Success treads on the heels of every right effort; and though it is possible to overestimate success to the extent of almost deifying it, as is sometimes done, still in any worthy pursuit it is meritorious.
The great leader attracts to himself men of kindred character, drawing them towards him as the loadstone draws iron.
National progress is the sum of individual industry, energy, and uprightness, as national decay is of individual idleness, selfishness, and vice.
Genius, without work, is certainly a dumb oracle, and it is unquestionably true that the men of the highest genius have invariably been found to be amongst the most plodding, hard-working, and intent men -- their chief characteristic apparently consisting simply in their power of laboring more intensely and effectively than others.
Childhood is like a mirror, which reflects in afterlife the images first presented to it. The first thing continues forever with the child. The first joy, the first sorrow, the first success, the first failure, the first achievement, the first misadventure, paint the foreground of his life.
A great deal of what passes by the name of patriotism in these days consists of the merest bigotry and narrow-mindedness; exhibiting itself in national prejudice, national conceit, and national hatred. It does not show itself in deeds, but in boastings--in howlings, gesticulations, and shrieking helplessly for help--in flying flags and singing songs--and in perpetual grinding at the hurdy-gurdy of long-dead grievances and long-remedied wrongs. To be infested by such a patriotism as this is perhaps among the greatest curses that can befall any country.
A place for everything, and everything in its place.
Opportunities ... fall in the way of every man who is resolved to take advantage of them.
The most influential of all the virtues are those which are the most in request for daily use. They wear the best, and last the longest.
Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey towards it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us ... It lends promise to the future and purpose to the past. It turns discouragement to determination.
Woman is the heart of humanity ... its grace, ornament, and solace.
An intense anticipation itself transforms possibility into reality; our desires being often but precursors of the things which we are capable of performing.
What we are accustomed to decry as great social evils, will, for the most part, be found to be only the out-growth of our own perverted life; and though we may endeavor to cut them down and extirpate them by means of law, they will only spring up again with fresh luxuriance in some other form, unless the conditions of human life and character are radically improved.
The apprenticeship of difficulty is one which the greatest of men have had to serve.
It is a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failure
The government of a nation itself is usually found to be but the reflux of the individuals composing it. The government that is ahead of the people will be inevitably dragged down to their level, as the government that is behind them will in the long run be dragged up.
The brave man is an inspiration to the weak, and compels them, as it were, to follow him.
Home is the first and most important school of character. It is there that every human being receives his best moral training, or his worst; for it is there that he imbibes those principles of conduct which endure through manhood, and cease only with life.
Any number of depraved units cannot form a great nation.
The knowledge and experience which produce wisdom can only become a man's individual possession and property by his own free action; and it is as futile to expect these without laborious, painstaking effort, as it is to hope to gather a harvest where the seed has not been sown.
Hope is the companion of power, and mother of success; for who so hopes strongly has within him the gift of miracles.
The tiniest bits of opinion sown in the minds of children in private life afterwards issue forth to the world, and become its public opinion; for nations are gathered out of nurseries.
Commit a child to the care of a worthless, ignorant woman, and no culture in after-life will remedy the evil you have done.
The crown and glory of life is Character. It is the noblest possession of a man, constituting a rank in itself, and an estate in the general goodwill; dignifying every station, and exalting every position in society. It exercises a greater power than wealth, and secures all the honour without the jealousies of fame. It carries with it an influence which always tells; for it is the result of proved honour, rectitude, and consistency qualities which, perhaps more than any other, command the general confidence and respect of mankind.
Labor is still, and ever will be, the inevitable price set upon everything which is valuable.
Riches and ease, it is perfectly clear, are not necessary for man's highest culture, else had not the world been so largely indebted in all times to those who have sprung from the humbler ranks. An easy and luxurious existence does not train men to effort or encounter with difficulty; nor does it awaken that consciousness of power which is so necessary for energetic and effective action in life. Indeed, so far from poverty being a misfortune, it may, by vigorous self-help, be converted even into a blessing; rousing a man to that struggle with the world in which, though some may purchase ease by degradation, the right-minded and true-hearted will find strength, confidence, and triumph.
If character be irrecoverably lost, then indeed there will be nothing left worth saving.
The influence of woman is the same everywhere. Her condition influences the morals, manners, and character of the people of all countries. Where she is debased, society is debased; where she is morally pure and enlightened, society will be proportionately elevated.
There is no act, however trivial, but has its train of consequences, as there is no hair so small but it casts its shadow.
No laws, however stringent, can make the idle industrious, the thriftless provident, or the drunken sober.
The life of a good man is at the same time the most eloquent lesson of virtue and the most severe reproof of vice.
It is natural to admire and revere really great men. They hallow the nation to which they belong, and lift up not only all who live in their time, but those who live after them. Their great example becomes the common heritage of their race; and their great deeds and great thoughts are the most glorious legacies of mankind.
Progress however, of the best kind, is comparatively slow. Great results cannot be achieved at once; and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk, step by step.