Solemn Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 229 quotes )
The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate. This gives to the typically Christian pleasure in this earth a strange touch of lightness that is almost frivolity. Nature was a solemn mother to the worshipers of Isis and Cybele. Nature was a solemn mother to Wordsworth or to Emerson. But Nature is not solemn to Francis of Assisi or to George Herbert. To St. Francis, Nature is a sister, and even a younger sister: a little, dancing sister, to be laughed at as well as loved.
So, it was done, the break was made, in words at least: on July 2, 1776, in Philadelphia, the American colonies declared independence. If not all thirteen clocks had struck as one, twelve had, and with the other silent, the effect was the same. It was John Adams, more than anyone, who had made it happen. Further, he seems to have understood more clearly than any what a momentous day it was and in the privacy of two long letters to Abigail, he poured out his feelings as did no one else: The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.
I walked away at a good pace, thinking it was easier to go than I had supposed it would be, and reflecting that it would never have done to have an old shoe thrown after the coach, in sight of all the High Street. I whistled and made nothing of going. But the village was very peaceful and quiet, and the light mists were solemnly rising, as if to show me the world, and I had been so innocent and little there, and all beyond was so unknown and great, that in a moment with a strong heave and sob I broke into tears. We changed again, and yet again, and it was now too late and too far to go back, and I went on. And the mists had all solemnly risen now, and the world lay spread before me.
I should like to have friends, I confess. I do not suppose I ever shall. But there have been moments when I have realized what friendship might be. Rare moments - but never forgotten. Friendship is a binding, as solemn as marriage. We take each other for life, through everything - forever. But it’s not enough to say we will do it. I think, myself, it is pride which makes friendship most difficult. To submit, to bow down to the other is not easy, but it must be done if one is to really understand the being of the other. Friendship isn’t merging. One doesn’t thereupon become a shadow and one remain a substance. Yet, it is terribly solemn - frightening, even.
Pride is the downward drag of all things into an easy solemnity. One "settles down" into a sort of selfish seriousness; but one has to rise to a gay self-forgetfulness... Seriousness is not a virtue. It would be a heresy, but a much more sensible heresy, to say that seriousness is a vice. It is really a natural trend or lapse into taking one's self gravely, because it is the easiest thing to do... For solemnity flows out of men naturally; but laughter is a leap. It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.
You know, it's such a peculiar thing--our idea of mankind in general. We all have a sort of vague, glowing picture when we say that, something solemn, big and important. But actually all we know of it is the people we meet in our lifetime. Look at them. Do you know any you'd feel big and solemn about? There's nothing but housewives haggling at pushcarts, drooling brats who write dirty words on the sidewalks, and drunken debutantes. Or their spiritual equivalent. As a matter of fact, one can feel some respect for people when they suffer. They have a certain dignity. But have you ever looked at them when they're enjoying themselves? That's when you see the truth. Look at those who spend the money they've slaved for--at amusement parks and side shows. Look at those who're rich and have the whole world open to them. Observe what they pick out for enjoyment. Watch them in the smarter speak-easies. That's your mankind in general. I don't want to touch it.
With thee conversing I forget all time,All seasons and their change, all please alike.Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,With charm of earliest birds; pleasant the sunWhen first on this delightful land he spreadsHis orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flower,Glistering with dew; fragrant the fertile earthAfter soft showers; and sweet the coming onOf grateful evening mild, then silent nightWith this her solemn bird and this fair moon,And these the gems of heav'n, her starry train:But neither breath of morn when she ascendsWith charm of earliest birds, nor rising sunOn this delightful land, nor herb, fruit, flower,Glistring with dew, nor fragrance after showers,Nor grateful evening mild, nor silent nightWith this her solemn bird, nor walk by moon,Or glittering starlight without thee is sweet.
