I respect the man who knows distinctly what he wishes. The greater part of all the mischief in the world arises from the fact that men do not sufficiently understand their own aims. They have undertaken to build a tower, and spend no more labor on the foundation than would be necessary to erect a hut.
The mischief of flattery is, not that it persuades any man that he is what he is not, but that it suppresses the influence of honest ambition by raising an opinion that honor may be gained without the toil of merit.
It is a world of mischief that may be done by a single example of avarice or luxury. One voluptuous palate makes many more.
Idleness is the bane of body and mind, the nurse of naughtiness, the chief author of all mischief, one of the seven deadly sins, the cushion upon which the devil chiefly reposes, and a great cause not only of melancholy, but of many other diseases; for the mind is naturally active; and if it be not occupied about some honest business, it rushes into mischief or sinks into melancholy.
The innocence of the intention abates nothing of the mischief of the example.
Reveal not every secret you have to a friend, for how can you tell but that friend may hereafter become an enemy. And bring not all the mischief you are able to do upon an enemy, for he may one day become your friend.
Yet have I ever heard it said that spies and tale-bearers have done more mischief in this world than poisoned bowl or the assassin’s dagger.
The mischief of flattery is not that it persuades any man that he is what he is not, but that it suppresses the influence of honest ambition, by raising an opinion that honor may be gained without the toil of merit.
Reveal not every secret you have to a friend, for how can you tell but that friend may hereafter become an enemy. And bring not all mischief you are able to upon an enemy, for he may one day become your friend.
The bad thing about all religions is that, instead of being able to confess their allegorical nature, they have to conceal it; accordingly, they parade their doctrine in all seriousness as true sensu proprio, and as these doctrines, you have the great mischief of a continual fraud.
Terrible consequences there will always be when the mean vices attempt to mimic the grand passions. Great men will never do great mischief but for some great end.
Idleness is the badge of the gentry, the bane of body and mind, the nurse of naughtiness, the stepmother of discipline, the chief author of all mischief, one of the seven deadly sins, the cushion upon which the devil chiefly reposes, and a great cause not only of melancholy, but of many other diseases; for the mind is naturally active, and, if it is not occupied about some honest business, it rushes into mischief or sinks into melancholy.
Greater mischief happens often from folly, meanness, and vanity than from the greater sins of avarice and ambition.
Like flakes of snow that fall imperceptibly upon the earth, the seemingly unimportant events of life succeed one another. As snowflakes gather, so our habits are formed. No single flake that is added to the pile produces a sensible change. No single action creates, however it may exhibit a man's character. But as the tempest hurls the avalanche down the mountain and overwhelms the inhabitant and his habitation, so passion, acting on the elements of mischief which pernicious habits have brought together, may overthrow the edifice of truth and virtue.
Great is the mischief of a legal crime.
Bring together all the children of the universe, you will see nothing in them but innocence, gentleness, and fear; were they born wicked, spiteful, and cruel, some signs of it would come from them; as little snakes strive to bite, and little tigers to tear. But nature having been of offensive weapons to man as to pigeons and rabbits, it cannot have given them an instinct to mischief and destruction.
For stories teach us, that liberty sought out of season, in a corrupt and degenerate age, brought Rome itself to a farther slavery: for liberty hath a sharp and double edge, fit only to be handled by just and virtuous men; to bad and dissolute, it becomes a mischief unwieldy in their own hands: neither is it completely given, but by them who have the happy skill to know what is grievance and unjust to a people, and how to remove it wisely; what good laws are wanting, and how to frame them substantially, that good men may enjoy the freedom which they merit, and the bad the curb which they need.
The best of God's servants are those who when seen remind you of God;
and the worst of God's servants are those who spread tales
to do mischief and separate friends, and look for the faults of the good.
A little scandal is an excellent thing; nobody is ever brighter or happier of tongue than when he is making mischief of his neighbors.
You ought to love all mankind; nay, every individual of mankind. You ought not to love the individuals of your domestic circles less, but to love those who exist beyond it more. Once make the feelings of confidence and of affection universal, and the distinctions of property and power will vanish; nor are they to be abolished without substituting something equivalent in mischief to them, until all mankind shall acknowledge an entire community of rights.