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WILLIAM GILMORE SIMMS
American novelist and poet
(1806 - 1870)
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Ambition is frequently the only refuge which life has left to the denied or mortified affections. We chide at the grasping eye, the daring wing, the soul that seems to thirst for sovereignty only, and know not that the flight of this ambitious bird has been from a bosom or home that is filled with ashes.
      - [Ambition]

Better that we should err in action than wholly refuse to perform. The storm is so much better than the calm, as it declares the presence of a living principle. Stagnation is something worse than death. It is corruption also.
      - [Action]

But for that blindness which is inseparable from malice, what terrible powers of evil would it possess! Fortunately for the world, its venom, like that of the rattlesnake, when most poisonous, clouds the eye of the reptile, and defeats its aim.
      - [Malice]

Distinction is an eminence that is attained but too frequently at the expense of a fireside.
      - [Greatness]

Have I done anything for society? I have then done more for myself. Let that truth be always present to thy mind, and work without cessation.
      - [Usefulness]

He who would acquire fame must not show himself afraid of censure. The dread of censure is the death of genius.
      - [Fame]

I know not that there is anything in nature more soothing to the mind than the contemplation of the moon, sailing, like some planetary bark, amidst a sea of bright azure. The subject is certainly hackneyed; the moon has been sung by poet and poetaster. Is there any marvel that it should be so?
      - [Moon]

It is a bird-flight of the soul, when the heart declares itself in song. The affections that clothe themselves with wings are passions that have been subdued to virtues.
      - [Music]

It should console us for the fact that sin has not totally disappeared from the world, that the saints are not wholly deprived of employment.
      - [Sin]

Let us escape! This is our holiday--
  God's day, devote to rest; and through the wood
    We'll wander, and perchance find heavenly food,
      So, profitless it shall not pass away.
      - [Sabbath]

Love is but another name for that inscrutable presence by which the soul is connected with humanity.
      - [Love]

Modesty is policy, no less than virtue.
      - [Modesty]

Most men remember obligations, but are not often likely to be grateful; the proud are made sour by the remembrance and the vain silent.
      - [Debt]

Neither praise nor blame is the object of true criticism. Justly to discriminate, firmly to establish, wisely to prescribe and honestly to award--these are the true aims and duties of criticism.
      - [Criticism]

No doubt solitude is wholesome, but so is abstinence after a surfeit. The true life of man is in society.
      - [Solitude]

No errors of opinion can possibly be dangerous in a country where opinion is left free to grapple with them.
      - [Opinion]

Not in sorrow freely is never to open the bosom to the sweets of the sunshine.
      - [Sorrow]

Not to sorrow freely is never to open the bosom to the sweets of the sunshine.
      - [Sorrow]

Our cares are the mothers, not only of our charities And virtues, but of our best joys and most cheering and enduring pleasures.
      - [Care]

Our possessions are wholly in our performances. He owns nothing to whom the world owes nothing.
      - [Charity]

Our true acquisitions lie only in our charities. We gain only as we give. There is no beggar so destitute as he who can afford nothing to his neighbor.
      - [Charity]

Philosophy is reason with the eyes of the soul.
      - [Philosophy]

Revelation may not need the help of reason, but man does, even when in possession of revelation. Reason may be described as the candle in the man's hand, to which revelation brings the necessary flame.
      - [Reason]

Solitude bears the same relation to the mind that sleep does to the body. It affords it the necessary opportunities for repose and recovery.
      - [Solitude]

Stagnation is something worse than death, it is corruption also.
      - [Idleness]


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