Charles Lamb Quotes

Who was Charles Lamb?

Charles Lamb was an English essayist and poet best known for his Essays of Elia and for being the brother of Mary Lamb.

Born February 10, 1775
Died December 27, 1834
Aged 59 years old

Books by Charles Lamb

Charles Lamb Sources

Best 25 Quotes by Charles Lamb

“A laugh is worth a hundred groans in any market.”

“A man can never have too much Time to himself, nor too little to do. Had I a little son, I would christen him Nothing-To-Do; he should do nothing. Man, I verily believe, is out of his element as long as he is operative. I am altogether for the life contemplative.”

“A man may do very well with a very little knowledge, and scarce be found out in mixed company; everybody is so much more ready to produce his own than to call for a display of your acquisition.”

“A pun is a pistol let off at the ear; not a feather to tickle the intellect.”

“Books think for me.”

“He is no lawyer who cannot take two sides.”

“How sickness enlarges the dimensions of a man's self to himself.”

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“I am determined my children shall be brought up in their father's religion, if they can find out what it is.”

“I love to lose myself in other men's minds.”

“Lawyers, I suppose, were children once.”

“My theory is to enjoy life, but the practice is against it.”

“No woman dresses below herself from mere caprice.”

“Riches are chiefly good because they give us time.”

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

Products by 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.”

“The vices of some men are magnificent.”

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“A story in your head isn't a story. It's just a daydream until you actually write it down. So write it down.”

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“We are ashamed at the sight of a monkey--somehow as we are shy of poor relations.”

“What a place to be is an old library! It seems as though all the souls of all the writers, that have bequeathed their labours ... were reposing here, as in some dormitory, or middle state. I do not want to handle, to profane the leaves, their winding-sheets.”

“Who first invented work and bound the free
And holiday-rejoicing spirit down
To the unremitting importunity
Of business, in the green fields, and the town;
To plough, loom, anvil, spade--and oh! most sad!
To this dry drudgery of the desk's dead wood?
Who but the Being unblest, alien from good,

A bachelor’s complaint Quotes

“I know that a sweet child is the sweetest thing in nature, not even excepting the delicate creatures which bear them.”

A bachelor’s complaint

Letter to Samuel Taylor Coleridge Quotes

“For God's sake (I never was more serious), don't make me ridiculous any more by terming me gentle-hearted in print.... Please to blot out gentle hearted, and substitute drunken dog, ragged head, seld-shaven, odd-ey'd, stuttering, or any other epithet which truly and properly belongs to the Gentleman in question.”

Letter to Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“Tis the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and to have her nonsense respected.”

letter to Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Letter to William Wordsworth Quotes

“I grow ominously tired of official confinement. Thirty years have I served the Philistines, and my neck is not subdued to the yoke. You don't know how wearisome it is to breathe the air of four pent walls without relief day after day, all the golden hours of the day between ten and four without ease or interposition ... these pestilential clerk-faces always in one's dish. O for a few years between the grave and the desk!”

Letter to William Wordsworth

On an Infant Dying as Soon as Born Quotes

“Riddle of destiny, who can show
What thy short visit meant, or know
What thy errand here below?”

On an Infant Dying as Soon as Born

On Books and Reading Quotes

“Newspapers always excite curiosity. No one ever lays one down without a feeling of disappointment.”

On Books and Reading

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“If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.”

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Charles Lamb Sources