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152 Works of Elbert Hubbard

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APOLOGIA HORSE SENSE If you work for a man, in Heaven’s name work for him. If he pays wages that supply you your bread and butter, work for him, speak well of him, think well of him, and stand by him, and stand by the institution he represents. I think if I worked for a […]

Saint Benedict

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If any pilgrim monk come from distant parts, if with wish as a guest to dwell in the monastery, and will be content with the customs which he finds in the place, and do not perchance by his lavishness disturb the monastery, but is simply content with what he finds: he shall be received, for […]

Mary Baker Eddy

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The chief stones in the temple of Christian Science are to be found in the following postulates: that Life is God, good and not evil; that Soul is sinless, not to be found in the body; that Spirit is not and can not be materialized; that Life is not subject to death; that the spiritual […]

Erasmus

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We see not a few mortals who, striving to emulate this divine virtue with more zeal than success, fall into a feeble and disjointed loquacity, obscuring the subject and burdening the wretched ears of their hearers with a vacant mass of words and sentences crowded together beyond all possibility of enjoyment. And writers who have […]

Thomas Arnold

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Let me mind my own personal work; keep myself pure and zealous and believing; laboring to do God’s will in this fruitful vineyard of young lives committed to my charge, as my allotted field, until my work be done. —Thomas Arnold Thomas Arnold was born in Seventeen Hundred Ninety-five, and died in Eighteen Hundred Forty-two. […]

The purpose of the Kindergarten is to provide the necessary and natural help which poor mothers require who have to be about their work all day, and must leave their children to themselves. The occupations pursued in the Kindergarten are the following: free play of a child by itself; free play of several children by […]

Hypatia

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Neo-Platonism is a progressive philosophy, and does not expect to state final conditions to men whose minds are finite. Life is an unfoldment, and the further we travel the more truth we can comprehend. To understand the things that are at our door is the best preparation for understanding those that lie beyond. —Hypatia The […]

Moses

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And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said, moreover, unto Moses: Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your Fathers, the God of Abraham, the […]

Confucius

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The highest study of all is that which teaches us to develop those principles of purity and perfect virtue which Heaven bestowed upon us at our birth, in order that we may acquire the power of influencing for good those amongst whom we are placed, by our precepts and example; a study without an end–for […]

Pythagoras

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Consult and deliberate before you act, that thou mayest not commit foolish actions. For ‘t is the part of a miserable man to speak and to act without reflection. But do that which will not afflict thee afterwards, nor oblige thee to repentance. —Pythagoras With no desire to deprive Mr. Bok of his bread, I […]

Plato

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How well I remember the aged poet Sophocles, when in answer to the question, “How does love suit with age, Sophocles–are you still the man you were?” “Peace,” he replied; “most gladly have I escaped that, and I feel as if I had escaped from a mad and furious master.” That saying of his has […]

King Alfred

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A saint without superstition, a scholar without ostentation, a warrior who fought only in defense of his country, a conqueror whose laurels were never stained with cruelty, a prince never cast down by adversity, nor lifted up to insolence in the hour of triumph–there is no other name in English history to compare with his. […]

Seeing how all the world’s ways came to nought,And how Death’s one decree merged all degrees,He chose to pass his time with birds and trees,Reduced his life to sane necessities:Plain meat and drink and sleep and noble thought.And the plump kine which waded to the kneesThrough the lush grass, knowing the luxuriesOf succulent mouthfuls, had […]

Spinoza

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Men are so made as to resent nothing more impatiently than to be treated as criminal on account of opinions which they deem true, and charged as guilty for simply what wakes their affection to God and men. Hence, laws about opinions are aimed not at the base but at the noble, and tend not […]

Auguste Comte

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In the name of the Past and of the Future, the servants of Humanity–both its philosophical and its practical servants–come forward to claim as their due the general direction of the world. Their object is to constitute at length a real Providence in all departments–moral, intellectual and material. —Auguste Comte A little city girl asked […]

Voltaire

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We are intelligent beings; and intelligent beings can not have been formed by a blind, brute, insensible being. There is certainly some difference between a clod and the ideas of Newton. Newton’s intelligence came from some greater Intelligence. —The Philosophical Dictionary The man, Francois Marie Arouet, known to us as Voltaire (which name he adopted […]

Herbert Spencer

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What knowledge is of most worth? The uniform reply is: Science. This is the verdict on all counts. For direct self-preservation, or the maintenance of life and health, the all-important knowledge is–science. For that indirect self-preservation which we call gaining a livelihood, the knowledge of greatest value is–science. For the discharge of parental functions, the […]

Schopenhauer

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Wherever one goes one immediately comes upon this incorrigible mob of humanity. It exists everywhere in legions; crowding, soiling everything, like flies in summer. Hence the numberless bad books, those rank weeds of literature which extract nourishment from the corn and choke it. They monopolize the time, money and attention which really belong to good […]

Seneca

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If we wish to be just judges of all things, let us first persuade ourselves of this: that there is not one of us without fault; no man is found who can acquit himself; and he who calls himself innocent does so with reference to a witness, and not to his conscience. —Letters of Seneca […]

