Reference > Quotations > C.N. Douglas, comp. > Forty Thousand Quotations > Primary Author Index
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
        A beggar through the world am I,
From place to place I wander by.
Fill up my pilgrim’s scrip for me,
For Christ’s sweet sake and charity.
                A woman’s love
Is mighty, but a mother’s heart is weak,
And by its weakness overcomes.
        All kin’ o’ smily round the lips
An’ teary roun’ the lashes.
        All that hath been majestical
  In life or death, since time began,
Is native in the simple heart of all,
  The angel-heart of man.
        All thoughts that mould the age begin
Deep down within the primitive soul.
        An angel stood and met my gaze,
  Through the low doorway of my tent;
The tent is struck, the vision stays;
  I only know she came and went.
        And what is so rare as a day in June?
  Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then heaven tries earth if it be in tune,
  And over it softly her warm ear lays.
        Be noble! and the nobleness that lives
In other men, sleeping, but never dead,
Will rise in majesty to meet thine own.
                      Behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.
        But all God’s angels come to us disguised:
Sorrow and sickness, poverty and death,
One after other lift their frowning masks,
And we behold the Seraph’s face beneath,
All radiant with the glory and the calm
Of having looked upon the front of God.
        But better far it is to speak
  One simple word, which now and then
Shall waken their free nature in the weak
  And friendless sons of men.
        Earth gets its price for what Earth gives us,
  The beggar is taxed for a corner to die in;
The priest has his fee who comes and shrives us,
  We bargain for the graves we lie in;
At the devil’s booth are all things sold,
Each ounce of dross costs its ounce of gold;
  For a cap and bells our lives we pay,
Bubbles we buy with a whole soul’s tasking,
  ’Tis heaven alone that is given away,
’Tis only God may be had for the asking,
No price is set on the lavish summer;
June may be had by the poorest comer.
        Earth’s biggest country’s gut her soul
An’ risen up earth’s greatest nation.
        Equal when fields were lost or fields were won,
With breath of popular applause or blame,
Nor fanned or damped, unquenchably the same,
Too inward to be reached by flaws of idle fame.
Soldier and statesman, rarest unison;
High-poised example of great duties done
Simply as breathing, a world’s honors worn
As life’s indifferent gifts to all men born;
Dumb for himself, unless it were to God,
But for his barefoot soldiers eloquent,
Tramping the snow to coral where they trod,
Held by his awe in hollow-eyed content;
Modest, yet firm as Nature’s self; unblamed
Save by the men his nobler temper shamed;
Never seduced through show of present good
By other than unsetting lights to steer
New-trimmed in Heaven, nor than his steadfast mood
More steadfast, far from rashness as from fear;
Rigid, but with himself first, grasping still
In swerveless poise the wave-beat helm of will;
Not honored then or now because he wooed
The popular voice, but that he still withstood;
Broad-minded, higher-souled, there is but one
Who was all this and ours, and all men’s,—Washington.
        Evil springs up, and flowers, and bears no seed,
And feeds the green earth with its swift decay,
Leaving it richer for the growth of truth.
        Ez fer war, call it murder,—
  Ther you hev it plain and flat;
I don’t want to go no furder
  Than my Testyment fer that.
        Ez to my princerples, I glory
In hevin’ nothin’ o’ the sort.
        For there’s nothing we read of in torture’s inventions,
Like a well-meaning dunce, with the best of intentions.
        Freedom needs all her poets; it is they
  Who give her aspirations wings,
And to the wiser law of music sway
  Her wild imaginings.
        Get but the truth once uttered, and ’tis like
A star new-born that drops into its place
And which, once circling in its placid round,
Not all the tumult of the earth can shake.
        Gineral C. is a dreffle smart man:
  He’s been on all sides that give places or pelf;
But consistency still wuz a part of his plan;
He’s been true to one party, and that is, himself;—
    So John P.
    Robinson, he
Sez he shall vote for Gineral C.
