"In a thousand apparently humble ways men busy themselves to make some right take the place of some wrong,--if it is only to make abetter paste blacking,--and they are themselves so much the better morally for it."
"Do what you know you ought to do. Why should we ever go abroad, even across the way, to ask a neighbor's advice? There is a nearerneighbor within us incessantly telling us how we should behave. But we wait for the neighbor without to tell us of some false, easier way."
"How wholesome winter is, seen far or near; how good, above all mere sentimental, warm-blooded, short-lived, soft-hearted, moral goodness, commonly so called. Give me the goodness which has forgotten its own deeds,--which God has seen to be good, and let be."
"We select granite for the underpinning of our houses and barns; we build fences of stone; but we do not ourselves rest on an underpinning of granitic truth, the lowest primitive rock. Our sills are rotten."
"An efficient and valuable man does what he can, whether the community pay him for it or not. The inefficient offer their inefficiency to the highest bidder, and are forever expecting to be put into office. One would suppose that they were rarely disappointed."
"As we grow older, we live more coarsely, we relax a little in our disciplines, and, to some extent, cease to obey our finest instincts. But we should be fastidious to the extreme of sanity, disregarding the gibes of those who are more unfortunate than ourselves."
"It becomes the moralist, too, to inquire what man might do to improve and beautify the system; what to make the stars shine more brightly, the sun more cheery and joyous, the moon more placid and content."
"I need not say what match I would touch, what system endeavor to blow up; but as I love my life, I would side with the light, andlet the dark earth roll from under me, calling my mother and my brother to follow."
"The fate of the country does not depend on how you vote at the polls,--the worst man is as strong as the best at that game; it does not depend on what kind of paper you drop into the ballot- box once a year, but on what kind of a man you drop from your chamber into the street every morning."