Aristotle

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Happiness itself is sufficient excuse. Beautiful things are right and true; so beautiful actions are those pleasing to the gods. Wise men have an inward sense of what is beautiful, and the highest wisdom is to trust this intuition and be guided by it. The answer to the last appeal of what is right lies […]

Marcus Aurelius

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We are made for co-operation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of the upper and lower teeth. To act against one another then is contrary to Nature, and it is acting against one another to be vexed and turn away. —The Meditations Annius Verus was one of the great men of Rome. […]

Immanuel Kant

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The canons of scientific evidence justify us neither in accepting nor rejecting the ideas upon which morality and religion repose. Both parties to the dispute beat the air; they worry their own shadow; for they pass from Nature into the domain of speculation, where their dogmatic grips find nothing to lay hold upon. The shadows […]

Swedenborg

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When a man’s deeds are discovered after death, his angels, who are inquisitors, look into his face, and extend their examination over his whole body, beginning with the fingers of each hand. I was surprised at this, and the reason was thus explained to me: Every volition and thought of man is inscribed on his […]

Love is the only bow on life’s dark cloud. It is the morning and the evening star. It shines upon the babe, and sheds its radiance on the quiet tomb. It is the Mother of Art, inspirer of poet, patriot and philosopher. It is the air and light to tired souls–builder of every home, kindler […]

Patrick Henry

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It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, peace; but there is no peace. The war is actually begun. The next gale that sweeps from the North will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms. Our brethren are already in the field. Why stand we here idle? What […]

Starr King

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The chief difference between a wise man and an ignorant one is, not that the first is acquainted with regions invisible to the second, away from common sight and interest, but that he understands the common things which the second only sees. —Sight and Insight If you had chanced to live in Boston in the […]

You know how the heart is subject to freshets; you know how the mother, always loving her child, yet seeing in it some new wile of affection, will catch it up and cover it with kisses and break forth in a rapture of loving. Such a kind of heart-glow fell from the Savior upon that […]

What worldwide benefactors these “imprudent” men are! How prudently most men creep into nameless graves; while now and then one or two forget themselves into immortality. —Speech on Lovejoy May the good Lord ever keep me from wishing to say the last word; and also from assigning ranks or awarding prizes to great men gone. […]

Martin Luther

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Only slaves die of overwork. Work a weariness, a danger, forsooth! Those who say so can know very little about it. Labor is neither cruel nor ungrateful; it restores the strength we give it a hundredfold and, unlike financial operations, the revenue is what brings in the capital. Put soul into your work, and joy […]

Edmund Burke

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I was not, like His Grace of Bedford, swaddled and rocked and dandled into a legislator; “nitor in adversum” is the motto for a man like me. I possessed not one of the qualities, nor cultivated one of the arts, that recommend men to the favor and protection of the great. I was not made […]

William Pitt

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Time was when slaves were exported like cattle from the British Coast and exposed for sale in the Roman market. These men and women who were thus sold were supposed to be guilty of witchcraft, debt, blasphemy or theft. Or else they were prisoners taken in war–they had forfeited their right to freedom, and we […]

Jean Paul Marat

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Citizens: You see before you the widow of Marat. I do not come here to ask your favors, such as cupidity would covet, or even such as would relieve indigence–Marat’s widow needs no more than a tomb. Before arriving at that happy termination to my existence, however, I come to ask that justice may be […]

Anne Hutchinson

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As I do understand it, laws, commands, rules and edicts are for those who have not the light which makes plain the pathway. He who has God’s grace in his heart can not go astray. —Anne Hutchinson Boston was founded in Sixteen Hundred Thirty. The village was first called Trimountain, which was shortened as a […]

When the service of the public ceases to be the principal concern of the citizens, and they would rather discharge it by their purses than their persons, the State is already far on the way to ruin. When they should march to fight, they pay troops to fight for them and stay at home; when […]

Mark Antony

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It is not long, my Antony, since, with these hands, I buried thee. Alas! they were then free, but thy Cleopatra is now a prisoner, attended by guard, lest, in the transports of her grief, she should disfigure this captive body, which is reserved to adorn the triumph over thee. These are the last offerings, […]

Savonarola

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Some have narrowed their minds, and so fettered them with the chains of antiquity that not only do they refuse to speak save as the ancients spake, but they refuse to think save as the ancients thought. God speaks to us, too, and the best thoughts are those now being vouchsafed to us. We will […]

Thomas Paine

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These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, […]

John Knox

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The repentance of England requireth two things: First, the expulsion of all dregs of popery and the treading under foot of all glistering beauty of vain ceremonies. Next, no power or liberty must be permitted to any, of what estate, degree or authority they be, either to live without the yoke of discipline by God’s […]

John Bright

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I have often tried to picture to myself what famine is, but the human mind is not capable of drawing any form, any scene, that will realize the horrors of starvation. The men who made the Corn Laws are totally ignorant of what it means. The agricultural laborers know something of it in some counties, […]

