No doubt hard work is a great police agent. If everybody were worked from morning till night, and then carefully locked up, the register of crime might be greatly diminished. But what would become of human nature? Where would be the room for growth in such a system of things? It is through sorrow and mirth, plenty and need, a variety of passions, circumstances, and temptations, even through sin and misery, that men's natures are developed.
Be cheerful [and grateful for the good that you have]: do not brood over fond hopes unrealized until a chain is fastened on each thought and wound around the heart. Nature intended you to be the fountain-spring of cheerfulness and social life, and not the mountain of despair and melancholy.
There are few who would need advisers, if they were only accustomed to appeal to themselves in their calmest, holiest moments. If, when embarrassed with doubt as to any course of action, they would turn aside from the immediate tumult of the world, and from the vain speaking of those who "darken counsel by words without knowledge;" and would then commune with their hearts alone, at night, the heavens their silent counsellors, they would act not always in accordance with the wise men of this world, but with that wisdom which bringeth peace.
Those who are successfully to lead their fellow-men, should have once possessed the nobler feelings. We have all known individuals whose magnanimity was not likely to be troublesome on any occasion; but then they betrayed their own interests by unwisely omitting the consideration, that such feelings might exist in the breasts of those whom they had to guide and govern: for they themselves cannot even remember the time when in their eyes justice appeared preferable to expediency, the happiness of others to self-interest, or the welfare of a State to the advancement of a party.
When we consider the incidents of former days, and perceive, while reviewing the long line of causes, how the most important events of our lives originated in the most trifling circumstances; how the beginning of our greatest happiness or greatest misery is to be attributed to a delay, to an accident, to a mistake; we learn a lesson of profound humility.
Rare almost as great poets, rarer, perhaps, than veritable saints and martyrs; are consummate men of business. A man, to be excellent in this way, requires a great knowledge of character, with that exquisite tact which feels unerringly the right moment when to act. A discreet rapidity must pervade all the movements of his thought and action. He must be singularly free from vanity, and is generally found to be an enthusiast who has the art to conceal his enthusiasm.
There is an honesty which is but decided selfishness in disguise. The person who will not refrain from expressing his or her sentiments and manifesting his or her feelings, however unfit the time, however inappropriate the place, however painful this expression may be, lays claim, forsooth, to our approbation as an honest person, and sneers at those of finer sensibilities as hypocrites.