        God is not dumb, that He should speak no more;
If thou hast wanderings in the wilderness
And find’st not Sinai, ’tis thy soul is poor.
        Great truths are portions of the soul of man;
Great souls are the portions of eternity.
        He seemed a cherub who had lost his way
And wandered hither, so his stay
With us was short, and ’twas most meet
That he should be no delver in earth’s clod,
Nor need to pause and cleanse his feet
To stand before his God:
O blest word—Evermore!
        He strove among God’s suffering poor
  One gleam of brotherhood to send;
The dungeon oped its hungry door
To give the truth one martyr more,
  Then shut,—and here behold the end!
              He who esteems the Virginia reel
A bait to draw saints from their spiritual weal,
And regards the quadrille as a far greater knavery
Than crushing His African children with slavery,
Since all who take part in a waltz or cotillon
Are mounted for hell on the devil’s own pillion,
Who, as every true orthodox Christian well knows,
Approaches the heart through the door of the toes.
        His heart kep’ goin’ pity-pat,
  But hern went pity-Zekle.
        In life’s small things be resolute and great
To keep thy muscle trained: know’st thou when Fate
Thy measure takes, or when she’ll say to thee,
“I find thee worthy; do this deed for me?”
        It is right precious to behold
The first long surf of climbing light
Flood all the thirsty east with gold.
        It may be glorious to write
  Thoughts that shall glad the two or three
High souls, like those far stars that come in sight
  Once in a century;—
But better far it is to speak
  One simple word, which now and then
Shall waken their free nature in the weak
  And friendless sons of men.
                    Listen! O, listen!
Here ever hum the golden bees
Underneath full-blossomed trees,
At once with glowing fruit and flowers crowned.
        Nature fits all her children with something to do,
He who would write and can’t write, can surely review;
Can set up a small booth as critic and sell us his
Petty conceit and his pettier jealousies.
        Nature, they say, doth dote,
And cannot make a man
Save on some worn-out plan,
Repeating us by rote.
        Never to see a nation born
Hath been given to mortal man,
Unless to those who, on that summer morn,
Gazed silent when the great Virginian
Unsheathed the sword whose fatal flash
Shot union through the incoherent clash
Of our loose atoms, crystallizing them
Around a single will’s unpliant stem
And making purpose of emotion rash.
Out of that scabbard sprang, as from its womb,
Nebulous at first but hardening to a star,
Through mutual share of sunburst and of gloom,
The common faith that made us what we are.
        No man is born into the world, whose work
Is not born with him.
        O chime of sweet Saint Charity,
  Peal soon that Easter morn
When Christ for all shall risen be,
  And in all hearts new-born!
That Pentecost when utterance clear
  To all men shall be given,
When all shall say My Brother here,
  And hear My Son in heaven!
        O thou, whose days are yet all spring,
  Faith, blighted once, is past retrieving;
Experience is a dumb, dead thing;
  The victory’s in believing.
        O wild and wondrous midnight,
  There is a might in thee
To make the charmed body
  Almost like spirit be,
And give it some faint glimpses
  Of immortality!
        Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God’s new Messiah offering each the bloom or blight,
Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right;
And the choice goes by forever ’twixt that darkness and that light.
        One day with life and heart,
Is more than time enough to find a world.
        Our seasons have no fixed returns,
  Without our will they come and go;
At noon our sudden summer burns,
  Ere sunset all is snow.
        Put golden padlocks on Truth’s lips, be callous as ye will,
From soul to soul, o’er all the world, leaps one electric thrill.
        Says he—“I’d better call agin;”
  Says she—“Think likely, mister!”
Thet last word pricked him like a pin,
  An’—Wal, he up an’ kist her.
        Soft-heartedness, in times like these,
  Shows sof’ness in the upper story!
        The green grass floweth like a stream
Into the ocean’s blue.
        The rich man’s son inherits cares;
  The bank may break, the factory burn,
A breath may burst his bubble shares,
  And soft, white hands could hardly earn
  A living that would serve his turn.
        The right to be a cussed fool
  Is safe from all devices human,
It’s common (ez a gin’l rule)
  To every critter born of woman.
