The maxim, that governments ought to train the people in the way in which they should go, sounds well. But is there any reason for believing that a government is more likely to lead the people in the right way than the people to fall into the right way of themselves?
Turn where we may, within, around, the voice of great events is proclaiming to us, Reform, that you may preserve!
The impenetrable stupidity of Prince George (son-in-law of James II) served his turn. It was his habit, when any news was told him, to exclaim, "Est il possible?"-"Is it possible?"
We do not think it necessary to prove that a quack medicine is poison; let the vender prove it to be sanative.
With respect to the doctrine of a future life, a North American Indian knows just as much as any ancient or modern philosopher.
A kind of semi-Solomon, half-knowing everything, from the cedar to the hyssop.
Even Holland and Spain have been positively, though not relatively, advancing.
Few of the many wise apothegms which have been uttered have prevented a single foolish action.
It is the age that forms the man, not the man that forms the age.
Queen Mary had a way of interrupting tattle about elopements, duels, and play debts, by asking the tattlers, very quietly yet significantly, whether they had ever read her favorite sermon--Dr. Tillotson on Evil Speaking.
I have seen the hippopotamus, both asleep and awake; and I can assure you that, awake or asleep, he is the ugliest of the works of God.
Nothing except the mint can make money without advertising.
Those who seem to load the public taste are, in general, merely outrunning it in the direction which it is spontaneously pursuing.
Great minds do indeed react on the society which has made them what they are; but they only pay with interest what they have received.
War is never lenient but where it is wanton; where men are compelled to fight in self-defence, they must hate and avenge. This may be bad, but it is human nature; it is the clay as it came from the hands of the Potter.
Ambrose Phillips . . . who had the honor of bringing into fashion a species of composition which has been called, after his name, Namby Pamby.
I don't mind your thinking slowly; I mind your publishing faster than you think.
The best portraits are those in which there is a slight mixture of caricature.
In that temple of silence and reconciliation where the enmities of twenty generations lie buried, in the great Abbey which has during many ages afforded a quiet resting-place to those whose minds and bodies have been shattered by the contentions of the Great Hall.
A dominant religion is never ascetic.
A page digested is better than a volume hurriedly read.
But thou, through good and evil, praise and blame,Wilt not thou love me for myself alone?Yes, thou wilt love me with exceeding love,And I will tenfold all that love repay;Still smiling, though the tender may reprove,Still faithful, though the trusted may betray.
Mere negation, mere Epicurean infidelity, as Lord Bacon most justly observes, has never disturbed the peace of the world. It furnishes no motive for action; it inspires no enthusiasm; it has no missionaries, no crusades, no martyrs.
The reluctant obedience of distant provinces generally costs more than it - The Territory is worth. Empires which branch out widely are often more flourishing for a little timely pruning.
The Church is the handmaid of tyranny and the steady enemy of liberty.
Language, the machine of the poet, is best fitted for his purpose in its rudest state. Nations, like individuals, first perceive, and then abstract. They advance from particular images to general terms. Hence the vocabulary of an enlightened society is philosophical, that of a half-civilized people
I am always nearest to myself," says the Latin proverb.
This is the best book ever written by any man on the wrong side of a question of which he is profoundly ignorant.
Boswell is the first of biographers.
Power, safely defied, touches its downfall.