First impressions are often the truest, as we find (not infrequently) to our cost, when we have been wheedled out of them by plausible professions or studied actions. A man's look is the work of years. . .
Everything is in motion. Everything flows. Everything is vibrating.
Rules and models destroy genius and art.
We often choose a friend as we do a mistress - for no particular excellence in themselves, but merely from some circumstance that flatters our self-love.
The art of life is to know how to enjoy a little and to endure very much.
The way to get on in the world is to be neither more nor less wise, neither better nor worse than your neighbours.
There is nothing more likely to drive a person mad than . . . an obstinate, constitutional preference of the truth to the agreeable.
I hate to be near the sea, and to hear it roaring and raging like a wild beast in its den. It puts me in mind of the everlasting efforts of the human mind, struggling to be free, and ending just where it began.
We are cold to others only when we are dull in ourselves, and have neither thoughts nor feelings to impart to them. Give a man a topic in his head, a throb of pleasure in his heart, and he will be glad to share it with the first person he meets.
He is to the great poet, what an excellent mimic is to a great actor. There is no determinate impression left on the mind by reading his poetry. . . . A great mind is one that moulds the minds of others.
The world has been doing little else but playing at make-believe all its lifetime.
Grace has been defined as the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul.
The truly proud man is satisfied with his own good opinion, and does not seek to make converts to it.
There are names written in her immortal scroll at which Fame blushes.
As is our confidence, so is our capacity.
Well Ive had a happy life.
The silence of a friend commonly amounts to treachery. His not daring to say anything in our behalf implies a tacit censure.
Those who are fond of setting things to rights, have no great objection to seeing them wrong
Do not keep on with a mockery of friendship after the substance is gone - but part, while you can part friends. Bury the carcass of friendship: it is not worth embalming.
People of genius do not excel in any profession because they work in it, they work in it because they excel.
We may, with instruction and opportunity mend our manners, or else alter for the worse, -- as the flesh and fortune shall serve but the character, the internal, original bias, remains always the same, true to itself to the very last.
Give me the clear blue sky above my head, and the green turf beneath my feet, a winding road before me, and a three hours' march to dinner - and then to thinking It is hard if I cannot start some game on these lone heaths.
A man knows his companion in a long journey and a little inn.
I would like to spend the whole of my life traveling, if I could anywhere borrow another life to spend at home.
Those are ever the most ready to do justice to others, who feel that the world has done them justice.
In what we really understand, we reason but little
It is not the passion of a mind struggling with misfortune, or the hopelessness of its desires, but of a mind preying on itself, and disgusted with, or indifferent to all other things.
Honesty is one part eloquence. We persuade others by being in earnest ourselves.
Without the aid of prejudice and custom, I should not be able to find my way across the room.
Want of principle is power. Truth and honesty set a limit to our efforts, which impudence and hypocrisy easily overleap.
Walter Pater - Stanley Crouch - Roland Barthes - Rex Reed - Louis Kronenberger - Joel Siegel - James Wolcott - Irving Babbitt - Henry Louis Gates - Eric Bentley