You think me the child of circumstance; I make my circumstance.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Speech, January 1842, at the Masonic Temple in Boston, repr. In The Dial (1843) and Nature, Addresses, and Lectures (1849). "The Transcendentalist," repr. in The Portable Emerson, ed. Carl Bode (1946, repr. 1981).)
Doing nothing is happiness for children and misery for old men.
(Victor Hugo (1802-1885), French poet, novelist, playwright, essayist. Trans. by Lorenzo O'Rourke. "Thoughts," Postscriptum de ma vie, in Victor Hugo's Intellectual Autobiography, Funk and Wagnalls (1907).)