SIMMS, William Gilmore Quotes
(1806-1870), American author
To be amiable is most certainly a duty, but it is not to be exercised at the expense of any virtue.—He who seeks to do the amiable always, can at times be successful only by the sacrifice of his manhood.
Our cares are the mothers not only of our charities and virtues, but of our best joys, and most cheering and enduring pleasures.
There is no doubt such a thing as chance; but I see no reason why Providence should not make use of it.
Our true acquisitions lie only in our charities, we gain only as we give.
To confide, even though to be betrayed, is much better than to learn only to conceal.—In the one case your neighbor wrongs you;—but in the other you are perpetually doing injustice to yourself.
Neither praise nor blame is the object of true criticism.—Justly to discriminate, firmly to establish, wisely to prescribe, and honestly to award—these are the true aims and duties of criticism.
He who would acquire fame must not show himself afraid of censure.—The dread of censure is the death of genius.
Genius may be described as the spirit of discovery.—It is the eye of intellect, and the wing of thought.—It is always in advance of its time—the pioneer for the generation which it precedes.
The guilt that feels not its own shame is wholly incurable.—It was the redeeming promise in the fault of Adam, that with the commission of his crime came the sense of his nakedness.
Stagnation is something worse than death: it is corruption also.
The vulgar mind fancies that good judgment is implied chiefly in the capacity to censure; and yet there is no judgment so exquisite as that which knows property how to approve.
Justice is the great and simple principle which is the secret of success in all government, as essential to the training of an infant, as to the control of a mighty nation.
The only rational liberty is that which is born of subjection, reared in the fear of God and love of man, and roads courageous in the defense of a trust, and the prosecution of a duty.
A people never fairly begins to prosper till necessity is treading on its heels. The growing want of room is one of the sources of civilization. Population is power, but it must be a population that, in growing, is made daily apprehensive of the morrow.
To feel oppressed by obligation is only to prove that we are incapable of a proper sentiment of gratitude.—To receive favors from the unworthy is to admit that our selfishness is superior to our pride.
Most men remember obligations, but not often to be grateful; the proud are made sour by the remembrance and the vain silent.
No errors of opinion can possibly be dangerous in a country where opinion is left free to grapple with them.
Strong passions are the life of manly virtues. But they need not necessarily be evil because they are passions, and because they are strong. They may be likened to blood horses, that need training and the curb only, to enable those whom they carry to achieve the most glorious triumphs.
The conditions of conquest are always easy. We have but to toil awhile, endure awhile, believe always, and never turn back.
Pleasure is one of those commodities which are sold at a thousand shops, and bought by a thousand customers, but of which nobody ever fairly finds possession. Either they know not well how to use, or the commodity will not keep, for no one has ever yet appeared to be satisfied with his bargain. It is too subtle for transition, though sufficiently solid for sale.
This is the one quality, over all others, necessary to make a gentleman.
The true law of the race is progress and development.—Whenever civilization pauses in the march of conquest, it is overthrown by the barbarian.
To make punishments efficacious, two things are necessary; they must never be disproportioned to the offence, and they must be certain.
The proverb answers where the sermon fails, as a well-charged pistol will do more execution than a whole barrel of gunpowder idly exploded in the air.
Revelation may not need the help of reason, but man does, even when in possession of revelation. Reason is the candle in the man's hand which enables him to see what revelation is.
It is said that he or she who admits the possession of a secret, has already half revealed it.—It is a great deal gained toward the acquisition of a treasure, to know exactly where it is.
We must not calculate on the weather, or on fortune, but upon God and ourselves.—He may fail us in the gratification of our wishes, but never in the encounter with our exigencies.
No doubt solitude is wholesome, but so is abstinence after a surfeit.—The true life of man is in society.
Our distinctions do not lie in the places we occupy, but in the grace and dignity with which we fill them.
Tact is one of the first mental virtues, the absence of which is often fatal to the best of talents; it supplies the place of many talents.
The temperate are the most truly luxurious. By abstaining from most things, it is surprising how many things we enjoy.
Have I done anything for society? I have then done more for myself. Let that question and truth be always present to thy mind, and work without cessation.
Vanity may be likened to the smooth-skinned and velvet-footed mouse, nibbling about forever in expectation of a crumb; while self-esteem is too apt to take the likeness of the huge butcher's dog, who carries off your steaks, and growls at you as he goes.
What we call vice in our neighbor may be nothing less than a crude virtue. To him who knows nothing more of precious stones than he can learn from a daily contemplation of his breastpin, a diamond in the mine must be a very uncompromising sort of stone.