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WILLIAM HAZLITT (1)
English critic and author
(1778 - 1830)
  Displaying page 1 of 11    Next Page >> 

A certain excess of animal spirits with thoughtless good-humor will often make more enemies than the most deliberate spite and ill-nature, which is on its guard, and strikes with caution and safety.
      - [Enemies]

A distinction has been made between acuteness and subtlety of understanding. This might be illustrated by saying that acuteness consists in taking up the points or solid atoms, subtlety in feeling the air of truth.
      - [Understanding]

A great man la an abstraction of some one excellence; but whoever fancies himself an abstraction of excellence, so far from being great, may be sure that he is a blockhead, equally ignorant of excellence or defect of himself or others.
      - [Self-esteem]

A hypocrite despises those whom he deceives, but has no respect for himself. He would make a dupe of himself, too, if he could.
      - [Hypocrisy]

A knave thinks himself a fool, all the time he is not making a fool of some other person.
      - [Knavery]

A man's reputation is not in his own keeping, but lies at the mercy of the profligacy of others. Calumny requires no proof.
      - [Reputation]

A person who talks with equal vivacity on every subject excites no interest in any.
      - [Talking]

A strong passion for any object will ensure success, for the desire of the end will point out the means.
      - [Passion]

Affectation is as necessary to the mind as dress is to the body.
      - [Affectation]

All that is worth remembering of life is the poetry of it.
      - [Poetry]

An accomplished coquette excites the passions of others, in proportion as she feels none herself.
      - [Coquetry]

An honest man is respected by all parties.
      - [Honesty]

Any one may mouth out a passage with a theatrical cadence, or get upon stilts to tell his thoughts; but to write or speak with propriety and simplicity is a more difficult task. Thus it is easy to affect a pompous style, to use a word twice as big as the thing you want to express; it is not so easy to pitch upon the very word that exactly fits it.
      - [Style]

Art is the microscope of the mind, which sharpens the wit as the other does the sight; and converts every object into a little universe in itself. Art may be said to draw aside the veil from nature. To those who are perfectly unskilled in the practice, unimbued with the principles of art, most objects present only a confused mass.
      - [Art]

Art must anchor in nature, or it is the sport of every breath of folly.
      - [Art]

As a general rule, those who are dissatisfied with themselves will seek to go out of themselves into an ideal world. Persons in strong health and spirits, who take plenty of air and exercise, who are "in favor with, their stars," and have a thorough relish of the good things of this life, seldom devote themselves in despair to religion or the muses. Sedentary, nervous, hypochondriacal people, on the contrary, are forced, for want of an appetite for the real and substantial, to look out for a more airy food and speculative comforts.
      - [Despair]

As hypocrisy is said to be the highest compliment to virtue, the art of lying is the strongest acknowledgment of the force of truth.
      - [Hypocrisy]

As is our confidence, so is our capacity.
      - [Confidence]

As we are poetical in our natures, so we delight in fable.
      - [Fables]

Asleep, nobody is a hypocrite.
      - [Hypocrisy]

Avarice is the miser's dream, as fame is the poet's.
      - [Avarice]

Books wind into the heart.
      - [Books]

By conversing with the mighty dead, we imbibe sentiment with knowledge. We become strongly attached to those who can no longer either hurt or serve us, except through the influence which they exert over the mind. We feel the presence of that power which gives immortality to human thoughts and actions, and catch the flame of enthusiasm from all nations and ages.
      - [Reading]

By despising all that has preceded us, we teach others to despise ourselves.
      - [Despise]

Cant is the voluntary overcharging or prolongation of a real sentiment; hypocrisy is the setting up a pretension to a feeling you never had and have no wish for.
      - [Cant]


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