Careful Words

sympathy (n.)

  Our sympathy is cold to the relation of distant misery.

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794): Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776). Chap. xlix.

True love's the gift which God has given

To man alone beneath the heaven:

It is not fantasy's hot fire,

Whose wishes soon as granted fly;

It liveth not in fierce desire,

With dead desire it doth not die;

It is the secret sympathy,

The silver link, the silken tie,

Which heart to heart and mind to mind

In body and in soul can bind.

Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832): Lay of the Last Minstrel. Canto v. Stanza 13.

There is in souls a sympathy with sounds;

And as the mind is pitch'd the ear is pleased.

With melting airs or martial, brisk or grave;

Some chord in unison with what we hear

Is touch'd within us, and the heart replies.

How soft the music of those village bells

Falling at intervals upon the ear

In cadence sweet!

William Cowper (1731-1800): The Task. Book vi. Winter Walk at Noon. Line 1.