        The traitor to Humanity is the traitor most accursed;
Man is more than Constitutions; better rot beneath the sod,
Than be true to Church and State while we are doubly false to God.
        Then to side with Truth is noble when we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and ’tis prosperous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses, while the coward stands aside,
Doubting in his abject spirit, till his Lord is crucified.
        There are slave-drivers quietly whipped underground,
There bookbinders, done up in boards, are fast bound,
There card-players wait till the last trump be played,
There all the choice spirits get finally laid,
There the babe’s that unborn is supplied with a berth,
There men without legs get their six feet of earth,
There lawyers repose, each wrapped up in his case,
There seekers of office are sure of a place,
There defendant and plaintiff get equally cast,
There shoemakers quietly stick to the last.
        There comes Emerson first, whose rich words, every one,
Are like gold nails in temples to hang trophies on.
        Thet tells the story! Thet’s wut we shall git
By tryin’ squirtguns on the burnin’ Pit;
For the day never comes when it’ll du
To kick off dooty like a worn-out shoe.
        They are slaves who fear to speak
For the fallen and the weak;
*        *        *        *        *
They are slaves who dare not be
In the right with two or three.
        They believed—faith, I’m puzzled—I think I may call
Their belief a believing in nothing at all,
Or something of that sort; I know they all went
For a general union of total dissent.
        Two meanings have our lightest fantasies,
One of the flesh, and of the spirit one.
        ’Tis heaven alone that is given away,
’Tis only God may be had for the asking.
        Violet! sweet violet!
Thine eyes are full of tears;
    Are they wet
    Even yet
With the thought of other years?
        What! shall one monk, scarcely known beyond his cell,
Front Rome’s far-reaching bolts, and scorn her frown?
Brave Luther answered “Yes”; that thunder’s swell
Rocked Europe, and discharmed the triple crown.
          What visionary tints the year puts on,
When falling leaves falter through motionless air
  Or numbly cling and shiver to be gone!
How shimmer the low flats and pastures bare,
  As with her nectar Hebe Autumn fills
  The bowl between me and those distant hills,
And smiles and shakes abroad her misty, tremulous hair!
        When I could not sleep for cold
  I had fire enough in my brain,
And builded with roofs of gold
  My beautiful castles in Spain!
          Whom the heart of man shuts out,
Sometimes the heart of God takes in,
And fences them all round about
With silence ’mid the world’s loud din.
  A father of the church said that property was theft, many centuries before Proudhon was born. Bourdaloue reaffirmed it. Montesquieu was the inventor of national workshops and of the theory that the state owed every man a living. Nay, was not the church herself the first organized democracy?  62
  A great man is made up of qualities that meet or make great occasions.  63
  A great part of human suffering has its root in the nature of man, and not in that of his institutions.  64
  A sneer is the weapon of the weak. Like other devil’s weapons, it is always cunningly ready to our hand, and there is more poison in the handle than in the point.  65
  A stray hair, by its continued irritation, may give more annoyance than a smart blow.  66
  A wise scepticism is the first attribute of a good critic.  67
  A word once vulgarized can never be rehabilitated.  68
  All birds during the pairing season become more or less sentimental, and murmur soft nothings in a tone very unlike the grinding-organ repetition and loudness of their habitual song. The crow is very comical as a lover; and to hear him trying to soften his croak to the proper Saint-Preux standard has something the effect of a Mississippi boatman quoting Tennyson.  69
  All free governments, whatever their name, are in reality governments by public opinion; and it is on the quality of this public opinion that their prosperity depends.  70
  All men who know not where to look for truth, save in the narrow well of self, will find their own image at the bottom, and mistake it for what they are seeking.  71
  All thoughtful men are solitary and original in themselves.  72
  Among the lessons taught by the French revolution, there is none sadder or more striking than this—that you may make everything else out of the passions of men except a political system that will work, and that there is nothing so pitilessly and unconsciously cruel as sincerity formulated into dogma.  73
  And what they dare to dream of, dare to do.  74
  Aspiration sees only one side of every question; possession, many.  75
