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James Wood, comp. Dictionary of Quotations. 1899.


Some of your griefs you have cured, / And the sharpest you still have survived; / But what torments of pain you endured / From evils that never arrived!From the French.

The knowledge of man is an evening knowledge, “vesperina cognitio,” but that of God is a morning knowledge, “matutina cognitio.”From the Schoolmen.

A beautiful form is better than a beautiful face, and a beautiful behaviour than a beautiful form.

A certain tendency to insanity has always attended the opening of the religious sense in men, as if they had been “blasted with excess of light.”

A drop of water has all the properties of water, but it cannot exhibit a storm.

“A few strong instincts and a few plain rules” suffice us.From Wordsworth.

A fly is as untamable as a hyena.

A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere.

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of Nature.

A gentleman makes no noise; a lady is serene.

A great licentiousness treads on the heels of a reformation.

A great man quotes bravely, and will not draw on his invention when his memory serves him with a word as good.

A man in debt is so far a slave.

A man is a golden impossibility.

A man is only a relative and a representative nature.

A man is the façade of a temple wherein all wisdom and all good abide.

A man is the prisoner of his power.

A man must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion.

A man must thank his defects, and stand in some terror of his talents.

A man often pays dear for a small frugality.

A man will not be observed in doing that which he can do best.

A man’s power is hooped in by a necessity, which, by many experiments, he touches on every side until he learns its arc.

A mob is a body voluntarily bereaving itself of reason and traversing its work.

A sage is the instructor of a hundred ages.

A self-denial no less austere than the saint’s is demanded of the scholar.

A simple, manly character need never make an apology.

A society of people will cursorily represent a certain culture, though there is not a gentleman or a lady in the group.

A strenuous soul hates cheap success.

A thrill passes through all men at the reception of a new truth, or at the performance of a great action, which comes out of the heart of nature…. By the necessity of our constitution, a certain enthusiasm attends the individual’s consciousness of that Divine presence.

A world in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Adaptiveness is the peculiarity of human nature.

All healthy things are sweet-tempered.

All mankind love a lover.

All martyrdoms looked mean when they were suffered.

All men honour love, because it looks up, and not down.

All men live by truth, and stand in need of expression.

All minds quote. Old and new make up the warp and woof of every moment.

All nobility in its beginnings was somebody’s natural superiority.

All promise outruns performance.

All that a man has he will give for right relations with his mates.

All the great ages have been ages of belief.

An individual man is a fruit which it cost all the foregoing ages to form and ripen.

Art is a jealous mistress.

Art is the path of the creator to his work.

Art must not be a superficial talent, but must begin further back in man.

As all men have some access to primary truth, so all have some art or power of communication in the head, but only in the artist does it descend into the hand.

As long as any man exists, there is some need of him.

As much virtue as there is, so much appears; as much goodness as there is, so much reverence it commands.

As soon as beauty is sought, not from religion and love, but for pleasure, it degrades the seeker.

As soon as the soul sees any object, it stops before that object.

At the gates of the forest the surprised man of the world is forced to leave his city estimates of great and small, wise and foolish.

Beauty is the pilot of the young soul.

Beauty should be the dowry of every man and woman.

Beauty without expression tires.

Before a leaf-bud has burst, its whole life acts; in the full-blown flower there is no more; in the leafless root there is no less.

Before the immense possibilities of man, all mere experience, all past biography, however spotless and sainted, shrinks away.

Before the revelations of the soul, Time, Space, and Nature shrink away.

Behind every individual closes organisation; before him opens liberty.

Behind us, as we go, all things assume pleasing forms, as clouds do afar off.

Belief and love,—a believing love, will relieve us of a vast load of care.

Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them.

Better be a nettle in the side of your friend than his echo.

Beware of too much good staying in your hand.

Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet.

But from the heart of Nature rolled / The burdens of the Bible old.

By persisting in your path, though you forfeit the little, you gain the great.

Can anybody remember when the times were not hard and money not scarce? or when sensible men, and the right sort of men, and the right sort of women, were plentiful?

Cause and effect are two sides of one fact.

Cause and effect, means and end, seed and fruit, cannot be severed; for the effect already blooms in the cause, the end pre-exists in the means, the fruit in the seed.

Character gives splendour to youth, and awe to wrinkled skin and grey hairs.

Character is a reserved force which acts directly by presence and without means.

Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset.

Character is higher than intellect. Thinking is the function; living is the functionary.

Character teaches over our head, above our wills.

Character wants room; must not be crowded on by persons, nor be judged of from glimpses got in the press of affairs or a few occasions.

Childhood and youth see all the world in persons.

Churches are not built on Christ’s principles, but on His tropes.

Cities force growth, and make men talkative and entertaining, but they make them artificial.

Cities give not the human senses room enough.

Civilisation depends on morality.

Civilisation is the result of highly complex organisation.

Coal is a portable climate.

Columbus discovered no isle or key so lonely as himself.

Commerce is a game of skill, which every one cannot play, which few men can play well.

Commit a crime, and the earth is made of glass.

Common men are apologies for men; they bow the head, excuse themselves with prolix reasons, and accumulate appearances, because the substance is not.

Common souls pay with what they do; nobler souls, with what they are.

Complaining never so loud, and with never so much reason, is of no use.

Concentration is the secret of strength in politics, in war, in trade, in short, in all the management of human affairs.

Condense some daily experience into a glowing symbol, and an audience is electrified.

Conservatism is the pause on the last movement.

Conversation in society is found to be on a platform so low as to exclude science, the saint, and the poet.

Conversation is an art in which a man has all mankind for competitors.

Conversation will not corrupt us if we come to the assembly in our own garb and speech, and with the energy of health to select what is ours and reject what is not.

Converse with a mind that is grandly simple, and literature looks like word-catching.

Courage consists in equality to the problem before us.

Courage of the soldier awakes the courage of woman.

Courage, or the degree of life, is as the degree of circulation of the blood in the arteries.

Crime and punishment grow out of one stem. Punishment is a fruit that, unsuspected, ripens within the flower of the pleasure that concealed it.

Cultivated labour drives out brute labour.

Culture implies all which gives the mind possession of its own powers.

Culture inverts the vulgar views of nature, and brings the mind to call that apparent which it uses to call real, and that real which it uses to call visionary.

Culture must not omit the arming of the man.

Culture, aiming at the perfection of the man as the end, degrades everything else, as health and bodily life, into means.

Curiosity is lying in wait for every secret.

Curses always recoil on the head of him who imprecates them. If you put a chain around the neck of a slave, the other end fastens itself around your own.

Dante was very bad company, and was never invited to dinner.

Deal so plainly with man and woman as to constrain the utmost sincerity and destroy all hope of trifling with you.

Deep insight will always, like Nature, ultimate its thought in a thing.

Defect in manners is usually the defect of fine perception.

Despondency comes readily enough to the most sanguine.

Discontent is the want of self-reliance; it is infirmity of will.

Do not refuse the employment which the hour brings you for one more ambitious.

Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much.

Do what we can, summer will have its flies; if we go a-fishing, we must expect a wet coat.

Do you think the porter and the cook have no anecdotes, no experiences, no wonders for you?

Don’t be a cynic and disconsolate preacher. Don’t bewail and moan. Omit the negative propositions. Nerve us with incessant affirmatives. Don’t waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.

Dream delivers us to dream, and there is no end to illusion.

Each animal out of its habitat would starve.

Each creature is only a modification of the other; the likeness in them is more than the difference, and their radical law is one and the same.

Each man has his own vocation; his talent is his call. There is one direction in which all space is open to him.

Each man sees over his own experience a certain stain of error, whilst that of other men looks fair and ideal.

Each mind has its own method. A true man never acquires after college rules.

Each must stand on his glass tripod, if he would keep his electricity.

Each plant has its parasite, and each created thing its lover and poet.

Each thing is a half, and suggests another thing to make it whole; as spirit, matter; man, woman; odd, even; subjective, objective; in, out; motion, rest; yea, nay.

Education should be as broad as man.

Egotists are the pest of society.

Eloquence is the appropriate organ of the highest personal energy.

