James Wood, comp. Dictionary of Quotations. 1899.
“A cat may look at a king,” but can it see a king when it looks at him?
A democracy is a state in which the government rests directly with the majority of the citizens.
A gentleman’s first characteristic is fineness of nature.
A good law is one that holds, whether you recognise it or not; a bad law is one that cannot, however much you ordain it.
A great thing can only be done by a great man, and he does it without effort.
A man’s happiness consists infinitely more in admiration of the faculties of others than in confidence in his own.
A nation which labours, and takes care of the fruits of labour, would be rich and happy, though there were no gold in the universe.
A poet on canvas is exactly the same species of creature as a poet in song.
A republic is properly a polity in which the state, with its all, is at every man’s service; and every man, with his all, is at the state’s service.
A talisman that shall turn base metal into precious, Nature acknowledges not; but a talisman to turn base souls into noble, Nature has given us; and that is a “philosopher’s stone,” but it is a stone which the builders refuse.
A thing is worth what it can do for you, not what you choose to pay for it.
All art is great, and good, and true, only so far as it is distinctively the work of manhood in its entire and highest sense.
All forms of government are good, so far as the wise and kind in them govern the unwise and unkind.
All good colour is in some degree pensive, and the purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most.
All great art is the expression of man’s delight in God’s work, not in his own.
All great song has been sincere song.
All immortal writers speak out of their hearts.
All measures of reformation are effective in proportion to their timeliness.
All money is but a divisible title-deed.
All the diseases of mind, leading to fatalest ruin, are due to the concentration of man upon himself, whether his heavenly interests or his worldly interests, matters not.
An artist is a person who has submitted to a law which it is painful to obey, that he may bestow a delight which it is gracious to bestow.
An artist should be fit for the best society, and should keep out of it.
An infinitude of tenderness is the chief gift and inheritance of all truly great men.
An unimaginative person can neither be reverent nor kind.
Architecture is the work of nations.
Art does not represent things falsely, but truly as they appear to mankind.
Artists are of three classes: those who perceive and pursue the good, and leave the evil; those who perceive and pursue the good and evil together, the whole thing as it verily is; and those who perceive and pursue the evil, and leave the good.
As the first order of wisdom is to know thyself, so the first order of charity is to be sufficient for thyself.
Be sure you can obey good laws before you seek to alter bad ones.
Better a child should be ignorant of a thousand truths than have consecrated in its heart a single lie.
Blasphemy is wishing ill to anything, and its outcome wishing ill to God; while Euphemy is wishing well to everything, and its outcome wishing well to—“Ah, wad ye tak’ a thocht, and men’.”
Books are divisible into two classes, the books of the hour and the books of all time.
Chances, as they are now called, I regard as guidances, and even, if rightly understood, commands, which, as far as I have read history, the best and sincerest men think providential.
Charity is the temple of which justice is the foundation, but you can’t have the top without the bottom.
Cheerfulness is just as natural to the heart of a man in strong health as colour to his cheek.
Childhood often holds a truth in its feeble fingers which the grasp of manhood cannot retain, and which it is the pride of utmost age to recover.
Children should have their times of being off duty, like soldiers.
Children should laugh, but not mock; and when they laugh, it should not be at the weaknesses and the faults of others.
Chivalry was founded invariably by knights who were content all their lives with their horse and armour and daily bread.
Colour is the type of love. Hence it is especially connected with the blossoming of the earth, and with its fruits; also with the spring and fall of the leaf, and with the morning and evening of the day, in order to show the waiting of love about the birth and death of man.
Conceit may puff a man up, but never prop him up.
Contrast increases the splendour of beauty, but it disturbs its influence; it adds to its attractiveness, but diminishes its power.
Courage, so far as it is a sign of race, is peculiarly the mark of a gentleman or a lady; but it becomes vulgar if rude or insensitive.
Crime cannot be hindered by punishment, but only by letting no man grow up a criminal.
Cunning is the intensest rendering of vulgarity, absolute and utter.
Cunning signifies especially a habit or gift of over-reaching, accompanied with enjoyment and a sense of superiority.
Degrees infinite of lustre there must always be, but the weakest among us has a gift, however seemingly trivial, which is peculiar to him, and which, worthily used, will be a gift also to his race for ever.
Disorder in a drawing-room is vulgar; in an antiquary’s study, not; the black stain on a soldier’s face is not vulgar, but the dirty face of a housemaid is.
Do not think of one falsity as harmless, and one as slight, and another as unintended. Cast them all aside; it is better our hearts should be swept clean of them.
Doing is the great thing; for if people resolutely do what is right, they come in time to like doing it.
Economy no more means saving money than it means spending money. It means the administration of a house, its stewardship; spending or saving, that is, whether money or time, or anything else, to the best possible advantage.
Educated persons should share their thoughts with the uneducated, and take also a certain part in their labours.
Education does not mean teaching people to know what they do not know; it means teaching them to behave as they do not behave.
Education is the leading human souls to what is best, and making what is best of them. The training which makes men happiest in themselves also makes them most serviceable to others.
Endurance is nobler than strength, and patience than beauty.
Every noble life leaves the fibre of it interwoven for ever in the work of the world.
Every painter ought to paint what he himself loves.
Every rightly constituted mind ought to rejoice, not so much in knowing anything clearly, as in feeling that there is infinitely more which it cannot know.
Every vicious habit and chronic disease communicates itself by descent, and by purity of birth the entire system of the human body and soul may be gradually elevated, or by recklessness of birth degraded, until there shall be as much difference between the well-bred and ill-bred human creature (whatever pains be taken with their education) as between a wolf-hound and the vilest mongrel cur.
Every youth, from the king’s son downwards, should learn to do something finely and thoroughly with his hand.
Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together; the head inferior to the heart, and the hand inferior to both heart and head.
Five great intellectual professions have hitherto existed in every civilised nation: the soldier’s, to defend it; the pastor’s, to teach it; the physician’s, to keep it in health; the lawyer’s, to enforce justice in it; and the merchant’s, to provide for it; and the duty of all these men is, on due occasion, to die for it.
Food can only be got out of the ground, or the air, or the sea.
For captivity, perhaps your poor watchdog is as sorrowful a type as you will easily find.
Freedom is only granted us that obedience may be more perfect.
From the beginning and to the end of time, Love reads without letters and counts without arithmetic.
Gentleman, in its primal, literal, and perpetual meaning, is a man of pure race.
Gentlemanliness is just another word for intense humanity.
Gentlemen have to learn that it is no part of their duty or privilege to live on other people’s toil; that there is no degradation in the hardest manual or the humblest servile labour, when it is honest.
God has connected the labour which is essential to the bodily sustenance with the pleasures which are healthiest for the heart; and while He made the ground stubborn, He made its herbage fragrant and its blossoms fair.
God has lent us the earth for our life; it is a great entail.
God has made man to take pleasure in the use of his eyes, wits, and body; and the foolish creature is continually trying to live without looking at anything, without thinking about anything, and without doing anything.
God is not to be known by marring His fair works and blotting out the evidence of His influences upon His creatures; not amidst the hurry of crowds and the crash of innovation, but in solitary places, and out of the glowing intelligences which He gave to men of old.
God never imposes a duty without giving the time to do it.
Going by railroad I do not consider as travelling at all; it is merely “being sent” to a place, and very little different from becoming a parcel.
Gold and diamonds are not riches.
Government and co-operation are in all things the laws of life; anarchy and competition, the laws of death.
Great art dwells in all that is beautiful; but false art omits or changes all that is ugly. Great art accepts Nature as she is, but directs the eyes and thoughts to what is most perfect in her; false art saves itself the trouble of direction by removing or altering whatever is objectionable.
