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when used with moderation, it gladdens and invigorates the heart.
The gentle reproof of a sincere friend, like the probings of an experienced surgeon, though painful in the operation, is nevertheless intended for the security of the patient.
Fear has a strong memory.
Flattery, like a cameleon, assumes the colours of the object it is nearest to.
Pride is the most absurd of all follies; she destroys her own intent, for the more she exacts worship, the less she receives.
When I see a beau and a belle decorated with a profusion of finery for a court-ball, I consider them as two French dolls exhibited in the great toy-shop of Folly.
Reproof, to persons under misfortunes, is as sharp as a dagger's point, and wounds as deeply. Necessity frequently infringes on the laws of delicacy.
Books are the spectacles of the mind, and make us discover things more clearly and perceptibly than we should do without their assistance.
Wisdom and fortitude are generally companions. The severity of princes may terrify, but it will also irritate.
The world is taken with show and outside, with finery and vain titles, as birds are with lime; they are the bird-lime of fools, women, and children. The eye is the mirror of the heart.
Satire should not be like a saw, but a sword; it should cut, not mangle.
Cowards are great anticipators of danger.
Nothing exposes the weakness of human nature
so much, as the vanity of literary men and the affectation of beautiful women.
There is not a greater nor a more cruel slavery than dependance.
Old people are apt to declaim perversely against the depravity of the present times, when compared with the past; they forget that it is not so much the times, as themselves, that are changed. Duplicity is the armour of a coward.
Those who wish to travel with advantage must leave their prejudices at home, and determine, with St. Paul, to be all things to all men.
Princes have contrived a very cheap and easy method to please and reward their subjects and courtiers: a few yards of blue, green, or red ribband, recompense sufficiently the officer who obtains a victory; and a skin of parchment (or patent of peerage) is a full discharge for years of faithful service.
There can be no greater pleasure than obliging merit in distress; but we must expect no acknowledgment: acknowledgment cancels, and is a receipt in full for all obligation; and in this sense it is well understood by most obligees.
It is wonderful that men should be as much pleased with the shadow as they are with the substance of power: had Julius Cesar been satisfied with the perpetual dictatorship, and refused the imperial diadem, he would have been equally as great and powerful, and most probably a happier man, in the hearts and affections of the Roman people. Oliver Cromwell knew this-and died in his bed.
Death and absence never fail to expose what
envy is busily employed to conceal; the merit and virtue of individuals.
Art is allowable in all the works of nature, and it may help to adorn them; but it is destructive to friendship.
Those only are truly happy who have the means, as well as the will, to contribute to the felicity of their fellow-creatures.
True friends anticipate each other's wants.
Our ears are of necessity open; but we may keep our mouths as much shut as we please.
The bank of Holland, like a lion's den, admits all, but permits none to return.
The tongues of a malicious and envious world are frequently our best instructors; they teach us prudence and caution.
The three most desirable things have ever been the most destructive; beauty, wealth, and power.
By four we divide the globe, Europe, Asia, Africa, and America; the seasons, spring, summer, autumn, and winter; the age of man, childhood, adolescence, manhood, and old age; and the greatest blessings of life, (when not abused) health, wealth, beauty, and power.
Many are the ups and downs of life, and fortune must be uncommonly gracious to that mortal who does not experience a great variety of them; though perhaps to these may be owing as much of our pleasure as our pain: there are scenes of delight in the vale as well as on the mountains; and the inequalities of nature may not be less necessary to please the eye, than the varieties of life to improve the heart.
Variety, provided it be not troublesome to
others, is no such great evil, since it is a kind remedy that nature has planted in every one to preserve us from being out of humour with ourselves.
Vice and folly may feel the edge of wit, but virtue is invulnerable; as aquafortis can only penetrate and dissolve base metals, its corrosive quality being incapable of affecting gold.
Courage is nothing more than a power of opposing danger with serenity and perseverance.
Men are attracted towards each other by general sympathy, but kept from contact by private interests.
The poet Martial says, he that cannot live well to day, will be less qualified to live well to mor
Wit is very pernicious, unless it be tempered with virtue and humanity.
Severity of reproof, like a file, may be disagreeable in its operations; but hard and rusty metals will be the brighter for it.
Travelling to boobies is of infinite use, since it changes them from lethargic blockheads into prating coxcombs; it improves them, as bottling does small-beer, which then becomes brisk without growing stronger. On the other hand, it gives ease and a polish to men of sense and learning, which nothing else can supply: a judicious mixture of those refined manners in which our neighbours excel, adds a grace and a brilliancy to every solid accomplishment, and completes what may justly be called the fine gentleman; as our weavers use wool of a finer growth than our native fleeces, to carry the manufacture to its utmost perfection.
Invention is a quick and sagacious penetration into the true essence of all the objects of our contemplation.
To extract private libels from public satire, has ever been the office of malevolence and folly.
Wit and fine writing do not consist so much in advancing things that are new, as in giving things that are known an agreeable turn.
We attend to the conversation of a beautiful woman, not because we hear, but because we see her: there is much eloquence in a fine face and sparkling eyes.
He who would enjoy many friends, and live happy in the world, must often be deaf, dumb, and blind, to its vices and follies.
Though general satire is calculated to fit all mankind alike, there are none who imagine it so when it is applied to themselves.
Injuries are seldom forgotten; benefits are not often remembered.
Reproof is never more efficacious than when it comes tempered with good humour.
Men are more likely to be praised into virtue, than to be rallied out of vice.
Without good sense, good manners, and politeness, there can be no social happiness.
Good breeding, though it may originate from vanity, conciliates the love of all those who feel its influence.
If we read the ancient historians and poets, we shall find our complaint of the degeneracy of the times we live in but ill-grounded: virtue and vice have ever been the same; the only alte ration is in the mode and fashion of them.