If a man wants to read good books, he must make a point of avoiding bad ones; for life is short, an time and energy limited.
Great minds are like eagles, and build their nests in some lofty solitude.
He who does not enjoy solitude will not love freedom.
Every day is a little life; every waking and rising a little birth; every fresh morning a little youth; every going to rest and sleep a little death.
Everybody's friend is nobody's.
Christianity has this peculiar disadvantage, that unlike other religions, it is not a pure system of doctrine: its chief and essential feature is that it is a history, a series of events, a collection of facts, a statement of the actions and sufferings of individuals: it is this history which constitutes dogma, and belief in it is salvation.
Death is the true inspiring genius, or the muse of philosophy... Indeed, without death man would scarcely philosophize.
"The world is my idea" - this is a truth which holds good for everything that lives and knows, though man alone can bring it into reflective and abstract thought.
Why is it that , in spite of all the mirrors in the world, no one really knows what he looks like?
When a man has reached a condition in which he believes that a thing must happen because he does not wish it, and that what he wishes to happen can never be, this is really the state called desperation.
We may divide thinkers into those who think for themselves, and those who think through others. The latter are the rule, and the former the exception. The first are original thinkers in a double sense, and egotists in the noblest meaning of the world. It is from them only that the world learns wisdom. For only the light which we have kindled in ourselves can illuminate others.
What a man is in himself, what accompanies him when he is alone, what no one can give him or take away, is obviously more essential to him than everything he has in the way of possessions, or even what he may be in the eyes of the world.
Truth is most beautiful undraped; and in the impression it makes is deep in proportion as its expression has been simple. This is so partly because it then takes unobstructed possession of the hearer’s whole soul, and leaves him no by-thought to distract him; partly, also, because he feels that here he is not being corrupted or cheated by the arts of rhetoric, but that all the effect of what is said comes from the thing itself.
Virtue is as little to be acquired by learning as genius; nay, the idea is barren, and is only to be employed as an instrument, in the same way as genius in respect to art. It would be as foolish to expect that our moral and ethical systems would turn out virtuous, noble, and holy beings, as that our aesthetic systems would produce poets, painters and musicians.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing, a man cannot forget except himself, his own character.
There is no more mistaken path to happiness than worldliness, revelry and high life.
There is nothing in the world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person.
The man who has been born into a position of wealth comes to look upon it as something without which he could no more live than he could live without air; he guards it as he does his very life; and so he is generally a lover of order, prudent and economical. But the man who has been born into a poor position looks upon it as the natural one, and if by any chance he comes in for a fortune, he regards it as a superfluity, something to be enjoyed or wasted, because, if it comes to an end, he can get on just as well as before, with one anxiety the less.
Reason deserves to be called a prophet; for in showing us the consequence and effect of our actions in the present, does it not tell us what the future will be?