American Writer, Humorist
"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave."
"Duties are not performed for duty’s sake, but because their neglect would make the man uncomfortable. A man performs but one duty - the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable with himself."
"Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of other persons."
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man."
"The first half of life consists of the capacity to enjoy without the chance; the last half consists of the chance without the capacity."
"The vast majority of the race, whether savage or civilized, are secretly kind-hearted and shrink from inflicting pain, but in the presence of the aggressive and pitiless minority they don't dare to assert themselves."
"The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot."
"There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate; when he can't afford it and when he can."
"We are offended and resent it when people do not respect us; and yet no man, deep down in the privacy of his heart, has any considerable respect for himself."
"What do you call Love, Hate, Charity, Revenge, Humanity, Magnanimity, Forgiveness? Different results of the one Master Impulse: the necessity of securing one's self-approval."
"I am prepared to meet anyone, but whether anyone is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter."
"Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy, you must have somebody to divide it with."
"Human nature is the same everywhere: it defies success, it has nothing but scorn for defeat."
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."
"In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."
"It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either."
"It takes your enemy and your friend, working together to hurt you to the heart; the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you."
"Its name is Public Opinion. It is held in reverence. It settles everything. Some think it is the voice of God. Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul."
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."
"Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen."