Music is either sacred or secular. The sacred agrees with its dignity, and here has its greatest effect on life, an effect that remains the same through all ages and epochs. Secular music should be cheerful throughout.
I will say nothingagainst the course of my existence. But at bottom it has been nothing but pain and burden, and I can affirm that during the whole of my 75 years, I have not had four weeks of genuine well-being. It is but the perpetual rolling of a rock that must be raised up again forever.
Truth has to be repeated constantly, because Error also is being preached all the time, and not just by a few, but by the multitude. In the Press and Encyclopaedias, in Schools and Universities, everywhere Error holds sway, feeling happy and comfortable in the knowledge of having Majority on its side."
A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.
Let mental culture go on advancing, let the natural sciences progress in even greater extent and depth, and the human mind widen itself as much as it desires: beyond the elevation and moral culture of Christianity, as it shines forth in the Gospels, it will not go.
Should I not be proud, when for twenty years I have had to admit to myself that the great Newton and all the mathematicians and noble calculators along with him were involved in a decisive error with respect to the doctrine of color, and that I among millions was the only one who knew what was right in this great subject of nature?
Each has his own happiness in his hands, as the artist handles the rude clay he seeks to reshape it into a figure; yet it is the same with this art as with all others: only the capacity for it is innate; the art itself must be learned and painstakingly practiced.
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiation - creation - there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans...
Beauty is a primeval phenomenon, which itself never makes its appearance, but the reflection of which is visible in a thousand different utterances of the creative mind, and is as various as nature herself.
The bed of flowers Loosens amain, The beauteous snowdrops Droop o'er the plain. The crocus opens Its glowing bud, Like emeralds others, Others, like blood. With saucy gesture Primroses flare, And roguish violets, Hidden with care; And whatsoever There stirs and strives, The Spring's contented, If works and thrives.
No one is willing to believe that adults too, like children, wander about this earth in a daze and, like children, do not know where they come from or where they are going, act as rarely as they do according to genuine motives, and are as thoroughly governed as they are by biscuits and cake and the rod.
Wealth and speed are what the world admires, what each pursues. Railways, express mails, steamships and every possible facility for communications are the achievement in which the civilized world view and revels, only to languish in mediocrity by that very fact. Indeed, the effect of this diffusion is to spread the culture of the mediocre.
Someday someone will write a pathology of experimental physics and bring to light all those swindles which subvert our reason, beguile our judgement and, what is worse, stand in the way of any practical progress. The phenomena must be freed once and for all from their grim torture chamber of empiricism, mechanism, and dogmatism; they must be brought before the jury of man's common sense.
No doubt you are right... there would be far less suffering amongst mankind if men... did not employ their imaginations so assiduously in recalling the memory of past sorrow, instead of bearing their present lot with equanimity.
Truth has to be repeated constantly, because Error also is being preached all the time, and not just by a few, but by the multitude. In the Press and Encyclopaedias, in Schools and Universities, everywhere Error holds sway, feeling happy and comfortable in the knowledge of having Majority on its side.
The flowers of life are but visionary. How many pass away and leave no trace behind! How few yield any fruit,--and the fruit itself, how rarely does it ripen! And yet there are flowers enough; and is it not strange, my friend, that we should suffer the little that does really ripen to rot, decay, and perish unenjoyed?
Lose this day loitering 'Twill be the same old story, Tomorrow and the next, Even more dilatory. Whatever you would do, Or dream of doing, begin it! Boldness has power, genius, and magic in it. Begin it now.
Our destiny often looks like a fruit-tree in winter. Who would think from its pitiable aspect that those rigid boughs, those rough twigs could next spring again be green, bloom, and even bear fruit? Yet we hope it, we know it.
We love a girl for very different qualities than understanding. We love her for her beauty, her youth, her mirth, her confidingness, her character, with its faults, caprices and God knows what other inexpressible charms; but we do not love her understanding.
You are certainly wrong to compare suicide ... with great accomplishments, since it cannot be considered as anything but a weakness. After all, it is easier to die than to endure a harrowing life with fortitude.
Everything perfect in its kind has to transcend its own kind, it must become something different and incomparable. In some notes the nightingale is still a bird; then it rises above its class and seems to suggest to every winged creature what singing is truly like.
