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Irish humorous and novelist
(1713 - 1768)
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Heaven be their resource who have no other but the charity of the world, the stock of which, I fear, is no way sufficient for the many great claims which are hourly made upon it.
      - [Charity]

How frequently is the honesty and integrity of a man disposed of by a smile or shrug! How many good and generous actions have been sunk into oblivion by a distrustful look, or stamped With the imputation of proceeding from bad motives, by a mysterious and seasonable whisper!
      - [Slander]

I am persuaded that every time a man smiles--but much more so when he laughs--it adds something to this fragment of life.
      - [Laughter]

I am positive I have a soul; nor can all the books with which materialists have pestered the world ever convince me to the contrary.
      - [Soul]

I asked a hermit once in Italy how he could venture to live alone, in a single cottage, on the top of a mountain, a mile from any habitation? He replied that, "Providence was his very next-door neighbor."
      - [Providence]

I have so great a contempt and detestation for meanness, that I could sooner make a friend of one who had committed murder, than of a person who could be capable, in any instance, of the former vice. Under meanness, I comprehend dishonesty; under dishonesty, ingratitude; under ingratitude, irreligion; and under this latter, every species of vice and immorality in human nature.
      - [Meanness]

I live in a constant endeavor to fence against the infirmities of ill health, and other evils of life, by mirth; being firmly persuaded that every time a man smiles, but much more when he laughs, it adds some thing to his fragment of life.
      - [Cheerfulness]

I never drink. I cannot do it, on equal terms with others. It costs them only one day; but me three,--the first in sinning, the second in suffering, and the third in repenting.
      - [Intemperance]

I thought that to forgive our enemies had been the highest effort of the heathen ethic; but that the returning good for evil was an improvement of the Christian morality. But I had the mortification to meet with that interloper, Socrates, in Plato, enforcing the divine precept of loving our enemies. Perhaps for this reason, among others, he was styled by Erasmus "a Christian before Christianity."
      - [Precepts]

I was acquainted once with a gallant soldier who assured me that his only measure of courage was this: upon the first fire, in an engagement, he immediately looked upon himself as a dead man. He then bravely fought out the remainder of the day, perfectly regardless of all manner of danger, as becomes a dead man to be. So that all the life or limbs he carried back again to his tent he reckoned as clear gains, or, as he himself expressed it, so much out of the fire.
      - [Resolution]

I would go fifty miles on foot to kiss the hand of that man whose generous heart will give up the reins of his imagination into his Author's hands; be pleased, he knows not why, and cares not wherefore.
      - [Sympathy]

If a man has a right to be proud of anything, it is of a good action done as it ought to be, without any base interest lurking at the bottom of it.
      - [Pride]

If there is an evil in this world, it is sorrow and heaviness of heart. The loss of goods, of health, of coronets and mitres, is only evil as they occasion sorrow; take that out, the rest is fancy, and dwelleth only in the head of man.
      - [Sorrow]

If thou art rich, then show the greatness of thy fortune, or what is better, the greatness of thy soul, in the meekness of thy conversation; condescend to men of low estate, support the distressed and patronize the neglected. Be great.
      - [Riches]

If time, like money, could be laid by while one was not using it, there might be some excuse for the idleness of half of the world, but yet not a full one. For even this would be such an economy as the living on a principal sum, without making it purchase interest.
      - [Time]

In part of Lord Kames' Elements of Criticism, he says that "music improves the relish of a banquet." That I deny,--any more than painting might do. They may both be additional pleasures, as well as conversation is, but are perfectly distinct notices; and cannot, with the least propriety, be said to mix or blend with the repast, as none of them serve to raise the flavor of the wine, the sauce, the meat, or help to quicken appetite. But music and painting both add a spirit to devotion, and elevate the ardor.
      - [Music]

In solitude the mind gains strength, and learns to lean upon herself; in the world it seeks or accepts of a few treacherous supports--the feigned compassion of one, the flattery of a second, the civilities of a third, the friendship of a fourth--they all deceive, and bring the mind back to retirement, reflection, and books.
      - [Solitude]

Is it not an amazing thing, that men shall attempt to investigate the mystery of the redemption, when, at the same time that it is propounded to us as an article of faith solely, we are told that "the very angels have desired to pry into it in vain"?
      - [Redemption]

It appears an extraordinary thing to me, that since there is such a diabolical spirit in the depravity of human nature, as persecution for difference of opinion in religious tenets, there never happened to be any inquisition, any auto da fe, any crusade, among the Pagans.
      - [Intolerance]

It is curious to observe the triumph of slight incidents over the mind; and what incredible weight they have in forming and governing our opinions, both of men and things, that trifles light as air shall waft a belief into the soul, and plant it so immovable within it, that Euclid's demonstrations, could they be brought to batter it in breach, should not all have power to overthrow it!
      - [Trifles]

It is not in the power of every one to taste humor, however he may wish it; it is the gift of God! and a true feeler always brings half the entertainment along with him.
      - [Humor]

"It is not safe for man to be alone," nor can all which the cold-hearted pedant stuns our ears with upon the subject ever give one answer of satisfaction to the mind; in the midst of the loudest vauntings of philosophy, nature will have her yearnings for society and friendship. A good heart wants something to be kind to; and the best parts of our blood, and the purest of our spirits suffer most under the destitution.
      - [Society]

It is sweet to feel by what finespun threads our affections are drawn together.
      - [Affection]

Keep away from the fire!
      - [Temptation]

Lessons of wisdom have never such power over us as when they are wrought into the heart through the groundwork of a story.
      - [Novels]

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