Charles Lamb Quotes

Not many sounds in life ... exceed in interest a knock at the door.
Charles Lamb (1775-1834), British essayist, critic. Essays of Elia, "Valentine's Day," (1820-1823).
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Boys are capital fellows in their own way, among their mates; but they are unwholesome companions for grown people.
Charles Lamb (1775-1834), British essayist, critic. Essays of Elia, "The Old and the New Schoolmaster," (1820-1823).
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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.
Charles Lamb (1775-1834), British essayist, critic. Essays of Elia, "The Old and the New Schoolmaster," (1820-1823). Of the schoolmaster, Lamb wrote: "He can receive no pleasure from a casual glimpse of Nature, but must catch at it as an object of instruction.... The Universe—that Great Book, as it has been called—is to him, indeed, to all intents and purposes, a book out of which he is doomed to read tedious homilies to distasting schoolboys."
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"Presents," I often say, "endear absents."
Charles Lamb (1775-1834), British essayist, critic. Essays of Elia, "A Dissertation Upon Roast Pig," (1820-23).
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Credulity is the man's weakness, but the child's strength.
Charles Lamb (1775-1834), British essayist and critic. Essays of Elia, Witches and other Night Fears (1823).
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gone before To that unknown and silent shore,
Charles Lamb (1775-1834), British poet. Hester. . . Oxford Book of English Verse, The, 1250-1918. Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. (New ed., rev. and enl., 1939) Oxford University Press.
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I have been trying all my life to like Scotchmen, and am obliged to desist from the experiment in despair.
Charles Lamb (1775-1834), British essayist, critic. "Imperfect Sympathies," The Essays of Elia (1820-1823).
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A poor relation is the most irrelevant thing in nature, a piece of impertinent correspondency, an odious approximation, a haunting conscience, a preposterous shadow, lengthening in the noon-tide of our prosperity.... He is known by his knock.
Charles Lamb (1775-1834), British essayist, critic. Last Essays of Elia, "Poor Relations," (1833). Opening lines of essay.
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A pun is not bound by the laws which limit nicer wit. It is a pistol let off at the ear; not a feather to tickle the intellect.
Charles Lamb (1775-1834), British essayist, critic. Last Essays of Elia, "Popular Fallacies: That the Worst Puns are the Best," (1833).
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Nothing puzzles me more than time and space; and yet nothing troubles me less, as I never think about them.
Charles Lamb (1775-1834), British essayist, critic. letter, Jan. 2, 1810, to Thomas Manning. Letters of Charles and Mary Lamb, vol. 3, ed. E.W. Marrs (1978).
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