Happiness is a byproduct of function, purpose, and conflict those who seek happiness for itself seek victory without war.
Ah! on Thanksgiving day, when from East and from West,From North and South, come the pilgrim and guest,When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his boardThe old broken links of affection restored,When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before.What moistens the lips and what brightens the eye?What calls back the past, like the rich pumpkin pie?
John Greenleaf Whittier, The Pum
It is the nature of ambition to make men liars and cheats, to hide the truth in their breasts, and show, like jugglers, another thing in their mouths, to cut all friendships and enmities to the measure of their own interest, and to make a good countenance without the help of good will.
I must first know myself, as the Delphian inscription says; to be curious about that which is not my concern, while I am still in ignorance of my own self, would be ridiculous. And therefore I bid farewell to all this; the common opinion is enough for me. For, as I was saying, I want to know not about this, but about myself: am I a monster more complicated and swollen with passion than the serpent Typho, or a creature of a gentler and simpler sort, to whom Nature has given a diviner and lowlier destiny?
Now, if the principle of toleration were once admitted into classical education --if it were admitted that the great object is to read and enjoy a language, and the stress of the teaching were placed on the few things absolutely essential to this result, if the tortoise were allowed time to creep, and the bird permitted to fly, and the fish to swim, towards the enchanted and divine sources of Helicon --all might in their own way arrive there, and rejoice in its flowers, its beauty, and its coolness.
So long as the law considers all these human beings, with beating hearts and living affections, only as so many things belonging to the master -- so long as the failure, or misfortune, or imprudence, or death of the kindest owner, may cause them any day to exchange a life of kind protection and indulgence for one of hopeless misery and toil -- so long it is impossible to make anything beautiful or desirable in the best-regulated administration of slavery.