Great men do not play stage tricks with the doctrines of life and death; only little men do that.
Great men not only know their business, but they usually know that they know it, and are not only right in their main opinions, but they usually know that they are right in them.
Great poets try to describe what all men see and to express what all men feel; if they cannot describe it, they let it alone.
Greatness can only be rightly estimated when minuteness is justly reverenced. Greatness is the aggregation of minuteness; nor can its sublimity be felt truthfully by any mind unaccustomed to the affectionate watching of what is least.
Greatness is not a teachable nor gainable thing, but the expression of the mind of a God-made man: teach, or preach, or labour as you will, everlasting difference is set between one man’s capacity and another’s; and this God-given supremacy is the priceless thing, always just as rare in the world at one time as another…. And nearly the best thing that men can generally do is to set themselves, not to the attainment, but the discovery of this: learning to know gold, when we see it, from iron-glance, and diamond from flint-sand, being for most of us a more profitable employment than trying to make diamonds of our own charcoal.
Greatness of mind is not shown by admitting small things, but by making small things great under its influence. He who can take no interest in what is small will take false interest in what is great.
Greek art, and all other art, is fine when it makes a man’s face as like a man’s face as it can.
Have I a religion, have I a country, have I a love, that I am ready to die for? are the first trial questions to itself of a true soul.
He draws nothing well who thirsts not to draw everything.
He is the greatest artist who has embodied in the sum of his works the greatest number of the greatest ideas.
He only is advancing in life whose heart is getting softer, whose blood warmer, whose brain quicker, and whose spirit is entering into living peace.
He who makes religion his first object makes it his whole object.
He who offers God a second place offers Him no place.
Heaven, which really in one sense is merciful to sinners, is in no sense merciful to fools, but even lays pitfalls for them and inevitable snares.
Home is the place of Peace; the shelter, not only from all injury, but from all terror, doubt, and division.
Human nature in its fulness is necessarily human; without love, it is inhuman; without sense (nous), inhuman; without discipline, inhuman.
Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think, but thousands can think for one who can see. To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion all in one.
Idolatry is simply the substitution of an “Eidolon,” phantasm, or imagination of good for that which is real and enduring, from the highest Living Good which gives life, to the lowest material good which ministers to it.
If a book is worth reading, it is worth buying.
If a great thing can be done at all, it can be done easily; but it is in that kind of ease with which a tree blossoms after long years of gathered strength.
If a man fear or reverence God, he must hate covetousness; and if he fear or reverence covetousness, he must hate God.
If we clear the metaphysical element out of modern literature, we shall find its bulk amazingly diminished, and the claims of the remaining writers, or of those whom we have thinned by this abstraction of their straw-stuffing, much more easily adjusted.
If you can’t pay for a thing, don’t buy it. If you can’t get paid for it, don’t sell it. So you will have calm days, drowsy nights, and all the good business you have now, and none of the bad.
If you read the Bible with a predetermination to pick out every text you approve of, on these terms you will find it entirely intelligible and wholly delightful; but if you read it with a real purpose of trying to understand it, and obey, and so read it all through steadily, you will find it, out and out, the crabbedest and most difficult book you ever tried.
If you resolve to do right, you will soon do wisely; but resolve only to do wisely, and you will never do right.
Imagination is always the ruling and divine power, and the rest of the man is only the instrument which it sounds, or the tablet on which it writes.
Imperfection is in some sort essential to all that we know of life. It is the sign of life in a mortal body, that is, of a state of progress and change.
In all things that live there are certain irregularities and deficiencies, which are not only signs of life, but sources of beauty.
In dyeing the spiritual nature there are two processes—first, the cleansing and wringing out, which is the baptism with water; and then the infusing of the blue and scarlet colours, gentleness and justice, which is the baptism with fire.
In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes.
In great states, children are always trying to remain children, and the parents wanting to make men and women of them. In vile states, the children are always wanting to be men and women, and the parents to keep them children.
In mediæval art, thought is the first thing, execution the second; in modern art, execution is the first thing and thought the second.
In mediæval art, truth is first, beauty second; in modern art, beauty is first, truth second.
In modern England the ordinary habits of life and modes of education produce great plainness of mind in middle-aged women.
In old times men used their powers of painting to show the objects of faith; in later times they used the objects of faith to show their powers of painting.
In resolving to do our work well, is the only sound foundation of any religion whatsoever; and by that resolution only, and what we have done, and not by our belief, Christ will judge us, as He has plainly told us He will.
In reverence is the chief joy and power of life.
In the career of nations no less than of men, the error of their intellect and the hardening of their hearts may be accurately measured by their denial of spiritual power.
In the degree in which you delight in the life of any creature, you can see it; not otherwise.
In the exact proportion in which men are bred capable of warm affection, common-sense, and self-command, and are educated to love, to think, and to endure, they become noble, live happily, die calmly, are remembered with perpetual honour by their race, and for the perpetual good of it.
In the true Utopia, man will rather harness himself with his oxen to his plough, than leave the devil to drive it.
In the utmost solitudes of Nature, the existence of hell seems to me as legibly declared by a thousand spiritual utterances as that of heaven.
In the world-strife now waging, the victory cannot be by violence; and every conquest under the Prince of War retards the standards of the Prince of Peace.
In treachery it is not the fraud, but the cold-heartedness, that is chiefly dreadful.
Independence you had better cease to talk of, for you are dependent not only on every act of people whom you never heard of, who are living round you, but on every past act of what has been dust for a thousand years.
Inferior poetry is an injury to the good, inasmuch as it takes away the freshness of rhymes, blunders upon and gives a wretched commonality to good thoughts, and, in general, adds to the weight of human weariness in a most woeful and culpable manner.
“Invidia,” jealousy of your neighbour’s good, has been, since dust was first made flesh, the curse of man; and “charitas,” the desire to do your neighbour grace, the one source of all human glory, power and material blessing.
It is a strange habit of wise humanity to speak in enigmas only.
It is advisable that a man should know at least three things:—first, where he is; secondly, where he is going; thirdly, what he had best do under the circumstances.
It is as little the part of a wise man to reflect much on the nature of beings above him as of beings beneath him.
It is as much a part of true temperance to be pleased with the little that we know and the little that we can do as with the little that we have.
It is as natural for the old to be prejudiced as for the young to be presumptuous; and in the change of centuries each generation has something to judge for itself.
It is better and kinder to flog a man to his work than to leave him idle till he robs and flog him afterwards.
It is but the outer hem of God’s great mantle our poor stars do gem.
It is by his personal conduct that any man of ordinary power will do the greatest amount of good that is in him to do.
It is difficult to do good without multiplying the sources of evil.
It is far better to give work which is above the men than to educate the men to be above their work.
It is far more difficult to be simple than to be complicated; far more difficult to sacrifice skill and ease exertion in the proper place, than to expend both indiscriminately.
It is his restraint which is honourable to a man, not his liberty.
It is just those who grope with the mole and cling with the bat who are vainest of their sight and of their wings.
It is no man’s business whether he has genius or not: work he must, whatever he is, but quietly and steadily; and the natural and unforced results of such work will always be the things that God meant him to do, and will be his best.
It is not everybody one would set to choose a horse or a pig; how much less a member of Parliament?
It is not the fraud, but the cold-heartedness which is chiefly dreadful in treachery.
It is not, truly speaking, the labour that is divided, but the men; divided into mere segments of men, broken into small fragments and crumbs of life; so that all the little piece of intelligence that is left in a man is not enough to make a pin or a nail, but exhausts itself in making the point of a pin or the head of a nail.
