James R. Lowell (1819-1891)

“Reputation is only a candle, of wavering and uncertain flame, and easily blown out, but it is the light by which the world looks for and finds merit.”

“True scholarship consists in knowing not what things exist, but what they mean; it is not memory but judgment.”

“Joy comes, grief goes, we know not how.”

“And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days.”

“Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind.”

“The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinions.”

“Death is delightful. Death is dawn, The waking from a weary night of fevers unto truth and light.”

“Creativity is not the finding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is found.”

“Thank God every morning when you get up that you have something to do that day, which must be done, whether you like it or not.”

“Poetry is something to make us wiser and better, by continually revealing those types of beauty and truth, which God has set in all men’s souls.”

“Freedom is the only law which genius knows.”

“Children are God’s Apostles, sent forth, day by day, to preach of love, and hope and peace.”

“The heart forgets its sorrow and ache.”

“Every man feels instinctively that all the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action.”

“Fate loves the fearless.”

“Is my mother my friend? I would have to say, first of all she is my Mother, with a capital ‘M’; she’s something sacred to me. I love her dearly…yes, she is also a good friend, someone I can talk openly with if I want to.”

“Begin somewhere; you cannot build a reputation on what you intend to do.”

“A great man is made up of qualities that meet or make great occasions.”

“To educate the intelligence is to expand the horizon of its wants and desires.”

“Blessed are they that have nothing to say, and who cannot be persuaded to say it.”

“No man can produce great things who is not thoroughly sincere in dealing with himself.”

“It is by presence of mind in untried emergencies that the native metal of a man is tested.”

“Democracy is the form of government that gives every man the right to be his own oppressor.”

“A weed is no more than a flower in disguise, Which is seen through at once, if love give a man eyes.”

“Let us be of good cheer, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those which never happen.”

“He who is firmly seated in authority soon learns to think security, and not progress, the highest lesson in statecraft.”

“Endurance is the crowning quality, And patience all the passion of great hearts.”

“There is nothing so desperately monotonous as the sea, and I no longer wonder at the cruelty of pirates.”

“Compromise makes a good umbrella, but a poor roof; it is temporary expedient, often wise in party politics, almost sure to be unwise in statesmanship.”

“Mishaps are like knives, that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle.”

“Communism means barbarism.”

“Toward no crimes have men shown themselves so cold- bloodedly cruel as in punishing differences of belief.”

“Good luck is the willing handmaid of a upright and energetic character, and conscientious observance of duty.”

“But life is sweet, though all that makes it sweet. Lessen like sound of friends departing feet; And death is beautiful as feet of friend. Coming with welcome at our journey’s end.”

“The eye is the notebook of the poet.”

“All the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action.”

“Solitude is as needful to the imagination as society is wholesome for the character.”

“The mind can weave itself warmly in the cocoon of its own thoughts, and dwell a hermit anywhere.”

“If I were asked what book is better than a cheap book, I should answer that there is one book better than a cheap book, – and that is a book honestly come by.”

“We look at death through the cheap-glazed windows of the flesh, and believe him the monster which the flawed and cracked glass represents him.”

“Sincerity is impossible, unless it pervade the whole being, and the pretense of it saps the very foundation of character.”

“They who love are but one step from Heaven.”

“There are two kinds of weakness, that which breaks and that which bends.”

“Such power there is in clear-eyed self-restraint.”

“A man is old when he can pass an apple orchard and not remember the stomach ache.”

“They are slaves who fear to speak, for the fallen and the weak.”

“Talent is that which is in a man’s power; genius is that in whose power a man is.”

“Puritanism, believing itself quick with the seed of religious liberty, laid, without knowing it, the egg of democracy.”

“A wise scepticism is the first attribute of a good critic.”

“Sentiment is intellectualized emotion; emotion precipitated, as it were, in pretty crystals by the fancy.”

“The greatest homage we can pay to truth, is to use it.”

“There is no work of genius which has not been the delight of mankind, no word of genius to which the human heart and soul have not sooner or later responded.”

“A poet must need be before his own age, to be even with posterity.”

