Men are like stone jugs -- you may lug them where you like by the ears.
Oratory is the power of beating down your adversary's arguments and putting better in their place.
There is nothing, Sir, too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.
The equity of Providence has balanced peculiar sufferings with peculiar enjoyments.
The expense is damnable, the position is ridiculous, and the pleasure fleeting.
I am a great friend to public amusements; for they keep people from vice.
No place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes than a public library.
The use of traveling is to regulate imagination with reality, and instead of thinking of how things may be, see them as they are.
Love is the wisdom of the fool, and the folly of the wise.
Such seems to be the disposition of man, that whatever makes a distinction produces rivalry.
To excite opposition and inflame malevolence is the unhappy privilege of courage made arrogant by consciousness of strength.
Discord generally operates in little things; it is inflamed ... by contrariety of taste oftener than principles.
A man with a good coat upon his back meets with a better reception than he who has a bad one.
It is our first duty to serve society.
No man can fall into contempt but those who deserve it.
Every state of society is as luxurious as it can be. Men always take the best they can get.
That observation which is called knowledge of the world will be found much more frequently to make men cunning than good.
What we hope ever to do with ease, we must first learn to do with diligence.
Of all noises, I think music is the least disagreeable.
There ambush here relentless ruffians lay, And here the fell attorney prowls for prey.
Slavery is now nowhere more patiently endured, than in countries once inhabited by the zealots of liberty.
I inherited a vile melancholy from my father, which has made me mad all my life, at least not sober.
To go and see one druidical temple is only to see that it is nothing, for there is neither art nor power in it; and seeing one is quite enough.
A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.
The love of life is necessary to the vigorous prosecution of any undertaking.
He that reads and grows no wiser seldom suspects his own deficiency, but complains of hard words and obscure sentences, and asks why books are written which cannot be understood.
Among the lower classes of mankind there will be found very little desire of any other knowledge than what may contribute immediately to the relief of some pressing uneasiness, or the attainment of some near advantage.
The habit of looking on the bright side of every event is worth more than a thousand pounds a year.
All censure of a man's self is oblique praise. It is in order to show how much he can spare.
Every other enjoyment malice may destroy; every other panegyric envy may withhold; but no human power can deprive the boaster of his own encomiums.
Claret is the liquor for boys; port, for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy.
Self-love is often rather arrogant than blind; it does not hide our faults from ourselves, but persuades us that they escape the notice of others.
Wherever I turned my view, there was perplexity to be disentangled, and confusion to be regulated.
A Poet, Naturalist, and Historian, Who left scarcely any style of writing untouched, And touched nothing that he did not adorn.
Credulity is the common failing of inexperienced virtue; and he who is spontaneously suspicious may justly be charged with radical corruption.
Fly-fishing may be a very pleasant amusement; but angling or float fishing I can only compare to a stick and a string, with a worm at one end and a fool at the other.
Every man wishes to be wise, and they who cannot be wise are almost always cunning.
Foppery is never cured; it is the bad stamina of the mind, which, like those of the body, are never rectified; once a coxcomb always a coxcomb.
It seems to be remarkable that death increases our veneration for the good, and extenuates our hatred for the bad.
Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.
I never desire to converse with a man who has written more than he has read.
Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.
In the bottle discontent seeks for comfort, cowardice for courage, and bashfulness for confidence.
Allow children to be happy in their own way, for what better way will they find?
Whatever withdraws us from the power of our senses; whatever makes the past, the distant, or the future predominate over the present, advances us in the dignity of thinking beings.
You can't be in politics unless you can walk in a room and know in a minute who's for you and who's against you.
We suffer equal pain from the pertinacious adhesion of unwelcome images, as from the evanescence of those which are pleasing and useful.
The wise man applauds he who he thinks most virtuous; the rest of the world applauds the wealthy.
The true effect of genuine politeness seems to be rather ease than pleasure.
Conjecture as to things useful, is good; but conjecture as to what it would be useless to know, is very idle.
Their origin is commonly unknown; for the practice often continues when the cause has ceased, and concerning superstitious ceremonies it is in vain to conjecture; for what reason did not dictate, reason cannot explain.
No government power can be abused long. Mankind will not bear it.
There is nothing more dreadful to an author than neglect; compared with which reproach, hatred, and opposition are names of happiness; yet this worst, this meanest fate, every one who dares to write has reason to fear.
A family ... is a little kingdom, torn with factions and exposed to revolutions.
Come, let me know what it is that makes a Scotch man happy!
Good-humor is a state between gayety and unconcern, -- the act or emanation of a mind at leisure to regard the gratification of another.
Rash oaths, whether kept or broken, frequently produce guilt.
There are minds so impatient of inferiority that their gratitude is a species of revenge, and they return benefits, not because recompense is a pleasure, but because obligation is a pain.
Contempt is a kind of gangrene which, if it seizes one part of a character, corrupts all the rest by degrees.
Age is rarely despised but when it is, contemptible.
Human benevolence is mingled with vanity, interest, or some other motive.
A man of genius has been seldom ruined but by himself.
The Supreme end of education is expert discernment in all things -- the power to tell the good from the bad, the genuine from the counterfeit, and to prefer the good and the genuine to the bad and the counterfeit.
A certain amount of distrust is wholesome, but not so much of others as of ourselves; neither vanity not conceit can exist in the same atmosphere with it.
Life cannot subsist in society but by reciprocal concessions.
The mind is refrigerated by interruption; the thoughts are diverted from the principle subject; the reader is weary, he suspects not why; and at last throws away the book, which he has too diligently studied.
I look upon this as I did upon the Dictionary: it is all work, and my inducement to it is not love or desire of fame, but the want of money, which is the only motive to writing that I know of.
One of the amusements of idleness is reading without fatigue of close attention; and the world, therefore, swarms with writers whose wish is not to be studied, but to be read.
A cow is a very good animal in the field; but we turn her out of a garden.
He said that few people had intellectual resources sufficient to forgo the pleasures of wine. They could not otherwise contrive how to fill the interval between dinner and supper.
Prosperity's right hand is industry and her left hand is frugality.
This man Chesterfield, I thought, had been a Lord among wits; but I find he is only a wit among Lords.
Smoking is a shocking thing -- blowing smoke out of our mouths into other people's mouths, eyes, and noses, and having the same thing done to us.
Friends are often chosen for similitude of manners, and therefore each palliates the other's failings because they are his own.
A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilisation.
Present opportunities are neglected, and attainable good is slighted, by minds busied in extensive ranges and intent upon future advantages.
The longer we live the more we think and the higher the value we put on friendship and tenderness towards parents and friends.
The superiority of some men is merely local. They are great because their associates are little.
Pride is a vice, which pride itself inclines every man to find in others, and to overlook in himself.
There are few things that we so unwillingly give up, even in advanced age, as the supposition that we still have the power of ingratiating ourselves with the fair sex.
The natural progress of the works of men is from rudeness to convenience, from convenience to elegance, and from elegance to nicety.
Turn on the prudent
Ant, thy heedful eyes,
Observe her labours,
Sluggard, and be wise.
We are all prompted by the same motives, all deceived by the same fallacies, all animated by hope, obstructed by danger, entangled by desire, and seduced by pleasure.
