C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


  • A secret in his mouth,
  • Is like a wild bird put into a cage;
  • Whose door no sooner opens, but ’tis out.
  • An age that melts with unperceiv’d decay,
  • And glides in modest innocence away.
  • An age that melts with unperceived decay,
  • And glides in modest innocence away;
  • Whose peaceful Day benevolence endears,
  • Whose Night congratulating conscience cheers;
  • The general favourite as the general friend:
  • Such age there is, and who shall wish its end?
  • And sure th’ Eternal Master found
  • His single talent well employ’d.
  • Care that is once enter’d into the breast
  • Will have the whole possession ere it rest.
  • Catch, then, O catch the transient hour;
  • Improve each moment as it flies;
  • Life’s a short summer—man a flower—
  • He dies—alas! how soon he dies!
  • Deign on the passing world to turn thine eyes,
  • And pause awhile from Learning to be wise;
  • There mark what ills the scholar’s life assail,
  • Toil, envy, want, the patron, and the gaol.
  • See nations, slowly wise and meanly just,
  • To buried merit raise the tardy bust.
  • Each change of many-colored life he drew,
  • Exhausted worlds and then imagined new;
  • Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign,
  • And panting Time toil’d after him in vain.
  • Extended empire, like expanded gold
  • Exchanges solid strength for feeble splendor.
  • Fate wings, with every wish, the afflictive dart,
  • Each gift of nature, and each grace of art.
  • Friendship, peculiar boon of Heaven,
  • The noble mind’s delight and pride,
  • To men and angels only given,
  • To all the lower world denied.
  • Glory, the casual gift of thoughtless crowds!
  • Glory, the bribe of avaricious virtue!
  • He left a name at which the world grew pale,
  • To point a moral, or adorn a tale.
  • Here let those reign, whom pensions can incite,
  • To vote a patriot black, a courtier white,
  • Explain their country’s dear-bought rights away,
  • And plead for pirates in the face of day.
  • Here malice, rapine, accident, conspire,
  • And now a rabble rages, now a fire;
  • Their ambush here relentless ruffians lay
  • And here the fell attorney prowls for prey;
  • Here falling houses thunder on your head,
  • And here a female atheist talks you dead.
  • How guilt, once harbor’d in the conscious breast,
  • Intimidates the brave, degrades the great!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Must helpless man, in ignorance sedate,
  • Roll darkling down the torrent of his fate?
  • 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.
  • Of all wild beasts preserve me from a tyrant;
  • Of all tame—a flatterer.
  • Our supple tribes repress their patriot throats,
  • And ask no questions but the price of votes.
  • Reason the hoary dotard’s dull directress,
  • That loses all, because she hazards nothing;
  • Reason! the tim’rous pilot, that, to shun
  • The rocks of life, forever flies the port.
  • Some fiery fop, with new commission vain,
  • Who sleeps on brambles till he kills his man;
  • Some frolic drunkard, reeling from a feast,
  • Provokes a broil, and stabs you for a jest.
  • 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.
  • Still we love
  • The evil we do, until we suffer it.
  • Superfluous lags the veteran on the stage,
  • Till pitying Nature signs the last release,
  • And bids afflicted worth retire to peace.
  • The drama’s laws the drama’s patrons give,
  • For we that live to please, must please to live.
  • The lust of gold succeeds the lust of conquest;
  • The lust of gold, unfeeling and remorseless!
  • The last corruption of degenerate man.
  • The weakness we lament, ourselves create.
  • Instructed from our infant years to court,
  • With counterfeited fears, the aid of man,
  • We learn to shudder at the rustling breeze,
  • Start at the light, and tremble in the dark,
  • Till affectation, rip’ning to belief
  • And folly, frighted at our own chimeras,
  • Habitual cowardice usurps the soul.
  • Then with no fiery throbbing pain,
  • No cold gradations of decay,
  • Death broke at once the vital chain,
  • And freed his soul the nearest way.
  • This mournful truth is everywhere confess’d,
  • Slow rises worth by poverty depress’d:
  • But here more slow, where all are slaves to gold,
  • Where looks are merchandise, and smiles are sold.
  • To purchase Heaven has gold the power?
  • Can gold remove the mortal hour?
  • In life can love be bought with gold?
  • Are friendship’s pleasures to be sold?
  • No—all that’s worth a wish—a thought,
  • Fair virtue gives unbribed, unbought.
  • Cease then on trash thy hopes to bind,
  • Let nobler views engage thy mind.
  • To-morrow’s action! Can that hoary wisdom,
  • Borne down with years, still dote upon to-morrow,—
  • That fatal mistress of the young, the lazy,
  • The coward, and the fool, condemn’d to lose
  • A useless life in waiting for to-morrow,
  • To gaze with longing eyes upon to-morrow,
  • Till interposing death destroys the prospect!
  • When desperate ills demand a speedy cure,
  • Distrust is cowardice, and prudence folly.
  • When Learning’s triumph o’er her barb’rous foes
  • First rear’d the stage, immortal Shakespeare rose;
  • Each change of many-colored life he drew,
  • Exhausted worlds, and then imagin’d new;
  • Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign,
  • And panting Time toil’d after him in vain,
  • His powerful strokes presiding Truth impress’d,
  • And unresisted Passion storm’d the breast.
  • Year chases year, decay pursues decay,
  • Still drops some joy from withering life away;
  • New forms arise, and different views engage,
  • Superfluous lags the veteran on the stage,
  • Till pitying Nature signs the last release,
  • And bids afflicted worth retire to peace.
  • Yet reason frowns in war’s unequal game,
  • Where wasted nations raise a single name;
  • And mortgag’d states their grandsire’s wreaths regret,
  • From age to age in everlasting debt;
  • Wreaths which at last the dear-bought right convey
  • To rust on medals, or on stones decay.
  • A blade of grass is always a blade of grass, whether in one country or another.

    A blaze first pleases and then tires the sight.

    A cow is a very good animal in the field; but we turn her out of a garden.

    A coxcomb is ugly all over with affectation of a fine gentleman.

    A fallible being will fail somewhere.

    A few men are sufficient to broach falsehoods, which are afterwards innocently diffused by successive relaters.

    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.

    A man guilty of poverty easily believes himself suspected.

    A man has no more right to say an uncivil thing than to act one; no more right to say a rude thing to another than to knock him down.

    A man may write at any time if he set himself doggedly to it.

    A man of sense and education should meet a suitable companion in a wife. It is a miserable thing when the conversation can only be such as whether the mutton should be boiled or roasted, and probably a dispute about that.

    A man ought to read just as inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good.

    A man should be careful never to tell tales of himself to his own disadvantage; people may be amused, and laugh at the time, but they will be remembered, and brought up against him upon some subsequent occasion.

    A man who always talks for fame never can be pleasing. The man who talks to unburthen his mind is the man to delight you.

    A man will turn over half a library to make one book.

    A minute analysis of life at once destroys that splendor which dazzles the imagination. Whatsoever grandeur can display, or luxury enjoy, is procured by offices of which the mind shrinks from the contemplation. All the delicacies of the table may be traced back to the shambles and the dunghill; all magnificence of building was hewn from the quarry, and all the pomp of ornament dug from among the damps and darkness of the mine.

    A mode of transferring property without producing any intermediate good.

    A poet, naturalist and historian, who scarcely left any style of writing untouched and touched nothing that he did not adorn.

    A tavern is the throne of human felicity.

    Abstinence is as easy to me as temperance would be difficult.

    Abuse is often of service. There is nothing so dangerous to an author as silence. His name, like a shuttlecock, must be beat backward and forward, or it falls to the ground.

    Admiration and love are like being intoxicated with champagne; judgment and friendship are like being enlivened.

    Admiration begins where acquaintance ceases.

    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.

    Adversity has ever been considered as the state in which a man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, particularly being free from flatterers.

    Advice is offensive, not because it lays us open to unexpected regret, or convicts us of any fault which has escaped our notice, but because it shows us that we are known to others as well as ourselves; and the officious monitor is persecuted with hatred, not because his accusation is false, but because he assumes the superiority which we are not willing to grant him, and has dared to detect what we desire to conceal.