  Attention is the stuff that memory is made of, and memory is accumulated genius.  76
  Be He nowhere else, God is in all that liberates and lifts, in all that humbles, sweetens, and consoles.  77
  Before man made us citizens, great Nature made us men.  78
  Blessed are the horny hands of toil!  79
  Borrowed garments never keep one warm.  80
  But it was in making education not only common to all, but in some sense compulsory on all, that the destiny of the free republics of America was practically settled.  81
  Children are God’s apostles, day by day sent forth to preach of love and hope and peace.  82
  Christ was the first true democrat that ever breathed, as the old dramatist Dekkar said he was the first true gentleman.  83
  Communism means barbarism.  84
  Comparative criticism teaches us that moral and æsthetic defects are more nearly related than is commonly supposed.  85
  Compromise makes a good umbrella, but a poor roof; it is a temporary expedient, often wise in party politics, almost sure to be unwise in statesmanship.  86
  Console yourself, dear man and brother; whatever you may be sure of, be sure at least of this, that you are dreadfully like other people. Human nature has a much greater genius for sameness than for originality.  87
  Earth’s noblest thing—a woman perfected.  88
  Endurance is the crowning quality.  89
  Enthusiasm begets enthusiasm, eloquence produces conviction for the moment; but it is only by truth to Nature and the everlasting institutions of mankind that those abiding influences are won that enlarge from generation to generation.  90
  Every man feels instinctively that all the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action.  91
  Evil is a far more cunning and persevering propagandist than good, for it has no inward strength, and is driven to seek countenance and sympathy.  92
  Faith in God, faith in man, faith in work: this is the short formula in which we may sum up the teachings of the founders of New England—a creed ample enough for this life and the next.  93
  Fanaticism, or, to call it by its milder name, enthusiasm, is only powerful and active so long as it is aggressive. Establish it firmly in power, and it becomes conservatism, whether it will or no.  94
  Fashion being the art of those who must purchase notice at some cheaper rate than that of being beautiful, loves to do rash and extravagant things. She must be forever new, or she becomes insipid.  95
  Fastidiousness is only another word for egotism; and all men who know not where to look for truth save in the narrow well of self will find their own image at the bottom, and mistake it for what they are seeking.  96
  Flaw-seeing eyes, like needle points.  97
  Fortune is the rod of the weak and the staff of the brave.  98
  Genius is that in whose power a man is.  99
  God does not weigh criminality in our scales. We have one absolute, with the seal of authority upon it; and with us an ounce is an ounce, and a pound a pound. God’s measure is the heart of the offender,—a balance which varies with every one of us, a balance so delicate that a tear cast in the other side may make the weight of error kick the beam.  100
  God is not dumb that He should speak no more; if thou hast wanderings in the wilderness and find’st no Sinai, ’tis thy soul is poor.  101
  God is the only being who has time enough; but a prudent man, who knows how to seize occasion, can commonly make a shift to find as much as he needs.  102
  God’s livery is a very plain one; but its wearers have good reason to be content. If it have not so much gold-lace about it as Satan’s, it keeps out foul weather better, and is besides a great deal cheaper.  103
  Good luck is the willing handmaid of upright, energetic character, and conscientious observance of duty.  104
  Got the ill name of augurs because they were bores.  105
  Have you ever rightly considered what the mere ability to read means? That it is the key which admits us to the whole world of thought and fancy and imagination? to the company of saint and sage, of the wisest and the wittiest at their wisest and wittiest moment? That it enables us to see with the keenest eyes, hear with the finest ears, and listen to the sweetest voices of all time? More than that, it annihilates time and space for us.  106
  Her hair was not more sunny than her heart, though like a natural golden coronet it circled her dear head with careless art.  107
  History is clarified experience.  108
  Humbleness is always grace, always dignity.  109
  I would hardly change the sorrowful words of the poets for their glad ones. Tears dampen the strings of the lyre, but they grow the tenser for it, and ring even the clearer and more ravishingly.  110
