News-hunters have great leisure, with little thought; much petty ambition to be considered intelligent, without any other pretension than being able to communicate what they have just learned.
The lust of dominion innovates so imperceptibly that we become complete despots before our wanton abuse of power is perceived; the tyranny first exercised in the nursery is exhibited in various shapes and degrees in every stage of our existence.
When soured by disappointment, we must endeavor to pursue some fixed and pleasing course of study, that there may be no blank leaf in our book of life?. Painful and disagreeable ideas vanish from the mind that can fix its attention upon any subject. The sight of a noble and interesting object, the study of a useful science, the varied pictures of the different revolutions exhibited in the history of mankind, the improvements in any art, are capable of arresting the attention and charming every care; and it is thus that man becomes sociable with himself; it is thus that he finds his best friend within his own bosom.
A good name will wear out; a bad one may be turned; a nickname lasts forever.
Gambling houses are temples where the most sordid and turbulent passions contend; there no spectator can be indifferent. A card or a small square of ivory interests more than the loss of an empire, or the ruin of an unoffending group of infants, and their nearest relatives.
Nobility should be elective, not hereditary.
The more you speak of yourself, the more you are likely to lie.
When we meet with better fare than was expected, the disappointment is overlooked even by the unscrupulous. When we meet with worse than was expected, philosophers alone know how to make it better.
A moral lesson is better expressed in short sayings than in long discourse.
Humility is the first lesson we learn from reflection, and self-distrust the first proof we give of having obtained a knowledge of ourselves.
Novels do not force their fair readers to sin?they only instruct them how to sin; the consequences of which are fully detailed, and not in a way calculated to seduce any but weak minds: few of their heroines are happily disposed of.
The necessities that exist are in general created by the superfluities that are enjoyed.
Who conquers indolence conquers all other hereditary sins.
Age is suspicious but is not itself often suspected.
Hunger is the mother of impatience and anger.
Open your mouth and purse cautiously, and your stock of wealth and reputation shall, at least in repute, be great.
The purse of the patient frequently protracts his cure.
Wit, to be well defined, must be defined by wit itself; then it will be worth listening to.
An everlasting tranquility is, in my imagination, the highest possible felicity, because I know of no felicity on earth higher than that which a peaceful mind and contented heart afford.
Idlers cannot even find time to be idle, or the industrious to be at leisure. We must always be doing or suffering.
Pride, in boasting of family antiquity, makes duration stand for merit.
The purse of the patient often protracts his case.
Be not so bigoted to any custom as to worship it at the expense of truth.
If you ask me which is the real hereditary sin of human nature, do you imagine I shall answer pride or luxury or ambition or egotism? No; I shall say indolence. Who conquers indolence will conquer all the rest. Indeed, all good principles must stagnate without mental activity.