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A great statesman is he who knows when to depart from traditions, as well as when to adhere to them.
A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.
A profound conviction raises a man above the feeling of ridicule.
A state which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands, even for beneficial purposes, will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished.
All the good of which humanity is capable is comprised in obedience.
Among the works of man, which human life is rightly employed in perfecting, the first in importance surely is man himself.
Any society which is not improving is deteriorating, and the more so the closer and more familiar it is. Even a really superior man almost always begins to deteriorate when he is habitually king of his company.
Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.
But society has now fairly got the better of individuality; and the danger which threatens human nature is not the excess, but the deficiency, of personal impulses and preferences.
Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.
Genius can only breathe freely in an atmosphere of freedom.
He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that.
If it were only that people have diversities of taste, that is reason enough for not attempting to shape them all after one model. But different persons also require different conditions for their spiritual development, and can no more exist healthily in the same moral, than all the varieties of plants can in the same physical, atmosphere and climate.
In politics it is almost a triviality to say that public opinion now rules the world. The only power deserving the name is that of masses and of governments while they make themselves the organ of the tendencies and instincts of masses.
In this age, the man who dares to think for himself and to act independently does a service to his race.
It is not because men's desires are strong that they act ill; it is because their consciences are weak. There is no natural connection between strong impulses and a weak conscience.
It would not be easy even for an unbeliever, to find a better translation of the rule of virtue from the abstract into the concrete, than to endeavor so to live that Christ would approve our life.
Men are men before they are lawyers, or physicians, or merchants, or manufacturers; and if you make them capable and sensible men, they will make themselves capable and sensible lawyers or physicians.
Men do not desire merely to be rich, but to be richer than other men.
Originality is the one thing which unoriginal minds cannot feel the use of.
Popular opinions, on subjects not palpable to sense, are often true, but seldom or never the whole truth.
Seeming contentment is real discontent, combined with indolence or self-indulgence, which, while taking no legitimate means of raising itself, delights in bringing others down to its own level.
Strong impulses are but another name for energy. Energy may be turned to bad uses; but more good may always be made of an energetic nature, than of an indolent and impassive one.
That miscellaneous collection of a few wise and many foolish individuals, called the public.
The dictum that truth always triumphs over persecution is one of those pleasant falsehoods which men repeat after one another till they pass into commonplaces, but which all experience refutes.
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