Some old men, by continually praising the time of their youth, would almost persuade us that there were no fools in those days; but unluckily they are left themselves for examples.
Topics: Youth, Age
False happiness is like false money; it passes for a time as well as the true, and serves some ordinary occasions; but when it is brought to the touch, we find the lightness and alloy, and feel the loss.
To err is human; to forgive, divine.
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 today than he was yesterday.
Party is the madness of many, for the gain of a few.
Teach me to feel another’s woe,
To hide the fault I see,
That mercy I to others show,
That mercy show to me.
To be angry, is to revenge the fault of others upon ourselves.
Men must be taught as if you taught them not, And things unknown propos’d as things forgot.
When we are young, we are slavishly employed in procuring something whereby we may live comfortably when we grow old; and when we are old, we I perceive it is too late to live as we proposed.
Topics: Age, Aging
He serves me most, who serves his country best.
Be silent always when you doubt your sense.
He who tells a lie, is not sensible how great a task he undertakes; for he must be forced to invent twenty more to maintain that one.
See skulking Truth to her old cavern fled,
Mountains of Casuistry heap’d o’er her head!
Philosophy, that lean’d on Heav’n before,
Shrinks to her second cause, and is no more.
Physic of Metaphysic begs defence,
And Metaphysic calls for aid on Sense!
See Mystery to Mathematics fly!
The bookful blockhead ignorantly read,
With loads of learned lumber in his head,
With his own tongue still edifies his ears,
And always list’ning to himself appears.
All books he reads, and all he reads assails.
Topics: Intelligence, Reading
See dying vegetables life sustain,
See life dissolving vegetate again;
All forms that perish other forms supply;
By turns we catch the vital breath and die.
An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie; or an excuse is a lie guarded.
It is with narrow-souled people as with narrow necked bottles: the less they have in them, the more noise they make in pouring it out.
Some praise at morning what they blame at night, But always think the last opinion right.
Scarce any Tale was sooner heard than told;
And all who told it, added something new,
And all who heard it, made Enlargements too,
In every Ear it spread, on every Tongue it grew.
Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear.
I believe no one qualification is so likely to make a good writer, as the power of rejecting his own thoughts.
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