Eloquence is the power to translate a truth into language perfectly intelligible to the person to whom you speak.

Eloquence must be grounded on the plainest narrative.

Eloquence shows the power and possibility of man.

English speech, the sea that receives tributaries from every region under heaven.

Ennui shortens life and bereaves the day of its light.

Enthusiasm is the height of man; it is the passing from the human to the divine.

Enthusiasm is the leaping lightning, not to be measured by the horse-power of the understanding.

Envy is ignorance.

Every action is measured by the depth of the sentiment from which it proceeds.

Every advantage has its tax, but there is none on the good of virtue; that is the incoming of God himself, or absolute existence.

Every book is good to read which sets the reader in a working mood.

Every book is written with a constant secret reference to the few intelligent persons whom the writer believes to exist in the million.

Every brave youth is in training to ride and rule his dragon.

Every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly until he knows that every day is Doomsday.

Every evil to which we do not succumb is a benefactor; we gain the strength of the temptation we resist.

Every excess causes a defect; every deficit, an excess. Every sweet has its sour; every evil, its good. Every faculty which is a receiver of pleasure has an equal penalty put on its abuse.

Every experiment, by multitudes or by individuals, that has a sensual and selfish aim, will fail.

Every genius is defended from approach by quantities of unavailableness.

Every genuine work of art has as much reason for being as the earth and the sun.

Every great and commanding movement in the annals of the world is the triumph of enthusiasm.

Every great man is unique.

Every hero becomes a bore at last.

Every heroic act measures itself by its contempt of some external good; but it finds its own success at last, and then the prudent also extol.

Every individual nature has its own beauty.

Every man alone is sincere; at the entrance of a second person, hypocrisy begins.

Every man in his lifetime needs to thank his faults.

Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors.

Every man is an impossibility until he is born; everything impossible till we see it a success.

Every man is exceptional.

Every man is not so much a workman in the world as he is a suggestion of that he should be. Men walk as prophecies of the next age.

Every man ought to have his opportunity to conquer the world for himself.

Every man takes care that his neighbour shall not cheat him.

Every man who would do anything well must come to us from a higher ground.

Every moment instructs, and every object, for wisdom is infused into every form. It has been poured into us as blood; it convulsed us as pain; it slid into us as pleasure.

Every natural action is graceful.

Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact.

Every novel is a debtor to Homer.

Every opinion reacts on him who utters it.

Every shadow points to the sun.

Every ship is a romantic object except that we sail in.

Every spirit builds itself a house, and beyond its house a world, and beyond its world a heaven.

Every spirit makes its house, but afterwards the house confines the spirit.

Every Stoic was a Stoic, but in Christendom where is the Christian?

Every thought that arises in the mind, in its rising aims to pass out of the mind into act; just as every plant, in the moment of generation, struggles up to the light.

Every thought which genius and piety throw into the world alters the world.

Every violation of truth is a stab at the health of society.

Every word was once a poem.

Everything good in man leans on what is higher.

Everything good is on the highway.

Everything in nature contains all the power of nature. Everything is made of one hidden stuff.

Everything in nature goes by law, and not by luck.

Everything in nature has a positive and a negative pole.

Everything is beautiful, seen from the point of the intellect; but all is sour if seen as experience.

Everything runs to excess; every good quality is noxious if unmixed; and to carry the danger to the edge of ruin, Nature causes each man’s peculiarity to superabound.

Everything that is popular deserves the attention of the philosopher; although it may not be of any worth in itself, yet it characterises the people.

Everywhere I am hindered of meeting God in my brother, because he has shut his own temple doors, and recites fables merely of his brother’s or his brother’s brother’s God.

Evil is merely privative, not absolute; it is like cold, which is the privation of heat. All evil is so much death or nonentity.

Eyes are better, on the whole, than telescopes or microscopes.

Eyes speak all languages; wait for no letter of introduction; they ask no leave of age or rank; they respect neither poverty nor riches, neither learning, nor power, nor virtue, nor sex, but intrude and come again, and go through and through you in a moment of time.

Fact is better than fiction, if only we could get it pure.

Faith makes us, and not we it; and faith makes its own forms.

Far or forgot to me is near; / Shadow and sunlight are the same; / The vanished gods to me appear; / And one to me are shame and fear.

Fate follows and limits power; power attends and antagonises fate; we must respect fate as natural history, but there is more than natural history.

Fate is impenetrated causes.

Fate is known to us as limitations.

Fear always springs from ignorance.

Fear is an instructor of great sagacity, and the herald of all revolutions. It has boded, and mowed, and gibbered for ages over government and property.

Fear not, then, thou child infirm; / There’s no god dare wrong a worm.

Few have wealth, but all must have a home.

Few men have any next; they live from hand to mouth without plan, and are ever at the end of their line.

Fine manners need the support of fine manners in others.

Five minutes of to-day are worth as much to me as five minutes in the next millennium.

Flowers and fruits are always fit presents—flowers, because they are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of man.

Foolish legislation is a rope of sand, which perishes in the twisting.

For every grain of wit there is a grain of folly.

For everything you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something.

For faith, and peace, and mighty love / That from the Godhead flow, / Show’d them the life of heaven above / Springs from the earth below.

For he that worketh high and wise, / Nor pauses in his plan, / Will take the sun out of the skies / Ere freedom out of man.

For the world was built in order, / And the atoms march in tune; / Rhyme the pipe, and the Time the warder, / The sun obeys them and the moon.

For what are they all in their high conceit, / When man in the bush with God may meet?

Friends, such as we desire, are dreams and fables.

Friendship should be surrounded with ceremonies and respects, and not crushed into corners.

Friendship, like the immortality of the soul, is too good to be believed.

From time to time in history men are born a whole age too soon.

From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all.

Genius and virtue, like diamonds, are best plain set.

Genius believes its faintest presentiment against the testimony of all history, for it knows that facts are not ultimates, but that a state of mind is the ancestor of everything.

Genius borrows nobly.

Genius counts all its miracles poor and short.

Genius invents fine manners, which the baron and the baroness copy very fast, and, by the advantage of a palace, better the instruction. They stereotype the lesson they have learned into a mode.

Genius is always ascetic, and piety and love.

Genius is always sufficiently the enemy of genius by over-influence.

Genius is religious.

Genius should be the child of genius, and every child should be inspired.

Genius works in sport, and goodness smiles to the last.

Genius, even as it is the greatest good, is the greatest harm.

Give a boy address and accomplishments, and you give him the mastery of palaces and fortunes where he goes.

Give me health and a day, and I will make the pomp of emperors ridiculous.

Give me insight into to-day, and you may have the antique and future worlds…. This idea has inspired the genius of Goldsmith, Burns, Cowper, and, in a newer time, of Goethe, Wordsworth, and Carlyle. Their writing is blood-warm.

God builds His temple in the heart and on the ruins of churches and religions.

God enters by a private door into every individual.

God has delegated Himself to a million deputies.

God may consent, but only for a time.

God offers to every man his choice between truth and repose.

God will not make Himself manifest to cowards.

Good as is discourse, silence is better, and shames it.

Good is a good doctor, but Bad is sometimes better.

Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices.

Good poetry is always personification, and heightens every species of force by giving it a human volition.

Good thoughts are no better than good dreams unless they be executed.

Good writing and brilliant discourse are perpetual allegories.

Good-bye, proud world! I’m going home; Thou art not my friend, and I’m not thine.

Good-nature is stronger than tomahawks.

Government has been a fossil; it should be a plant.

Government should direct poor men what to do.

Governments have their origin in the moral identity of men.

Grace is more beautiful than beauty.

Great causes are never tried on their merits; but the cause is reduced to particulars to suit the size of the partisans, and the contention is ever hottest on minor matters.

Great genial power consists in being altogether receptive.

Great geniuses have always the shortest biographies.

Great is the soul, and plain. It is no flatterer, it is no follower; it never appeals from itself.

Great men are more distinguished by range and extent than by originality.

Great men are sincere.

Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world.

Great men do not content us. It is their solitude, not their force, that makes them conspicuous.

Great men or men of great gifts you will easily find, but symmetrical men never.