It is good sense applied with diligence to what was at first a mere accident, and which by great application grew to be called, by the generality of mankind, a particular genius.
Such is the uncertainty of human affairs, that security and despair are equal follies; and as it is presumption and arrogance to anticipate triumphs, it is weakness and cowardice to prog-nosticate miscarriages.
An age that melts in unperceiv'd decay, And glides in modest innocence away.
When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.
Almost every man wastes part of his life attempting to display qualities which he does not possess.
No member of a society has a right to teach any doctrine contrary to what the society holds to be true.
Gloomy calm of idle vacancy.
A man, sir, should keep his friendship in a constant repair.
A quibble is to Shakespeare what luminous vapours are to the traveller: he follows it at all adventures; it is sure to lead him out of his way and sure to engulf him in the mire.
There is less flogging in our great schools than formerly-but then less is learned there; so what the boys get at one end they lose at the other.
In my early years I read very hard. It is a sad reflection, but a true one, that I knew almost as much at eighteen as I do now.
Let him go abroad to a distant country; let him go to some place where he is not known. Don't let him go to the devil, where he is known.
The excellence of aphorisms consists not so much in the expression of some rare or abstruse sentiment, as in the comprehension of some useful truth in a few words.
The supreme end of education is expert discernment in all things-the power to tell the good from the bad, the genuine from the counterfeit, and to prefer the good and the genuine to the bad and the counterfeit.
I will take no more physick, not even my opiates; for I have prayed that I may render up my soul to God unclouded.
Every man speaks and writes with intent to be understood; and it can seldom happen but he that understands himself might convey his notions to another, if, content to be understood, he did not seek to be admired.
It is the care of a very great part of mankind to conceal their indigence from the rest. They support themselves by temporary expedients, and every day is lost in contriving for to-morrow.
So scanty is our present allowance of happiness that in many situations life could scarcely be supported if hope were not allowed to relieve the present hour by pleasures borrowed from the future.
Depend upon it that if a man talks of his misfortunes there is something in them that is not disagreeable to him; for where there is nothing but pure misery there never is any recourse to the mention of it.
Life is barren enough surely with all her trappings; let us be therefore cautious of how we strip her.
Avarice is always poor.
Pendantry is the unseasonable ostentation of learning. It may be discovered either in the choice of a subject or in the manner d treating it.
The arguments for purity of life fail of their due influence, not because they have been considered and confuted, but because they have been passed over without consideration.
I am very fond of the company of ladies. I like their beauty, I like their delicacy, I like their vivacity, and I like their silence.
When a Man is tried of London, he is tired of life.
I also admit, that there are some sluggish men who are improved by drinking; as there are fruits which are not good till they are rotten.
Riches are of no value in themselves; their use is discovered only in that which they procure.
Excellence in any department can be attained only by the labor of a lifetime; it is not to be purchased at a lesser price.
Faction seldom leaves a man honest, however it might find him.
To read, write, and converse in due proportions, is, therefore, the business of a man of letters.
No mind is much employed upon the present; recollection and anticipation fill up all our moments.
But, perhaps, the flatterer is not often detected; for an honest mind is not apt to suspect, and no one exerts the power of discernment with much vigour when selflove favors the deceit.
Good breeding consists in having no particular mark of any profession, but a general elegance of manners.
Truth allows no choice.
He who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else.
Much mischief is done in the world with very little interest or design.
There are goods so opposed that we cannot seize both, but, by too much prudence, may pass between them at too great a distance to reach either.
It is a maxim that no man was ever enslaved by influence while he was fit to be free.
Men who cannot deceive others are very often successful at deceiving themselves.
A man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority.
Judgment is forced upon us by experience.
Towering is the confidence of twenty-one.
In all pointed sentences, some degree of accuracy must be sacrificed to conciseness.
Attack is the reaction. I never think I have hit hard unless it rebounds.
Falsehood always endeavors to copy the mien and attitude of truth.
No man was more foolish when he had not a pen in his hand, or more wise when he had.
Every man that has felt pain knows how little all other comforts can gladden him to whom health is denied. Yet who is there does not sometimes hazard it for the enjoyment of an hour?
Friendship may well deserve the sacrifice of pleasure, though not of conscience.
Instead of rating the man by his performances, we rate too frequently the performances by the man.
Indolence is the devil's cushion.
The imitator treads a beaten walk, and with all his diligence can only find a few flowers or branches untouched by his predecessor, the refuse of contempt, or the omissions of negligence.
He is no wise man who will quit a certainty for an uncertainty.
You cannot give me an instance of any man who is permitted to lay out his own time contriving not to have tedious hours.
Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.
It is in refinement and elegance that the civilized man differs from the savage.
The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Sir, as a man advances in life, he gets what is better than admiration, -- judgement, to estimate things at their true value.
Life protracted is protracted woe.
London! the needy villain's general home, The common sewer of Paris and of Rome! With eager thirst, by folly or by fate, Sucks in the dregs of each corrupted state.
He that will enjoy the brightness of sunshine, must quit the coolness of the shade.
The next best thing to knowing something is knowing where to find it.
If one was to think constantly of death, the business of life would stand still.
Mutual complacency is the atmosphere of conjugal love.
In misery's darkest cavern known, His useful care was ever nigh Where hopeless anguish pour'd his groan, And lonely want retir'd to die.
I do not care to speak ill of a man behind his back, but I believe he is an attorney.
Inquiries into the heart are not for man.
Being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned.
To prevent evil is the great end of government, the end for which vigilance and severity are properly employed.
No one will persist long in helping someone who will not help themselves.
Poetry is the art of uniting pleasure with truth.
We are perpetually moralists, but we are geometricians only by chance. Our intercourse with intellectual nature is necessary; our speculations upon matter are voluntary, and at leisure.
To be prejudiced is always to be weak; yet there are prejudices so near to laudable that they have been often praised and are always pardoned.
He that embarks on the voyage of life will always wish to advance rather by the impulse of the wind than the strokes of the oar; and many fold in their passage; while they lie waiting for the gale.
Of the blessings set before you make your choice, and be content.
That friendship may be at once fond and lasting, there must not only be equal virtue on each part, but virtue of the same kind; not only the same end must be proposed, but the same means must be approved by both.
If pleasure was not followed by pain, who would forbear it?
Everybody knows worse of himself than he knows of other men.
It is more reasonable to wish for reputation while it may be enjoyed, as Anacreon calls upon his companions to give him for present use the wine and garlands which they propose to bestow upon his tomb.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.
When any anxiety or gloom of the mind takes hold of you, make it a rule not to publish it by complaining; but exert yourselves to hide it, and by endeavoring to hide it you drive it away.
This merriment of parsons is mighty offensive.
I had done all that I could, and no Man is well pleased to have his all neglected, be it ever so little.
We are long before we are convinced that happiness is never to be found, and each believes it possessed by others, to keep alive the hope of obtaining it for himself.
All envy would be extinguished, if it were universally known that there are none to be envied.
Cunning differs from wisdom as twilight from open day.
All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own, and if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.
Self-confidence is the first requisite to undertakings.
Marriages would be as happy if they were made by the Lord Chancellor without the parties having any choice in the matter.
I am not so lost in lexicography as to forget that words are the daughters of earth, and that things are the sons of heaven.
