"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — "Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and "Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood."

"A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud."


"A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature."

"A great man is always willing to be little."

"A great man quotes bravely, and will not draw on his invention when his memory serves him with a word just as good."

"A man is a god in ruins."

"Alcohol, hashish, prussic acid, strychnine are weak dilutions. The surest poison is time."

"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better."

"All the great speakers were bad speakers at first."

"Always do what you are afraid to do."

"Art is a jealous mistress."

"Beauty is the mark God sets upon virtue."

"Beauty will not come at the call of a legislature."

"Beauty without grace is the hook without the bait."

"Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet."

"By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote."

"Character is higher than intellect...A great soul will be strong to live, as well as strong to think."

"Character teaches above our wills."

"Children are all foreigners."

"Conversation is an art in which a man has all mankind for his competitors, for it is that which all are practising every day while they live."

"Discontent is the want of self-reliance: it is infirmity of will."

"Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better."

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

"Do not yet see, that, if the single man plant himself indomitably on his instincts, and there abide, the huge world will come round to him."

"Don't waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good."

"Don't say things. What you are stands over you the while, and thunders so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary."

"Dream delivers us to dream, and there is no end to illusion. Life is a train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue, and each shows only what lies in its focus."

"Every artist was first an amateur."

"Every genuine work of art has as much reason for being as the earth and the sun."

"Every hero becomes a bore at last."

"Every man I meet is in some way my superior; and in that I can learn of him."

"Every man is wanted and no man is wanted much."

"Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact."

"Every revolution was first a thought in one man's mind and when the same thought occurs in another man, it is the key to that era."

"Every ship is a romantic object, except that we sail in."

"Every sweet has its sour; every evil its good."

"Every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar, but is a stab at the health of human society."

"Fine manners need the support of fine manners in others."

"For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."

"Genius is always sufficiently the enemy of genius by over influence."

"Give me health and a day, and I will make the pomp of emperors ridiculous."

"Great geniuses have the shortest biographies."

"Great men, great nations, have not been boasters and buffoons, but perceivers of the terror of life, and have manned themselves to face it."

"He who is in love is wise and is becoming wiser, sees newly every time he looks at the object beloved, drawing from it with his eyes and his mind those virtues which it possesses."

"He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life."

"Heroism feels and never reasons and therefore is always right."

"Hitch your wagon to a star."

"I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new."

"I do this not selfishly, but humbly and truly. It is alike your interest, and mine, and all men's, however long we have dwelt in lies, to live in truth."

"I hate quotation. Tell me what you know."

"I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching."

"I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be the happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I will not hide my tastes or aversions."

"I wish that life should not be cheap, but sacred. I wish the days to be as centuries, loaded, fragrant."

"If a man own land, the land owns him."

"If the single man plant himself indomitably on his instincts, and there abide, the huge world will come round to him."

"If you are noble, I will love you; if you are not, I will not hurt you and myself by hypocritical attentions. If you are true, but not in the same truth with me, cleave to your companions; I will seek my own."

"In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty."

"In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed."

"It is easy to live for others; everybody does. I call on you to live for yourselves."

"It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, — "Always do what you are afraid to do."

"Keep cool: it will be all one a hundred years hence."

"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."

"Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy."

"Life only avails, not the having lived."

"Life is our dictionary."

"Make yourself necessary to somebody. Do not make life hard to any."

"Man Thinking must not be subdued by his instruments."

"Men are what their mothers made them."

"Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of our science."

"Money often costs too much."

"Music is the poor man's Parnassus."

"My book should smell of pines and resound with the hum of insects."

"Nature and books belong to the eyes that see them."

"Nature is a mutable cloud, which is always and never the same."

"Nature paints the best part of a picture, carves the best parts of the statue, builds the best part of the house, and speaks the best part of the oration."

"Never read any book that is not a year old."

"Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing."

"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles."

"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."

"One man's justice is another's injustice; one man's beauty another's ugliness; one man's wisdom another's folly."

"Our chief want in life is somebody who shall make us do what we can."

"Our strength grows out of our weakness."

"People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character."

"Poetry must be new as foam, and as old as the rock."

"Poetry teaches the enormous force of a few words, and, in proportion to the inspiration, checks loquacity."

"Science does not know its debt to imagination."

"Shall I tell you the secret of the true scholar? It is this: Every man I meet is my master in some point, and in that I learn of him."

"Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances...Strong men believe in cause and effect."

"Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members."

"Solitude, the safeguard of mediocrity, is to genius the stern friend."

"Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis."

"That what we seek we shall find; what we flee from flees from us."

"The alleged power to charm down insanity, or ferocity in beasts, is a power behind the eye."

"The ancestor of every action is a thought."

"The days .... come and go like muffled and veiled figures, sent from a distant friendly party; but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away."

"The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization."

"The hearing ear is always found close to the speaking tongue."

"The heroic cannot be the common, nor can the common be the heroic."

"The imagination is not a talent of some men but is the health of every man."

"The imitator dooms himself to hopeless mediocrity."

"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons."

"The man in the street does not know a star in the sky."

"The man who renounces himself, comes to himself."

"The measure of a master is his success in bringing all men round to his opinion twenty years later."

"The only gift is a portion of thyself."

"The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one."

"The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it."

"The real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not of war."

"The reward of a thing well done is to have done it."

"The sky is the daily bread of the eyes."

"The true test of civilization is, not the census, nor the size of the cities, nor the crops - no, but the kind of man the country turns out."

"The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs."

"The voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks."

"The world is his, who has money to go over it."

"The years teach much which the days never know."

"There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant."

"There is no knowledge that is not power."

"There is properly no history; only biography."

"These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God to-day. There is no time to them. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence."

"Things are pretty, graceful, rich, elegant, handsome, but, until they speak to the imagination, not yet beautiful."

"This world belongs to the energetic."

"Thou art to me a delicious torment."

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not."

"'Tis the good reader that makes the good book; in every book he finds passages which seem confidences or asides hidden from all else and unmistakenly meant for his ear."

"To be great is to be misunderstood."

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."

"To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, — that is genius."

"To different minds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven."

"To finish the moment, to find the journey's end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom."

"Tomorrow will be like today. Life wastes itself whilst we are preparing to live."

"Travelling is a fool's paradise. Our first journeys discover to us the indifference of places."

"Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great."

"Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string."

"Truth is handsomer than the affectation of love. Your goodness must have some edge to it, — else it is none."

"Valor consists in the power of self-recovery, so that a man cannot have his flank turned, cannot be out-generalled, but put him where you will, he stands."

"We are always getting ready to live, but never living."

"We are born believing. A man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples."

"We boil at different degrees."

"We but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents."

"We do not count a man's years until he has nothing else to count."

"We do what we must, and call it by the best names we can."

"Whatever games are played with us, we must play no games with ourselves, but deal in our privacy with the last honesty and truth."

"Whatever limits us we call Fate."

"Wherever a man comes, there comes revolution. The old is for slaves."

"Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind."

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."

"You can never do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late."

"You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity."

"You shall have joy, or you shall have power, said God; you shall not have both."

"Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing."

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