  If he had sorrows, he has made them the woof of everlasting consolation to his kind; and if, as poets are wont to whine, the outward world was cold to him, its biting air did but trace itself in loveliest frostwork of fancy on the many windows of that self-centred and cheerful soul.  111
  If the devil take a less hateful shape to us than to our fathers, he is as busy with us as with them.  112
  If youth be a defect, it is one that we outgrow only too soon.  113
  Imagination, where it is truly creative, is a faculty, and not a quality; it looks before and after, it gives the form that makes all the parts work together harmoniously toward a given end, its seat is in the higher reason, and it is efficient only as a servant of the will. Imagination, as it is too often misunderstood, is mere fantasy, the image-making power, common to all who have the gift of dreams.  114
  In general, those who have nothing to say contrive to spend the longest time in doing it.  115
  In the earliest ages science was poetry, as in the latter poetry has become science.  116
  In the parliament of the present every man represents a constituency of the past.  117
  In the scale of the destinies, brawn will never weigh so much as brain.  118
  Incredulity robs us of many pleasures, and gives us nothing in return.  119
  It is beginning to be doubtful whether Parliament and Congress sit in Westminster and Washington, or in the editorial rooms of the leading journals,—so thoroughly is everything debated before the authorized and responsible debaters get on their legs.  120
  It is by presence of mind in untried emergencies that the native metal of a man is tested.  121
  It is curious for one who studies the action and reaction of national literature on each other, to see the humor of Swift and Sterne and Fielding, after filtering through Richter, reappear in Carlyle with a tinge of Germanism that makes it novel, alien, or even displeasing, as the case may be, to the English mind.  122
  It is curious how tyrannical the habit of reading is, and what shifts we make to escape thinking. There is no bore we dread being left alone with so much as our own minds.  123
  It is not a great Xerxes army of words, but a compact Greek ten thousand that march safely down to posterity.  124
  It is not the insurrections of ignorance that are dangerous, but the revolts of intelligence.  125
  It is not without reason that fame is awarded only after death. The cloud-dust of notoriety which follows and envelops the men who drive with the wind bewilders contemporary judgment.  126
  It is only by instigation of the wrongs of men that what we call the rights of men become turbulent and dangerous.  127
  It is only the intellect that can be thoroughly and hideously wicked. It can forget everything in the attainment of its ends. The heart recoils; in its retired places some drops of childhood’s dew still linger, defying manhood’s fiery noon.  128
  It is singular how impatient men are with overpraise of others, how patient of overpraise of themselves, and yet the one does them no injury, while the other may be their ruin.  129
  It is the privilege of genius that to it life never grows commonplace as to the rest of us.  130
  It is the vain endeavor to make ourselves what we are not that has strewn history with so many broken purposes and lives left in the rough.  131
  It may be conjectured that it is cheaper in the long run to lift men up than to hold them down, and that the ballot in their hands is less dangerous to society than a sense of wrong is in their heads.  132
  Large charity doth never soil, but only whitens soft white hands.  133
  Let us be of good cheer, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those which never happen.  134
  Life is constantly weighing us in very sensitive scales, and telling every one of us precisely what his real weight is to the last grain of dust.  135
  Life is the jailer, death the angel sent to draw the unwilling bolts and set us free.  136
  Life may be given in many ways, and loyalty to truth be sealed as bravely in the closet as the field.  137
  Light is the symbol of truth.  138
  Literature, properly so called, draws its sap from the deep soil of human nature’s common and everlasting sympathies, the gathered leal-mould of countless generations, and not from any top dressing capriciously scattered over the surface.  139
  Love lives on, and hath a power to bless when they who loved are hidden in the grave.  140
  Maiden, when such a soul as thine is born, the morning stars their ancient music make.  141
  Making one object, in outward or inward nature, more holy to a single heart is reward enough for a life; for the more sympathies we gain or awaken for what is beautiful, by so much deeper will be our sympathy for that which is most beautiful,—the human soul!  142
  Many-sidedness of culture makes our vision clearer and keener in particulars.  143
