SAYINGS & SUCH: Victorian and Otherwise

Quotes and bits of wisdom you may want to use.

Compiled for members by Queen emBelle

Contributor Quotes:
Lillian I have been collecting phrases and poems to put on a future crazy quilt. If you have any that you would like to share I would be very grateful! A few of mine, new and old alike:

This is my gem. Iit came from my great-great-grandmother's needlework sampler; it dates from 1849:

How precious are the seeds of youth
They ripen them till the day
When planted in the minds of youth
That perfect knowledge hath full sway

When I am very old with my hair upon my head I'll sit and sew and never go to bed.

And some old Victorian humor:

She wears a rose in her hair,
At the twilight's dreamy close,
Her face is fair...
Under the rose!

Gayla A few of my favorites:

The Mother's heart is the child's schoolroom.

Distance only lends enchantment, though the ocean waves divide,
absence makes the heart grow fonder, longing to be by your side.
--Arthur Gillispie

There are some spirits fitly strung, to echo back the tones of mine,
and those few cherished souls among I dare, dear friend, to number thine.

Angels attend thee, may their wings fan every shadow from thy brow;
for only bright and loving things should wait on one so good as thou.

When my prayers are pure and strong as they in my best hours can be,
amid my loved and cherished ones, I then will count and pray for thee.
--G. G.

Few the flowers that friendship wreathes
To seal her sweetest vow,
And few the words the minstrel breathes
A pledge to Friendship now.

And with these Squares, howe'er you read
To Friendship pledge, I vow
Life's checkered scenes will ever lead
To Friendship pledged as now.

suzanneMI Great idea! I love to collect quotes. Some of my favorites that I have
remembered to write down in my idea notebook -- some from rubber stamps, desk
calendars and the internet -- include:

Not Land but Learning
makes a man complete.
Not Birth but Breeding
makes him truly great.
Not Wealth but Wisdom
does adorn his state.
Virtue not Honour
makes him fortunate.
Learning, Breeding, Wisdom
get these three,
Then Wealth and Honour
will attend on thee.
--(from a sampler)

If wisdom's ways you'd wisely seek
Five things observe with care,
Of whom you speak, to whom you speak,
And how and when and where.
--(from 1839 sampler)

Let her who cares for needlework,
And wishes to perform the same,
Learn thoroughly and never shirk
And she'll obtain both praise and fame.
-- Johan Sibmacher

When this you see, remember me.

The tide recedes but leaves behind
bright seashells in the sand,
The sun goes down but gentle warmth
still lingers on the land,
The music stops and yet it echoes on
in sweet refrains ...
For every joy that passes,
something beautiful remains.
-- M.D. Hughes

Have a heart that never hardens,
and a temper that never tires,
and a touch that never hurts.
-- Charles Dickens

Nothing good was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.
-- William Blake

Exuberance is beauty.
-- William Blake

Learn from yesterday,
Live for today,
Hope for tomorrow.

Heal the past,
Live the present,
Dream the future.

Live well.
Laugh often.
Love much.

Work like you don't need the money.
Love like you've never been hurt.
Dance like nobody's watching.
-- Satchel Paige

Dance like nobody's watching
Love like you've never been hurt
Sing like nobody's listening
Live like it's heaven on earth
-- Unknown author of this version

Too much of a good thing is wonderful.
-- Mae West

Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.
-- Danny Kaye

It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best,
you very often get it.
-- W. Somerset Maugham

The reward for a thing well done is to have done it.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

If I had to live my life over again, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time.
-- Nadine Stair

It's not how long life is but the quality of our life that is important.
-- Roger Dawson

Our life is what our thoughts make it.
-- Marcus Aurelius

It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.
-- Charles Haddon Spurgeon

There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.
-- Robert Louis Stevenson

Anything you're good at contributes to happiness.
-- Bertrand B. Russell

The future belongs to those who believe
in the beauty of their dreams.
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

Sow good services;
Sweet remembrances will grow from them.
-- Mde. de Stael

Always do more than is required of you.
-- George S. Patton

The heart of the giver makes the gift dear and precious.
-- Luther

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is wasted.
-- Aesop

Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

Bloom where you're planted.

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched,
they must be felt with the heart.

Great thoughts always come from the heart.
-- Marquis de Vauvenargues

All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
-- Dhammapada

You are today where your thoughts have brought you;
You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.
-- James Allen

Ideas are the root of creation.
-- Earnest Dimnet

Seek the wisdom of the ages, but look at the world through the eyes of a child.
-- Ron Wild

Wisdom begins in wonder.
-- Socrates

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;
What is essential is invisible to the eye.
-- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

It takes a long time to grow old friends.

