C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


  • Oh, only a free soul will never grow old!
  • Suffering is my gain; I bow
  • To my heavenly Father’s will,
  • And receive it hushed and still:
  • Suffering is my worship now.
  • A beloved face cannot grow ugly, because, not flesh and complexion, but expression, created love.

    A female heart is often like marble: the cunning stone cutter strikes a thousand blows without the Parian block showing the line of a crack; but all at once it breaks asunder into the very form which the cunning stone cutter has so long been hammering after.

    A loving heart encloses within itself an unfading and eternal Eden. Hope is like a bad clock, forever striking the hour of happiness, whether it has come or not.

    A man should always allow his fears to rise to their highest possible pitch, and, then some consolation or other will suddenly fall, like a warm rain-drop, upon his heart.

    A man takes contradiction and advice much more easily than people think, only he will not bear it when violently given, even though it be well founded. Hearts are flowers, they remain open to the soft-falling dew, but shut up in the violent downpour of rain.

    A scholar has no ennui.

    A sky full of silent suns.

    A small sorrow distracts, a great one makes us collected; as a bell loses its clear tone when slightly cracked, and recovers it if the fissure is enlarged.

    A timid person is frightened before a danger, a coward during the time, and a courageous person afterwards.

    A woman is the most inconsistent compound of obstinacy and self-sacrifice that I am acquainted with.

    According to Democritus, truth lies at the bottom of a well, the depth of which, alas! gives but little hope of release. To be sure, one advantage is derived from this, that the water serves for a mirror, in which truth may be reflected. I have heard, however, that some philosophers, in seeking for truth, to pay homage to her, have seen their own image and adored it instead.

    After a man has sown his wild oats in the years of his youth, he has still every year to get over a few weeks and days of folly.

    Age and sufferings had already marked out the first incisions for death, so that he required but little effort to cut her down; for it is with men as with trees, they are notched long before felling, that their life-sap may flow out.

    Ah! the youngest heart has the same waves within it as the oldest, but without the plummet which can measure their depths.

    Ah! what seeds for a paradise I bore in my heart, of which birds of prey have robbed me.

    All cares appear twice as large as they really are, owing to their emptiness and darkness; and so is it with the grave.

    All loving emotions, like plants, shoot up most rapidly in the tempestuous atmosphere of life.

    All weighty things are done in solitude, that is, without society. The means of improvement consist not in projects, or in any violent designs, for these cool, and cool very soon, but in patient practicing for whole long days, by which I make the thing clear to my highest reason.

    Among all the instruments which sound in Haydn’s child’s concerts, that best serves the purposes of educational music which is born with the performer,—the voice. In the childhood of nations speaking was singing.

    And now he shook away the snow of time from the winter-green of memory, and beheld the fair years of his childhood uncovered, fresh, green, and balmy, standing afar off before him.

    Anger wishes all mankind had only one neck; love, that it had only one heart; grief, two tear-garlands; pride, two bent knees.

    Art is indeed not the bread but the wine of life.

    As a tract of country narrowed in the distance expands itself when we approach, thus the way to our near grave appears to us as long as it did formerly when we were far off.

    As Rubens by one stroke converted a laughing into a crying child, so nature frequently makes this stroke in the original; a child’s eye, like the sun, never draws water so readily as in the hot temperature of pleasure.

    Beauty attracts us men, but if, like an armed magnet it is pointed with gold or silver beside, it attracts with tenfold power.

    Because a total eclipse of the sun is above my own head, I will not therefore insist that there must be an eclipse in America also; and because snowflakes fall before my own nose, I need not believe that the Gold Coast is snowed up also.

    Begin the education of the heart, not with the cultivation of noble propensities, but with the cutting away of those that are evil. When once the noxious herbs are withered and rooted out, then the more noble plants, strong in themselves, will shoot upwards. The virtuous heart, like the body, becomes strong and healthy more by labor than nourishment.

    Blessedness is a whole eternity older than damnation.

    Brevity is the body and soul of wit. It is wit itself, for it alone isolates sufficiently for contrasts; because redundancy or diffuseness produces no distinctions.

    But the grave is not deep; it is the shining tread of an angel that seeks us. When the unknown hand throws the fatal dart at the end of man, then boweth he his head and the dart only lifts the crown of thorns from his wounds.

    By Heaven! upon the same man, as upon a vine-planted mount, there grow more kinds of wine than one; on the south side something little worse than nectar, on the north side something little better than vinegar.

