Travel is the most private of pleasures. There is no greater bore than the travel bore. We do not in the least want to hear what he has seen in Hong-Kong.
It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? for the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop. Growth is exciting; growth is dynamic and alarming. Growth of the soul, growth of the mind.
He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man.
Whoever loves above all the approach of love will never know the joy of attaining it.
It is only with the heart that one can see right; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction.
Night, the beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree.
Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add but when there is no longer anything to take away, when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness.
You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose.
The sea speaks a language polite people never repeat. It is a colossal scavenger slang and has no respect.
In these times you have to be an optimist to open your eyes when you wake in the morning.
A string of excited, fugitive, miscellaneous pleasures is not happiness; happiness resides in imaginative reflection and judgment, when the picture of one's life, or of human life, as it truly has been or is, satisfies the will, and is gladly accepted.
When men and women agree, it is only in their conclusions; their reasons are always different.
(topic: men and women)
Nothing can so pierce the soul as the uttermost sigh of the body.
Each religion, by the help of more or less myth, which it takes more or less seriously, proposes some method of fortifying the human soul and enabling it to make its peace with its destiny.
The body is an instrument, the mind its function, the witness and reward of its operation.
It is always pleasant to be urged to do something on the ground that one can do it well.
It is impossible for any woman to love her children twenty-four hours a day.
The ideal mother, like the ideal marriage, is a fiction.
Honor has not to be won; it must only not be lost.
When first we practise to deceive!
Each age has deemed the new-born year
The fittest time for festal cheer.
(topic: new year)
Even after a bad harvest there must be sowing.
True praise comes often even to the lowly; false praise only to the strong.
We often want one thing and pray for another, not telling the truth even to the gods.
Night brings our troubles to the light, rather than banishes them.
That moderation which nature prescribes, which limits our desires by resources restricted to our needs, has abandoned the field; it has now come to this--that to want only what is enough is a sign both of boorishness and of utter destitution.
The heart is great which shows moderation in the midst of prosperity.
Life's like a play: it's not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters.
For as you were when first your eye I eyed,
Such seems your beauty still.
The tartness of his face sours ripe grapes.
It is a wise father that knows his own child.
Friendship is constant in all other things
Save in the office and affairs of love.
We know what we are, but know not what we may be.
The miserable have no other medicine
But only hope.
Our doubts are traitors
And make us lose the good we oft might win
By fearing to attempt.
Love is a spirit of all compact of fire.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
Love sought is good, but given unsought, is better.
The course of true love never did run smooth.
They do not love that do not show their love.
He wears his faith but as the fashion of his hat.
Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered.
Men are April when they woo, December when they wed. Maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives.
Your lordship, though not clean past your youth, have yet some smack of age in you, some relish of the saltness of time.
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted.
That which in mean men we entitle patience
Is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts.
I will praise any man that will praise me.
My words fly up, my thoughts remain below.
Words without thoughts never to heaven go.
I do know of these
That therefore only are reputed wise
For saying nothing.
Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast.
Come what come may,
Time and the hour run through the roughest day.
The whirligig of time brings in his revenges.
Love all, trust a few.
So wise so young, they say, do never live long.
To be wise and love
Exceeds man's might: that dwells with the gods above.
As he was valiant, I honour him. But as he was ambitious, I slew him.
I charge thee, fling away ambition:
By that sin fell the angels.
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
O! beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.
In time we hate that which we often fear.
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
Honour pricks me on. Yea, but how if honour prick me off when I come on? How then? Can honour set to a leg? No. Or an arm? No. Or take away the grief of a wound? No. Honour hath no skill in surgery then? No. What is honour? A word. What is in that word? Honour. What is that honour? Air. A trim reckoning. Who hath it? He that died o' Wednesday.
Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.
How many things by season seasoned are
To their right praise and true perfection!
Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.
When sorrows come, they come not single spies,
But in battalions!
If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?
Care I for the limb, the thews, the stature, bulk, and big assemblance of a man! Give me the spirit.