Bradlaugh

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The Right Honorable Baronet has said there has been no word of recantation. The Right Honorable Baronet speaks truth. There has been no recantation, neither will there be. You have no right to ask me for any recantation. You have no right to ask me for anything. If I am legally disqualified, lay the case […]

Theodore Parker

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He tells of the rhodora, the club-moss, the blooming clover, not of the hibiscus and the asphodel. He knows the bumblebee, the blackbird, the bat and the wren. He illustrates his high thought by common things out of our plain New England life: the meeting of the church, the Sunday-School, the dancing-school, a huckleberry party, […]

Oliver Cromwell

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For my beloved wife, Elizabeth Cromwell. These: Edinburgh, 3d May, 1651 My Dearest: I could not satisfy myself to omit this post, although I have not much to write; yet indeed I love to write to my dear who is so very much in my heart. It joys me to hear thy soul prospereth: the […]

Whistler

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Art happens–no hovel is safe from it, no Prince may depend upon it, the vastest intelligence can not bring it about, and puny efforts to make it universal end in quaint comedy, and coarse farce. —The “Ten-o’Clock” Lecture The Eternal Paradox of Things is revealed in the fact that the men who have toiled most […]

John Wesley

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My horse was very lame, and my head did ache exceedingly. Now what occurred I here avow is truth–let each man account for it as he will. Suddenly I thought, “Can not God heal man or beast as He will?” Immediately my weariness and headache ceased; and my horse was no longer lame. —Wesley’s Journal […]

Henry George

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The more you study this question, the more you will see that the true law of social life is the law of love, and law of liberty, the law of each for all and all for each; that the golden rule of morals is also the golden rule of the science of wealth; that the […]

Richard Cobden

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What I contend is that England is today so situated in every particular of her domestic and foreign circumstances that, by leaving other governments to settle their own business and fight out their own quarrels, and by attending to the vast and difficult affairs of her own enormous realm, and the condition of her people, […]

Velasquez

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Among the notable prophets of the new and true–Rubens, Rembrandt, Claude Lorraine–Velasquez was the newest and certainly the truest from our point of view. He showed us the mystery of light as God made it. —Stevenson There be, among writing men, those who please the populace, and also that Elect Few who inspire writers. When […]

Corot

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The sun sinks more and more behind the horizon. Bam! he throws his last ray, a streak of gold and purple which fringes the flying clouds. There, now it has entirely disappeared. Bien! bien! twilight commences. Heavens, how charming it is! There is now in the sky only the soft vaporous color of pale citron–the […]

Correggio

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What genius disclosed all these wonders to thee? All the fair images in the world seem to have sprung forward to meet thee, and to throw themselves lovingly into thy arms. How joyous was the gathering when smiling angels held thy palette, and sublime spirits stood before thy inward vision in all their splendor as […]

Bellini

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And if in our day Raphael must give way to Botticelli, with how much greater reason should Titian in the heights of his art, with all his earthly splendor and voluptuous glow, give place to the lovely imagination of dear old Gian Bellini, the father of Venetian Art? —Mrs. Oliphant, in “The Makers of Venice” […]

Cellini

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It is a duty incumbent upon upright and credible men of all ranks, who have performed anything noble or praiseworthy, to truthfully record, in their own writing, the principal events of their lives. —Benvenuto Cellini “The man who is thoroughly interested in himself is interesting to other people,” Wendell Phillips once said. Good healthy egotism […]

Abbey

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As an illustrator, Abbey combined daintiness with a fair measure of dramatic feeling for the pose. A modicum of old Benjamin West’s tendency to the grandiose would have done Abbey no harm; but if his imagination balked at the higher flights often attained by Gustave Dore, and sometimes by Elihu Vedder, yet there is a […]

Leonardo

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The world, perhaps, contains no other example of a genius so universal as Leonardo’s, so creative, so incapable of self- contentment, so athirst for the infinite, so naturally refined, so far in advance of his own and subsequent ages. His pictures express incredible sensibility and mental power; they overflow with unexpressed ideas and emotions. Alongside […]

Botticelli

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In Leonardo’s “Treatise on Painting,” only one contemporary is named–Sandro Botticelli…. The Pagan and Christian world mingle in the work of Botticelli; but the man himself belonged to an age that is past and gone–an age that flourished long before men recorded history. His best efforts seem to spring out of a heart that forgot […]

Thorswaldsen

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See the hovering ships on the wharves! The Dannebrog waves, the workmen sit in circle under the shade at their frugal breakfasts; but foremost stands the principal figure in this picture; it is a boy who cuts with a bold hand the lifelike features in the wooden image for the beakhead of the vessel. It […]

Gainsborough

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If ever this nation should produce a genius sufficient to acquire to us the honorable distinction of an English School, the name of Gainsborough will be transmitted to posterity, in this history of art, among the very first of that rising name. —Sir Joshua Reynolds Most biographies are written with intent either to make the […]

The perfect historian is he in whose work the character and spirit of the age is exhibited in miniature. He relates no fact, he attributes no expression to his characters, which is not authenticated by sufficient testimony. But by judicious selection, rejection and arrangement, he gives to truth those attractions which have been usurped by […]