It is only by labour that thought can be made healthy, and only by thought that labour can be made happy.
It is only God’s business to make laws, and the lawyer’s to read and enforce them.
It is precisely in accepting death as the end of all, and in laying down, on that sorrowful condition, his life for his friends, that the hero and patriot of all time has become the glory and safety of his country.
It is the first principle of economy to make use of available vital power first, then the inexpensive natural forces, and only at last to have recourse to artificial power.
It is the glistening and softly-spoken lie,… the patriotic lie of the historian, the provident lie of the politician, the zealous lie of the partisan, the merciful lie of the friend, and the careless lie of each man to himself, that cast that black mystery over humanity, through which we thank any man who pierces, as we would thank one who had dug a well in the desert.
It is the law of fate that we shall live in part by our own efforts, but in the greater part by the help of others; and that we shall also die in part for our own faults, but in the greater part for the faults of others.
It is very little that we can ever know of the ways of Providence or the laws of existence; but that little is enough, and exactly enough.
It takes a great deal of living to get a little deal of learning.
It would be better that we should not exist, than that we should guiltily disappoint the purposes of existence.
Joy is buyable—by forsaking all that a man hath.
Justice (such as Giotto represents her) has no bandage about her eyes, and weighs not with scales, but with her own hands; and weighs, not merely the shares and remunerations of men, but the worth of them; and finding them worth this or that, gives them what they deserve—death or honour.
Justice consists mainly in the granting to every human being due aid in the development of such faculties as it possesses for action and enjoyment,… taking most pains with the best material.
Keep what you want, cast what you can, and expect nothing back once lost or once given.
Know thyself, for through thyself only thou canst know God.
Knowledge is like current coin. A man may have some right to be proud of possessing it, (only) if he has worked for the gold of it, and assayed it, and stamped it, so that it may be received of all men as true, or earned it fairly, being already assayed.
Knowledge is not education, and can neither make us happy nor rich.
Laissez faire—the “let alone” principle, is, in all things which man has to do with, the principle of death. It is ruin to him, certain and total, if he lets his land alone—if he lets his fellow-men alone—if he lets his own soul alone.
Land should be given to those who can use it, and tools to those who can use them.
Language is only clear when it is sympathetic.
Large fortunes are all founded either on occupation of land, or usury, or taxation of labour.
Large fortunes cannot be made by the work of any one man’s hands or head.
Laws are usually most beneficial in operation on the people who would have most strongly objected to their enactment.
Let us beware that our rest become not the rest of stones, which, so long as they are torrent-tossed and thunder-stricken, maintain their majesty; but when the stream is silent and the storm passed, suffer the grass to cover them and the lichen to feed upon them, and are ploughed down into dust.
Let us do the work of men while we bear the form of them.
Light is, in reality, more awful than darkness; modesty more majestic than strength; and there is truer sublimity in the sweet joy of a child, or the sweet virtue of a maiden, than in the strength of Antæus or the thunderclouds of Ætna.
Live and learn; and indeed it takes a great deal of living to get a little deal of learning.
Love and trust are the only mother-milk of any man’s soul.
Machines cannot increase the possibilities of life, only the possibilities of idleness.
Make your educational laws strict, and your criminal ones may be gentle; but leave youth its liberty, and you will have to dig dungeons for age.
Man can invent nothing nobler than humanity.
Man is the sun of the world; more than the real sun. The fire of his wonderful heart is the only light and heat worth gauge or measure. Where he is, are the tropics; where he is not, the ice-world.
Man the peasant is a being of more marked national character than man the educated and refined.
Man’s only true happiness is to live in Hope of something to be won by him, in Reverence of something to be worshipped by him, and in Love of something to be cherished by him, and cherished—for ever.
Men are enlisted for the labour that kills; let them be enlisted for the labour that feeds; and let the captains of the latter be held as much gentlemen as the captains of the former.
Men are eternally divided into the two classes of poet (or believer, maker, and praise), and dunce (or unbeliever, unmaker, and dispraiser).
Men cannot benefit those that are with them as they can benefit those that come after them; and of all the pulpits from which the human voice is ever sent forth, there is none from which it reaches so far as from the grave.
Men cannot live by lending money to each other.
Men don’t and can’t live by exchanging articles, but by producing them: they don’t live by trade but by work.
Men only associate in parties by sacrificing their opinions, or by having none worth sacrificing; and the effect of party government is always to develop hostilities and hypocrisies, and to extinguish ideas.
Men say their pinnacles point to heaven. Why, so does every tree that buds, and every bird that rises as it sings. Men say their aisles are good for worship. Why, so is every mountain glen and rough seashore. But this they have of distinct and indisputable glory,—that their mighty walls were never raised, and never shall be, but by men who love and aid each other in their weakness.
Men’s prosperity is in their own hands, and no forms of government are, in themselves, of the least use.
Mercy, misericordia, does not in the least mean forgiveness of sins, but pity of sorrows.
Metaphysicians and philosophers are, on the whole, the greatest troubles the world has got to deal with…. Busy metaphysicians are always entangling good and active people, and weaving cobwebs among the finest wheels of the world’s business, and are, as much as possible, by all prudent persons, to be brushed out of their way.
Modern education has devoted itself to the teaching of impudence, and then we complain we can no more manage our mobs.
Modern Protestantism sees in the cross, not a furca to which it is to be nailed, but a raft on which it, and all its valuable properties, are to be floated into Paradise.
Modern science gives lectures on botany, to show there is no such thing as a flower; on humanity, to show there is no such thing as a man; and on theology, to show there is no such thing as a God. No such thing as a man, but only a mechanism. No such thing as a God, but only a series of forces.
Modesty is so pleased with other people’s doings that she has no leisure to lament her own.
Moral education begins in making the creature to be educated clean and obedient; and it is summed up when the creature has been made to do its work with delight, and thoroughly.
Most men do not know what is in them till they receive the summons from their fellows; their hearts die within them, sleep settles upon them—the lethargy of the world’s miasmata; there is nothing for which they are so thankful as for that cry, “Awake, thou that sleepest.”
Most people think now-a-days the only hopeful way of serving your neighbour is to make a profit out of him; whereas, in my opinion, the hopefulest way of serving him is to let him make a profit out of me.
Much of what is great, and to all men beneficial, has been wrought by those who neither intended nor knew the good they did; and many mighty harmonies have been discoursed by instruments that had been dumb and discordant but that God knew their stops.
Music, when healthy, is the teacher of perfect order; and also when depraved, the teacher of perfect disorder.
My alms-people are to be the ablest bodied I can find, the ablest minded I can make, and every day will be a duty … shall stand with tools at work, mattock or flail, axe or hammer.
Nature and Heaven command you, at your peril, to discern worth from unworth in everything, and most of all in man.
Nearly all our powerful men in this age of the world are unbelievers; the best of them in doubt and misery; the plurality in plodding hesitation, doing, as well as they can, what practical work lies ready to their hands.
Neither painting nor fighting feed men; nor can capital, in the form of money or machinery, feed them.
Never confuse a myth with a lie…. The thoughts of all the greatest and wisest men hitherto have been expressed through mythology.
Never read borrowed books. To be without books of your own is the abyss of penury. Don’t endure it. And when you have to buy them, you’ll think whether they’re worth reading; which you had better, on all accounts.To a young lady.
Never waste pains on bad ground; let it remain rough. Though properly looked after and cared for, it will be of best service so.
No art can be noble which is incapable of expressing thought, and no art is capable of expressing thought which does not change.
