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Who suffers by his ill whims? Himself, always.
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it for any one else.
Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.
Who would not poverty for riches yield? A hovel sell to buy a treasure-field?
Thou art my life: I the brook, thou the spring.
Sometimes I wake, and, lo! I have forgot,
And drifted out upon an ebbing sea!
My soul that was at rest now resteth not,
For I am with myself and not with thee.
I wear the chain I forged in life. I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.
Places lie beyond these where we may live in peace, and be tempted to do no harm. We will take the road that promises to have that end, and we would not turn out of it, if it were a hundred times worse than our fears lead us to expect.
A very little key will open a very heavy door.
It was but imagination, yet imagination had all the terrors of reality; nay, it was worse, for the reality would have come and gone, and there an end, but in imagination it was always coming, and never went away.
Let philosophy scrape off your own faults, rather than be a way to rail against the faults of others.
Whiles others fish with craft for great opinion,
I with great truth catch mere simplicity;
Whilst some with cunning gild their copper crowns,
With truth and plainness I do wear mine bare.
Time, force, and death,
Do to this body what extremes you can;
But the strong base and building of my love
Is as the very centre of the earth,
Drawing all things to it.
He who asks of life nothing but the improvement of his own nature, and a continuous good progress towards inner contentment and spiritual submission, is less likely than anyone else to miss and waste life.
A cucumber is bitter? Throw it away. There are briars in the road? Turn aside from them. This is enough. Do not add, “Why were such things made in the world?”
Happiness is no other than soundness and perfection of the mind.
We are free only so far as we are not dupes of ourselves, our pretexts, our instincts, our temperament. We are freed by energy and the critical spirit — that is to say, by detachment of soul, by self-government. So that we are enslaved, but susceptible of freedom; we are bound, but capable of shaking off our bonds.
He who floats with the current, who does not guide himself according to higher principles, who has no ideal, no convictions — such a man is… a thing moved, instead of a living and moving being — an echo, not a voice. The man who has no inner life is a slave of his surroundings, as the barometer is the obedient servant of the air.
Do you wish to be praised by a man who curses himself three times an hour? Do you wish to please a man who cannot please himself?
Things stand outside us, themselves by themselves, neither knowing anything of themselves, nor expressing any judgment. What is it, then, which makes judgement about them? Your ruling faculty.