December '99 Epigrams of the Day

Answer me these, please, Dearie, answer these and don't talk back to your betters: Isn't it better to give credit for what a man is, than hunt out things he is not? Isn't failure the most natural thing in the world? Isn't this success: to fail much and succeed a little? At the last, must not a man's work justify his life?

Common sense is a form of godliness; and wisdom and virtue are one.

On man's journey through life he is confronted by two tragedies. One when he wants a thing he cannot get. And the other when he gets the thing and finds he does not want it. And, Therese, don't worry; it doesn't refer to you.

The refluxes of the heart are as sure and certain as the march of the planets. The desires of the heart are fixed stars - clouds may obscure, but wait and you shall see the light.

One can endure sorrow alone, but it takes two to be glad. Only by giving out our joy do we make it our own - by sharing, we double it.

If you want something, you should pray for it as if you had no hope on Earth, and work for it as if you expected no help from Heaven.

It requires a Pharaoh to develop a Moses, just as it took a George the Third to evolve George Washington. Blessed be stupidity!

There is no other aim in life for any man or any woman than this - happiness.

And remember this: Yesterday's successes belong to yesterday, with all of yesterday's defeats and sorrows. The day is Here. The time is Now.

There is no worse form of meanness than to make an offer of service that the maker knows will not be accepted.

Great art is born of feeling. In order to do, you must feel.

The progression of mankind is owing to its men of genius. The average man is quite content to leave well enough alone.

For nothing can be broken up, whether lawful or unlawful, without a vast amount of dust, and many people grumbling and mourning for the good old times.

Don't be a mental shut-in.

A Philistine in York, Nebraska, writes me thus: "I love you because the people I hate also hate you."

Simply be filled with the thought of good and it will radiate - you do not have to bother about it any more than you need trouble about your digestion.

Think no evil: and if you think only the good, you will think no evil.

"Someone ought to do this or that" - you are that someone.

We always find insufferable any one who possesses our own recognized faults.

It pays to be good - I tried it once.

Misery is a matter of mind - a question of temperament - and is modified and influenced by environment only in a very slight degree. People who get in the habit of being miserable, finding their happiness in this, will be miserable - no matter what their physical condition is.

The best men are always first discovered by their enemies: it is the adversary who turns on the searchlight, and the proof of excellence lies in being able to stand the gleam.

Sensuality has its secrets; sin is a training ground; pain breeds art; adversity is the mother of strength - and a well-rounded character is one that has not been too good.

Life lies in the quest.

We give the invitation to come along to East Aurora and spend the day with The Roycrofters; to share our tree and be one with us. Never mind your name or fame. Whoever you are, there is a place here for you. You will be welcome. Come help us celebrate the feast of old Saint Nick, who, we are told by the Savants, is the "patron saint of travelers, sailors and pawnbrokers." Glory be to him!

The secret of power: Keep Sweet.

Think twice before you speak and then say it to yourself!

Jehovah never did a finer thing than when He turned Adam and Eve out of the Garden, and said, "Children get busy!"

As we do better work we become better people.

Most of our troubles come through venturing into dangerous places.

The millennium will be here when Washington, D.C., goes dry. (Fra's Note: This is a real Roycroft epigram. Obviously, Elbert miscalculated slightly.)

The Roycroft Orb To return to the Epigram Guide Webpage.