To know others is wisdom,
To know oneself is enlightenment.
-- Tao Te Ching

When there is room in the heart,
there is room in the house.
-- Danish Proverb

Words are the voice of the heart.
-- Confucius

A short saying often contains much wisdom.
-- Sophocles

Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles,
It empties today of its strength.

Don't forget to love yourself.
-- SØren Kierkegaard

Be good to yourself,
Be excellent to others,
and do everything with love.
-- John Wolf

Mary Anne I have collected these little saying for years, adding to a collection that my mother kept for years before she died. There are so many wonderful ones that it's hard to pick the best ones! Some of my favourites taken from a huge collection I have ... should write a book!

Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have, or loaf all you want.

When you say "I love you," mean it.

Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

Follow the three R's: Respect for self, respect for others, and responsibility for your actions.

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

Be gentle with the earth.

Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

Valentina I collect Victorian autograph books and picked out a few of the mottos that were signed in them for you.

(The following are all to "Kittie" and date from 1888-1889; all are from Mass. and NH):

Whate'er our hands shall find to do,
Today we may with zeal pursue,
Seize fleeting moments as they fly,
And live as we would wish to die

When the golden sun is setting
And your mind is from care is free
When of others you are thinking
Will you sometimes think of me . . .

(This next one is a favorite of mine -- seems perfect to embellish with a little bouquet of forget me nots) :

Think of me, when you are happy
Keep for me one little spot
In the depth of thine affection
Plant a sweet forget - me - not

If thy path be one of brightness
And thy heart no sorrow know
If kind friends shall gather round you
As in days of long ago
Let not joy make of you forgetful
Of the days that used to be
In the days of all your gladness
I would ask remember me

(And forthe pessimistic):
It is in vain in life's wide sea
To ask you to remember me
Undoubtedly it is my lot
Just to be known and then forgot

Not like the rose
May our friendship wither,
But like the evergreen
Live forever

(The following are to "May" who seems to have traveled more -- signatures from Michigan, California, Colorado. They date from 1906-1919)

May your life be long and happy,
And your friends be kind and true
And a starry crown await you
When you bid the world adieu

As we grow old together
Remember it is my own best "bet"
that you will be the same sweet girl
As when we first met

(This is signed by her husband Herman and followed by "what are you going to get me for Christmas?")

It's sad to say but plain to see, your love is for him and not for me
(signed by poor old Earl, who apparently lost out to Herman)

(This one cracks me up -- another one for the pessimists):
Dear friend, remember life is but a day
Remember beauty fades away
Remember you and I must die
And in our cold graves we must lie
   (signed "compliments" of Miss Dora Heirick)

Remember well and bear in mind
A true friend is hard to find
But when you find one good and true
Don't trade the old one for the new

It is sweet to be remembered
It is sad to be forgot -
Cultivate the little flowers
they call forget me not

(And if any of you are from Colorado):
Here's to dear old Denver
Whener the mountain dew and other things too
Made a first-class bum of me

(This is from a book in which no one signed the owner's name. All signatures date from 1901-1907 and are from Dover, MA)

Forget me not though far away
Forget me not by night and day
Forget me not when other friends you meet
For I will never be forgetting thee

Sandy Snowden
Bracknell, UK
I have 3 little tins that have covers with a design like a Victorian Valentine on them. Here are the sayings:

1. "Refuse not, Gentle Love, An entrance to thy breast. It will a blessing prove, It is a heaven-sent guest. Ah! Long and well my heart Its magic power has known, And panted to impart The feeling to thine own."

2. "To My Love.
Fondly I love but some strange spell Forbids my tongue its tale to tell, O take this simple gift and feel The love my lips dare not reveal."

3. "A Friendly Wish
May health still clear they beauteous face, And round thy brow may honour twine! And Heaven preserve that bosom's peace, Where meekness, love, and duty join!

For all thy joys shall cheer my heart, And all thy griefs shall give me pain; And never from my soul shall part The love that seeks thy heart to gain."

I also have a Christmas saying I have kept to do something with sometime.

"Now hearts are warm though winds blow cold So say goodbye to sadness For Christmas turns life's grey to gold And fills the world with gladness."

Perhaps if you were to look for a book that was about needlework samplers you could find some more. I have seen some quite special ones, but I guess if you don't write things down, you don't remember!