I know very well what Goethe meant when he said that he never had a chagrin but he made a poem out of it. I have altogether too much patience of this kind.
A man may acquire a taste for wine or brandy, and so lose his love for water, but should we not pity him.
The books for young people say a great deal about the selection of Friends; it is because they really have nothing to say about Friends. They mean associates and confidants merely.
The inhabitants of Canada appeared to be suffering between two fires, -- the soldiery and the priesthood.
It is remarkable that among all the preachers there are so few moral teachers. The prophets are employed in excusing the ways of men.
The sort of morality which the priests inculcate is a very subtle policy, far finer than the politicians', and the world is very successfully ruled by them as the policemen.
A healthy man, indeed, is the complement of the seasons, and in winter, summer is in his heart.
I have found it to be the most serious objection to coarse labors long continued, that they compelled me to eat and drink coarsely also.
The theories and speculations of men concern us more than their puny accomplishment. It is with a certain coldness and languor that we loiter about the actual and so-called practical.
Knowledge is to be acquired only by a corresponding experience. How can we know what we are told merely? Each man can interpret another's experience only by his own.
I would remind my countrymen that they are to be men first, and Americans only at a late and convenient hour.
I would remind my countrymen, that they are to be men first, and Americans only at a late and convenient hour. No matter how valuable law may be to protect your property, even to keep soul and body together, if it do not keep you and humanity together.
Renew thyself completely each day.
What wealth is it to have such friends that we cannot think of them without elevation!
The forests are held cheap after the white pine has been culled out; and the explorers and hunters pray for rain only to clear theatmosphere of smoke.
While my friend was my friend, he flattered me, and I never heard the truth from him. When he became my enemy, he shot it to me on a poisoned arrow.
Most are engaged in business the greater part of their lives, because the soul abhors a vacuum and they have not discovered any continuous employment for man's nobler faculties.
It is very rare that you meet with obstacles in this world, which the humblest man has not faculties to surmount.
It is good even to be a fisherman in summer and in winter.
It will always be found that one flourishing institution exists and battens on another mouldering one. The Present itself is parasitic to this extent.
The earth I tread on is not a dead inert mass. It is a body, has a spirit; is organic and fluid to the influence of its spirit and to whatever particle of the spirit is in me.
It is impossible to give a soldier a good education without making him a deserter. His natural foe is the government that drills him.
Anyone in a free society where the laws are unjust has an obligation to break the law.
As every season seems best to us in its turn, so the coming in of spring is like the creation of Cosmos out of Chaos and the realization of the Golden Age.
The whole body of what is now called moral or ethical truth existed in the golden age as abstract science. Or, if we prefer, we may say that the laws of Nature are the purest morality.
He who receives an injury is to some extent an accomplice of the wrong-doer.
In dreams we see ourselves naked and acting out our real characters, even more clearly than we see others awake.
Health requires this relaxation, this aimless life. This life in the present.
All perception of truth is the detection of an analogy.
If it is necessary, omit one bridge over the river, go round a little there, and throw one arch at least over the darker gulf of ignorance which surrounds us.
Behave so the aroma of your actions may enhance the general sweetness of the atmosphere.
Mathematics should be mixed not only with physics but with ethics.
It is the beauty within us that makes it possible for us to recognize the beauty around us. The question is not what you look at but what you see.
It's the beauty within us that makes it possible for us to recognize the beauty around us. The question is not what you look at but what you see.
The mission of men there seems to be, like so many busy demons, to drive the forest all out of the country, from every solitary beaver swamp and mountain-side, as soon as possible.
Being a teacher is like being in jail; once it's on your record, you can never get rid of it.
The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality.
It is not enough that we are truthful; we must cherish and carry out high purposes to be truthful about.
Invariably our best nights were those when it rained.
There is always some accident in the best things, whether thoughts or expressions or deeds. The memorable thought, the happy expression, the admirable deed are only partly ours.
The virtue of making two blades of grass grow where only one grew before does not begin to be superhuman.
If anything ail a man, so that he does not perform his functions, if he have a pain in his bowels even,- for that is the seat of sympathy,-he forthwith sets about reforming the world.
It is in vain to dream of a wildness distant from ourselves. There is none such.
It is in vain to dream of a wildness distant from ourselves. There is none such. It is the bog in our brains and bowels, the primitive vigor of Nature in us, that inspires that dream. I shall never find in the wilds of Labrador a greater wildness than in some recess of Concord.
Through want of enterprise and faith men are where they are, buying and selling and spending their lives like servants.
The inhabitants of the Cape generally do not complain of their soil, but will tell you that it is good enough for them to dry their fish on.
Every nail driven should be as another rivet in the machine of the universe, you carrying on the work.