Lord Byron

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I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs;A palace and a prison on each hand:I saw from out the wave her structures riseAs from the stroke of the enchanter’s wand:A thousand years, their cloudy wings expandAround me, and a dying Glory smilesO’er the far times, when many a subject landLook’d to the winged Lion’s […]

Joseph Addison

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Thus am I doubly armed: my death and life,My bane and antidote, are both before me.This in a moment brings me to an end;But this informs me I shall never die.The soul, secured in her existence, smilesAt the drawn dagger, and defies its point.The stars shall fade away, the sun himselfGrow dim with age, and […]

Robert Southey

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Let no man writeThy epitaph, Emmett; thou shalt not goWithout thy funeral strain! O young and good,And wise, though erring here, thou shalt not goUnhonored or unsung. And better thusBeneath that undiscriminating stroke,Better to fall, than to have lived to mourn,As sure thou wouldst, in misery and remorse,Thine own disastrous triumph * * * *How […]

Beneath the blaze of a tropical sun the mountain peaks are the Thrones of Frost, this through the absence of objects to reflect the rays. What no one with us shares, seems scarce our own–we need another to reflect our thoughts. —Samuel Taylor Coleridge Samuel T. Coleridge was a thinker, and thinkers are so rarely […]

The stimulus subsided. The paroxysms ended in prostration. Some took refuge in melancholy, and their eminent chief alternated between a menace and a sigh. As I sat opposite the Treasury bench, the Ministers reminded me of those marine landscapes not unusual on the coasts of South America. You behold a range of exhausted volcanoes; not […]

Alfred Tennyson

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Not of the sunlight,Not of the moonlight,Nor of the starlight!O young Mariner,Down to the haven,Call your companions,Launch your vessel,And crowd your canvas,And ere it vanishesOver the margin,After it, follow it,Follow the Gleam. —Merlin The grandfather of Tennyson had two sons, the elder boy, according to Clement Scott, being “both wilful and commonplace.” Now, of course, […]

Robert Burns

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TO JEANNIE Come, let me take thee to my breast,And pledge we ne’er shall sunder;And I shall spurn, as vilest dust,The warld’s wealth and grandeur. And do I hear my Jeannie ownThat equal transports move her?I ask for dearest life, alone,That I may live to love her. Thus in my arms, wi’ a’ thy charms,I […]

John Milton

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Thus with the yearSeasons return; but not to me returnsDay, or the sweet approach of even or morn,Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer’s rose,Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine;But cloud instead, and ever-during darkSurrounds me; from the cheerful ways of menCut off, and for the book of knowledge fairPresented with a universal […]

Samuel Johnson

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* * * Seven years, my Lord, have now passed since I waited in your outward rooms and was repulsed from your door; during which time I have been pushing on my work through difficulties of which it is useless to complain, and have brought it at last to the verge of publication without one […]

Francois Millet

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When I meet a laborer on the edge of a field, I stop and look at the man: born amid the grain where he will be reaped, and turning up with his plow the ground of his tomb, mixing his burning sweat with the icy rain of Autumn. The furrow he has just turned is […]

Joshua Reynolds

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To make it people’s interest to advance you, by showing that their business will be better done by you than by any other person, is the only solid foundation of success; the rest is accident. —Reynolds to His Nephew On the curious little river Plym, five miles from Plymouth, is the hamlet of Plympton. It […]

Landseer

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The man behind his work was seen through it–sensitive, variously gifted, manly, genial, tender-hearted, simple and unaffected; a lover of animals, children and humanity; and if any one wishes to see at a glance nearly all we have written, let him look at Landseer’s portrait, painted by himself, with a canine connoisseur on either side. […]

Gustave Dore

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Lacroix told Dore one day, early in his life in Paris, that he should illustrate a new edition of his works in four volumes, and he sent them to him. In a week Lacroix said to Dore, who had called, “Well, have you begun to read my story?” “Oh! I mastered that in no time; […]

William Morris

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THE IDLE SINGER Of Heaven or Hell I have no power to sing,I can not ease the burden of your fears,Or make quick-coming death a little thing,Or bring again the pleasure of past years,Nor for my words shall ye forget your tears,Or hope again for aught that I can say,The idle singer of an empty […]

Rubens

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I was admitted to the Duke of Lerma’s presence, and took part in the embassy. The Duke exhibited great satisfaction at the excellence and number of the pictures, which surely have acquired a certain fair appearance of antiquity (by means of my retouching), in spite even of the damage they had undergone. They are held […]

Meissonier

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I never hesitate about scraping out the work of days, and beginning afresh, so as to satisfy myself, and try to do better. Ah! that “better” which one feels in one’s soul, and without which no true artist is ever content! Others may approve and admire; but that counts for nothing, compared with one’s own […]

His pieces so with live objects strive,That both or pictures seem, or both alive.Nature herself, amaz’d, does doubting stand,Which is her own and which the painter’s hand,And does attempt the like with less success,When her own work in twins she would express.His all-resembling pencil did outpassThe magic imagery of looking-glass.Nor was his life less perfect […]