  Men have their intellectual ancestry, and the likeness of some one of them is forever unexpectedly flashing out in the features of a descendant, it may be after a gap of several centuries. In the parliament of the present every man represents a constituency of the past.  144
  Men’s thoughts and opinions are in a great degree vassals of him who invents a new phrase or re-applies an old epithet. The thought or feeling a thousand times repeated becomes his at last who utters it best.  145
  Metaphor is no argument, though it be sometimes the gunpowder to drive one home, and imbed it in the memory.  146
  Mishaps are like knives, that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle.  147
  Moral supremacy is the only one that leaves monuments, and not ruins, behind it.  148
  Most long lives resemble those threads of gossamer, the nearest approach to nothing unmeaningly prolonged, scarce visible pathways of some worm from his cradle to his grave.  149
  Most men make the voyage of life as if they carried sealed orders which they were not to open till they were fairly in mid-ocean.  150
  Most religion-mongers have bated their paradises with a bit of toasted cheese. They have tempted the body with large promises of possessions in their transmortal El Dorado. Sancho Panza will not quit his chimney-corner, but under promise of imaginary islands to govern.  151
  Nature fits all her children with something to do.  152
  Never did poesy appear so full of heaven to me as when I saw how it pierced through pride and fear to the lives of coarsest men.  153
  New occasions teach new duties.  154
  No man can produce great things who is not thoroughly sincere in dealing with himself, who would not exchange the finest show for the poorest reality, who does not so love his work that he is not only glad to give himself for it, but finds rather a gain than a sacrifice in the surrender.  155
  No man is born into the world whose work is not born with him; there is always work, and tools to work withal, for those who will; and blessed are the horny hands of toil!  156
  No sincere desire of doing good need make an enemy of a single human being; that philanthropy has surely a flaw in it which cannot sympathize with the oppressor equally as with the oppressed.  157
  Not suffering, but faint heart, is worst of woes.  158
  O reputation! dearer far than life.  159
  Old gold has a civilizing virtue which new gold must grow old to be capable of secreting.  160
  One learns more metaphysics from a single temptation than from all the philosophers.  161
  One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning.  162
  Over all life broods Poesy, like the calm blue sky with its motherly, rebuking face. She is the great reformer, and where the love of her is strong and healthy, wickedness and wrong cannot long prevail.  163
  Piety is indifferent whether she enters at the eye or at the ear. There is none of the senses at which she does not knock one day or other. The Puritans forgot this, and thrust Beauty out of the meeting-house and slammed the door in her face.  164
  Practical application is the only mordant which will set things in the memory. Study without it is gymnastics, and not work, which alone will get intellectual bread.  165
  Praise follows Truth afar off; and only overtakes her at the grave; Plausibility clings to her skirts and holds her back till then.  166
  Pride and weakness are Siamese twins.  167
  Pride of origin, whether high or low, springs from the same principle in human nature; one is but the positive, the other the negative, pole of a single weakness.  168
  Puritanism, believing itself quick with the seed of religious liberty, laid, without knowing it, the egg of democracy.  169
  Reading Chaucer is like brushing through the dewy grass at sunrise.  170
  Reputation is in itself only a farthing-candle, of wavering and uncertain flame, and easily blown out, but it is the light by which the world looks for and finds merit.  171
  Scepticism commonly takes up the room left by defect of imagination, and is the very quality of mind most likely to seek for sensual proof of supersensual things. If one came from the dead it could not believe; and yet it longs for such a witness, and will put up with a very dubious one.  172
  Sentiment is intellectualized emotion, emotion precipitated, as it were, in pretty crystals by the fancy.  173
  She hath a natural wise sincerity, a simple truthfulness, and these have lent her a dignity as moveless as the centre.  174
  Sincerity is impossible unless it pervade the whole being; and the pretence of it saps the very foundation of character.  175
  Slow are the steps of freedom, but her feet turn never backward.  176
