When intelligent and sensible people despise knowledge in their old age, it is only because they have asked too much of it and of themselves.
What friends do with us and for us is a real part of our life; for it strengthens and advances our personality. The assault of our enemies is not part of our life; it is only part of our experience; we throw it off and guard ourselves against it as against frost, storm, rain, hail, or any other of the external evils which may be expected to happen.
We look back upon our life only as on a thing of broken pieces, because our misses and failures are always the first to strike us, and outweigh in our imagination what we have done, and attained.
We are fond of looking to the future, because our secret wishes make us apt to turn in our favour the uncertainties which move about in it hither and thither.
Vanity is a desire of personal glory, the wish to be appreciated, honoured, and run after, not because of one’s personal qualities, merits, and achievements, but because of one’s individual existence. At best, therefore, it is a frivolous beauty whom it befits.
Truth is a torch, but a huge one, and so it is only with blinking eyes that we all of us try to get past it, in actual terror of being burnt.
To venture an opinion is like moving a piece at chess: it may be taken, but it forms the beginning of a game that is won.
To live in a great idea means to treat the impossible as though it were possible. It is just the same with a strong character; and when an idea and a character meet, things arise which fill the world with wonder for thousands of years.