    Cares are often more difficult to throw off than sorrows; the latter die with time, the former grow upon it.

    Charms, which, like flowers, lie on the surface and always glitter, easily produce vanity; hence women, wits, players, soldiers, are vain, owing to their presence, figure, and dress. On the contrary, other excellences, which lie down like gold and are discovered with difficulty,—strength, profoundness of intellect, morality,—leave their possessors modest and proud.

    Clouds are the veil behind which the face of day coquettishly hides itself, to enhance its beauty.

    Connoisseur says that every secret he tells to one of the fair sex is a sticking-plaster, which attaches him to her, and often begets a second secret.

    Courage consists not in blindly overlooking danger, but in seeing it and conquering it.

    Courage is a virtue of no doubtful seeming; there can be no contradiction, no diversity of opinion, about it.

    Criticism often takes from the tree caterpillars and blossoms together.

    Death gives us sleep, eternal youth, and immortality.

    Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good actions; try to use ordinary situations.

    Each departed friend is a magnet that attracts us to the next world, and the old man lives among graves.

    Ephemera die all at sunset, and no insect of this class has ever sported in the beams of the morning sun. Happier are ye, little human ephemera! Ye played only in the ascending beams, and in the early dawn, and in the eastern light; ye drank only of the prelibations of life; hovered for a little space over the world of freshness and of blossoms; and fell asleep in innocence before yet the morning dew was exhaled.

    Every friend is to the other a sun, and a sunflower also. He attracts and follows.

    Every man deems that he has precisely the trials and temptations which are the hardest of all for him to bear; but they are so, because they are the very ones he needs.

    Every man has two educations—that which is given to him, and the other, that which he gives to himself. Of the two kinds, the latter is by far the most valuable. Indeed, all that is most worthy in a man, he must work out and conquer for himself. It is that that constitutes our real and best nourishment. What we are merely taught seldom nourishes the mind like that which we teach ourselves.

    Everything holy is before what is unholy; guilt presupposes innocence, not the reverse; angels, but not fallen ones, were created. Hence man does not properly rise to the highest, but first sinks gradually down from it, and then afterwards rises again; a child can never be considered too innocent and good.

    Fancy rules over two thirds of the universe, the past and the future, while reality is confined to the present.

    Feelings come and go like light troops following the victory of the present; but principles, like troops of the line, are undisturbed, and stand fast.

    Flatterers of every age resemble those African tribes of which the credulous Pliny speaks, who made men, animals, and even plants perish, while fascinating them with praises.

    Flowers never emit so sweet and strong a fragrance as before a storm. Beauteous soul! when a storm approaches thee, be as fragrant as a sweet-smelling flower.

    For from the crushed flowers of gladness on the road of life a sweet perfume is wafted over to the present hour, as marching armies often send out from heaths the fragrance of trampled plants.

    For variety of mere nothings gives more pleasure than uniformity of something.

    Friendship requires deeds.

    Genius is ever a riddle to itself.

    Girls, like the priestesses of old, should be educated only in sacred places, and never hear, nor much less see, what is rude, immoral, or violent.

    “Give me,” said Herder to his son, as he lay in the parched weariness of his last illness,—“give me a great thought, that I may quicken myself with it.”

    God is the light which, never seen itself, makes all things visible, and clothes itself in colors. Thine eye feels not its ray, but thine heart feels its warmth.

    Good deeds ring clear through heaven, like a bell.

    Good men can more easily see through bad men than the latter can the former.

    Gray hairs seem to my fancy like the light of a soft moon, silvering over the evening of life.

    Great souls attract sorrow as mountains do storms.

    Has it never occurred to us, when surrounded by sorrows, that they may be sent to us only for our instruction, as we darken the cages of birds when we wish to teach them to sing.

    He who gives up the smallest part of a secret has the rest no longer in his power.

    He who possesses religion finds a providence not more truly in the history of the world than in his own family history; the rainbow, which hangs a glistering circle in the heights of heaven, is also formed by the same sun in the dew-drop of a lowly flower.

    He, the Holiest among the mighty, and the Mightiest among the holy, has lifted with His pierced hands empires off their hinges, has turned the stream of centuries out of its channel, and still governs the ages.

    Helpless mortal! Thine arm can destroy thousands at once, but cannot enclose even two of thy fellow-creatures at once in the embrace of love and sympathy!

