Reference > Quotations > C.N. Douglas, comp. > Forty Thousand Quotations > Primary Author Index
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
Horace Mann
  A teacher should, above all things, first induce a desire in the pupil for the acquisition he wishes to impart.  1
  A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.  2
  Above all, let the poor hang up the amulet of temperance in their homes.  3
  Affectation hides three times as many virtues as charity does sins.  4
  As an apple is not in any proper sense an apple until it is ripe, so a human being is not in any proper sense a human being until he is educated.  5
  Astronomy is one of the sublimest fields of human investigation. The mind that grasps its facts and principles receives something of the enlargement and grandeur belonging to the science itself. It is a quickener of devotion.  6
  Avoid witticisms at the expense of others.  7
  Be careful never to retire to rest in a room not properly ventilated.  8
  Biography, especially the biography of the great and good, who have risen by their own exertions from poverty and obscurity to eminence and usefulness, is an inspiring and ennobling study. Its direct tendency is to reproduce the excellence it records.  9
  Both poetry and philosophy are prodigal of eulogy over the mind which ransoms itself by its own energy from a captivity to custom, which breaks the common bounds of empire, and cuts a Simplon over mountains of difficulty for its own purposes, whether of good or of evil.  10
  Deeds survive the doers.  11
  Do not think of knocking out another person’s brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.  12
  Education alone can conduct us to that enjoyment which is at once best in quality and infinite in quantity.  13
  Education is a capital to the poor man, and an interest to the rich man.  14
  Education is our only political safety. Outside of this ark all is deluge.  15
  Education must bring the practice as nearly as possible to the theory. As the children now are, so will the sovereigns soon be.  16
  Enslave a man and you destroy his ambition, his enterprise, his capacity. In the constitution of human nature, the desire of bettering one’s condition is the mainspring of effort. The first touch of slavery snaps this spring.  17
  Every addition to true knowledge is an addition to human power.  18
  Every school boy and school girl who has arrived at the age of reflection ought to know something about the history of the art of printing.  19
  Finally, education alone can conduct us to that enjoyment which is, at once, best in quality and infinite in quantity.  20
  Genius may conceive, but patient labor must consummate.  21
  Good books are to the young mind what the warming sun and the refreshing rain of spring are to the seeds which have lain dormant in the frosts of winter. They are more, for they may save from that which is worse than death, as well as bless with that which is better than life.  22
  Great books are written for Christianity much oftener than great deeds are done for it. City libraries tell us of the reign of Jesus Christ, but city streets tell us of the reign of Satan.  23
  Habit is a cable. We weave a thread of it every day, and at last we cannot break it.  24
  Ideality is the avant-courier of the mind.  25
  If evil is inevitable, how are the wicked accountable? Nay, why do we call men wicked at all? Evil is inevitable, but it is also remediable.  26
  If temperance prevails, then education can prevail; if temperance fails, then education must fail.  27
  If the majority is insane, the sane must go to the hospital.  28
  If you wish to write well, study the life about you,—life in the public streets.  29
  Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up all the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge. He who dethrones the idea of law bids chaos welcome in its stead.  30
  In our country and in our times no man is worthy the honored name of statesman who does not include the highest practicable education of the people in all his plans of administration. He may have eloquence, he may have a knowledge of all history, diplomacy, jurisprudence; and by these he might claim, in other countries, the elevated rank of a statesman: but unless he speaks, plans, labors, at all times and in all places, for the culture and edification of the whole people, he is not, he cannot be, an American statesman.  31
  In such a world as ours the idle man is not so much a biped as a bivalve; and the wealth which breeds idleness, of which the English peerage is an example, and of which we are beginning to abound in specimens in this country, is only a sort of human oyster bed, where heirs and heiresses are planted, to spend a contemptible life of slothfulness in growing plump and succulent for the grave-worms’ banquet.  32
  In trying to teach children a great deal in a short time, they are treated not as though the race they were to run was for life, but simply a three-mile heat.  33
  In what pagan nation was Moloch ever propitiated by such an unbroken and swift-moving procession of victims as are offered to this Moloch of Christendom, intemperance.  34
  In youth, the artless index of the mind.  35
  It has long seemed to me that it would be more honorable to our ancestors to praise them in words less, but in deeds to imitate them more.  36
  It is more difficult, and calls for higher energies of soul, to live a martyr than to die one.  37
  It is well to think well: it is divine to act well.  38
  Jails and state prisons are the complement of schools; so many less as you have of the latter, so many more you must have of the former.  39
  Knowledge has its boundary line, where it abuts on ignorance; on the outside of that boundary line are ignorance and miracles; on the inside of it are science and no miracles.  40
  Let there be an entire abstinence from intoxicating drinks throughout this country during the period of a single generation, and a mob would be as impossible as combustion without oxygen.  41
