Queen Victoria did not regard art, letters, or music as in any way springing from national character: they were something quite apart, elegant decorations resembling a scarf or a bracelet, and in no way expressive of the soul of the country.
There is no reason to suppose that taste is in any way a lower sense than the other four; a fine palate is as much a gift as an eye that discerns beauty or an ear that appreciates and enjoys subtle harmonies of sound, and we are quite right to value the pleasures that all our senses give us and educate their perceptions.
Queen Victoria was a woman of peerless common sense; her common sense, which is a rare gift at any time, amounted to genius. She had been brought up by her mother with the utmost simplicity, and she retained it to the end, and conducted her public and private life alike by that infallible guide.
Emotionally, I have no picture-book illustrated with memories of my first five years, but externally, I have impressions that possess a haunting vividness comparable only to the texture of dreams, when dreams are tumultuously alive.
What man is there, surrounded though he be with the love of wife and children, who does not retain a memory of the romantic affection of boys for each other? Having felt it, he could scarcely have forgotten it, and if he never felt it, he missed one of the most golden of the prizes of youth, unrecapturable in mature life.
To most boys with growing limbs and swelling sinews, physical activity is a natural instinct, and there is no need to drive them into the football field or the fives court: they go there because they like it, and there is no need to make games compulsory for them.
All the teaching I had ever received had failed to make me apply such intelligence as I was possessed of, directly and vividly: there had never been any sunshine, as regards language, in the earlier grey days of learning, for the sky had always pelted with gerunds and optatives.
Young gentlemen with literary aspirations usually start a new university magazine, which for wit and pungency is designed to eclipse all such previous efforts, and I was no exception in the matter of this popular gambit.
The greedy man is he who habitually eats too much, knowing that he is injuring his bodily health thereby, and this is a vice to which not the gourmet but the gourmand is a slave.
Taste is one of the five senses, and the man who tells us with priggish pride that he does not care what he eats is merely boasting of his sad deficiency: he might as well be proud of being deaf or blind, or, owing to a perpetual cold in the head, of being devoid of the sense of smell.
Romance is a bird that will not sing in every bush, and love-affairs, however devoted the sentiments that inspire them, are often so business-like in the prudence with which they are conducted, that romance is reduced to a mere croaking or a disgusted silence.
Early impressions are like glimpses seen through the window by night when lightning is about.
Rightly or wrongly, the Victorian considered that there were certain subjects which were not meet for inter-sexual discussion, just as they held that certain processes of the feminine toilet, like the powdering of the nose and the application of lipstick to the mouth, were (if done at all) better done in private.