No book is worth anything which is not worth much; nor is it serviceable until it has been read, and re-read, and loved, and loved again.
No dynamite will ever be invented that can rule; it can but dissolve and destroy. Only the word of God and the heart of man can govern.
No girl who is well bred, kind, and modest is ever offensively plain; all real deformity means want of manners or of heart.
No good is ever done to society by the pictorial representation of its diseases.
No good or lovely thing exists in this world without its correspondent darkness; and the universe presents itself continually to mankind under the stern aspect of warning, or of choice, the good and the evil set on the right hand and the left.
No good work whatever can be perfect; and the demand for perfection is always a sign of a misunderstanding of the ends of art.
No great composition was ever produced but with the same heavenly involuntariness in which a bird builds her nest.
No great intellectual thing was ever done by great effort.
No great truth is allowed by Nature to be demonstrable to any person who, foreseeing its consequences, desires to refuse it.
No human capacity ever yet saw the whole of a thing; but we may see more and more of it the longer we look.
No human face is exactly the same in its lines on each side, no leaf perfect in its lobes, no branch in its symmetry.
No lover should have the insolence to think of being accepted at once, nor should any girl have the cruelty to refuse at once, without severe reasons.
No lying knight or lying priest ever prospered in any age, but certainly not in the dark ones. Men prospered then only in following openly-declared purposes, and preaching candidly-beloved and trusted creeds.
No man can become largely rich by his personal toil, but only by discovery of some method of taxing the labour of others.
No man ever became, or can become, largely rich merely by labour and economy.
No man has any data for estimating, far less right of judging, the results of a life of resolute self-denial, until he has had the courage to try it himself.
No man is so free as a beggar, and no man more solemnly a servant than an honest land-owner.
No man who is wretched in his own heart and feeble in his own work can rightly help others.
No more dangerous snare is set by the fiends for human frailty than the belief that our enemies are also the enemies of God.
No one can teach you anything worth learning but through manual labour; the very bread of life can only be got out of the chaff of it by rubbing it in your hands.
No passions are without their use, none without their nobleness, when seen in balanced unity with the rest of the spirit which they are charged to defend.
No pay is receivable by any true man; but power is receivable by him in the love and faith you give him.
No peace was ever won from fate by subterfuge or agreement; no peace is ever in store for any of us but that which we shall win by victory over shame or sin—victory over the sin that oppresses, as well as over that which corrupts.
No victory worth having was ever won without cost.
Noble art is nothing less than the expression of a great soul; and great souls are not common things.
Nobody can live by teaching any more than by learning; both teaching and learning are proper duties of human life, or pleasures of it, but have nothing whatever to do with the support of it.
Nobody has a right to have opinions, but only knowledge.
Not by the law of force, but by the law of labour, has any man right to the possession of the land.
Not one word of any book is readable by you, except so far as your mind is one with its author’s; and not merely his words like your words, but his thoughts like your thoughts.
Nothing can be beautiful which is not true.
Nothing in the dealings of Heaven with Earth is so wonderful to me as the way in which the evil angels are allowed to spot, pervert, and bring to nothing, or to worse, the powers of the greatest men: so that Greece must be ruined, for all that Plato can say; Geneva, for all that Calvin can say; England, for all that Sir Thomas More and Bacon can say; and only Gounod’s “Faust” to be the visible outcome to Europe of the school of Weimar.
Nothing is permanently helpful to any race or condition of men but the spirit that is in their own hearts, kindled by the love of their native land.
Nothing remains to man, nothing is possible to him of true joy, but in the righteous love of his fellows, in the knowledge of the laws and the glory of God, and in the daily use of the facilities of soul and body with which God has endowed him.
Nothing that lives is or can be rigidly perfect; part of it is decaying, part nascent. The foxglove blossom—a third part bud, a third part past, a third part in full bloom—is a type of the life of this world.
Obey something, and you will have a chance of finding out what is best to obey. But if you begin by obeying nothing, you will end by obeying Beelzebub and all his seven invited friends.
Of all God’s gifts to the sight of man, colour is the holiest, the most divine, the most solemn.
Of all the great masters, there is not one who did not paint his own present world, plainly and truly.
Of all the pulpits from which human voice is ever sent forth, there is none from which it reaches so far as from the grave.
Once thoroughly our own, knowledge ceases to give us pleasure.
One of the most fatal sources of the prevailing misery and crime lies in the generally accepted quiet assumption that because things have long been wrong, it is impossible they should ever be right.
One of the most singular gifts, or, if abused, most singular weaknesses, of the human mind, is its power of persuading itself to see whatever it chooses; a great gift if directed to the discernment of the things needful and pertinent to its own work and being; a great weakness if directed to the discovery of things profitless or discouraging.
One of the worst diseases to which the human creature is liable is its disease of thinking. If it would only just look at a thing instead of thinking what it must be like, or do a thing instead of thinking it cannot be done, we should all get on far better.
Only lofty character is worth describing at all.
Only the idle among the poor revolt against their state; the brave workers die passively, and give no sign.
Only the word of God and the heart of man can govern.
Only truth can be polished.
Organic laws can only be serviceable to, and, in general, will only be written by, a public of honourable citizens, loyal to their state and faithful to each other.
Our God is a household God, as well as a heavenly one. He has an altar in every man’s dwelling; let men look to it when they rend it lightly, and pour out its ashes.
Our purity of taste is best tested by its universality, for if we can only admire this thing or that, we may be sure that our cause for liking is of a finite and false nature.
Our work must be done honourably and thoroughly, because we are now men; whether we ever expect to be angels, or ever were slugs, being practically no matter. We are now human creatures, and must, at our peril, do human, that is to say, affectionate, honest, and earnest work.
Out of the suffering comes the serious mind; out of the salvation, the grateful heart; out of endurance, fortitude; out of deliverance, faith.
Peace, justice, and the word of God must be given to the people, not sold.
People are always expecting to get peace in heaven; but you know whatever peace they get there will be ready-made. Whatever of making peace they can be blest for must be on the earth here.
Plato’s scheme was impossible even in his own day, as Bacon’s “New Atlantis” in his day, as Calvin’s reform in his day, as Goethe’s “Academe” in his. Out of the good there was in all these men, the world gathered what it could find of evil, made its useless Platonism out of Plato, its graceless Calvinism out of Calvin, determined Bacon to be the meanest of mankind, and of Goethe gathered only a luscious story of seduction, and daintily singable devilry.
Possession of land implies the duty of living on it, and by it, if there is enough to live on; then … if there is more land than enough for one’s self, the duty of making it fruitful and beautiful for as many more as can live on it.
Punishment is the last and the worst instrument in the hands of the legislator for the prevention of crime.
Railway travelling is not travelling at all; it is merely being sent to a place, and very little different from becoming a parcel.
Real ugliness in either sex means always some kind of hardness of heart or vulgarity of education.
Religion primarily means obedience; bending to something or some one. To be bound, or in bonds, as apprentice; to be bound, or in bonds, by military oath; to be bound, or in bonds, as a servant of man; to be bound, or in bonds, under the yoke of God.
“Remain content in the station in which Providence has placed you,” is on the whole a good maxim, but it is peculiarly for home use. That your neighbour should, or should not, remain content with his position is not your business; but it is very much your business to remain content with your own.
Science deals exclusively with things as they are in themselves.
Science is the knowledge of constant things, not merely of passing events, and is properly less the knowledge of general laws than of existing facts.
Science lives only in quiet places, and with odd people, mostly poor.
Sculpture is not the mere cutting of the form of anything in stone; it is the cutting of the effect of it. Very often the true form, in the marble, would not be in the least like itself.
