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SOLITUDE
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[ Also see Absence Abstract Alone Companionship Contentment Desolation Enjoyment Fear Idleness Isolation Leisure Loneliness Meditation Nature Oblivion Obscurity Parting Privacy Quiet Repose Rest Retirement Silence Society World ]

Where musing Solitude might love to lift her soul above this sphere of earthliness.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley

I love tranquil solitude
  And such society
    As is quiet, wise, and good.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley,
        Rarely, Rarely, Comest Thou

Solitude, the sly enemy that doth separate a man from well-doing.
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney)

No doubt solitude is wholesome, but so is abstinence after a surfeit. The true life of man is in society.
      - William Gilmore Simms

Solitude bears the same relation to the mind that sleep does to the body. It affords it the necessary opportunities for repose and recovery.
      - William Gilmore Simms

Living a good deal alone will, I believe, correct me of my faults; for a man can do without his own approbation in much society, but he must make great exertions to gain it when he lives alone. Without it I am convinced solitude is not to be endured.
      - Sydney Smith

Solitude cherishes great virtues, and destroys little ones.
      - Sydney Smith

There is no such thing as a perfect secrecy to encourage a rational mind to the perpetration of any base action; for a man must first extinguish and put out the great light within him, his conscience; he must get away from himself, and shake off the thousand witnesses which he always carries about him, before he can be alone.
      - Bishop Robert South

It has been from age to age an affectation to love the pleasure of solitude among those who cannot possibly be supposed qualified for passing life in that manner.
      - Sir Richard Steele

In solitude the mind gains strength, and learns to lean upon herself; in the world it seeks or accepts of a few treacherous supports--the feigned compassion of one, the flattery of a second, the civilities of a third, the friendship of a fourth--they all deceive, and bring the mind back to retirement, reflection, and books.
      - Laurence Sterne

Solitude is the best nurse of wisdom.
      - Laurence Sterne, Letters (no. 82)

Never does the soul feel so far from human life as when a man finds himself alone in the vistas of the moon, either in the streets of a sleeping city, the avenues of the woods, or by the border of the sea.
      - Elizabeth Drew Stoddard

I am not alone,
  For solitude like this is populous.
    And its abundant life of sky and sun,
      High-floating clouds, low mists, and wheeling birds,
        And waves that ripple shoreward all day long,
          Whether the tide is setting in or out,
            Forever rippling shoreward, dark and bright,
              As lights and shadows, and the shifting winds
                Pursue each other in their endless play,
                  Is more than the companionship of man.
      - Richard Henry Stoddard

A wise man is never less alone than when he is alone.
      - Jonathan Swift,
        Essay on the Faculties of the Mind--First Evening--Conclusion

Alone each heart must cover up its dead;
  Alone, through bitter toil, achieve its rest.
      - Bayard Taylor,
        The Poet's Journal--First Evening--Conclusion

Solitude is a good school, but the world is the best theater; the institution is best there, but the practice here; the wilderness hath the advantage of discipline, and society opportunities of perfection.
      - Jeremy Taylor

Cursed be the social lies that warp us from the living truth!
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson

'Tis not for golden eloquence I pray,
  A godlike tongue to move a stony heart--
    Methinks it were full well to be apart
      In solitary uplands far away,
        Betwixt the blossoms of a rosy spray,
          Dreaming upon the wonderful sweet face
            Of Nature, in a wild and pathless place.
      - Frederick Tennyson, Sonnets,
        from "A Treasury of English Sonnets" edited by David M. Main

Him who lonely loves to seek the distant hills, and there converse with nature.
      - James Thomson (1)

I have a great deal of company in the house, especially in the morning when nobody calls.
      - Henry David Thoreau

I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.
      - Henry David Thoreau

Solitude is not measured by the miles of space that intervene between a man and his fellows. The really diligent student in one of the crowded hives of Cambridge college is as solitary as a dervis in the desert.
      - Henry David Thoreau

I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.
      - Henry David Thoreau, Solitude

I could live in the woods with thee in sight,
  Where never should human foot intrude:
    Or with thee find light in the darkest night,
      And a social crowd in solitude.
      - Albius Tibullus, Elegies (elegy I)

We're all in this together . . . alone.
      - Lily Tomlin


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