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There is noting truly valuable which can be purchased without pains and labor. The gods have set a price upon every real and noble pleasure.
There is something so wild, and yet so solemn, in the speeches of his ghosts, fairies, witches, and the like imaginary persons, that we cannot forbear thinking them natural, though we have no rule by which to judge of them, and must confess, if there are such beings in the world, it looks highly probable they should talk and act as he has represented them.
There is something very sublime, though very fanciful, in Plato's description of the Supreme Being,--that truth is His body and light His shadow. According to this definition there is nothing so contradictory to his nature as error and falsehood.
They consume a considerable quantity of our paper manufacture, employ our artisans in printing, and find business for great numbers of indigent persons.
- in the "Spectator", no. 367 [Journalism]
This party spirit has so ill an effect on our morals, it has likewise a very great one upon our judgments.
Though a man cannot abstain from being weak, he may from being vicious.
Though we seem grieved at the shortness of life in general, we are wishing every period of it at an end. The minor longs to be at age, then to be a man of business, then to make up an estate, then to arrive at honors, then to retire.
'Tis not my talent to conceal my thoughts,
Or carry smiles and sunshine in my face,
When discontent sits heavy at my heart.
'Tis pride, rank pride, and haughtiness of soul: I think the Romans call it stoicism.
'Tis the divinity that stirs within us;
'Tis Heaven itself that points out an hereafter,
And intimates eternity to man.
Title and ancestry render a good man more illustrious, but an ill one more contemptible. Vice is infamous, though in a prince, and virtue honorable, though in a peasant.
To be an atheist requires an infinitely greater measure of faith than to receive all the great truths which atheism would deny.
To be exempt from the passions with which others are tormented, is the only pleasing solitude.
To check the starts and sallies of the soul, and break off all its commerce with the tongue.
To look upon the soul as going on from strength to strength, to consider that she is to shine forever with new accessions of glory, and brighten to all eternity; that she will be still adding virtue to virtue, and knowledge to knowledge,--carries in it something wonderfully agreeable to that ambition which is natural to the mind of man.
To this end, nothing is to be more carefully consulted than plainness. In a lady's attire this is the single excellence; for to be what some people call fine, is the same vice, in that case, as to be florid is in writing or speaking.
Tom, hinted at his dislike at some trifle is mistress had said; she asked him how he would talk to her after marriage if he talked at this rate before.
Tradition is an important help to history, but its statements should be carefully scrutinized before we rely on them.
Troops of heroes undistinguished die.
True fortitude is seen in great exploits
That justice warrants, and that wisdom guides;
And all else is tow'ring phrenzy and distraction.
True happiness is of a retired nature, and an enemy to pomp and noise. It arises, in the first place, from the enjoyment of one's self, and, in the next, from the friendship and conversation of a few select friends.
True modesty avoids everything that is criminal; false modesty everything that is unfashionable.
True religion and virtue give a cheerful and happy turn to the mind, admit of all true pleasures, and even procure for us the highest.
Two persons who have chosen each other out of all the species with a design to be each other's mutual comfort and entertainment have, in that action, bound themselves to be good-humored, affable, discreet, forgiving, patient, and joyful, with respect to each other's frailties and perfections, to the end of their lives.
Upon laying a weight in one of the scales, inscribed eternity, though I threw in that of time, prosperity, affliction, wealth, and poverty, which seemed very ponderous, they were not able to stir the opposite balance.
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