Character: The Grandest Thing in the World
Life is a leaf of paper white, Whereon each one of us may writeHis word or two, and then comes night.Greatly begin! Though thou have timeBut for a line, be that sublime, -Not failure, but low aim, is crime. - LOWELL.-Chapter IXOne in a series of phenomenal bestsellers in its day, CHARACTER: THE GRANDEST THING IN THE WORLD was first published in 1899 and remains a little-known classic in the literature of personal development.As a predecessor of today's personal success gurus reminiscent of Stephen Covey and Anthony Robbins, Marden's goal here is to catalog those traits essential who set high ideals for themselves in seeking "the grandest thing in the world."Also available from Cosimo Classics: Marden's Cheerfulness as a Life Power and Pushing to the Front, Vols. 1 and 2.AUTHOR BIO: American writer and editor ORISON SWETT MARDEN (1850-1924) was born in New England and studied at Boston University and Andover Theological Seminary. In 1897, he founded Success Magazine.
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Page 49 - If we work upon marble, it will perish ; if we work upon brass, time will efface it; if we rear temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon immortal minds, if we imbue them with principles, with the just fear of God and love of our fellow-men, we engrave on those tablets something which will brighten to all eternity.
Page 50 - GOD GIVE US MEN God give us Men. A time like this demands Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands. Men whom the lust of office does not kill, Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy, Men who possess opinions and a will, Men who have honor, men who will not lie. Men who can stand before a demagogue And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking, Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog In public duty and in private thinking; For while the rabble with their thumb-worn creeds,...
Page 30 - By talents ? His were not splendid, and he had no genius ; cautious and slow, his only ambition was to be right. By eloquence ? He spoke in calm good taste, without any of the oratory that either terrifies or seduces. By any fascination of manner ? His was only correct and agreeable. By what, then, was it?
Page 36 - Therefore, when I say, in conducting your understanding, love knowledge with a great love, with a vehement love, with a love coeval with life, what do I say but love innocence ; love virtue...
Page 43 - Humboldt, so eminent both as a savant and as a politician, made the text of a treatise— that "the end of man, or that which is prescribed by the eternal or immutable dictates of reason, and not suggested by vague and transient desires, is the highest and most harmonious development of his powers to a complete and consistent whole...
Page 16 - We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; In feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives Who thinks most — feels the noblest — acts the best.
Page 28 - The worth of a State, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it." -JS MILL. "We put too much faith in systems, and look too little to men.
Page 51 - I saw that though our character is formed by circumstances, our own desires can do much to shape those circumstances ; and that what is really inspiriting and ennobling in the doctrine of freewill, is the conviction that we have real power over the formation of our own character; that our will, by influencing some of our circumstances, can modify our future habits or capabilities of willing.
Page 22 - MAY I join the choir invisible Of those immortal dead who live again In minds made better by their presence : live In pulses stirred to generosity, In deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn For miserable aims that end with self. In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars, And with their mild persistence urge man's search To vaster issues.
Page 20 - She would speak to one and nod and smile to as many more ; but she could not do it to all, you know. We lay there by hundreds ; but we could kiss her shadow as it fell, and lay our heads on the pillow again, content.