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English critic and author
(1778 - 1830)
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Whatever interests, is interesting.
      - [Interest]

When I take up a book I have read before, I know what to expect; the satisfaction is not lessened by being anticipated. I shake hands with, and look our old tried and valued friend in the face,--compare notes and chat the hour away.
      - [Reading]

Wit is the rarest quality to be met with among people of education, and the most common among the uneducated.
      - [Wit]

Words are the only things that last forever.
      - [Words]

You know more of a road by having traveled it than by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world.
      - [Experience]

Zeal will do more than knowledge.
      - [Zeal]

He who would see old Hoghton right
  Must view it by the pale moonlight.
      - English Proverbs and Provincial Phrases
         (p. 196) [Moon]

A mighty stream of tendency.
      - Essay--Why Distant Objects Please

A nickname is the hardest stone that the devil can throw at a man.
      - quoted by Essays--On Nicknames [Names]

Wit is the salt of conversation, not the food.
      - Lectures on the English Comic Writers
         (lecture 1) [Wit]

Anyone must be mainly ignorant or thoughtless, who is surprised at everything he sees; or wonderfully conceited who expects everything to conform to his standard of propriety.
      - Lectures on the English Comic Writers--On Wit and Humour

The temple of fame stands upon the grave: the flame that burns upon its altars is kindled from the ashes of dead men.
      - Lectures on the English Poets
         (lecture VIII) [Fame]

We grow tired of everything but turning others into ridicule, and congratulating ourselves on their defects.
      - On the Pleasure of Hating [Ridicule]

One said a tooth drawer was a kind of unconscionable trade, because his trade was nothing else but to take away those things whereby every man gets his living.
      - Shakespeare Jest Books--Conceits, Clinches, Flashes and Whimzies
         (no. 84) [Dentistry]

One said he wondered that leather was not dearer than any other thing. Being demanded a reason: because, saith he, it is more stood upon than any other thing in the world.
      - Shakespeare Jest Books--Conceits, Clinches, Flashes and Whimzies
         (no. 86) [Shoemaking]

One commending a Tayler for his dexteritie in his profession, another standing by ratified his opinion, saying tailors had their business at their fingers' ends.
      - Shakespeare Jest Books--Conceits, Clinches, Flashes and Whimzies
         (no. 93) [Tailors]

The title of Ultracrepidarian critics has been given to those persons who find fault with small and insignificant details.
      - Table Talk (essay XXII) [Shoemaking]

They [corporations] feel neither shame, remorse, gratitude, nor goodwill.
      - Table Talk (essay XXVII) [Business]

Genius, like humanity, rusts for want of use.
      - Table Talk--On Application to Study

If we wish to know the force of human genius we should read Shakespeare. If we wish to see the insignificance of human learning we may study his commentators.
      - Table Talk--On the Ignorance of the Learned

A gentleman is one who understands and shows every mark of deference to the claims of self-love in others, and exacts it in return from them.
      - Table Talk--On the Look of a Gentleman

The objects that we have known in better days are the main props that sustain the weight of our affections, and give us strength to await our future lot.
      - Table Talk--On the Past and Future

There is a feeling of Eternity in youth which makes us amends for everything. To be young is to be as one of the Immortals.
      - Table Talk--The Feeling of Immortality in Youth

He who comes up to his own idea of greatness, must always have had a very low standard of it in his mind.
      - Table Talk--Whether Genius is Conscious of its own Power

No really great man ever thought himself so.
      - Table Talk--Whether Genius is Conscious of its own Power

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