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WILLIAM SHENSTONE
English poet, gardener and collector
(1714 - 1763)
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However, I think a plain space near the eye gives it a kind of liberty it loves; and then the picture, whether you choose the grand or beautiful, should be held up at its proper distance. Variety is the principal ingredient in beauty; and simplicity is essential to grandeur.
      - [Landscape]

I consider your very testy and quarrelsome people in the same light as I do a loaded gun, which may, by accident, go off and kill one.
      - [Quarrels]

I fancy the proper means of increasing the love we bear our native country is to reside some time in a foreign one.
      - [Love of Country]

I hate a style, as I do a garden, that is wholly flat and regular,--that slides like an eel, and never rises to what one can call an inequality.
      - [Style]

I have been formerly so silly as to hope that every servant I had might be made a friend; I am now convinced that the nature of servitude generally bears a contrary tendency. People's characters are to be chiefly collected from their education and place in life; birth itself does but little.
      - [Servitude]

Immoderate assurance is perfect licentiousness.
      - [Assurance]

In a heavy oppressive atmosphere, when the spirits sink too low, the best cordial is to read over all the letters of one's friends.
      - [Letters]

In designing a house and gardens, it is happy when there is an opportunity of maintaining a subordination of parts; the house so luckily place as to exhibit a view of the whole design. I have sometimes thought that there was room for it to resemble a epic or dramatic poem.
      - [Architecture : Building]

It is true there is nothing displays a genius, I mean a quickness of genius, more than a dispute; as two diamonds, encountering, contribute to each other's luster. But perhaps the odds is much against the man of taste in this particular.
      - [Dispute]

It seems with wit and good-nature, Utrum horum mavis accipe. Taste and good-nature are universally connected.
      - [Taste]

It should seem that indolence itself would incline a person to be honest, as it requires infinitely greater pains and contrivance to be a knave.
      - [Honesty : Indolence]

Jealousy is the apprehension of superiority.
      - [Jealousy]

Learning, like money, may be of so base a coin as to be utterly void of use.
      - [Learning]

Let the gulled fool the toil of war pursue, where bleed the many to enrich the few.
      - [Soldiers]

Let us be careful to distinguish modesty, which is ever amiable, from reserve, which is only prudent.
      - [Modesty]

Long sentences in a short composition are like large rooms in a little house.
      - [Style]

Lost in the dreary shades of dull obscurity.
      - [Obscurity]

Love can be founded upon Nature only.
      - [Nature]

May I always have a heart superior, with economy suitable, to my fortune.
      - [Contentment]

Men are sometimes accused of pride, merely because their accusers would be proud themselves were they in their places.
      - [Pride]

Men of quality never appear more amiable than when their dress is plain. Their birth, rank, title and its appendages are at best indivious and as they do not need the assistance of dress, so, by their disclaiming the advantage of it, they make their superiority sit more easy.
      - [Dress]

Misers, as death approaches, are heaping up a chest of reasons to stand in more awe of him.
      - [Misers]

Not the entrance of a cathedral, not the sound of a passing bell, not the furs of a magistrate, nor the sables of a funeral, were fraught with half the solemnity of face!
      - [Face]

Notwithstanding all that has advanced so very ingeniously upon plays and players, their profession is, like that of a painter, one of the imitative arts, whose means are pleasure, and whose end is virtue.
      - [Acting]

One may easily enough guard against ambition till five-and-twenty. It is not ambition's day.
      - [Ambition]


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