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American essayist and critic
(1819 - 1886)
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A composition which dazzles at first sight by gaudy epithets, or brilliant turns or expression, or glittering trains of imagery, may fade gradually from the mind, leaving no enduring impression; but words which flow fresh and warm from a full heart, and which are instinct with the life and breath of human feeling, pass into household memories, and partake of the immortality of the affections from which they spring.
      - [Style]

A large portion of human beings live not so much in themselves as in what they desire to be. They create what is called an ideal character, in an ideal form, whose perfections compensate in some degree for the imperfections of their own.
      - [Ideality]

A man of letters is often a man with two natures,--one a book nature, the other a human nature. These often clash sadly.
      - [Authorship]

A nation may be in a tumult to-day for a thought which the timid Erasmus placidly penned in his study more than two centuries ago.
      - [Thought]

"A person with a bad name is already half hanged," saith the old proverb.
      - [Names]

A politician weakly and amiably in the right is no match for a politician tenaciously and pugnaciously in the wrong. You cannot, by tying an opinion, to a man's tongue, make him the representative of that opinion; and at the close of any battle for principles, his name will be found neither among the dead nor among the wounded, but among the missing.
      - [Politics]

A thought embodied and embrained in fit words walks the earth a living being.
      - [Thought]

A true teacher should penetrate to whatever is vital in his pupil, and develop that by the light and heat of his own intelligence.
      - [Education]

A writer who attempts to live on the manufacture of his imagination is continually coquetting with starvation.
      - [Authorship]

An epigram often flashes light into regions where reason shines but dimly.
      - [Epigrams]

An imposing air should always be taken as an evidence of imposition. Dignity is often a veil between us and the real truth of things.
      - [Manners]

As men neither fear nor respect what has been made contemptible, all honor to him who makes oppression laughable as well as detestable. Armies cannot protect it then; and walls which have remained impenetrable to cannon have fallen before a roar of laughter or a hiss of contempt.
      - [Satire]

Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time.
      - [Books]

Books,--lighthouses erected in the great sea of time.
      - [Books]

But the conceit of one's self and the conceit of one's hobby are hardly more prolific of eccentricity than the conceit of one's money. Avarice, the most hateful and wolfish of all the hard, cool, callous dispositions of selfishness, has its own peculiar caprices and crotchets. The ingenuities of its meanness defy all the calculations of reason, and reach the miraculous in subtlety.
      - [Conceit]

Cervantes shrewdly advises to lay a bridge of silver for a flying enemy.
      - [Policy]

Character is the spiritual body of the person, and represents the individualization of vital experience, the conversion of unconscious things into self-conscious men.
      - [Character]

Cheerfulness in most cheerful people, is the rich and satisfying result of strenuous discipline.
      - [Discipline]

Conservatism is a very good thing; but how many conservatives announce principles which might have shocked Dick Turpin, or nonsensicalities flat enough to have raised contempt in Jerry Sneak!
      - [Conservatism]

Dignity is often a veil between us and the real truth of things.
      - [Dignity]

Do we, mad as we all are after riches, hear often enough from the pulpit the spirit of those words in which Dean Swift, in his epitaph on the affluent and profligate Colonel Chartres, announces the small esteem of wealth in the eyes of God, from the fact of His thus lavishing it upon the meanest and basest of His creatures?
      - [Riches]

Even in social life, it is persistency which attracts confidence, more than talents and accomplishments.
      - [Perseverance]

Every author, indeed, who really influence's the mind, who plants in it thoughts and sentiments which take root and grow, communicates his character. Error and immorality--two words for one thing, for error is the immorality of the intellect; and immorality the error of the heart--these escape from him if they are in him, and pass into the recipient mind through subtle avenues invisible to consciousness.
      - [Authorship]

Every style formed elaborately on any model must be affected and straight-laced.
      - [Style]

Everybody knows that fanaticism is religion caricatured; bears, indeed, about the same relation to it that a monkey bears to a man; yet, with many, contempt of fanaticism is received as a sure sign of hostility to religion.
      - [Fanaticism]

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