The advice that is wanted is commonly not welcome and that which is not wanted, evidently an effrontery.
Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.
You can never be wise unless you love reading.
Of all the grief's that harass the distressed; sure the most bitter is a scornful jest.
Hypocrisy is the necessary burden of villainy.
We may take Fancy for a companion, but must follow Reason as our guide.
He who waits to do a great deal of good at once, will never do anything.
Power is gradually stealing away from the many to the few, because the few are more vigilant and consistent.
Frugality may be termed the daughter of Prudence, the sister of Temperance, and the parent of Liberty.
Human life is everywhere a state in which much is to be endured, and little to be enjoyed.
He is not only dull himself, but the cause of dulness in others.
Studious to please, yet not ashamed to fail.
Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people.
The great end of prudence is to give cheerfulness to those hours which splendor cannot gild, and acclamation cannot exhilarate.
The balls of sight are so formed, that one man's eyes are spectacles to another, to read his heart with.
It may be observed in general that the future is purchased by the present. It is not possible to secure distant or permanent happiness but by the forbearance of some immediate gratification.
Subordination tends greatly to human happiness. Were we all upon an equality, we should have no other enjoyment than mere animal pleasure.
Every desire is a viper in the bosom, who while he was chill was harmless; but when warmth gave him strength, exerted it in poison.
He that hopes to look back hereafter with satisfaction upon past years must learn to know the present value of single minutes, and endeavour to let no particle of time fall useless to the ground.
To let friendship die away by negligence and silence is certainly not wise. It is voluntarily to throw away one of the greatest comforts of the weary pilgrimage.
Language is the dress of thought.
By those who look close to the ground dirt will be seen. I hope I see things from a greater distance.
The only end of writing is to enable readers better to enjoy life or better to endue it.
It is better a man should be abused than forgotten.
Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.
By forbearing to do what may innocently be done, we may add hourly new vigor to resolution.
He that pines with hunger, is in little care how others shall be fed. The poor man is seldom studious to make his grandson rich.
Books have always a secret influence on the understanding.
Our aspirations are our possibilities.
I look upon every day to be lost in which I do not make a new acquaintance.
Thought is always troublesome to him who lives without his own approbation.
The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope.
Admiration and love are like being intoxicated with champagne; judgment and friendship are like being enlivened.
It is scarcely credible to what degree discernment may be dazzled by the mist of pride, and wisdom infatuated by the intoxication of flattery.
Surely a long life must be somewhat tedious, since we are forced to call in so many trifling things to help rid us of our time, which will never return.
Distance either of time or place is sufficient to reconcile weak minds to wonderful relations.
Most minds are the slaves of external circumstances, and conform to any hand that undertakes to mould them.
Criticism, as it was first instituted by Aristotle, was meant as a standard of judging well.
Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation, but the only riches she can call her own.
Few faults of style, whether real or imaginary, excite the malignity of a more numerous class of readers, than the use of hard words.
I have two very cogent reasons for not printing any list of subscribers; one, that I have lost all the names, the other, that I have spent all the money.
Prejudice, not being founded on reason, cannot be removed by argument.
Few enterprises of great labor or hazard would be undertaken if we had not the power of magnifying the advantages we expect from them.
Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.
The return of my birthday, if I remember it, fills me with thoughts which it seems to be the general care of humanity to escape.
Life has no pleasure higher or nobler than that of friendship.
All truth is valuable, and satirical criticism may be considered as useful when it rectifies error and improves judgment; he that refines the public taste is a public benefactor.
To keep your secret is wisdom, but to expect others to keep it is folly.
It is not true that people are naturally equal for no two people can be together for even a half an hour without one acquiring an evident superiority over the other.
Life must be filled up, and the man who is not capable of intellectual pleasures must content himself with such as his senses can afford.
One of the disadvantages of wine is that it makes a man mistake words for thoughts.
Friendship, compounded of esteem and love, derives from one its tenderness and its permanence from the other.
Life is a pill which none of us can bear to swallow without gilding.
Much mischief is done in the world with very little interest or design.
As to precedents, to be sure they will increase in course of time; but the more precedents there are, the less occasion is there for law; that is to say, the less occasion is there for investigating principles.
Money confounds subordination.
Were it not for imagination a man would be as happy in the arms of a chambermaid as of a duchess.
Memory is like all other human powers, with which no man can be satisfied who measures them by what he can conceive, or by what he can desire.
Poverty has, in large cities, very different appearances; it is often concealed in splendour, and often in extravagance.
He that is already corrupt is naturally suspicious, and he that becomes suspicious will quickly become corrupt.
No man was ever great by imitation.
Ladies, stock and tend your hive,
Trifle not at thirty-five;
For, howe'er we boast and strive,
Life declines from thirty-five;
He that ever hopes to thrive
Must begin by thirty-five.
Nature makes us poor only when we want necessaries, but custom gives the name of poverty to the want of superfluities.
It is better that some should be unhappy rather than that none should be happy, which would be the case in a general state of equality.
Nothing is more common than to find men, whose works are now totally neglected, mentioned with praises by their contemporaries as the oracles of their age, and the legislators of science.
What is good only because it pleases cannot be pronounced good till it has been found to please.
All envy is proportionate to desire; we are uneasy at the attainments of another, according as we think our own happiness would be advanced by the addition of that which he withholds from us.
Milton, Madam, was a genius that could cut a Colossus from a rock; but could not carve heads upon cherry-stones.
His scorn of the great is repeated too often to be real; no man thinks much of that which he despises.
Men are generally idle, and ready to satisfy themselves, and intimidate the industry of others, by calling that impossible which is only difficult.
Let him that desires to see others happy, make haste to give while his gift can be enjoyed, and remember that every moment of delay takes away something from the value of his benefaction.
Depend upon it, sir, it is when you come close to a man in conservation that you discover what his real abilities are; to make a speech in a public assembly is a knack.
Of all the griefs that harass the distrest, Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest.
Get together a hundred or two men, however sensible they may be, and you are very likely to have a mob.
To neglect at any time preparation for death is to sleep on our post at a siege; to omit it in old age is to sleep at an attack.
There are charms made only for distance admiration.
Words are but the signs of ideas.
He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.
The insolence of wealth will creep out.
Tea's proper use is to amuse the idle, relax the studious, and dilute the full meals of those who cannot use exercise, and will not use abstinence.
Shakespeare opens a mine which contains gold and diamonds in unexhaustible plenty, though clouded by incrustations, debased by impurities, and mingled with a mass of meaner minerales.
He left the name at which the world grew pale, To point a moral, or adorn a tale.
Greece appears to be the fountain of knowledge; Rome of elegance.
Ah! Sir, a boy's being flogged is not so severe as a man's having the hiss of the world against him.
Such is the state of life, that none are happy but by the anticipation of change, the change itself is nothing when we have made it, the next wish is to change again.
Nothing has tended more to retard the advancement of science than the disposition in vulgar minds to vilify what they cannot comprehend.
Life is surely given us for higher purposes than to gather what our ancestors have wisely thrown away, and to learn what is of no value but because it has been forgotten.
The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.
One cause, which is not always observed, of the insufficiency of riches, is that they very seldom make their owner rich.
