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Charles Lamb quotes

1775 – 1834; English essayist

The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth, and to have it found out
by accident.
Charles Lamb

Cultivate simplicity or rather should I say banish elaborateness, for simplicity springs
spontaneous from the heart.
Charles Lamb

I always arrive late at the office, but I make up for it by leaving early.
Charles Lamb

O! her lamps of a night! Her rich goldsmiths, printshops, toyshops, mercers, hardware men,
pastrycooks, St. Paul's Churchyard, the Strand, Exeter Change, Charing Cross... All the
streets and pavements are pure gold, I warrant you. At least I know an alchemy that turns
her mud into that metal - a mind that loves to be at home in crowds.
Charles Lamb, on London

New Year's Day is every man's birthday.
Charles Lamb

Tis the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and to have her nonsense respected.
Charles Lamb

Think what you would have been now, if instead of being fed with tales and old wives' fables
in childhood, you had been crammed with geography and natural history!
Charles Lamb

Credulity is the man's weakness, but the child's strength.
Charles Lamb

I have been trying all my life to like Scotchmen, and am obliged to desist from the experiment
in despair.
Charles Lamb

The good things of life are not to be had singly, but come to us with a mixture.
Charles Lamb

I mean your borrowers of books - those mutilators of collections, spoilers of the symmetry of
shelves, and creators of odd volumes.
Charles Lamb

Lawyers, I suppose, were children once.
Charles Lamb

Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see the world hath more fools in it than ever.
Charles Lamb

- How can you smoke so many cigars?
- I toil after it, sir, as some men toil after virtue.
Charles Lamb

Not many sounds in life, and I include all urban and all rural sounds, exceed in interest a
knock at the door.
Charles Lamb

My theory is to enjoy life, but the practice is against it.
Charles Lamb

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.
Charles Lamb

Of all sound of all bells... most solemn and touching is the peal which rings out the Old Year.
Charles Lamb

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

Presents, I often say, endear absents.
Charles Lamb

A book reads the better which is our own, and has been so long known to us, that we know
the topography of its blots, and dog's ears, and can trace the dirt in it to having read it at
tea with buttered muffins.
Charles Lamb

I love to lose myself in other men's minds.
Charles Lamb

Riches are chiefly good because they give us time.
Charles Lamb

Newspapers always excite curiosity. No one ever lays one down without a feeling of
disappointment.
Charles Lamb

This very night I am going to leave off Tobacco! Surely there must be some other world in
which this unconquerable purpose shall be realized.
Charles Lamb

It is good to love the unknown.
Charles Lamb