Sentimental literature, concerned with the analysis and description of emotion, headed by the poetry of Byron, is altogether of lower rank than the literature which merely describes what it saw.
Shakespeare (it is true) wrote perfect historical plays on subjects belonging to the preceding centuries, (but) they are perfect plays just because there is no care about centuries in them, but a life which all men recognise for the human life of all time;… a rogue in the fifteenth century being, at heart, what a rogue is in the nineteenth and was in the twelfth; and an honest or a knightly man being, in like manner, very similar to other such at any other time.
Shakespeare never permits a spirit to show itself but to men of the highest intellectual power.
Shakespeare was forbidden of heaven to have any plans…. Not for him the founding of institutions, the preaching of doctrines, or the repression of abuses. Neither he, nor the sun, did on any morning that they rose together, receive charge from their Maker concerning such things. They were both of them to shine on the evil and good; both to behold unoffendingly all that was upon the earth, to burn unappalled upon the spears of kings, and undisdaining upon the reeds of the river.
Skill is the united force of experience, intellect and passion in their operation on manual labour.
Sky is the part of creation in which Nature has done more for the sake of pleasing man, more for the sole and evident purpose of talking to him and teaching him, than in any other of her works, and it is just the part in which we least attend to her.
Slavery is an inherent inheritance of a large portion of the human race, to whom the more you give of their own free will, the more slaves they will make themselves.
So soon as people try honestly to see all they can of anything, they come to a point where a noble dimness begins. They see more than others; but the consequence of their seeing more is, that they feel they cannot see at all; and the more intense their perception, the more the crowd of things which they partly see will multiply upon them.
Society has always a destructive influence upon an artist:—by its sympathy with his meanest powers; secondly, by its chilling want of understanding of his greatest; and, thirdly, by its vain occupation of his time and thoughts.
Soldiers (there are) of the ploughshare as well as of the sword.
Some slaves are scourged to their work by whips, others by restlessness and ambition.
Some treasures are heavy with human tears, as an ill-stored harvest with untimely rain; and some gold is brighter in sunshine than in substance.
Spirit-power begins in directing animal power to other than egoistic ends.
Strictly speaking, the imagination is never governed; it is always the ruling and divine power, and the rest of the man is to it only as an instrument which it sounds, or a tablet on which it writes; clearly and sublimely if the wax be smooth and the strings true, grotesquely and wildly if they are stained and broken.
Strong character curdles itself out of the scum into its own place and power or impotence.
Success (by laws of competition) signifies always so much victory over your neighbour as to obtain the direction of his work and take the profits of it. This is the real source of all great riches.
Superstition is the fear of a spirit whose passions and acts are those of a man, who is present in some places, and not in others; who makes some places holy, and not others; who is kind to one person, and unkind to another; who is pleased or angry according to the degree of attention you pay him, or praise you refuse him; who is hostile generally to human pleasure, but may be bribed by sacrificing a part of that pleasure into permitting the rest.
Swearing is invoking the witness of a spirit to an assertion you wish to make, but cursing is invoking the assistance of a spirit in a mischief you wish to inflict.
Tell me what you like, and I will tell you what you are.
That man is always happy who is in the presence of something which he cannot know to the full, which he is always going on to know.
That which can be done with perfect convenience and without loss, is not always the thing that most needs to be done, or which we are most imperatively required to do.
That which is truly and indeed characteristic of the man is known only to God.
That which seems to be wealth may in verity be only the gilded index of far-reaching ruin; a wrecker’s handful of coin gleaned from the beach to which he has beguiled an argosy.
The (French) Revolution was a revolt against lies, and against a betrayal of love.
The anger of a strong man can always bide its time.
The art which is produced hastily will also perish hastily.
The basest thought about man is that he has no spiritual nature; and the foolishest, that he has, or should have, no animal nature.
The beginning of all good law, and nearly the end of it, is that every man shall do good work for his bread, and that every man shall have good bread for his work.
The beginning, and very nearly the end, of bodily education for a girl, is to make sure that she can stand and sit upright; the ankle vertical, and firm as a marble shaft; the waist elastic as a reed, and as unfatiguable.
The best architecture is the expression of the mind of manhood by the hands of childhood.
The best work never was, nor ever will be, done for money at all.
(The Bible) contains plain teaching for men of every rank of soul and state of life, which so far as they honestly and implicitly obey, they will be happy and innocent to the utmost powers of their nature, and capable of victory over all adversities, whether of temptation or pain.
The breeding of a man makes him courageous by instinct, true by instinct, loving by instinct, as a dog is; and therefore, felicitously above, or below (whichever you like to call it), all questions of philosophy and divinity.
The chief of all the curses of this unhappy age is the universal gabble of its fools, and of the flocks that follow them, rendering the quiet voices of the wise of all past time inaudible.
The chief value and virtue of money consists in its having power over human beings; a power which is attainable by other means than by money.
The child who desires education will be bettered by it; the child who dislikes it, only disgraced.
The civilised nation consists broadly of mob, money-collecting machine, and capitalist: and when the mob wishes to spend money for any purpose, it sets its money-collecting machine to borrow the money it needs from the capitalist, who lends it on condition of taxing the mob generation after generation.
The common “keeping up appearances” of society is a mere selfish struggle of the vain with the vain.
The conditions necessary for the arts of men are the best for their souls and bodies.
The court of the past differs from all living aristocracy in this; it is open to labour and to merit, but to nothing else.
The disease of the mind leading to fatalist ruin is the concentration of man upon himself, whether his heavenly interests or his worldly interests, matters not; it is their being his own interests which makes the regard of them mortal.
The dissection of a sentence is as bad a way to the understanding of it, as the dissection of a beast to the biography of it.
The distances of nations are measured, not by seas, but by ignorances; and their divisions determined, not by dialects, but by enmities.
The distinctive character of a child is to live always in the tangible present.
The distinguishing sign of slavery is to have a price and be bought for it.
The Divine mind is as visible in its full energy of operation on every lowly bank and mouldering stone, as in the lifting of the pillars of heaven, and setting the foundations of the earth.
The dullest John Bull cannot with perfect complacency adore himself, except under the figure of Britannia or the British Lion.
The end of all right education of a woman is to make her love her home better than any other place; that she should as seldom leave it as a queen her queendom; nor ever feel entirely at rest but within its threshold.
The ennobling difference between one man and another—between one animal and another—is precisely this, that one feels more than another.
The entire grace, happiness, and virtue of (a young man’s) life depend on his contentment in doing what he can dutifully, and in staying where he is peaceably.
The entire object of true education is to make people not merely do the right things, but enjoy the right things.
The entire vitality of art depends upon its having for object either to state a true thing or adorn a serviceable one.
The essence of a lie is in deception, not in words.
The essence of all government among good men is this, that it is mainly occupied in the production and recognition of human worth, and in the detection and extinction of human unworthiness.
The essence of all vulgarity lies in want of sensation.
The essence of wealth consists in its authority over men; if (therefore) the apparent or nominal wealth fail in this power, it fails in essence; in fact, ceases to be wealth at all. And since the essence of wealth consists in power over men, will it not follow that the nobler and the more in number the persons are over whom it has power, the greater the wealth.
The essential thing for all creatures is to be made to do right.
The fall from the (Christian) faith, and all the corruptions of its abortive practice, may be summed up briefly as the habitual contemplation of Christ’s death instead of his life, and the substitution of his past suffering for our present duty.
The finer the nature, the more flaws it will show through the clearness of it; and it is a law of this universe that the best things shall be seldomest seen in their best form.