Great men, great nations have ever been perceivers of the terror of life, and have manned themselves to face it.

Great wits to madness nearly are allied; / Both serve to make our poverty our pride.

Greatness appeals to the future.

Greatness, once and for ever, has done with opinion.

Greek architecture is the flowering of geometry.

Half a man’s wisdom goes with his courage.

Happy is the hearing man; unhappy the speaking man.

He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear.

He is a great man who inhabits a higher sphere of thought, into which other men rise with labour and difficulty: he has but to open his eyes to see things in a true light and in large relations, while they must make painful corrections, and keep a vigilant eye on many sources of error.

He is a strong man who can hold down his opinion.

He is great who is what he is from nature, and who never reminds us of others.

He is the rich man in whom the people are rich, and he is the poor man in whom the people are poor; and how to give access to the masterpieces of art and nature is the problem of civilisation.

He is the rich man who can avail himself of all men’s faculties.

He only is rich who owns the day.

He that can define, he that can answer a question so as to admit of no further answer, is the best man.

He who does a good deed is instantly ennobled; he who does a mean deed, is by the action itself contracted.

He who loves goodness harbours angels, reveres reverence, and lives with God.

He who travels to be amused, or to get somewhat which he does not carry, travels away from himself, and grows old even in youth among old things.

He whose sympathy goes lowest is the man from whom kings have the most to fear.

He whose word and deed you cannot predict, who answers you without any supplication in his eye, who draws his determination from within, and draws it instantly,—that man rules.

Health is the condition of wisdom, and the sign is cheerfulness—an open and noble temper.

Heroism is an obedience to a secret impulse of an individual’s character.

History is an impertinence and an injury, if it be anything more than a cheerful apologue or parable of my being and becoming.

Hitch your waggon to a star.

Honour is venerable to us because it is no ephemeris.

Hope never spread her golden wings but in unfathomable seas.

Hospitality must be for service, not for show, or it pulls down the host.

How shall a man escape from his ancestors, or draw off from his veins the black drop which he drew from his father’s or his mother’s life?

Human society is made up of partialities.

I am very content with knowing, if only I could know.

I grieve that grief can teach me nothing, nor carry me one step into real nature.

I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent I give to such men as do not belong to me and to whom I do not belong; (but) there is a class of persons to whom, by all spiritual affinity, I am bought and sold; for them I will go to prison if need be.

I had better never see a book than be warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit and made a satellite instead of a system.

I see that sensible men and conscientious men all over the world are of the one religion of well-doing and daring.

I think sculpture and painting have an effect to teach us manners and abolish hurry.

I will divide my goods; / Call in the wretch and slave: / None shall rule but the humble, / And none but toil shall have.

Ideas must work through the brains and arms of good and brave men, or they are no better than dreams.

If a man would be alone, let him look at the stars.

If speculation tends to a terrific unity, in which all things are absorbed, action tends directly backwards to diversity.

If the East loves infinity, the West delights in boundaries.

If the king is in the palace, nobody looks at the walls. It is when he is gone, and the house is filled with grooms and gazers, that we turn from the people to find relief in the majestic men that are suggested by the pictures and the architecture.

If the single man plant himself indomitably on his instincts, and there abide, the huge world will come round to him.

If the tongue had not been formed for articulation, man would still be a beast in the forest.

If we live truly, we shall see truly.

If we saw all the things that really surround us, we should be imprisoned and unable to move.

If you criticise a fine genius, the odds are that you are out of your reckoning, and instead of the poet, are censuring your own caricature of him.

If you would learn to write, it is the street you must learn it in.

Imagination is central; fancy, superficial.

Imitation is suicide.

Immortality will come to such as are fit for it; and he who would be a great soul in future must be a great soul now.

In a good lord there must first be a good animal, at least to the extent of yielding the incomparable advantage of animal spirits.

In all human action, those faculties will be strong which are used.

In an aristocratical institution like England, not trial by jury, but the dinner is the capital institution. It is the mode of doing honour to a stranger to invite him to eat, and has been for many a hundred years.

In eloquence, the great triumphs of the art are when the orator is lifted above himself; when consciously he makes himself the mere tongue of the occasion and the hour, and says what cannot but be said.

In every landscape the point of astonishment is the meeting of the sky and the earth, and that is seen from the first hillock as well as from the top of the Alleghanies.

In failing circumstances no man can be relied on to keep his integrity.

In our fine arts, not imitation, but creation, is the aim.

In religion, the sentiment is all; the ritual or ceremony indifferent.

In science we have to consider two things: power and circumstance.

In self-trust all the virtues are comprehended.

In spite of seeming difference, men are all of one pattern.

In the fog of good and evil affections, it is hard for man to walk forward in a straight line.

Infancy is the perpetual Messiah, which comes into the arms of fallen men, and pleads with them to return to Paradise.

Intellect annuls fate; so far as a man thinks, he is free.

Intellect lies behind genius, which is intellect constructive.

Intellectual tasting of life will not supersede muscular activity.

Invention breeds invention.

Inventions have all been invented over and over fifty times. Man is the arch-machine, of which all these shifts drawn from himself are toy models.

Is not marriage an open question when it is alleged, from the beginning of the world, that such as are in the institution wish to get out, and such as are out wish to get in?

It is a long way from granite to the oyster; farther yet to Plato, and the preaching of the immortality of the soul.

It is a low benefit to give me something; it is a high benefit to enable me to do somewhat of myself.

It is a main lesson of wisdom to know your own from another’s.

It is as difficult to appropriate the thoughts of others as to invent.

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

It is not metre, but metre-making agreement that makes a poem, a thought so passionate and alive, that, like the spirit of a plant or an animal, it has an architect of its own, and adorns nature with a new thing.

It is not propositions, not new dogmas and a logical exposition of the world, that are our first need; but to watch and tenderly cherish the intellectual and moral sensibilities, those fountains of right thought, and woo them to stay and make their home with us.

It is one soul which animates all men.

It is only on reality that any power of action can be based.

It is only the finite that has wrought and suffered; the infinite lies stretched in smiling repose.

It is proof of a high culture to say the greatest matters in the simplest way.

It is so much easier to do what one has done before than to do a new thing, that there is a perpetual tendency to a set mode.

It is the best sign of a great nature, that it opens a foreground, and, like the breath of morning landscapes, invites us onward.

It is the best use of fate to teach a fatal courage.

It is the privilege of every human work which is well done, to invest the doer with a certain haughtiness.

It is the secret of the world that all things subsist, and do not die, but only retire a little from sight, and afterwards return again.

It is time enough to answer questions when they are asked.

It makes a great difference to the force of any sentence whether there be a man behind it or no. In the learned journal, in the influential newspaper, I discern no form; only some irresponsible shadow; oftener some moneyed corporation, or some dangler, who hopes, in the mask and robes of his paragraph, to pass for somebody.

It requires a great deal of boldness and a great deal of caution to make a great fortune, and when you have got it, it requires ten times as much wit to keep it.

Jesus Christ belonged to the true race of prophets. He saw with open eye the mystery of the soul. Drawn by its severe harmony, ravished with its beauty, He lived in it, and had His being there.

Jesus speaks always from within, and in a degree that transcends all others. In that is the miracle.

Justice is not postponed. A perfect equality adjusts its balance in all parts of life.

Justice satisfies everybody, and justice alone.

Kings are said to have long arms; but every man should have long arms, and should pluck his living, his instruments, his power, and his knowing from the sun, moon, and stars.

Knowledge exists to be imparted.

Knowledge is the knowing that we cannot know.

Language at its infancy is all poetry.

Language is always wise.

Law it is which is without name, or colour, or hands, or feet; which is smallest of the least, and largest of the large; all, and knowing all things; which hears without ears, sees without eyes, moves without feet, and seizes without hands.

Leave to the diamond its ages to grow, nor expect to accelerate the births of the eternal.

Let a man believe in God, and not in names, places, and persons.

Let not the emphasis of hospitality lie in bed and board; but let truth and love and honour and courtesy flow in all thy deeds.

Let us approach our friend with an audacious trust in the truth of his heart, in the breadth, impossible to be overturned, of his foundations.

