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Scottish essayist and philosopher
(1795 - 1881)
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All men, if they work not as in the great taskmaster's eye, will work wrong, and work unhappily for themselves and for you.
      - [Work]

All that a university or final highest school. can do for us is still but what the first school began doing--teach us to read. We learn to read in various languages, in various sciences; we learn the alphabet and letters of all manner of books. But the place where we are to get knowledge, even theoretic knowledge, is the books themselves. It depends on what we read, after all manner of professors have done their best for us. The true university of these days is a collection of books.
      - [Education]

All true work is sacred.
      - [Labor]

An everlasting lodestar, that beams the brighter in the heavens the darker here on earth grows the night.
      - [Religion]

At the bottom there is no perfect history; there is none such conceivable. All past centuries have rotted down, and gone confusedly dumb and quiet.
      - [History]

Authors are the vanguard in the march of mind, the intellectual backwoodsmen, reclaiming from the idle wilderness new territories for the thought and activity of their happier brethren.
      - [Authorship]

Beautiful it is, and a gleam from the same eternal pole-star visible amid the destinies of men, that all talent, all intellect, is in the first plane moral. What a world were this otherwise!
      - [Morality]

Biography is the only true history.
      - [Biography]

Blessed be the God's voice; for it is true, and falsehoods have to cease before it!
      - [Truth]

Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness. He has a work, a life-purpose; he has found it, and will follow it! . . . Labor is life.
      - [Occupations]

Caution is the lower story of prudence.
      - [Caution]

Cease to brag to me of America, and its model institutions and constitutions. America, too, will have to strain its energies, crack its sinews, and all but break its heart, as the rest of us have had to do, in thousand-fold wrestle with the Pythons, and mud-demons, before it can become a babitation for the gods.
      - [America]

Conclusive facts are inseparable from inconclusive except by a head that already understands and knows.
      - [Facts]

Conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct.
      - [Conviction]

Custom doth make dotards of us all.
      - [Custom]

Debt is a bottomless sea.
      - [Borrowing]

Democracy will itself accomplish the salutary universal change from delusive to real, and make a new blessed world of us by and by.
      - [Democracy]

Earnestness alone makes life eternity.
      - [Earnestness]

Endurance is patience concentrated.
      - [Endurance]

Eternity looks grander and kinder if Time grow meaner and more hostile.
      - [Eternity]

Ever as before does madness remain, terrific, altogether infernal, boiling up of the nether chaotic deep, through this fair painted vision of creation, which swims thereon, and which we name the real.
      - [Insanity]

Every day that is born into the world comes like a burst of music and rings the whole day through, and you make of it a dance, a dirge, or a life march, as you will.
      - [Day]

Every noble work is at first impossible.
      - [Perseverance]

Every poet, be his outward lot what it may, finds himself born in the midst of prose; h e has to struggle from the littleness and obstruction of an actual world into the freedom and infinitude of an ideal.
      - [Poets]

Evil and good are everywhere, like shadow and substance; inseparable (for men) yet not hostile, only opposed.
      - [Evil]

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