The first condition of education is being put to wholesome and useful work.
The first duty of every man in the world is to find his true master, and, for his own good, submit to him; and to find his true inferior, and, for that inferior’s good, conquer him.
The first power of a nation consists in knowing how to guide the plough: its second power consists in knowing how to wear the letter.
The first principle of all human economy—individual or political—is to live with as few wants as possible, and to waste nothing of what is given us to supply them.
The first test of a truly great man is his humility. I do not mean by humility, doubt of his power or hesitation in speaking his opinions; but a right understanding of the relation between what he can say and do, and the rest of the world’s sayings and doings.
The first use of education is to enable us to consult with the wisest and the greatest men on all points of earnest difficulty.
The first, as indeed the last, nobility of education is in the rule over our thoughts.
The flesh-bound volume is the only revelation (of God) that is, that was, or that can be. In that is the image of God painted; in that is the law of God written; in that is the promise of God revealed.
The flower is the proper object of the seed, not the seed of the flower.
The follies of modern Liberalism are practically summed up in the denial or neglect of the quality and intrinsic value of things.
The force of the guinea in your pocket depends on the default of a guinea in your neighbour’s.
The great distinction between mediæval art and modern is, that the former was brought into the service of religion and the latter is not.
The great principle of all effort is to endeavour to do, not what is absolutely best, but what is easily within our power, and adapted to our temper and condition.
The greatest men of any age, those who become its leaders when there is a great march to be begun, are separated from the average intellects of their day by a distance which is immeasurable in ordinary terms of wonder.
The greatest men, whether poets or historians, live entirely in their own age, and the greatest faults of their works are gathered out of their own age.
The greatest of all economists are the fortifying virtues, which the wisest men of all time have arranged under the general heads of Prudence, or Discretion, the spirit which discerns and adopts rightly; Justice, the spirit which rules and divides rightly; Fortitude, the spirit which persists and endures rightly; and Temperance, the spirit which stops and refuses rightly.
The Greeks cared for man only, and for the rest of the universe little or not at all; the moderns for the universe only, and man not at all.
The health of a state consists simply in this, that in it those who are wisest shall also be strongest.
The highest thing that art can do is to set before you the true image of the presence of a noble human being. It has never done more than this, and it might not do less.
The imaginative power always purifies, the want of it therefore essentially defiles.
The initial virtue of the race consists in the acknowledgment of their own lowly nature, and submission to the laws of higher being.
The largest soul of any country is altogether its own.
The life of a nation is usually, like the flow of a lava stream, first bright and fierce, then languid and covered, at last advancing by the tumbling over and over of its frozen blocks.
The man who does not know when to die, does not know how to live.
The material wealth of a country is the portion of its possessions which feeds and educates good men and women in it.
The moment there is a bargain over the pottage the family relation is dissolved.
The moral difference between a man and a beast is, that the one acts primarily for use, and the other for pleasure.
The more laws you accept, the fewer penalties you will have to endure, and the fewer punishments to enforce.
The object of all true policy and true economy is, the utmost multitude of good men on every given space of ground.
The one essential point (in regard to a wrong) is to know that it is wrong; how to get out of it you can decide afterwards at your leisure.
The only way to understand the difficult parts of the Bible is first to read and obey the easy ones.
The painter should grind his own colours; the architect work in the mason’s yard with his men; the master-manufacturer be himself a more skilful operator than any man in his mills; and the distinction between one man and another be only in experience and skill, and the authority and wealth which these must naturally and justly obtain.
The passions of mankind are partly protective, partly beneficent, like the chaff and grain of the corn; but none without their use, none without nobleness when seen in balanced unity with the rest of the spirit which they are charged to defend.
The plea of ignorance will never take away our responsibilities.
The power of every great people, as of every living tree, depends on its not effacing, but confirming and concluding the labours of its ancestors.
The power, whether of painter or poet, to describe rightly what he calls an ideal thing depends upon its being to him not an ideal but a real thing. No man ever did or ever will work well, but either from actual sight or sight of faith.
The practice of faith and obedience to some of our fellow-creatures is the alphabet by which we learn the higher obedience to heaven; and it is not only needful to the prosperity of all noble united action, but essential to the happiness of all noble living spirits.
The primal condition of virtue is that it shall not know of, or believe in, any blessed islands till it find them, it may be, in due time.
The proper confidant of a girl is her father. What she is not inclined to tell her father should be told to no one, and, in nine cases out of ten, not thought of by herself.
The proper power of faith is to trust without evidence, not with evidence.
The proper reward of the good workman is to be “chosen.”
The property of a man consists in (a) good things, (b) goods which he has honestly got, and (c) goods he can skilfully use.
The prosperity of our neighbours in the end is our own, and the poverty of our neighbours becomes also in the end our own.
The question of questions (for men and nations) is—not how far they are from heaven, but whether they are going to it. (So in art) it is not the wisdom or the barbarism that you have to estimate, not the skill or the rudeness, but the tendency.
The real science of political economy is that which teaches nations to desire and labour for the things that lead to life; and which teaches them to scorn and destroy the things that lead to destruction.
The religious passion is nearly always vividest where the art is weakest; and the technical skill only reaches its deliberate splendour when the ecstasy which gave it birth has passed away for ever.
The right law of education is that you take the most pains with the best material. Never waste pains on bad ground, but spare no labour on the good, or on what has in it the capacity of good.
The romantic is the instinctive delight in, and admiration for, sublimity, beauty, and virtue, unusually manifested.
The root of almost every schism and heresy from which the Christian Church has suffered has been the effort of men to earn, rather than to receive, their salvation; and the reason that preaching is so commonly ineffectual is, that it calls on men oftener to work for God than to behold God working for them.
The safest and purest joys of human life rebuke the violence of its passions; they are obtainable without anxiety and memorable without regret.
The secret of language is the secret of sympathy, and its full charm is possible only to the gentle.
The seers are wholly a greater race than the thinkers; (yet) a true thinker, who has a practical purpose in his thinking, and is sincere, as Plato, or Carlyle, or Helps, becomes in some sort a seer, and must be always of infinite use in his generation.
The sense of beauty never furthered the performance of a single duty.
The soldier’s trade, verily and essentially, is not slaying, but being slain … and the reason the world honours the soldier is because he holds his life at the service of the state.
The soldier’s ultimate and perennial office is to punish knaves and make idle persons work; the defence of his country against other countries, which is his office at present, will soon now be extinct.
The sorrowfulest of fates is to have liberty without deserving it.
The soul of man is a mirror of the mind of God.
The soul’s armour is never well set to the heart unless a woman’s hand has braced it.
The springing of a serpent is from the sun; the wisdom of the serpent, whence is that?
The strength and power of a country depends absolutely on the quantity of good men and women in it.
The strong torrents, which in their own gladness fill the hills with hollow thunder and the vales with winding light, have yet their bounden charge of field to feed and barge to bear.
The substantial wealth of a man consists in the earth he cultivates with its plants and animals, and in the rightly produced works of his own hands.
The system of the world is entirely one; small things and great are alike part of one mighty whole.
The teaching of art is the teaching of all things.
The teachings of Heaven are given—by sad law—in so obscure, nay, often in so ironical a manner, that a blockhead necessarily reads them wrong.
The thirst for truth still remains with us, even when we have wilfully left the fountains of it.
The true “compulsory education” now needed is not catechism, but drill.
The true good (all of it) and glory even of this world, not to speak of any that is to come, must be bought still, as it always has been, with our toil and with our tears. That is the final doctrine, the inevitable one, not of Christianity only, but of all heroic faith and heroic being.
