloyed pleasure; there is some anxiety mingled with the joy. OVID-Metamorphoses. VII. 453.

12 Pleasures are ever in our hands or eyes; And when in act they cease, in prospect rise.

POPEEssay on Man. Ep. II. L. 123.



They who are pleased themselves must always

please. THOMSONThe Castle of Indolence. Canto I.

St. 15.

Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense,
Lie in three words,-health, peace, and compe-

POPE-Essay on Man. Ep. IV. L. 79.


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Trahit sua quemque voluptas.

His own especial pleasure attracts each one.

VERGIL-Eclogæ. II. 65. Zu oft ist kurze Lust die Quelle langer Schmerzen!

Too oft is transient pleasure the source of long woes. WIELAND-Obcron. II. 52.

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For it is not metres, but a metre-making argument that makes a poem.

EMERSON-Essays. The Poet.





The fatal facility of the octosyllabic verse.

BYRONCorsair. Preface. Poetry, therefore, we will call Musical Thought.

CARLYLEHeroes and Hero Worship. 3.

For there is no heroic poem in the world but is at bottom a biography, the life of a man; also, it

may be said, there is no life of a man, faithfully recorded, but is a heroic poem of its sort, rhymed or unrhymed. CARLYLE—Sir Walter Scott. London and Westminster Review. (1838)

(See also EMERSON)

It does not need that a poem should be long, Every word was once a poem.

EMERSON-Essays. The Poet.
The finest poetry was first experience.

(See also CARLYLE)


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What is a Sonnet? 'Tis the pearly shell

That murmurs of the far-off, murmuring sea;

A precious jewel carved most curiously;
It is a little picture painted well.
What is a Sonnet? "Tis the tear that fell

From a great poet's hidden ecstasy;

A two-edged sword, a star, a song-ah me! Sometimes a heavy tolling funeral bell.

R. W. GILDER-The Sonnet.


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Made poetry a mere mechanic art.

COWPER—Table Talk. L. 654.

To write a verse or two, is all the praise That I can raise.

HERBERT-The Church, Praise.




Feel you the barren flattery of a rhyme?
Can poets soothe you, when you pine for bread,
By winding myrtle round your ruin'd shed?
CRABBEThe Village. Bk. I.

A verse may finde him who a sermon flies,
And turn delight into a sacrifice.

HERBERTThe Temple. The Church Porch.

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