Quotation by Jonathan Swift

For the rest, whatever we have got has been by infinite labour, and search, and ranging through every corner of nature; the difference is that instead of dirt and poison, we have rather chosen to fill our hives with honey and wax, thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light.
Jonathan Swift (1667–1745), Anglo-Irish satirist. Aesop, in The Battle of the Books (1704).

Aesop, representing the Ancients, likened them to a bee, as opposed to the spider which stood for the Moderns. The phrase "sweetness and light" was taken up by critic Matthew Arnold in Culture and Anarchy, ch. 5 (1869), from which it has passed into general usage.
Surprise me with a
The Columbia World of Quotations © 1996, Columbia University Press.
Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. Except as otherwise permitted by written agreement, the following are prohibited: copying substantial portions or the entirety of the work in machine readable form, making multiple printouts thereof, and other uses of the work inconsistent with U.S. and applicable foreign copyright and related laws.
Copyright ©  2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
About PRIVACY POLICY Terms Careers Advertise with Us Contact Us Suggest a Word Help