Fortuny

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I think I knew Fortuny as well as any one did. He was surcharged with energy, animation and good-cheer; and the sunshine he worked into every canvas he attempted, was only a reflection of the sparkling, gem-like radiance of his own nature. He absorbed from earth, air, sky, the waters and men, and transmuted all […]

Ary Scheffer

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The artistic tastes of the Princess, the lofty range of her understanding, her liberality, and the sterling benevolence of her mind all combined to engender a coldness and lack of sympathy between herself and the persons composing the Court. In the heart of the Princess dwelt a deep religious faith, such as becomes a noble, […]

John Jay

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Calm repose and the sweets of undisturbed retirement appear more distant than a peace with Britain. It gives me pleasure, however, to reflect that the period is approaching when we shall be citizens of a better ordered State, and the spending of a few troublesome years of our eternity in doing good to this and […]

I avow my adherence to the Union, with my friends, with my party, with my State; or without either, as they may determine; in every event of peace or war, with every consequence of honor or dishonor, of life or death. —Speech in the United States Senate, 1860 When I was a freshman at the […]

Rembrandt

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The eyes and the mouth are the supremely significant features of the human face. In Rembrandt’s portraits the eye is the center wherein life, in its infinity of aspect, is most manifest. Not only was his fidelity absolute, but there is a certain mysterious limpidity of gaze that reveals the soul of the sitter. A […]

Samuel Adams

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The body of the people are now in council. Their opposition grows into a system. They are united and resolute. And if the British Administration and Government do not return to the principles of moderation and equity, the evil, which they profess to aim at preventing by their rigorous measures, will the sooner be brought […]

John Hancock

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Boston, Sept. 30, 1765 Gent: Since my last I have receiv’d your favour by Capt Hulme who is arriv’d here with the most disagreeable Commodity (say Stamps) that were imported into this Country & what if carry’d into Execution will entirely Stagnate Trade here, for it is universally determined here never to Submitt to it […]

To the guidance of the legislative councils; to the assistance of the executive and subordinate departments; to the friendly co-operation of the respective State Governments; to the candid and liberal support of the people, so far as it may be deserved by honest industry and zeal, I shall look for whatever success may attend my […]

The objects to be attained are: To justify and preserve the confidence of the most enlightened friends of good government; to promote the increasing respectability of the American name; to answer the calls of justice; to restore landed property to its due value; to furnish new sources both to agriculture and to commerce; to cement […]

Daniel Webster

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Not many days ago I saw at breakfast the notablest of all your notabilities, Daniel Webster. He is a magnificent specimen. You might say to all the world, “This is our Yankee-Englishman; such links we make in Yankeeland!” As a logic fencer, advocate or Parliamentary Hercules, one would incline to back him at first sight […]

Henry Clay

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If there be any description of rights, which, more than any other, should unite all parties in all quarters of the Union, it is unquestionably the rights of the person. No matter what his vocation, whether he seeks subsistence amid the dangers of the sea, or draws it from the bowels of the earth, or […]

Mary W. Shelley

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Shelley, beloved! the year has a new name from any thou knowest. When Spring arrives, leaves that you never saw will shadow the ground, and flowers you never beheld will star it, and the grass will be of another growth. Thy name is added to the list which makes the earth bold in her age, […]

BERT HUBBARD A little more patience, a little more charity for all, a little more devotion, a little more love; with less bowing down to the past, and a silent ignoring of pretended authority; a brave looking forward to the future with more faith in our fellows, and the race will be ripe for a […]

He left as fair a reputation as ever belonged to a human character…. Midst all the sorrowings that are mingled on this melancholy occasion I venture to assert that none could have felt his death with more regret than I, because no one had higher opinions of his worth…. There is this consolation, though, to […]

I will speak ill of no man, not even in matter of truth; but rather excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasion speak all the good I know of everybody. —Franklin’s Journal Benjamin Franklin was twelve years old. He was large and strong and fat and good-natured, and had a […]

If I could not go to Heaven but with a Party, I would not go there at all. —Jefferson, in a Letter to Madison William and Mary College was founded in Sixteen Hundred Ninety-two by the persons whose names it bears. The founders bestowed on it an endowment that would have been generous had there […]

Rosa Bonheur

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The boldness of her conceptions is sublime. As a Creative Artist I place her first among women, living or dead. And if you ask me why she thus towers above her fellows, by the majesty of her work silencing every detractor, I will say it is because she listens to God, and not to man. […]

Madame De Stael

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Far from gaining assurance in meeting Bonaparte oftener, he intimidated me daily more and more. I confusedly felt that no emotion of the heart could possibly take effect upon him. He looks upon a human being as a fact or as a thing, but not as a fellow-creature. He does not hate any more than […]

Elizabeth Fry

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When thee builds a prison, thee had better build with the thought ever in thy mind that thee and thy children may occupy the cells. —Report on Paris Prisons, Addressed to the King of France The Mennonite, Dunkard, Shaker, Oneida Communist, Mormon and Quaker are all one people, varying only according to environment. They are […]

Mary Lamb

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Her education in youth was not much attended to, and she happily missed all the train of female garniture which passeth by the name of accomplishments. She was tumbled early, by accident or providence, into a spacious closet of good old English reading, without much selection or prohibition, and browsed at will upon that fair […]

