I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
Apologizing.--A very desperate habit,--one that is rarely cured. Apology is only egotism wrong side out. Nine times out of ten, the first thing a man's companion knows of his shortcoming is from his apology. It is mighty presumptuous on your part to suppose your small failures of so much consequence that you must make a talk about them.
If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I would not pass it around. Trouble creates a capacity to handle it. I don't embrace trouble; that's as bad as treating it as an enemy. But I do say: meet it as a friend, for you'll see a lot of it, and had better be on speaking terms with it.
Our dead brothers still live for us and bid us think of life, not death -- of life to which in their youth they lent the passion and glory of Spring. As I listen, the great chorus of life and joy begins again, and amid the awful orchestra of seen and unseen powers and destinies of good and evil, our trumpets, sound once more a note of daring, hope, and will.
The greatest tragedy in America is not the destruction of our natural resources, though that tragedy is great. The truly great tragedy is the destruction of our human resources by our failure to fully utilize our abilities, which means that most men and women go to their graves with their music still in them.
You commit a sin of omission if you do not utilize all the power that is within you. All men have claims on man, and to the man with special talents, this is a very special claim. It is required that a man take part in the actions and clashes of his time that the peril of being judged not to have lived at all.
People who make puns are like wanton boys that put coppers on the railroad tracks. They amuse themselves and other children, but their little trick may upset a freight train of conversation for the sake of a battered witticism.
A pun does not commonly justify a blow in return. But if a blow were given for such cause, and death ensued, the jury would be judges both of the facts and of the pun, and might, if the latter were of an aggravated character, return a verdict of justifiable homicide.
Unpretending mediocrity is good, and genius is glorious; but a weak flavor of genius in an essentially common person is detestable. It spoils the grand neutrality of a commonplace character, as the rinsings of an unwashed wine-glass spoil a draught of fair water.
All generous minds have a horror of what are commonly called facts. They are the brute beasts of the intellectual domain. Who does not know fellows that always have an ill-conditioned fact or two that they lead after them into decent company like so many bull-dogs, ready to let them slip at every ingenious suggestion, or convenient generalization, or pleasant fancy? I allow no facts at this table.
... the hydrostatic paradox of controversy. Don't you know what that means? Well, I will tell you. You know that, if you had a bent tube, one arm of which was of the size of a pipe-stem, and the other big enough to hold the ocean, water would stand at the same height in one as in the other. Controversy equalizes fools and wise men in the same way. And the fools know it.
Speak not too well of one who scarce will know himself transfigured in its roseate glow; Say kindly of him what is, chiefly, true, remembering always he belongs to you; Deal with him as a truant, if you will, But claim him, keep him, call him brother still!
Great constitutional provisions must be administered with caution. Some play must be allowed for the joints of the machine, and it must be remembered that legislatures are ultimate guardians of the liberties and welfare of the people in quite as great a degree as the courts.
O Damsel Dorothy! Dorothy Q. !Strange is the gift that I owe to you;Such a gift as never a kingSave to daughter or son might bring,All my tenure of heart and hand,All my title to house and land;Mother and sister and child and wifeAnd joy and sorrow and death and life!
Every living sentence which shows a mind at work for itself is to be welcomed. It is not the first use but the tiresome repetition of inadequate catch words which I am observingphrases which originally were contributions, but which, by their very felicity, delay further analysis for fifty years. That comes from the same source as dislike of noveltyintellectual indolence or weaknessa slackening in the eternal pursuit of the more exact.
Speak not too well of one who scarce will knowHimself transfigured in its roseate glow;Say kindly of him what is, chiefly, true,Remembering always he belongs to you;Deal with him as a truant, if you will,But claim him, keep him, call him brother still!
A question like the present should be disposed of without undue delay. But a State cannot be expected to move with the celerity of a private business man; it is enough if it proceeds, in the language of the English Chancery, with all deliberate speed.
There is no time like the old time, when you and I were young,When the buds of April blossomed, and the birds of spring-time sung!The gardens brightest glories by summer suns are nursed,But oh, the sweet, sweet violets, the flowers that opened first!There is no place like the old place, where you and I were born,Where we lifted first our eyelids on the splendors of the mornFrom the milk-white breast that warmed us, from the clinging arms that bore,Where the dear eyes glistened oer us that will look on us no more!There is no friend like the old friend, who has shared our morning days,No greeting like his welcome, no homage like his praise:Fame is the scentless sunflower, with gaudy crown of gold;But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold. There is no love like the old love, that we courted in our pride;Though our leaves are falling, falling, and were fading side by side,There are blossoms all around us with the colors of our dawn,And we live in borrowed sunshine when the day-star is withdrawn. There are no times like the old times,they shall never be forgot!There is no place like the old place,keep green the dear old spot!There are no friends like our old friends,may Heaven prolong their lives!There are no loves like our old loves,God bless our loving wives!
But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideasthat the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out.
Gentlemen, to the lady without whom I should never have survived for eighty, nor sixty, nor yet thirty years. Her smile has been my lyric, her understanding, the rhythm of the stanza. She has been the spring wherefrom I have drawn the power to write the words. She is the poem of my life.
I confess that I do not understand the principle on which the power to fix a minimum for the wages of women can be denied by those who admit the power to fix a maximum for their hours of work. I fully assent to the proposition that here as elsewhere the distinctions of the law are distinctions of degree, but I perceive no difference in the kind or degree of interference with liberty, the only matter with which we have any concern, between the one case and the other. The bargain is equally affected whichever half you regulate. It will need more than the Nineteenth Amendment to convince me that there are no differences between men and women, or that legislation cannot take those differences into account.
But the character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done. The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic. It does not even protect a man from an injunction against uttering words that may have all the effect of force. The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent. It is a question of proximity and degree.
It is now the moment when by common consent we pause to become conscious of our national life and to rejoice in it, to recall what our country has done for each of us, and to ask ourselves what we can do for our country in return.
When twenty years ago a vague terror went over the earth and the word socialism began to be heard, I thought and still think that fear was translated into doctrines that had no proper place in the Constitution or the common law. Judges are apt to be naif, simple-minded men, and they need something of Mephistopheles. We too need education in the obvious to learn to transcend our own convictions and to leave room for much that we hold dear to be done away with short of revolution by the orderly change of law.
I do not think the United States would come to an end if we lost our power to declare an Act of Congress void. I do think the Union would be imperiled if we could not make that declaration as to the laws of the several States.