    Herder and Schiller both in their youth intended to study as surgeons; but Destiny said, “No, there are deeper wounds than those of the body,—heal the deeper!” and they wrote.

    History, like religion, unites all learning and power, especially ancient history; that is, the history of the nations of the youthful world—Grecian and Roman, Jewish and early Christian.

    Hope is the ruddy morning of joy.

    How calmly may we commit ourselves to the hands of Him who bears up the world—of Him who has created, and who provides for the joys even of insects, as carefully as if He were their father.

    How narrow our souls become when absorbed in any present good or ill! It is only the thought of the future that makes them great.

    Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying for forgiveness, or else forgiving another.

    I would rather dwell in the dim fog of superstition than in air rarefied to nothing by the air-pump of unbelief; in which the panting breast expires, vainly and convulsively gasping for breath.

    Idleness is many gathered miseries in one name.

    “If flowers have souls,” said Undine, “the bees, whose nurses they are, must seem to them darling children at the breast. I once fancied a paradise for the spirits of departed flowers.” “They go,” answered I, “not into paradise, but into a middle state; the souls of lilies enter into maidens’ foreheads, those of hyacinths and forget-me-nots dwell in their eyes, and those of roses in their lips.”

    If men had only temptations to great sins, they would always be good; but the daily fight with little ones accustoms them to defeat.

    If self-knowledge be a path to virtue, virtue is a much better one to self-knowledge. The more pure the soul becomes, it will, like certain precious stones that are sensible to the contact of poison, shrink from the fetid vapors of evil impressions.

    If there was no future life, our souls would not thirst for it.

    In fashionable circles general satire, which attacks the fault rather than the person, is unwelcome; while that which attacks the person and spares the fault is always acceptable.

    Individuality is everywhere to be spared and respected as the root of everything good.

    Inspect the neighborhood of thy life; every shelf, every nook of thy abode; and, nestling in, quarter thyself, in the farthest and most domestic winding of thy snail-house!

    Is there anything in life so lovely and poetical as the laugh and merriment of a young girl, who, still in harmony with all her powers, sports with you in luxuriant freedom, and in her mirthfulness neither despises nor dislikes? Her gravity is seldom as innocent as her playfulness; still less that haughty discontent which converts the youthful Psyche into a dull, thick, buzzing, wing-drooping night moth.

    It is a common error, of which a wise man will beware, to measure the worth of our neighbor by his conduct towards ourselves. How many rich souls might we not rejoice in the knowledge of, were it not for our pride!

    It is a delightful thought, that, during the familiarity of constant proximity, the heart gathers up in silence the nutriment of love, as the diamond, even beneath water, imbibes the light it emits. Time, which deadens hatred, secretly strengthens love.

    It is a part of good breeding that a man should be polite even to himself.

    It is a well-known psychological fact that the conscience of children is formed by the influences that surround them; and that their notions of good and evil are the result of the moral atmosphere they breathe.

    It is easy to flatter; it is harder to praise.

    It is good to respect old thoughts in the newest books, because the old works in which they stand are not read. New translations of many truths, as of foreign standard works, must be given forth every half-century.

    It is only reason that teaches silence. The heart teaches us to speak.

    It is our kindest and tenderest emotion which we screen from the world.

    It is the only paradise out of which we cannot be driven.

    Joys are our wings, sorrows are our spurs.

    Let a woman once give you a task, and you are hers, heart and soul; all your care and trouble lend new charms to her for whose sake they are taken. To rescue, to revenge, to instruct, or protect a woman is all the same as to love her.

    Let us accept different forms of religion among men, as we accept different languages, wherein there is still but one human nature expressed. Every genius has most power in his own language, and every heart in its own religion.

    Letters which are warmly sealed are often but coldly opened.

    Liars act like the salt miners; they undermine the truth, but leave just so much standing as is necessary to support the edifice.

    Life, like the water of the seas, freshens only when it ascends towards heaven.

    Lift thyself up, look around, and see something higher and brighter than earth, earthworms, and earthly darkness.

    Like a morning dream, life becomes more and more bright the longer we live, and the reason of everything appears more clear. What has puzzled us before seems less mysterious, and the crooked paths look straighter as we approach the end.

    Little joys refresh us constantly, like house-bread, and never bring disgust; and great ones, like sugar-bread, briefly, and then satiety.

