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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Culture and Life

1. Aspire to please
2. A Beautiful Extract
3. What makes people what they are
4. Ties that strengthen people

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -

A Beautiful Extract…. It is imagined by many, that wherever they aspire to please, they are required to be merry, and to show the gladness of their souls by flights of pleasantry, and bursts of laughter. But though these men may be for a time heard with applause and admiration, they seldom delight us long. We enjoy them a little, and then return to easiness and good humor; as when the eye gazes a while on an eminence glittering with the sun, but soon turns aching away to verdure and to flowers.


…. A BEAUTIFUL EXTRACT. – The velvet moss grows on sterile rocks; the mistletoe flourishes on the naked branches; the ivy clings to the mouldering ruins; the pine and cedar remain fresh and fadeless amid the mediation of the receding year – and heaven be praised, something green and beautiful to see, and grateful to the soul, will in the darkest hour of fate still twine its tendrils around the crumbling altars and broken arches of the desolate temple of the human heart.


…. It is not what people eat but what they digest, that makes them strong. It is not what they gain, but what they save, that makes them rich. – It is not what they read, but what they remember, that makes them learned. It is not what they profess, but what they practice, that makes them righteous. These are very plain and important truths, too little heeded by gluttons, spendthrifts, bookworms and hypocrites.


…. Every school-boy knows that a kite would not fly unless it had a string tying it down. It is just so in life. The man who is tied down by half a dozen responsibilities, and their mother, will make a higher and stronger flight than the bachelor who, having nothing to keep him steady is always floundering in the mud. If you want to ascend in the world tie yourself to somebody.