The worst is that the very hardest thinking will not bring thoughts. They must come like good children of God and cry, "Here we are." You expend effort and energy thinking hard. Then, after you have given up, they come sauntering in with their hands in their pockets. If the effort had not been made to open the door, however, who knows when they could have come.
Mathematics has the completely false reputation of yielding infallible conclusions. Its infallibility is nothing but identity. Two times two is not four, but it is just two times two, and that is what we call four for short. But four is nothing new at all. And thus it goes on and on in its conclusions, except that in the higher formulas the identity fades out of sight.
Distance... is like futurity. A dim vastness is spread before our souls; the perceptions of our mind are as obscure as those of our vision... But alas! when we have attained our object, when the distant 'there' becomes the present 'here,' all is changed; we are as poor and circumscribed as ever, and our souls still languish for unattainable happiness.
A life without love, without the presence of the beloved, is nothing but a mere magic-lantern show. We draw out slide after slide, swiftly tiring of each, and pushing it back to make haste for the next.
Nature is beneficent. I praise her and all her works. She is silent and wise. She is cunning, but for good ends. She has brought me here and will also lead me away. She may scold me, but she will not hate her work. I trust her.
Tis Lilith. Who? Adam's first wife is she. Beware the lure within her lovely tresses, The splendid sole adornment of her hair; When she succeeds therewith a youth to snare, Not soon again she frees him from her jesses.
So then the year is repeating its old story again. We are come once more, thank God! to its most charming chapter. The violets and the Mayflowers are as its inscriptions or vignettes. It always makes a pleasant impression on us, when we open again at these pages of the book of life.
Go to the place where the thing you wish to know is native; your best teacher is there. Where the thing you wish to know is so dominant that you must breathe its very atmosphere, there teaching is moat thorough, and learning is most easy. You acquire a language most readily in the country where it is spoken; you study mineralogy boat among miners; and so with everything else.
Moral epochs have their course as well as the seasons. We can no more hold them fast than we can hold sun, moon, and stars. Our faults perpetually return upon us; and herein lies the subtlest difficulty of self-knowledge.
The works of Lavoisier and his associates operated upon many of us at that time like the Sun's rising after a night of moonshine: but Chemistry is now betrothed to the Mathematics, and is in consequence grown somewhat shy of her former admirers.
I am a part of the part that at first was all, part of the darkness that gave birth to the light, that supercilious light which now disputes with Mother Night her ancient rank and space, and yet cannot succeed; no matter how it struggles, it sticks to matter and can't get free. Light flows from substance, makes it beautiful...
Know'st thou the land where the lemon-trees bloom, Where the gold orange glows in the deep thicket's gloom, Where a wind ever soft from the blue heaven blows, And the groves are of laurel and myrtle and rose!
The style of writing required in the great world is distinguished by a free and daring grace, a careless security, a fine and sharp polish, a delicate and perfect taste; while that fitted for the people is characterized by a vigorous natural fulness, a profound depth of feeling, and an engaging naivete.
When the boy begins to understand that the visible point is preceded by an invisible point, that the shortest distance between two points is conceived as a straight line before it is ever drawn with pencil and paper...the fountain of all thought has been opened to him...the philosopher can reveal him nothing new, as a geometrician he has discovered the basis of all thought.
Whenever I hear people talking about liberal ideas, I am always astounded that men should love to fool themselves with empty sounds. An idea should never be liberal; it must be vigorous, positive, and without loose ends so that it may fulfill its divine mission and be productive.
Nothing is more odious than the majority, for it consists of a few powerful leaders, a certain number of accommodating scoundrels and submissive weaklings, and a mass of men who trot after them without thinking, or knowing their own minds.
Everyone holds his fortune in his own hands, like a sculptor the raw material he will fashion into a figure. But it's the same with that type of artistic activity as with all others: We are merely born with the capability to do it. The Skill to mold the material into what we want must be learned and attentively cultivated.
It is not given to us to grasp the truth, which is identical with the divine, directly. We perceive it only in reflection, in example and symbol, in singular and related appearances. It meets us as a kind of life which is incomprehensible to us, and yet we cannot free ourselves from the desire to comprehend it.