Let us be poised, and wise, and our own to-day.

Let us be silent, for so are the gods.

Let us enjoy the cloven flame whilst it glows on our walls.

Liberty is a slow fruit. It is never cheap; it is made difficult because freedom is the accomplishment and perfectness of man.

Life has no memory.

Life is a fortress which neither you nor I know anything about. Why throw obstacles in the way of its defence? Its own means are superior to all the apparatus of your laboratories.

Life is a scale of degrees. Between rank and rank of our great men are wide intervals.

Life is a search after power; and this is an element with which the world is so saturated—there is no chink or crevice in which it is not lodged—that no honest seeking goes unrewarded.

Life is a series of surprises, and would not be worth taking or keeping if it were not.

Life is a sincerity. In lucid intervals we say, “Let there be an entrance opened for me into realities; I have worn the fool’s cap too long.”

Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood. All is riddle, and the key to a riddle is another riddle.

Life is freedom—life in the direct ratio of its amount…. The smallest candle fills a mile with its rays, and the pupillæ of a man run out to every star.

Life is girt all round with a zodiac of sciences, the contributions of men who have perished to add their point of light to our sky…. These road-makers on every hand enrich us. We must extend the area of life and multiply our relations. We are as much gainers by finding a property in the old earth as by acquiring a new planet.

Life is made up, not of knowledge only, but of love also…. The hues of sunset make life great; so the affections make some little web of cottage and fireside populous, important.

Life is not intellectual or critical, but sturdy. Its chief good is for well-mixed people, who can enjoy what they find without question.

Life is not long enough for art, not long enough for friendship.

Life is not so short but there is always time enough for courtesy.

Life is too short to waste / In critic peep or cynic bark, / Quarrel or reprimand; / ’Twill soon be dark.

Life itself is a bubble and a scepticism, and a sleep within a sleep.

Life must be lived on a higher plane. We must go up to a higher platform, to which we are always invited to ascend; there the whole aspect of things changes.

Life only avails, not the having lived.

Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live.

Limitations refine as the soul purifies, but the ring of necessity is always perched at the top.

Looking where others looked, and conversing with the same things, we catch the charm which lured them.

Love is blind, and the figure of Cupid is drawn with a bandage round his eyes. Blind: yes, because he does not see what he does not like; but the sharpest-sighted hunter in the universe is Love for finding what he seeks, and only that.

Love is omnipresent in nature as motive and reward.

Love is strongest in pursuit, friendship in possession.

Love, and you shall be loved. All love is mathematically just, as much as the two sides of an algebraic equation.

Love, which is the essence of God, is not for levity, but for the total worth of man.

Make yourself necessary to the world, and mankind will give you bread.

Make yourselves necessary to somebody.

Man cannot be a naturalist, until he satisfies all the demands of the spirit.

Man is a stream whose source is hidden.

Man is but a little thing in the midst of the objects of nature, yet, by the moral quality radiating from his countenance, he may abolish all considerations of magnitude, and, in his manners, equal the majesty of the world.

Man is explicable by nothing less than all his history.

Man is man by virtue of willing, not by virtue of knowing and understanding; and as he is, so he sees.

Man is man only as he makes life and nature happier to us.

Man is more often injured than helped by the means he uses.

Man is physically as well as metaphysically a thing of shreds and patches, borrowed unequally from good and bad ancestors, and a misfit from the start.

Man is that noble endogenous plant which grows, like the palm, from within outward.

Man is the arch-machine of which all these shifts drawn from himself are toy models. He helps himself on each emergency by copying or duplicating his own structure, just so far as the need is.

Man is the dwarf of himself.

Man is the whole encyclopedia of facts. The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn; and Egypt, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Britain, America, lie enfolded already in the first man.

Man is the will and woman is the sentiment. In this ship of humanity, Will is the rudder and Sentiment the sail; when woman affects to steer, the rudder is only a masked sail.

Man’s life is a progress, and not a station.

Man, made of the dust of the world, does not forget his origin; and all that is yet inanimate will one day speak and reason.

Man, never so often deceived, still watches for the arrival of a brother who can hold him steady to a truth until he has made it his own.

Mankind at large alway resemble frivolous children; they are impatient of thought, and wish to be amused.

Manners are the happy ways of doing things; each once a stroke of genius or of love, now repeated and hardened into a usage.

Masses are rude, lame, unmade, pernicious in their demands and influence, and need not to be flattered, but to be schooled.

Men are content to be brushed like flies from the path of a great person, so that justice shall be done by him to that common nature which it is the dearest desire of all to see enlarged and glorified.

Men are not leaning willows, but can and must detach themselves.

Men are respectable only as they respect.

Men are what their mothers made them.

Men are wiser than they know.

Men cease to interest us when we find their limitations.

Men descend to meet.

Men have come to speak of the revelation as somewhat long ago given and done, as if God were dead.

Men in all ways are better than they seem.

Men learn behaviour, as they take diseases, one of another.

Men of God have always, from time to time, walked among men, and made their commission felt in the heart and soul of the commonest hearer.

Men of great gifts you will easily find, but symmetrical men never.

Men of sense esteem wealth to be the assimilation of nature to themselves, the converting of the sap and juices of the planet to the incarnation and nutriment of their design.

Men only rightly know themselves as far as they have experimented on things.

Men run away to other countries because they are not good in their own, and run back to their own because they pass for nothing in the new places.

Men who know the same things are not long the best company for each other.

Men’s actions are too strong for them. Show me a man who has acted, and who has not been the victim and slave of his action.

Money often costs too much.

Moral qualities rule the world, but at short distances the senses are despotic.

Morals are generated as the atmosphere is. ’Tis a secret the genesis of either; but the springs of justice and courage do not fail any more than salt or sulphur springs.

Most men and most women are merely one couple more.

Most natures are insolvent; cannot satisfy their own wants, have an ambition out of all proportion to their practical force, and so do lean and beg day and night continually.

Music is the poor man’s Parnassus.

“My hand,” said Napoleon, “is immediately connected with my head,” but the sacred courage is connected with the heart.

My joy in friends, those sacred people, is my consolation.

My perception of a fact is as much a fact as the sun.

Mysticism consists in the mistake of an accidental and individual symbol for a universal one.

Nature always speaks of spirit.

Nature always wears the colours of the spirit. To a man labouring under calamity the heat of his own fire hath sadness in it.

Nature and books belong to the eyes that see them. It depends on the mood of the man whether he shall see the sunset or the fine poem.

Nature cannot be surprised in undress. Beauty breaks in everywhere.

Nature does not cocker us; we are children, not pets; she is not fond; everything is dealt to us without fear or favour, after severe, universal laws.

Nature does not like to be observed, and likes that we should be her fools and playmates.

Nature is a frugal mother, and never gives without measure.

Nature is a mutable cloud, which is always and never the same.

Nature is a vast trope, and all particular natures are tropes.

Nature is despotic, and will not be fooled or abated of any jot of her authority by the pertest of her sons.

Nature is full of freaks, and now puts an old head on young shoulders, and then a young heart beating under fourscore winters.

Nature is good, but intellect is better, as the lawgiver is before the law-receiver.

Nature is no spendthrift, but takes the shortest way to her ends.

Nature is not fixed, but fluid; spirit alters, moulds, makes it.

Nature is the best posture-master.

Nature is the immense shadow of man.

Nature knows how to convert evil to good; Nature utilises misers, fanatics, showmen, egotists to accomplish her ends; but we must not think better of the foible for that.

Nature never hurries; atom by atom, little by little, she achieves her work.

Nature never sends a great man into the planet without confiding the secret to another soul.

Nature stretches out her arms to embrace man; only let his thoughts be of equal greatness.

Nature suffers nothing to remain in her kingdom which cannot help itself.

Nature transcends all our moods of thought, and its secret we do not yet find.

Nature trips us up when we strut.

Nature will not be Buddhist; she resents generalising, and insults the philosopher in every moment with a million of fresh particulars.

Nature works on the method of all for each and each for all.

Nature works very hard, and only hits the white once in a million throws. In mankind, she is contented if she yields one master in a century.

