Would that the simple maxim, that honesty is the best policy, might be laid to heart; that a sense of the true aim of life might elevate the tone of politics and trade till public and private honor become identical.
What I mean by the Muse is that unimpeded clearness of the intuitive powers, which a perfectly truthful adherence to every admonition of the higher instincts would bring to a finely organized human being. It may appear as prophesy or as poesy...should these faculties have free play, I believe they will open up new, deeper and purer sources of joyous inspiration than have as yet refreshed the earth.
It does not follow because many books are written by persons born in America that there exists an American literature. Books which imitate or represent the thoughts and life of Europe do not constitute an American literature. Before such can exist, an original idea must animate this nation and fresh currents of life must call into life fresh thoughts along the shore.
It should be remarked that, as the principle of liberty is better understood, and more nobly interpreted, a broader protest is made in behalf of women. As men become aware that few have had a fair chance, they are inclined to say that no women have had a fair chance.
Beware of over-great pleasure in being popular or even beloved. As far as an amiable disposition and powers of entertainment make you so, it is a happiness; but if there is one grain of plausibility, it is poison.
Male and female represent the two sides of the great radical dualism. But in fact they are perpetually passing into one another. Fluid hardens to solid, solid rushes to fluid. There is no wholly masculine man, no purely feminine woman.
Reverence the highest, have patience with the lowest. Let this day's performance of the meanest duty be thy religion. Are the stars too distant, pick up the pebble that lies at thy feet, and from it learn the all.
The highest ideal man can form of his own powers, is that which he is destined to attain. Whatever the soul knows how to seek, it cannot fail to obtain. This is the law and the prophets. Knock and it shall be opened, seek and ye shall find. It is demonstrated; it is a maxim.
The persons whom you have idolized can never, in the end, be ungrateful, and, probably, at the time of retreat they still do justice to your heart. But, so long as you must draw persons too near you, a temporary recoil is sure to follow. It is the character striving to defend itself from a heating and suffocating action upon it.
We doubt not the destiny of our country that she is to accomplish great things for human nature, and be the mother of a nobler race than the world has yet known. But she has been so false to the scheme made out at her nativity, that it is now hard to say which way that destiny points.
A great work of Art demands a great thought or a thought of beauty adequately expressed. - Neither in Art nor Literature more than in Life can an ordinary thought be made interesting because well-dressed.
The critic is beneath the maker, but is his needed friend. The critic is not a base caviler, but the younger brother of genius. Next to invention is the power of interpreting invention; next to beauty the power of appreciating beauty. And of making others appreciate it ...