Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.
The common idea that success spoils people making them vain, egotistic and self-complacent is erroneous; on the contrary, it makes them for the most part, humble, tolerant and kind. Failure makes people cruel and bitter.
What lasting progress was ever made in social reformation, except when every step was insured by appeals to the understanding and the will?
In the world a man lives in his own age; in solitude, in all the ages.
The countenance may be rightly defined as the title page which heralds the contents of the human volume, but like other title pages, it sometimes puzzles, often misleads, and often says nothing to the purpose.
What matters it that a soldier has a sword of dazzling finish, of the keenest edge, and finest temper, if he has never learned the art of fence.
Intercourse is after all manâ€™s best teacher. â€œKnow thyselfâ€ is an excellent maxim; but even self-knowledge cannot be perfected in closets and cloistersâ€”nor amid lake scenery, and on the sunny side of the mountains. Men who seldom mix with their fellow-creatures are almost sure to be one-sidedâ€”the victims of fixed ideas, that sometimes lead to insanity.
Who can achieve mastery over others unless he first achieves mastery over himself?
It is in vain to torment oneself over sufferings that one cannot alleviate.
The first law of success... is concentration: to bend all the energies to one point, and to go directly to that point, looking neither to the right nor the left.
With the civilized man contentment is a myth. From the cradle to the grave he is forever longing and striving after something better, an indefinable something, some new object yet unattained.
It is not true that suffering ennobles the character; happiness does that sometimes, but suffering, for the most part, makes men petty and vindictive.
The fullest instruction, and the fullest enjoyment are never derived from books, till we have ventilated the ideas thus obtained, in free and easy chat with others.
You are not angry with people when you laugh at them. Humor teaches tolerance.
It is salutary to train oneself to be no more affected by censure than by praise.
The great tragedy of life is not that men perish, but they cease to love.
You can't learn too soon that the most useful thing about a principle is that it can always be sacrificed to expediency.
It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.
The petty cares, the minute anxieties, the infinite littles which go to make up the sum of human experience, like the invisible granules of powder, give the last and highest polish to a character.
Man has always sacrificed truth to his vanity, comfort and advantage. He lives... by make-believe.
Then let us laugh. It is the cheapest luxury man enjoys, and, as Charles Lamb says, "is worth a hundred groans in any state of the market." It stirs up the blood, expands the chest, electrifies the nerves, clears away the cobwebs from the brain, and gives the whole system a shock to which the voltaic-pile is as nothing. Nay, itâ€™s delicious alchemy converts even tears into the quintessence of merriment, and makes wrinkles themselves expressive of youth and frolic.
Nature cuts queer capers with menâ€™s phizzes at times, and confounds all the deductions of philosophy. Character does not put all its goods, sometimes not any of them, in its shop-window.
There is a wide difference between general acquaintance and companionship. You may salute a man and exchange compliments with him daily, yet know nothing of his character, his inmost tastes and feelings.