    Living religion grows not by the doctrines but by the narratives of the Bible: the best Christian religious doctrine is the life of Christ, and after that the sufferings and deaths of His followers, even those not related in Holy Writ.

    Long talking begets short hearing, for people go away.

    Look upon every day, O youth, as the whole of life, not merely as a section, and enjoy the present without wishing through haste, to spring on to another.

    Love lessens woman’s delicacy and increases man’s.

    Love requires not so much proofs, as expressions, of love. Love demands little else than the power to feel and to requite love.

    Love, like men, dies oftener of excess than of hunger.

    Man can only learn to rise from the consideration of that which he cannot surmount.

    Man has here two and a half minutes,—one to smile, one to sigh, and half an one to love; for in the midst of this minute he dies.

    Many flowers open to the sun, but only one follows him constantly. Heart, be thou the sunflower, not only open to receive God’s blessing, but constant in looking to Him.

    Memory, wit, fancy, acuteness, cannot grow young again in old age; but the heart can.

    Men ascribe a great value in the sight of God to their barren belief. Why are we so anxious that our neighbor should have our faith and not our practice?

    Men, like bullets, go farthest when they are smoothest.

    Men’s feelings are always purest and most glowing in the hour of meeting and of farewell; like the glaciers, which are transparent and rosy-hued only at sunrise and sunset, but throughout the day gray and cold.

    Misery is so little appertaining to our nature, and happiness so much so, that we in the same degree of illusion only lament over that which has pained us, but leave unnoticed that which has rejoiced us.

    More joyful eyes look at the setting than at the rising sun. Burdens are laid down by the poor, whom the sun consoles more than the rich. No star and no moon announce the rising sun; and does not the setting sun, like a lover, leave behind his image in the moon? I yearn towards him when he sets, not when he rises.

    Most of the poets of to-day have the spider’s talent of spinning, but not her art of weaving.

    Music is the metre of this poetic movement, and is an invisible dance, as dancing is a silent music.

    Music is the only one of the fine arts in which not only man, but all other animals, have a common property,—mice and elephants, spiders and birds.

    Music is the poetry of the air.

    Music, if only listened to, and not scientifically cultivated, gives too much play to the feelings and fancy; the difficulties of the art draw forth the whole energies of the soul.

    Music, rather than poetry, should be called “the happy art.”

    Nations and men are only the best when they are the gladdest, and deserve heaven when they enjoy it.

    Nature sent women into the world with this bridal dower of love, for this reason, that they might be, what their destination is, mothers, and love children, to whom sacrifices must ever be offered, and from whom none are to be obtained.

    Never does a man portray his own character more vividly than in his manner of portraying another.

    Never write on a subject without having first read yourself full on it; and never read on a subject till you have thought yourself hungry on it.

    Never, never has one forgotten his pure, right-educating mother! On the blue mountains of our dim childhood, towards which we ever turn and look, stand the mothers who marked out to us from thence our life; the most blessed age must be forgotten ere we can forget the warmest heart. You wish, O woman, to be ardently loved, and forever, even till death. Be, then, the mothers of your children.

    Night was drawing and closing her curtain up above the world, and down beneath it.

    No man can either live piously or die righteous without a wife.

    No one is so much alone in the universe as a denier of God.

    No school is more necessary to children than patience, because either the will must be broken in childhood or the heart in old age.

    “Not the cry, but the flight of a wild duck,” says a Chinese author, “leads the flock to fly and follow.”

    Nothing can embellish a beautiful face more than a narrow band that indicates a small wound drawn crosswise over the brow.

    O rest! thou soft word! autumnal flower of Eden! moonlight of the spirit! Rest of the soul, when wilt thou hold our head that it may cease beating?

    O the wound of conscience is no scar, and time cools it not with his wing, but merely keeps it open with his scythe.

    O, banish the tears of children! Continual rains upon the blossoms are hurtful.

    O, if the loving, closed heart of a good woman should open before a man, how much controlled tenderness, how many veiled sacrifices and dumb virtues, would he see reposing therein?

    Of permanent griefs there are none, for they are but clouds. The swifter move through the sky, the more follow after them; and even the immovable ones are absorbed by the other, and become smaller till they vanish.

    Often a nosegay of wild flowers, which was to us, as village children, a grove of pleasure, has in after years of manhood, and in the town, given us by its old perfume, an indescribable transport back into godlike childhood; and how, like a flower goddess, it has raised us into the first embracing Aurora clouds of our first dim feelings!

