Harvard Classics, originally known as Dr. Eliot's Five Foot Shelf, is a 51-volume anthology of classic works from world literature, compiled and edited by Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot and first published in 1909.

Eliot stated in speeches that the elements of a liberal education could be obtained by spending 15 minutes a day reading from the collection.

One such book which contains a minefield of quotes is Volume 1: The author is : William Penn   ( 14 October 1644 to 30 July 1718). As I was not familiar with the author in American Literature, I searched for clue from Wikipedia to know more about him. The online encyclopedia reverted back saying that he was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher and founder of the Pennsylvania, a U.S. State located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic region.

Like a wine, literature also when it becomes older gives more excitement and elation beyond the boundaries of sobriety. Penn's book "Fruits of Solitude" is a pithy comment upon human life. This literary giant has commented on all aspects of life and he is a man of permeating intelligence.

When you read his quotes, it reflects the amount of moderation required while handling our relationships with the outer world. Some of his quotes are enchanting and addictive which raise our awareness as the world we are living is shrouded with so many mysteries and the very mystery starts with our own bodies to pervading universe whose boundaries are unknown or you could say Unknowable.

Here are his best quotes to lift your soul:

- It were Happy if we studied Nature more in natural Things, and acted according to Nature, whose rules are few, plain and most reasonable.

- All Excess is ill : But Drunkenness is of the worst Sort. It spoils Health, dismounts the Mind, and unmans Men.

- If Love be not thy chiefest Motive, thou wilt soon grow weary of a Married State, and stray from thy Promise, to search out thy Pleasures in forbidden Places.

- There can be no Friendship where there is no Freedom. Friendship loves a free Air, and will not be penned up in straight and narrow Enclosures. It will speak freely, and act so too; and take nothing ill where no ill is meant; nay, where it is, it will easily forgive, and forget too, upon small Acknowledgements.

- Friends are true Twins in Soul; they Sympathize in every thing, and have the Love and Aversion.

- Between a Man and his Wife nothing ought to rule but Love. Authority is for Children and Servants; yet not without Sweetness.

- A true Friend unbosoms freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a Friend unchangeably.

- Avoid Company where it is not profitable or necessary; and in those Occasions speak little and last.

- Never assent merely to please others.

- Knowledge is the Treasure, but Judgement the Treasure of a Wise Man.

- He that has more Knowledge than Judgement, is made for another Man's use more than his own.

- The Jealous are Troublesome to others, but a Torment to themselves.

A great writer does not descend from Heaven. He is groomed here. He weaves daily thoughts into an interesting  prose order thereby etch our hearts like William Penn !


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