  Solitude is as needful to the imagination as society is wholesome for the character.  177
  Some kind of pace may be got out of the veriest jade by the near prospect of oats; but the thoroughbred has the spur in his blood.  178
  Sorrow, the great idealizer.  179
  Stern men with empires in their brains.  180
  Take winter as you find him, and he turns out to be a thoroughly honest fellow with no nonsense in him, and tolerating none in you, which is a great comfort in the long run.  181
  Talent is that which is in a man’s power.  182
  Taste is the next gift to genius.  183
  The devil loves nothing better than the intolerance of reformers, and dreads nothing so much as their charity and patience.  184
  The discontent with the existing order of things pervaded the atmosphere, wherever the conditions were favorable, long before Columbus, seeding the back door of Asia, found himself knocking at the front door of America.  185
  The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinion.  186
  The greater your real strength and power, the quieter it will be exercised.  187
  The idol is the measure of the worshipper.  188
  The intellect has only one failing, which, to be sure, is a very considerable one. It has no conscience.  189
  The making one object, in outward or inward nature, more holy to a single heart, is reward enough for a life; for the more sympathies we gain or awaken for what is beautiful, by so much deeper will be our sympathy for that which is most beautiful, the human soul.  190
  The material of thought re-acts upon the thought itself.  191
  The nunneries of silent nooks, the murmured longing of the wood.  192
  The only conclusive evidence of a man’s sincerity is that he gives himself for a principle. Words, money, all things else, are comparatively easy to give away; but when a man makes a gift of his daily life and practice, it is plain that the truth whatever it may be, has taken possession of him.  193
  The only faith that wears well and holds its color in all weathers is that which is woven of conviction and set with the sharp mordant of experience.  194
  The opening of the first grammar-school was the opening of the first trench against monopoly in church and state; the first row of trammels and pothooks which the little Shearjashubs and Elkanahs blotted and blubbered across their copy-books was the preamble to the Declaration of Independence.  195
  The path of nature is, indeed, a narrow one, and it is only the immortals that seek it, and, when they find it, do not find themselves cramped therein.  196
  The pine is the mother of legends.  197
  The plump swain at evening bringing home four months’ sunshine bound in sheaves.  198
  The quiet tenderness of Chaucer, where you almost seem to hear the hot tears falling, and the simple choking words sobbed out.  199
  The realm of death seems an enemy’s country to most men, on whose shores they are loathly driven by stress of weather; to the wise man it is the desired port where he moors his bark gladly, as in some quiet haven of the Fortunate Isles; it is the golden west into which his sun sinks, and, sinking, casts back a glory upon the leaden cloud-tack which had darkly besieged his day.  200
  The riches of scholarship, the benignities of literature, defy fortune and outlive calamity. They are beyond the reach of thief or moth or rust. As they cannot be inherited, so they cannot be alienated.  201
  The right of individual property is no doubt the very corner-stone of civilization, as hitherto understood; but I am a little impatient of being told that property is entitled to exceptional consideration because it bears all the burdens of the state. It bears those, indeed, which can be most easily borne, but poverty pays with its person the chief expenses of war, pestilence, and famine.  202
  The secret of force in writing lies not so much in the pedigree of nouns and adjectives and verbs, as in having something that you believe in to say, and making the parts of speech vividly conscious of it.  203
  The soil out of which such men as he are made is good to be born on, good to live on, good to die for and to be buried in.  204
  The stiff rails were softened to swan’s-down, and still fluttered down the snow.  205
  The true historical genius, to our thinking, is that which can see the nobler meaning of events that are near him, as the true poet is he who detects the divine in the casual; and we somewhat suspect the depth of his insight into the past, who cannot recognize the godlike of to-day under that disguise in which it always visits us.  206
  The true ideal is not opposed to the real, nor is it any artificial heightening thereof, but lies in it; and blessed are the eyes that find it.  207
  The very gnarliest and hardest of hearts has some musical strings in it; but they are tuned differently in every one of us.  208