    Advice is seldom welcome. Those who need it most like it least.

    Advice, as it always gives a temporary appearance of superiority, can never be very grateful, even when it is most necessary or most judicious; but, for the same reason, every one is eager to instruct his neighbors.

    Affectation is to be always distinguished from hypocrisy, as being the art of counterfeiting those qualities, which we might with innocence and safety, be known to want. Hypocrisy is the necessary burden of villany; affectation part of the chosen trappings of folly.

    Affectation naturally counterfeits those excellences which are placed at the greatest distance from possibility of attainment, because, knowing our own defects, we eagerly endeavor to supply them with artificial excellence.

    Age is rarely despised but when it is contemptible.

    All envy is proportionate to desire.

    All fear is in itself painful, and when it conduces not to safety, is painful without use. Every consideration, therefore, by which groundless terrors may be removed adds something to human happiness.

    All history was at first oral.

    All power of fancy over reason is a degree of insanity.

    All the performances of human art, at which we look with praise or wonder, are instances of the resistless force of perseverance; it is by this that the quarry becomes a pyramid, and that distant countries are united by canals. If a man was to compare the effect of a single stroke of a pickaxe, or of one impression of the spade, with the general design and last result, he would be overwhelmed with the sense of their disproportion; yet those petty operations, incessantly continued, in time surmount the greatest difficulties, and mountains are leveled and oceans bounded, by the slender force of human beings.

    All this (wealth) excludes but one evil—poverty.

    All to whom want is terrible, upon whatever principle, ought to think themselves obliged to learn the sage maxims of our parsimonious ancestors, and attain the salutary arts of contracting expense; for without economy none can be rich, and with it few can be poor.

    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.

    All unnecessary vows are folly, because they suppose a prescience of the future, which has not been given us.

    All wonder is the effect of novelty upon ignorance.

    Almost every man wastes part of his life in attempts to display qualities which he does not possess, and to gain applause which he cannot keep: so that scarcely can two persons meet but one is offended or diverted by the ostentation of the other.

    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.

    Among the numerous stratagems by which pride endeavors to recommend folly to regard, there is scarcely one that meets with less success than affectation, or a perpetual disguise of the real character by fictitious appearances.

    An epithet or metaphor drawn from nature ennobles art; an epithet or metaphor drawn from art degrades nature.

    An infallible characteristic of meanness is cruelty.

    Ancient travelers guessed; modern travelers measure.

    And panting Time toil’d after him in vain.

    As adversity leads us to think properly of our state, it is most beneficial to us.

    As every one is pleased with imagining that he knows something not yet commonly divulged, secret history easily gains credit; but it is for the most part believed only while it circulates in whispers, and when once it is openly told, is openly refuted.

    As he that lives longest lives but a little while, every man may be certain that he has no time to waste. The duties of life are commensurate to its duration; and every day brings its task, which, if neglected, is doubled on the morrow.

    As I know more of mankind, I expect less of them, and am ready now to call a man a good man upon easier terms than I was formerly.

    As love without esteem is volatile and capricious, esteem without love is languid and cold.

    As the greatest liar tells more truths than falsehoods, so may it be said of the worst man, that he does more good than evil.

    As the mind must govern the hands, so in every society the man of intelligence must direct the man of labor.

    As the Spanish proverb says, “He who would bring home the wealth of the Indies must carry the wealth of the Indies with him,” so it is in traveling; a man must carry knowledge with him if he would bring home knowledge.

    As to the Christian religion, besides the strong evidence which we have for it, there is a balance in its favor from the number of great men who have been convinced of its truth after a serious consideration of the question. Grotius was an acute man, a lawyer, a man accustomed to examine evidence, and he was convinced. Grotius was not a recluse, but a man of the world, who certainly had no bias on the side of religion. Sir Isaac Newton set out an infidel, and came to be a very firm believer.

    At length weariness succeeds to labor, and the mind lies at ease in the contemplation of her own attainments without any desire of new conquests or excursions. This is the age of recollection and narrative; the opinions are settled, and the avenues of apprehension shut against any new intelligence; the days that are to follow must pass in the inculcation of precepts already collected, and assertion of tenets already received; nothing is henceforward so odious as opposition, so insolent as doubt, or so dangerous as novelty.

    Attack is the reaction; I never think I have hit hard unless it rebounds.

    Attainment is followed by neglect, and possession by disgust. The malicious remark of the Greek epigrammatist on marriage may apply to every other course of life—that its two days of happiness are the first and the last.

    Authors and lovers always suffer some infatuation, from which only absence can set them free.

    Avarice is a uniform and tractable vice; other intellectual distempers are different in different constitutions of mind. That which soothes the pride of one will offend the pride of another, but to the favor of the covetous bring money, and nothing is denied.

    Avarice is always poor, but poor by her own fault.

    Avarice is generally the last passion of those lives of which the first part has been squandered in pleasure, and the second devoted to ambition. He that sinks under the fatigue of getting wealth lulls his age with the milder business of saving it.

    Bashfulness may sometimes exclude pleasure, but seldom opens any avenue to sorrow or remorse.

    Beauty, without kindness, dies unenjoyed and undelighting.

    Before dinner men meet with great inequality of understanding; and those who are conscious of their inferiority have the modesty not to talk; when they have drunk wine, every man feels himself happy, and loses that modesty, and grows impudent and vociferous; but he is not improved; he is only not sensible of his defects.

    Being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned.

    Books are faithful repositories, which may be awhile neglected or forgotten, but when they are opened again, will again impart their instruction. Memory, once interrupted, is not to be recalled; written learning is a fixed luminary, which, after the cloud that had hidden it has passed away, is again bright in its proper station. Tradition is but a meteor, which, if it once falls, cannot be rekindled.

    Books have always a secret influence on the understanding; we cannot at pleasure obliterate ideas: he that reads books of science, though without any desire fixed of improvement, will grow more knowing; he that entertains himself with moral or religious treatises, will imperceptibly advance in goodness; the ideas which are often offered to the mind, will at last find a lucky moment when it is disposed to receive them.

    Books, says Lord Bacon, can never teach us the use of books; the student must learn by commerce with mankind to reduce his speculations to practice. No man should think so highly of himself as to think he can receive but little light from books; no one so meanly, as to believe he can discover nothing but what is to be learned from them.

    Books, to judicious compilers, are useful,—to particular arts and professions absolutely necessary,—to men of real science they are tools; but more are tools to them.

    Bounty always receives part of its value from the manner it is bestowed.

    Breasts that beat, and cheeks that glow.

    By forbearing to do what may innocently be done, we may add hourly new vigor to resolution.

    By those who look close to the ground dirt will be seen. I hope I see things from a greater distance.

    Cautious age suspects the flattering form, and only credits what experience tells.

    Christianity is the highest perfection of humanity.

    Classical quotation is the parole of literary men all over the world.

    Commerce can never be at a stop while one man wants what another can supply; and credit will never be denied, while it is likely to be repaid with profit.

    Commerce, however we may please ourselves with the contrary opinion, is one of the daughters of fortune, inconstant and deceitful as her mother. She chooses her residence where she is least expected, and shifts her abode when her continuance is, in appearance, most firmly settled.

    Complaints are vain; we will try to do better another time. To-morrow and to-morrow. A few designs and a few failures, and the time of designing is past.

    Conjecture as to things useful is good; but conjecture as to what it would be useless to know, such as whether men went upon all-four, is very idle.

    Conscience is the sentinel of virtue.

    Consider what importance to society the chastity of women is. Upon that all the property in the world depends. We hang a thief for stealing a sheep; but the unchastity of a woman transfers sheep and farm and all from the right owner.

    Contempt is a kind of gangrene which, if it seizes one part of a character, corrupts all the rest by degrees.

    Corneille is to Shakespeare as a clipped hedge is to a forest.

    Courage is a quality so necessary for maintaining virtue, that it is always respected even when it is associated with vice.

    Cowardice encroaches fast upon such as spend their lives in company of persons higher than themselves.

    Credulity is the common failing of inexperienced virtue, and he who is spontaneously suspicious may be justly charged with radical corruption.

