All the best sands of my life are somehow getting into the wrong end of the hourglass. If I could only reverse it! Were it in my power to do so, would I?
To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent -that is to triumph over old age.
After a debauch of thundershower, the weather takes the pledge and signs it with a rainbow.
What is more cheerful, now, in the fall of the year, than an open-wood-fire? Do you hear those little chirps and twitters coming out of that piece of apple-wood? Those are the ghosts of the robins and blue-birds that sang upon the bough when it was in blossom last Spring. In Summer whole flocks of them come fluttering about the fruit-trees under the window: so I have singing birds all the year round.
What is lovely never dies, but passes into other loveliness, Star-dust, or sea-foam, flower or winged air.
When a man cuts himself absolutely adrift from custom, what an astonishingly light spar floats him! How few his wants are, after all!
The Stamp Act was to go into operation on the first day of November. On the previous morning, the 'New Hampshire Gazette' appeared with a deep black border and all the typographical emblems of affliction, for was not Liberty dead?
A habit leads a man so gently in the beginning that he does not perceive he is led - with what silken threads and down what pleasant avenues it leads him! By and by, the soft silk threads become iron chains, and the pleasant avenues Avernus!
A man should have duties outside of himself; without them, he is a mere balloon, inflated with thin egotism and drifting nowhere.
Civilization is the lamb's skin in which barbarism masquerades.
I never witness a performance of child-acrobats, or the exhibition of any forced talent, physical or mental, on the part of children, without protesting, at least in my own mind, against the blindness and cruelty of their parents or guardians or whoever has care of them.
If you chance to live in a town where the authorities cannot rest until they have destroyed every precious tree within their blighting reach, you will be especially charmed by the beauty of the streets of Portsmouth.
There is a special Providence that watches over idiots, drunken men, and boys.
No bird has ever uttered note That was not in some first bird's throat; Since Eden's freshness and man's fall No rose has been original.
Dwellers by the sea are generally superstitious; sailors always are. There is something in the illimitable expanse of sky and water that dilates the imagination.
Everywhere on the Continent, the tourist is looked upon as a bird to be plucked, and presently the bird himself feebly comes to regard plucking as his proper destiny and abjectly holds out his wing so long as there is a feather left on it.
What is newest to one in foreign countries is not always the people, but their surroundings, and those same little details of life and circumstance which make no impression on a man in his own land until he returns to it after a prolonged absence, and then they stand out very sharply for a while.
Slavery in New Hampshire was never legally abolished, unless Abraham Lincoln did it. The State itself has not ever pronounced any emancipation edict.
A man may do worse than make what the world calls a not wholly happy marriage.
When Washington visited Portsmouth in 1789, he was not much impressed by the architecture of the little town that had stood by him so stoutly in the struggle for independence.