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Irish essayist, dramatist and politician
(1672 - 1729)
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The good husband keeps his wife in the wholesome ignorance of unnecessary secrets. They will not be starved with the ignorance, who perchance may surfeit with the knowledge of weighty counsels, too heavy for the weaker sex to bear. He knows little who will tell his wife all he knows.
      - [Matrimony]

The great foundation of civil virtue is self-denial; and there is no one above the necessities of life but has opportunities of exercising that noble quality, and doing as much as his circumstances will bear for the ease and convenience of other men.
      - [Sacrifice]

The greatest evils in human society are such as no law can come at; as in the case of ingratitude, where the manner of obligation very often leaves the benefactor without means of demanding justice, though that very circumstance should be the more binding to the person who has received the benefit.
      - [Ingratitude]

The happy talent of pleasing either those above or below you seems to be wholly owing to the opinion they have of your sincerity * * * There need be no more said in honor of it than that it is what forces the approbation of your opponents.
      - [Sincerity]

The highest point of good-breeding, if any one can hit it, is to show a very nice regard to your own dignity, and with that in your heart, to express your value for the man above you.
      - [Good Breeding]

The man is mechanically turned, and made for getting. . . . It was verily prettily said that we may learn the little value of fortune by the persons on whom Heaven is pleased to bestow it.
      - in the "Tatler", no. 203 [Wealth]

The men of the greatest character in this kind were Horace and Juvenal. There is not, that I remember, one ill-natured expression in all their writings, not one sentence of severity, which does not apparently proceed from the contrary disposition.
      - [Satire]

The mind has a certain vegetative power, which cannot be wholly idle. If it is not laid out and cultivated into a beautiful garden, it will of itself shoot up in weeds or flowers of a wild growth.
      - [Mind]

The most indifferent thing has its force and beauty when it is spoken by a kind father, and an insignificant trifle has its weight when offered by a dutiful child.
      - [Parents]

The most unhappy circumstance of all is, when each party is always laying up fuel for dissension, and gathering together a magazine of provocations to exasperate each other with when they are out of humor.
      - [Marriage]

The painter is, as to the execution of his work, a mechanic; but as to his conception, his spirit, and design, he is hardly below even the poet in liberal art.
      - [Art]

The seat of wit, when one speaks as a man of the town and the world, is the playhouse.
      - [Drama]

The truth of it is, the first rudiments of education are given very indiscreetly by most parents.
      - [Education]

The way to cheerfulness is to keep our bodies in exercise and our minds at ease.
      - [Cheerfulness]

The world is so unjust that a female heart which has been once touched is thought forever blemished.
      - [Women]

The world will never be in any manner of order or tranquillity until men are firmly convinced that conscience, honor and credit are all in one interest; and that without the concurrence of the former the latter are but impositions upon ourselves and others.
      - [Conscience]

There are women who do not let their husbands see their faces until they are married. Not to keep you in suspense, I mean that part of the sex who paint.
      - [Face]

There can hardly, I believe, be imagined a more desirable pleasure than that of praise unmixed with any possibility of flattery.
      - [Praise]

There is an oblique way of reproof which takes off from the sharpness of it.
      - [Reproof]

There is another accidental advantage in marriage, which has also fallen to my share; I mean the having a multitude of children.
      - [Children]

There is but one thing necessary to keep the possession of true glory, which is to hear the opposers of it with patience, and preserve the virtue by which it was acquired.
      - [Glory]

There is no end of affection taken in at the eyes only.
      - [Eyes]

There is no one passion which all mankind so naturally give in to as pride, nor any other passion which appears in such different disguises. It is to be found in all habits and all complexions. Is it not a question whether it does more harm or good in the world, and if there be not such a thing as what we may call a virtuous and laudable pride?
      - [Pride]

There is nothing more necessary to establish reputation than to suspend the enjoyment of it. He that cannot bear the sense of merit with silence must of necessity destroy it; for fame being the genial mistress of mankind, whoever gives it to himself insults all to whom he relates any circumstance to his own advantage.
      - [Reputation]

There is nothing that wears out a fine lace like the vigils of the card table, and those cutting passions which naturally attend them. Hollow eyes, haggard looks and pale complexions are the natural indications.
      - [Gambling]

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