    Oh, if the loving, closed heart of a good woman should open before a man, how much controlled tenderness, how many veiled sacrifices and dumb virtues, would be seen reposing there!

    Old men’s lives are lengthened shadows; their evening sun falls coldly on the earth, but the shadows all point to the morning.

    One learns taciturnity best among people who have none, and loquacity among the taciturn.

    Only actions give life strength; only moderation gives it a charm.

    Our course heavenward is something like the plan of the zealous pilgrims to Jerusalem of old, who for every three steps forward took one backward.

    Our follies and errors are the soiled steps to the Grecian temple of our perfection.

    Paradise is always where love dwells.

    Place moral heroes in the field, and heroines follow them as brides, but the opposite does not hold true; no heroine can create a hero through love of her, but she may give birth to one.

    Poverty is the only load which is the heavier the more loved ones there are to assist in supporting it.

    Prayer purifies: it is a self-preached sermon.

    Principles, like troops of the line, are undisturbed, and stand fast.

    Reader, when that which thou lovedst has long vanished from the earth or from thy fancy, then will nevertheless the beloved voice come back, and bring with it all thy old tears, and the disconsolate heart which has shed them.

    Regularity is unity; unity is godlike.

    Remembrance is the only paradise out of which we cannot be driven away.

    Remembrances last longer than present reality, as I have conserved blossoms many years, but never fruits. Yes, there are tender female souls which intoxicate themselves only among the blossoms of the vineyard of joy, as others do only with the berries of the vinehill.

    See, indeed, that your daughter is thoroughly grounded and experienced in household duties; but take care, through religion and poetry, to keep her heart open to heaven.

    Sin and hedgehogs are born without spikes; but how they prick and wound after their birth, we all know.

    Since truthfulness, as a conscious virtue and sacrifice, is the blossom, nay, the pollen, of the whole moral growth, it can only grow with its growth, and open when it has reached its height.

    Sleep, riches, and health are only truly enjoyed after they have been interrupted.

    Sleep, the antechamber of the grave.

    So long as the word “God” endures in a language will it direct the eyes of men upwards. It is with the Eternal as with the sun, which, if but its smallest part can shine uneclipsed, prolongs the day, and gives its rounded image in the dark chamber.

    Sorrow causes more absence of mind and confusion than so-called levity.

    Sorrow seems sent for our instruction, as we darken the cages of birds when we would teach them to sing.

    Sorrows are like thunder-clouds,—in the distance they look black, over our heads hardly gray.

    Spring, the Raphael of the northern earth, stood already out of doors, and covered all apartments of our Vatican with his pictures.

    Stately Spring! whose robe-folds are valleys, whose breast-bouquet is gardens, and whose blush is a vernal evening.

    Strong characters are brought out by change of situation, and gentle ones by permanence.

    Suns are sunflowers of a higher light.

    Tears of joy are the dew in which the sun of righteousness is mirrored.

    Tears soothe suffering eyes.

    That season of childhood, when the soul, on the rainbow bridge of fancy, glides along, dry-shod, over the walls and ditches of this lower earth.

    The apparently irreconcilable dissimilarity between our wishes and our means, between our hearts and this world, remains a riddle.

    The book that a person is beginning to create or design contains within itself half a life, and God only knows what an expanse of futurity also.

    The clew of our destiny, wander where we will, lies at the cradle foot.

    The contemplation of night should lead to elevating rather than to depressing ideas. Who can fix his mind on transitory and earthly things, in presence of those glittering myriads of worlds; and who can dread death or solitude in the midst of this brilliant, animated universe, composed of countless suns and worlds, all full of light and life and motion?

    The darkness of death is like the evening twilight; it makes all objects appear more lovely to the dying.

    The echo of the nest-life, the voice of our modest, fairer, holier soul, is audible only in a sorrow-darkened bosom, as the nightingales warble when one veils their cage.

    The fates glide with linked hands over life.

    The feelings, like flowers and butterflies, last longer the later they are delayed.

    The grandest of heroic deeds are those which are performed within four walls and in domestic privacy.

    The great shadow and profile of day.

    The greatest hatred, like the greatest virtue and the worst dogs, is quiet,

    The guardian angel of life sometimes flies so high that man cannot see it; but he always is looking down upon us, and will soon hover nearer to us.

