''Tragedy delights by affording a shadow of the pleasure which exists in pain.''
''The Galilean is not a favourite of mine. So far from owing him any thanks for his favour, I cannot avoid confessing that I owe a secret grudge to his carpentership.''
''I think that the leaf of a tree, the meanest insect on which we trample, are in themselves arguments more conclusive than any which can be adduced that some vast intellect animates Infinity.''
''It were as wise to cast a violet into a crucible that you might discover the formal principle of its colour and odour, as seek to transfuse from one language into another the creations of a poet. The plant must spring again from its seed, or it will bear no flowerand this is the burthen of the curse of Babel.''
''A story of particular facts is a mirror which obscures and distorts that which should be beautiful; poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which it distorts.''
''It is his weakness to be proud: he derives, from a comparison of his own extraordinary mind with the dwarfish intellects that surround him, an intense apprehension of the nothingness of human life.''
''Their errors have been weighed and found to have been dust in the balance; if their sins were as scarlet, they are now white as snow: they have been washed in the blood of the mediator and the redeemer, Time.''
''Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.''
''It is impossible that had Buonaparte descended from a race of vegetable feeders that he could have had either the inclination or the power to ascend the throne of the Bourbons.''
''Every epoch, under names more or less specious, has deified its peculiar errors.''
''The great instrument of moral good is the imagination.''
''A poet, as he is the author to others of the highest wisdom, pleasure, virtue, and glory, so he ought personally to be the happiest, the best, the wisest, and the most illustrious of men.''
''A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and of many others; the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own.''
''Chastity is a monkish and evangelical superstition, a greater foe to natural temperance even than unintellectual sensuality.''
''Revenge is the naked idol of the worship of a semi-barbarous age.''
''Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.''
''In a drama of the highest order there is little food for censure or hatred; it teaches rather self-knowledge and self- respect.''
''The pleasure that is in sorrow is sweeter than the pleasure of pleasure itself.''
''Government is an evil; it is only the thoughtlessness and vices of men that make it a necessary evil. When all men are good and wise, government will of itself decay.''
''Yes, marriage is hateful, detestable. A kind of ineffable, sickening disgust seizes my mind when I think of this most despotic, most unrequited fetter which prejudice has forged to confine its energies.''
''Obscenity, which is ever blasphemy against the divine beauty in life,... is a monster for which the corruption of society forever brings forth new food, which it devours in secret.''
''A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds; his auditors are as men entranced by the melody of an unseen musician, who feel that they are moved and softened, yet know not whence or why.''
''Constancy has nothing virtuous in itself, independently of the pleasure it confers, and partakes of the temporizing spirit of vice in proportion as it endures tamely moral defects of magnitude in the object of its indiscreet choice.''
''Poetry is a sword of lightning, ever unsheathed, which consumes the scabbard that would contain it.''
''The odious and disgusting aristocracy of wealth is built upon the ruins of all that is good in chivalry or republicanism; and luxury is the forerunner of a barbarism scarcely capable of cure.''
''Reviewers, with some rare exceptions, are a most stupid and malignant race. As a bankrupt thief turns thief-taker in despair, so an unsuccessful author turns critic.''
''Love is free; to promise for ever to love the same woman is not less absurd than to promise to believe the same creed; such a vow in both cases excludes us from all inquiry.''