No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness.
Although genius always commands admiration, character most secures respect. The former is more the product of the brain, the latter of heart-power; and in the long run it is the heart that rules in life.
Genius seems to be the faculty of having faith in everything, and especially in one's self.
Success is more a function of consistent common sense than it is of genius.
Talent repeats; Genius creates. Talent is a cistern; Genius a fountain... Talent jogs to conclusions to which Genius takes giant leaps... Talent is full of thoughts, Genius of thought.
There seem to be some persons, the favorites of fortune and darlings of nature, who are born cheerful. “A star danced” at their birth. It is no superficial visibility, but a bountiful and beneficent soul that sparkles in their eyes and smiles on their lips. Their inborn geniality amounts to genius, the rare and difficult genius which creates sweet and wholesome character, and radiates cheer.
Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute! Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Only engage, and then the mind grows heated. Begin, and then the work will be completed.
A time will come when the science of destruction shall bend before the arts of peace; when the genius which multiplies our powers, which creates new products, which diffuses comfort and happiness among the great mass of the people, shall occupy in the general estimation of mankind that rank which reason and common sense now assign to it.
Genius is intensity.
What is genius? It is the power to be a boy again at will.
Genius is childhood recaptured.
Improvement makes straight roads, but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius.
A man unattached and without wife, if he have any genius at all, may raise himself above his original position, may mingle with the world of fashion, and hold himself on a level with the highest; this is less easy for him who is engaged; it seems as if marriage put the whole world in their proper rank.
The genius of conversation consists much less in showing a great deal of it, than in causing it to be discovered in others.
Common sense is only a modification of talent. Genius is an exaltation of it. The difference is, therefore, in degree, not nature.
Genius in the poet, like the nomad of Arabia, ever a wanderer, still ever makes a home where the well or the palm-tree invites it to pitch the tent. Perpetually passing out of himself and his own positive circumstantial condition of being into other hearts and into other conditions, the poet obtains his knowledge of human life by transporting his own life into the lives of others.
It is not wisdom but ignorance that teaches men presumption. Genius may sometimes be arrogant, but nothing is so diffident as knowledge.
Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm. It is the real allegory of the tale of Orpheus; it move stones and charms brutes. It is the genius of sincerity and truth accomplishes not victories without it.
The man who succeeds above his fellows is the one who, early in life, clearly discerns his object, and towards that object habitually directs his powers. Even genius itself is but fine observation strengthened by fixity of purpose. Every man who observes vigilantly and resolves steadfastly grows unconsciously into genius.
What men want is not talent, it is purpose; in other words, not the power to achieve, but will to labor. I believe that labor judiciously and continuously applied becomes genius.