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James Gates Percival Quotes





Advice and reprehension require the utmost delicacy; painful truths should be delivered in the softest terms, and expressed no farther than is necessary to produce their due effect. A courteous man will mix what is conciliating with what is offensive; praise with censure; deference and respect with the authority of admonition, so far as can be done in consistence with probity and honor. The mind revolts against all censorian power which displays pride or pleasure in finding fault; but advice, divested of the harshness, and yet retaining the honest warmth of truth, is like honey put round the brim of a vessel full of wormwood. - Even this, however, is sometimes insufficient to conceal the bitterness of the draught.
[Advice]
 

In eastern lands they talk in flowers, and tell in a garland their loves and cares.
[Flowers]
 

One hour of thoughtful solitude may nerve the heart for days of conflict - girding up its armor to meet the most insidious foe.
[Solitude]
 

She had grown in her unstained seclusion, bright and pure as a first opening lilac when it spreads its clear leaves to the sweetest dawn of May.
 

The same enthusiasm that dignifies a butterfly or a medal to the virtuoso and the antiquary, may convert controversy into quixotism, and present to the deluded imagination of the theologica' knighterrant, a barber's basin as Mambrinos helmet. The real value of any doctrine can only be determined by its influence on the conduct of man, with respect to himself, to his fellow creatures, or to God.
[Opinion]
 

The world is full of poetry. The air is living with its spirit; and the waves dance to the music of its melodies, and sparkle in its brightness.
[Poetry]
 

There are moments of life that we never forget, which brighten and brighten as time steals away.
 

There is too much reason to apprehend, that the custom of pleading for any client, without discrimination of right or wrong, must lessen the regard due to those important distinctions, and deaden the moral sensibility of the heart.
 

Truth comes to us with a slow and doubtful step; measuring the ground she treads on, and forever turning her curious eye, to see that all is right behind; and with a keen survey choosing her onward path.
[Truth]