firmness

Money and time are the heaviest burdens of life, and the unhappiest of all mortals are those who have more of either than they know how to use.

Whatever things a man gives up, by those he cannot suffer pain.

Our children will be as wise as we are and will establish in the fullness of time those things not yet ripe for establishment.

The art and mystery of banks... is established on the principle that 'private debts are a public blessing.' That the evidences of those private debts, called bank notes, become active capital, and aliment the whole commerce, manufactures, and agriculture of the United States. Here are a set of people, for instance, who have bestowed on us the great blessing of running in our debt about two hundred millions of dollars, without our knowing who they are, where they are, or what property they have to pay this debt when called on; nay, who have made us so sensible of the blessings of letting them run in our debt, that we have exempted them by law from the repayment of these debts beyond a give proportion (generally estimated at one-third). And to fill up the measure of blessing, instead of paying, they receive an interest on what they owe from those to whom they owe; for all the notes, or evidences of what they owe, which we see in circulation, have been lent to somebody on an interest which is levied again on us through the medium of commerce. And they are so ready still to deal out their liberalities to us, that they are now willing to let themselves run in our debt ninety millions more, on our paying them the same premium of six or eight per cent interest, and on the same legal exemption from the repayment of more than thirty millions of the debt, when it shall be called for.

The first object of human association [is] the full improvement of their condition.

The peculiar happiness of our blessed system is that in differences of opinion between these different sets of servants, the appeal is to neither, but to their employers peaceably assembled by their representatives in convention. This is more rational than the jus fortioris, or the canon's mouth, the ultima et sola ratio regum.

There is scarcely any part of science, or anything in nature, which those imposters and blasphemers of science, called priests, as well Christians as Jews, have not, at some time or other, perverted, or sought to pervert to the purpose of superstition and falsehood.

We must fight against the old habit of regarding the measure of labor and the means of production from the point of view of the slave whose sole aim is to lighten the burden of labor or to obtain at least some little bit from the bourgeoisie.

Her life was a tissue of vanity and deceit.

She now remembered what she had been going to say about Mrs. Ramsay. She did not know how she would have put it; but it would have been something critical. She had been annoyed the other night by some highhandedness. Looking along the level of Mr. Bankes’s glance at her, she thought that no woman could worship another woman in the way he worshipped; they could only seek shelter under the shade which Mr. Bankes extended over them both. Looking along his beam she added to it her different ray, thinking that she was unquestionably the loveliest of people (bowed over her book); the best perhaps; but also, different too from the perfect shape which one saw there. ‘But why different, and how different?’ she asked herself, scraping her palette of all those mounds of blue and green which seemed to her like clods with no life in them now, yet she vowed, she would inspire them, force them to move, flow, do her bidding tomorrow. How did she differ? What was the spirit in her, the essential thing, by which, had you found a crumpled glove in the corner of a sofa, you would have known it, from its twisted finger, hers indisputably? She was like a bird for speed, an arrow for directness. She was willful; she was commanding (of course, Lily reminded herself, I am thinking of her relations with women, and I am much younger, an insignificant person, living off the Brompton Road). She opened bedroom windows. She shut doors. (So she tried to start the tune of Mrs. Ramsay in her head.) Arriving late at night, with a light tap on one’s bedroom door, wrapped in an old fur coat (for the setting of her beauty was always that—hasty, but apt), she would enact again whatever it might be—Charles Tansley losing his umbrella; Mr. Carmichael snuffling and sniffing; Mr. Bankes saying, The vegetable salts are lost. All this she would adroitly shape; even maliciously twist; and, moving over to the window, in pretense that she must go,—it was dawn, she could see the sun rising,—half turn back, more intimately, but still always laughing, insist that she must, Minta must, they all must marry, since in the whole world whatever laurels might be tossed to her (but Mrs. Ramsay cared not a fig for her painting), or triumphs won by her (probably Mrs. Ramsay had had her share of those), and here she saddened, darkened, and came back to her chair, there could be no disputing this: an unmarried woman (she lightly took her hand for a moment), an unmarried woman has missed the best of life. The house seemed full of children sleeping and Mrs. Ramsay listening; shaded lights and regular breathing.

Duty performed is a moral tonic; if neglected, the tone and strength of both mind and heart are weakened, and the spiritual health undermined.

Strange that men, from age to age, should consent to hold their lives at the breath of another, merely that each in his turn may have a power of acting the tyrant according to the law! Oh, God! give me poverty! Shower upon me all the imaginary hardships of human life! I will receive them with all thankfulness. Turn me a prey to the wild beasts of the desert, so I be never again the victim of man, dressed in the gore-dripping robes of authority! Suffer me at least to call life, the pursuits of life, my own! Let me hold it at the mercy of the elements, of the hunger of the beasts, or the revenge of barbarians, but not of the cold-blooded prudence of monopolists and kings!

Everyone knows on any given day that there are energies slumbering in him which the incitements of that day do not call fourth. … Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake. Our fires are damped, our drafts are checked. We are making use of only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources. … Stating the thing broadly, the human individual thus lives fare within his limits he possesses powers of various sorts he habitually fails to use.

We can all call to mind movements which have begun as pure upsurges of fresh spiritual vitality, breaking through and revolting against the hardened structure of the older body, and claiming, in the name of the Spirit, liberty from outward forms and institutions. And we have seen how rapidly they develop their own forms, their own structures of thought, of language, and of organization. It would surely be a very unbiblical view of human nature and history to think -- as we so often, in our pagan way, do -- that this is just an example of the tendency of all things to slide down from a golden age to an age of iron, to identify the spiritual with the disembodied, and to regard visible structure as equivalent to sin. We must rather recognize here a testimony to the fact that Christianity is, in its very heart and essence, not a disembodied spirituality, but life in a visible fellowship, a life which makes such total claim upon us, and so engages our total powers, that nothing less than the closest and most binding association of men with one another can serve its purpose.

Now the wives of the husband’s elder brothers and his younger sister are equal in status; while they may be no bond of affection, they have become close relatives by duty. Now a pure and gentle, modest and obedient person will by adhering to duty be able to create a deep friendship and to extend affection to obtain their help. As a result, her excellence and beauty will be brilliantly displayed, her faults and defects will be concealed and hidden, her parent-in-law will cherish and commend her, her husband and master will laud and praise her, and her reputation will shine in town and village, its great glory extending to her father and mother… This is the root of glory or dishonor, the basis of fame or infamy. Of course you have to be circumspect!