    Criticism is a study by which men grow important and formidable at very small expense.

    Criticism, as it was first introduced by Aristotle, was meant as a standard of judging well.

    Cunning differs from wisdom as twilight from open day.

    Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.

    Curiosity is the thirst of the soul.

    Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last, and perhaps always predominates in proportion to the strength of the contemplative faculties.

    Deceit and falsehood, whatever conveniences they may for a time promise or produce, are, in the sum of life, obstacles to happiness. Those who profit by the cheat distrust the deceiver; and the act by which kindness was sought puts an end to confidence.

    Depend on it, if a man talks of his misfortunes, there is something in that is not disagreeable to him; for where there is nothing but pure misery, there never is any recourse to the mention of it.

    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.

    Differences, we know, are never so effectually laid asleep as by some common calamity; an enemy unites all to whom he threatens danger.

    Diffidence may check resolution and obstruct performance, but compensates its embarrassments by more important advantages; it conciliates the proud, and softens the severe; averts envy from excellence, and censure from miscarriage.

    Disease generally begins that equality which death completes; the distinctions which set one man so much above another are very little perceived in the gloom of a sick-chamber, where it will be vain to expect entertainment from the gay, or instruction from the wise; where all human glory is obliterated, the wit is clouded, the reasoner perplexed, and the hero subdued; where the highest and brightest of mortal beings finds nothing left him but the consciousness of innocence.

    Dishonor waits on perfidy. A man should blush to think a falsehood; it is the crime of cowards.

    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.

    Economy is the parent of integrity, of liberty, and of ease, and the beauteous sister of temperance, of cheerfulness and health.

    Employment and hardships prevent melancholy.

    Even those to whom Providence has allotted greater strength of understanding can expect only to improve a single science.

    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.

    Every human being whose mind is not debauched, will be willing to give all that he has to get knowledge.

    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.

    Every man has something to do which he neglects, every man has faults to conquer which he delays to combat.

    Every man is prompted by the love of himself to imagine that he possesses some qualities superior, either in kind or degree, to those which he sees allotted to the rest of the world.

    Every man of any education would rather be called a rascal than accused of deficiency in the graces.

    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?

    Every quotation contributes something to the stability or enlargement of the language.

    Everybody knows worse of himself than he knows of other men.

    Example is more efficacious than precept.

    Exert your talents and distinguish yourself, and don’t think of retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire. I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drives into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl. Let him come out as I do, and bark.

    Falsehood always endeavors to copy the mien and attitude of truth.

    Fame is a shuttlecock. If it be struck only at one end of a room it will soon fall to the floor. To keep it up, it must be struck at both ends.

    Fate never wounds more deep the generous heart than when a blockhead’s insult points the dart.

    Fear is implanted in us as a preservative from evil; but its duty, like that of other passions, is not to overbear reason, but to assist it; nor should it be suffered to tyrannize in the imagination, to raise phantoms of horror, or to beset life with supernumerary distresses.

    Fear naturally quickens the flight of guilt.

    Few things are impossible to diligence and skill.

    Fitted him to a T.

    Flattery pleases very generally. In the first place, the flatterer may think what he says to be true, but, in the second place, whether he thinks so or not, he certainly thinks those whom he flatters of consequence enough to be flattered.

    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.

    For a man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner.

    For gold the hireling judge distorts the laws.

    For I look upon it, that he who does not mind his belly will hardly mind anything else.

    Friends are often chosen for similitude of manners, and therefore each palliates the other’s failings because they are his own.

    Friendship is seldom lasting, but between equals, or where superiority is reduced by some equivalent advantage.

    Friendship, like love, is destroyed by long absence, though it may be increased by short intermissions. What we have missed long enough to want it, we value more when it is regained; but that which has been lost till it is forgotten will be found at last with little gladness, and with still less if a substitute has supplied the place.

    Frugality may be termed the daughter of prudence, the sister of temperance, and the parent of liberty.

    Gaiety is to good-humor as animal perfumes to vegetable fragrance. The one overpowers weak spirits, the other recreates and revives them. Gaiety seldom fails to give some pain; good-humor boasts no faculties which every one does not believe in his own power, and pleases principally by not offending.

    Games are good or bad as to their nature; all may be perverted.

    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.

    Genius, that power which constitutes a poet; that quality without which judgment is cold and knowledge is inert; that energy which collects, combines, amplifies and animates.

    Good breeding consists in having no particular mark of any profession, but a general elegance of manners.

    Good-humor is a state between gayety and unconcern,—the act or emanation of a mind at leisure to regard the gratification of another.

    Gratitude is a species of justice.

    Gratitude is the fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people.

    Great things cannot have escaped former observation.

    Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance. Yonder palace was raised by single stones, yet you see its height and spaciousness. He that shall walk with vigor three hours a day will pass in seven years a space equal to the circumference of the globe.

    Greece appears to be the fountain of knowledge; Rome of elegance.

    Grief has its time.

    Grief is a species of idleness.

    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.

    He does nothing who endeavors to do more than is allowed to humanity.

    He is not only dull himself, but the cause of dullness in others.

    He left the name at which the world grew pale, to point a moral or adorn a tale.

    He may justly be numbered among the benefactors of mankind who contracts the great rules of life into short sentences, that may be easily impressed on the memory, and taught by frequent recollection to recur habitually to the mind.

    He only confers favors generously who appears, when they are once conferred, to remember them no more.

    He seldom lives frugally who lives by chance. Hope is always liberal, and they that trust her promises make little scruple of revelling to-day on the profits of to-morrow.

    He that embarks in the voyage of life will always wish to advance, rather by the impulse of the wind than the strokes of the oar; and many founder in their passage while they lie waiting for the gale.

    He that is much flattered soon learns to flatter himself.

    He that never thinks can never be wise.

    He that resigns his peace to little casualties, and suffers the course of his life to be interrupted for fortuitous inadvertencies or offences, delivers up himself to the direction of the wind, and loses all that constancy and equanimity which constitutes the chief praise of a wise man.

    He that would travel for the entertainment of others should remember that the great object of remark is human life.

    He who is extravagant will quickly become poor; and poverty will enforce dependence, and invite corruption.

    He who loves not his country can love nothing.

    He who praises everybody praises nobody.

    He who waits to do a great deal of good at once, will never do anything.

    He who would govern his actions by the laws of virtue must regulate his thoughts by those of reason.

    He who would have fine guests, let him have a fine wife.

    Health is certainly more valuable than money; because it is by health that money is procured; but thousands and millions are of small avail to alleviate the protracted tortures of the gout, to repair the broken organs of sense, or resuscitate the powers of digestion. Poverty is, indeed, an evil from which we naturally fly, but let us not run from one enemy to another, nor take shelter in the arms of sickness.

    Health is so necessary to all the duties as well as pleasures of life that the crime of squandering it is equal to the folly.

    Hell is paved with good intentions.

    Here the fell attorney prowls for prey.

    His conversation does not show the minute hand; but he strikes the hour very correctly.

    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.

    Hope is an amusement rather than a good, and adapted to none but very tranquil minds.

    How gloomy would be the mansions of the dead to him who did not know that he should never die: that what now acts shall continue its agency, and what now thinks shall think on forever!

    Human life is everywhere a state in which much is to be endured, and little enjoyed.

    Human reason borrowed many arts from the instinct of animals.

    Humanly speaking, 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.

    Hunger is never delicate.

    Hypocrisy is the necessary burden of villainy.

    I am a friend to subordination, as most conducive to the happiness of society. There is a reciprocal pleasure in governing and being governed.

    I am a great friend to public amusements; for they keep people from vice.

    I am always for getting a boy forward in his learning, for that is sure good. I would let him at first read any English book which happens to engage his attention; because you have done a great deal when you have brought him to have entertainment from a book. He’ll get better books afterwards.

    I am glad that he thanks God for anything.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    I believe marriages would in general be as happy, and often more so, if they were all made by the lord chancellor, upon a due consideration of the characters and circumstances, without the parties having any choice in the matter.

    I do not envy a clergyman’s life as an easy life, nor do I envy the clergyman who makes it an easy life.

    I doubt if there ever was a man who was not gratified by being told that he was liked by the women.

