The only true time which a man can properly call his own, is that which he has all to himself the rest, though in some sense he may be said to live it, is other people's time, not his.
I could never hate anyone I knew.
By myself walking, To myself talking.
The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth and have it found out by accident.
A garden was the primitive prison, till man, with Promethean felicity and boldness, luckily sinned himself out of it.
Pain is life - the sharper, the more evidence of life.
Newspapers always excite curiosity. No one ever puts one down without the feeling of disappointment.
There is a pleasure in affecting affectation.
Who first invented work, and bound the free And holiday-rejoicing spirit down . . . . To that dry drudgery at the desk's dead wood . . . . Sabbathless Satan.
Riches are chiefly good because they give us time.
Neat, not gaudy.
The moon looks On many brooks, 'The brook can see no moon but this.'
The bird let loose in Eastern skies, Returning fondly home, Ne'er stoops to earth her wing, nor flies Where idle warblers roam But high she shoots through air and light, Above all low delay, Where nothing earthly bounds her flight, Nor shadow dims her way.
Anything awful makes me laugh. I misbehaved once at a funeral.
For God's sake (I never was more serious) don't make me ridiculous any more by terming me gentle-hearted in print... substitute drunken dog, ragged head, seld-shaven, odd-eyed, stuttering, or any other epithet which truly and properly belongs to the gentleman in question.
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.
Martin, if dirt was trumps, what hands you would hold.
Oh, breathe not his name let it sleep in the shade, Where cold and unhonour'd his relics are laid,
He has left off reading altogether, to the great improvement of his originality.
Returning to town in the stage-coach, which was filled with Mr. Gilman's guests, we stopped for a minute or two at Kentish Town. A woman asked the coachman, 'Are you full inside' Upon which Lamb put his head through the window and said, 'I am quite full inside that last piece of pudding at Mr. Gilman's did the business for me.'
When did morning ever break, And find such beaming eyes awake.
I am determined that my children shall be brought up in their father's religion, if they can find out what it is.
Oh stay oh stay Joy so seldom weaves a chain Like this to-night, that oh 't is pain To break its links so soon.
Oh for a tongue to curse the slave Whose treason, like a deadly blight, Comes o'er the councils of the brave, And blasts them in their hour of might.
A poor relation is the most irrelevant thing in nature, a piece of impertinent correspondence, an odious approximation, a haunting conscience, a preposterous shadow, lengthening in the noon-tide of our prosperity. He is known by his knock.
My theory is to enjoy life, but the practice is against it.
The beggar wears all colors fearing none.
Who has not felt how sadly sweet The dream of home, the dream of home, Steals o'er the heart, too soon to fleet, When far o'er sea or land we roam.
I am accounted by some people as a good man. How cheap that character is acquired Pay your debts, dont borrow money, nor twist your kittens neck off, nor disturb a congregation, etc., your business is done. I know things of myself, which would make every friend I have fly me as a plague patient.
We are nothing less than nothing, and dreams. We are only what might have been, and must wait upon the tedious shores of Lethe millions of ages before we have existence, and a name.
... who ran Through each mode of the lyre, and was master of all.
What is reading, but silent conversation.
Damn the age. I'll write for antiquity.
You may break, you may shatter the vase if you will, But the scent of the roses will hang round it still.
When twilight dews are falling soft Upon the rosy sea, love, I watch the star whose beam so oft Has lighted me to thee, love.
I always arrive late at the office, but I make up for it by leaving early.
Oh, ever thus, from childhood's hour, I 've seen my fondest hopes decay I never loved a tree or flower But 't was the first to fade away. I never nurs'd a dear gazelle, To glad me with its soft black eye, But when it came to know me well And love me, it was sure to die.
When thus the heart is in a vein Of tender thought, the simplest strain Can touch it with peculiar power.
We grow gray in our spirit long before we grow gray in our hair.
In everything that relates to science, I am a whole Encyclopaedia behind the rest of the world.
Angel-duck, angel-duck, winged and silly, Pouring a watering-pot over a lily.
Riddle of destiny, who can show; What thy short visit meant, or know; What thy errand here below.
Nothing is to me more distasteful than that entire complacency and satisfaction which beam in the countenances of a new-married couple.
Not many sounds in life, and I include all urban and rural sounds, exceed in interest a knock at the door
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
The human species, according to the best theory I can form of it, is composed of two distinct races, the men who borrow and the men who lend.
It argues an insensibility.
Why are we never quite at ease in the presence of a schoolmaster Because we are conscious that he is not quite at his ease in ours. He is awkward, and out of place in the society of his equals. He comes like Gulliver from among his little people, and he cannot fit the stature of his understanding to yours.
And the best of all ways To lengthen our days Is to steal a few hours from the night, my dear.
And the tear that we shed, though in secret it rolls, Shall long keep his memory green in our souls.
More Charles Lamb Quotations (Based on Topics)
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Walter Pater - Stanley Crouch - Roland Barthes - Rex Reed - James Wolcott - Irving Babbitt - Henry Louis Gates - Eric Bentley - Christopher Ricks - Alphonse Karr