Necessity does everything well.

Next to the originator of a good sentence is the first quoter of it.

No chair is so much wanted (in our colleges) as that of a professor of books.

No fact in nature but carries the whole sense of nature.

No greater men are now than ever were.

No law can be finally sacred to me but the law of my own nature.

No man can antedate his experience.

No man can learn what he has not preparation for learning, however near to his eyes the object may be.

No man can quite emancipate himself from his age and country, or produce a model in which the education, the religion, the politics, the usages, and the arts of his times shall have no share.

No man ever prayed heartily without learning something.

No man ever stated his griefs as lightly as he might.

No man has a prosperity so high and firm but two or three words can dishearten it.

No man is quite sane; each has a slight determination of blood to the head, to make sure of holding him hard to some one point which Nature has taken to heart.

“No man,” said Pestalozzi, “in God’s wide universe, is either willing or able to help any other man.” Help must come from the bosom alone.

No matter how much faculty of idle seeing a man has, the step from knowing to doing is rarely taken.

No orator can measure in effect with him who can give good nicknames.

No people at the present day can be explained by their national religion. They do not feel responsible for it; it lies far outside of them.

No power of genius has ever yet had the smallest success in explaining existence.

No sensible person ever made an apology.

None of those who own the land own the landscape; only he whose eye can integrate all the parts, that is, the poet.

None of us can wrong the universe.

Not in nature, but in man is all the beauty and the worth he sees. The world is very empty, and is indebted to this gilding, exalting soul for its pride.

Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.

Nothing can be preserved but what is good.

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself; nothing, but the triumph of principles.

Nothing done by man in the past has any deeper sense than what he is doing now.

Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve yourself to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world.

Nothing is fair or good alone.

Nothing is impossible to the man who can will.

Nothing is more deeply punished than the neglect of the affinities by which alone society should be formed, and the insane levity of choosing associates by others’ eyes.

Nothing is more disgusting than the crowing about liberty by slaves.

Nothing is more vulgar than haste.

Nothing is of any value in books excepting the transcendental and extraordinary.

Nothing is old but the mind.

Nothing is quite beautiful alone; nothing but is beautiful in the whole.

Novels are the journal or record of manners; and the new importance of these books derives from the fact that the novelist begins to penetrate the surface, and treat this part of life more worthily.

Obedience alone gives the right to command.

On the brink of the waters of life and truth we are miserably dying.

One man’s justice is another man’s injustice; one man’s beauty, another’s ugliness; one man’s wisdom, another’s folly; as one beholds the same objects from a higher point.

Oneness and otherness. It is impossible to speak or think without embracing both.

Only an inventor knows how to borrow, and every man is, or should be, an inventor.

Only such persons interest us, Spartans, Romans, Saracens, English, Americans, who have stood in the jaws of need, and have by their own wit and might extricated themselves, and made man victorious.

Only that good profits which we can taste with all doors open, and which serves all men.

Only that is poetry which purifies and mans me.

Only those books come down which deserve to last.

Oracles speak.

Other men are lenses through which we read our own minds.

Our admiration of the antique is not admiration of the old, but of the natural.

Our affections are but tents of a night.

Our best history is still poetry.

Our best thoughts come from others.

Our books are false by being fragmentary; the sentences are “bon mots,” and not parts of natural discourse; childish expressions of surprise or pleasure in nature—or worse.

Our chief experiences have been casual.

Our chief want in life is somebody who shall make us do what we can.

Our delight in reason degenerates into idolatry of the herald.

Our dissatisfaction with any other solution is the blazing evidence of immortality.

Our domestic service is usually a foolish fracas of unreasonable demand on the one side and striking on the other.

Our expense is almost all for conformity.

Our high respect for a well-read man is praise enough of literature.

Our life might be much easier and simpler than we make it.

Our poets are men of talents who sing, and not the children of music.

Our religion assumes the negative form of rejection. Out of love of the true, we repudiate the false; and the religion is an abolishing criticism.

Our social forms are very far from truth and equity.

Our spontaneous action is always the best.

Our temperaments differ in capacity of heat, or we boil at different degrees.

Our thinking is a pious reception.

Our torment is unbelief, the uncertainty as to what we ought to do, the distrust of the value of what we do, and the distrust that the necessity which we all at last believe in is fair and beneficial.

Out of Plato come all things that are still written and debated about among men of thought.

Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring.

Persons are love’s world, and the coldest philosopher cannot recount the debt of the young soul, wandering here in nature to the power of love, without being tempted to unsay, as treasonable to nature, aught derogatory to the social instincts.

Persons of fine manners make behaviour the first sign of force,—behaviour, and not performance, or talent, or, much less, wealth.

Poem (a) is a thought so passionate and alive, that, like the spirit of a plant or an animal, it has an architecture of its own, and adorns nature with a new thing.

Poetry is faith.

Poetry is inestimable as a lonely faith, a lonely protest in the uproar of atheism.

Poetry is the only verity, the expression of a sound mind speaking after the ideal, and not after the apparent.

Poetry is the perpetual endeavour to express the spirit of the thing; to pass the brute body, and search the life and reason which cause it to exist; to see that the object is always flowing away, whilst the spirit or necessity which causes it subsists.

Poets are liberating gods; they are free and make free.

Poets are natural sayers, sent into the world for the end of expression.

Poets should be lawgivers; that is, the boldest lyric inspiration should not chide and insult, but should announce and lead the civil code, the day’s work.

Politics is a deleterious profession, like some poisonous handicrafts.

Poverty consists in feeling poor.

Poverty demoralises.

Power is according to quality, not quantity. How much more are men than nations?

Prayer is a study of truth,—a sally of the soul into the unfound infinite.

Prayer that craves a particular commodity, anything less than all good, is vicious. As a means to effect a private end, it is meanness and theft.

Preaching is the expression of the moral sentiment in application to the duties of life.

Profligacy consists not in spending years of time or chests of money, but in spending them off the line of your career.

Proud people are intolerably selfish, and the vain are gentle and giving.

Proverbs, like the sacred books of each nation, are the sanctuary of the intuitions.

Providence has a wild, rough, incalculable road to its end; and it is no use to try to whitewash its huge, mixed instrumentalities, to dress up that terrific benefactor in a clean shirt and white neckcloth of a student in divinity.

Prudence is the virtue of the senses, the science of appearances, the outmost action of the inward life, God taking thought for oxen.

Quotation confesses inferiority.

Reading for the sense (in Shakespeare’s plays) will best bring out the rhythm.

Real action is in silent moments.

Reform is affirmative, conservatism negative; conservatism goes for comfort, reform for truth.

Religion cannot rise above the state of the votary. Heaven always bears some proportion to earth.

Religion must always be a crab fruit; it cannot be grafted and keep its wild beauty.

Religion or worship is the attitude of those who see that, against all appearances, the nature of things works for truth and right for ever.

Repose and cheerfulness are the badge of the gentleman—repose in energy. The Greek battle-pieces are calm; the heroes, in whatever violent actions engaged, retain a serene aspect.

Right ethics are central, and go from the soul outward. Gift is contrary to the law of the universe.

Right is more beautiful than private affection, and is compatible with universal wisdom.

Rightly, poetry is organic. We cannot know things by words and writing, but only by taking a central position in the universe and living in its forms.

Sacred courage indicates that a man loves an idea better than all things in the world; that he is aiming neither at self nor comfort, but will venture all to put in act the invisible thought in his mind.

Saints are sad, because they behold sin (even when they speculate) from the point of view of the conscience, and not of the intellect.

Scepticism is the attitude assumed by the student in relation to the particulars which society adores; but which he sees to be reverent only in their tendency and spirit.

Scepticism is unbelief in cause and effect.

Science always goes abreast with the just elevation of the man, keeping step with religion and metaphysics; or, the state of science is an index of our self-knowledge.

Science corrects the old creeds … and necessitates a faith commensurate with the grander orbits and universal laws which it discloses.

Science does not know its debt to imagination.

Sculpture and painting have an effect to teach us manners and abolish hurry.

Self-trust is the essence of heroism.

Self-trust is the first secret of success.

