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.
Profound meditation in solitude and silence frequently exalts the mind above its natural tone, fires the imagination, produces the most refined and sublime conceptions. The soul then tastes the purest and most refined delight, and almost loses the idea of existence in the intellectual pleasure it receives. The mind on every motion darts through space into eternity; and raised, in its free enjoyment of its powers by its own enthusiasm, strengthens itself in the habitude of contemplating the noblest subjects, and of adopting the most heroic pursuits.
The quarter of an hour before dinner is the worst that suitors can choose.
Beauty gains little, and homeliness and deformity lose much, by gaudy attire. Lysander knew this was in part true, and refused the rich garments that the tyrant Dionysius proffered to his daughters, saying "that they were fit only to make unhappy faces more remarkable."
In fame's temple there is always a niche to be found for rich dunces, importunate scoundrels, or successful butchers of the human race.
Put this restriction on your pleasures: be cautious that they injure no being which has life.
The sluggard is a living insensible.
Beauty is worse than wine; it intoxicates both the holder and the beholder.
In the sallies of badinage a polite fool shines; but in gravity he is as awkward as an elephant disporting.
Scholars are frequently to be met with who are ignorant of nothing--saving their own ignorance.