HILLARD, George Stillman Quotes
(1808-1879), American lawyer and orator
Ambition is not a weakness unless it be disproportioned to the capacity. To have more ambition than ability is to be at once weak and unhappy.
Anger may be kindled in the noblest breasts; but in these the slow droppings of an unforgiving temper never take the shape and consistency of enduring hatred.
The instinctive and universal taste of mankind selects flowers for the expression of its finest sympathies, their beauty and fleetingness serving to make them the most fitting symbols of those delicate sentiments for which language seems almost too gross a medium.
The theory that a great man is merely the product of his age, is rejected by the common sense and common observation of mankind.—The power that guides large masses of men, and shapes the channels in which the energies of a great people flow, is something more than a mere aggregate of derivative forces. It is a compound product, in which the genius of the man is one element, and the sphere opened to him by the character of his age and the institutions of his country, is another.
If liberty with law is fire on the hearth, liberty without law is fire on the floor.
The malignity that never forgets or forgives is found only in base and ignoble natures, whose aims are selfish, and whose means are indirect, cowardly, and treacherous.
A statesman makes the occasion, but the occasion makes the politician.
Sunsets in themselves are generally superior to sunrises; and with the sunset we appreciate images drawn from departed peace, and faded glory.
A vacant mind invites dangerous inmates, as a deserted mansion tempts wandering outcasts to enter and take up their abode in its desolate apartments.