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SWEETNESS
[ Also see Quality ]

The Greek word euphuia, a finely tempered nature, gives exactly the notion of perfection as culture brings us to perceive it; a harmonious perfection, a perfection in which the characters of beauty and intelligence are both present, which unites "the two noblest of things"--as Swift . . . most happily calls them in his Battle of the Books, "the two noblest of things, sweetness and light."
      - Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy

The pursuit of the perfect, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light.
      - Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy

Culture is the passion for sweetness and light, and (what is more) the passion for making them prevail.
      - Matthew Arnold,
        Literature and Dogma--Preface

More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
      - Bible, Psalms (ch. XIX, v. 10)

'Tis sweet to hear
  At midnight, on the blue and moonlight deep,
    The song and oar of Adria's gondolier,
      By distance mellow'd, o'er the waters sweep;
        'Tis sweet to see the evening star appear;
          'Tis sweet to listen as the night winds creep
            From leaf to leaf; 'tis sweet to view on high
              The rainbow, based on ocean, span the sky.
                Sweet is the vintage, when the showering grapes
                  In Bacchanal profusion reel to earth,
                    Purple and gushing; sweet are our escapes
                      From civic revelry to rural mirth;
                        Sweet to the miser are his glittering heaps;
                          Sweet to the father is his first born's birth;
                            Sweet is revenge--especially to women,
                              Pillage to soldiers, prize-money to seamen.
                                'Tis sweet to hear the watch-dog's honest bark
                                  Bay deep-mouth'd welcome as we draw near home:
                                    'Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark
                                      Our coming, and look brighter when we come:
                                        'Tis sweet to be awaken'd by the lark,
                                          Or lull'd by falling waters; sweet the hum
                                            Of bees, the voice of girls, the song of birds,
                                              The lisp of children and their earliest words.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Don Juan (canto I)

Nor waste their sweetness in the desert air.
      - Charles Churchill, Gotham (bk. II, l. 20)

Every sweet hath its sour, every evil its good.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Compensation

Sweet meat must have sour sauce.
      - Ben Jonson, Poetaster (act III, 3)

To pile up honey upon sugar, and sugar upon honey, to an interminable tedious sweetness.
      - Charles Lamb (used pseudonym Elia),
        On Ears

Everye white will have its blacke,
  And everye sweete its soure.
      - Thomas Percy, Reliques--Sir Curline

The fly that prefers sweetness to a long life may drown in honey.
      - George Santayana

Sweets to the sweet! Farewell.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Gertrude, Queen of Denmark at V, i)

The two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light.
      - Jonathan Swift

Instead of dirt and poison, we have rather chosen to fill our hives with honey and wax, thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light.
      - Jonathan Swift, Battle of the Books,
        fable on the merits of the bee (the ancients) and the spider (the moderns)

The sweetest garland to the sweetest maid.
      - Thomas Tickell

The sweetest thing that ever grew
  Beside a human door.
      - William Wordsworth, Lucy Gray (st. 2)


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