Augustine Birrell

From Quotes
The ideas of a time are like the clothes of a season: they are as arbitrary, as much imposed by some superior will which is seldom explicit. They are utilitarian and political, the instruments of smooth-running government.
Wyndham Lewis
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Augustine Birrell (1850-01-191933-11-20) was an English essayist, biographer and politician.


In the Name of the Bodleian, and Other Essays

  • A great library easily begets affection, which may deepen into love.
    • "In the Name of the Bodleian"
  • It is pleasant to be admitted into the birth-chamber of a great idea destined to be translated into action.
    • "In the Name of the Bodleian"
  • Words are women, deeds are men.
    • "In the Name of the Bodleian"
  • Great is bookishness and the charm of books.
    • "Bookworms"
  • Personally, I am dead against the burning of books.
    • "Bookworms"
  • Oh, those scoundrelly Charity Commissioners! […] By the side of these anthropoid apes, the genuine bookworm, the paper-eating insect, ravenous as he once was, has done comparatively little mischief.
    • "Bookworms"
  • There were no books in Eden, and there will be none in heaven;
    • "Gossip in a Library"
  • There are no habits of man more alien to the doctrine of the Communist than those of the collector
    • "Gossip in a Library"
  • It can never be wrong to give pleasure.
    • "Gossip in a Library"


  • An ordinary man can...surround himself with two thousand books..and thenceforward have at least one place in the world in which it is possible to be happy.

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