You are much surer that you are doing good when you pay money to those who work, as the recompense of their labor, than when you give money merely in charity.
No, Sir, you will have much more influence by giving or lending money where it is wanted, than by hospitality.
Languages are the pedigree of nations.
Vulgar and inactive minds confound familiarity with knowledge, and conceive themselves informed of the whole nature of things, when they are shown their form or told their use.
In order that all men may be taught to speak truth, it is necessary that all likewise should learn to hear it.
The future is purchased by the present.
No man reads a book of science from pure inclination. The books that we do read with pleasure are light compositions, which contain a quick succession of events.
In lapidary inscriptions a man is not upon oath.
Deviation from Nature is deviation from happiness.
Disease generally begins that equality which death completes.
We often need reminding even if we do not often need educating.
New arts are long in the world before poets describe them; for they borrow everything from their predecessors, and commonly derive very little from nature or from life.
Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused.
In bed we laugh, in bed we cry, and born in bed, in bed we die; the near approach a bed may show of human bliss to human woe.
There are occasions on which all apology is rudeness.
When first the college rolls receive his name,
The young enthusiast quilts his ease for fame;
Through all his veins the fever of renown
Burns from the strong contagion of the gown.
More is learned in a public than in a private school, from emulation. There is the collision of mind with mind, or the radiation of many minds pointing to one center.
The noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the high road that leads him to England.
To a people warlike and indigent, an incursion into a rich country is never hurtful.
Presumption will be easily corrected; but timidity is a disease of the mind more obstinate and fatal.
An author places himself uncalled before the tribunal of criticism and solicits fame at the hazard of disgrace.
Pain and disease awaken us to convictions which are necessary to our moral condition.
A man used to vicissitudes is not easily dejected.
Money and time are the heaviest burdens of life, and... the unhappiest of all mortals are those who have more of either than they know how to use.
Poor Sober! I have often teased him with reproof, and lie has often promised reformation: for no man is so much open to conviction as the idler, but there is none on whom it operates so little.
Few moments are more pleasing than those in which the mind is concerting measures for a new undertaking.
No money is better spent than what is laid out for domestic satisfaction. A man is pleased that his wife is dressed as well as other people, and the wife is pleased that she is dressed.
I believe it will be found that those who marry late are best pleased with their children; and those who marry early, with their partners.
Fears of the brave and follies of the wise.
It is generally agreed, that few men are made better by affluence or exaltation.
When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.
Whoever wishes to attain an English style, familiar but not coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison.
It is however, reasonable, to have perfection in our eye; that we may always advance towards it, though we know it never can be reached.
It is necessary to the success of flattery, that it be accommodated to particular circumstances or characters, and enter the heart on that side where the passions are ready to receive it.
Some desire is necessary to keep life in motion, and he whose real wants are supplied must admit those of fancy.
Don't tell me of deception; a lie is a lie, whether it be a lie to the eye or a lie to the ear.
Guilt once harbored in the conscious breast, intimidates the brave, degrades the great.
Sir, what is poetry? Why, Sir, it is much easier to say what it is not. We all know what light is; but it is not easy to tell what it is.
Large offers and sturdy rejections are among the most common topics of falsehood.
He that overvalues himself will undervalue others, and he that undervalues others will oppress them.
If we estimate dignity by immediate usefulness, agriculture is undoubtedly the first and noblest science.
The happiest part of a man's life is what he passes lying awake in bed in the morning.
A good wife is like the ivy which beautifies the building to which it clings, twining its tendrils more lovingly as time converts the ancient edifice into a ruin.
Hypocrisy is the necessary burden of villainy, affectation part of the chosen trappings of folly; the one completes a villain, the other only finishes a fop.
When we see our enemies and friends gliding away before us, let us not forget that we are subject to the general law of mortality, and shall soon be where our doom will be fixed forever.
This is one of the disadvantages of wine: it makes a man mistake words for thought.
Solitude is dangerous to reason, without being favourable to virtue. Remember that the solitary mortal is certainly luxurious, probably superstitious, and possibly mad.
God Himself, sir, does not propose to judge a man until his life is over. Why should you and I?
Those authors are to be read at schools that supply most axioms of prudence.
A fishing rod is a stick with a hook at one end and a fool at the other.
Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.
Wickedness is always easier than virtue; for it takes the short cut to everything. It is much easier to steal one hundred pounds than to get it by labour or any other way.
And panting Time toil'd after him in vain.
He was so generally civil, that nobody thanked him for it.
This is my history; like all other histories, a narrative of misery.
Whatever advantage we snatch beyond a certain portion allotted us by at nature, is like money spent before it is due, which, at the time of regular payment, will be missed and regretted.
I do not know, sir, that the fellow is an infidel; but if he be an infidel, he is an infidel as a dog is an infidel; that is to say, he has never thought upon the subject.
Spite and ill-nature are among the most expensive luxuries in life.
A cow is a very good animal in the field, but we turn her out of a garden.
He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts.
It is not from reason and prudence that people marry, but from inclination.
When men come to like a sea-life, they are not fit to live on land.
A man who is good enough to go to heaven is good enough to be a clergyman.
Where grief is fresh, any attempt to divert it only irritates.
Merriment is always the effect of a sudden impression. The jest which is expected is already destroyed.
Pointed axioms and acute replies fly loose about the world, and are assigned successively to those whom it may be the fashion to celebrate.
With what hope can we endeavor to persuade the ladies that the time spent at the toilet is lost in vanity.
Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought. Our brightest blazes are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.
Courtesy and good humor are often found with little real worth.
The peculiar doctrine of Christianity is that of a universal sacrifice and perpetual propitiation.
Each change of many-colour'd life he drew, Exhausted worlds, and then imagin'd new.
Every man prefers virtue, when there is not some strong incitement to transgress its precepts.
Just praise is only a debt, but flattery is a present.
If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.
Whoever commits a fraud is guilty not only of the particular injury to him who he deceives, but of the diminution of that confidence which constitutes not only the ease but the existence of society.
Whatever professes to benefit by pleasing must please at once. The pleasures of the mind imply something sudden and unexpected; that which elevates must always surprise.
I am a great friend of public amusements, they keep people from vice.
My dear friend, clear your mind of can't.
In order that all men may be taught to speak the truth, it is necessary that all likewise should learn to hear it.
A am a great friend of public amusements, they keep people from vice.
He that accepts protection, stipulates obedience. We have always protected the Americans; we may therefore subject them to government.
Worth seeing? Yes; but not worth going to see.
Read over your compositions and whenever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.
The gloomy and the resentful are always found among those who have nothing to do or who do nothing.
Much is due to those who first broke the way to knowledge, and left only to their successors the task of smoothing it.
The number of such as live without the ardour of inquiry is very small, though many content themselves with cheap amusements, and waste their lives in researches of no importance.
A book should teach us to enjoy life, or to endure it.
I remember a passage in Goldsmith's "Vicar of Wakefield," which he was afterwards fool enough to expunge: "I do not love a man who is zealous for nothing.
He who has provoked the shaft of wit, cannot complain that he smarts from it.
The first years of man must make provision for the last.
Be not too hasty to trust or to admire the teachers of morality; they discourse like angels, but they live like men.
Whoever envies another confesses his superiority.