It is well known that at the coronation of kings and queens, even modern ones, a certain curious process of seasoning them for their functions is gone through. There is a saltcellar of state, so called, and there may be a caster of state. How they use the salt, precisely--who knows? Certain I am, however, that a king's head is solemnly oiled at his coronation, even as a head of salad. Can it be, though, that they anoint it with a view of making its interior run well, as they anoint machinery? Much might be ruminated here, concerning the essential dignity of this regal process, because in common life we esteem but meanly and contemptibly a fellow who anoints his hair, and palpably smells of that anointing. In truth, a mature man who uses hair-oil, unless medicinally, that man has probably got a quoggy spot in him somewhere. As a general rule, he can't amount to much in his totality.
The art of change-ringing is peculiar to the English, and, like most English peculiarities, unintelligible to the rest of the world. (The change-ringer's) passion- and it is a passion- finds its satisfaction in mathematical completeness and mechanical perfection, and as his bell weaves her way rhythmically up from lead to hinder place and down again, he is filled with the solemn intoxication that comes of intricate ritual faultlessly performed.
There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person. Nothing is more keenly required than a defence of bores. When Byron divided humanity into the bores and bored, he omitted to notice that the higher qualities exist entirely in the bores, the lower qualities in the bored, among whom he counted himself. The bore, by his starry enthusiasm, his solemn happiness, may, in some sense, have proved himself poetical. The bored has certainly proved himself prosaic.
Since you are determined to be married, Miss Cornelia," said Gilbert solemnly, "I shall give you the excellent rules for the management of a husband which my grandmother gave my mother when she married my father."Well, I reckon I can manage Marshall Elliott," said Miss Cornelia placidly. "But let us hear your rules."The first one is, catch him."He's caught. Go on."The second one is, feed him well."With enough pie. What next?"The third and fourth are-- keep your eye on him.
As I sat there in that now lonely room; the fire burning low, in that mild stage when, after its first intensity has warmed the air, it then only glows to be looked at; the evening shades and phantoms gathering round the casements, and peering in upon us silent, solitary twain; thw storm booming without in solemn swells; I began to be sensible of strange feelings. I felt a melting in me. No more my splintered heart and maddened hand were turned against the wolfish world. This soothing savage had redeemed it. There he sat, his very indifference speaking a nature in which there lurked no civilized hypocrisies and bland deceits. Wild he was; a very sight of sights to see; yet I began to feel myself mysteriously drawn towards him. And those same things that would have repelled most others, they were the very magnets that thus drew me. I'll try a pagan friend, though I, since Christian kindness has proved but hollow courtesy.
And I felt next to nothing as I walked to the village; I paid my respects to the countryside yet was unable to detect solemn sympathy in its quiet or reproach in its stillness. Usually that road brought me miles of footage from the past: the bright-faced ten-year-old running for the Oxford bus; the lardy pubescent, out on soul-rambles (i. e. sulks), or off for a wank in the woods; the youth, handsomely reading Tennyson on summer evenings, or trying to kill birds with feeble, rusted slug-guns, or behind the hedge smoking fags with Geoffrey, then hawking in the ditch. But now I strode it vacantly, my childhood nowhere to be found.
A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it!
Executive Mansion,Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.Dear Madam,--I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,A. Lincoln
She argued. She cried. She took my faltering, my tortured refusals for something far finer than they really were. At the end of the afternoon, before we left the wood, and with a solemnity and sincerity, a complete dedication of herself that I cannot describe to you because such unconditional promising is another extinct mystery...she said, Whatever happens I shall never marry anyone but you.
Her mighty lakes, like oceans of liquid silver; her mountains, with bright aerial tints; her valleys, teeming with wild fertility; her tremendous cataracts, thundering in their solitudes; her boundless plains, waving with spontaneous verdure; her broad, deep rivers, rolling in solemn silence to the ocean; her trackless forests, where vegetation puts forth all its magnificence; her skies, kindling with the magic of summer clouds and glorious sunshine - no, never need an American look beyond his own country for the sublime and beautiful of natural scenery.