''Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.''
''Such is the state of life, that none are happy but by the anticipation of change: the change itself is nothing; when we have made it, the next wish is to change again. The world is not yet exhausted; let me see something tomorrow which I never saw before.''
''Sir, that all who are happy, are equally happy, is not true. A peasant and a philosopher may be equally satisfied, but not equally happy. Happiness consists in the multiplicity of agreeable consciousness.''
''Milton, Madam, was a genius that could cut a Colossus from a rock; but he could not carve heads upon cherry-stones.''
''I look upon every day to be lost, in which I do not make a new acquaintance.''
''Perhaps man is the only being that can properly be called idle.''
''Life will not bear refinement. You must do as other people do.''
''That fellow seems to me to possess but one idea, and that is a wrong one.''
''You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.''
''While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates. You must wait till grief be digested, and then amusement will dissipate the remains of it.''
''Sir, a woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on his hinder legs. It is not done well; but you are surprized to find it done at all.''
''A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.''
''If I had no duties, and no reference to futurity, I would spend my life in driving briskly in a post-chaise with a pretty woman.''
''Attack is the reaction; I never think I have hit hard unless it rebounds.''
''Solitude is dangerous to reason, without being favourable to virtue.... Remember that the solitary mortal is certainly luxurious, probably superstitious, and possibly mad.''
''Politics are now nothing more than means of rising in the world. With this sole view do men engage in politics, and their whole conduct proceeds upon it.''
''Surely life, if it be not long, is tedious, since we are forced to call in the assistance of so many trifles to rid us of our time, of that time which never can return.''
''There may be other reasons for a man's not speaking in publick than want of resolution: he may have nothing to say.''
''The happiest conversation is that of which nothing is distinctly remembered but a general effect of pleasing impression.''
''Money and time are the heaviest burdens of life, and ... the unhappiest of all mortals are those who have more of either than they know how to use.''
''I gleaned jests at home from obsolete farces.''
''I would be loath to speak ill of any person who I do not know deserves it, but I am afraid he is an attorney.''
''A Judge may be a farmer; but he is not to geld his own pigs. A Judge may play a little at cards for his own amusement; but he is not to play at marbles, or chuck farthing in the Piazza.''
''His scorn of the great is repeated too often to be real; no man thinks much of that which he despises.''
''Whoever thinks of going to bed before twelve o'clock is a scoundrel.''
''Some desire is necessary to keep life in motion, and he whose real wants are supplied must admit those of fancy.''
''No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.''
''Sir, I do not call a gamester a dishonest man; but I call him an unsocial man, an unprofitable man. Gaming is a mode of transferring property without producing any intermediate good.''
''By taking a second wife he pays the highest compliment to the first, by shewing that she made him so happy as a married man, that he wishes to be so a second time.''
''No man is a hypocrite in his pleasures.''
''Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it. Martyrdom is the test.''
''What provokes your risibility, Sir? Have I said anything that you understand? Then I ask pardon of the rest of the company.''
''The blaze of reputation cannot be blown out, but it often dies in the socket; a very few names may be considered as perpetual lamps that shine unconsumed.''
''Life must be filled up, and the man who is not capable of intellectual pleasures must content himself with such as his senses can afford.''
''You are much surer that you are doing good when you pay money to those who work, as the recompense of their labour, than when you give money merely in charity.''
''Every other author may aspire to praise; the lexicographer can only hope to escape reproach, and even this negative recompense has been yet granted to very few.''
''I am sorry I have not learnt to play at cards. It is very useful in life: it generates kindness, and consolidates society.''
''Small debts are like small shot; they are rattling on every side, and can scarcely be escaped without a wound: great debts are like cannon; of loud noise, but little danger.''
''I would rather be attacked than unnoticed. For the worst thing you can do to an author is to be silent as to his works. An assault upon a town is a bad thing; but starving it is still worse.''
''"Mr. Johnson, (said I) I do indeed come from Scotland, but I cannot help it".... "That, Sir, I find is what a great many of your countrymen cannot help."''
''I had rather see the portrait of a dog that I know, than all the allegorical paintings they can show me in the world.''
''Its proper use is to amuse the idle, and relax the studious, and dilute the full meals of those who cannot use exercise, and will not use abstinence.''
''And then, Sir, there is this consideration, that if the abuse be enormous, Nature will rise up, and claiming her original rights, overturn a corrupt political system.''
''Every man who attacks my belief, diminishes in some degree my confidence in it, and therefore makes me uneasy; and I am angry with him who makes me uneasy.''
''It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is not of importance, it lasts so short a time.''
''Life admits not of delays; when pleasure can be had, it is fit to catch it: every hour takes away part of the things that please us, and perhaps part of our disposition to be pleased.''
''Truth, Sir, is a cow which will yield such people no more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bull.''
''A fly, Sir, may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still.''
''Men hate more steadily than they love.''
''Composition is, for the most part, an effort of slow diligence and steady perseverance, to which the mind is dragged by necessity or resolution, and from which the attention is every moment starting to more delightful amusements.''
''Tomorrow is an old deceiver, and his cheat never grows stale.''
''There is no private house in which people can enjoy themselves so well as at a capital tavern.... No, Sir; there is nothing which has yet been contrived by man by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.''
''Men know that women are an over-match for them, and therefore they choose the weakest or most ignorant. If they did not think so, they never could be afraid of women knowing as much as themselves.''