A man will turn over half a library to make one book.
Every quotation contributes something to the stability or enlargement of language.
No government power can be abused long. Mankind will not bear it.... There is a remedy in human nature against tyranny, that will keep us safe under every form of government.
Treating your adversary with respect is striking soft in battle.
An infallible characteristic of meanness is cruelty. Men who have practiced tortures on animals without pity, relating them without shame, how can they still hold their heads among human beings?
Revenge is the act of passion, vengeance is an act of justice.
It is dangerous for mortal beauty, or terrestrial virtue, to be examined by too strong a light. The torch of Truth shows much that we cannot, and all that we would not, see.
Wine makes a man more pleased with himself; I do not say it makes him more pleasing to others.
Leave to Heaven the measure and the choice.
When a man marries a widow his jealousies revert to the past: no man is as good as his wife says her first husband was.
He that voluntarily continues in ignorance, is guilty of all the crimes which ignorance produces.
The pleasure of expecting enjoyment is often greater than that of obtaining it, and the completion of almost every wish is found a disappointment.
No man tells his opinion so freely as when he imagines it received with implicit veneration.
You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.
Leisure and curiosity might soon make great advances in useful knowledge, were they not diverted by minute emulation and laborious trifles.
No man is obliged to do as much as he can do. A man is to have part of his life to himself.
When making your choice in life, do not neglect to live.
The relief of enemies has a tendency to unite mankind in fraternal affection.
Curiosity is the thirst of the soul.
A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner.
Nothing is more hopeless than a scheme of merriment.
The misery of man proceeds not from any single crush of overwhelming evil, but from small vexations continually repeated.
We are inclined to believe those whom we do not know because they have never deceived us.
No man will be found in whose mind airy notions do not sometimes tyrannize, and force him to hope or fear beyond the limits of sober probability.
Let observation with extensive view, Survey mankind from China to Peru; Remark each anxious toil, each eager strife, And watch the busy scenes of crowded life.
Wine gives a man nothing. It neither gives him knowledge nor wit; it only animates a man, and enables him to bring out what a dread of the company has repressed. It only puts in motion what had been locked up in frost.
Authors and lovers always suffer some infatuation, from which only absence can set them free.
Each person's work is always a portrait of himself.
His virtues walked their narrow round,
Nor made a pause, nor left a void;
And sure the Eternal Master found
The single talent well employed.
To me -- the choice of life is become less important; I hope hereafter to think only on the choice of eternity.
Resentment is a union of sorrow with malignity; a combination of a passion which all endeavor to avoid with a passion which all concur to detest.
To strive with difficulties, and to conquer them, is the highest human felicity.
No one ever became great by imitation.
Wit will never make a man rich, but there are places where riches will always make a wit.
My nights are flatulent and unquiet.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who does him absolutely no good.
Words are daughters of earth but ideas are sons of heaven.
A married man has many cares, but a bachelor no pleasures.
The most Heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together.
Bashfulness may sometimes exclude pleasure, but seldom opens any avenue to sorrow or remorse.
It is wonderful to think how men of very large estates not only spend their yearly income but are often actually in want of money. It is clear, they have not valued for what they spend.
Prudence keeps life safe, but it does not often make it happy.
Economy is the parent of integrity, of liberty, and of ease, and the beauteous sister of temperance, of cheerfulness and health.
Dishonor waits on perfidy. A man should blush to think a falsehood; it is the crime of cowards.
Every government is perpetually degenerating towards corruption, from which it must be rescued at certain periods by the resuscitation of its first principles, and the re-establishment of its original constitution.
Silence propagates itself, and the longer talk has been suspended, the more difficult it is to find anything to say.
Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it. Martyrdom is the test.
Admiration must be continued by that novelty which first produces it; and how much soever is given, there must always be reason to imagine that more remains.
If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, sir, should keep his friendship in a constant repair.
A contempt of the monuments and the wisdom of the past, may be justly reckoned one of the reigning follies of these days, to which pride and idleness have equally contributed.
Genius now and then produces a lucky trifle. We still read the Dove of Anacreon, and Sparrow of Catullus; and a writer naturally pleases himself with a performance which owes nothing to the subject.
Liberty is the parent of truth, but truth and decency are sometimes at variance. All men and all propositions are to be treated here as they deserve, and there are many who have no claim either to respect or decency.
Ease, a neutral state between pain and pleasure ... if it is not rising into pleasure will be falling towards pain.
Prepare for death, if here at night you roam, and sign your will before you sup from home.
A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.
An exotic and irrational entertainment.
Whatever enlarges hope will also exalt courage.
These papers of the day have uses more adequate to the purposes of common life than more pompous and durable volumes.
Must helpless man, in ignorance sedate, roll darkly down the torrent of his fate.
The vicious count their years; virtuous, their acts.
Apologies are seldom of any use.
The triumph of hope over experience.
Superfluous lags the veteran on the stage,
Till pitying Nature signs the last release,
And bids afflicted worth retire to peace.
Who drives fat oxen should himself be fat.
Truth, Sir, is a cow which will yield such people no more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bull.
Where necessity ends, desire and curiosity begin; and no sooner are we supplied with everything nature can demand than we sit down to contrive artificial appetites.
As any action or posture, long continued, will distort and disfigure the limbs, so the mind likewise is crippled and contracted by perpetual application to the same set of ideas.
He that teaches us anything which we knew not before is undoubtedly to be reverenced as a master.
There are few ways in which a man can be more innocently employed than in getting money.
More knowledge may be gained of a man's real character by a short conversation with one of his servants than from a formal and studied narrative, begun with his pedigree and ended with his funeral.
It is commonly observed, that when two Englishmen meet, their first talk is of the weather; they are in haste to tell each other, what each must already know, that it is hot or cold, bright or cloudy, windy or calm.
The really happy woman is the one who can enjoy the scenery when she has to take a detour. Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but rather a manner of traveling.
It is very common for us to desire most what we are least qualified to obtain.
Bachelors have consciences, married men have wives.
The usual fortune of complaint is to excite contempt more than pity.
To revenge reasonable incredulity by refusing evidence, is a degree of insolence with which the world is not yet acquainted; and stubborn audacity is the last refuge of guilt.
A gentleman who had been very unhappy in marriage, married immediately after his wife died; it was the triumph of hope over experience.
The Irish are a fair people: They never speak well of one another.
Such is the pleasure of projecting that many content themselves with a succession of visionary schemes, and wear out their allotted time in the calm amusement of contriving what they never attempt or hope to execute.
Dictionaries are like watches; the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true.
There are some sluggish men who are improved by drinking; as there are fruits that are not good until they are rotten.
Adversity has ever been considered the state in which a man most easily becomes acquainted with himself.
It is more from carelessness about truth than from intentionally lying that there is so much falsehood in the world.
It is wonderful to think how men of very large estates not only spend their yearly income, but are often actually in want of money. It is clear, they have not value for what they spend.
Was ever poet so trusted before?
Novel: A small tale, generally of love.
The trappings of a monarchy would set up an ordinary commonwealth.
Those who attempt nothing themselves think every thing easily performed, and consider the unsuccessful always as criminal.
He who fails to please in his salutation and address is at once rejected, and never obtains an opportunity of showing his latest excellences or essential qualities.
