If they who understand the utmost refinement of any art will enjoy the perfection of it in a manner superior to other men, will they not amply pay for that advantage in feeling more than other men the imperfection of it, which in the natural course of things must so much oftener fall in their way?
In all matters of opinion and science ... the difference between men is ... oftener found to lie in generals than in particulars; and to be less in reality than in appearance. An explication of the terms commonly ends the controversy, and the disputants are surprised to find that they had been quarrelling, while at bottom they agreed in their judgement.
The true Church has never sounded out public expectations before launching her mission. Her leaders heard from God, they knew their Lord's will and did it. Their people followed them - sometimes to triumph, oftener to insults and public persecution - and their sufficient reward was the satisfaction of being right in a wrong world!
Aiden Wilson Tozer
The laws keep up their credit, not by being just, but because they are laws; 'tis the mystic foundation of their authority; they have no other, and it well answers their purpose. They are often made by fools; still oftener by men who, out of hatred to equality, fail in equity; but always by men, vain and irresolute authors.
Michel de Montaigne
He [Washington] has often declared to me that he considered our new constitution as an experiment on the practicability of republican government, and with what dose of liberty man could be trusted for his own good; that he was determined the experiment should have a fair trial, and would lose the last drop of his blood in support of it. And these declarations he repeated to me the oftener and the more pointedly.
An old medical friend gave me some excellent practical advice. He said: "You will have for some time to go much oftener down steps than up steps. Never mind! win the good opinions of washerwomen and such like, and in time you will hear of their recommendations of you to the wealthier families by whom they are employed." I did so, and found it succeed as predicted.
William Crawford Williamson
The changing styles are the expression of a restless search for something which shall commend itself to our aesthetic sense; but as each innovation is subject to the selective action of the norm of conspicuous waste, the range within which innovation can take place is somewhat restricted. The innovation must not only be more beautiful, or perhaps oftener less offensive, than that which it displaces, but it must also come up to the accepted standard of expensiveness.
If husbands could realize what large returns of profit may be gotten out of a wife by a small word of praise paid over the counter when the market is just right, they would bring matters around the way they wish them much oftener than they usually do. Arguments are unsafe with wives, because they examine them; but they do not examine compliments. One can pass upon a wife a compliment that is three-fourths base
When indeed Religion is kindled into enthusiasm, its force like that of other passions is increased by the sympathy of a multitude. But enthusiasm is only a temporary state of Religion, and whilst it lasts will hardly be seen with pleasure at the helm. Even in its coolest state, it has been much oftener a motive to oppression than a restraint from it.
There is nothing so difficult to describe as happiness. Whether some feeling of envy enters into the mind upon hearing of it, or whether it is so calm, so unassuming, so little ostentatious in itself, that words give an imperfect idea of it, I know not. It is easier to enjoy it, than define it. ... and is oftener found at home, when home has not been embittered by dissensions, suspicions and guilt, than any where else upon earth. Yes, it is in home and in those who watch there for us.
Lady Caroline Lamb
for they was never a young man yet who don't want to go out and right a wrong, or kill a man, or have to do something to earn his right to what is there for the taking, all along. Only he don't think he can ask, nor take, without earning it. Without no pain. Oftener than not, a young man's a regular fool.
The best moments on earth are those during which we meditate upon heavenly things in general, when we recognize or defend the truth, that heavenly dweller and denizen. Only then do we truly live. Therefore, the essential interests of the soul require that we should oftener rise above the earth, upwards to heaven, where is our true life, our true country, which shall have no end.
John of Kronstadt
Many people are seeking, at this very moment, to shelter themselves under the wing of the federal eagle; imagining, I presume, that her bosom has all the softness and snugness of an eider-down pillow. But she has no great tenderness, even in her best of moods, and, sooner or later, -oftener sooner than late, - is apt to fling off her nestlings with a scratch of her claw, a dab of her beak, or a rankling wound from her barbed arrows.
Remain tranquil and prepare to bear still greater trials. All is not lost even though you be troubled oftener or tempted more grievously. You are a man, not God. You are flesh, not an angel. How can you possibly expect to remain always in the same state of virtue when the angels in heaven and the first man in paradise failed to do so? I am He who rescues the afflicted and brings to My divinity those who know their own weakness.
Thomas a Kempis
Remain tranquil and prepare to bear still greater trials. All is not lost even though you be troubled oftener or tempted more grievously. You are a man, not God. You are flesh, not an angel. How can you possibly expect to remain always in the same state of virtue when the angels in heaven and the first man in paradise failed to do so? I am He Who rescues the afflicted and brings to My divinity those who know their own weakness.