  Let us labor for that larger and larger comprehension of truth, that more and more thorough repudiation of error, which shall make the history of mankind a series of ascending developments.  42
  Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever!  43
  Man is improvable. Some people think he is only a machine, and that the only difference between a man and a mill is, that one is carried by blood and the other by water.  44
  Manners are the root, laws only the trunk and branches. Manners are the archetypes of laws. Manners are laws in their infancy; laws are manners fully grown,—or, manners are children, which, when they grow up, become laws.  45
  Manners easily and rapidly mature into morals.  46
  Observation—activity of both eyes and ears.  47
  Of all “rights” which command attention at the present time among us, woman’s rights seem to take precedence.  48
  Our pious ancestors enacted a law that suicides should be buried where four roads meet, and that a cart-load of stones should be thrown upon the body. Yet when gentlemen or ladies commit suicide, not by cord or steel, but by turtle-soup or lobster-salad, they may be buried in consecrated ground, and under the auspices of the Church; and the public are not ashamed to read an epitaph on their tombstones false enough to make the marble blush. Were the barbarous old law now in force that punished the body of the suicide for the offence of his soul, we should find many a Mount Auburn at the cross-roads.  49
  Perhaps I do not know what I was made for; but one thing I certainly never was made for, and that is to put principles on and off at the dictation of a party, as a lackey changes his livery at his master’s command.  50
  Praise begets emulation,—a goodly seed to sow among youthful students.  51
  Reproof is a medicine like mercury or opium; if it be improperly administered, it will do harm instead of good.  52
  Resolve to edge in a little reading every day, if it is but a single sentence. If you gain fifteen minutes a day, it will make itself felt at the end of the year.  53
  Schoolhouses are the republican line of fortifications.  54
  Scientific truth is marvellous, but moral truth is divine; and whoever breathes its air and walks by its light has found the lost paradise.  55
  Superiority to circumstances is one of the most prominent characteristics of great men.  56
  Temptation is a fearful word. It indicates the beginning of a possible series of infinite evils. It is the ringing of an alarm bell, whose melancholy sounds may reverberate through eternity. Like the sudden, sharp cry of “Fire!” under our windows by night, it should rouse us to instantaneous action, and brace every muscle to its highest tension.  57
  Ten men have failed from defect in morals where one has failed from defect in intellect.  58
  Thank Heaven, the female heart is untenantable by atheism.  59
  The Chinese have an excellent proverb; “Be modest in speech, but excel in action.”  60
  The devil tempts men through their ambition, their cupidity, or their appetite, until he comes to the profane swearer, whom he clutches without ay reward.  61
  The earth flourishes, or is overrun with noxious weeds and brambles, as we apply or withhold the cultivating hand. So fares it with the intellectual system of man. If you are a parent, then, consider that the good or ill dispositions and principles you please to cultivate in the mind of your infant may hereafter preserve a nation in prosperity, or hang its fate on the point of the sword.  62
  The great aim of human life.  63
  The most precious wine is produced upon the sides of volcanoes. Now bold and inspiring ideals are only born of a clear head that stands over a glowing heart.  64
  The object of punishment is prevention from evil; it never can be made impulsive to good.  65
  The pulpit only “teaches” to be honest; the market-place “trains” to overreaching and fraud; and teaching has not a tithe of the efficiency of training. Christ never wrote a tract, but He went about doing good.  66
  The soul of the truly benevolent man does not seem to reside much in his own body. Its life, to a great extent, is a mere reflex of the lives of others. It migrates into their bodies, and identifying its existence with their existence, finds its own happiness in increasing and prolonging their pleasures, in extinguishing or solacing their pains.  67
  To pity distress is but human; to relieve it is Godlike.  68
  To-day Massachusetts, and the whole of the American republic, from the border of Maine to the Pacific slopes, and from the Lakes to the Gulf, stand upon the immutable and everlasting principles of equal and exact justice. The days of unrequited labor are numbered with the past. Fugitive slave laws are only remembered as relics of that barbarism which John Wesley pronounced “the sum of all villainies,” and whose knowledge of its blighting effects was matured by his travels in Georgia and the Carolinas.  69
  True glory is a flame lighted at the skies.  70
  Unfaithfulness in the keeping of an appointment is an act of clear dishonesty. You may as well borrow a person’s money as his time.  71
  Virtue is an angel: but she is a blind one, and must ask of Knowledge to show her the pathway that leads to her goal.  72
  Want of occupation is the bane of both men and women, perhaps more especially of the latter.  73
  When a child can be brought to tears, not from fear of punishment, but from repentance for his offence, he needs no chastisement. When the tears begin to flow from grief at one’s own conduct, be sure there is an angel nestling in the bosom.  74
  When you introduce into our schools a spirit of emulation, you have present the keenest spur admissible to the youthful intellect.  75
  Willmott has very tersely said that embellished truths are the illuminated alphabet of larger children.  76
  You may be liberal in your praise where praise is due: it costs nothing; it encourages much.  77
  You need not tell all the truth, unless to those who have a right to know it; but let all you tell be truth.  78

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