It is reasonable to have perfection in our eye that we may always advance toward it, though we know it can never be reached.
Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people.
The world is seldom what it seems; to man, who dimly sees, realities appear as dreams, and dreams realities.
The morality of an action depends on the motive from which we act. If I fling half a crown to a beggar with intention to break his head and he picks it up and buy victuals with it, the physical effect is good. But with respect to me the action is very wrong.
Life consists not of a series of illustrious actions or elegant enjoyments. The greater part of our time passes in compliance with necessities, in the performance of daily duties, in the removal of small inconveniences, in the procurement of petty pleasures; and we are well or ill at ease, as the ma
I look upon this as I did upon the Dictionary: it is all work, and my inducement to it is not love or desire of fame, but the want of money, which is the only motive to writing that I know of.
It is man's own fault, it is from want of use, if his mind grows torpid in old age.
The expense is damnable, the position is ridiculous, and the pleasure fleeting.
All imposture weakens confidence and chills benevolence.
Pleasure itself is not a vice
If lawyers were to undertake no causes till they were sure they were just, a man might be precluded altogether from a trial of his claim, though, were it judicially examined, it might be found a very just claim.
Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last; and perhaps always predominates in proportion to the strength of the contemplative faculties. He who easily comprehends all that is before him, and soon exhausts any single subject, is always eager for new inquiries; and in p
Riches seldom make their owners rich.
Pain is less subject than pleasure to careless expression.
He that would be superior to external influences must first become superior to his own passions.
The true genius is a mind of large general powers, accidentally determined to some particular direction.
There is ... scarcely any species of writing of which we can tell what is its essence, and what are its constituents; every new genius produces some innovation, which, when invented and approved, subverts the rules which the practice of foregoing authors had established.
Man alone is born crying, lives complaining, and dies disappointed. Samuel Johnso
Happiness," said he, "must be something solid and permanent, without fear and without uncertainty.
It is in refinement and elegance that the civilized man differs from the savage.
Then with no throbs of fiery pain, No cold gradations of decay, Death broke at once the vital chain, And freed his soul the nearest way.
Rags will always make their appearance where they have a right to do it.
Knowledge always desires increase, it is like fire, which must first be kindled by some external agent, but which will afterwards propagate itself.
Excellence in any department can be attained only by the labor of a lifetime; it is not to be purchased at a lesser price.
No place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes than a public library; for who can see the wall crowded on every side by mighty volumes, the works of laborious meditations and accurate inquiry, now scarcely known but by the catalogue...
No man is defeated without some resentment which will be continued with obstinacy while he believes himself in the right, and asserted with bitterness, if even to his own conscience he is detected in the wrong.
Human life is everywhere a state in which much is to be endured, and little to be enjoyed.
The wickedness of a loose or profane author is more atrocious than that of a giddy libertine or drunken ravisher, not only because it extends its effects wider, as a pestilence that taints the air is more destructive than poison infused in a draught, but because it is committed with cool deliberatio
We are long before we are convinced that happiness is never to be found, and each believes it possessed by others, to keep alive the hope of obtaining it for himself.
All the performances of human art, at which we look with praise or wonder, are instances of the resistless force of perseverance.