Thomas e Kempis
As for clothing, to come at once to the practical part of the question, perhaps we are led oftener by the love of novelty, and a regard for the opinions of men, in procuring it, than by a true utility. Let him who has work to do recollect that the object of clothing is, first, to retain the vital heat, and secondly, in this state of society, to cover nakedness, and he may judge how much of any necessary or important work may be accomplished without adding to his wardrobe.
Henry David Thoreau
The sensitive person's hostility to the machine is in one sense unrealistic, because of the obvious fact that the machine has come to stay. But as an attitude of mind there is a great deal to be said for it. The machine has got to be accepted, but it is probably better to accept it rather as one accepts a drug - that is, grudgingly and suspiciously. Like a drug, the machine is useful, dangerous and habit-forming. The oftener one surrenders to it the tighter its grip becomes.
She was afraid to suggest to him that to most people, nothing "happens." That most people merely live from day to day until they die. That, after he had been dead a year, doubtless fewer than five people would think of him oftener than once a year. That there might even come a year when no one on earth would think of him at all.
It was a good answer that was made by one who when they showed him hanging in a temple a picture of those who had paid their vows as having escaped shipwreck, and would have him say whether he did not now acknowledge the power of the gods, - 'Aye, ' asked he again, 'but where are they painted that were drowned after their vows?' And such is the way of all superstition, whether in astrology, dreams, omens, divine judgments, or the like; wherein men, having a delight in such vanities, mark the events where they are fulfilled, but where they fail, though this happens much oftener, neglect and pass them by.
In the learned journal, in the influential newspaper, I discern no form; only some irresponsible shadow; oftener some monied corporation, or some dangler, who hopes, in the mask and robes of his paragraph, to pass for somebody. But through every clause and part of speech of the right book I meet the eyes of the most determined men; his force and terror inundate every word: the commas and dashes are alive; so that the writing is athletic and nimble,--can go far and live long.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have no liking for novels or stories - none in the world; and so, whenever I read one - which is not oftener than once in two years, and even in these same cases I seldom read beyond the middle of the book - my distaste for the vehicle always taints my judgment of the literature itself, as a matter of course; and also of course makes my verdict valuless. Are you saying "You have written stories yourself." Quite true: but the fact that an Indian likes to scalp people is no evidence that he likes to be scalped.
No great player blundered oftener than I done. I was champion of the world for twenty-eight years because I was twenty years ahead of my time. I played on certain principles, which neither Zukertort nor anyone else of his time understood. The players of today, such as Lasker, Tarrasch, Pillsbury, Schlechter and others have adopted my principles, and as is only natural, they have improved upon what I began, and that is the whole secret of the matter.
But the older he grew and the more intimately he came to know his brother, the oftener the thought occurred to him that the power of working for the general welfare - a power of which he felt himself entirely destitute - was not a virtue but rather a lack of something: not a lack of kindly honesty and noble desires and tastes, but a lack of the power of living, of what is called heart - the aspiration which makes a man choose one out of all the innumerable paths of life that present themselves, and desire that alone.
But the older he grew and the more intimately he came to know his brother, the oftener the thought occurred to him that the power of working for the general welfare "" a power of which he felt himself entirely destitute "" was not a virtue but rather a lack of something: not a lack of kindly honesty and noble desires and tastes, but a lack of the power of living, of what is called heart "" the aspiration which makes a man choose one out of all the innumerable paths of life that present themselves, and desire that alone.
O thou who art able to write a Book, which once in the two centuries or oftener there is a man gifted to do, envy not him whom they name City-builder, and inexpressibly pity him whom they name Conqueror or City-burner! Thou too art a Conqueror and Victor; but of the true sort, namely over the Devil: thou too hast built what will outlast all marble and metal, and be a wonder-bringing City of the Mind, a Temple and Seminary and Prophetic Mount, whereto all kindreds of the Earth will pilgrim.
I affirm that gain is precisely that which comes oftener to the bad man than to the good; for illegitimate gains never come to the good at all, because they reject them. And lawful gains rarely come to the good, because, since much anxious care is needful thereto, and the anxious care of the good man is directed to weightier matters, rarely does the good man give sufficient attention thereto. Wherefore it is clear that in every way the advent of these riches is iniquitous.
Thanksgiving Day, a function which originated in New England two or three centuries ago when those people recognized that they really had something to be thankful for - annually, not oftener - if they had succeeded in exterminating their neighbors, the Indians, during the previous twelve months instead of getting exterminated by their neighbors, the Indians. Thanksgiving Day became a habit, for the reason that in the course of time, as the years drifted on, it was perceived that the exterminating had ceased to be mutual and was all on the white man's side, consequently on the Lord's side; hence it was proper to thank the Lord for it and extend the usual annual compliments.