There is a chasm between knowledge and ignorance which the arches of science can never span.
Great God, I ask thee for no meaner pelf Than that I may not disappoint myself, That in my action I may soar as high As I can now discern with this clear eye.
If you are chosen town clerk, forsooth, you cannot go to Tierra del Fuego this summer; but you may go to the land of infernal fire nevertheless.
The fruits eaten temperately need not make us ashamed of our appetites, nor interrupt the worthiest pursuits. But put an extra condiment into your dish, and it will poison you.
We have the St. Vitus' dance, and cannot possibly keep our heads still.
The success of great scholars and thinkers is commonly a courtier-like success, not kingly, not manly.
The success of great scholars and thinkers is commonly a courtier-like success, not kingly, not manly. They make shift to live merely by conformity, practically as their fathers did, and are in no sense the progenitors of a nobler race of men.
Tough times don't last but tough people do.
No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.
Men are born to succeed, not fail.
If you see a man approaching you with the obvious intent of doing you good, you should run for your life.
My soul and body have tottered along together of late, tripping and hindering one another like unpracticed Siamese twins.
When our life ceases to be inward and private, conversation degenerates into mere gossip.
He who cannot read is worse than deaf and blind, is yet but half alive, is still-born.
We are enabled to apprehend at all what is sublime and noble only by the perpetual instilling and drenching of the reality that surrounds us. We can never have enough of nature.
Your richest veins don't lie nearest the surface.
The government of the world I live in was not framed, like that of Britain, in after-dinner conversations over the wine.
There is a difference between eating and drinking for strength and from mere gluttony.
Almost any mode of observation will be successful at last, for what is most wanted is method.
It is time that we had uncommon schools, that we did not leave off our education when we begin to be men and women.
Men cannot conceive of a state of things so fair that it cannot be realized.
You only need sit still long enough in some attractive spot in the woods that all its inhabitants may exhibit themselves to you by turns.
Thus men will lie on their backs, talking about the fall of man, and never make an effort to get up.
The fault finder will find faults even in paradise and thereby miss the joys that recognition of the positives bring.
The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poor-house. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the alms-house as brightly as from the rich man's abode; the snow melts before its door as early in the spring. I do not see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts, as in a palace.
Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty.
Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.
The artist and his work are not to be separated. The most willfully foolish man cannot stand aloof from his folly, but the deed and the doer together make ever one sober fact.
Wealth can't buy heath, but heath can buy wealth.
We live but a fraction of our lives.
The words which express our faith and piety are not definite; yet they are significant and fragrant like frankincense to superior natures.
The way by which you may get money almost without exception leads downward.
I am sure that I never read any memorable news in a newspaper.
When I think of the gold-diggers and the Mormons, the slaves and the slave-holders and the flibustiers, I naturally dream of a glorious private life. No, I am not patriotic.
The bad are frequently good enough to let you see how bad they are, but the good as frequently endeavor to get between you and themselves.
We loiter in winter while it is already spring.
I know a good woman who thinks that her son lost his life because he took to drinking water only.
Whatever is, and is not ashamed to be, is good.
Though the hen should sit all day, she could lay only one egg, and, besides, would not have picked up materials for another.
When we are in health, all sounds fife and drum for us; we hear the notes of music in the air, or catch its echoes dying away when we awake in the dawn.
Truly, our greatest blessings are very cheap.
Hold fast to your most indefinite, waking dream.
How many a poor immortal soul I have met well-nigh crushed and smothered under its load, creeping down the road of life, pushing before it an oversized home.
The devil finds work for idle hands.
Enemies publish themselves. They declare war. The friend never declares his love.
So easy is it, though many housekeepers doubt it, to establish new and better customs in the place of the old.
I was daily intoxicated, yet no man could call me intemperate.
Music never stops; it is only the listening that is intermittent.
Government never furthered any enterprise but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way.
Knowledge does not come to us in details, but in flashes of light from heaven.
We are armed with language adequate to describe each leaf of the filed, but not to describe human character.
What is commonly called friendship is only a little more honor among rogues.
I look upon England today as an old gentleman who is travelling with a great deal of baggage, trumpery which has accumulated fromlong housekeeping, which he has not the courage to burn.
Be it life or death, we crave only reality.
Live free, child of the mist,- and with respect to knowledge we are allchildren of the mist.
The Ethiopian cannot change his skin nor the leopard his spots.
How many things are now at loose ends! Who knows which way the wind will blow tomorrow?
If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth.
If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth--certainly the machine will wear out… but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.
However mean your life is, meet it and live it.
However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man's abode; the snow melts before its door as early in the spring. I do not see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts, as in a palace.
I would not have any one adopt my mode of living on any account.
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