When we are reading a great author, we ought to consider ourselves as searching after treasures. If they are well and regularly laid up in the mind, they will be useful on various occasions in our lives.
A sailor does not spit on the deck, which strengthens his self-control. He also does not speak to the man at the wheel, which enables him to concentrate on his task and increases the probability of the ship arriving at her destination.
He was middleweight boxing champion of Princeton. He didn’t like boxing but he learned it to counteract the feeling of inferiority and shyness. There was an inner comfort in knowing he could knock down anybody who was snooty to him.
Although the English language has now spread over so large a portion of the world, its origin is humble and obscure. English is not native to England but was brought there by the German tribes who conquered the island in the 5th and 6th centuries. Its nearest relations are to be found in a few islands on the German coast.
Although the dwellings on either side of an ascending road were old and small, a brand-new edifice destroyed the picturesque in all London suburbs. The cheery dreamer turned his eyes upon a curious spot.
It is impossible to remember things as they really were. They have been transformed from a past actuality into a present myth. The myth is a new experience only distantly related to the old. We color our past experiences with the present ones and we illustrate what we are and not what they were.
The greatest force in England is public opinion. Whether this public opinion is right or wrong is not the question. The opinion decides for or against war and reform, and influences English foreign policy.
If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he can omit things that he knows. If the writer is writing enough, the reader will feel the things whether they are stated or not. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.
Politicians appear taller when they are before the footlight. Many a civil servant has done as much as a politician to frame policies and direct administration, but he remains behind the scenes and whatever credit may be due falls to the politician.
To write or to speak English is not a science but an art. Concrete words are better than abstract ones and the shortest way of saying anything is the best. Mere correctness is no guarantee of good writing.
In the room there were only an armchair, a reading-stand and a kitchen table which supported a body of a man. All these seemed to have been recently brought in for all were free from dust whereas there were cobwebs in the angles of the walls.
It rained very hard all the day and I was thoroughly soaked. I stayed at a poor inn and began to wish I had never left home. I cut so miserable a figure that I was suspected to be some runaway servant, and in danger of being taken up.
The fingers of one hand are fewer than those of both. A stone stops where it is unless it be moved. The stone drops from the hand which lets it go. When man had acquired this much knowledge, the outlines of mathematics and physics were sketched.
Mankind is insane at present. We call an individual insane if his ruling ideas are out of adjustment to his circumstances. This definition of insanity covers the entire human species. Man has to pull his mind together or perish. No middle way is open to him.
Spoken words are more exciting than printed words. In the past a great orator could reach a few thousand listeners. Today, thanks to applied science, a dictator is able to reach tens of millions. Now so many are at the mercy of so few.
We are anxious that the power obtained by knowledge be used with wisdom and love of humanity. But very little of the new knowledge resulted from a quest for practical ends or an interest in exercising the power.
The aim of science is to foresee and not to understand. Science describes facts, objects and phenomena and joins them by laws so as to predict events in the future. By studying the motion of the heavenly bodies, astronomy has established laws to calculate the position of these bodies in the future.
Life can exist under suitable conditions of light and heat. The earth receives the right amount of radiation from the sun. If the balance is upset to excess or defect, life must disappear from the earth.
When I left home, it was with the intention of going to some new colony, and purchasing land suitable for farming, by which means I thought that I could better my fortunes more rapidly than in England.
The quality of a civilization is the quality of its leisure. Not what the citizens do when they do something by necessity, but what they do when they can do anything by choice. is the criterion of a people’ life.
Modern man looks back into the twilight out of which he has come and hopes that its faint beams will illuminate the obscurity into which he is going. Conversely his aspirations and anxieties which lie before him sharpen his insight into what lies behind.
You cannot love others if you do not love yourself. Having a poor opinion of yourself will be reflected in your attitude toward the people around you. Your resentment of yourself will flare into hostility toward the rest of the world.
It was a warm day. The lake in the park had a couple of dozen rowboats on it. People sat on the benches, reading newspapers or putting their faces to the sun, their eyes closed, trying to catch a bit of sunburn. If that day had been on a Sunday, the park would have had record-breaking crowds.
I have a good memory. The disadvantage of this is that having all the great novels in the world two or three times I can no longer read them with relish. I do not know what I should do for relaxation if it were not for detective stories.
We should behave towards our country as women behave towards the man they love. A loving wife will criticize and try to improve her husband. We should cast the same affectionate but sharp glance at our country. The dangerous man is not the critic, but the noisy empty “patriot.”
In calling upon governments to assume large and positive tasks, we don’t allow them to become so much our masters as to dictate our behavior and belief. They belong to us and our purpose is to use them for our freedom.
Your castles in the air are the best castles to possess, and keep a quiet mind. Their architecture is always perfect and the prospect of and from them is always delightful. It is prudent to keep these aerial fortresses in good repair in case they vanish into the air.
The doctor treats, nature heals. The purpose of medicine is to provide sick organisms with their self-regulative and restorative powers. If there were no natural healing powers, medicine would be helpless.
Once the young birds have fluttered out of the nest, the mother bird has begun to think of another brood. In the same way once a book is published, it ceases to be the property of the author. His attention is claimed by some new book.
To see things and happenings clearly is the aim of science. No scientist cares to hear much about the utility of science. No artist likes utilitarian valuations of his art. In this the scientist understands the artist.