Pride is seldom delicate, it will please itself with very mean advantages; and envy feels not its own happiness, but when it may be compared with the misery of others.
If I have said something to hurt a man once, I shall not get the better of this by saying many things to please him.
In Shakespeare's plays, the mourner hastening to bury his friend is all the time colliding with the reveller hastening to his wine.
The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure but from hope to hope.
The gratification of curiosity rather frees us from uneasiness, than confers pleasure. We are more pained by ignorance, than delighted by instruction. Curiosity is the thirst of the soul.
Perhaps man is the only being that can properly be called idle.
Man alone is born crying, lives complaining, and dies disappointed.
Classical quotation is the parole of literary men all over the world.
Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value only to its scarcity.
No man is much pleased with a companion who does not increase, in some respect, his fondness of himself.
Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little.
Revenge is an act of passion; vengeance of justice. Injuries are revenged; crimes are avenged.
Let us be quick to repent of injuries while repentance may not be a barren anguish.
On Sir Joshua Reynolds's observing that the real character of a man was found out by his amusements. Yes, Sir, no man is a hypocrite in his pleasures.
Those who attain any excellence commonly spend life in one pursuit; for excellence is not often granted upon easier terms.
There is certainly no greater happiness than to be able to look back on a life usefully and virtuously employed, to trace our own progress in existence, by such tokens as excite neither shame nor sorrow.
Go into the street, and give one man a lecture on morality, and another a shilling, and see which will respect you most.
Sir, there is no end of negative criticism.
Such is the state of life, that none are happy but by the anticipation of change: the change itself is nothing; when we have made it, the next wish is to change again.
Friendship, like love, is destroyed by long absence, though it may be increased by short intermissions.
It is wonderful when a calculation is made, how little the mind is actually employed in the discharge of any profession.
Combinations of wickedness would overwhelm the world, by the advantage which licentious principles afford, did not those who have long practised perfidy grow faithless to each other.
It is a hopeless endeavour to unite the contrarieties of spring and winter; it is unjust to claim the privileges of age, and retain the play-things of childhood.
Sleep undisturbed within this peaceful shrine,
Till angels wake thee with a note like thine.
Cunning has effect from the credulity of others, rather than from the abilities of those who are cunning. It requires no extraordinary talents to lie and deceive.
Sir, a man who cannot get to heaven in a green coat, will not find his way thither the sooner in a grey one.
The coquette has companions, indeed, but no lovers, -- for love is respectful and timorous; and where among her followers will she find a husband?
Scarcely any degree of judgment is sufficient to restrain the imagination from magnifying that on which it is long detained.
Vanity is so frequently the apparent motive of advice, that we, for the most part, summon our powers to oppose it without any very accurate inquiry whether it is right.
It is not the desire of new acquisitions, but the glory of conquests, that fires the soldier's breast; as indeed the town is seldom worth much, when it has suffered the devastations of a siege.
The truth is, that no mind is much employed upon the present recollection and anticipation fill up almost all our moments.
The feeling of friendship is like that of being comfortably filled with roast beef; love, like being enlivened with champagne.
Parents and children seldom act in concert: each child endeavors to appropriate the esteem or fondness of the parents, and the parents, with yet less temptation, betray each other to their children.
Books that you carry to the fire, and hold readily in your hand, are most useful after all.
Too much nicety of detail disgusts the greatest part of readers, and to throw a multitude of particulars under general heads, and lay down rules of extensive comprehension, is to common understandings of little use.
Most vices may be committed very genteelly: a man may debauch his friend's wife genteelly: he may cheat at cards genteelly.
I deny the lawfulness of telling a lie to a sick man for fear of alarming him; you have no business with consequences, you are to tell the truth.
Life will not bear refinement. You must do as other people do.
To have gold is to be in fear, and to want it to be sorrow.
You may abuse a tragedy, though you cannot write one. You may scold a carpenter who has made you a bad table, though you cannot make a table. It is not your trade to make tables.
It generally happens that assurance keeps an even pace with ability.
The truly strong and sound mind is the mind that can embrace equally great things and small.
Questioning is not the mode of conversation among gentlemen.
The reciprocal civility of authors is one of the most risible scenes in the farce of life.
We may have uneasy feelings for seeing a creature in distress without pity; for we have not pity unless we wish to relieve them.
There seems to be a strange affectation in authors of appearing to have done everything by chance.
The mischief of flattery is, not that it persuades any man that he is what he is not, but that it suppresses the influence of honest ambition, by raising an opinion that honour may be gained without the toil of merit.
Prudence is an attitude that keeps life safe, but does not often make it happy.
By taking a second wife he pays the highest compliment to the first, by showing that she made him so happy as a married man, that he wishes to be so a second time.
The desires of man increase with his acquisitions.
It is one of the maxims of the civil law, that definitions are hazardous.
Life, to be worthy of a rational being, must be always in progression; we must always purpose to do more or better than in time past.
He that is much flattered soon learns to flatter himself.
You despise a man for avarice; but you do not hate him.
We are not here to sell a parcel of boilers and vats, but the potentiality of growing rich beyond the dreams of avarice.
The world is like a grand staircase, some are going up and some are going down.
New things are made familiar, and familiar things are made new.
Every man has a lurking wish to appear considerable in his native place.
He that is pushing his predecessors into the gulf of obscurity, cannot but sometimes suspect, that he must himself sink in like manner, and, as he stands upon the same precipice, be swept away with the same violence.
A man who writes a book, thinks himself wiser or wittier than the rest of mankind; he supposes that he can instruct or amuse them, and the publick to whom he appeals, must, after all, be the judges of his pretensions.
Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value only to its scarcity. It becomes cheap as it becomes vulgar, and will no longer raise expectation or animate enterprise.
What we read with inclination makes a much stronger impression. If we read without inclination, half the mind is employed in fixing the attention; so there is but one half to be employed on what we read.
Sir, you have but two topics, yourself and me. I am sick of both.
Criticism, though dignified from the earliest ages by the labours of men eminent for knowledge and sagacity, has not yet attained the certainty and stability of science.
The difference between coarse and refined abuse is the difference between being bruised by a club and wounded by a poisoned arrow.
Hope is itself a species of happiness.
A man would rather have a hundred lies told of him than one truth which he does not wish should be known.
There lurks, perhaps, in every human heart a desire of distinction, which inclines every man first to hope, and then to believe, that Nature has given him something peculiar to himself.
Pain is less subject than pleasure to careless expression.
Hope itself is a species of happiness, and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords; but, like all other pleasures immoderately enjoyed, the excesses of hope must be expiated by pain.
Courtesy and good-humour are often found with little real worth.
History can be formed from permanent monuments and records; but lives can only be written from personal knowledge, which is growing every day less, and in a short time is lost forever.
Grief is a species of idleness.
Pity is not natural to man. Children always are cruel. Savages are always cruel.
Little would be wanting to the happiness of life, if every man could conform to the right as soon as he was shown it.
The synonyme of usury is ruin.
As pride sometimes is hid under humility, idleness if often covered by turbulence and hurry.
To get a name can happen but to few; it is one of the few things that cannot be brought. It is the free gift of mankind, which must be deserved before it will be granted, and is at last unwillingly bestowed.
