William Gilmore Simms

William Gilmore

American Author

Author Quotes

But for that blindness which is inseparable from malice, what terrible powers of evil would it possess! Fortunately for the world, its venom, like that of the rattlesnake, when most poisonous, clouds the eye of the reptile, and defeats its aim.

Our possessions are wholly in our performances. He owns nothing to whom the world owes nothing.

This the true sign of ruin to a race? it undertakes no march, and day by day drowses in camp, or, with the laggard?s pace, walks sentry o?er possessions that decay; destined, with sensible waste, to fleet away;? for the first secret of continued power is the continued conquest;?all our sway hath surety in the uses of the hour; if that we waste, in vain walled town and lofty tower!

Distinction is an eminence that is attained but too frequently at the expense of a fireside.

Philosophy is reason with the eyes of the soul.

Vanity may be likened to the smooth-skinned and velvet-footed mouse, nibbling about forever in expectation of a crumb; while self-esteem is too apt to take the likeness of the huge butcher's dog, who carries off your steaks, and growls at you as be goes.

Genius is the very eye of intellect and the wing of thought; it is always in advance of its time, and is the pioneer for the generation which it precedes.

Revelation may not need the help of reason, but man does, even when in possession of revelation. Reason may be described as the candle in the man's hand, to which revelation brings the necessary flame.

We must calculate not on the weather, nor on fortune, but upon God and ourselves. He may fail us in the gratification of our wishes, but never in the encounter with our exigencies.

He who would acquire fame must not show himself afraid of censure. The dread of censure is the death of genius.

Tact is one of the first mental virtues, the absence of it is fatal to the best talent.

What we call genius may, perhaps, in more strict propriety, be described as the spirit of discovery. Genius is the very eye of intellect and the wing of thought. It is always in advance of its time. It is the pioneer for the generation which it precedes. For this reason it is called a seer--and hence its songs have been prophecies.

I believe that economists put decimal points in their forecasts to show they have a sense of humor.

Tears are the natural penalties of pleasure. It is a law that we should pay for all that we enjoy.

What we call vice in our neighbor may be nothing less than a crude virtue. To him who knows nothing more of precious stones than he can learn from a daily contemplation of his breastpin, a diamond in the mine must be a very uncompromising sort of stone.

I know not that there is anything in nature more soothing to the mind than the contemplation of the moon, sailing, like some planetary bark, amidst a sea of bright azure. The subject is certainly hackneyed; the moon has been sung by poet and poetaster. Is there any marvel that it should be so?

The amiable is a duty most certainly, but must not be exercised at expense of any of the virtues. He seeks to do the amiable always, can only be successful at the frequent expense of his manhood.

Who is it that called time the avenger, yet failed to see that death was the consoler. What mortal afflictions are there to which death does not bring full remedy? What hurts of hope and body does it not repair? "This is a sharp medicine," said Raleigh, speaking of the axe, "but it cures all disorders."

It is a bird-flight of the soul, when the heart declares itself in song. The affections that clothe themselves with wings are passions that have been subdued to virtues.

The birth of a child is the imprisonment of a soul.

It should console us for the fact that sin has not totally disappeared from the world, that the saints are not wholly deprived of employment.

The conditions of conquest are always easy. We have but to toil awhile, endure awhile, believe always, and never turn back.

Let us escape! This is our holiday-- God's day, devote to rest; and through the wood. We'll wander, and perchance find heavenly food, so, profitless it shall not pass away.

The fool is willing to pay for anything but wisdom. No man buys that of which he supposes himself to have an abundance already.

Love is but another name for that inscrutable presence by which the soul is connected with humanity.

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William Gilmore
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American Author