Excellence in art is to be attained only by active effort, and not by passive impressions; by the manly overcoming of difficulties, by patient struggle against adverse circumstance, by the thrifty use of moderate opportunities. The great artists were not rocked and dandled into eminence, but they attained to it by that course of labor and discipline which no man need go to Rome or Paris or London to enter upon.
The instinctive and universal taste of mankind selects flowers for the expression of its finest sympathies, their beauty and their fleetingness serving to make them the most fitting symbols of those delicate sentiments for which language itself seems almost too gross a medium.
Wealth brings noble opportunities, and competence is a proper object of pursuit; but wealth, and even competence, may be bought at too high a price. Wealth itself has no moral attribute. It is not money, but the love of money, which is the root of all evil. It is the relation between wealth and the mind and the character of its possessor which is the essential thing.