In the conduct of life, habits count for more than maxims; because habit is a living maxim, becomes flesh and instinct. To reform one's maxims is nothing: it is but to change the title of the book. To learn new habits is everything, for it is to reach the substance of life. Life is but a tissue of habits.
Good sense, good health, good conscience, and good fame - all these belong to virtue, and all prove that virtue has a title to your love.
Love hates people to be attached to each other except by himself, and takes a laggard part in relations that are set up and maintained under another title, as marriage is. Connections and means have, with reason, as much weight in it as graces and beauty, or more. We do not marry for ourselves, whatever we say; we marry must as much or more for our posterity, for our family. The practice and benefit of marriage concerns our race very far beyond us. Therefore I like this fashion of arranging it rather by a third hand than by our own, and by the sense of other rather than by our own. How opposite is all this to the conventions of love!
It was the saying of a great man that if we could trace our descents, we should find all slaves to come from princes, and all princes from slaves; and fortune has turned all things topsy-turvy in a long series of revolutions; beside, for a man to spend his life in pursuit of a title, that serves only when he dies to furnish out an epitaph, is below a wise man’s business.
In the conduct of life, habits count for more than maxims; because habit is a living maxim, becomes flesh and instinct. To reform one's maxims is nothing: it is but to change the title of the book. To learn new habits is.
There in fact four very significant stumbling-blocks in the way of grasping the truth, which hinder every man however learned, and scarcely allow anyone to win a clear title to wisdom, namely, the example of weak and unworthy authority, long-standing custom, the feeling of the ignorant crowd, and the hiding of our own ignorance while making a display of our apparent knowledge... there are two modes of acquiring knowledge, namely by reasoning and experience.
A wise man looks upon men as he does on horses; all their comparisons of title, wealth, and place, he consider but as harness.
Tracing the progress of mankind in the ascending path of civilization, and moral and intellectual culture, our fathers found that the divine ordinance of government, in every stage of ascent, was adjustable on principles of the common reason to the actual condition of a people, and always had for its objects, in the benevolent councils of the divine wisdom, the happiness, the expansion, the security, the elevation of society, and the redemption of man. They sought in vain for any title of authority of man over man, except of superior capacity and higher morality.
Marriage by its best title is a monopoly.
The practice of perseverance is the discipline of the noblest virtues. To run well, we must run to the end. It is not the fighting but the conquering that gives a hero his title to renown.
Titles are but nicknames, and every nickname is a title.
I trace the title of this world from century to century until I find the whole right vested in God. Now to whom did he give it? To his own children. All are yours.
No man can establish title to an idea - at the most he can only claim possession. The stream of though that irrigates the mind of each of us is a confluent of the intellectual river that drains the whole of the living universe.
Taste is not stationary. It grows every day, and is improved by cultivation, as a good temper is refined by religion. In its most advanced state it takes the title of judgment. Hume quotes Fontenelle's ingenious distinction between the common watch that tells the hours, and the delicately constructed one that marks the seconds and smallest differences of time.
Wealth obviously is not the good we seek, for the sole purpose it serves is to provide the means for getting something else, pleasure, virtue and honor would have better title to be considered the good for they are to be desired for their account.
There is nothing in the world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person.
In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title.
Man is born to believe, and if no church comes forward with all the title deeds of truths... he will find alters and idols in his own heart and his own imagination.
A recognition of truth and the practice of virtue is the title to security for both the individuals and the whole of mankind.
Title and ancestry render a good man more illustrious, but an ill one more contemptible. Vice is infamous, though in a prince; and virtue honorable, though in a peasant.