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A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong; which is but saying in other words, that he is wiser to-day than he was yesterday.
Wherever I find a great deal of gratitude in a poor man, I take it for granted there would be as much generosity if he were a rich man.
Flowers of rhetoric in sermons or serious discourses, are like the blue and red flowers in corn, pleasing to those who come only for amusement, but prejudicial to him who would reap the profit.
It often happens that those are the best people whose characters have been most injured by slanderers: as we usually find that to be the sweetest fruit which the birds have been pecking at.
The eye of the critic is often like,a microscope, made so very fine and nice, that it discovers the atoms, grains, and minutest particles, without ever comprehending the whole, comparing the parts, or seeing all at once the harmony.
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 the 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. What then remained for later writers, but affectation, witticism, and conceit?
WHAT a piece of work is man how moble in reason? how infinite in faculties! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god!
If to do, were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men's cottages prince's palaces. He is a good divine who follows his own instructions: I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than to be one of the twenty to follow my own teaching.
Men's evil manners live in brass; their virtues we write in water.
The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together; our virtues would be proud, if our faults whipped them not; and our crimes would despair, if they were not cherished by our virtues.
The sense of death is most in apprehension;
How far the little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
-Love all, trust a few,
wrong to none; be able for thine enemy Rather in power than in use; keep thy friend Under thine own life's key; be check'd for silence, But never task'd for speech,
The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces,
Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well, When our deep plots do fail: and that should teach us, There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will.
The Poet's eyes, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven; And as imagination bodies forth
The form of things unknown, the Poet's pen
Turns them to shape, and gives to airy nothing
Heaven doth with us as we with torches do, Not light them for themselves: for if our virtues Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike
As if we had then not. Spirits are not finely touch'd, But to fine issues: nor nature never lends
The smallest scruple of her excellence,
But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines
Both thanks and use.
What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted?
OH, world, thy slippery turns! Friends now fast sworn,
On a dissension of a doit, break out
Whose passions and whose plots have broke their sleep,
Some trick not worth an egg, shall grow dear friends,
So it falls out,
That what we have we prize not to the worth
Cowards die many times before their deaths;
It seems to me inost strange, that men should fear;
Will come, when it will come
There is some soul of goodness in things evil,
O momentary grace of mortal men, Which we more hunt for than the
Who builds his hope in th' air of men's fair looks,
Ready with every nod to tumble down
-Who shall go about
To cozen fortune, and be honourable
Without the stamp of merit? Let none presume
O that estates, degrees, and offices,
Were not deriv'd corruptly, that clear honour
Oh, who can hold a fire in his hand,
Or wallow naked in December's snow,
Whose edge is sharper than the sword; whose tongue
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Is bound in shallows, and in miseries.