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American author, wit and poet
(1809 - 1894)
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When the last reader reads no more.
      - [Reading]

When we plant a tree, we are doing what we can to make our planet a more wholesome and happier dwelling-place for those who come after us if not for ourselves.
      - [Trees]

Winter is past; the heart of Nature warms
  Beneath the wrecks of unresisted storms;
    Doubtful at first, suspected more than seen,
      The southern slopes are fringed with tender green.
      - [Spring]

Wisdom is the abstract of the past.
      - [Wisdom]

Wit throws a single ray, separated from the rest,--red, yellow, blue, or any intermediate shade,--upon an object; never white light; that is the province of wisdom. We get beautiful effect from wit,--all the prismatic colors,--but never the object as it is in fair daylight.
      - [Wit]

Writing or printing is like shooting with a rifle; you may hit your reader's mind, or miss it--but talking is like playing at a mark with the pipe of an engine; if it is within reach, and you have time enough, you can't help hitting it.
      - [Talking]

Yet there are graves, whose rudely shapen sod
  Bears the fresh footprints where the sexton trod;
    Graves where the verdure has not dar'd to shoot
      Where the chance wildflower has not fix'd its root,
        Whose slumbering tenants, dead without a name,
          The eternal record shall at length proclaim
            Pure as the holiest in the long array
              Of hooded, mitred, or tiara'd clay!
      - [Churchyards]

His home!--the Western giant smiles,
  And turns the spotty globe to find it;--
    This little speck the British isles?
      'Tis but a freckle,--never mind it.
      - A Good Time Going [England]

Ay, here her tattered ensign down!
  Long has it waved on high,
    And many an eye has danced to see
      That banner in the sky.
      - A Metrical Essay [Flags]

Nail to the mast her holy flag,
  Set every threadbare sail,
    And give her to the God of storms,
      The lightning and the gale.
      - A Metrical Essay [Flags]

The freeman casting, with unpurchased hand,
  The vote that shakes the turrets of the land.
      - A Metrical Essay (l. 83) [Politics : Voting]

It cannot be repeated too often that the safety of great wealth with us lies in obedience to the new version of the Old World axiom--Richesse oblige.
      - A Moral Antipathy--Introduction [Wealth]

Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness, of hatred, of jealousy, and, most easily of all, the gate of fear.
      - A Mortal Antipathy [Love]

Youth fades; love droops, the leaves of friendship fall;
  A mother's secret hope outlives them all.
      - A Mother's Secret [Hope : Mothers]

And when you stick on conversation's burs,
  Don't strew your pathway with those dreadful urs.
      - A Rhymed Lesson--Urania [Conversation]

I find that the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it--but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
      - Autocrat of the Breakfast Table

No, my friends, I go (always other things being equal) for the man that inherits family traditions and the cumulative humanities of at least four or five generations.
      - Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (ch. I)

People that make puns are like wanton boys that put coppers on the railroad tracks.
      - Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (I)

Of course everybody likes and respects self-made men. It is a great deal better to be made in that way than not to be made at all.
      - Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (l. 1)

Man has his will,--but woman has her way.
      - Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (prologue)

Boston State-house is the hub of the solar system. You couldn't pry that out of a Boston man if you had the tire of all creation straightened out for a crow-bar.
      - Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (VI)

Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle that fits the all.
      - Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (VI)

The axis of the earth sticks out visibly through the centre of each and every town or city.
      - Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (VI)

The world's great men have not commonly been great scholars, nor its great scholars great men.
      - Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (VI)

Then there is that glorious Epicurean paradox, uttered by my friend, the Historian in one of his flashing moments: "Give us the luxuries of life, and we will dispense with its necessaries."
      - Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (VI)
        [Luxury : Paradoxes]

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