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Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
- Essay--On Circles (last paragraph)
The beautiful rests on the foundations of the necessary.
- Essay--On the Poet [Beauty]
I have just been conversing with one man, to whom no weight of adverse experience will make it for a moment appear impossible that thousands of human beings might exercise towards each other the grandest and simplest sentiments, as well as a knot of friends, or a pair of lovers.
- Essay--Politics [Solidarity]
Friendship should be surrounded with ceremonies and respects, and not crushed into corners. Friendship requires more time than poor, busy men can usually command.
- Essays--Behavior [Friendship]
The highest compact we can make with our fellow is,--Let there be truth between us two forevermore. . . . It is sublime to feel and say of another, I need never meet, or speak, or write to him; we need not reinforce ourselves or send tokens of remembrance; I rely on him as on myself; if he did thus or thus, I know it was right.
- Essays--Behavior [Friendship]
I like to be beholden to the great metropolitan English speech, the sea which receives tributaries from every region under heaven. I should as soon think of swimming across the Charles river when I wish to go to Boston, as of reading all my books in originals, when I have them rendered for me in my mother tongue.
- Essays--Books [Reading]
Conversation is a game of circles.
- Essays--Circles [Conversation]
Nature abhors the old.
- Essays--Circles [Age]
The eye is the first circle; the horizon which it forms is the second; and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end. It is the highest emblem in the cipher of the world.
- Essays--Circles [Circles]
Valor consists in the power of self-recovery.
- Essays--Circles [Valor]
The alleged power to charm down insanity, or ferocity in beasts, is a power behind the eye.
- Essays--Conduct of Life--Of Behaviour
A good intention clothes itself with sudden power.
- Essays--Fate [Motive]
A ruddy drop of manly blood
The surging sea outweighs;
The world uncertain comes and goes,
The lover rooted stays.
- Essays--First Series--Epigraph to Friendship
Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.
- Essays--First Series--History [Nature]
The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.
- Essays--First Series--Self-Reliance
[Society : Virtue]
The only reward of virtue is virtue.
- Essays--Friendship [Virtue]
The hero is not fed on sweets,
Daily his own heart he eats;
Chambers of the great are jails,
And head-winds right for royal sails.
- Essays--Heroism--Introduction [Heroes]
A man is the whole encyclopedia of facts. The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn, and Egypt, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Britain, America, lie folded already in the first man.
- Essays--History [History : Man]
There is properly no history, only biography.
- Essays--History [Biography : History]
Each mind has its own method.
- Essays--Intellect [Mind]
The growth of the intellect is spontaneous in every expansion. The mind that grows could not predict the times, the means, the mode of that spontaneity. God enters by a private door into every individual.
- Essays--Intellect [Intellect]
Send them into everlasting Coventry.
during English Civil War, officers were sent for punishment to the garrison at Conventry
Pictures must not be too picturesque.
- Essays--Of Art [Painting]
All writing comes by the grace of God, and all doing and having.
- Essays--Of Experience [Authorship]
Our friends early appear to us as representatives of certain ideas, which they never pass or exceed. They stand on the brink of the ocean of thought and power, but they never take a single step that would bring them there.
- Essays--Of Experience [Friends]
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