Paul Chatfield, pseudonym for Horace Smith
With a double vigilance should we watch our actions, when we reflect that good and bad ones are never childless, and that in both cases the offspring goes beyond the parent,--every good begetting a better, every bad a worse.
Were it not for the salutary agitation of the passions, the waters of life would become dull, stagnant, and as unfit for all vital purposes as those of the Dead Sea.
Were a whole nation to start upon a new career of education, with mature faculties and minds free from prepossession or prejudice, how much would be quickly abandoned that is now most stubbornly cherished!
We may hold it slavish to dress according to the judgment of fools and the caprice of coxcombs; but are we not ourselves both when we are singular in our attire?
There is a profound charm in mystery.
To conquer fanaticism, you must tolerate it; the shuttlecock of religious difference soon falls to the ground when there are no battledoors to beat it backward and forward.
The moral courage that will face obloquy in a good cause is a much rarer gift than the bodily valor that will confront death in a bad one.
The liberty of the press is the true measure of all other liberty; for all freedom without this must be merely nominal.
Slanderers are at all events economical for they make a little scandal go a great way, and rarely open their mouths except at the expense of other people.
Revenge, which, like envy, is an instinct of justice, does but take into its own hands the execution of that natural law which precedes the social.
Quills are things that are sometimes taken from the pinions of one goose to spread the opinions of another.
Pure religion may generally be measured by the cheerfulness of its professors, and superstition by the gloom of its victims.
Popularity is like the brightness of a falling star, the fleeting splendor of a rainbow, the bubble that is sure to burst by its very inflation.
One would not object to the prevalent notion that whatever is fashionable is right, if our rulers of the mode would contrive that whatever is right should be fashionable.
Not to know what happened before we were born is always to remain a child; to know, and blindly to adopt that knowledge as an implicit rule of life, is never to be a man.
Jokes are the cayenne of conversation, and the salt of life.
If there were no readers there certainly would be no writers. Clearly, therefore, the existence of writers depends upon the existence of readers; and, of course, as the cause must be antecedent to the effect, readers existed before writers. Yet, on the other hand, if there were no writers there could be no readers, so it should appear that writers must be antecedent to readers.
If the seal of time were to be the signet of truth, there is no absurdity, oppression, or falsehood that might not be revived as gospel; while the gospel itself would want the more ancient warrant of paganism.
Good and bad luck is but a synonym, in the great majority of instances, for good and bad judgment.
Fortune is painted blind in order to show her impartiality; but when she cheers the needy with hope, and depresses the wealthy with distrust, methinks she confers the richest boon on the poorest man, and injures those on whom she bestows her favors.