    I fancy mankind may come in time to write all aphoristically, except in narration; grow weary of preparation and connection and illustration, and all those arts by which a big book is made.

    I have adopted the Roman sentiment, that it is more honorable to save a citizen than to kill an enemy.

    I have found you an argument; but I am not obliged to find you an understanding.

    I have no more pleasure in hearing a man attempting wit and failing, than in seeing a man trying to leap over a ditch and tumbling into it.

    I know not any crime so great that a man could contrive to commit as poisoning the sources of eternal truth.

    I like a good hater.

    I love the acquaintance of young people; because, in the first place, I do not like to think myself growing old. In the next place, young acquaintances must last longest, if they do last; and then, sir, young men have more virtue than old men; they have more generous sentiments in every respect.

    I never take a nap after dinner but when I have had a bad night, and then the nap takes me.

    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.”

    I take the true definition of exercise to be labor without weariness.

    I wish you would add an index rerum, that when the reader recollects any incident he may easily find it.

    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.

    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 constant repair.

    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.

    If he had two ideas in his head, they would fall out with each other.

    If misery be the effect of virtue, it ought to be reverenced; if of ill-fortune, to be pitied; and if of vice, not to be insulted, because it is perhaps itself a punishment adequate to the crime by which it was produced.

    If one was to think constantly of death the business of life would stand still.

    If we estimate dignity by immediate usefulness, agriculture is undoubtedly the first and noblest science.

    If we require more perfection from women than from ourselves, it is doing them honor.

    Ignorance is mere privation by which nothing can be produced: it is a vacuity in which the soul sits motionless and torpid for want of attraction; and, without knowing why, we always rejoice when we learn, and grieve when we forget.

    Ignorance, when voluntary, is criminal, and a man may be properly charged with that evil which he neglected or refused to learn how to prevent.

    In ancient days the most celebrated precept was, “Know thyself;” in modern times it has been supplanted by the more fashionable maxim, “Know thy neighbor, and everything about him.”

    In civilized society external advantages make us more respected. A man with a good coat upon his back meets with a better reception than he who has a bad one. You may analyze this and say, What is there in it? But that will avail you nothing, for it is a part of a general system.

    In general those parents have the most reverence who most deserve it; for he that lives well cannot be despised.

    In his comic scenes, Shakespeare seems to produce, without labor, what no labor can improve.

    In matters of business, no woman stops at integrity.

    In order that all men may be taught to speak truth, it is necessary that all likewise should learn to hear it; for no species of falsehood is more frequent than flattery, to which the coward is betrayed by fear, the dependent by interest, and the friend by tenderness. Those who are neither servile nor timorous are yet desirous to bestow pleasure; and while unjust demands of praise continue to be made, there will always be some whom hope, fear, or kindness will dispose to pay them.

    In proportion as our cares are employed upon the future, they are abstracted from the present, from the only time which we can call our own, and of which, if we neglect the apparent duties to make provision against visionary attacks, we shall certainly counteract our own purpose.

    In such a government as ours no man is appointed to an office because he is the fittest for it—nor hardly in any other government—because there are so many connections and dependencies to be studied.

    In the bottle discontent seeks for comfort, cowardice for courage, and bashfulness for confidence.

    In the condition of men, it frequently happens that grief and anxiety lie hid under the golden robes of prosperity; and the gloom of calamity is cheered by secret radiations of hope and comfort; as in the works of nature, the bog is sometimes covered with flowers, and the mine concealed in the barren crags.

    In the motive lies the good or ill.

    Indolence is the devil’s cushion.

    Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless.

    Irresolution and mutability are often the faults of men whose views are wide, and whose imagination is vigorous and excursive.

    It has been well observed that the misery of man proceeds not from any single crush of overwhelming evil, but from small vexations continually repeated.

    It is a maxim that no man was ever enslaved by influence while he was fit to be free.

    It is advantageous to an author that his book should be attacked as well as praised. Fame is a shuttlecock. If it be struck only at one end of the room it will soon fall to the ground. To keep it up it must be struck at both ends.

    It is almost always the unhappiness of a victorious disputant to destroy his own authority by claiming too many consequences, or diffusing his proposition to an indefensible extent.

    It is always observable that silence propagates itself, and that the longer talk has been suspended the more difficult it is to find anything to say.

    It is better a man should be abused than forgotten.

    It is better to live rich than to die rich.

    It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.

    It is easy for a man who sits idle at home, and has nobody to please but himself, to ridicule or censure the common practices of mankind.

    It is generally known that he who expects much will be often disappointed; yet disappointment seldom cures us of expectation, or has any other effect than that of producing a moral sentence or peevish exclamation.

    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.

    It is in refinement and elegance that the civilized man differs from the savage.

    It is more from carelessness about truth than from intentional lying that there is so much falsehood in the world.

    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.

    It is necessary to hope, though hope be always deluded; for hope itself is happiness, and its frustrations, however frequent, are yet less dreadful than its extinction.

    It is not from reason and prudence that people marry, but from inclination.

    It is not possible to be regarded with tenderness, except by a few. That merit which gives greatness and renown diffuses its influence to a wide compass, but acts weakly on every single breast; it is placed at a distance from common spectators, and shines like one of the remote stars, of which the light reaches us, but not the heat.

    It is observed of gold, by an old epigrammatist, “that to have it is to be in fear, and to want it, to be in sorrow.”

    It is reasonable to have perfection in our eye, that we may always advance towards it, though we know it can never be reached.

    It is scarcely credible to what degree discernment may be dazzled by the mist of pride, and wisdom infatuated by the intoxication of flattery; or how low the genius may descend by successive gradations of servility, and how swiftly it may fall down the precipice of falsehood.

    It is surely very narrow policy that supposes money to be the chief good.

    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.

    It is the great privilege of poverty to be happy unenvied, to be healthy without physic, secure without a guard, and to obtain from the bounty of nature what the great and wealthy are compelled to procure by the help of art.

    It is very strange and very melancholy that the paucity of human pleasures should persuade us to call hunting one of them.

    It is wonderful what a difference learning makes upon people even in the common intercourse of life, which does not appear to be much connected with it.

    It may be no less dangerous to claim, on certain occasions, too little than too much. There is something captivating in spirit and intrepidity, to which we often yield as to a resistless power; nor can we often yield as to a resistless power; nor can he reasonably expect the confidence of others who too apparently distrusts himself.

    It may be proper for all to remember that they ought not to raise expectations which it is not in their power to satisfy; and that it is more pleasing to see smoke brightening into flame than flame sinking into smoke.

    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.

    It seems to be remarkable that death increases our veneration for the good, and extenuates our hatred for the bad.

    It very seldom happens to a man that his business is pleasure.

    It was said of Euripides, that every verse was a precept; and it may be said of Shakespeare, that from his works may be collected a system of civil and economical prudence.

    It was the maxim, I think, of Alphonsus of Aragon, that dead counsellors are safest. The grave puts an end to flattery and artifice, and the information we receive from books is pure from interest, fear, and ambition. Dead counsellors are likewise most instructive, because they are heard with patience and with reverence.

    Judgment is forced upon us by experience.

    Just praise is only a debt, but flattery is a present.

    Knowledge always desires increase; it is like fire, which must first be kindled by some external agent, but which will afterwards propagate itself.

    Knowledge is more than equivalent to force.

    Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.

    Language is only the instrument of science, and words are but the signs of ideas.

    Language is the dress of thought.

    Languages are the pedigree of nations.

    Large offers and sturdy rejections are among the most common topics of falsehood.

    Leave to Heaven the measure and the choice.

    Let us be quick to repent of injuries while repentance may not be a barren anguish.

    Levellers wish to level down as far as themselves, but they cannot bear levelling up to themselves. They would all have some people under them; why not then have some people above them?

    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.

    Life affords no higher pleasure than that of surmounting difficulties, passing from one step of success to another, forming mew wishes, and seeing them gratified. He that labors in any great or laudable undertaking has his fatigues first supported by hope and afterwards rewarded by joy.

    Life cannot subsist in society but by reciprocal concessions.

