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Nothing is so fierce but love will soften; nothing so sharp-sighted in other matters but it will throw a mist before its eyes.
Partiality in a parent is unlucky; for fondlings are in danger to be made fools.
Passions, as fire and water, are good servants, but bad masters, and subminister to the best and worst purposes.
Pretences go a great way with men that take fair words and magisterial looks for current payment.
Riches are gotten with pain, kept with care, and lost with grief. The cares of riches lie heavier upon a good man than the inconveniences of an honest poverty.
So long as we stand in need of a benefit, there is nothing dearer to us; nor anything cheaper when we have received it.
Some natures are so sour and ungrateful that they are never to be obliged.
Some people are all quality; you would think they are made up of nothing but title and genealogy. The stamp of dignity defaces in them the very character of humanity and transports them to such a degree of haughtiness that they reckon it below themselves to exercise either good nature or good manners.
Some read books only with a view to find fault, while others read only to be taught; the former are like venomous spiders, extracting a poisonous quality, where the latter, like the bees, sip out a sweet and profitable juice.
That which the world miscalls a jail,
A private closet is to me.
. . . .
Locks, bars, and solitude together met,
Make me no prisoner, but an anchoret.
- attributed to [Prison]
The blessings of fortune are the lowest; the next are the bodily advantages of strength and health; but the superlative blessings, in fine, are those of the mind.
The common people do not judge of vice or virtue by morality or immorality, so much as by the stamp that is set upon it by men of figure.
The fairest blossoms of pleasantry thrive best where the sun is not strong enough to scorch, nor the soil rank enough to corrupt.
The greatest of all injustice is that which goes under the name of law; and of all sorts of tyranny the forcing the letter of the law against the equity is the most insupportable.
The just season of doing things must, be nicked, and all accidents improved.
The lowest boor may laugh on being tickled, but a man must have intelligence to be amused by wit.
The most insupportable of tyrants exclaim against the exercise of arbitrary power.
The very soul of the slothful does effectually but lie drowsing in his body, and the whole man is totally given up to his senses.
There are braying men in the world, as well as braying asses; for what is loud and senseless talking any other than away of braying?
There is no contending with necessity, and we should be very tender how we censure those that submit to it. It is one thing to be at liberty to do what we will, and another thing to be tied up to do what we must.
There is no creature so contemptible but by resolution may gain his point.
There is no opposing brutal force to the stratagems of human reason.
There is not one grain in the universe, either too much or too little, nothing to be added, nothing to be spared; nor so much as any one particle of it, that mankind may not be either the better or the worse for, according as it is applied.
'Tis not necessity, but opinion, that makes men miserable; and when we come to be fancy-sick, there's no cure.
To be longing for this thing to-day and for that thing to-morrow; to change likings for loathings, and to stand wishing and hankering at a venture--how is it possible for any man to be at rest in this fluctuant, wandering humor and opinion?
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