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Honour's a sacred tie, the law of kings,
The noble mind's distinguishing perfection
That aids and strengthens virtue where it meets her
And imitates her actions where she is not:
It is not to be sported with.
How can it enter into the thoughts of man, that the soul, which is capable of such immense perfections, and of receiving new improvements to all eternity, shall fall away into nothing almost as soon as it is created?
How is it possible for those who are men of honor in their persons, thus to become notorious liars in their party?
Hudibras has defined nonsense, as Cowley does wit, by negatives. Nonsense, he says, is that which is neither true nor false. These two great properties of nonsense, which are always essential to it, give it such a peculiar advantage over all other writings, that it is incapable of being either answered or contradicted.
Hunting is not a proper employment for a thinking man.
Hypocrisy itself does great honor, or rather justice, to religion, and tacitly acknowledges it to be an ornament to human nature. The hypocrite would not be at so much pains to put on the appearance of virtue, if he did not know it was the most proper and effectual means to gain the love and esteem of mankind.
I am sick of this bad world! The daylight and the sun grow painful to me.
I believe that everyone, some time or other, dreams that he is reading papers, books, or letters; in which case the invention prompts so readily that the mind is imposed upon, and mistakes its own suggestions for the composition of another.
I consider a human soul without education like marble in the quarry, which shows none of its inherent beauties until the skill of the polisher fetches out the colors and makes the surface shine.
I consider time as an in immense ocean, in which many noble authors are entirely swallowed up.
I have always preferred cheerfulness to mirth. The latter I consider an art, the former as a habit of mind. Mirth is short and transient, cheerfulness fixed and permanent.
I have but nine-pence in ready money, but I can draw for a thousand pounds.
- to a lady who complained of his having talked little in company, see "Boswell's Life of Johnson"
I have often reflected within myself on this unaccountable humor in womankind of being smitten with everything that is showy and superficial, and on the numberless evils that befall the sex from this light fantastical disposition.
I live in the world rather as a spectator of mankind than as one of the species.
I never knew a critic who made it his business to lash the faults of other writers that was not guilty of greater himself--as the hangman is generally a worse malefactor than the criminal that suffers by his hand.
I think I may define it to be the faculty of the soul which discerns the beauties of an author with pleasure, and the imperfections with dislike.
I tremble at his vehemence of temper.
I would . . . earnestly advise them for their good to order this paper to be punctually served up, and to be looked upon as a part of the tea equipage.
- in the "Spectator", no. 10 [Journalism]
I would have every zealous man examine his heart thoroughly, and I believe he will often find that what be calls a zeal for his religion is either pride, interest, or ill-repute.
I'm weary of conjectures: this must end them.
If friends to a government forbear their assistance, they put it in the power of a few desperate men to ruin the welfare of those who are superior to them in strength and interest.
If gratitude, when exerted towards another, naturally produces a very pleasing sensation in the mind of a grateful man, it exalts the soul into rapture when it is employed on this great object of gratitude to the beneficent Being who has given us everything we already possess, and from whom we expect everything we yet hope for.
If men would consider not so much where they differ, as wherein they agree, there would be far less of uncharitableness and angry feeling in the world.
If our zeal were true and genuine we should be much more angry with a sinner than a heretic.
If ridicule were employed to laugh men out of vice and folly, it might be of some use.
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