    Life consists not of a series of illustrious actions or elegant enjoyments. The greater part of our time passes in compliance with necessities, in the performance of daily duties, in the removal of small inconveniences, in the procurement of petty pleasures; and we are well or ill at ease, as the main stream of life glides on smoothly, or is ruffled by small obstacles and frequent interruption.

    Life is short. The sooner that a man begins to enjoy his wealth the better.

    Life, however short, is made still shorter by waste of time.

    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.

    Locke, whom there is no reason to suspect of being a favorer of idleness or libertinism, has advanced that whoever hopes to employ any part of his time with efficacy and vigor must allow some of it to pass in trifles.

    Long customs are not easily broken; he that attempts to change the course of his own life very often labors in vain.

    Luxury, so far as it reaches the people, will do good to the race of people; it will strengthen and multiply them. Sir, no nation was ever hurt by luxury; for, as I said before, it can reach but a very few.

    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.

    Many a man is mad in certain instances, and goes through life without having it perceived. For example, a madness has seized a person of supposing himself obliged literally to pray continually; had the madness turned the opposite way, and the person thought it a crime ever to pray, it might not improbably have continued unobserved.

    Many things difficult to design prove easy to performance.

    Many useful and valuable books lie buried in shops and libraries unknown and unexamined, unless some lucky compiler opens them by chance, and finds an easy spoil of wit and learning.

    Marriage is the best state for man in general; and every man is a worse man in proportion as he is unfit for the married state.

    Marriage is the strictest tie of perpetual friendship, and there can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity: and he must expect to be wretched, who pays to beauty, riches, or politeness that regard which only virtue and piety can claim.

    Memory is the primary and fundamental power, without which there could be no other intellectual operation.

    Men are like stone jugs—you may lug them where you like by the ears.

    Men have a solicitude about fame; and the greater share they have of it, the more afraid they are of losing it.

    Men who could willingly resign the luxuries and sensual pleasures of a large fortune cannot consent to live without the grandeur and the homage.

    Milton was a genius that could cut a colossus from a rock, but could not carve heads upon cherry-stones.

    Mirth is like a flash of lightning that breaks through a gloom of clouds and glitters for a moment. Cheerfulness keeps up a daylight in the mind, filling it with a steady and perpetual serenity.

    Misery is caused for the most part, not by a heavy crash of disaster, but by the corrosion of less visible evils, which canker enjoyment and undermine security.

    Misfortunes should always be expected.

    Moderation is commonly firm; and firmness is commonly successful.

    Modern writers are the moons of literature; they shine with reflected light,—with light borrowed from the ancients.

    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.

    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.

    Most men are more willing to indulge in easy vices than to practise laborious virtues.

    Most men think indistinctly, and therefore cannot speak with exactness.

    Mutual complacency is the atmosphere of conjugal love.

    Nature makes us poor only when we want necessaries, but custom gives the name of poverty to the want of superfluities.

    Nature never gives everything at once.

    Never believe extraordinary characters which you hear of people. Depend upon it, they are exaggerated. You do not see one man shoot a great deal higher than another.

    No degree of knowledge attainable by man is able to set him above the want of hourly assistance.

    No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.

    No man can fall into contempt but those who deserve it.

    No man can have much kindness for him by whom he does not believe himself esteemed, and nothing so evidently proves esteem as imitation.

    No man ever yet became great by imitation.

    No man hates him at whom he can laugh.

    No man is a hypocrite in his pleasures.

    No man is defeated without some resentment which will be continued with obstinacy while he believes himself in the right, and asserted with bitterness, if even to his own conscience he is detected in the wrong.

    No man is much pleased with a companion who does not increase, in some respect, his fondness for himself.

    No man is without some quality, by the due application of which he might deserve well of the world; and whoever he be that has but little in his power should be in haste to do that little, lest he be confounded with him that can do nothing.

    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.

    No man should consider so highly of himself as to think he can receive but little light from books, nor so meanly as to believe he can discover nothing but what is to be learned from them.

    No man sympathizes with the sorrows of vanity.

    No man was more foolish when he had not a pen in his hand (than Goldsmith), or more wise when he had.

    No man’s conscience can tell him the rights of another man; they must be known by rational investigation or historical inquiry.

    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.

    No place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes than a public library.

    None are happy but by anticipation of change.

    None can be pleased without praise, and few can be praised without falsehood.

    None of the projects or designs which exercise the mind of man are equally subject to obstructions and disappointments with the pursuit of fame.

    Nothing flatters a man so much as the happiness of his wife; he is always proud of himself as the source of it.

    Nothing has tended more to retard the advancement of science than the disposition in vulgar minds to vilify what they cannot comprehend.

    Nothing is more hopeless than a scheme of merriment.

    Nothing is more idle than to inquire after happiness, which nature has kindly placed within our reach.

    Novelty is indeed necessary to preserve eagerness and alacrity; but art and nature have stores inexhaustible by human intellects; and every moment produces something new to him who has quickened his faculties by diligent observation.

    Objects imperfectly discerned take forms from the hope or fear of the beholder.

    Occupation alone is happiness.

    Of a thousand shavers, two do not shave so much alike as not to be distinguished.

    Of him that hopes to be forgiven it is indispensably required that he forgive. It is, therefore, superfluous to urge any other motive. On this great duty eternity is suspended, and to him that refuses to practise, it, the throne of mercy is inaccessible, and the Saviour of the world has been born in vain.

    Of many imagined blessings it may be doubted whether he that wants or possesses them had more reason to be satisfied with his lot.

    Of riches it is not necessary to write the praise. Let it, however, be remembered that he who has money to spare has it always in his power to benefit others, and of such power a good man must always be desirous.

    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.

    Once a coxcomb, always a coxcomb.

    One cause of the insufficiency of riches (to produce happiness) is, that they very seldom make their owner rich.

    One of the amusements of idleness is reading without the fatigue of close attention; and the world, therefore, swarms with writers whose wish is not to be studied, but to be read.

    Oratory is the power of beating down your adversary’s arguments and putting better in their place.

    Order is a lovely nymph, the child of Beauty and Wisdom; her attendants are Comfort, Neatness, and Activity; her abode is the valley of happiness; she is always to be found when sought for, and never appears so lovely as when contrasted with her opponent, Disorder.

    Our desires always increase with our possessions. The knowledge that something remains yet unenjoyed impairs our enjoyment of the good before us.

    Our senses, our appetite, and our passions are our lawful and faithful guides in things that relate solely to this life.

    Pain and disease awaken us to convictions which are necessary to our moral condition.

    Patience and submission are very carefully to be distinguished from cowardice and indolence. We are not to repine, but we may lawfully struggle; for the calamities of life, like the necessities of nature, are calls to labor and exercise of diligence.

    Patience, sovereign o’er transmuted ills.

    Peevishness may be considered the canker of life, that destroys its vigor and checks its improvement; that creeps on with hourly depredations, and taints and vitiates what it cannot consume.

    Pendantry is the unseasonable ostentation of learning. It may be discovered either in the choice of a subject or in the manner of treating it.

    People may be taken in once, who imagine that an author is greater in private life than other men.

    People seldom read a book which is given to them; and few are given. The way to spread a work is to sell it at a low price. No man will send to buy a thing that costs even sixpence without an intention to read it.

    Philosophy has often attempted to repress insolence by asserting that all conditions are leveled by death; a position which, however it may deject the happy, will seldom afford much comfort to the wretched.

    Piety is the only proper and adequate relief of decaying man. He that grows old without religious hopes, as he declines into imbecility, and feels pains and sorrows incessantly crowding upon him, falls into a gulf of bottomless misery, in which every reflection must plunge him deeper and deeper.

    Pity is not natural to man. Children are always cruel; savages are always cruel.

    Players, sir! I look upon them as no better than creatures set upon tables and joint-stools to make faces and produce laughter, like dancing dogs.—But, sir, you will allow that some players are better than others?—Yes, sir; as some dogs dance better than others.

    Politeness is fictitious benevolence. Depend upon it, the want of it never fails to produce something disagreeable to one or other.

    Politeness is one of those advantages which we never estimate rightly but by the inconvenience of its loss. Its influence upon the manners is constant and uniform, so that, like an equal motion, it escapes perception.