I had else been perfect,
Whole as the marble, founded as the rock,
As broad and general as the casing air,
But now I am cabin'd cribb'd, confin'd, bound in
To saucy doubts and fears.
If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work;
But when they seldom come, they wished for come.
Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.
Don't order any black things. Rejoice in his memory; and be radiant: leave grief to the children. Wear violet and purple...Be patient with the poor people who will snivel: they don't know; and they think they will live for ever, which makes death a division instead of a bond.
Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
You see things; and you say "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say "Why not?"
Never waste jealousy on a real man: it is the imaginary man that supplants us all in the long run.
The great secret, Eliza, is not having bad manners or good manners or any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls: in short, behaving as if you were in Heaven, where there are no third-class carriages, and one soul is as good as another.
The seven deadly sins...Food, clothing, firing, rent, taxes, respectability and children. Nothing can lift those seven millstones from Man's neck but money; and the spirit cannot soar until the millstones are lifted.
Life on board a pleasure steamer violates every moral and physical condition of healthy life except fresh air...It is a guzzling, lounging, gambling, dog's life. The only alternative to excitement is irritability.
Beauty is all very well at first sight; but who ever looks at it when it has been in the house three days?
There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
Men are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience.
The truth is, hardly any of us have ethical energy enough for more than one really inflexible point of honor.
A man of great common sense and good taste--meaning thereby a man without originality or moral courage.
(topic: common sense)
Cruelty would be delicious if one could only find some sort of cruelty that didn't really hurt.
Nought may endure but Mutability.
Our sincerest laughter
With some pain is fraught:
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.
(topic: joy and sorrow)
He is the very pineapple of politeness!
Marriage resembles a pair of shears, so joined that they cannot be separated; often moving in opposite directions, yet always punishing anyone who comes between them.
There are few sorrows, however poignant, in which a good income is of no avail.
Among the smaller duties of life I hardly know any one more important than that of not praising where praise is not due.
What I like in a good author isn't what he says, but what he whispers.
The family, that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor in our innermost hearts never quite wish to.
Food is for eating, and good food is to be enjoyed...I think food is, actually, very beautiful in itself.
People before the public live an imagined life in the thought of others, and flourish or feel faint as their self outside themselves grows bright or dwindles in that mirror.
A man gazing on the stars is proverbially at the mercy of the puddles in the road.
Charming people live up to the very edge of their charm, and behave as outrageously as the world lets them.
Well I am certainly wiser than this man. It is only too likely that neither of us has any knowledge to boast of; but he thinks that he knows something which he does not know, whereas I am quite conscious of my ignorance. At any rate it seems that I am wiser than he is to this small extent, that I do not think that I know what I do not know.
(topic: censorship and free speech)
Woe to that nation whose literature is cut short by the intrusion of force. This is not merely interference with freedom of the press but the sealing up of a nation's heart, the excision of its memory.
(topic: censorship and free speech)
You only have power over people so long as you don't take everything away from them. But when you've robbed a man of everything he's no longer in your power--he's free again.
Oft stumbles at a straw.
When I've tried all the week to be good,
And not spoke a word that was bad,
And obliged everyone that I could.
(topic: common sense)
I hate cameras. They are so much more sure than I am about everything.
A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.
One can find so many pains when the rain is falling.
In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.
Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself.
A large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life, by him who interests his heart in everything.
There was a time when a fool and his money were soon parted, but now it happens to everybody.
For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal--that you can gather votes like box tops--is, I think, the ultimate indignity to the democratic process.
Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them.
Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things.
Vanity dies hard; in some obstinate cases it outlives the man.
A beauty is a woman you notice; a charmer is one who notices you.
The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music; they should be taught to love it instead.
Silence will save me from being wrong (and foolish), but it will also deprive me of the possibility of being right.
People seldom see the halting and painful steps by which the most insignificant success is achieved.
Ambition often puts men upon doing the meanest offices; so climbing is performed in the same posture with creeping.
We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.
When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.
The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.