Uncritical reverence for the Founding Fathers was less ubiquitous while they actually lived. . . . The Reign of Terror that raged in America during the latter end of the Washington Administration, and the whole of that of Adams, is enveloped in mystery to me. That there were men in the Government hostile to the representative system, was once their toast, though it is now their overthrow, and therefore the fact is established against them.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: 'tis dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.
Whatever has a tendency to promote the civil intercourse of nations by an exchange of benefits is a subject as worthy of philosophy as of politics.
My native place was [alive] with old legends, tales, traditions, customs and superstitions; so that in my early youth, even beyond the walls of my own humble roof, they met me in every direction.
Nothing is so well calculated to produce a death-like torpor in the country as an extended system of taxation and a great national debt.
I understand that in France, though the use of rouge be general, the use of white paint is far from being so. In England, she that uses one commonly uses both. Now, all white paints, or lotions, or whatever they may be called, are mercurial; consequently poisonous, consequently ruinous in time to the constitution. The Miss B—— above mentioned was a miserable witness of the truth, it being certain that her flesh fell from her bones before she died. Lady Coventry was hardly a less melancholy proof of it; and a London physician perhaps, were he at liberty to blab, could publish a bill of female mortality of a length that would astonish us.
Terror is everywhere the beginning of religion.
Days I enjoy are days when nothing happens, when I have no engagements written on my block, when no one comes to disturb my inward peace, when no one comes to take me away from myself and turn me into a patchwork, a jig-saw puzzle, a broken mirror that once gave a whole reflection, being so contrived that it takes too long a time to get myself back to myself when they have gone.
I felt instinctively that toilets - as also telephones - happened to be for reasons unfathomable, the points where my destiny was liable to catch. We all have such fateful objects - it may be a recurrent landscape, a number in another - carefully chosen by the gods to attract events of special significance for us: here shall John always stumble; there shall Jane's heart always break.
Being human always points, and is directed, to something, or someone, other than oneself—be it meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself—by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love—the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself... What is called self-actualization is not an attainable aim at all, for the simple reason that the more one would strive for it, the more he would miss it. In other words, self-actualization is possible only as a side-effect of self-transcendence.
The Canadian spirit is cautious, observant and critical where the American is assertive.
It is difficult to estimate as someone he wants to be.
It is sad that goodness does not always accompany the force.
Good advice may be communicated, but not good manners.
Our experience is what we attend to.
Absence abates a moderate passion and intensifies a great one - as the wind blows out a candle but fans fire into flame.
It is not in the power of even the most crafty dissimulation to conceal love long, where it really is, nor to counterfeit it long where it is not.
Our probity is not less at the mercy of fortune than our property.
The art of putting well into play mediocre qualities often begets more reputation than true merit achieves.
Those who are overreached by our cunning are far from appearing to us as ridiculous as we appear to ourselves when the cunning of others has overreached us.