An Italian proverb says, In men every mortal sin is venial; in woman every venial sin is mortal. And a German axiom, that There are only two good women in the world: one of them is dead, and the other is not to be found.
Beauty is a fairy; sometimes she hides herself in a flower-cup, or under a leaf, or creeps into the old ivy, and plays hide-and-seek with the sunbeams, or haunts some ruined spot, or laughs out of a bright young face.
How beautifully is it ordered, that as many thousands work for one, so must every individual bring his labor to make the whole! The highest is not to despise the lowest, nor the lowest to envy the highest; each must live in all and by all. Who will not work neither shall he eat. So God has ordered that men, being in need of each other, should learn to love each other, and bear each others burdens.
I confess, says a thoughtful writer, that increasing years bring with them an increasing respect for men who do not succeed in life, as those words are commonly used. Ill success sometimes arises from a conscience too sensitive, a taste too fastidious, a self-forgetfulness too romantic, a modesty too retiring.
I will not go so far as to say, with a living poet, that the world knows nothing of its greatest men; but there are forms of greatness, or at least of excellence, which die and make no sign; there are martyrs that miss the palm, but not the stake; heroes without the laurel, and conquerors without the triumph.
In the intercourse of social life, it is by little acts of watchful kindness recurring daily and hourly,and opportunities of doing kindnesses if sought for are forever starting up,it is by words, by tones, by gestures, by looks, that affection is won and preserved. He who neglects these trifles, yet boasts that, whenever a great sacrifice is called for, he shall be ready to make it, will rarely be loved. The likelihood is, he will not make it; and if he does, it will be much rather for his own sake than for his neighbors.
Life is a system of relations rather than a positive and independent existence; and he who would be happy himself and make others happy must carefully preserve these relations. He cannot stand apart in surly and haughty egotism; let him learn that he is as much dependent on others as others are on him.
Love in modern times has been the tailors, best friend. Every suitor of the nineteenth century spends more than his spare cash on personal adornment. A faultless fit, a glistening hat, tight gloves, and tighter boots proclaim the imminent peril of his position.
Millions of people are provided with their thoughts as with their clothes; authors, printers, booksellers, and newsmen stand, in relation to their minds, simply as shoemakers and tailors stand to their bodies.
The future is always fairyland to the young. Life is like a beautiful and winding lane, on either side bright flowers, and beautiful butterflies and tempting fruits, which we scarcely pause to admire and to taste, so eager are we to hasten to an opening which we imagine will be more beautiful still. But by degrees, as we advance, the trees grow bleak; the flowers and butterflies fail, the fruits disappear, and we find we have arrived to reach a desert waste.
The tragedy of Hamlet is critically considered to be the masterpiece of dramatic poetry; and the tragedy of Hamlet is also, according to the testimony of every sort of manager, the play of all others which can invariably be depended on to fill a theater.
Thought engenders thought. Place one idea on paper, another will follow it, and still another, until you have written a page; you cannot fathom your mind. There is a well of thought there which has no bottom; the more you draw from it, the more clear and fruitful it will be.
We acquire the love of people who, being in our proximity, are presumed to know us; and we receive reputation or celebrity, from such as are not personally acquainted with us. Merit secures to us the regard of our honest neighbors, and good fortune that of the public. Esteem is the harvest of a whole life spent in usefulness; but reputation is often bestowed upon a chance action, and depends most on success.