Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Roger L'Estrange, fully Sir Roger L'Estrange

English Journalist, Pamphleteer and Author

"All duties are matter of conscience, with this restriction that a superior obligation suspends the force of an inferior one."

"It is not the place, nor the condition, but the mind alone that can make any one happy or miserable."

"It is with our passions, as it is with fire and water, they are good servants but bad masters."

"Men are not to be judged by their looks, habits, and appearances; but by the character of their lives and conversations, and by their works. It is better to be praised by one's own works than by the words of another."

"Men indulge those opinions and practices that favor their pretensions."

"Much tongue and much judgment seldom go together."

"Partiality in a parent is unlucky; for fondling are in danger to be made fools."

"Riches are gotten with pain, kept with care, and lost with grief. The cares of riches lie heavier upon a good man than the inconveniences of an honest poverty."

"The greatest of all injustice is that which goes under the name of law; and of all sorts of tyranny, the forcing the letter of the law against the equity is the most insupportable."

"Parasites and liars have need of good memories."

"There is not one grain the universe, either too much or too little, nothing to be added, nothing to be spared; nor so much as any one particle of it, that mankind may not be either the better or the worse for according as it is applied."

"Tutors should behave reverently before their pupils."

"When men will not be reasoned out of a vanity, they must be ridiculed out of it."

"Wickedness may prosper for a while."

"?Tis not for a desultory thought to atone for a lewd course of life; nor for anything but the superinducing of a virtuous habit upon a vicious one, to qualify an effectual conversion."

"A body may well lay too little as too much stress upon a dream; but the less he heed them the better."

"A plodding diligence brings us sooner to our journey's end than a fluttering way of advancing by starts."

"A universal applause is seldom less than two thirds of a scandal."

"All matches, friendships, and societies are dangerous and inconvenient, where the contractors are not equal."

"Avarice is insatiable, and is always pushing on for more."

"By one delay after another they spin out their whole lives, till there's no more future left for them."

"Figure-flingers and star-gazers pretend to foretell the fortunes of kingdoms, and have no foresight in what concerns themselves."

"Good or bad company is the greatest blessing or greatest plague of life."

"He that contemns a shrew to the degree of not descending to words with her does worse than beat her."

"He that upon a true principle lives, without any disquiet of thought, may be said to be happy."

"He that would live clear of envy must lay his finger on his mouth, and keep his hand out of the ink-pot."

"Humor is the offspring of man; it comes forth like Minerva, fully armed from the brain."

"If we should cease to be generous and charitable because another is sordid and ungrateful, it would be much in the power of vice to extinguish Christian virtues."

"Imperfections would not be half so much taken notice of, if vanity did not make proclamation of them."

"Ingratitude is abhorred by God and man."

"Intemperate wits will spare neither friend nor foe, and make themselves the common enemies of mankind."

"It is a way of calling a man a fool when no attention is given to what he says."

"It is one of the vexatious mortifications of a studious man to have his thoughts disordered by a tedious visit."

"It is the fancy, not the reason of things that makes us so uneasy. It is not the place, nor the condition, but the mind alone that can make anybody happy or miserable."

"It may serve as a comfort to us in all our calamities and afflictions that he that loses anything and gets wisdom by it is a gainer by the loss."

"It requires a critical nicety to find out the genius or the propensions of a child."

"Live and let live is the rule of common justice."

"Lord Melbourne was so accustomed to garnish his conversation in this way that Sydney Smith once said to him, "We will take it for granted that everybody is damned, and now proceed with the subject.""

"Men talk as if they believed in God, but they live as if they thought there was none; their vows and promises are no more than words, of course."

"Money does all things,--for it gives and it takes away; it makes honest men and knaves, fools and philosophers; and so forward, mutatis mutandis, to the end of the chapter."

"Nothing is so fierce but love will soften; nothing so sharp-sighted in other matters but it will throw a mist before its eyes."

"Passions, as fire and water, are good servants, but bad masters, and subminister to the best and worst purposes."

"People are sooner reclaimed by the side-wind of a surprise than by downright admonition."

"Pretenses go a great way with men that take fair words and magisterial looks for current payment."

"Simonides was an excellent poet, insomuch that he made his fortune by it."

"So long as we stand in need of a benefit, there is nothing dearer to us; nor anything cheaper when we have received it."

"Some natures are so sour and ungrateful that they are never to be obliged."

"Some people are all quality; you would think they are made up of nothing but title and genealogy. The stamp of dignity defaces in them the very character of humanity and transports them to such a degree of haughtiness that they reckon it below themselves to exercise either good nature or good manners."

"Some read books only with a view to find fault, while others read only to be taught; the former are like venomous spiders, extracting a poisonous quality, where the latter, like the bees, sip out a sweet and profitable juice."

"That which the world miscalls a jail, a private closet is to me. . . Locks, bars, and solitude together met, make me no prisoner, but an anchoret."