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Scottish essayist and philosopher
(1795 - 1881)
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The thing is not only to avoid error, but to attain immense masses of truth.
      - [Truth]

The true epic of our times is not "Arm's and the Man," but "Tools and the Man"--an infinitely wider kind of epic.
      - [Heroism]

The true eye for talent presupposes the true reverence for it.
      - [Talent]

The unspeakable Turk should be immediately struck out of the question, and the country be left to honest European guidance.
      - in a letter to a meeting at St. James Hall, London, 1876

The vulgarity of inanimate things requires time to get accustomed to; but living, breathing, bustling, plotting, planning, human vulgarity is a species of moral ipecacuanha, enough to destroy any comfort.
      - [Vulgarity]

The weakest living creature, by concentrating his powers on a single object, can accomplish something; the strongest, by dispensing his over many, may fail to accomplish anything. The drop, by continually falling, bores its passage through the hardest rock. The hasty torrent rushes over it with hideous uproar, and leaves no trace behind.
      - [Power]

The whole past is the procession of the present.
      - [History]

The wise man is but a clever infant, spelling letters from a hieroglyphical prophetic book, the lexicon of which lies in eternity.
      - [Wisdom]

The world is a thing that a man must learn to despise, and even to neglect, before he can learn to reverence it, and work in it and for it.
      - [World]

The world is an old woman, and mistakes any gilt farthing for a gold coin; whereby being often cheated, she will thenceforth trust nothing but the common copper.
      - [Trust]

There are female dandies as well as clothes-wearing men; and the former are as objectionable as the latter.
      - [Dress]

There are remedies for all things but death.
      - [Death]

There is a majesty and mystery in nature, take her as you will. The essence of poetry comes breathing to a mind that feels from every province of her empire.
      - [Nature]

There is a perennial nobleness and even sacredness in work. Were he ever so benighted, forgetful of his high calling, there is always hope in a man that actually and earnestly works.
      - [Labor]

There is but one thing without honor, smitten with eternal barrenness, inability to do or to be,--insincerity, unbelief.
      - [Infidelity]

There is in it a placid inexhaustibility, a calm, vicious infinitude, which will baffle even the gods.
      - [Stupidity]

There is in man a higher than love of happiness; he can do without happiness, and instead thereof find blessedness.
      - [Blessedness]

There is no heroic poem in the world but is at bottom a biography, the life of a man.
      - [Poetry]

There needs not a great soul to make a hero; there needs a God-created soul which will be true to its origin; that will be a great soul.
      - [Heroes]

These limbs,--whence had we them, this stormy force; this life-blood, with its burning passion? They are dust and shadow--a shadow system gathered round our me; wherein through some moments or years, the divine essence is to be revealed in the flesh.
      - [Body]

They wrong man greatly who say he is to be seduced by ease. Difficulty, abnegation, martyrdom, death, are the allurements that act on the heart of man. Kindle the inner genial life of him, you have a flame that burns up all lower considerations. Not happiness, but something higher; one sees this even in the frivolous classes, with their "point of honor" and the like. Not by flattering our appetites--no, by awakening the heroic that slumbers in every heart can any religious gain follow.
      - [Enthusiasm]

Think of "living"! Thy life, wert thou the "pitifullest of all the sons of earth," is no idle dream, but a solemn reality. It is thy own; it is all thou hast to front eternity with. Work, then, even as He has done, and does, "like a star, unhasting, yet unresting.
      - [Life]

Thou fool! Nature alone is antique, and the oldest art a mushroom; that idle crag thou sittest on is six thousand years of age.
      - [Nature]

Thought is parent of the dead.
      - [Thought]

Thought will not work except in silence.
      - [Thought]

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