Time wastes too fast : every letter I trace tells me with what rapidity Life follows my pen ; the days and hours of it, more precious, my dear Jenny! than the rubies about thy neck, are flying over our heads like light clouds of a windy day, never to return more -- every thing presses on -- whilst thou are twisting that lock, -- see! it grows grey ; and every time I kiss thy hand to bid adieu, and every absence which follows it, are preludes to that eternal separation which we are shortly to make!
You can't make theater happen without actors. The actor is the central ingredient in making theater happen. Audiences may come to theaters to see the work of stage managers, directors and producers, but the only people who can communicate theater magic to audiences, through ideas and emotions, are the actors. They are the only ones who can communicate this by themselves, and if necessary, they can get along without you. But you can't make theater without the actor.
Upon looking back from the end of the last chapter and surveying the texture of what has been wrote, it is necessary, that upon this page and the five following, a good quantity of heterogeneous matter be inserted, to keep up that just balance betwixt wisdom and folly, without which a book would not hold together a single year.
As monarchs have a right to call in the specie of a state, and raise its value, by their own impression; so are there certain prerogative geniuses, who are above plagiaries, who cannot be said to steal, but, from their improvement of a thought, rather to borrow it, and repay the commonwealth of letters with interest again; and may wore properly be said to adopt, than to kidnap a sentiment, by leaving it heir to their own fame.
It appears an extraordinary thing to me, that since there is such a diabolical spirit in the depravity of human nature, as persecution for difference of opinion in religious tenets, there never happened to be any inquisition, any auto da fe, any crusade, among the Pagans.
What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in every thing, and who, having eyes to see, what time and chance are perpetually holding out to him as he journeyeth on his way, misses nothing he can fairly lay his hands on.
So often has my judgment deceived me in my life, that I always suspect it, right or wrong,--at least I am seldom hot upon cold subjects. For all this, I reverence truth as much as any body; andif a man will but take me by the hand, and go quietly and search for itI'll go to the world's end with him:MBut I hate disputes.
First, whenever a man talks loudly against religion, always suspect that it is not his reason, but his passions, which have got the better of his creed. A bad life and a good belief are disagreeable and troublesome neighbors, and where they separate, depend upon it, 'Tis for no other cause but quietness sake.
I often derive a peculiar satisfaction in conversing with the ancient and modern dead, — who yet live and speak excellently in their works. My neighbors think me often alone, — and yet at such times I am in company with more than five hundred mutes — each of whom, at my pleasure, communicates his ideas to me by dumb signs — quite as intelligently as any person living can do by uttering of words.
When a poor disconsolated drooping creature is terrified from all enjoyment,--prays without ceasing 'till his imagination is heated,--fasts and mortifies and mopes, till his body is in as bad a plight as his mind; is it a wonder, that the mechanical disturbancesof an empty belly, interpreted by an empty head, should be mistook for [the] workings [of God].
I have undertaken, you see, to write not only my life, but my opinions also; hoping and expecting that your knowledge of my character, and of what kind of a mortal I am, by the one, would give you a better relish for the other: As you proceed further with me, the slight acquaintance which is now beginning betwixt us, will grow into familiarity; and that, unless one of us is in fault, will terminate in friendship.
It is curious to observe the triumph of slight incidents over the mind; and what incredible weight they have in forming and governing our opinions, both of men and things, that trifles light as air shall waft a belief into the soul, and plant it so immovable within it, that Euclid's demonstrations, could they be brought to batter it in breach, should not all have power to overthrow it!
The circumstances with which every thing in this world is begirt, give every thing in this world its size and shape;--and by tightening it, or relaxing it, this way or that, make the thing to be, what it is--great--little--good--bad--indifferent or not indifferent, just as the case happens.
There are some tempers--how shall I describe them--formed either of such impenetrable matter, or wrought up by habitual selfishness to such an utter insensibility of what becomes of the fortunes of their fellow-creatures, as if they were not partakers of the same nature, or had no lot or connection at all with the species.
It is the nature of an hypothesis, when once a man has conceived it, that it assimilates every thing to itself, as proper nourishment; and, from the first moment of your begetting it, it generally grows the stronger by every thing you see, hear, read, or understand.
Ye whose clay-cold heads and luke-warm hearts can argue down or mask your passions--tell me, what trespass is it that man should have them?... If nature has so wove her web of kindness, that some threads of love and desire are entangled with the piece--must the whole web be rent in drawing them out?
Solomon'sexcess became an insult upon the privileges of mankind; for by the same plan of luxury, which made it necessary to have forty thousand stalls of horses,--he had unfortunately miscalculated his other wants, and so had seven hundred wives.... Wise--deluded man!
In solitude the mind gains strength, and learns to lean upon herself; in the world it seeks or accepts of a few treacherous supports--the feigned compassion of one, the flattery of a second, the civilities of a third, the friendship of a fourth--they all deceive, and bring the mind back to retirement, reflection, and books.
To have the fear of God before our eyes, and, in our mutual dealings with each other, to govern our actions by the eternal measures of right and wrong:MThe first of these will comprehend the duties of religion;Mthe second, those of morality, which are so inseparably connected together, that you cannot divide these two tableswithout breaking and mutually destroying them both.