Serve the great; stick at no humiliation; grudge no office thou canst render; be the limb of their body, the breath of their mouth; compromise thy egotism.

Shakespeare carries us to such a lofty strain of intelligent activity as to suggest a wealth that beggars his own; and we then feel that the splendid works which he has created, and which in other hours we extol as a sort of self-existent poetry, have no stronger hold of real nature than the shadow of a passing traveller on the rock.

Shakespeare made his Hamlet as a bird weaves its nest.

Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances…. Strong men believe in cause and effect.

Silence is a solvent that destroys personality, and gives us leave to be great and universal.

Sin seen from the thought is a diminution or loss; seen from the conscience or will, it is a pravity or bad.

Skill to do comes of doing; knowledge comes by eyes always open, and working hands; and there is no knowledge that is not power.

Sleep lingers all our lifetime about our eyes, as night hovers all day in the boughs of the fir-tree.

Small-pot-soon-hot style of eloquence is what our county conventions often exhibit.

So far as a man thinks he is free.

So much of our time is preparation, so much is routine, and so much retrospect, that the pith of each man’s genius contracts itself to a very few hours.

So nigh is grandeur to our dust, / So near is God to man, / When Duty whispers low, “Thou must,” / The youth replies, “I can!”

Society always consists, in greatest part, of young and foolish persons.

Society cannot do without cultivated men. As soon as the first wants are satisfied, the higher wants become imperative.

Society does not like to have any breath of question blown on the existing order.

Society does not love its unmaskers.

Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members.

Society is a masked ball, where every one hides his real character, and reveals it by hiding.

Society is a troop of thinkers, and the best heads among them take the best places.

Society is a wave. The wave moves onward, but the water of which it is composed does not…. Its unity is only phenomenal.

Society is barbarous, until every industrious man can get his living without dishonest customs.

Society is full of infirm people, who incessantly summon others to serve them. They contrive everywhere to exhaust for their single comfort the entire means and appliances of that luxury to which our invention has yet attained.

Society is infected with rude, cynical, restless, and frivolous persons, who prey upon the rest, and whom no public opinion concentrated into good manners, forms accepted by the sense of all, can reach.

Society is servile from want of will, and therefore the world wants saviours and religions.

Society will pardon much to genius and special gifts; but, being in its nature conventional, it loves what is conventional.

Society wishes to be amused. I do not wish to be amused. I wish that life should not be cheap, but sacred; the days to be as centuries, loaded, fragrant.

Solitude is impracticable, and society fatal.

Solitude, the safeguard of mediocrity, is to genius the stern friend, the cold, obscure shelter where moult the wings that will bear it farther than suns and stars. He who would inspire and lead his race must be defended from travelling with the souls of other men, from living, breathing, reading, and writing in the daily time-worn yoke of their opinions.

Some men, at the approach of a dispute, neigh like horses. Unless there be an argument going on, they think nothing is doing.

Some talkers excel in the precision with which they formulate their thoughts, so that you get from them somewhat to remember; others lay criticism asleep by a charm.

Something is wanting to science until it has been humanised.

Speak the truth, and all nature and all spirits help you with unexpected furtherance; all things alive or brute are vouchers, and the very roots of the grass underground there do seem to stir and move to bear you witness.

Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel. It is to bring another out of his bad sense into your good sense.

Spirit is the creator. Spirit hath life in itself. And man in all ages and countries embodies it in his language as the Father.

Sport is the bloom and glow of perfect health.

Steam is no stronger now than it was a hundred years ago, but it is put to better use.

Sunday is the core of our civilisation, dedicated to thought and reverence.

Surely nobody would be a charlatan who could afford to be sincere.

Susceptibility to one class of influences, the selection of what is fit for him, the rejection of what is unfit, determines for a man the character of the universe.

Talent alone cannot make a writer. There must be a man behind the book.

That is always best which gives me to myself.

That is the best part of each writer which has nothing private in it.

That which builds is better than that which is built.

That which each man can do best, not but his Maker can teach him.

That which the droning world, chained to appearances, will not allow the realist to say in his own words, it will suffer him to say in proverbs without contradiction.

That which we do not believe we cannot adequately say, though we may repeat the words never so often.

That which, intellectually considered, we call Reason, considered in relation to nature we call Spirit.

The accepted and betrothed lover has lost the wildest charms of his maiden in her acceptance of him. She was heaven whilst he pursued her as a star—she cannot be heaven if she stoops to such a one as he.

The atmosphere of moral sentiment is a region of grandeur which reduces all material magnificence to toys, yet opens to every wretch that has reason the doors of the universe.

The basis of good manners is self-reliance.

The beautiful rests on the foundation of the necessary.

The best son is not enough a son.

The book of Nature is the book of Fate.

The borrower runs in his own debt.

The castle which Conservatism is set to defend is the actual state of things, good and bad.

The centuries are conspirators against the sanity and authority of the soul.

The cheapness of man is every day’s tragedy.

The city is recruited from the country.

The conscious utterance of thought by speech or action, to any end, is art.

The core will come to the surface.

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn; and Egypt, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Britain, America, lie folded already in the first man.

The cure for false theology is mother wit.

The danger of dangers is illusion.

The day of days … is the day on which the inward eye opens to the unity of things, to the omnipresence of law—sees that what is must be, and ought to be, or is the best.

The democrat is a young conservative; the conservative is an old democrat.

The disease with which the human mind now labours is want of faith.

The emphasis of facts and persons has nothing to do with time.

The entire system of things gets represented in every particle.

The essence of friendship is entireness, a total magnanimity and trust.

The essence of greatness is the perception that virtue is enough. Poverty is its ornament. It does not need plenty, and can very well abide its loss.

The essence or peculiarity of man is to comprehend a whole.

The experience of each new age requires a new confession, and the world seems always waiting for its poet.

The eye is easily daunted.

The eye is the best of artists.

The eye repeats every day the first eulogy on things: “He saw that they were very good.”

The faith that stands on authority is not faith.

The fatal trait (of the times) is the divorce between religion and morality.

The field cannot be well seen from within the field. The astronomer must have his diameter of the earth’s orbit as a base to fix the parallax of any other star.

The first period of a nation, as of an individual, is the period of unconscious strength.

The first wealth is health. Sickness is poor-spirited, and cannot serve any one; it must husband its resources to live. But health or fulness answers its own ends, and has to spare, runs over, and inundates the neighbourhoods and creeks of other men’s necessities.

The foundations of man are not in matter, but in spirit.

The genius of light is friendly to the noble, and, in the dark, brings them friends from afar.

The gods are on the side of the strongest.

The gods of fable are the shining moments of great men.

The Gothic cathedral is a blossoming in stone subdued by the insatiable demand of harmony in man.

The great facts are the near ones.

The great make us feel, first of all. the indifference of circumstances.

The great man is he who, in the midst of the crowd, keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

The greatest genius is the most indebted man.

The greatest man in history was the poorest.

The greatest success is confidence, or perfect understanding between sincere people.

The head is a half, a fraction, until it is enlarged and inspired by the moral sentiments.

The heavenly powers never go out of their road.

The highest heaven of wisdom is alike near from every point, and thou must find it, if at all, by methods native to thyself alone.

The history of persecution is a history of endeavours to cheat Nature, to make water run uphill, to twist a rope of sand. It makes no difference whether the actors be many or one, a tyrant or a mob.

The history of reforms is always identical; it is the comparison of the idea with the fact.

The hours should be instructed by the ages, and the ages explained by the hours.

The household is the home of the man as well as of the child.

The imbecility of men is always inviting the impudence of power.

The intelligent have a right over the ignorant; namely, the right of instructing them.

The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.

The key to every man is his thought. Sturdy and defying though he look, he has a helm which he obeys.

The less a man thinks or knows about his virtues the better we like him.

The less we have to do with our sins the better.

The light by which we see in this world comes out from the soul of the observer.

The longest wave is quickly lost in the sea.

The lover has more senses and finer senses than others.

The lyric poet may drink wine and live generously, but the epic poet, who shall sing of the gods and their descent unto men, must drink water out of a wooden bowl.

