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LIFE
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[ Also see Acting Action Adventure Autobiography Biography Birth Birthday Circumstance Cleanliness Compensation Creation Death Decay Destiny Doctrine Energy Events Evolution Existence Experience Failure Fate Graves Growth Health Humanity Immortality Living Man Meaning of Life Men Monuments Mortality Mutability Nature Opportunity Parting Public Society Soul Spirit Success Suicide Taverns Vivacity Women World ]

It is not necessary to live,
  But to carve our names beyond that point,
    This is necessary.
      [It., Non e necessario
        Vivere, si scolpire olte quel termine
          Nostro nome: quaesto e necessario.]
      - Gabriele d'Annunzio,
        Canzone di Umberto Cagni

In the midway of this our mortal life,
  I found me in a gloomy wood, astray,
    Gone from the path direct.
      [It., Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
        Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
          Che la diritta via era smarrita.]
      - Dante ("Dante Alighieri"), Inferno (I)

This sorrow weighs upon the melancholy souls of those who lived without infamy or praise.
  [It., Questo misero modo
    Tengon l'anime triste di coloro
      Che visser senza infamia e senza lodo.]
      - Dante ("Dante Alighieri"), Inferno
         (III, 36)

Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindness, and small obligations, given habitually, are what win and preserve the heart, and secure comfort.
      - Sir Humphrey Davy

. . . There are two distinct classes of people in the world; those that feel that they themselves are in a body; and those that feel that they themselves are a body, with something working it. I feel the contents of a bottle, and am curious to know what will happen when the bottle is uncorked. Perhaps I shall be mousseux--who knows? Now I know that many people feel like a strong moving engine, self-stoking, and often so anxious to keep the fire going that they put too much fuel on, and it has to be raked out and have the bars cleared.
      - William de Morgan, Joseph Vance (ch. XL)

Learn to live well, that thou may'st die so too;
  To live and die is all we have to do.
      - Sir John Denham, Of Prudence (l. 93)

That long and cruel malady which one calls life.
  [Fr., Cette longue et cruelle maladie qu'on appele la vie.]
      - Eustache Deschamps ("Morel")

Life is a crowded superhighway with bewildering cloverleaf exits on which a man is liable to find himself speeding back in the direction he came.
      - Peter De Vries

Life is made of ever so many partings welded together.
      - Charles Dickens

Mr. Wopsle's great-aunt conquered a confirmed habit of living into which she had fallen.
      - Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
         (ch. 16)

My life is one demd horrid grind.
      - Charles Dickens,
        The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
         (vol. II, ch. XXXII)

They don't mind it: its a reg'lar holiday to them--all porter and skittles.
      - Charles Dickens,
        The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club
         (ch. XL), of original edition

Life is a spell so exquisite that everything conspires to break it.
      - Emily Dickinson

That it shall never come again is what makes life so sweet.
      - Emily Dickinson

"Live, while you live," the epicure would say,
  "And seize the pleasures of the present day;"
    "Live, while you live," the sacred preacher cries,
      "And give to God each moment as it flies."
        "Lord, in my views let both united be;
          I live in pleasure, when I live to Thee."
      - Philip Doddridge, "Dum vivimus vivamus",
        lines written under the motto of his family arms

The mystery of life--its inexplicability, beauty, cruelty, tenderness, folly . . . has occupied the greater part of my waking thoughts; and in reverence or rage or irony, as the moment or situation might dictate, I have pondered and even demanded of cosmic energy to know Why.
      - Theodore Dreiser

So that my life be brave, what though not long?
      - William Drummond (1), Sonnet

Bankrupt of life, yet prodigal of ease.
      - John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel
         (l. 168)

'Tis not for nothing that we life pursue;
  It pays our hopes with something still that's new.
      - John Dryden, Aureng-Zebe (act IV, sc. 1)

When I consider life, 'tis all a cheat;
  Yet, fooled with hope, men favour the deceit.
      - John Dryden, Aureng-Zebe (act IV, sc. 1)

Like pilgrims to th' appointed place we tend;
  The World's an Inn, and Death the journey's end.
      - John Dryden, Palamon and Arcite (III, 887)

Take not away the life you cannot give:
  For all things have an equal right to live.
      - John Dryden, Pythagorean Phil (l. 705)

The wheels of weary life at last stood still.
      - John Dryden and Nathaniel Lee, Oedipus
         (act IV, sc. 1)

Living from hand to mouth.
      - Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas,
        Divine Weekes and Workes
         (second Week, first day, pt. IV)

A little rule, a little sway,
  A sunbeam in a winter's day,
    Is all the proud and might have
      Between the cradle and the grave.
      - John Dyer, Grongar Hill (l. 89)


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