    Pound St. Paul’s Church into atoms, and consider any single atom; it is, to be sure, good for nothing; but put all these atoms together, and you have St. Paul’s Church. So it is with human felicity, which is made up of many ingredients, each of which may be shown to be very insignificant.

    Poverty has, in large cities, very different appearances. It is often concealed in splendor, and often in extravagance. 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.

    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.

    Presumption will be easily corrected; but timidity is a disease of the mind more obstinate and fatal.

    Pride is a vice, which pride itself inclines every man to find in others, and to overlook in himself.

    Profuseness is a cruel and crafty demon, that gradually involves her followers in dependence and debt; that is, fetters them with irons that enter into their souls.

    Prosperity is too apt to prevent us from examining our conduct, but as adversity leads us to think properly of our state, it is most beneficial to us.

    Providence has fixed the limits of human enjoyment by immovable boundaries, and has set different gratifications at such a distance from each other, that no art or power can bring them together. This great law it is the business of every rational being to understand, that life may not pass away in an attempt to make contradictions consistent, to combine opposite qualities, and to unite things which the nature of their being must always keep asunder.

    Questioning is not the mode of conversation among gentlemen.

    Rags will always make their appearance where they have a right to do it.

    Rash oaths, whether kept or broken, frequently produce guilt.

    Reason elevates our thoughts as high as the stars, and leads us through the vast space of this mighty fabric; yet it comes far short of the real extent of our corporeal being.

    Reason will by degrees submit to absurdity, as the eye is in time accommodated to darkness.

    Remember that nothing will supply the want of prudence, and that negligence and irregularity long continued will make knowledge useless, wit ridiculous, and genius contemptible.

    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.

    Resentment gratifies him who intended an injury, and pains him unjustly who did not intend it.

    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.

    Resolve not to be poor: whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable and others extremely difficult.

    Revenge is an act of passion; vengeance, of justice: injuries are revenged; crimes are avenged.

    Riches are of no value in themselves; their use is discovered only in that which they procure.

    Riches exclude only one inconvenience—that is, poverty.

    Riches seldom make their owners rich.

    Riches, perhaps, do not so often produce crimes as incite accusers.

    Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.

    Self-love is a busy prompter.

    Sir, a woman’s preaching is like a dog standing on his hinder legs. It is not done well, but you wonder to see it done at all.

    Sir, there is no end of negative criticism.

    Sir, when you have seen one green field, you have seen all green fields. Let us walk down Cheapside.

    Sir, you are giving a reason for it; but that will not make it right. You may have a reason why two and two should make five; but they will still make but four.

    Sir, your levellers wish to level down as far as themselves; but they cannot bear levelling up to themselves.

    Slander is the revenge of a coward, and dissimulation his defence.

    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.

    So far is it from being true that men are naturally equal, that no two people can be half an hour together but one shall acquire an evident superiority over the other.

    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.

    Social sorrow loses half its pain.

    Some desire is necessary to keep life in motion, and he whose real wants are supplied must admit those of fancy.

    Some men weave their sophistry till their own reason is entangled.

    Sorrow is properly that state of the mind in which our desires are fixed upon the past without looking forward to the future.

    Sorrow is the mere rust of the soul. Activity will cleanse and brighten it.

    Spite and ill-nature are among the most expensive luxuries in life.

    Studious to please, and ready to submit; the supple Gaul was born a parasite.

    Success produces confidence, confidence relaxes industry, and negligence ruins that reputation which accuracy had raised.

    Such are the vicissitudes of the world, through all its parts, that day and night, labor and rest, hurry and retirement, endear each other; such are the changes that keep the mind in action: we desire, we pursue, we obtain, we are satiated; we desire something else and begin a new pursuit.

    Such is the constitution of man that labor may be said to be its own reward.

    Such is the diligence with which, in countries completely civilized, one part of mankind labor for another, that wants are supplied faster than they can be formed, and the idle and luxurious find life stagnate for want of some desire to keep it in motion. This species of distress furnishes a new set of occupations; and multitudes are busied from day to day in finding the rich and the fortunate something to do.

    Such is the emptiness of human enjoyment that we are always impatient of the present. Attainment is followed by neglect, and possession by disgust.

    Such is the uncertainty of human affairs, that security and despair are equal follies; and as it is presumption and arrogant to anticipate triumphs, it is weakness and cowardice to prognosticate miscarriages.

    Surely the equity of Providence has balanced peculiar sufferings with peculiar enjoyments.

    Suspicion is not less an enemy to virtue than to happiness: he that is already corrupt is naturally suspicious; and he that becomes suspicious will quickly be corrupt.

    Suspicion is very often a useless pain.

    Tears are often to be found where there is little sorrow, and the deepest sorrow without any tears.

    Terrestrial happiness is of short duration. The brightness of the flame is wasting its fuel; the fragrant flower is passing away in its own odors.

    Testimony is like an arrow shot from a long bow; the force of it depends on the strength of the hand that draws it. Argument is like an arrow from a cross-bow, which has equal force though shot by a child.

    That fellow seems to me to possess but one idea, and that a wrong one.

    That what cannot be repaired is not to be regretted.

    The applause of a single human being is of great consequence.

    The balls of sight are so formed that one man’s eyes are spectacles to another to read his heart with.

    The blaze of reputation cannot be blown out, but it often dies in the socket.

    The botanist looks upon the astronomer as a being unworthy of his regard; and he that is growing great and happy by electrifying a bottle wonders how the world can be engaged by trifling prattle about war and peace.

    The business of life is to go forward; he who sees evil in prospect meets it in his way, and he who catches it by retrospection turns back to find it. That which is feared may sometimes be avoided, but that which is regretted to-day may be regretted again to-morrow.

    The business of life summons us away from useless grief, and calls us to the exercise of those virtues of which we are lamenting our deprivation.

    The business of the biographer is often to pass slightly over those performances and incidents which produce vulgar greatness, to lead the thoughts into domestic privacies, and display the minute details of daily life, where exterior appendages are cast aside, and men excel each other only by prudence and virtue.

    The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt till they are too strong to be broken.

    The charm of London is that you are never glad or sorry for ten minutes together; in the country you are one or the other for weeks.

    The chief glory of every people arises from its authors.

    The civilities of the great are never thrown away.

    The coquette has companions, indeed, but no lovers,—for love is respectful and timorous; and where among her followers will she find a husband?

    The crime of cowards.

    The dangers gather as the treasures rise.

    The dependant who cultivates delicacy in himself very little consults his own tranquillity.

    The desires of man increase with his acquisitions.

    The duties of religion, sincerely and regularly performed, will always be sufficient to exalt the meanest and to exercise the highest understanding.

    The equity of Providence has balanced peculiar sufferings with peculiar enjoyments.

    The essence of poetry is invention: such invention as, by producing something unexpected, surprises and delights.

    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 few words.

    The feeling of friendship is like that of being comfortably filled with roast beef; love, like being enlivened with champagne.

    The first step to greatness is to be honest.

    The first years of man must make provision for the last.

    The fortitude which has encountered no dangers, that prudence which has surmounted no difficulties, that integrity which has been attacked by no temptation, can at best be considered but as gold not yet brought to the test, of which therefore the true value cannot be assigned.

    The future is purchased by the present.

    The gloomy and the resentful are always found among those who have nothing to do or who do nothing.

    The great contention of criticism is to find the faults of the moderns and the beauties of the ancients. While an author is yet living we estimate his powers by his worst performance, and when he is dead we rate them by his best.

    The great end of prudence is to give cheerfulness to those hours which splendor cannot gild, and acclamation cannot exhilarate.

    The great source of pleasure is variety. Uniformity must tire at last, though it be uniformity of excellence. We love to expect, and when expectation is disappointed or gratified, we want to be again expecting.

    The greatest human virtue bears no proportion to human vanity. We always think ourselves better than we are, and are generally desirous that others should think us still better than we think ourselves. To praise us for actions or dispositions which deserve praise is not to confer a benefit, but to pay a tribute. We have always pretensions to fame which, in our own hearts, we know to be disputable, and which we are desirous to strengthen by a new suffrage; we have always hopes which we suspect to be fallacious, and of which we eagerly snatch at every confirmation.