The main enterprise of the world for splendour, for extent, is the upbuilding of a man.

The man is only half himself, the other half is his expression.

The man that stands by himself, the universe stands also.

The man who works at home helps society at large with somewhat more of certainty than he who devotes himself to charities.

The mark of the man of the world is absence of pretension. He does not make a speech; he takes a low business-tone, avoids all brag, is nobody, dresses plainly, promises not at all, performs much, speaks in monosyllables, hugs his fact. He calls his employment by its lowest name, and so takes from evil tongues their sharpest weapon.

The measure of a master is his success in bringing all men round to his opinion twenty years later.

The mind goes antagonising on, and never prospers but by fits.

The mind that made the world is not one mind, but the mind.

The mixtures of spiritual chemistry refuse to be analysed.

The more profound the thought, the more burdensome.

The most advanced nations are always those who navigate the most.

The multitude have no habit of self-reliance or original action.

The near explains the far.

The night is for the day, but the day is not for the night.

The one prudence in life is concentration.

The one thing of value in the world is the active soul.

The only gift is a portion of thyself.

The only serious and formidable thing in Nature is will.

The only sin which we never forgive in each other is difference of opinion.

The only teller of news is the poet.

The only thing grief has taught me is to know how shallow it is.

The only way to have a friend is to be one.

The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.

The path of things is silent.

The pest of society is egotists. There are dull and bright, sacred and profane, coarse and fine egotists. It is a disease that, like influenza, falls on all constitutions.

The philosophy of six thousand years has not searched the chambers and magazines of the soul.

The plenty of the poorest place is too great; the harvest cannot be gathered.

The poet must believe in his poetry. The fault of our popular poetry is that it is not sincere.

The poor are only they who feel poor.

The population of the world is a conditional population; not the best, but the best that could live now.

The punishment which the wise suffer, who refuse to take part in the government, is to live under the government of worse men.

The ray of light passes invisible through space, and only when it falls on an object is it seen.

The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next.

The religions of the world are the ejaculations of a few imaginative men.

The religions we call false were once true. They also were affirmations of the conscience correcting the evil customs of their times.

The revelation of thought takes man out of servitude into freedom.

The riddle of the age has for each a private solution.

The sea tosses and foams to find its way up to the cloud and wind.

The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil.

The secret of success in society is a certain heartiness and sympathy.

The secrets of life are not shown except to sympathy and likeness.

The sign of the poet is that he announces what no man foretold.

The sole terms on which the past can become ours are its subordination to the present.

The soul knows no persons.

The soul may be trusted to the end.

The soul’s emphasis is always right.

The spirit only can teach.

The State must follow, and not lead, the character and progress of the citizen.

The street is full of humiliations to the proud.

The student is to read history actively and not passively; to esteem his own life the text, and books the commentary. Thus compelled, the muse of history will utter oracles as never to those who do not respect themselves.

The sweetest music is not in the oratorio, but in the human voice when it speaks from its instant life tones of tenderness, truth, or courage.

The test or measure of poetic genius is to read the poetry of affairs, to fuse the circumstance of to-day.

The thing done avails, and not what is said about it.

The thought is always prior to the fact; all the facts of history pre-exist in the mind as laws.

The Times are the masquerade of the Eternities; trivial to the dull, tokens of noble and majestic agents to the wise.

The torments of martyrdoms are probably most keenly felt by the bystanders.

The true preacher can be known by this, that he deals out to the people his life—life passed through the fire of thought.

The universe has three children, born at one time … called cause, operation, and effect, or, theologically, the Father, the Spirit, and the Son. These three are equal … and each has the power of the others latent in him.

The universe stands by him who stands by himself.

The vice of our housekeeping is that it does not hold man sacred.

The victories of character are instant, and victories for all.

The visible creation is the terminus or the circumference of the invisible world.

The walking of man and all animals is a falling forward.

The way to mend the bad world is to create the right world.

The whole course of things goes to teach us faith.

The whole economy of nature is bent on expression.

The whole interest of history lies in the fortunes of the poor.

The whole of chivalry and of heraldry is in courtesy.

The wise through excess of wisdom is made a fool.

The wisest doctor is gravelled by the inquisitiveness of a child.

The world exists for the education of each man.

The world is nothing; the man is all.

The world is upheld by the veracity of good men; they make the earth wholesome.

The world still wants its poet-priest, who shall not trifle with Shakespeare, the player, nor shall grope in graves with Swedenborg, the mourner; but who shall see, speak, and act with equal inspiration.

The world throws its life into a hero or a shepherd, and puts him where he is wanted. Dante and Columbus were Italians in their time; they would be Russians or Americans to-day.

The world-spirit is a good swimmer, and storms and waves cannot drown him.

There are faces so fluid with expression that we can hardly find what the mere features are.

There are no fixtures in Nature. The universe is fluid and volatile.

There can be no excess to love, none to knowledge, none to beauty, when these attributes are considered in the purest sense.

There is a crack in everything God has made.

There is a power over and behind us, and we are the channels of its communication.

There is a property in the horizon which no man has but he whose eye can integrate all the parts—that is, the poet.

There is a remedy for every wrong, and a satisfaction for every soul.

There is a tendency in things to right themselves.

There is a third silent party to all our bargains. The nature and soul of things takes on itself the guarantee of the fulfilment of every contract, so that honest service cannot come to loss.

There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance.

There is always room for a man of force, and he makes room for many.

There is genius of a nation, which is not to be found in the citizen, but which characterises the society.

There is never a beginning, there is never an end, to the inexplicable continuity of the web of God, but always circular power returning into itself.

There is no den in the wide world to hide a rogue. Commit a crime, and the earth is made of glass.

There is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning.

There is no great and no small / To the soul that maketh all; / And where it cometh, all things are; / And it cometh everywhere.

There is no more welcome gift to men than a new symbol.

There is no object so foul that intense light will not make beautiful. And the stimulus it affords to the sense, and a sort of infinitude which it hath like space and time, make all matter gay.

There is no one who does not exaggerate.

There is no pure malignity in nature.

There is no thought in any mind, but it quickly tends to convert itself into a power, and organises a huge instrumentality of means.

There is not yet any inventory of man’s faculties.

There is nothing capricious in nature.

There is nothing to which man is not related.

There is power over and behind us, and we are the channels of its communication.

There is properly no history, only biography.

There is something not solid in the good that is done for us.

There must be a man behind a book.

There never was so great a thought labouring in the breasts of men as now.

There will always be a government of force where men are selfish.

They are not kings who sit on thrones, but they who know how to govern.

They only should own who can administer.

They only who build on ideas build for eternity.

Things have their laws as well as men; and things refuse to be trifled with.

Thinking is the function; living is the functionary.

This ever-renewing generation of appearances rests on a reality, and a reality that is alive.

This one fact the world hates—that the soul becomes.

This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but knew what to do with it.

This world belongs to the energetic.

Though the world exists for thought, thought is daunted in presence of the world.

Thought is the property of him who can entertain it, and of him who can adequately place it.

Thought is the seed of action; but action is as much its second form as thought is its first. It rises in thought, to the end that it may be uttered and acted. The more profound the thought, the more burdensome. Always in proportion to the depth of its sense does it knock importunately at the gates of the soul, to be spoken, to be done.

Thought takes man out of servitude into freedom.

Thoughts come into our minds by avenues which we never left open, and thoughts go out of our minds through avenues which we never voluntary opened.

Time dissipates to shining ether the solid angularity of facts.

’Tis an economy of time to read old and famed books.

’Tis little we can do for each other.

’Tis the fine souls who serve us, and not what is called fine society.

’Tis the fulness of man that runs over into objects, and makes his Bibles and Shakespeares and Homers so great.

’Tis the good reader that makes the good book; a good head cannot read amiss; in every book he finds passages which seem confidences, or asides, hidden from all else and unmistakably meant for his ear.

’Tis the old secret of the gods that they come in low disguises. ’Tis the vulgar great who come dizened with gold and jewels.

To answer a question so as to admit of no reply, is the test of a man.

To be great is to be misunderstood.

To be rich is to have a ticket of admission to the master-works and chief men of each race.

