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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Of the Nature of Minds

By Joseph Joubert (1754–1824)

Translation of Thomas Wentworth Higginson

MEN measure minds by their stature: it would be better to estimate them by their beauty.

Nature has made two kinds of fine intellects: some to produce thoughts and beautiful actions, others to admire them.

Heaven rarely grants to the same men the power of thinking well, of speaking well, and of acting well in all things.

One is never mediocre when he has plenty of good sense and good feeling.

Sometimes great minds are nevertheless false minds. They are well-constructed compasses, but whose needles, affected by the influence of some neighboring object, always turn away from the north.

He who has imagination without learning has wings without feet.