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Scottish essayist and philosopher
(1795 - 1881)
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What is all Knowledge too but recorded Experience, and a product of History; of which, therefore, Reasoning and Belief, no less than Action and Passion, are essential materials?
      - Essays (On History) [Knowledge]

Speak not at all, in any wise, till you have somewhat to speak; care not for the reward of your speaking, but simply and with undivided mind for the truth of your speaking.
      - Essays--Biography [Speech]

A Poet without Love were a physical and metaphysical impossibility.
      - Essays--Burns [Poets]

His religion at best is an anxious wish,--like that of Rabelais, a great Perhaps.
      - Essays--Burns [Death : Religion]

And yet without labour there were no ease, no rest, so much as conceivable.
      - Essays--Characteristics [Labor]

The Orator persuades and carries all with him, he knows not how; the Rhetorician can prove that he ought to have persuaded and carried all with him.
      - Essays--Characteristics [Oratory]

The Present is the living sum-total of the whole Past.
      - Essays--Characteristics [Past]

To-day is not yesterday: we ourselves change; how can our Works and Thoughts, if they are always to be the fittest, continue always the same? Change, indeed, is painful; yet ever needful; and if Memory have its force and worth, so also has Hope.
      - Essays--Characteristics [Change]

We have not the love of greatness, but the love of the love of greatness.
      - Essays--Characteristics (vol. III)

If I say that Shakespeare is the greatest of intellects, I have said all concerning him. But there is more in Shakespeare's intellect than we have yet seen. It is what I call an unconscious intellect; there is more virtue in it that he himself is aware of.
      - Essays--Characteristics of Shakespeare

Speech is great; but silence is greater.
      - Essays--Characteristics of Shakespeare

In the poorest cottage are Books: is one Book, wherein for several thousands of years the spirit of man has found light, and nourishment, and an interpreting response to whatever is Deepest in him.
      - Essays--Corn-Law Rhymes [Books]

Such is the world. Understand it, despise it, love it; cheerfully hold on thy way through it, with thy eye on highest loadstars.
      - Essays--Count Cagliostro (last lines)

For love is ever the beginning of Knowledge, as fire is of light.
      - Essays--Death of Goethe [Knowledge]

The true Sovereign of the world, who moulds the world like soft wax, according to his pleasure, is he who lovingly sees into the world.
      - Essays--Death of Goethe [World]

We are firm believers in the maxim that, for all right judgment of any man or thing, it is useful, nay, essential, to see his good qualities before pronouncing on his bad.
      - Essays--Goethe [Character]

Everywhere in life, the true question is not what we gain, but what we do.
      - Essays--Goethe's Helena [Gain]

If time is precious, no book that will not improve by repeated readings deserves to be read at all.
      - Essays--Goethe's Helena [Reading]

We have not read an author till we have seen his object, whatever it may be, as he saw it.
      - Essays--Goethe's Helena [Reading]

Everywhere the human soul stands between a hemisphere of light and another of darkness; on the confines of two everlasting hostile empires, Necessity and Freewill.
      - Essays--Goethe's Works [Soul]

Great is the Tailor, but not the greatest.
      - Essays--Goethe's Works [Tailors]

Man always worships something; always he sees the Infinite shadowed forth in something finite; and indeed can and must so see it in any finite thing, once tempt him well to fix his eyes thereon.
      - Essays--Goethe's Works [Worship]

Men seldom, or rather never for a length of time and deliberately, rebel against anything that does not deserve rebelling against.
      - Essays--Goethe's Works [Rebellion]

Of a truth, men are mystically united: a mystic bond of brotherhood makes all men one.
      - Essays--Goethe's Works [Sympathy]

A well-written life is almost as rare as well-spent one.
      - Essays--Jean Paul Friedrich Richter [Life]

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