S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
Johann Georg Ritter von Zimmermann
That happy state of mind, so rarely possessed, in which we can say, I have enough, is the highest attainment of philosophy. Happiness consists, not in possessing much, but in being content with what we possess. He who wants little always has enough.
If you ask me which is the real hereditary sin of human nature, do you imagine I shall answer. Pride, or Luxury, or Ambition, or Egotism? No, I shall say, Indolence. Who conquers indolence will conquer all the rest. Indeed, all good principles must stagnate without mental activity.
There appears to exist a greater desire to live long than to live well. Measure by mans desires, he cannot live long enough; measure by his good deeds, and he has not lived long enough; measure by his evil deeds, and he has lived too long.
By loves delightful influence the attack of ill-humour is resisted, the violence of our passions abated, the bitter cup of affliction sweetened, all the injuries of the world alleviated, and the sweetest flowers plentifully strewed along the most thorny paths of life.
When soured by disappointment, we must endeavour to pursue some fixed and pleasing course of study, that there may be no blank leaf in our book of life . Painful and disagreeable ideas vanish from the mind that can fix its attention upon any subject. The sight of a noble and interesting object, the study of a useful science, the varied pictures of the different revolutions exhibited in the history of mankind, the improvements in any art, are capable of arresting the attention and charming every care; and it is thus that man becomes sociable with himself; it is thus that he finds his best friend within his own bosom.
Novels do not force their fair readers to sinthey only instruct them how to sin; the consequences of which are fully detailed, and not in a way calculated to seduce any but weak minds: few of their heroines are happily disposed of.
We never read without profit if with the pen or pencil in our hand we mark such ideas as strike us by their novelty, or correct those we already possess. Reading soon becomes fatiguing unless undertaken with an eye to our own advantage or that of others, and when it does not enrich the mind with new ideas; but this habit is easily acquired by exercise, and then books afford the surest relief in the most melancholy moments.