Jane Austen

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Delaford is a nice place I can tell you; exactly what I call a nice, old-fashioned place, full of comforts, quite shut in with great garden-walls that are covered with fruit-trees, and such a mulberry-tree in the corner. Then there is a dovecote, some delightful fish-ponds, and a very pretty canal, and everything, in short, […]

You have met General Bonaparte in my house. Well–he it is who would supply a father’s place to the orphans of Alexander de Beauharnais, and a husband’s to his widow. I admire the General’s courage, the extent of his information, for on all subjects he talks equally well, and the quickness of his judgment, which […]

BERT HUBBARD We are not sent into this world to do anything into which we can not put our hearts. We have certain work to do for our bread and that is to be done strenuously, other work to do for our delight and that is to be done heartily; neither is to be done […]

I have been in the meadows all the day,And gathered there the nosegay that you see;Singing within myself as bird or beeWhen such do fieldwork on a morn of May. Irreparableness Writers of biography usually begin their preachments with the rather startling statement, “The subject of this memoir was born”—-Here follows a date, the name […]

Madame Guyon

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To me remains nor place nor time;My country is in every clime;I can be calm and free from care,On any shore, since God is there. While place we seek or place we shun,The soul finds happiness in none;But with a God to guide our way,‘Tis equal joy to go or stay. Could I be cast […]

You better live your best and act your best and think your best today; for today is the sure preparation for tomorrow and all the other tomorrows that follow. –Life’s Uses I believe it was Thackeray who once expressed a regret that Harriet Martineau had not shown better judgment in choosing her parents. She was […]

I was not surprised, when I went down into the hall, to see that a brilliant June morning had succeeded to the tempest of the night, and to feel through the open glass door the breathing of a fresh and fragrant breeze. Nature must be gladsome when I was so happy. A beggar woman and […]

My life is but a working-day,Whose tasks are set aright:A while to work, a while to pray,And then a quiet night.And then, please God, a quiet nightWhere Saints and Angels walk in white.One dreamless sleep from work and sorrow,But reawakening on the morrow. —In Patience As a study in heredity, the Rossetti family is most […]

Even such a shell the universe itselfIs to the ear of Faith; and there are times,I doubt not, when to you it doth impartAuthentic tidings of invisible things;Of ebb and flow and ever-during power;And central peace subsisting at the heartOf endless agitation. Here you stand,Adore and worship, when you know it not;Pious beyond the intention […]

TO MR. BROOKFIELDSeptember 16, 1849 Have you read Dickens? Oh, it is charming! Brave Dickens!“David Copperfield” has some of his prettiest touches,and the reading of the book has done another author agreat deal of good. –W.M.T. There are certain good old ladies in every community who wear perennial mourning. They attend every funeral, carrying black-bordered […]

Charles Dickens

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I hope for the enlargement of my mind, and for the improvement of my understanding. If I have done but little good, I trust I have done less harm, and that none of my adventures will be other than a source of amusing and pleasant recollection. God bless you all! –Pickwick The path of progress […]

Jarvis: A few of our usual cards of compliments–that’s all. This bill from your tailor; this from your mercer; and this from the little broker in Crooked Lane. He says he has been at a great deal of trouble to get back the money you borrowed. Honeydew: But I am sure we were at a […]

The mind can not conceive what man will do in theTwentieth Century with his chained lightning.—Thomas A. Edison Some years ago, a law was passed out in Ohio, making any man ineligible to act as a magistrate who had not studied law and been duly admitted to the bar. Men who had not studied law […]

John Ruskin

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Put roses in their hair, put precious stones on their breasts; see that they are clothed in purple and scarlet, with other delights; that they also learn to read the gilded heraldry of the sky; and upon the earth be taught not only the labors of it but the loveliness. —Deucalion At Windermere, a good […]

As the aloe is said to flower only once in a hundred years, so it seems to be but once in a thousand years that Nature blossoms into this unrivaled product and produces such a man as we have here. –Gladstone, “Lecture on Homer” American travelers in England are said to accumulate sometimes large and […]

J. M. W. Turner

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I believe that these works of Turner’s are at theirfirst appearing as perfect as those of Phidias orLeonardo, that is to say, incapable of any improvementconceivable by human mind. —John Ruskin The beauty of the upper Thames with its fairy house-boats and green banks has been sung by poets, but rash is the minstrel who […]

Jonathan Swift

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They are but few and meanspirited that live in peace with all men. –Tale of a Tub Birrell, the great English essayist, remarks that, “Of writing books about Dean Swift there is no end.” The reason is plain: of no other prominent writer who has lived during the past two hundred years do we know […]

The Grammarian

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The best way to learn to write is to write. Herbert Spencer never studied grammar until he had learned to write. He took his grammar at sixty, which is a good age for one to begin this most interesting study, as by the time you have reached that age you have largely lost your capacity […]

A religion of just being kind would be a pretty good religion, don’t you think so? But a religion of kindness and useful effort is nearly a perfect religion. We used to think it was a man’s belief concerning a dogma that would fix his place in eternity. This was because we believed that God […]