The hopes of zeal are not wholly groundless.
Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.
In traveling, a man must carry knowledge with him, if he would bring home knowledge.
Nay, Madam, when you are declaiming, declaim; and when you are calculating, calculate.
The life of a solitary man will be certainly miserable, but not certainly devout.
Domestic discord is not inevitably and fatally necessary; but yet it is not easy to avoid.
Most men think indistinctly, and therefore cannot speak with exactness.
By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show.
The commodiousness of money is indeed great; but there are some advantages which money cannot buy, and which therefore no wise man will by the love of money be tempted to forego.
Employment and hardships prevent melancholy.
Small debts are like small shot; they are rattling on every side, and can scarcely be escaped without a wound: great debts are like cannon; of loud noise, but little danger.
Tea's proper use is to amuse the idle, and relax the studious, and dilute the full meals of those who cannot use exercise, and will not use abstinence.
A man should be careful never to tell tales of himself to his own disadvantage. People may be amused at the time, but they will be remembered, and brought out against him upon some subsequent occasion.
Friendship, peculiar boon of Heaven, The noble mind's delight and pride, To men and angels only given, To all the lower world denied.
It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is not of importance, it lasts so short a time.
Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought; our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.
There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern.
The drama's laws the drama's patrons give.
For we that live to please must please to live.
Whisky making is the art of making poison pleasant.
Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.
If I had no duties, and no reference to futurity, I would spend my life in driving briskly in a post-chaise with a pretty woman.
Shame arises from the fear of men, conscience from the fear of God.
He endearing elegance of female friendship.
The joy of life is variety.
There are few minds to which tyranny is not delightful.
There are charms made only for distant admiration.
All imposture weakens confidence and chills benevolence.
No mind is much employed upon the present; recollection and anticipation fill up almost all our moments.
All theory is against freedom of the will; all experience for it.
The history of mankind is little else than a narrative of designs which have failed and hopes that have been disappointed.
People in distress never think that you feel enough.
Those whose abilities or knowledge incline them most to deviate from the general round of life are recalled from eccentricity by the laws of their existence.
He that fails in his endeavors after wealth or power will not long retain either honesty or courage.
Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
The two offices of memory are collection and distribution.
I have all my life long been lying in bed till noon; yet I tell all young men, and tell them with great sincerity, that nobody who does not rise early will ever do any good.
I hope I shall never be deterred from detecting what I think a cheat, by the menaces of a ruffian.
Games are good or bad as to their nature; all may be perverted.
A man, doubtful of his dinner, or trembling at a creditor, is not much disposed to abstracted meditation, or remote enquiries.
He that has once concluded it lawful to resist power, when it wants merit, will soon find a want of merit, to justify his resistance to power.
Ignorance, madam, pure ignorance.
Of all the griefs that harass the distress'd, Sure the most bitter is a scornful jest; Fate never wounds more deep the generous heart, Than when a blockhead's insult points the dart.
No wonder, Sir, that he is vain; a man who is perpetually flattered in every mode that can be conceived. So many bellows have blown the fire, that one wonders he is not by this time become a cinder.
You teach your daughters the diameters of the planets and wonder when you are done that they do not delight in your company.
A wise man will make haste to forgive, because he knows the true value of time, and will not suffer it to pass away in unnecessary pain.
An epithet or metaphor drawn from nature ennobles art; an epithet or metaphor drawn from art degrades nature.
Politeness is one of those advantages which we never estimate rightly but by the inconvenience of its loss.
It is not uncommon to charge the difference between promise and performance, between profession and reality, upon deep design and studied deceit; but the truth is, that there is very little hypocrisy in the world.
I never take a nap after dinner
but when I have had a bad night,
and then the nap takes me.
If a man begins to read in the middle of a book, and feels an inclination to go on, let him not quit it to go to the beginning. He may perhaps not feel again the inclination.
He that pursues fame with just claims, trusts his happiness to the winds; but he that endeavors after it by false merit, has to fear, not only the violence of the storm, but the leaks of his vessel.
The real satisfaction which praise can afford, is when what is repeated aloud agrees with the whispers of conscience, by showing us that we have not endeavored to deserve well in vain.
You cannot, by all the lecturing in the world, enable a man to make a shoe.
The equity of providence has balanced peculiar sufferings with peculiar enjoyments.
Do not accustom yourself to consider debt only as an inconvenience; you will find it a calamity.
A short letter to a distant friend is, in my opinion, an insult like that of a slight bow or cursory salutation -- a proof of unwillingness to do much, even where there is a necessity of doing something.
There is a frightful interval between the seed and the timber.
The botanist looks upon the astronomer as a being unworthy of his regard; and he that is glowing great and happy by electrifying a bottle wonders how the world can be engaged by trifling prattle about war and peace.
Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance. Those that walk with vigor, three hours a day, will pass in seven years a space equal to the circumference of the globe.
No man can taste the fruits of autumn while he is delighting his scent with the flowers of spring.
Imitations produce pain or pleasure, not because they are mistaken for realities, but because they bring realities to mind.
Modern writers are the moons of literature; they shine with reflected light, with light borrowed from the ancients.
Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
His most frequent ailment was the headache which he used to relieve by inhaling the steam of coffee.
Of all noises, I think music is the least disagreeable.
Repentance, however difficult to be practiced, is, if it be explained without superstition, easily understood. Repentance is the relinquishment of any practice from the conviction that it has offended God.
I know not, Madam, that you have a right, upon moral principles, to make your readers suffer so much.
A man is in general better pleased when he has a good dinner upon his table, than when his wife talks Greek.
Norway, too, has noble wild prospects; and Lapland is remarkable for prodigious noble wild prospects.
Of the present state, whatever it be, we feel and are forced to confess the misery; yet when the same state is again at a distance, imagination paints it as desirable.
Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.
This is one of the disadvantages of wine; it makes a man mistake words for thoughts.
Pride is seldom delicate: it will please itself with very mean advantages.
Exert your talents, and distinguish yourself, and don't think of retiring from the world, until the world will be sorry that you retire.
Whoever thinks of going to bed before twelve o'clock is a scoundrel.
You raise your voice when you should reinforce your argument.
All wonder is the effect of novelty on ignorance.
A small country town is not the place in which one would choose to quarrel with a wife; every human being in such places is a spy.
Our minds should not be empty because if they are not preoccupied by good, evil will break in upon them.
Few men survey themselves with so much severity as not to admit prejudices in their own favor.
In life's last scene what prodigies surprise,
Fears of the brave, and follies of the wise!
From Marlborough's eyes the streams of dotage flow,
And Swift expires a driveller and a show.
Confidence is a plant of slow growth; especially in an aged bosom.
The poor and the busy have no leisure for sentimental sorrow.
When the eye or the imagination is struck with an uncommon work, the next transition of an active mind is to the means by which it was performed.
A man is very apt to complain of the ingratitude of those who have risen far above him.
Abstinence is as easy to me as temperance would be difficult.
Few things are impossible to diligence and skill.
If he does really think that there is no distinction between virtue and vice, why, sir, when he leaves our houses let us count our spoons.
The chief glory of every people arises from its authors.
The joy of life is variety; the tenderest love requires to be rekindled by intervals of absence.