To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men—that is genius.

To educate the wise man, the State exists; and with the appearance of the wise man, the State expires. The wise man is the State.

To fill the hour, that is happiness.

To think is to act.

To those to whom we owe affection, let us be dumb until we are strong, though we should never be strong.

Tobacco and opium have broad backs, and will cheerfully carry the load of armies, if you choose to make them pay high for such joy as they give and such harm as they do.

To-day is a king in disguise.

Travelling is a fool’s paradise.

True fortitude of understanding consists in not letting what we know be embarrassed by what we do not know.

True wit never made us laugh.

Trust instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.

Trust men, and they will be true to you; treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great.

Trust thyself; every heart vibrates to that iron string.

Truth is too simple for us; we do not like those who unmask our illusions.

Two may talk and one may hear, but three cannot take part in a conversation of the most sincere and searching sort.

Unpublished nature will have its whole secret told.

Use makes a better soldier than the most urgent considerations of duty—familiarity with danger enabling him to estimate the danger. He sees how much is the risk, and is not afflicted with imagination; knows practically Marshal Saxe’s rule, that every soldier killed costs the enemy his weight in lead.

Valour consists in the power of self-recovery.

Virtue is the adherence in action to the nature of things, and the nature of things makes it prevalent. It consists in a perpetual substitution of being for seeming, and with sublime propriety God is described as saying, I AM.

War disorganises, but it is to re-organise.

We acquire the strength we have overcome. Without war, no soldier; without enemies, no hero. The sun were insipid if the universe were not opaque.

We are all richer for the measurement of a degree of latitude on the earth’s surface.

We are as much informed of a writer’s genius by what he selects as by what he originates.

We are awkward for want of thought. The inspiration is scanty, and does not arrive at the extremities.

We are in a series of which we do not know the extremes, and believe that it has none.

We are incompetent to solve the times…. We can only obey our own polarity.

We are not strong by our power to penetrate, but by our relatedness.

We are reformers in spring and summer; in autumn and winter we stand by the old; reformers in the morning, conservers at night.

We are wiser than we know.

We can receive anything from love, for that is a way of receiving it from ourselves; but not from any one who assumes to bestow.

We cannot approach beauty. Its nature is like opaline dove’s-neck lustres, hovering and evanescent. Herein it resembles the most excellent things, which have all this rainbow character, defying all attempts at appropriation and use.

We cannot overstate our debt to the past, but the moment has the supreme claim.

We cannot part with our friends. We cannot let our angels go. We do not see that they only go out that archangels may come in. We are idolators of the old. We do not believe in the richness of the soul, in its proper eternity and omnipresence.

We consecrate a great deal of nonsense, because it was allowed by great men.

We do not count a man’s years until he has nothing else to count.

We do not determine what we will think…. We have little control over our thoughts.

We gain the strength of the temptation we resist.

We have a great deal more kindness than is ever spoken. Maugre all the selfishness that chills like east winds the world, the whole human family is bathed with an element of love like a fine ether.

We have little control over our thoughts. We are the prisoners of our ideas.

We have such exorbitant eyes, that, on seeing the smallest arc, we complete the curve, and when the curtain is lifted from the diagram which it served to veil, we are vexed to find that no more was drawn than just that fragment of an arc which we first beheld.

We know better than we do.

We know truth when we see it, let sceptic and scoffer say what they choose.

We like only such actions as have long already had the praise of men, and do not perceive that anything man can do may be divinely done.

We live by our imaginations, by our admirations, by our sentiments.

We must be as courteous to a man as we are to a picture, which we are willing to give the advantage of a good light.

We must be our own before we can be another’s.

We must carry the beautiful with us, or we find it not.

We need change of objects.

We owe to man higher succours than food and fire. We owe to man, man.

We pain ourselves to please nobody.

We sink to rise.

We sometimes meet an original gentleman, who, if manners had not existed, would have invented them.

We sometimes see a change of expression in our companion, and say, His father or his mother comes to the windows of his eyes, and sometimes a remote relative. In different hours, a man represents each of several of his ancestors, as if there were seven or eight of us rolled up in each man’s skin—seven or eight ancestors at least—and they constitute the variety of notes for that new piece of music which his life is.

We think our civilisation near its meridian; but we are yet only at the cock-crowing and the morning star.

We want but two or three friends, but these we cannot do without, and they serve us in every thought we think.

We write from aspiration and antagonism, as well as from experience. We paint those qualities which we do not possess.

Wealth is a shift. The wise man angles with himself only, and with no meaner bait.

Wealth is the application of mind to nature; and the art of getting rich consists not in industry, much less in saving, but in a better order, in timeliness, in being at the right spot.

Welcome evermore to gods and men is the self-helping man.

What a force of illusion begins life with us, and attends us to the end!

What a man does, that he has.

What a man is irresistibly urged to say, helps him and us.

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think.

What is in will out.

What is our life but an endless flight of winged facts or events?

What is specially true of love is, that it is a state of extreme impressionability; the lover has more senses and finer senses than others; his eye and ear are telegraphs; he reads omens in the flower and cloud and face and form and gesture, and reads them aright.

What man has done, man can do.

What we are, that only can we see.

What we call our root-and-branch reforms of slavery, war, gambling, intemperance, is only medicating the symptoms. We must begin higher up, namely, in education.

What we pray to ourselves for is always granted.

What your heart thinks great is great. The soul’s emphasis is always right.

Whatever does not concern us is concealed from us.

Whatever is known to thyself alone has always very great value.

When a man becomes dear to me, I have touched the goal of fortune.

When a man lives with God, his voice shall be as sweet as the murmur of the brook and the rustle of the corn.

When a thought of Plato becomes a thought to me,—when a truth that fired the soul of Pindar fires mine, time is no more.

When each comes forth from his mother’s womb, the gate of gifts closes behind him.

When friendships are real, they are not glass threads or frost-work, but the solidest things we know.

When half-gods go, / The gods arrive.

When Nature removes a great man, people explore the horizon for a successor; but none comes, and none will.

When the gods come among men, they are not known.

When the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet, then all things are at risk. There is not a piece of science, but its flank may be turned to-morrow; there is not any literary reputation, nor the so-called eternal names of fame, that may not be revised and condemned.

When the soul breathes through a man’s intellect, it is genius; when it breaks through his will, it is virtue; when it flows through his affection, it is love.

When we are exalted by ideas, we do not owe this to Plato, but to the idea, to which also Plato was debtor.

When we discern justice, when we discern truth, we do nothing of ourselves; we allow a passage to its beams.

When we have broken our god of tradition, and ceased from our god of rhetoric, then may God fire the heart with his presence.

Where do we find ourselves? In a series of which we do not know the extremes, and believe that it has none.

Where the heart is, there the Muses, there the gods sojourn.

Wherever snow falls, there is usually civil freedom.

Wherever there is power there is age.

Wherever work is done, victory is obtained.

Whilst we converse with what is above us, we do not grow old, but grow young.

Who leaves all receives more.

Whoever fights, whoever falls, / Justice conquers evermore.

Wisdom is not found with those who dwell at their ease; rather Nature, when she adds brain, adds difficulty.

Wise men are not wise at all hours, and will speak five times from their taste or their humour to one from their reason.

Wise, cultivated, genial conversation is the best flower of civilisation, and the best result which life has to offer us—a cup for gods, which has no repentance. Conversation is our account of ourselves. All we have, all we can, all we know is brought into play, and as the reproduction, in finer form, of all our havings.

With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall.

With thought, with the ideal, is immortal hilarity, the rose of joy. Round it all the Muses sing.

Within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence, the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related—the Eternal One.

Without a rich heart wealth is an ugly beggar.

Without cheerfulness no man can be a poet.

Without great men, great crowds of people in a nation are disgusting; like moving cheese, like hills of ants or of fleas—the more, the worse.

Words are also actions, and actions are a kind of words.

You cannot hide any secret.

You may as well ask a loom which weaves huckaback why it does not make cashmere, as expect poetry from this engineer, or a chemical discovery from that jobber.

Your goodness must have some edge to it, else it is none.