The mintage of wisdom is to know thatrest is rust, and that real life is in love,laughter and work.—Elbert Hubbard I have been asked to write an article about myself and the work in which I am engaged. I think I am honest enough to sink self, to stand outside my own personality, and answer […]

George Eliot

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“May I reachThat purest heaven, be to other soulsThe cup of strength in some great agony,Enkindle generous ardor, feed pure love,Beget the smiles that have no cruelty–Be the good presence of a good diffused,And in diffusion ever more intense.So shall I join the choir invisibleWhose music is the gladness of the world.” Warwickshire gave to […]

Thomas Carlyle

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One comfort is that great men taken up in any way are profitable company. We can not look, however imperfectly, upon a great man without gaining something by it. He is the living fountain of life, which it is pleasant to be near. On any terms whatsoever you will not grudge to wander in his […]

All adown the ages society has made the mistake of nailing its Saviors to the cross between thieves. That is to say, society has recognized in the Savior a very dangerous quality–something about him akin to a thief, and his career has been suddenly cut short. We have telephones and trolly cars, yet we have […]

Socrates was once asked by a pupil, this question: “What kind of people shall we be when we reach Elysium?” And the answer was this: “We shall be the same kind of people that we were here.” If there is a life after this, we are preparing for it now, just as I am to-day […]

My father is a doctor who has practised medicine for sixty-five years, and is still practising. I am a doctor myself. I am fifty years old; my father is eighty-five. We live in the same house, and daily we ride horseback together or tramp thru the fields and woods. To-day we did our little jaunt […]

Words sometimes become tainted and fall into bad repute, and are discarded. Until the day of Elizabeth Fry, on the official records in England appeared the word “mad-house.” Then it was wiped out and the word “asylum” substituted. Within twenty years’ time in several states in America we have discarded the word “asylum” and have […]

The Sergeant

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A colonel in the United States Army told me the other day something like this: The most valuable officer, the one who has the greatest responsibility, is the sergeant. The true sergeant is born, not made–he is the priceless gift of the gods. He is so highly prized that when found he is never promoted, […]

Four hundred and twenty-five years before the birth of the Nazarene, Socrates said, “The gods are on high Olympus, but you and I are here.” And for this–and a few other similar observations–be was compelled to drink a substitute for coffee–he was an infidel! Within the last thirty years the churches of Christendom have, in […]

Renan has said that truth is always rejected when it comes to a man for the first time, its evolution being as follows: First, we say the thing is rank heresy, and contrary to the Bible. Second, we say the matter really amounts to nothing, anyway. Third, we declare that we always believed it. Two […]

Sympathy, Knowledge and Poise seem to be the three ingredients that are most needed in forming the Gentle Man. I place these elements according to their value. No man is great who does not have Sympathy plus, and the greatness of men can be safely gauged by their sympathies. Sympathy and imagination are twin sisters. […]

Love And Faith

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No woman is worthy to be a wife who on the day of her marriage is not lost absolutely and entirely in an atmosphere of love and perfect trust; the supreme sacredness of the relation is the only thing which, at the time, should possess her soul. Is she a bawd that she should bargain? […]

To give a man something for nothing tends to make the individual dissatisfied with himself. Your enemies are the ones you have helped. And when an individual is dissatisfied with himself he is dissatisfied with the whole world–and with you. A man’s quarrel with the world is only a quarrel with himself. But so strong […]

Work And Waste

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These truths I hold to be self-evident: That man was made to be happy; that happiness is only attainable through useful effort; that the very best way to help ourselves is to help others, and often the best way to help others is to mind our own business; that useful effort means the proper exercise […]

The very first item in the creed of common sense is Obedience. Perform your work with a whole heart. Revolt may be sometimes necessary, but the man who tries to mix revolt and obedience is doomed to disappoint himself and everybody with whom he has dealings. To flavor work with protest is to fail absolutely. […]

Maybe I am all wrong about it, yet I cannot help believing that the spirit of man will live again in a better world than ours. Fenelon says: “Justice demands another life to make good the inequalities of this.” Astronomers prophesy the existence of stars long before they can see them. They know where they […]

While this seems true in the main, I am not sure it will hold in every case. Please think it out for yourself, and if I happen to be wrong, why, put me straight. The proposition is this: the artist needs no religion beyond his work. That is to say, art is religion to the […]

Initiative

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The world bestows its big prizes, both in money and honors, for but one thing. And that is Initiative. What is Initiative? I’ll tell you: It is doing the right thing without being told. But next to doing the right thing without being told is to do it when you are told once. That is […]

England’s most famous dramatist, George Bernard Shaw, has placed in the pillory of letters what he is pleased to call “The Disagreeable Girl.” And he has done it by a dry-plate, quick-shutter process in a manner that surely lays him liable for criminal libel in the assize of high society. I say society’s assize advisedly, […]

The Neutral

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There is known to me a prominent business house that by the very force of its directness and worth has incurred the enmity of many rivals. In fact, there is a very general conspiracy on hand to put the institution down and out. In talking with a young man employed by this house, he yawned […]

