John Mason Good

British writer (1764-1827)

John Mason Good (25 May 1764 – 2 January 1827) was an English writer on medical, religious and classical subjects.

John Mason Good


  • Not worlds on worlds in phalanx deep,
    Need we to prove a God is here;
    The Daisy, fresh from Winter's sleep,
    Tells of his hand in lines as clear.
    • "The Daisy" (c1813), in Olinthus Gregory, Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Character, Literary, Professional, and Religious, of the Late John Mason Good, M.D. (London: Henry Fisher, Son, and Co., 1828), p. 381

The Book of Nature (1826)

The Book of Nature (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1834)
  • The perfection of an art consists in the employment of a comprehensive system of laws, commensurate to every purpose within its scope, but concealed from the eye of the spectator; and in the production of effects that seem to flow forth spontaneously, as though uncontrolled by their influence, and which are equally excellent, whether regarded individually, or in reference to the proposed result.
    • Series I, Lecture IX, p. 93
  • While the language of the lips is fleeting as the breath itself, and confined to a single spot as well as to a single moment, the language of the pen enjoys, in many instances, an adamantine existence, and will only perish amid the ruins of the globe. Before its mighty touch time and space become annihilated; it joins epoch to epoch, and pole to pole.[…] But for this, everything would be doubt, and darkness, and death-shade; all knowledge would be traditionary and all experience local; civilized life would relapse into barbarism, and man would have to run through his little, and comparatively insignificant round of existence, the perpetual sport of ignorance and error, uninstructed by science, unregulated by laws, and unconsoled by Revelation.
    • Series II, Lecture X, pp. 288–289
  • Now, happiness consists in activity: such is the constitution of our nature: it is a running stream and not a stagnant pool.
    • Series III, Lecture VII, p. 392
    • Sometimes cited in shortened form as "Happiness consists in activity; it is a running stream, not a stagnant pool."
  • Taste is that faculty which selects and relishes such combinations of ideas as produce genuine beauty, and rejects the contrary.
    • Series III, Lecture XV, p. 460
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