"For all our penny-wisdom, for all our soul-destroying slavery to habit, it is not to be doubted that all men have sublime thoughts; that all men value the few real hours of life; they love to be heard; they love to be caught up into the vision of principles. We mark with light in the memory the few interviews we have had, in the dreary years of routine and of sin, with souls that made our souls wiser; that spoke what we thought; that told us what we knew; that gave us leave to be what we only were."
"In our Mechanics' Fair, there must be not only bridges, ploughs, carpenter's planes, and baking troughs, but also some few finer instruments,--rain-gauges, thermometers, and telescopes; and in society, besides farmers, sailors, and weavers, there must be a few persons of purer fire kept specially as gauges and meters of character; persons of a fine, detecting instinct, who note the smallest accumulations of wit and feeling in the bystander."
"That only which we have within, can we see without. If we meet no gods, it is because we harbor none. If there is grandeur in you,you will find grandeur in porters and sweeps. He only is rightly immortal, to whom all things are immortal."
"There appears to be but two grand master passions or movers in the human mind, namely, love and pride. And what constitutes the beauty or deformity of a man's character is the choice he makes under which banner he determines to enlist himself. But there is a strong distinction between different degress in the same thing and a mixture of two contraries."
"The novelist, unlike many of his colleagues, makes up a number of word-masses roughly describing himself (roughly: niceties shallcome later), gives them names and sex, assigns them plausible gestures, and causes them to speak by the use of inverted commas, and perhaps to behave consistently."
"Temperament refers to the mode of reaction and is constitutional and not changeable; character is essentially formed by a person'sexperiences, especially of those in early life, and changeable, to some extent, by insights and new kinds of experiences. If a person has a choleric temperament, for instance, his mode of reaction is "quick and strong." But what he is quick or strong about depends on his kind of relatedness, his character. If he is a productive, just, loving person he will react quickly and strongly when he loves, when he is enraged by injustice, and when he is impressed by a new idea. If he is a destructive or sadistic character, he will be quick and strong in his destructiveness or in his cruelty. The confusion between temperament and character has had serious consequences for ethical theory. Preferences with regard to differences in temperament are mere matters of subjective taste. But differences in character are ethically of the most fundamental importance."