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JOHN STERLING
Isle of Bute poet and writer
(1806 - 1844)
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A man without earnestness is a mournful and perplexing spectacle. But it is a consolation to believe, as we must of such a one, that he is the most effectual and compulsive of all schools.
      - [Earnestness]

An unproductive truth is none. But there are products which cannot be weighed even in patent scales, nor brought to market.
      - [Truth]

Color, in the outward world, answers to feeling in man; shape, to thought; motion, to will. The dawn of day is the nearest outward likeness of an act of creation; and it is, therefore, also the closest type in nature for that in us which most approaches to creation--the realization of an idea by an act of the will.
      - [Dawn]

Commerce has made all winds her mistress.
      - [Commerce]

Compliments are only lies in court clothes.
      - [Compliments]

Emotion turning back on itself, and not leading on to thought or action, is the element of madness.
      - [Emotion]

Enthusiasm is grave, inward, self-controlled; mere excitement, outward, fantastic, hysterical, and passing in a moment from tears to laughter.
      - [Enthusiasm]

Every fancy that we would substitute for a reality is, if we saw aright, and saw the whole, not only false, but every way less beautiful and excellent than that which we sacrifice to it.
      - [Fancy]

Every man's follies are the caricature resemblances of his wisdom.
      - [Folly]

Faith in a better than that which appears is no less required by art than by religion.
      - [Faith]

Instinct is intelligence incapable of self-consciousness.
      - [Instinct]

Knowledge, or more expressively truth,--for knowledge is truth received into our intelligence,--truth is an ideal whole.
      - [Truth]

Language. By this we build pyramids, fight battles, ordain and administer laws, shape and teach religion, and knit man to man, cultivate each other, and ourselves.
      - [Language]

Like earth, awake, and warm, and bright
  With joy the spirit moves and burns;
    So up to thee! O Fount of Light!
      Our light returns.
      - [Devout]

Man is a substance clad in shadows.
      - [Man]

Modern education too often covers the fingers with rings, and at the same time cuts the sinews at the wrist.
      - [Education]

Of all the tyrants that the world affords, our own affections are the fiercest lords.
      - [Tyranny]

One dupe is as impossible as one twin.
      - [Duplicity]

Poetry is in itself strength and joy, whether it be crowned by all mankind, or left alone in its own magic hermitage.
      - [Poetry]

Repentance clothes in grass and flowers the grave in which the past is laid.
      - [Repentance]

Speech is as a pump, by which we raise and pour out the water from the great lake of Thought,--whither it flows back again.
      - [Speech]

Superstition moulds nature into an arbitrary semblance of the supernatural, and then bows down to the work of its own hands.
      - [Superstition]

The worst education, which teaches self-denial, is better than the best which teaches everything else and not that.
      - [Education]

There is no lie that a man will not believe; and there is no man who does not believe many lies; and there is no man who believes only lies.
      - [Lying]

This raging, vehement desire,
  Of sovereignty no satisfaction finds;
    But in the breasts of men doth ever roll
      The restless stone of Sisyph, to torment them,
        And as his heart, who stole the heav'nly fire,
          The vulture gnaws, so doth that monster rent them;
            Had they, the world, the world would not content them.
      - [Ambition]


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