irony is at times, we may suppose, a merciful alternative to madness

The upshot of the romantic supposition that purpose is incompatible with the freedom of the imagination is a philosophy like that of Nietzsche

Yet even Coleridge admits that there is a certain “nimiety” about the Germans. By this imperfect observance of the law of measure the Germans betray the fact that they are a people still young in civilization

the Catholic does not, like the Rousseauist, confess himself from the housetops

a Scaliger, for all his fastidious selection, remains a colossal pedant

The Freudian … proceeds to develop what may be true of the hysterical degenerate into a complete view of life

Man it has usually been held should think lightly of himself but should have some conviction for which he is ready to die

A man may be a prodigy of energy and yet spiritually indolent

Sainte-Beuve will never, I believe, rank with Boileau in the sureness of his judgments on contemporaries

it is only by criticism that one may determine whether the enthusiast is a man who is moving towards wisdom or is a candidate for Bedlam

Irving Babbitt