Though the discoveries or acquisitions of man are not always adequate to the expectations of his pride, they are at least sufficient to animate his industry.
Unless a woman has an amorous heart, she is a dull companion.
Dogs have not the power of comparing. A dog will take a small piece of meat as readily as a large, when both are before him.
He is a benefactor of mankind who contracts the great rules of life into the short sentences, that may be easily impressed on the memory, and so recur habitually to the mind.
Life is not long, and too much of it must not pass in idle deliberation how it shall be spent.
The blaze of reputation cannot be blown out, but it often dies in the socket; a very few names may be considered as perpetual lamps that shine unconsumed.
Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused, and it is therefore become necessary to gain attention by magnificence of promises, and by eloquence sometimes sublime and sometimes pathetic.
Stand Firm for your country, and become a man Honour'd and lov'd: It were a noble life, To be found dead, embracing her.
Life admits not of delays; when pleasure can be had, it is fit to catch it: every hour takes away part of the things that please us, and perhaps part of our disposition to be pleased.
Those who attain any excellence, commonly spend life in one pursuit; for excellence is not often gained upon easier terms.
Those who do not feel pain seldom think that it is felt.
Dictionaries are like watches, the worst is better than none and the best cannot be expected to go quite true.
Gayety is to good-humor as perfumes to vegetable fragrance: the one overpowers weak spirits; the other recreates and revives them.
It requires but little acquaintance with the heart to know that woman's first wish is to be handsome; and that, consequently, the readiest method of obtaining her kindness is to praise her beauty.
Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.
Surely, it is much easier to respect a man who has always had respect, than to respect a man who we know was last year no better than ourselves, and will be no better next year.
City of God, how broad and far Outspread thy walls sublime! The true thy chartered freemen are, Of every age and clime.
No man is a hypocrite in his pleasures.
When any calamity has been suffered the first thing to be remembered is, how much has been escaped.
Patron: One who countenances, supports or protects. Commonly a wretch who supports with insolence, and is repaid in flattery.
The law is the last result of human wisdom acting upon human experience for the benefit of the public.
Those who marry late are best pleased with their children; and those who marry early, with their partners.
Guilt has always its horrors and solicitudes; and, to make it yet more shameful and detestable, it is doomed often to stand in awe of those to whom nothing could give influence or weight but their power of betraying.
The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they really are.
No money is better spent than what is laid out for domestic satisfaction.
An old friend never can be found, and nature has provided that he cannot easily be lost.
Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures.
When emulation leads us to strive for self-elevation by merit alone, and not by belittling another, then it is one of the grandest possible incentives to action.
Adversity leads us to think properly of our state, and so is most beneficial to us.
Bravery has no place where it can avail nothing.
Pension: An allowance made to anyone without an equivalent. In England it is generally understood to mean pay given to a state hireling for treason to his country.
Among many parallels which men of imagination have drawn between the natural and moral state of the world, it has been observed that happiness as well as virtue consists in mediocrity.
If in an actor there appears an utter vacancy of meaning, a frigid equality, a stupid languor, a torpid apathy, the greatest kindness that can be shown him is a speedy sentence of expulsion.
Our supple tribes repress their patriot throats, And ask no questions but the price of votes.
That observation which is called knowledge of the world will be found much more frequently to make men cunning than good.
Differences, we know, are never so effectually laid asleep as by some common calamity; an enemy unites all to whom he threatens danger.
Be not too hasty to trust or to admire the teachers of morality; they discourse like angels, but they live like men.
There is, indeed, nothing that so much seduces reason from vigilance, as the thought of passing life with an amiable woman.
I have always considered it as treason against the great republic of human nature, to make any man's virtues the means of deceiving him.
Vulgar and inactive minds confound familiarity with knowledge, and conceive themselves informed of the whole nature of things, when they are shown their form or told their use.
Wasting a fortune is evaporation by a thousand imperceptible means.
A man in a jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company.
But grant, the virtues of a temp'rate prime
Bless with an age exempt from scorn or crime;
An age that melts with unperceived decay,
And glides in modest Innocence away.
Sir, I do not call a gamester a dishonest man; but I call him an unsociable man, an unprofitable man. Gaming is a mode of transferring property without producing any intermediate good.
There are few so free from vanity as not to dictate to those who will hear their instructions with a visible sense of their own beneficence.
Excise: A hateful tax levied upon commodities, and adjudged not by the common judges of property, but wretches hired by those to whom excise is paid.
Sir, he throws away his money without thought and without merit. I do not call a tree generous that sheds its fruit at every breeze.
Few things are so liberally bestowed, or squandered with so little effect, as good advice.
Quotation is the highest compliment you can pay an author.
Prejudice not being funded on reason cannot be removed by argument.
As all error is meanness, it is incumbent on every man who consults his own dignity, to retract it as soon as he discovers it.
I do not much wish well to discoveries, for I am always afraid they will end in conquest and robbery.
I fly from pleasure," said the prince, "because pleasure has ceased to please; I am lonely because I am miserable, and am unwilling to cloud with my presence the happiness of others.
To keep your secret is wisdom; but to expect others to keep it is folly.
A country governed by a despot is an inverted cone.
A man may be so much of everything that he is nothing of anything.
Officious, innocent, sincere, Of every friendless name the friend.
None can be pleased without praise, and few can be praised without falsehood.
There is a certain degree of temptation which will overcome any virtue. Now, in so far as you approach temptation to a man, you do him an injury; and, if he is overcome, you share his guilt.
Round numbers are always false.
My dear friend, clear your mind of cant.
Club: An assembly of good fellows, meeting under certain conditions.
Had I learned to fiddle, I should have done nothing else.
The vicious count their years; virtuous, their acts.
The mental disease of the present generation is impatience of study, contempt of the great masters of ancient wisdom, and a disposition to rely wholly upon unassisted genius and natural sagacity.
No man sympathizes with the sorrows of vanity.
Those authors who would find many readers, must endeavour to please while they instruct.
The most useful truths are always universal, and unconnected with accidents and customs.
No man likes to live under the eye of perpetual disapprobation.
Every man is rich or poor according to the proportion between his desires and his enjoyments.
Such is the emptiness of human enjoyment that we are always impatient of the present. Attainment is followed by neglect, and possession by disgust.
That kind of life is most happy which affords us most opportunities of gaining our own esteem.
Sorrow is the mere rust of the soul. Activity will cleanse and brighten it.
Let us be quick to repent of injuries while repentance may not be a barren anguish.
Bounty always receives part of its value from the manner in which it is bestowed.
When there is no hope, there can be no endeavor.
When speculation has done its worst, two and two still make four.
Diligence in employments of less consequence is the most successful introduction to greater enterprises.
Sir, there is no settling the point of precedency between a louse and a flea.
Human life is everywhere a state in which much is to be endured and little to be enjoyed.
This is one of the disadvantages of wine, it makes a man mistake words for thoughts.
The worst evils are those that never arrive.
A lexicographer, a writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge.
A merchant may, perhaps, be a man of an enlarged mind, but there is nothing in trade connected with an enlarged mind.
Knowledge is more than equivalent to force. The master of mechanics laughs at strength.
Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those who we cannot resemble.
There are people whom one should like very well to drop, but would not wish to be dropped by.