    The greatest part of mankind have no other reason for their opinions than that they are in fashion.

    The habit of looking on the best side of every event is worth more than a thousand pounds a year.

    The hapless wit has his labors always to begin, the call for novelty is never satisfied, and one jest only raises expectation of another.

    The heroes of literary history have been no less remarkable for what they have suffered than for what they have achieved.

    The history of mankind is little else than a narrative of designs which have failed, and hopes that have been disappointed.

    The hopes of zeal are not wholly groundless.

    The inevitable consequence of poverty is dependence.

    The jest which is expected is already destroyed.

    The king who makes war on his enemies tenderly distresses his subjects most cruelly.

    The liberty of the press is a blessing when we are inclined to write against others, and a calamity when we find ourselves overborne by the multitude of our assailants.

    The life of a conscientious clergyman is not easy. I have always considered a clergyman as the father of a larger family than he is able to maintain. I would rather have chancery suits upon my hands than the cure of souls.

    The life of a solitary man will be certainly miserable, but not certainly devout.

    The limbs will quiver and move after the soul is gone.

    The love of fame is a passion natural and universal, which no man, however high or mean, however wise or ignorant, was yet able to despise.

    The love of retirement has in all ages adhered closely to those minds which have been most enlarged by knowledge, or elevated by genius. Those who enjoyed everything generally supposed to confer happiness have been forced to seek it in the shades of privacy.

    The majority of a society is the true definition of the public.

    The maxim of Cleobulus, “Mediocrity is best,” has been long considered a universal principle, extending through the whole compass of life and nature. The experience of every age seems to have given it new confirmation, and to show that nothing, however specious or alluring, is pursued with propriety or enjoyed with safety beyond certain limits.

    The mere power of saving what is already in our hands must be of easy acquisition to every mind; and as the example of Lord Bacon may show that the highest intellect cannot safely neglect it, a thousand instances every day prove that the humblest may practise it with success.

    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 honor may be gained without the toil of merit.

    The morality of an action depends upon the motive from which we act. If I fling half a crown to a beggar with intention to break his head, and he picks it up and buys victuals with it, the physical effect is good; but with respect to me, the action is very wrong.

    The natural progress of the works of men is from rudeness to convenience, from convenience to elegance, and from elegance to nicety.

    The noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the high-road that leads him to England.

    The parallel circumstances and kindred images to which we readily conform our minds are, above all other writings, to be found in the lives of particular persons, and therefore no species of writing seems more worthy of cultivation than biography.

    The peculiar doctrine of Christianity is that of a universal sacrifice and perpetual propitiation.

    The power of punishment is to silence, not to confute.

    The present is never a happy state to any human being.

    The prospect of penury in age is so gloomy and terrifying that every man who looks before him must resolve to avoid it; and it must be avoided generally by the science of sparing.

    The public pleasures of far the greater part of mankind are counterfeit.

    The relief of enemies has a tendency to unite mankind in fraternal affection.

    The resolution of the combat is seldom equal to the vehemence of the charge.

    The round of a passionate man’s life is in contracting debts in his passion, which his virtue obliges him to pay. He spends his time in outrage and acknowledgment, injury and reparation.

    The rules that I shall propose concerning secrecy, and from which I think it not safe to deviate without long and exact deliberation, are, never to solicit the knowledge of a secret,—not willingly, nor without many limitations, to accept such confidence when it is offered; when a secret is once admitted, to consider the trust as of a very high nature, important as society and sacred as truth, and therefore not to be violated for any incidental convenience, or slight appearance of contrary fitness.

    The stream of time, which is constantly washing the dissoluble fabrics of other poets, passes without injury by the adamant of Shakespeare.

    The superiority of some men is merely local. They are great because their associates are little.

    The synonyme of usury is ruin.

    The time will come to every human being when it must be known how well he can bear to die.

    The trappings of a monarchy would set up an ordinary commonwealth.

    The true effect of genuine politeness seems to be rather ease than pleasure.

    The truly strong and sound mind is the mind that can embrace equally great things and small. I would have a man great in great things, and elegant in little things.

    The two great movers of the human mind are the desire of good, and the fear of evil.

    The uncertainty of death is, in effect, the great support of the whole system of life.

    The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.

    The usual fortune of complaint is to excite contempt more than pity.

    The value of statuary is owing to its difficulty. You would not value the finest head cut upon a carrot.

    The vicious count their years; the virtuous their acts.

    The whole power of cunning is privative; to say nothing, and to do nothing, is the utmost of its reach, Yet men, thus narrow by nature and mean by art, are sometimes able to rise by the miscarriages of bravery and the openness of integrity, and, watching failures and snatching opportunities, obtain advantages which belong to higher characters.

    The whole world is put in motion by the wish for riches and the dread of poverty.

    The wickedness of a loose or profane author, in his writings, is more atrocious than that of the giddy libertine or drunken ravisher; not only because it extends its effects wider (as a pestilence that taints the air is more destructive than poison infused in a draught), but because it is committed with cool deliberation.

    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.

    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.

    There are occasions on which all apology is rudeness.

    There are two things which I am confident I can do very well; one is an introduction to any literary work, stating what it is to contain, and how it should be executed in the most perfect manner.

    There is a certain race of men that either imagine it their duty, or make it their amusement, to hinder the reception of every work of learning or genius, who stand as sentinels in the avenues of fame, and value themselves upon giving ignorance and envy the first notice of a prey.

    There is a frightful interval between the seed and the timber.

    There is a remedy in human nature against tyranny, that will keep us safe under every form of government.

    There is no book so poor that it would not be a prodigy if wholly made by a single man.

    There is no wisdom in useless and hopeless sorrow; but there is something in it so like virtue that he who is wholly without it cannot be loved, nor will by me, at least, be thought worthy of esteem.

    There is nothing against which an old man should be so much upon his guard as putting himself to nurse.

    There is nothing by which a man exasperates most people more than by displaying a superior ability or brilliancy in conversation. They seem pleased at the time, but their envy makes them curse him at their hearts.

    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.

    There is nothing 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.

    There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.

    There is something in obstinacy which differs from every other passion. Whenever it fails, it never recovers, but either breaks like iron, or crumbles sulkily away, like a fractured arch. Most other passions have their periods of fatigue and rest, their sufferings and their cure; but obstinacy has no resource, and the first wound is mortal.

    There is such a difference between the pursuits of men in great cities that one part of the inhabitants lives to little other purpose than to wonder at the rest. Some have hopes and fears, wishes and aversions, which never enter into the thoughts of others, and inquiry is laboriously exerted to gain that which those who possess it are ready to throw away.

    There may be community of material possessions, but there can never be community of love or esteem.

    There seems to be a strange affectation in authors of appearing to have done everything by chance.

    There would be few enterprises of great labor or hazard undertaken if we had not the power of magnifying the advantages which we persuade ourselves to expect from them.

    These papers of the day have uses more adequate to the purposes of common life than more pompous and durable volumes.

    They give up all sweets of kindness for the sake of peevishness, petulance, or gloom, and alienate the world by neglect of the common forms of civility, and breach of the established laws of conversation.

    They that have grown old in a single state are generally found to be morose, fretful, and captious, tenacious of their own practices and maxims.

    This man [Chesterfield] I thought had been a lord among wits; but I find he is only a wit among lords.

    This world, where much is to be done and little to be known.

    Those who attain any excellence commonly spend life in one common pursuit; for excellence is not often gained upon easier terms.

    Those who, in the confidence of superior capacities or attainments, neglect the common maxims of life, should be reminded that nothing will supply the want of prudence; but that negligence and irregularity, long continued, will make knowledge useless, wit ridiculous, and genius contemptible.

    Those writers who lie on the watch for novelty can have little hope of greatness; for great things cannot have escaped former observation.

    Thought is always troublesome to him who lives without his own approbation.

    Time, with all its celerity, moves slowly on to him whose whole employment is to watch its flight.

    Timidity is a disease of the mind, obstinate and fatal; for a man once persuaded that any impediment is insuperable has given it, with respect to himself, that strength and weight which it had not before.