The true labourer is worthy of his hire, but, in the beginning and first choice of industry, his heart must not be the heart of an hireling.
The true mind of a nation, at any period, is always best ascertainable by examining that of its greatest men.
The true strength of every human soul is to be dependent on as many nobler as it can discern, and to be depended upon by as many inferior as it can reach.
The true veins of wealth are purple—not in rock, but in flesh—(and) the final outcome and consummation of all wealth is in producing as many as possible full-breathed, bright-eyed, and happy-hearted human creatures.
The truths of Nature are one eternal change, one infinite variety.
The unimaginative person can neither be reverent nor kind.
The utmost point and acme of honour is not merely in doing no evil, but in thinking none.
The value of a man, as of a horse, consists in your being able to bridle him, or, what is better, in his being able to bridle himself.
The value of a thing is its life-giving power.
The wealth of a country is in its good men and women, and in nothing else.
The whole difference between a man of genius and other men … is that the former remains in great part a child, seeing with the large eyes of children, in perpetual wonder, not conscious of much knowledge—conscious rather of infinite ignorance, and yet infinite power.
The whole function of the artist in the world is to be a seeing and a feeling creature; to be an instrument of such tenderness and sensitiveness that no shadow, no hue, no line, no instantaneous and evanescent expression of the visible things around him, nor any of the emotions which they are capable of conveying to the spirit which has been given him, shall either be left unrecorded, or fade from the book of record.
The wisdom of life is in preventing all the evil we can, and using what is inevitable to the best purpose.
The wise man knows his master; always some creature larger than himself, some law holier than himself.
The wisest men are wise to the full in death.
The work of science is to substitute facts for appearances, and demonstrations for impressions.
The world exists only by the strength of its silent virtue.
The world truly exists only in the presence of man, acts only in the passion of man. The essence of light is in his eyes—the centre of force in his soul—the pertinence of action in his deeds.
There are few thoughts likely to come across ordinary men which have not already been expressed by greater men in the best possible way; and it is a wiser, more generous, more noble thing to remember and point out the perfect words than to invent poorer ones, wherewith to encumber temporarily the world.
There are many religions, but there is only one morality.
There are no chagrins so venomous as the chagrins of the idle; no pangs so sickening as the satieties of pleasure.
There are no laws by which we can write Iliads.
There are soldiers of the ploughshare as well as soldiers of the sword.
There are three material things, not only useful, but essential, to life—pure air, water, and earth; and three immaterial that are equally essential—admiration, hope, and love.
There are two, and only two, forms of possible gospel or “good message”—one, that men are saved by themselves doing what is right; and the other, that they are saved by believing that somebody also did right instead of them. The first of these gospels is eternally true and holy; the other eternally false, damnable, and damning.
There are very few people in this world who get any good by either writing or reading.
There have been in all ages children of God and of man; the one born of the Spirit, and obeying it; the other born of the flesh, and obeying it.
There is a care for trifles which proceeds from love and conscience, and is most holy; and a care for trifles which comes of idleness and frivolity, and is most base. And so, also, there is a gravity proceeding from thought, which is most noble; and a gravity proceeding from dulness and mere incapability of enjoyment, which is most base.
There is a different kind of knowledge good for every different creature, and the glory of the higher creatures is in ignorance of what is known to the lower.
There is a flush of the body which is full of warmth and life, and another which will pass into putrefaction.
There is a true Church whenever one meets another helpfully, and that is the only holy or Mother Church which ever was or ever shall be.
There is far less pleasure in doing a thing beautifully than in seeing it beautifully done.
There is forgiveness with God and Christ for the passing sin of the hot heart, but none for the eternal and inherent sin of the cold.
There is in this world infinitely more joy than pain to be shared, if you will only take your share when it is set before you.
There is need, bitter need, to bring back, if we may, into men’s minds, that to live is nothing unless to live be to know him by whom we live, and that He is not to be known amidst the hurry of crowds and crash of innovation, but in solitary places, and out of the glowing intelligence which he gave to men of old.
There is no better type of a perfectly free creature than the common house-fly.
There is no harm in anybody thinking that Christ is in bread. The harm is in the expectation of His presence in gunpowder.
There is no legislation for liars and traitors; they cannot be prevented from the pit; the earth finally swallows them…. There is no law for these but gravitation.
There is no part of the furniture of a man’s mind which he has a greater right to exult in than that which he has hewn and fashioned for himself.
There is no solemnity so deep, to a right thinking creature, as that of dawn.
There is no such thing as Liberty in the universe: there can never be. The stars have it not; the earth has it not; the sea has it not; and we men have the mockery and semblance of it only for our heaviest punishment.
There is no wealth but life—life, including all its powers of love, of joy, and of admiration.
There is nothing really more monstrous in any recorded savagery or absurdity of mankind than that governments should be able to get money for any folly they choose to commit, by selling to capitalists the right of taxing future generations to the end of time.
There is nothing so great or so goodly in creation, but it is a mean symbol of the gospel of Christ, and of the things that he has prepared for them that love him.
There is nothing so small but that we may honour God by asking his guidance of it, or insult him by taking it into our own hands.
There is only one cure for public distress, and that is public education, directed to make men thoughtful, merciful, and just.
There may come a day when there shall be no more curse; in the meantime you must be humble and honest enough to take your share of it.
There must be work done by the arms, or none of us would live; and work done by the brains, or the life would not be worth having. And the same men cannot do both.
Thoughtlessness is precisely the chief public calamity of our day.
To be disobedient through temptation is human sin; but to be disobedient for the sake of disobedience, fiendish sin. To be obedient for the sake of success in conduct is human virtue; to be obedient for the sake of obedience, angelic virtue.
To be magnanimous—mighty of heart, mighty of mind—is to be great in life; to become this increasingly is to “advance in life.”
To confess Christ is, first, to believe righteously, truthfully, and continently; and, then, to separate ourselves from those who are manifestly or by profession rogues, liars, and fornicators.
To give alms is nothing unless you give thought also, and therefore it is written, not “Blessed is he that feedeth the poor,” but “Blessed is he that considereth the poor.”
To know what is useful and what useless, and to be skilful to provide the one and wise to scorn the other, is the first need for all industrious men.
To make a boy despise his mother’s care is the straightest way to make him also despise his Redeemer’s voice; and to make him scorn his father and his father’s house, the straightest way to make him deny his God and his God’s heaven.
To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion—all in one.
To show mercy is nothing—thy soul must be full of mercy; to be pure in act is nothing—thou shalt be pure in heart also.
To use books rightly is to go to them for help.
True knowledge is of virtues only.
True knowledge of any thing or any creature is only of the good of it.
True taste is for ever growing, learning, reading, worshipping, laying its hand upon its mouth because it is astonished, casting its shoes from off its feet because it finds all ground holy.
Truly great men are ever most heroic to those most intimate with them.
Truth is never learned, in any department of industry, by arguing, but by working and observing.
Truth is to be costly to you—of labour and patience; and you are never to sell it, but to guard and to give.
Twenty people can gain money for one who can use it; and the vital question for individuals and for nations, is never “how much do they make,” but “to what purpose do they spend.”
Two orders of poets I admit, but no third; the creative (Shakespeare, Homer, Dante), and reflective or perceptive (Wordsworth, Keats, Tennyson); and both these must be first-rate in their range.
Under all sorrow there is the force of virtue; over all ruin, the restoring charity of God. To these alone we have to look; in these alone we may understand the past, and predict the future destiny of the ages.
Under the weight of his knowledge, a man cannot move so lightly as in the days of his simplicity.