Rash combat oft immortalizes man; if he should fall, he is renowned in song; but after-ages reckon not the ceaseless tears which the forsaken woman sheds. Poets tell us not of the many nights consumed in weeping, or of the dreary days wherein her anguished soul vainly yearns to call her loved one back.
Nothing is more disgusting than the majority: because it consists of a few powerful predecessors, of rogues who adapt themselves, of weak who assimilate themselves, and the masses who imitate without knowing at all what they want.
There would be far less suffering in the world if human beings-God knows why they are made like this-did not use their imaginations so busily in recalling the memories of past misfortunes, instead of trying to bear an indifferent present
A collection of anecdotes and maxims is the greatest of treasures for the man of the world, for he knows how to intersperse conversation with the former in fit places, and to recollect the latter on proper occasions
Then indecision brings its own delays, And days are lost lamenting over lost days. Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute; What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Pranzammo a Torre Annunziata con la tavola disposta proprio in riva al mare. Tutti coloro erano felici d'abitare in quei luoghi, alcuni affermavano che senza la vista del mare sarebbe impossibile vivere. A me basta che quell'immagine rimanga nel mio spirito.
I know of enough cases in which a close and, as it seemed, indissoluble relationship was annulled by the casual arrival of a third party, and one of the pair, previously joined so beautifully, driven out into empty space.
The human race is a monotonous affair. Most people spend the greatest part of their time working in order to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.
We often feel that we lack something, and seem to see that very quality in someone else, promptly attributing all our own qualities to him too, and a kind of ideal contentment as well. And so the happy mortal is a model of complete perfection--which we have ourselves created.
The affairs of the world are no more than so much trickery, and a man who toils for money or honour or whatever else in deference to the wishes of others, rather than because his own desire or needs lead him to do so, will always be a fool.
The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers & cities; but to know someone who thinks & feels with us, & who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.
In the end we are all separate: our stories, no matter how similar, come to a fork and diverge. We are drawn to each other because of our similarities, but it is our differences we must learn to respect.
All that is alive tends toward color, individuality, specificity, effectiveness and opacity. All that is done with life inclines toward knowledge, abstraction, generality transfiguration and transparency.
From inaccessible mountain range by way of desert untrod by human foot to the ends of the unknown seas, the breath of the everlasting creative spirit is felt, rejoicing over every speck of dust that hearkens to it and lives.
Don't feel guilty if you don't immediately love your stepchildren as you do your own, or as much as you think you should. Everyoneneeds time to adjust to the new family, adults included. There is no such thing as an "instant parent." Actually, no concrete object lies outside of the poetic sphere as long as the poet knows how to use the object properly.
There are but two roads that lead to an important goal and to the doing of great things: strength and perseverance. Strength is the lot of but a few privileged men; but austere perseverance, harsh and continuous, may be employed by the smallest of us and rarely fails of its purpose, for its silent power grows irresistibly greater with time.
As for solitude, I cannot understand how certain people seek to lay claim to intellectual stature, nobility of soul and strength of character, yet have not the slightest feeling for seclusion; for solitude, I maintain, when joined with a quiet contemplation of nature, a serene and conscious faith in creation and the Creator, and a few vexations from outside is the only school for a mind of lofty endowment.
To live within limits. To want one thing. Or a few things very much and love them dearly. Cling to them, survey them from every angle. Become one with them - that is what makes the poet, the artist, the human being.
It seems to me that every phenomenon, every fact, itself is the really interesting object. Whoever explains it, or connects it with other events, usually only amuses himself or makes sport of us, as, for instance, the naturalist or historian. But a single action or event is interesting, not because it is explainable, but because it is true.
The thinking person has the strange characteristic to like to create a fantasy in the place of the unsolved problem, a fantasy that stays with the person even when the problem has been solved and truth made its appearance.
Profoundness, genius, spontaneity, merit, nobility, ingenuity, voice propriety, feeling, discernment, sensibility, good taste, great tone, rightness, courtliness, vivacity, boldness, style, freshness, harmony, perfection, imagination, purity, correctness. The greatest writer of all times. God's most astonishing creation.
Why should we not recognize in the lightning, the thunder, and the storm wind, the approach of an overwhelming Power, and in the scent of flowers and the gently rustling zephyr the presence of a Being full of love?