    To a poet nothing can be useless.

    To be flattered is grateful, even when we know that our praises are not believed by those who pronounce them; for they prove at least our power, and show that our favor is valued, since it is purchased by the meanness of falsehood.

    To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labor tends, and of which every desire prompts the prosecution.

    To be idle and to be poor have always been reproaches; and therefore every man endeavors with his utmost care to hide his poverty from others, and his idleness from himself.

    To be idle is the ultimate purpose of the busy.

    To be of no church is dangerous. Religion, of which the rewards are distant, and which is animated only by Faith and Hope, will glide by degrees out of the mind, unless it be invigorated and reimpressed by external ordinances, by stated calls to worship, and the salutary influence of example.

    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.

    To do nothing is in every man’s power; we can never want an opportunity of omitting duties. The lapse to indolence is soft and imperceptible, because it is only a mere cessation of activity; but the return to diligence is difficult, because it implies a change from rest to motion, from a privation to reality.

    To dread no eye and to suspect no tongue is the great prerogative of innocence—an exemption granted only to invariable virtue.

    To forget, or pretend to do so, to return a borrowed article, is the meanest sort of petty theft.

    To grieve for evils is often wrong; but it is much more wrong to grieve without them. All sorrow that lasts longer than its cause is morbid, and should be shaken off as an attack of melancholy, as the forerunner of a greater evil than poverty or pain.

    To improve the golden moment of opportunity, and catch the good that is within our reach, is the great art of life.

    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.

    To set the mind above the appetites is the end of abstinence, which one of the Fathers observes to be, not a virtue, but the groundwork of a virtue.

    To talk in public, to think in solitude, to read and to hear, to inquire and answer inquiries, is the business of a scholar.

    To tell your own secrets is generally folly, but that folly is without guilt; to communicate those with which we are intrusted is always treachery, and treachery for the most part combined with folly.

    Towering in confidence of twenty-one.

    Treating your adversary with respect is giving him an advantage to which he is not entitled. The greatest part of men cannot judge of reasoning, and are impressed by character; so that, if you allow your adversary a respectable character, they will think that, though you differ from him, you may be in the wrong. Treating your adversary with respect is striking soft in a battle.

    Truth has no gradations; nothing which admits of increase can be so much what it is, as truth is truth. There may be a strange thing, and a thing more strange. But if a proposition be true, there can be none more true.

    Truth, such as is necessary to the regulation of life, is always found where it is honestly sought.

    Unconstraint is the grace of conversation.

    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.

    Want of tenderness is want of parts, and is no less a proof of stupidity than depravity.

    Was there ever anything written by mere man that was wished longer by its readers, excepting Don Quixote, Robinson Crusoe and the Pilgrim’s Progress?

    Waste cannot be accurately told, though we are sensible how destructive it is. Economy, on the one hand, by which a certain income is made to maintain a man genteelly; and waste, on the other, by which on the same income another man lives shabbily, cannot be defined. It is a very nice thing; as one man wears his coat out much sooner than another, we cannot tell how.

    We are easily shocked by crimes which appear at once in their full magnitude; but the gradual growth of our wickedness, endeared by interest and palliated by all the artifices of self-deceit, gives us time to form distinctions in our favor.

    We frequently fall into error and folly, not because the true principles of action are not known, but because for a time they are not remembered; he may, therefore, justly be numbered among the benefactors of mankind who contracts the great rules of life into short sentences that may early be impressed on the memory, and taught by frequent recollection to occur habitually to the mind.

    We have always pretensions to fame which, in our own hearts, we know to be disputable.

    We have now learned that rashness and imprudence will not be deterred from taking credit; let us try whether fraud and avarice may be more easily restrained from giving it.

    We must consider how very little history there is—I mean real, authentic history. That certain kings reigned and certain battles were fought, we can depend upon as true; but all the coloring, all the philosophy, of history is conjecture.

    Wealth is nothing in itself; it is not useful but when it departs from us.

    Were a man not to marry a second time, it might be concluded that his first wife had given him a disgust for marriage; but 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.

    What is good only because it pleases cannot be pronounced good till it has been found to please.

    What is said upon a subject is gathered from an hundred people.

    What we hope ever to do with ease we may learn first to do with diligence.

    Whatever advantage we snatch beyond a certain portion allotted us by nature, is like money spent before it is due, which, at the time of regular payment, will be missed and regretted.

    Whatever be the motive of insult, it is always best to overlook it; for folly scarcely can deserve resentment, and malice is punished by neglect.

    Whatever enlarges hope will exalt courage.

    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.

    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. Far from me, and far from my friends be such frigid philosophy as may conduct us indifferent and unmoved over any ground which has been dignified by wisdom, bravery, or virtue. That man is little to be envied whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plain of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Ionia.

    When a friend is carried to his grave, we at once find excuses for every weakness, and palliation of every fault. We recollect a thousand endearments, which before glided off our minds without impression, a thousand favors unrepaid, a thousand duties unperformed; and wish, vainly wish, for his return, not so much that we may receive as that we may bestow happiness, and recompense that kindness which before we never understood.

    When a king asked Euclid, the mathematician, whether he could not explain his art to him in a more compendious manner, he was answered, that there was no royal way to geometry. Other things may be seized by might, or purchased with money; but knowledge is to be gained only by study, and study to be prosecuted only in retirement.

    When a man feel the reprehension of a friend seconded by his own heart, he is easily heated into resentment.

    When any calamity has been suffered the first thing to be remembered is, how much has been escaped.

    When desperate ills demand a speedy cure, distrust is cowardice and prudence folly.

    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.

    When the desire of wealth is taking hold of the heart, let us look round and see how it operates upon those whose industry or fortune has obtained it. When we find them oppressed with their own abundance, luxurious without pleasure, idle without ease, impatient and querulous in themselves, and despised or hated by the rest of mankind, we shall soon be convinced that if the real wants of our condition are satisfied, there remains little to be sought with solicitude or desired with eagerness.

    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.

    Where necessity ends, curiosity begins; and no sooner are we supplied with everything that nature can command than we sit down to contrive artificial appetites.

    Where secrecy or mystery begins, vice or roguery is not far off.

    Where there is emulation, there will be vanity; where there is vanity, there will be folly.

    Where there is no hope there can be no endeavor.

    While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates. You must wait till grief be digested, and then amusement will dissipate the remains of it.

    Whoever shall review his life, will find that the whole tenor of his conduct has been determined by some accident of no apparent moment.

    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.

    Whosoever shall look heedfully upon those who are eminent for their riches will not think their condition such as that he should hazard his quiet, and much less his virtue, to obtain it, for all that great wealth generally gives above a moderate fortune is more room for the freaks of caprice, and more privilege for ignorance and vice, a quicker succession of flatteries, and a larger circle of voluptuousness.

    Wisdom and virtue are by no means sufficient, without the supplemental laws of good-breeding, to secure freedom from degenerating into rudeness, or self-esteem from swelling into insolence. A thousand incivilities may be committed, and a thousand offices neglected, without any remorse of conscience, or reproach from reason.

    Wit will never make a man rich, but there are places where riches will always make a wit.

    Wit, like every other power, has its boundaries. Its success depends on the aptitude of others to receive impressions; and that as some bodies, indissoluble by heat, can set the furnace and crucible at defiance, there are minds upon which the rays of fancy may be pointed without effect, and which no fire of sentiment can agitate or exalt.

    Without frugality none can be rich, and with it very few would be poor.

    Words are daughters of earth, but ideas are sons of heaven.

    Wretched, un-idea’d girls.

    Year chases year, decay pursues decay; still drops some joy from withering life away.

    You cannot find an instance of any man, who is permitted to lay out his own time, contriving not to have tedious hours.

    You cannot give me an instance of any man who is permitted to lay out his own time contriving not to have tedious hours.

    You cannot spend money in luxury without doing good to the poor. Nay, you do more good to them by spending it in luxury—you make them exert industry, whereas by giving it, you keep them idle.

    You cannot, by all the lecturing in the world, enable a man to make a shoe.

    You despise a man for avarice; but you do not hate him.