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CHARLES LAMB
(USED PSEUDONYM ELIA)
English essayist and humorist
(1775 - 1834)
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Man, while he loves, is never quite depraved.
      - [Love]

Milton almost requires a solemn service of music to be played before you enter upon him. But he brings his music, to which who listen had need bring docile thoughts and purged ears.
      - [Reading]

Much depends upon when and where you read a book. In the five or six impatient minutes before the dinner is quite ready, who would think of taking up the Faerie Queen for a stopgap, or a volume of Bishop Andrews's Sermons?
      - [Reading]

My theory is to enjoy life, but the practice is against it.
      - [Life]

Neat, not gaudy.
      - in a letter to Wordsworth [Apparel : Style]

No one ever regarded the first of January with indifference. It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left. It is the nativity of our common Adam. Of all sound of bells (bells the music highest bordering upon heaven), most solemn and touching is the peal which rings out the old year. I never heard it without a gathering-up of my mind to a concentration of all the images that have been diffused over the past twelve-month. All I have done or suffered, performed or neglected--in that regretted time. I begin to know its worth as when a person dies. It takes a personal color; nor was it a poetical flight of a contemporary, when he exclaimed: "I saw the skirts of the departing year." It is no more than what in sober sadness, every one of us seems to be conscious of in that awful leave-taking.
      - [New Year's Day]

No work is worse than overwork; the mind preys on itself,--the most unwholesome of food.
      - [Work]

Nothing puzzles me more than time and space; and yet nothing troubles me less.
      - [Trouble]

O money, money, how blindly thou hast been worshipped, and how stupidly abused! Thou are health and liberty and strength, and he that has thee may rattle his pockets at the foul fiend!
      - [Money]

Our appetites, of one or another kind, are excellent spurs to our reason, which might otherwise but feebly set about the great ends of preserving and continuing the species.
      - [Appetite]

Rags, which are the reproach of poverty, are the beggar's robes, and graceful insignia of his profession, his tenure, his full dress, the suit in which he is expected to show himself in public.
      - [Poverty]

Satire does not look pretty upon a tombstone.
      - [Epitaphs]

Sentimentally I am disposed to harmony, but organically I am incapable of a tune.
      - [Music]

Since all the maids are good and lovable, from whence come the evil wives?
      - [Wedlock]

So near are the boundaries of panegyric and invective, that a worn-out sinner is sometimes found to make the best declaimer against sin. The same high-seasoned descriptions which in his unregenerate state served to inflame his appetites, in his new province of a moralist will serve him (a little turned) to expose the enormity of those appetites in other men.
      - [Extremes]

Some sipping punch, some sipping tea,
  But as you by their faces see
    All silent and all damned.
      - lines made up from a stanza in Wordsworth's "Peter Bell"
        [Silence]

The compliments of the season to my worthy masters, and a merry first of April to us all. We have all a speck of the motley.
      - [Fools]

The good things of life are not to be had singly, but come to us with a mixture; like a school-boy's holiday, with a task affixed to the tail of it.
      - [Blessings]

The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.
      - [Benevolence]

The measure of choosing well is whether a man likes what he has chosen.
      - [Choice]

The Muses were dumb while Apollo lectured.
      - [Silence]

The music nighest bordering upon heaven.
      - [Bells]

The vices of some men are magnificent.
      - [Vice]

There are like to be short graces where the devil plays host.
      - [Associates : Companions]

There is a pleasure in affecting affectation.
      - [Affectation]


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