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WILLIAM GILMORE SIMMS
American novelist and poet
(1806 - 1870)
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Tact is one of the first mental virtues, the absence of which is often fatal to the best of talents; it supplies the place of many talents.
      - [Tact]

Tears are the natural penalties of pleasure. It is a law that we should pay for all that we enjoy.
      - [Tears]

The amiable is a duty most certainly, but must not be exercised at expense of any of the virtues. He seeks to do the amiable always, can only be successful at the frequent expense of his manhood.
      - [Amiability]

The birth of a child is the imprisonment of a soul.
      - [Birthday]

The conditions of conquest are always easy. We have but to toil awhile, endure awhile, believe always, and never turn back.
      - [Perseverance]

The death of censure is the death of genius.
      - [Censure]

The effect of character is always to command consideration. We sport and toy and laugh with men or women who have none, but we never confide in them.
      - [Character]

The fool is willing to pay for anything but wisdom. No man buys that of which he supposes himself to have an abundance already.
      - [Wisdom]

The only rational liberty is that which is born of subjection, reared in the fear of God and the love of man.
      - [Liberty]

The only true source of politeness is consideration,--that vigilant moral sense which never loses sight of the rights, the claims, and the sensibilities of others. This is the one quality, over all others, necessary to make a gentleman.
      - [Politeness]

The proverb answers where the sermon fails, as a well-charged pistol will do more execution than a whole barrel of gunpowder idly exploded.
      - [Proverbs (General) : Quotations]

The true law of the race is progress and development. Whenever civilization pauses in the march of conquest, it is overthrown by the barbarian.
      - [Progress]

The wonder is not that the world is so easily governed, but that so small a number of persons will suffice for the purpose. There are dead weights in political and legislative bodies as in clocks, and hundreds answer as pulleys who would never do for politicians.
      - [Government]

There is a native baseness in the ambition which seeks beyond its desert, that never shows more conspicuously than when, no matter how, it temporarily gains its object.
      - [Ambition]

There is no doubt such a thing as chance, but I see no reason why Providence should not make use of it.
      - [Chance]

To feel oppressed by obligation is only to prove that we are incapable of a proper sentiment of gratitude. To receive favors from the unworthy is simply to admit that our selfishness is superior to our pride. Most men remember obligations, but not often to be grateful for them. The proud are made sour by the remembrance and the vain silent.
      - [Obligation]

To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary. They must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
      - [Punishment]

Vanity is so constantly solicitous of self, that even where its own claims are not interested, it indirectly seeks the aliment which it loves, by showing how little is deserved by others.
      - [Vanity]

Vanity may be likened to the smooth-skinned and velvet-footed mouse, nibbling about forever in expectation of a crumb; while self-esteem is too apt to take the likeness of the huge butcher's dog, who carries off your steaks, and growls at you as be goes.
      - [Vanity]

We must calculate not on the weather, nor on fortune, but upon God and ourselves. He may fail us in the gratification of our wishes, but never in the encounter with our exigencies.
      - [Self-reliance]

What we call genius may, perhaps, in more strict propriety, be described as the spirit of discovery. Genius is the very eye of intellect and the wing of thought. It is always in advance of its time. It is the pioneer for the generation which it precedes. For this reason it is called a seer--and hence its songs have been prophecies.
      - [Genius]

What we call vice in our neighbor may be nothing less than a crude virtue. To him who knows nothing more of precious stones than he can learn from a daily contemplation of his breastpin, a diamond in the mine must be a very uncompromising sort of stone.
      - [Vice]

Who is it that called time the avenger, yet failed to see that death was the consoler. What mortal afflictions are there to which death does not bring full remedy? What hurts of hope and body does it not repair? "This is a sharp medicine," said Raleigh, speaking of the axe, "but it cures all disorders."
      - [Death]


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