    The gymnasium of running, walking on stilts, climbing, etc., steels and makes hardy single powers and muscles, but dancing, like a corporeal poesy, embellishes, exercises, and equalizes all the muscles at once.

    The happiness of life consists, like the day, not in single flashes of light, but in one continuous mild serenity. The most beautiful period of the heart’s existence is in this calm, equable light, even although it be only moonshine or twilight. Now the mind alone can obtain for us this heavenly cheerfulness and peace.

    The heart needs not for its heaven much space, nor many stars therein, if only the star of love has arisen.

    The intolerant man is the real pedant.

    The inward fragrance of a young girl’s heart is what crystallizes into love.

    The last, best fruit that comes to perfection, even in the kindliest soul, is tenderness toward the hard; forbearance toward the unforbearing; warmth of heart toward the cold; and philanthropy toward the misanthropic.

    The long sleep of death closes our scars, and the short sleep of life our wounds. Sleep is the half of time which heals us.

    The miracles of earth are the laws of heaven.

    The more sand has escaped from the hour-glass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.

    The more weakness the more falsehood; strength goes straight; every cannon-ball that has in it hollows and holes goes crooked. Weaklings must lie.

    The most elevated and pure souls cannot hear, even from the lips of the most contemptible men, these words, “friendship,” “sensibility,” “virtue,” without immediately attaching to them all the grandeur of which their heart is susceptible.

    The most painful part of our bodily pain is that which is bodiless or immaterial,—namely, our impatience, and the delusion that it will last forever.

    The Omnipotent has sown His name on the heavens in glittering stars, but upon earth He planteth His name by tender flowers.

    The only medicine which does women more good than harm is dress.

    The past and future are veiled; but the past wears the widow’s veil, the future, the virgin’s.

    The purer the golden vessel, the more readily is it bent; the higher worth of woman is sooner lost than that of man.

    The rose does not bloom without thorns. True; but would that the thorns did not outlive the rose!

    The smallest children are nearest to God, as the smallest planets are nearest the sun.

    The sublime is the temple-step of religion, as the stars are of immeasurable space. When what is mighty appears in nature,—a storm, thunder, the starry firmament, death,—then utter the word “God” before the child. A great misfortune, a great blessing, a great crime, a noble action, are building-sites for a child’s church.

    The tear of joy is a pearl of the first water; the mourning tear, only of the second.

    The very afflictions of our earthly pilgrimage are presages of our future glory, as shadows indicate the sun.

    The woman must not belong to herself; she is bound to alien destinies. But she performs her part best who can take freely of her own choice, the alien to her heart, can bear and foster it with sincerity and love.

    The youth of the soul is everlasting and eternity is youth.

    There are eyes which need only to look up, to touch every chord of a breast choked by the stifling atmosphere of stiff and stagnant society, and to call forth tones which might become the accompanying music of a life. This gentle transfusion of mind into mind is the secret of sympathy.

    There are so many tender and holy emotions flying about in our inward world, which, like angels, can never assume the body of an outward act; so many rich and lovely flowers spring up which bear no seed,—that it is a happiness poetry was invented, which receives into its limbus all these incorporated spirits and the perfume of all these flowers.

    There are souls which fall from heaven like flowers: but ere the pure and fresh buds can open, they are trodden in the dust of the earth, and lie soiled and crushed under the foul tread of some brutal hoof.

    There dwelt in him a mighty will, which merely said to the serving company of impulses: Let it be! Such a will is not stoicism, which rules merely over internal malefactors, or knaves, or prisoners of war, or children; but it is that genially energetic spirit which conditions and binds the healthy savages of our bosoms, and which says more royally than the Spanish regent to others: I, the king.

    There is a certain noble pride through which merits shine brighter than through modesty.

    There is a long and wearisome step between admiration and imitation.

    There is no calamity like ignorance.

    There remains in the faces of women who are naturally serene and peaceful, and of those rendered so by religion, an after-spring, and, later, an after-summer, the reflex of their most beautiful bloom.

    They used to think they were doing God a favor to print His name in capital letters.

    Thoughts perhaps, which, like field-mice of the soul, leap under the feet and stick like adders.

    Time is a continual over-dropping of moments, which fall down one upon the other and evaporate.

    Time is the chrysalis of eternity.

    Time, which deadens hatred, secretly strengthens love; and in the hour of threatened separation its growth is manifested at once in radiant brightness.