  There are two kinds of genius. The first and highest may be said to speak out of the eternal to the present, and must compel its age to understand it; the second understands its age, and tells it what it wishes to be told.  209
  There are two kinds of weakness, that which breaks and that which bends.  210
  There is a law of neutralization of forces, which hinders bodies from sinking beyond a certain depth in the sea; but in the ocean of baseness, the deeper we get, the easier the sinking.  211
  There is no better ballast for keeping the mind steady on its keel, and saving it from all risk of crankiness, than business.  212
  There is no good in arguing with the inevitable. The only argument available with an east wind is to put on your overcoat.  213
  There is no work of genius which has not been the delight of mankind, no word of genius to which the human heart and soul have not, sooner or later, responded.  214
  There is only one thing better than tradition, and that is the original and eternal life out of which all tradition takes its rise.  215
  There is something solid and doughty in the man that can rise from defeat, the stuff of which victories are made in due time, when we are able to choose our position better, and the sun is at our back.  216
  This goin’ ware glory waits ye haint one agreeable feetur.  217
  Three fifths of him genius, and two fifths sheer fudge.  218
  Through aisles of long-drawn centuries my spirit walks in thought.  219
  Through suffering and sorrow thou hast passed, to show us what a woman true can be.  220
  Time is, after all, the greatest of poets; and the sons of Memory stand a better chance of being the heirs of Fame.  221
  ’Tis heaven alone that is given away; ’tis only God may be had for the asking.  222
  To be young is surely the best, if the most precarious, gift of life.  223
  To educate the intelligence is to enlarge the horizon of its desires and wants.  224
  To fail at all is to fail utterly.  225
  To have greatly dreamed precludes low ends.  226
  To win the secret of a weed’s plain heart.  227
  Truth always has a bewitching savor of newness in it, and novelty at the first taste recalls that original sweetness to the tongue; but alas for him who would make the one a substitute for the other.  228
  Truth forever on the scaffold. Wrong forever on the throne.  229
  Truth is quite beyond the reach of satire. There is so brave a simplicity in her that she can no more be made ridiculous than an oak or a pine.  230
  Truth only needs to be for once spoken out; and there’s such music in her, such strange rhythm, as makes men’s memories her joyous slaves.  231
  Truth, after all, wears a different face to everybody, and it would be too tedious to wait till all are agreed. She is said to lie at the bottom of a well, for the very reason, perhaps, that whoever looks down in search of her sees his own image at the bottom, and is persuaded not only that he has seen the goddess, but that she is far better-looking than he had imagined.  232
  We cannot but think there is something like a fallacy in Mr. Buckle’s theory that the advance of mankind is necessarily in the direction of science, and not in that of morals.  233
  We kind o’ thought Christ went agin war an’ pillage.  234
  We look at death through the cheap-glazed windows of the flesh, and believe him the monster which the flawed and cracked glass represents him.  235
  Wealth may be an excellent thing, for it means power, it means leisure, it means liberty.  236
  What a man pays for bread and butter is worth its market value, and no more. What he pays for love’s sake is gold indeed, which has a lure for angels’ eyes, and rings well upon God’s touchstone.  237
  What made our revolution a foregone conclusion was the act of the general court, passed in May, 1647, which established the system of common schools.  238
  While tenderness of feeling and susceptibility to generous emotions are accidents of temperament, goodness is an achievement of the will and a quality of the life.  239
  Who is it needs such flawless shafts as fate? What archer of his arrows is so choice, or hits the white so surely?  240
  With every anguish of our earthly part the spirit’s sight grows clearer; this was meant when Jesus touched the blind man’s lids with clay.  241
  With every step of the recent traveler our inheritance of the wonderful is diminished. Those beautiful pictured notes of the possible are redeemed at a ruinous discount in the hard coin of the actual.  242
  Year by year, more and more of the world gets disenchanted. Even the icy privacy of the arctic and antarctic circles is invaded. We have played Jack Horner with our earth, till there is never a plum left in it.  243

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