“Be noble! And the nobleness that lies in other men, sleeping, but never dead, will rise in majesty to meet thine own.”

“There is a law of neutralization of forces, which hinders bodies from sinking beyond a certain depth in the sea; but in the ocean of baseness, the deeper we get, the easier the sinking.”

“It is not the insurrections of ignorance that are dangerous, but the revolts of the intelligence.”

“Folks never understand the folks they hate.”

“Wealth may be an excellent thing, for it means power, and it means leisure, it means liberty.”

“Aspiration sees only one side of every question; possession many.”

“Life is the jailer, death the angel sent to draw the unwilling bolts and set us free.”

“Nature fits all her children with something to do, he who would write and can’t write can surely review.”

“Each day the world is born anew for him who takes it rightly.”

“The best academy – a mother’s knee.”

“Granting our wish is one of fate’s saddest jokes.”

“The soil out of which such men as he are made is good to be born on, good to live on, good to die for and to be buried in.”

“There is no self-delusion more fatal than that which makes the conscience dreamy with the anodyne of lofty sentiments, while the life is groveling and sensual.”

“Virtue treads paths that end not in the grave”

“Whatever you may be sure of, be sure of this – that you are dreadfully like other people.”

“That cause is strong which has not a multitude, but one strong man behind it.”

“What men prize most is a privilege, even if it be that of chief mourner at a funeral.”

“In the gain or loss of one race all the rest have equal claim.”

“The idol is the measure of the worshiper.”

“It is curious how tyrannical the habit of reasoning is?”

“It is the privilege of genius that to it life never grows commonplace as to the rest of us.”

“There is no good in arguing with the inevitable The only argument available with an east wind is to put on your overcoat.”

“Whatever else you may be sure of, be sure of this: that you are dreadfully like other people.”

“Fortune is the rod of the weak, and the staff of the brave”

“Light is the symbol of truth.”

“Stories now, to suit a public taste, must be half epigram, half pleasant vice”

“Certainly it is no shame to a man that he should be as nice about his country as his sweetheart,- yet it would not be wise to hold everyone an enemy who could not see her with our own enchanted eyes.”

“Before man made us citizens, great Nature made us men.”

“Greatly begin! though thou have time – But for a line, be that sublime, – Not failure, but low aim is crime.”

“It was in making education not only common to all, but in some sense compulsory on all, that the destiny of the free republics of America was practically settled.”

“A sneer is the weapon of the weak.”

“An appeal to the reason of the people has never been known to fail in the long run.”

“If youth be a defect, it is one that we outgrow only too soon.”

“Incredulity robs us of many pleasures, and gives us nothing in return.”

“It is by presence of mind in untried emergencies that the native metal of man is tested.”

“One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning.”

“Good heavens, of what uncostly material is our earthly happiness composed… if we only knew it. What incomes have we not had from a flower, and how unfailing are the dividends of the seasons.”

“Who’s not sat tense before his own heart’s curtain.”

“I have always been of the mind that in a democracy manners are the only effective weapons against the bowie-knife.”

“He mastered whatever was not worth the knowing.”

“The brain can be easy to buy, but the heart never comes to market.”

“What a sense of security in an old book which time has criticized for us.”

“Once to every person and nation come the moment to decide. In the conflict of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side.”

“In the ocean of baseness, the deeper we get, the easier the sinking.”

“Truly there is a tide in the affairs of men; but there is no gulf-stream setting forever in one direction”

“Though old the thought and oft expressed, ‘Tis his at last who says it best”

“You’ve got to get up early – If you want to take in God”

“The true ideal is not opposed to the real but lies in it; and blessed are the eyes that find it”

“New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth, They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth”

“I don’t believe in principle, but I do in interest.”

“Where one person shapes their life by precept and example, there are a thousand who have shaped it by impulse and circumstances.”

“Every person born into this world their work is born with them.”

“Truth, after all, wears a different face to everybody, and it would be too tedious to wait till all were agreed.”

“Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne.”

“The surest plan to make a man is, think him so.”

“It is the privilege of genius that life never grows common place, as it does for the rest of us.”

“Endurance is the crowning quality…”

“Sorrow is the great idealizer.”

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