Sagacity

The enemy of art is the enemy of nature; art is nothing but the highest sagacity and exertions of human nature; and what nature will be honor who honors not the human?

An absolute command of your temper, so as not to be provoked to passion, upon any account; patience, to hear frivolous, impertinent, and unreasonable applications; with address enough to refuse, without offending, or, by your manner of granting, to double the obligation; dexterity enough to conceal a truth without telling a lie; sagacity enough to read other people’s countenances; and serenity enough not to let them discover anything by your; a seeming frankness with a real reserve. There are the rudiments of a politician.

Fear is an instructor of great sagacity, and the herald of revolutions.

I had no special sagacity, only the power of patient thought. I kept the subject constantly before me and waited until the first dawnings opened little by little into the full light.

There is not any present moment that is unconnected with some future one. The life of every man is a continued chain of incidents, each link of which hangs upon the former. The transition from cause to effect, from event to event, is often carried on by secret steps, which our foresight cannot divine, and our sagacity is unable to trace. Evil may at some future period bring forth good; and good may bring forth evil, both equally unexpected.

Death having occasion to choose a prime minister, summoned his illustrious courtiers, and allowed them to present their claims for the office: Fever flushed his cheeks; Palsy shook his limbs; Dropsy inflated his carcass; Gout racked his joints; Asthma half strangled himself; Stone and Colic pleaded their violence; Plague, his sudden destructions; and Consumption his certainty. Then came War, with stern confidence, alluding to his many thousands devoured at a meal. Last came Intemperance, with a face like fire, shouting, "Give way, ye sickly, ferocious band of pretenders. Am I not your parent? Does not sagacity trace your origin to me? My operations ceasing, whence your power?" The grisly monarch here gave a smile of approbation, and placed intemperance at his right hand, as his favorite and prime minister.

The notion of a farseeing and despotic statesman, who can lay down plans for ages yet unborn, is a fancy generated by the pride of the human intellect to which facts give no support.

To a great experience one thing is essential — an experiencing nature.

Architects should be educated, skillful with the pencil, instructed in geometry, know much history, have followed the philosophers with attention, understand music, have some knowledge of medicine, know the opinions of the jurists, and be acquainted with astronomy and the theory of the heavens.

As a matter of selective necessity, man is an agent. He is, in his own apprehension, a centre of unfolding impulsive activity-'teleological activity.' He is an agent seeking in every act the accomplishment of some concrete, objective, impersonal end. By force of being such an agent, he is possessed of a taste for effective work, and a distaste for futile effort.

The ever varying brilliancy and grandeur of the landscape, and the magnificence of the sky, sun, moon and stars, enter more extensively into the enjoyment of mankind than we, perhaps ever think, or can possibly apprehend, without frequent and extensive investigation. This beauty and splendor of the objects around us, it is ever to be remembered, is not necessary to their existence, nor to what we commonly intend by their usefulness. It is therefore to be regarded as a source of pleasure, gratuitously super-induced upon the general nature of the objects themselves, and in this light, a testimony of the divine goodness, peculiarly affecting.