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Anna Jameson

  • Conversation may be compared to a lyre with seven chords — philosophy, art, poetry, politics, love, scandal, and the weather.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • "Conversations," Visits and Sketches at Home and Abroad ()
  • The true purpose of education is to cherish and unfold the seed of immortality already sown within us; to develop, to their fullest extent, the capacities of every kind with which the God who made us has endowed us.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • "Education," Winter Studies and Summer Rambles ()
  • To reason from analogy is often dangerous, but to illustrate by a fanciful analogy is sometimes a means by which we light an idea, as it were, into the understanding of another.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • "Detached Thoughts," Studies, Stories, and Memoirs ()
  • As the rolling stone gathers no moss, so the roving heart gathers no affections.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • "Sternberg's Novels," Studies, Stories, and Memoirs ()
  • A man may be as much a fool from the want of sensibility as the want of sense.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • "Detached Thoughts," Studies, Stories, and Memoirs ()
  • Opinion has ever been stronger than law.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • "Detached Thoughts," Studies, Stories, and Memoirs ()
  • O! to make children of us again, nothing like Venice!

    • Anna Jameson,
    • "The House of Titian," Studies, Stories, and Memoirs ()
  • How often we have had cause to regret that the histrionic art, of all the fine arts the most intense in its immediate effect, should be, of all others, the most transient in its result! — and the only memorials it can leave behind, at best, so imperfect and so unsatisfactory!

    • Anna Jameson,
    • "Adelaide Kemble," Studies, Stories, and Memoirs ()
  • The only competition worthy of a wise man is with himself.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • "Washington Allston," Memoirs and Essays Illustrative of Art, Literature, and Social Morals ()
  • The streams which would otherwise diverge to fertilize a thousand meadows, must be directed into one deep narrow channel before they can turn a mill.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • "Some Thoughts on Art," in Art Journal ()
  • Nature is boundless in her powers, exhausting in her variety: the powers of Art and its capabilities of variety in production are bounded on every side. Nature herself, the infinite, has circumscribed the bounds of finite Art. The one is the divinity; the other the priestess.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • "Some Thoughts on Art," in Art Journal ()
  • The moment one begins to solder right and wrong together, one's conscience becomes like a piece of plated goods.

  • Out of the attempt to harmonize our actual life with our aspirations, our experience with our faith, we make poetry, — or, it may be, religion.

  • Social opinion is like a sharp knife. There are foolish people who regard it only with terror, and dare not touch or meddle with it. There are more foolish people, who, in rashness or defiance, seize it by the blade, and get cut and mangled for their pains. And there are wise people, who grasp it discreetly and boldly by the handle, and use it to carve out their own purposes.

  • We can sometimes love what we do not understand, but it is impossible completely to understand what we do not love.

  • ... in our relations with the people around us, we forgive them more readily for what they do, which they can help, than for what they are, which they cannot help.

  • Accuracy of language is one of the bulwarks of truth.

  • ... the distinction between talent and genius is definite. Talent combines and uses; genius combines and creates.

  • In every mind where there is a strong tendency to fear, there is a strong capacity to hate. Those who dwell in fear dwell next door to hate ...

  • What we truly and earnestly aspire to be, that in some sense we are. The mere aspiration, by changing the frame of the mind, for the moment realizes itself.

  • There are no such self-deceivers as those who think they reason when they only feel.

  • When we talk of leaving our childhood behind us, we might as well say that the river flowing onward to the sea had left the fountain behind.

  • Now, it is a good sanitary principle, that what is curative is preventive ...

  • Genius and sunshine have this in common that they are the two most precious gifts of heaven to earth, and are dispensed equally to the just and the unjust.

  • Thoughts and emotions which never perhaps were in the mind of the artist, never were anticipated, never were intended by him — may be strongly suggested by his work. This is an important part of the morals of art, which we must never lose sight of. Art is not only for pleasure and profit, but for good and for evil.

  • Morally a woman has a right to the free and entire development of every faculty which God has given her to be improved and used to His honor. Socially she has a right to the protection of equal laws; the right to labor with her hands the thing that is good; to select the kind of labor which is in harmony with her condition and her powers; to exist, if need be, by her labor, or to profit others by it if she choose. These are her rights, not more nor less than the rights of the man.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • "The Communion of Labor" (1856), in Sisters of Charity, Catholic and Protestant, and the Communion of Labor ()
  • Work in some form or other is the appointed lot of all ...

