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English essayist, poet and statesman
(1672 - 1719)
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It is a great presumption to ascribe our successes to our own management, and not to esteem ourselves upon any blessing, rather as it is the bounty of heaven, than the acquisition of our own prudence.
      - [Success]

It is always to be understood that a lady takes all you detract from the rest of her sex to be a gift to her.
      - [Slander]

It is certain that there is no other passion which does produce such contrary effects in so great a degree. But this may be said for love, that if you strike it out of the soul, life would be insipid, and our being but half animated.
      - [Love]

It is folly to seek the approbation of any being besides the Supreme.
      - [God]

It is heaven itself that points out an hereafter, and intimates eternity to man.
      - [Future]

It is impossible for authors to discover beauties in one another's works; they have eyes only for spots and blemishes.
      - [Rivalry]

It is much easier to decide what is not humorous than what is, and very difficult to define it otherwise than Cowley has done, by negatives.
      - [Wit]

It is not the business of virtue to extirpate the affections of the mind, but to regulate them.
      - [Virtue]

It is observed by Cicero, that men of the greatest and most shining parts are most actuated by ambition.
      - [Ambition]

It is odd to consider the connection between despotism and barbarity, and how the making one person more than man makes the rest less.
      - [Despotism]

It is of unspeakable advantage to possess our minds with an habitual good intention, and to aim all our thoughts, words, and actions at some laudable end.
      - [Goodness]

It is pleasant to see a notorious profligate seized with a concern for religion, and converting his spleen into zeal.
      - [Conversion]

It is ridiculous for any man to criticize the works of another if he has not distinguished himself by his own performances.
      - [Critics]

It is the privilege of posterity to set matters right between those antagonists who, by their rivalry for greatness, divided a whole age.
      - [Rivalry]

It is wonderful to see persons of sense passing away a dozen hours together in shuffling and dividing a pack of cards.
      - [Gardens]

It must be a prospect pleasing to God Himself to see His creation forever beautifying in His eyes, and drawing nearer Him by greater degrees of resemblance.
      - [Holiness]

Jealousy is that pain which a man feels from the apprehension that he is not equally beloved by the person whom he entirely loves.
      - [Jealousy]

Justice discards party, friendship, kindred, and is therefore always represented as blind.
      - in the "Guardian", no. 99 [Justice]

Knavery is ever suspicious of knavery.
      - [Knavery]

Knowledge is, indeed, that which, next to virtue, truly and essentially raises one man above another.
      - in the "Guardian", no. 111, Letter of Alexander to Aristotle

Labor or exercise ferments the humors, casts them into their proper channels, throws off redundances, and helps nature in those secret distributions without which the body cannot subsist in its vigor nor the soul act with cheerfulness.
      - [Exercise]

Lampoons and satires, that are written with wit and spirit, are like poisoned darts, which not only inflict a wound, but make it incurable.
      - [Satire]

Learning, like traveling and all other methods of improvement, as it finishes good sense, so it makes a silly man ten thousand times more insufferable by supplying variety of matter to his impertinence, and giving him an opportunity of abounding in absurdities.
      - [Pedantry]

Let fierce contending nations know what dire effects from civil discord flow.
      - [Retribution]

Look what a little vain dust we are!
      - [Man]

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