The Outsider

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When I was a farmer lad I noticed that whenever we bought a new cow, and turned her into the pasture with the herd, there was a general inclination on the part of the rest to make the new cow think she had landed in the orthodox perdition. They would hook her away from the […]

Abraham Lincoln’s letter to Hooker! If all the letters, messages and speeches of Lincoln were destroyed, except that one letter to Hooker, we still would have an excellent index to the heart of the Rail-Splitter. In this letter we see that Lincoln ruled his own spirit; and we also behold the fact that he could […]

Did it ever strike you that it is a most absurd and semi-barbaric thingto set one day apart as “holy?” If you are a writer and a beautiful thought comes to you, you neverhesitate because it is Sunday, but you write it down. If you are a painter, and the picture appears before you, vivid […]

An excellent and gentle man of my acquaintance has said, “When fifty-one per cent of the voters believe in cooeperation as opposed to competition, the Ideal Commonwealth will cease to be a theory and become a fact.” That men should work together for the good of all is very beautiful, and I believe the day […]

The question is often asked, “What becomes of all the Valedictorians and all the Class-Day Poets?” I can give information as to two parties for whom this inquiry is made–the Valedictorian of my class is now a most industrious and worthy floor-walker in Siegel, Cooper & Company’s store, and I was the Class-Day Poet. Both […]

Traveling to and fro over the land and up and down in it are men who manage street-fairs. Let it be known that a street-fair or Mardi Gras is never a spontaneous expression of the carnival spirit on the part of the townspeople. These festivals are a business–carefully planned, well advertised and carried out with […]

One-Man Power

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Every successful concern is the result of a One-Man Power. Cooeperation, technically, is an iridescent dream–things cooeperate because the man makes them. He cements them by his will. But find this Man, and get his confidence, and his weary eyes will look into yours and the cry of his heart shall echo in your ears. […]

Mental Attitude

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Success is in the blood. There are men whom fate can never keep down–they march forward in a jaunty manner, and take by divine right the best of everything that the earth affords. But their success is not attained by means of the Samuel Smiles-Connecticut policy. They do not lie in wait, nor scheme, nor […]

I would write across the sky in letters of light this undisputed truth, proven by every annal of history, that the only way to help yourself is through loyalty to those who trust and employ you. It was in the Spring of Eighteen Hundred Seventy-six that the Sioux on the Dakota Reservation became restless, and […]

Time And Chance

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As the subject is somewhat complex, I will have to explain it to you. The first point is that there is not so very much difference in the intelligence of people after all. The great man is not so great as folks think, and the dull man is not quite so stupid as he seems. […]

Billy And The Book

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To be your brother’s keeper is beautiful if you do not cease to be his friend. One day last Winter in New York I attended a police court on a side street, just off lower Broadway. I was waiting to see my old friend Rosenfeld in the Equitable Life Building, but as his office didn’t […]

An act is only a crystallized thought. John the Baptist, the strong, fine youth, came up out of the wilderness crying in the streets of Jerusalem, “Repent ye! Repent ye!” Salome heard the call and from her window looked with half- closed, catlike eyes upon the semi-naked, young fanatic. She smiled, did this idle creature […]

By exercise of its faculties the spirit grows, just as a muscle grows strong thru continued use. Expression is necessary. Life is expression, and repression is stagnation–death. Yet, there can be right and wrong expression. If a man permits his life to run riot and only the animal side of his nature is allowed to […]

Sam

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Anybody can order, but to serve with grace, tact and effectiveness is a fine art. In San Francisco lived a lawyer–age, sixty–rich in money, rich in intellect, a business man with many interests. Now, this lawyer was a bachelor, and lived in apartments with his Chinese servant “Sam.” Sam and his master had been together […]

Cleopatra And Caesar

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When power and beauty meet, the world would do well to take to its cyclone-cellar. The sole surviving daughter of the great King Ptolemy of Egypt, Cleopatra was seventeen years old when her father died. By his will the King made her joint heir to the throne with her brother Ptolemy, several years her junior. […]

A Special Occasion

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As the cities are all only two days from famine, so is man’s life constantly but a step from dissolution. Once on a day, I spoke at the Athenaeum, New Orleans, for the Young Men’s Hebrew Association. When they had asked my fee I answered, “One Hundred Fifty Dollars.” The reply was, “We will pay […]

The person who reasons from a false premise is always funny–to other folks. The opinion prevails all through the truly rural districts that the big cities are for the most part given over to Confidence Men. And the strange part is that the opinion is correct. But it should not be assumed that all the […]

Five Babies

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All success consists in this: you are doing something for somebody–are benefiting humanity; and the feeling of success comes from the consciousness of this. Riding on the Grand Trunk Railway a few weeks ago, going from Suspension Bridge to Chicago, I saw a sight so trivial that it seems unworthy of mention. Yet for three […]

The church has aureoled and sainted the men and women who have fought the Cosmic Urge. To do nothing and to be nothing was regarded as a virtue. The church has aureoled and sainted the men and women who have fought the Cosmic Urge. To do nothing and to be nothing was regarded as a […]