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DAVID HUME
Scottish philosopher and historian
(1711 - 1776)
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He is happy whose circumstances suit his temper but he is more excellent who can suit his temper to any circumstances.
      - [Temper]

If refined sense, and exalted sense, be not so useful as common sense, their rarity, their novelty, and the nobleness of their objects, make some compensation, and render them the admiration of mankind.
      - [Refinement]

In a vain man, the smallest spark may kindle into the greatest flame, because the materials are always prepared for it.
      - [Vanity]

In this sullen apathy neither true wisdom nor true happiness can be found.
      - [Apathy]

It is a certain rule that wit and passion are entirely incompatible. When the affections are moved, there is no place for the imagination.
      - [Wit]

It is a great mortification to the vanity of man that his utmost art and industry can never equal the meanest of Nature's productions, either for beauty or value. Art is only the underworkman, and is employed to give a few strokes of embellishment to those pieces which come from the hand of the master.
      - [Art]

It is certain that a serious attention to the sciences and liberal arts softens and humanizes the temper, and cherishes those fine emotions in which true virtue and honor consist. It rarely, very rarely happens that a man of taste and learning is not, at least, an honest man, whatever frailties may attend him.
      - [Science]

It is harder to avoid censure than to gain applause; for this may be done by one great or wise action in an age. But to escape censure a man must pass his whole life without saying or doing one ill or foolish thing.
      - [Censure]

It is on opinion only that government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments, as well as to the most free and most popular.
      - [Opinion]

It is with books as with women, where a certain plainness of manner and of dress is more engaging than that glare of paint and airs and apparel which may dazzle the eye, but reaches not the affections.
      - [Books]

Jealousy is a painful passion; yet without some share of it, the agreeable affection of love has difficulty to subsist in its full force and violence.
      - [Jealousy]

Liberty of thinking, and of expressing our thoughts, is always fatal to priestly power, and to those pious frauds on which it is commonly founded.
      - [Thought]

Luxury is a word of uncertain signification, and may be taken in a good as in a bad sense.
      - [Luxury]

No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish.
      - [Miracles]

Nothing appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the ease with which the many are governed by the few.
      - [Government]

Nothing can be more unphilosophical than to be positive or dogmatical on any subject; and even if excessive scepticism could be maintained it would not be more destructive to all just reasoning and inquiry. When men are the most sure and arrogant, they are commonly the most mistaken, and have there given reins to passion, without that proper deliberation and suspense which can alone secure them from the grossest absurdities.
      - [Dogmatism]

Nothing endears so much a friend as sorrow for his death. The pleasure of his company has not so powerful an influence.
      - [Friends]

Nothing is pure and entire of a piece. All advantages are attended with disadvantages. A universal compensation prevails in all conditions of being and existence.
      - [Compensation]

Nothing is so improving to the temper as the study of the beauties either of poetry, eloquence, music, or painting.
      - [Taste]

Of all sciences there is none where first appearances are more deceitful than in politics.
      - [Politics]

Praise never gives us much pleasure unless it concur with our own opinion, and extol us for those qualities in which we chiefly excel.
      - [Praise]

Riches are valuable at all times, and to all men, because they always purchase pleasures such as men are accustomed to and desire; nor can anything restrain or regulate the love of money but a sense of honor and virtue, which, if it be not nearly equal at all times, will naturally abound most in ages of knowledge and refinement.
      - [Riches]

Self-denial is a monkish virtue.
      - [Self-denial]

Such is the nature of novelty that where anything pleases it becomes doubly agreeable if new; but if it displeases, it is doubly displeasing on that very account.
      - [Novelty]

That the corruption of the best thing produces the worst, is grown into a maxim, and is commonly proved, among other instances, by the pernicious effects of superstition and enthusiasm, the corruptions of true religion.
      - [Superstition]


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