115 That only is real, is sterling knowledge
of man which goes to make us better & happier men, & which fits us to assist the virtue & happiness of others All learning, is useful, all the sciences are curious, all the arts are beautiful, but more useful, more curious, & more beautiful is the perfect knowledge & perfect government of ourselves ----
The Pilot of life is Prudence - The mother of the virtues & the hand maid of wisdom --
Ask, & she will tell you, that gratification will give new edge to the hunger of your appetites, & that the storm of the passions shall kindle with indulgence.
Ask, & she will tell you, that sensual pleasure is but pain covered with the wash of happiness
Philosophy cannot change the laws of nature; but she may teach us to accommodate to them - She cannot annul pain; but she can arm up to bear it - And though the evils of fate be many, are not the evils of man's causing more? --
123 What is death when without superstition to clothe him with terrors, we can cover our heads, & go to sleep in his arms --
If they do not hear her (Truth) whisper in the one ear, it is because prejudice is crying aloud into the other --
Is not this doctrine dangerous -- not if it be true. -- Nothing is so dangerous as error, -nothing so safe as truth
It were a poor complement to the truths I have worhipped, did I shrink from their investigation --
"Friendly praise is somewhat like a warm bath, -- apt to enervate, especially if we stay in too long; but friendly censure is like a cold bath, bracing & healthful, though we are always glad to get out of it"
I have known men and women, in the very worst circumstances, to whom heroism seemed a heritage, and to be noble a natural way of living; But they were so in spite of their poverty, not because of it"
No man who has once heartily & wholly laughed, can be altogether irreclaimably bad --
Cast forth thy art, thy word into the everliving, everworking universe; it is a seed grain that cannot die, unnoticed to day, it will be found flourishing as a banyan-grove (perhaps alas, a hemlock-forest) after a thousand years -
"Every fetter that one by the mere sight of might put upon another, remains also with himself, an iron weight to be borne" __
George Sands Consuelo
Oh! Virtue! imposed upon woman, you will never be more than a name, so long as man does not assume half of the task __ All your plans of defense are reduced to subterfuges __ all your immolations of personal happiness, before the fear of driving the loved one to despair--
?? -- Christ came to make men free in thought - as well as in spirit; & whoever would fetter mens thoughts - would fetter their limbs if he could ______
Give me a larger eye says the Astronomer, & I will reveal to you another rank of worlds marshalled behind those, whose shining hosts you now [look upon?]
__Rear stronger minds, says the lover of light & truth, & they will light up the race to sublime heights of dignity & power __
Mrs. E. G. Gaskells Life of Charlotte Bronte
2d Vol. Page 40 - Henceforward Charlotte Bronte's existence becomes divided into two parallel currents - her life as Currer Bell, the author; her life as Charlotte Bronte, the woman. Here were separate duties belonging to each character - not opposing each other; not impossible, but dificult to be reconciled.
When a man becomes an author, it is probably, merely a change of employment to him. He takes a portion of that time, which has hitherto been devoted to some other study or pursuit; he give up something of the legal or medical profession, in which he has hitherto endeavored to serve others, or relinquishes part of the trade or business by which he has been striving to gain a livelihood; and another Merchant, or Lawyer
or Doctor, steps into his vacant place, & probably does as well as he.
But no other can take up the quiet, regular duties of the daughter, the wife, or the mother, as well as she whom God has apointed to fill that particular place; a woman's principal work in life is hardly left to her own choice; nor can she drop the domestic charges devolving on her as an individual, for the exercise of the most splendid talents ever bestowed. And yet she must not hide her gift in a napkin; it was meant for the use and service of others. In a humble & faithful spirit, must she labor to do what is not impossible, or God would not have set her to do it. I put into words, what Charlotte Bronte put into action __ --Letter to W. D. Williams
2d Vol. Page 184 --. Speaking of pleasant associations & friendship at Cornhill, She says - "Will these alter their character some day. Perhaps they may -- though I have faith to
the contrary, because I think, I do not exagerate my partialities; - I think I take faults with excellences; blemishes together with beauties.
And beside in the matter of Friendship, I have observed that disappointment here arises chiefly, not from liking our friends too well, or of thinking of them too highly, but rather
of from an overestimate of their liking for & opinion of us; and if we guard ourselves with sufficient scrupulousness of care from error in this direction, and can be content, & even happy, to give more affection than we receive, can make just comparison of circum stance, & be severely accurate in drawing inferences thence and never let self love blind our eyes, I think we may manage to get through life with consistency & constancy, unembittered by that misanthropy, which springs from revulsion of feeling.
All this sounds a little metaphysical, but it is good sense if you consider it.
The moral of it is, that if we would build on a sure foundation in friendship, we must love our friends for their sakes, rather than for our own; we must look at their truth to themselves, full as much as their truth to us.
In the latter case, every wound to self love would be a cause of coldness; in the former, only some painful change in the friend's character, disposition -some fearful break in his allegiance to his better self -could alienate the heart. -_________
"Life is so constructed that the event does not, cannot, will not match the expectation" --