Little girls are the nicest things that can happen to people. They are born with a bit of angel-shine about them, and though it wears thin sometimes, there is always enough left to lasso your heart-even when they are sitting in the mud, or crying temperamental tears, or parading up the street in Mother's best clothes. A little girl can be sweeter (and badder) oftener than anyone else in the world. She can jitter around, and stomp, and make funny noises that frazzle your nerves, yet just when you open your mouth, she stands there demure with that special look in her eyes. A girl is Innocence playing in the mud, Beauty standing on its head, and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot. God borrows from many creatures to make a little girl. He uses the song of a bird, the squeal of a pig, the stubbornness of a mule, the antics of a monkey, the spryness of a grasshopper, the curiosity of a cat, the speed of a gazelle, the slyness of a fox, the softness of a kitten, and to top it all off He adds the mysterious mind of a woman. A little girl likes new shoes, party dresses, small animals, first grade, noisemakers, the girl next door, dolls, make-believe, dancing lessons, ice cream, kitchens, coloring books, make-up, cans of water, going visiting, tea parties, and one boy. She doesn't care so much for visitors, boys in general, large dogs, hand-me-downs, straight chairs, vegetables, snowsuits, or staying in the front yard. She is loudest when you are thinking, the prettiest when she has provoked you, the busiest at bedtime, the quietest when you want to show her off, and the most flirtatious when she absolutely must not get the best of you again. Who else can cause you more grief, joy, irritation, satisfaction, embarrassment, and genuine delight than this combination of Eve, Salome, and Florence Nightingale. She can muss up your home, your hair, and your dignity-spend your money, your time, and your patience-and just when your temper is ready to crack, her sunshine peeks through and you've lost again. Yes, she is a nerve-wracking nuisance, just a noisy bundle of mischief. But when your dreams tumble down and the world is a mess-when it seems you are pretty much of a fool after all-she can make you a king when she climbs on your knee and whispers, "I love you best of all!
About his madmen Mr. Lecky was no more certain. He knew less than the little to be learned of the causes or even of the results of madness. Yet for practical purposes one can imagine all that is necessary. As long as maniacs walk like men, you must come close to them to penetrate so excellent a disguise. Once close, you have joined the true werewolf. Pick for your companion a manic-depressive, afflicted by any of the various degrees of mania - chronic, acute, delirious. Usually more man than wolf, he will be instructive. His disorder lies in the very process of his thinking, rather than in the content of his thought. He cannot wait a minute for the satisfaction of his fleeting desires or the fulfillment of his innumerable schemes. Nor can he, for two minutes, be certain of his intention or constant in any plan or agreement. Presently you may hear his failing made manifest in the crazy concatenation of his thinking aloud, which psychiatrists call "flight of ideas." Exhausted suddenly by this riotous expense of speech and spirit, he may subside in an apathy dangerous and morose, which you will be well advised not to disturb. Let the man you meet be, instead, a paretic. He has taken a secret departure from your world. He dwells amidst choicest, most dispendious superlatives. In his arm he has the strength to lift ten elephants. He is already two hundred years old. He is more than nine feet high; his chest is of iron, his right leg is silver, his incomparable head is one whole ruby. Husband of a thousand wives, he has begotten on them ten thousand children. Nothing is mean about him; his urine is white wine; his faeces are always soft gold. However, despite his splendor and his extraordinary attainments, he cannot successfully pronounce the words: electricity, Methodist Episcopal, organization, third cavalry brigade. Avoid them. Infuriated by your demonstration of any accomplishment not his, he may suddenly kill you. Now choose for your friend a paranoiac, and beware of the wolf! His back is to the wall, his implacable enemies are crowding on him. He gets no rest. He finds no starting hole to hide him. Ten times oftener than the Apostle, he has been, through the violence of the unswerving malice which pursues him, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of his own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren, in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Now that, face to face with him, you simulate innocence and come within his reach, what pity can you expect? You showed him none; he will certainly not show you any. Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, 0 Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all the perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen. Mr. Lecky's maniacs lay in wait to slash a man's head half off, to perform some erotic atrocity of disembowelment on a woman. Here, they fed thoughtlessly on human flesh; there, wishing to play with him, they plucked the mangled Tybalt from his shroud. The beastly cunning of their approach, the fantastic capriciousness of their intention could not be very well met or provided for. In his makeshift fort everywhere encircled by darkness, Mr. Lecky did not care to meditate further on the subject.
James Gould Cozzens