A sect or party is an incognito devised to save man from the vexation of thinking.
Solitude is impractical and yet society is fatal.
Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other. Society acquires new arts, and loses old instincts.
Slavery is an institution for converting men into monkeys.
No man can help another without helping himself.
Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.
Insist on yourself never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession.
The spirit of our American radicalism is destructive and aimless it is not loving it has no ulterior and divine ends but is destructive only out of hatred and selfishness.
I know of no such unquestionable badge and ensign of a sovereign mind as that of tenacity of purpose...
Other men are lenses through which we read our own minds. Each man seeks those of different quality from his own, and such as are good of their kind that is, he seeks other men, and the rest.
Like bees, they must put their lives into the sting they give.
I like to be beholden to the great metropolitan English speech, the sea which receives tributaries from every region under heaven.
One definition of man is ''an intelligence served by organs.''
Character is higher than intellect.
What I must do is all that concerns me. This rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is harder because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it.
The chief mourner does not always attend the funeral.
A friend is one before whom I may think aloud.
A man's growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends.
Better to be a nettle in the side of your friend than his echo.
We talk of choosing our friends, but friends are self-elected
He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare, and he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere.
For what avail the plough or sail, Or land or life, if freedom fail
The first farmer was the first man. All historic nobility rests on the possession and use of land.
The hues of the opal, the light of the diamond, are not to be seen if the eye is too near.
I pay the schoolmaster, but it is the school boys who educate my son.