Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.
Talk that does not end in any kind of action is better suppressed altogether.
No sooner does a great man depart, and leave his character as public property, than a crowd of little men rushes towards it. There they are gathered together, blinking up to it with such vision as they have, scanning it from afar, hovering round it this way and that, each cunningly endeavouring, by all arts, to catch some reflex of it in the little mirror of himself.
A well-written life is almost as rare as a well-spent one.
The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.
A man cannot make a pair of shoes rightly unless he do it in a devout manner.
In the long-run every Government is the exact symbol of its People, with their wisdom and unwisdom; we have to say, Like People like Government.
No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men.
No sadder proof can be given by a man of his own littleness than disbelief in great men.
History, a distillation of Rumour.
No man lives without jostling and being jostled; in all ways he has to elbow himself through the world, giving and receiving offence.
No man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can be altogether irreclaimably bad.
The true university of these days is a collection of books.
There is a great discovery still to be made in literature, that of paying literary men by the quantity they do not write.
For man is not the creature and product of Mechanism; but, in a far truer sense, its creator and producer.
The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was.
We were wise indeed, could we discern truly the signs of our own time; and by knowledge of its wants and advantages, wisely adjust our own position in it. Let us, instead of gazing idly into the obscure distance, look calmly around us, for a little, on the perplexed scene where we stand. Perhaps, on a more serious inspection, something of its perplexity will disappear, some of its distinctive characters and deeper tendencies more clearly reveal themselves; whereby our own relations to it, our own true aims and endeavours in it, may also become clearer.
To reform a world, to reform a nation, no wise man will undertake; and all but foolish men know, that the only solid, though a far slower reformation, is what each begins and perfects on himself.
Under all speech that is good for anything there lies a silence that is better. Silence is deep as Eternity; speech is shallow as Time.
The illimitable, silent, never-resting thing called Time, rolling, rushing on, swift, silent, like an all-embracing ocean-tide, on which we and all the universe swim like exhalations, like apparitions which are, and then are not: this is forever very literally a miracle; a thing to strike us dumb, for we have no word to speak about it.
A man willing to work, and unable to find work, is perhaps the saddest sight that fortune's inequality exhibits under this sun.
I don't pretend to understand the Universe--it's a great deal bigger than I am.
Good breeding . . . differs, if at all, from high breeding only as it gracefully remembers the rights of others, rather than gracefully insists on its own rights.
Worship is transcendent wonder.
Writing is a dreadful Labour, yet not so dreadful as Idleness.
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