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power, and goodness, that will crown our virtuous endeavours here with a happiness hereafter, large as our desires, and lasting as our immortal souls; without this the highest state of life is insipid, and with it the lowest is a paradise.
Honourable age is not that which standeth in length of time, nor that is measured by number of years; but wisdom is the grey hair unto man, and unspotted life is old age.
Wickedness, condemned by her own witness, is very timorous, and being pressed with conscience, always forecasteth evil things; for fear is nothing else but a betraying of the succours which reason offereth.
A wise man will fear in every thing. He that contemneth small things shall fall by little and little.
A rich man beginning to fall, is held up of his friends; but a poor man being down, is thrust away by his friends; when a rich man is fallen he hath many helpers; he speaketh things not to be spoken, and yet men justify him: the poor man slipped, and they rebuked him; he spoke wisely, and could have no place. When a rich man speaketh, every man holdeth his tongue, and, look, what he saith they extol it to the clouds; but if a poor man speaks, they say, 'What fellow is this?'
Many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but not so many as have fallen by the tongue. Well is he that is defended from it, and hath not passed through the venom thereof; who hath not drawn the yoke thereof, nor been bound in her bonds;
for the yoke thereof is a yoke of iron, and the bands thereof are bands of brass; the death thereof is an evil death.
My son, blemish not thy good deeds, neither use uncomfortable words, when thou givest any thing. Shall not the dew assuage the heat? so is a word better than a gift. Lo, is not a word better than a gift? but both are with a gracious man.
Blame not, before thou hast examined the truth; understand first, and then rebuke.
If thou wouldest get a friend, prove him first, and be not hasty to credit him; for some men are friends for their own occasions, and will not abide in the day of thy trouble.
Forsake not an old friend, for the new is not comparable to him: a new friend is as new wine; when it is old, thou shalt drink it with pleasure.
A friend cannot be known in prosperity; and an enemy cannot be hidden in adversity.
Admonish thy friend; it may be he hath not done it; and if he have, that he do it no more. Admonish thy friend; it may be he hath not said it; or if he have, that he speak it not again. Admonish a friend; for many times it is a slander; and believe not every tale. There is one that slippeth in his speech, but not from his heart; and who is he that hath not offended with his tongue? Whoso discovereth secrets loseth his credit, and shall never find a friend to his mind.
Honour thy father with thy whole heart; and forget not the sorrows of thy mother; how canst thou recompense them the things that they have done for thee?
There is nothing of so much worth as a mind well instructed.
The lips of talkers will be telling such things as pertain not unto them; but the words of such as have understanding are weighed in the balance. The heart of fools is in their mouth, but the tongue of the wise is in their heart.
To labour, and to be content with that a man hath, is a sweet life.
Be at peace with many
nevertheless, have but
one counsellor of a thousand.
Be not confident in a plain way.
Let reason go before every enterprise, and counsel before every action.
Young men are subtle arguers; the cloak of honour covers all their faults, as that of passion all their follies.
Economy is no disgrace; it is better living on a little, than outliving a great deal.
Next to the satisfaction I receive in the prosperity of an honest man, I am best pleased with the confusion of a rascal.
What is often termed shyness, is nothing more than a refined sense, and an indifference to common observations.
The higher character a person supports, the more he should regard his minutest actions.
Every person insensibly fixes upon some degree of refinement in his discourse, some measure of thought which he thinks worth exhibiting. It is wise to fix this pretty high, although it occasions one to talk the less.
To endeavour all one's days to fortify our minds
with learning and philosophy, is to spend so much in armour, that one has nothing left to defend.
Deference often shrinks and withers as much upon the approach of intimacy, as the sensitive plant does upon the touch of one's finger.
Men are sometimes accused of pride, merely because their accusers would be proud themselves if they were in their places.
People frequently use this expression: 'I am inclined to think so and so,' not considering that they are then speaking the most literal of all truths.
Modesty makes large amends for the pain it gives the persons who labour under it, by the prejudice it affords every worthy person in their favour.
The difference there is betwixt honour and honesty seems to be chiefly in the motive. The honest man does that from duty, which the man of honour does for the sake of character.
A liar begins with making a falsehood appear like truth, and ends with making truth itself appear like falsehood.
Virtue should be considered as a part of taste; and we should as much avoid deceit, or sinister meanings in discourse, as we would puns, bad language, or false grammar.
Deference is the most complicate, the most indirect, and the most elegant of all compliments.
He that lies in bed all a summer's morning, loses the chief pleasure of the day: he that gives up his youth to indolence, undergoes a loss of the same kind.
Shining characters are not always the most agreeable ones; the mild radiance of an emerald is by no means less pleasing than the glare of the ruby.
To be at once a rake, and to glory in the character, discovers at the same time a bad disposition and a bad taste.
Men's zeal for religion is much of the same kind as that which they show for a foot-ball; whenever it is contested for, every one is ready to venture their lives and limbs in the dispute; but when that is once at an end, it is no more thought on, but sleeps in oblivion, buried in rubbish, which no one thinks it worth his pains to rake into, much less to
Honour is but a fictitious kind of honesty; a mean but a necessary substitute for it, in societies who have none; it is a sort of paper credit, with which men are obliged to trade who are deficient in the sterling cash of true morality and religion.
Persons of great delicacy should know the certainty of the following truth: There are abundance of cases which occasion suspense, in which, whatever they determine, they will repent of their determination; and this through a propensity of human nature to fancy happiness in those schemes which it does not pursue.
The chief advantage that ancient writers can boast over modern ones, seems owing to simplicity. Every noble truth and sentiment was expressed by the former in a natural manner, in word and phrase simple, perspicuous, and incapable of improvement.