    To die for truth is not to die for one’s country, but to die for the world. Truth, like the Venus de Medici, will pass down in thirty fragments to posterity; but posterity will collect and recompose them into a goddess. Then, also, thy temple, O eternal Truth! that now stands half below the earth, made hollow by the sepulchres of its witnesses, will raise itself in the total majesty of its proportions, and will stand in monumental granite; and every pillar on which it rests will be fixed in the grave of a martyr.

    To form a brave man, educate boldly.

    To love all mankind, from the greatest to the lowest, a cheerful state of being is required; but in order to see into mankind, into life, and still more into ourselves, suffering is requisite.

    To love early and marry late is to hear a lark singing at dawn, and at night to eat it roasted for supper.

    To truth belongs freedom.

    Trifle we should not let plague us only, but also gratify us; we should seize not their poison-bags only, but their honey-bags also.

    Unhappy is the man for whom his own mother has not made all other mothers venerable.

    Universal love is a glove without fingers, which fits all hands alike, and none closely; but true affection is like a glove with fingers, which fits one hand only, and sits close to that one.

    We bewail our friends as if there were no better futurity yonder, and bewail ourselves as if there were no better futurity here; for all our passions are born atheists and infidels.

    We could not endure solitude were it not for the powerful companionship of hope, or of some unseen one.

    We do not marvel at the sunrise of a joy, only at its sunset! Then, on the other hand, we are amazed at the commencement of a sorrow-storm; but that it should go off in gentle showers, we think quite natural.

    We learn our virtues from the bosom friends who love us; our faults from the enemy who hates us. We cannot easily discover our real form from a friend. He is a mirror on which the warmth of our breath impedes the clearness of the reflection.

    We should be able to see without sadness our most holy wishes fade like sunflowers, because the sun above us still forever beams, eternally makes new, and cares for all.

    What is even poverty itself, that a man should murmur under it? It is but as the pain of piercing a maiden’s ear, and you hang precious jewels in the wound.

    What is highest and noblest in man conceals itself.

    What makes old age so sad is, not that our joys, but that our hopes then cease.

    What most increases anger is the feeling that one is in the wrong.

    When the heart of man is serene and tranquil, he wants to enjoy nothing but himself: every movement, even corporeal movement, shakes the brimming nectar cup too rudely.

    When thou forgivest,—the man who has pierced thy heart stands to thee in the relation of the sea-worm that perforates the shell of the mussel which straightway closes the wound with a pearl.

    When we die, we shall find we have not lost our dream; we have only lost our sleep.

    When, in your last hour (think of this), all faculty in the broken spirit shall fade away, and sink into inanity,—imagination, thought, effort, enjoyment,—then will the flower of belief, which blossoms even in the night, remain to refresh you with its fragrance in the last darkness.

    Whoever can turn his weeping eyes to heaven has lost nothing; for there above is everything he can wish for here below. He only is a loser who persists in looking down on the narrow plains of the present time.

    Why does the evening, does the night, put warmer love in our hearts? Is it the nightly pressure of helplessness? or is it the exalting separation from the turmoils of life,—that veiling of the world in which for the soul nothing then remains but souls?

    Why doth Fate, that often bestows thousands of souls on a conqueror or tyrant, to be the sport of his passions, so often deny to the tenderest and most feeling hearts one kindred one on which to lavish their affections? Why is it that Love must so often sigh in vain for an object, and Hate never?

    Why is it that a blessing only when it is lost cuts as deep into the heart as a sharp diamond? Why must we first weep before we can love so deeply that our hearts ache?

    Why must we first weep before we can love so deep that our hearts ache.

    Winter, which strips the leaves from around us, makes us see the distant regions they formerly concealed; so does old age rob us of our enjoyments, only to enlarge the prospect of eternity before us.

    Woman’s virtue is the music of stringed instruments, which sounds best in a room; but man’s that of wind instruments, which sounds best in the open air.

    Women always show more taste in adorning others than themselves; and the reason is that their persons are like their hearts—they read another’s better than they can their own.

    Women and men of retiring timidity are cowardly only in dangers which affect themselves, but the first to rescue when others are endangered.

    Women are like thermometers, which on a sudden application of heat sink at first a few degrees, as a preliminary to rising a good many.

    You think much too well of me as a man. No author can be as moral as his works, as no preacher is as pious as his sermons.