Charles Lamb Quotes

Who on Earth is 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

Best 25 Quotes by Charles Lamb

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

Charles Lamb

“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.”

Charles Lamb

“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.”

Charles Lamb

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

Charles Lamb

“Books think for me.”

Charles Lamb

“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.”

Charles Lamb
Letter to Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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

Charles Lamb

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

Charles Lamb

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

Charles Lamb

“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!”

Charles Lamb
Letter to William Wordsworth

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

Charles Lamb
A bachelor’s complaint

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

Charles Lamb

“Lawyers, I suppose, were children once.”

Charles Lamb

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

Charles Lamb

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

Charles Lamb
On Books and Reading

“No woman dresses below herself from mere caprice.”

Charles Lamb

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

Charles Lamb

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

Charles Lamb
On an Infant Dying as Soon as Born

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

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

“The vices of some men are magnificent.”

Charles Lamb

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

Charles Lamb
letter to Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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

Charles Lamb

“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.”

Charles Lamb

“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,
SABBATHLESS SATAN!”

Charles Lamb