Essays, First Series

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Houghton, Mifflin, 1883 - 290 pages
 

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Page 318 - God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please, — you can never have both. Between these, as a pendulum, man oscillates. He in whom the love of repose predominates will accept the first creed, the first philosophy, the first political party he meets, — most likely his father's. He gets test, commodity, and reputation ; but he shuts the door of truth.
Page 83 - What a contrast between the well-clad, reading, writing, thinking American, with a watch, a pencil and a bill of exchange in his pocket, and the naked New Zealander, whose property is a club, a spear, a mat and an undivided twentieth of a shed to sleep under ! But compare the health of the two men and you shall see that the white man has lost his aboriginal strength.
Page 54 - I will go to prison, if need be; but your miscellaneous popular charities; the education at college of fools; the building of meeting-houses to the vain end to which many now stand; alms to sots; and the thousandfold Relief Societies; - though I confess with shame I sometimes succumb and give the dollar, it is a wicked dollar which by and by I shall have the manhood to withhold.
Page 67 - These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones ; they are for what they are; they exist with God to-day.
Page 87 - It is only as a man puts off from himself all external support and stands alone that I see him to be strong and to prevail. He is weaker by every recruit to his banner. Is not a man better than a town? Ask nothing of men, and, in the endless mutation, thou only firm column must presently appear the upholder of all that surrounds thee.
Page 9 - THERE is one mind common to all individual men. Every man is an inlet to the same and to all of the same. He that is once admitted to the right of reason is made a freeman of the whole estate. What Plato has thought, he may think ; what a saint has felt, he may feel ; what at any time has befallen any man, he can understand. Who hath access to this universal mind is a party to all that is or can be done, for this is the only and sovereign agent.
Page 281 - THE eye is the first circle ; the horizon which it forms is the second ; and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end. It is the highest emblem in the cipher of the world.
Page 82 - It undergoes continual changes; it is barbarous, it is civilized, it is christianized, it is rich, it is scientific; but this change is not amelioration. For everything that is given something is taken.
Page 106 - All things are double, one against another. — Tit for tat ; an eye for an eye ; a tooth for a tooth ; blood for blood ; measure for measure ; love for love. — Give, and it shall be given you. — He that watereth shall be watered himself. — What will you have ? quoth God ; pay for it and take it.
Page 82 - There is at this moment, there is for me an utterance bare and grand as that of the colossal chisel of Phidias, or trowel of the Egyptians, or the pen of Moses or Dante, but different from all these. Not possibly will the soul, all rich, all eloquent, with thousand-cloven tongue, deign to repeat itself...

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