Essays (Google eBook)

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J. Munroe and Company, 1848 - 333 pages
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Page 79 - A political victory, a rise of rents, the recovery of your sick or the return of your absent friend, or some other favorable event raises your spirits, and you think good days are preparing for you. Do not believe it. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.
Page 45 - Then again, do not tell me, as a good man did today, of my obligation to put all poor men in good situations. Are they my poor? I tell thee, thou foolish philanthropist, that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent, I give to such men as do not belong to me and to whom I do not belong.
Page 39 - Familiar as the voice of the mind is to each, the highest merit we ascribe to Moses, Plato, and Milton is that they set at naught books and traditions, and spoke not what men but what they thought. A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the luster of the firmament of bards and sages.
Page 50 - A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
Page 39 - 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. Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense ; for the inmost in due time becomes the outmost, and our first thought is rendered back to us by the trumpets of the Last Judgment.
Page 50 - Why drag about this corpse of your memory lest you contradict somewhat you have stated in this or that public place? Suppose you should contradict yourself; what then?
Page 67 - ... professions, who teams it, farms it, peddles, keeps a school, preaches, edits a newspaper, goes to' Congress, buys a township, and so forth, in successive years, and always, like a cat, falls on his feet, is worth a hundred of these city dolls. He walks abreast with his days and feels no shame in not "studying a profession," for he does not postpone his life, but lives already.
Page 105 - A great man is always willing to be little. Whilst he sits on the cushion of advantages, he goes to sleep. When he is pushed, tormented, defeated, he has a chance to learn something ; he has been put on his wits, on his manhood ; he has gained facts ; learns his ignorance ; is cured of the insanity of conceit ; has got moderation and real skill.
Page 61 - Life only avails, not the having lived. Power ceases in the instant of repose ; it resides in the moment of transition from a past to a new state, in the shooting of the gulf, in the darting to an aim. This one fact the world hates, that the soul becomes ; for that for ever degrades the past, turns all riches to poverty, all reputation to a shame, confounds the saint with the rogue, shoves Jesus and Judas equally aside.
Page 66 - If any man consider the present aspects of what is called by distinction society, he will see the need of these ethics. The sinew and heart of man seem to be drawn out, and we are become timorous, desponding whimperers.

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