Our souls are like streams that can never rest until they once again mingle with the Infinite sea... We are here to earn the beneficence of the Creator. This is a process sometimes too difficult to accomplish in one lifetime, but fortunately we are provided with as many lifetimes as necessary.
Active beneficence is a virtue of easier practice than forbearance after having conferred, or than thankfulness after having received a benefit. I know not, indeed, whether it be a greater and more difficult exercise of magnanimity for the one party to act as if he had forgotten, or for the other as if he constantly remembered the obligation.
Though we may sometimes unintentionally bestow our beneficence on the unworthy, it does not take from the merit of the act. For charity doth not adopt the vices of its objects.
Beneficence is a duty. He who frequently practices it, and sees his benevolent intentions realized, at length, comes really to love him to whom he has done good. When, therefore, it is said, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” it is not meant, thou shalt love him first and do him good in consequence of that love, but thou shalt do good to thy neighbor; and this thy beneficence will engender in thee that love to mankind which is the fullness and consummation of the inclination to do good.
Men can never acquire respect by benevolence alone, though they may gain love, so that the greatest beneficence only procures them honor when it is regulated by worthiness.
Good sense and good-nature are never separated, though the ignorant world has thought otherwise. Good-nature by which I mean beneficence and candor, is the product of right reason.
There is probably no act, for instance, which does good to anyone without doing harm to someone else, and vice versa.
Here lies the sense of literary creation: to portray ordinary objects as they will be reflected in kindly mirrors of future times. . . . To find in objects around us the fragrant tenderness that only posterity will discern . . .
I believe the poor fierce-eyed child had figured out that with a mere fifty dollars in her purse she might somehow reach Broadway or Hollywood - or the foul kitchen of a diner (Help Wanted) in a dismal ex-prairie state, with the wind blowing, and the stars blinking, and the cars, and the bars, and the barmen, and everything soiled, torn, dead.