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I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
  Life to the lees.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, Ulysses (l. 6)

Life is like a game of tables, the chances are not in our power, but the playing is.
      - Terence (Publius Terentius Afer), Adelphi

No particular motive for living, except the custom and habit of it.
      - William Makepeace Thackeray,
        in an article on Thackeray and his novels in "Blackwood's Magazine", Jan. 1854

The harder the life, the finer the person.
      - Sir Wilfred Thesiger, his credo

Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour.
      - Henry David Thoreau

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
      - Henry David Thoreau

A man's whole life is taxed for the least thing well done. It is its net result.
      - Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord

My life is like a stroll upon the beach.
      - Henry David Thoreau,
        A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

Pursue, keep up with, circle round and round your life, as a dog does his master's chaise. Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.
      - Henry David Thoreau, Thoreau's Letters

We live not in our moments or our years:
  The present we fling from us like the rind
    Of some sweet future, which we after find
      Bitter to taste.
      - Archbishop Richard Chenevix Trench,
        To -----

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.
      - Mark Twain (pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

Life does not consist mainly--or even largely--of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing through one's head.
      - Mark Twain (pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

Look to this day,
  For it is life, the very life of life.
    In its brief course lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
      - Unknown

In the midst of life we are in death.
      - Unknown, Church Burial Service

Life is like an overlong drama through which we sit being nagged by the vague memories of having read the reviews.
      - John Updike

Life let us cherish, while yet the taper glows,
  And the fresh flow'ret pluck ere it close;
    Why are we fond of toil and care?
      Why choose the rankling thorn to wear?
      - Johann Martin Usteri, Life let us Cherish

To execute great things, one should live as though one would never die.
  [Fr., Pour executer de grandes choses, il faut vivre comme si on ne devait jamais mourir.]
      - Luc de Clapier de Vauvanargues

This span of life was lent for lofty duties, not for selfishness; not to be wiled away for aimless dreams, but to improve ourselves, and serve mankind.
      - Sir Aubrey de Vere

What is a great life? It is the dreams of youth realised in old age.
  [Fr., Qu'est-ce qu'une grande vie? C'est un reve de jeunesse realise dans l'age mur.]
      - Comte Alfred Victor de Vigny,
        quoted by Louis Ratisbonne in the "Journal des Debats", Oct. 4, 1863

My life is a struggle.
  [Fr., Ma vie est un combat.]
      - Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire),
        Le Fanatisme (II, 4)

Life is a comedy to him who thinks and a tragedy to him who feels.
      - Horace (Horatio) Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford,
        in a letter to Sir Horace Mann, Dec. 31, 1769

The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well.
      - Horace (Horatio) Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford

This world is a comedy, not Life.
      - Horace (Horatio) Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford,
        in a letter to Sir Horace Mann, Mar. 5, 1772

Life is a game of whist. From unseen sources
  The cards are shuffled, and the hands are dealt.
    Blind are the efforts to control the forces
      That, though unseen, are no less strongly felt.
        I do not like the way the cards are shuffled,
          But still I like the game and want to play;
            And through the long, long night, will I, unruffled,
              Play what I get, until the break of day.
      - Eugene Fitch Ware ("Ironquill"), Whist

Since the bounty of Providence is new every day,
  As we journey through life let us live by the way.
      - Walter Watson, Drinking Song

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