Undipped people may be as good as dipped, if their hearts are clean.His rendering of the faith of St. Martin.
Unless music exalt and purify, virtually it is not music at all.
Violent combativeness for particular sects, as Evangelical, Roman Catholic, High Church, Broad Church, or the like, is merely a form of party egoism, and a defiance of Christ, not a confession of Him.
Virtue does not consist in doing what will be presently paid; it will be paid some day; but the vital condition of it, as virtue, is that it shall be content in its own deed, and desirous rather that the pay of it, if any, should be for others.
Vulgarity consists in a deadness of the heart and body, resulting from prolonged, and especially from inherited conditions of “degeneracy,” or literally “unracing;” gentlemanliness being another name for intense humanity. And vulgarity shows itself in dulness of heart, not in rage or cruelty, but in inability to feel or conceive noble character or emotion. Dulness of bodily sense and general stupidity are its material manifestation.
We (in England) need examples of people who, leaving Heaven to decide whether they are to rise in the world, decide for themselves that they will be happy in it, and have resolved to seek—not greater wealth, but simpler pleasure; not higher fortune, but deeper felicity; making the first of possessions self-possession, and honouring themselves in the harmless pride and calm pursuits of peace.
We are not sent into this world to do anything into which we cannot put our hearts. We have certain work to do for our bread, and that is to be done strenuously; other work to do for our delight, and that is to be done heartily; neither is to be done by halves or shifts, but with a will; and what is not worth this effort is not to be done at all.
We can only possess wealth according to our capacity.
We conceive, I think, more nobly of the weak presence of Paul than of the fair and ruddy countenance of David.
We have nothing to do with what is happening in space (or possibly may happen in time); we have only to attend to what is happening here—and now.
We manufacture everything there (in our manufacturing cities) except men; we blanch cotton, and strengthen steel, and refine sugar, and shape pottery; but to brighten, to strengthen, to refine, or to form a single living spirit, never enters into our estimate of advantages.
We may have once been slugs, and may one day be angels, but we are men now; and we must, as men, do our work honourably and thoroughly.
We never can know the truth of sin; for its nature is to deceive alike on the one side the sinner and on the other the judge.
We treat God with irreverence by banishing him from our thoughts, not by referring to his will on slight occasions.
We want downright facts at present more than anything else.
We want one man to be always thinking, and another to be always working, and we call the one a gentleman, and the other an operative; whereas the workman ought often to be thinking, and the thinker often to be working, and both should be gentlemen in the best sense.
Wealth consists of the good, and therefore useful, things in the possession of the nation; money is only the written or coined sign of the relative quantities of wealth in each person’s possession.
Wealth implies the possession of what is of intrinsic value and of a capacity to use it.
Wealth is the possession of useful articles which we can use, (so that) instead of depending merely on a “have,” it is thus seen to depend on a “can.”
What chiefly distinguishes great artists from feeble artists is first their sensibility and tenderness; secondly, their imagination; and thirdly, their industry.
What is cheapest to you now is likely to be dearest in the end.
What is chiefly needed in the England of the present day is to show the quantity of pleasure that may be obtained by a consistent, well-administered competence, modest, confessed, and laborious.
What people call her (England’s) history is not hers at all; but that of her kings (though the history of them is worth reading), or the tax-gatherers employed by them, which is as if people were to call Mr. Gladstone’s history or Mr. Lowe’s, yours or mine.
What we foolishly call vastness is not more wonderful or not more impressive than what we insolently call littleness.
What we like determines what we are, and is the sign of what we are.
Whatever bit of a wise man’s work is honestly and benevolently done, that bit is his book or his piece of art.
Whatever foolish people read, does them harm; and whatever they write, does other people harm.
Whatever in literature, art, or religion is done for money is poisonous itself, and doubly deadly in preventing the hearing or seeing of the noble literature and art which have been done for love and truth.
Whatever is great in human art is the expression of man’s delight in God’s work.
Whatever makes religion its second object, makes it no object.
When a man is base at the heart, he blights his virtues into weaknesses; but when he is true at the heart, he sanctifies his weaknesses into virtues.
When a youth is fully in love with a girl, and feels that he is wise in loving her, he should at once tell her so plainly, and take his chance bravely with other suitors.
When we build (public edifices), let us think that we build for ever.
When you have got so much true knowledge as is worth fighting for, you are bound to fight or to die for it, but not to debate about it any more.
Where man is, are the tropics; where he is not, the ice-world.
Where there is no sympathy with the spirit of man, there can be no sympathy with any higher spirit.
Wheresoever the search after truth begins, there life begins; wheresoever the search ceases, there life ceases.
Wherever a true woman comes, home is always around her. The stars may be over her head, the glow-worms in the night-cold grass may be the fire at her feet; but home is where she is; and for a noble woman it stretches far around her, better than houses ceiled with cedar or painted with vermilion, shedding its quiet light far for those who else are homeless.
Wherever there is war, there must be injustice on one side or the other, or on both.
Whether it be for life or death, do your own work well.
While manufacture is the work of hands only, art is the work of the whole spirit of man; and as that spirit is, so is the deed of it.
Wise men are wise but not prudent, in that they know nothing of what is for their own advantage, but know surpassing things, marvellous things, difficult things, and divine things.
Wise men, for the most part, are silent at present, and good men powerless; the senseless vociferate, and the heartless govern; while all social law and providence are dissolved by the enraged agitation of a multitude, among whom every villain has a chance of power, every simpleton of praise, and every scoundrel of fortune.
Wit-work is always play, when it is good.
With poetry second-rate in quality, no one ought to be allowed to trouble mankind.
With what is debateable I am unconcerned; and when I have only opinions about things … I do not talk about them. I attack only what cannot on any possible ground be defended; and state only what I know to be incontrovertibly true.
Woman’s function is a guiding, not a determining one.
Woman’s power is for rule, not for battle; and her intellect is not for invention or creation, but for sweet ordering, arrangement, and decision.
Women and clergymen have so long been in the habit of using pretty words without troubling themselves to understand them, that they now revolt from the effort, as if it were impiety.
Work first, you are God’s servants; fee first, you are the fiend’s.
Work is only done well when it is done with a will.
You are always willing enough to read lives, but never willing to lead them.
You can’t “have” your pudding unless you can “eat” it.
You cannot get anything out of Nature or from God by gambling;—only out your neighbour.
You cannot love the real sun, that is to say, physical light and colour, rightly, unless you love the spiritual sun, that is to say, justice and truth, rightly.
You cannot save men from death but by facing it for them, nor from sin but by resisting it for them.
You complain of the difficulty of finding work for your men; the real difficulty rather is to find men for your work.
You do not educate a man by telling him what he knew not, but by making him what he was not, and what he will remain for ever.
You knock a man into the ditch, and then you tell him to remain content in the “position in which Providence has placed him.”
You may overthrow a government in the twinkling of an eye, as you can blow up a ship or upset and sink one; but you can no more create a government with a word than an iron-clad.
You must educate for education’s sake only.
You never will love art well till you love what she mirrors better.
You ought to read books, as you take medicine, by advice, and not advertisement.
You will find rest unto your souls when first you take on you the yoke of Christ, but joy only when you have borne it as long as He wills.
Your hands in your own pockets in the morning, is the beginning of the last day; your hands in other people’s pockets at noon, is the height of the last day.
Your labour only may be sold; your soul must not.
Your prime one need is to do right, under whatever compulsion, till you can do it without compulsion. And then you are a Man.
Youth never yet lost its modesty where age had not lost its honour; nor did childhood ever refuse its reverence, except where age had forgotten correction.