    • Anna Jameson,
    • "The Communion of Labor" (1856), in Sisters of Charity, Catholic and Protestant, and the Communion of Labor ()
  • Of how many women might the history be comprised in those few words — 'she lived, suffered, and was buried'!

    • Anna Jameson,
    • 1834, in Geraldine Macpherson, Memoirs of the Life of Anna Jameson ()
  • I could almost wish myself a dormouse or a she-bear, to sleep away the rest of this cold, cold winter ...

    • Anna Jameson,
    • 1836, in Geraldine Macpherson, Memoirs of the Life of Anna Jameson ()
  • The reality has displaced from my mind an illusion much more magnificent than itself. ... I am metamorphosed; I am translated; I am an ass's head, a clod, a wooden spoon, a fat weed growing on Lethe's brink, a stock, a stone, a petrifaction. For have I not seen Niagara, the wonder of wonders, and felt — no words can tell what — disappointment?

    • Anna Jameson,
    • 1836, in Geraldine Macpherson, Memoirs of the Life of Anna Jameson ()
  • I do not like new things of any kind, not even a new gown, far less a new acquaintance, therefore make as few as possible; one can but have one's heart and hands full, and mine are. I have love and work enough to last me the rest of my life.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • 1841, in Geraldine Macpherson, Memoirs of the Life of Anna Jameson ()
  • ... I have neither religion enough, nor philosophy enough, nor youth enough, nor life enough, to exist through faith in the absent and the distant and the invisible; and when I take up the pen to write to you, I am so painfully struck by the hopelessness of our separation in this world, that I could almost throw it down again with an 'à quoi bon?'

    • Anna Jameson,
    • 1842, in Geraldine Macpherson, Memoirs of the Life of Anna Jameson ()
  • It seems to me that we can find a similitude for everything else, but Venice is like nothing else — Venice the beautiful, the wonderful!

    • Anna Jameson,
    • 1845, in Geraldine Macpherson, Memoirs of the Life of Anna Jameson ()
  • On Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning:] I have also here [in Paris] a poet and a poetess — two celebrities who have run away and married under circumstances peculiarly interesting, and such as render imprudence the height of prudence. Both excellent; but God help them! for I know not how the two poet heads and poet hearts will get on through this prosaic world.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • 1846, in Geraldine Macpherson, Memoirs of the Life of Anna Jameson ()
  • ... social life is becoming more necessary to me just as my power of commanding it is lessened ...

    • Anna Jameson,
    • 1849, in Geraldine Macpherson, Memoirs of the Life of Anna Jameson ()
  • Trust in my affection for you. Tho' I may not display it exactly in the way you like and expect it, it is not therefore less deep and sincere.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • 1833, in G.H. Needler, Letters of Anna Jameson to Ottilie Von Goethe ()
  • You must never believe what the newspapers say. I stand aghast at the impudence of the lies they contain, things not only false in fact, but absolutely impossible.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • 1840, in G.H. Needler, Letters of Anna Jameson to Ottilie Von Goethe ()
  • ... it will haunt me until I see it again, for nothing in this world is like Venice.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • 1845, in G.H. Needler, Letters of Anna Jameson to Ottilie Von Goethe ()
  • I confess to you, dear Ottilie, that I do not like the idea of going to you with my health so broken as it is now. You are also an invalid. Must we lie on two sophas and look at each other? — tho' this would be better than nothing, and better than to be separated for more years, till life ebbs away and leaves our best hopes stranded like wrecks on the shore.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • 1858, in G.H. Needler, Letters of Anna Jameson to Ottilie Von Goethe ()
  • ... I have no other hope of happiness than in being with you, dearest!

    • Anna Jameson,
    • 1858, in G.H. Needler, Letters of Anna Jameson to Ottilie Von Goethe ()
  • ... whatever is morally wrong, is equally wrong in man and in woman and no virtue is to be cultivated in one sex, that is not equally required by the other.

    • Anna Jameson,
    • 1847, in G.H. Needler, Letters of Anna Jameson to Ottilie Von Goethe ()
  • Childhood sometimes does pay a second visit to man; youth never.

    • Anna Jameson
  • In morals what begins in fear usually ends in wickedness, in religion what begins in fear usually ends in fanaticism. Fear, either as a principle or a motive, is the beginning of all evil.

Anna Jameson, Irish-born English writer, art critic/historian

(1794 - 1860)

Full name: Anna Brownell Murphy Jameson.