Be what you are. This is the first step toward becoming better than you are.
Children always turn towards the light. Oh that grown-up people in this world became like little children!
The next best thing to a very good joke is a very bad one.
Everybody has his own theatre, in which he is manager, actor, prompter, playwright, sceneshifter, boxkeeper, doorkeeper, all in one, and audience into the bargain.
Many people make their own God; and he is much what the French may mean when they talk of le bon Dieu,--very indulgent, rather weak, near at hand when we want anything, but far away out of sight when we have a mind to do wrong. Such a God is as much an idol as if he were an image of stone.
A weak mind sinks under prosperity, as well as under adversity.
The mind is like a sheet of white paper in this, that the impressions it receives the oftenest, and retains the longest, are black ones.
Few people have courage enough to appear as good as they really are. Most people confuse greatness with power, despite the fact that greatness has nothing to do with power.
What a pity it is that there are so many words! Whenever one wants to say anything, three or four ways of saying it run into one's head together; and one can't tell which to choose. It is as troublesome and puzzling as choosing a ribbon ... or a husband.
To no kind of begging are people so averse, as to begging pardon; that is, when there is any serious ground for doing so.
If your divines are not philosophers, your philosophy will neither be divine, nor able to divine.
The business of philosophy is to circumnavigate human nature.
By the ancients, courage was regarded as practically the main part of virtue; by us, though I hope we are not less brave, purity is so regarded now.
Knowledge is the parent of love; wisdom, love itself.
True goodness is like the glow-worm in this, that it shines most when no eyes except those of heaven are upon it.
The virtue of Christianity is obedience.
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