Character halts without aid of the imagination, which our classes in Shakespeare and Browning, music and drawing, recognise not only as amusement and by-play of the mind, but a co-ordinate power. Its work is unhappily styled fiction; for to idealize is to realize.
Father, mother, child, are the human trinity, whose substance must not be divided nor its persons confounded. As well reconstruct your granite out of the grains it is disintegrated into as society out of the dissolution of wedded love.
In Goethes drama, Iphigenia defends her chastity, ascribing her firmness to the gods. No god hath said this: thine own heart hath spoken, answered Thoas, the king. They only speak to us through our heart, she replies. Have not I the right to hear them too? he rejoins. Thy storm of passion drowns the gentle whisper, adds the maiden, and closes all debate.
Inquire not too much into your bosom companions griefs, nor compel him to tell all the tale of his life. Much and all will be told to those that do not ask; and you shall have the secrets into which you do not pry.
Less than we imagine, from abusive words in controversy, does one individual, who is the vilified object, suffer harm. Vials of wrath in constant use, like uncorked bottles, lose the potency of their contents from too much exposure to the air; and disputants laugh in each others faces after having with hard adjectives metaphorically boxed one anothers ears.
Look at nature with science as a lens. The rock swarms, the clod dances; the mineral is but the vegetable stepping down, and the animal an ascending plant; the man, a beast extended; and the angel, a developed human soul.
We may put too high a premium on speech from platform and pulpit, at the bar and in the legislative hall, and pay dear for the whistle of our endless harangues. England, and especially Germany, are less loquacious, and attend more to business. We let the eagle, and perhaps too often the peacock, scream.
We must learn that competence is better than extravagance, that worth is better than wealth, that the golden calf we have worshiped has no more brains than that one of old which the Hebrews worshiped. So beware of money and of moneys worth as the supreme passion of the mind. Beware of the craving for enormous acquisition.
What pains and tears the slightest steps of mans progress have cost! Every hair-breadth forward has been in the agony of some soul, and humanity has reached blessing after blessing of all its vast achievement of good with bleeding feet.