''If a man could say nothing against a character but what he can prove, history could not be written.''
''This was a good enough dinner, to be sure; but it was not a dinner to ask a man to.''
''The wretched have no compassion, they can do good only from strong principles of duty.''
''Sir, let me tell you, the noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the high road that leads him to England.''
''The happiest part of a man's life is what he passes lying awake in bed in the morning.''
''A short letter to a distant friend is, in my opinion, an insult like that of a slight bow or cursory salutation—a proof of unwillingness to do much, even where there is a necessity of doing something.''
''No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned.... A man in a jail has more room, better food and commonly better company.''
''At seventy-seven it is time to be in earnest.''
''What is the reason that women servants ... have much lower wages than men servants ... when in fact our female house servants work much harder than the male?''
''Why, Sir, most schemes of political improvement are very laughable things.''
''When men come to like a sea-life, they are not fit to live on land.''
''I know not anything more pleasant, or more instructive, than to compare experience with expectation, or to register from time to time the difference between idea and reality. It is by this kind of observation that we grow daily less liable to be disappointed.''
''Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea.''
''Read your own compositions, and when you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.''
''There are innumerable questions to which the inquisitive mind can in this state receive no answer: Why do you and I exist? Why was this world created? Since it was to be created, why was it not created sooner?''
''Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.''
''He that fails in his endeavours after wealth or power will not long retain either honesty or courage.''
''As peace is the end of war, so to be idle is the ultimate purpose of the busy.''
''A quibble is to Shakespeare what luminous vapours are to the traveller: he follows it at all adventures; it is sure to lead him out of his way and sure to engulf him in the mire.''
''A man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority.''
''The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope.''
''Slow rises worth, by poverty depressed:''
''Our tastes greatly alter. The lad does not care for the child's rattle, and the old man does not care for the young man's whore.''
''There are some sluggish men who are improved by drinking; as there are fruits that are not good until they are rotten.''
''Melancholy, indeed, should be diverted by every means but drinking.''
''Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble.''
''Every other enjoyment malice may destroy; every other panegyric envy may withhold; but no human power can deprive the boaster of his own encomiums.''
''Attention and respect give pleasure, however late, or however useless. But they are not useless, when they are late, it is reasonable to rejoice, as the day declines, to find that it has been spent with the approbation of mankind.''
''He had long before indulged most unfavourable sentiments of our fellow-subjects in America. For, as early as 1769,... he had said of them, "Sir, they are a race of convicts, and ought to be thankful for any thing we allow them short of hanging."''
''Just praise is only a debt, but flattery is a present.''
''When speculation has done its worst, two and two still make four.''
''They teach the morals of a whore, and the manners of a dancing master.''
''The Irish are a fair people; they never speak well of one another.''
''Abstinence is as easy to me, as temperance would be difficult.''
''Keeping accounts, Sir, is of no use when a man is spending his own money, and has nobody to whom he is to account. You won't eat less beef today, because you have written down what it cost yesterday.''
''If pleasure was not followed by pain, who would forbear it?''
''He who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else.''
''Nothing is more common than mutual dislike, where mutual approbation is particularly expected.''
''No money is better spent than what is laid out for domestic satisfaction.''
''When I was as you are now, towering in the confidence of twenty-one, little did I suspect that I should be at forty-nine, what I now am.''
''Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement.''
''Sir, they are a race of convicts, and ought to be thankful for anything we allow them short of hanging.''
''The most fatal disease of friendship is gradual decay, or dislike hourly increased by causes too slender for complaint, and too numerous for removal.''
''It is wonderful to think how men of very large estates not only spend their yearly income, but are often actually in want of money. It is clear, they have not value for what they spend.''
''Sir, a man who cannot get to heaven in a green coat, will not find his way thither the sooner in a grey one.''
''I deny the lawfulness of telling a lie to a sick man for fear of alarming him. You have no business with consequences; you are to tell the truth.''
''Depend upon it that if a man talks of his misfortunes there is something in them that is not disagreeable to him.''
''Lexicographer: a writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge, that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the signification of words.''
''Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures.''
''Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little.''
''Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last.''
''Disease generally begins that equality which death completes.''
''The mind is refrigerated by interruption; the thoughts are diverted from the principal subject; the reader is weary, he suspects not why; and at last throws away the book, which he has too diligently studied.''
''Nobody can write the life of a man, but those who have eat and drunk and lived in social intercourse with him.''
''I know not, Madam, that you have a right, upon moral principles, to make your readers suffer so much.''
''No place affords a more striking conviction of the vanity of human hopes than a public library.''
''It is wonderful when a calculation is made, how little the mind is actually employed in the discharge of any profession.''
''Nothing odd will do long. Tristram Shandy did not last.''
''If I have said something to hurt a man once, I shall not get the better of this by saying many things to please him.''
''I am willing to love all mankind, except an American.''
''There are minds so impatient of inferiority that their gratitude is a species of revenge, and they return benefits, not because recompense is a pleasure, but because obligation is a pain.''
''If a man does not make new acquaintance as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, Sir, should keep his friendship in constant repair.''
''There are few things that we so unwillingly give up, even in advanced age, as the supposition that we still have the power of ingratiating ourselves with the fair sex.''
''In lapidary inscriptions a man is not upon oath.''
''Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.''
''Hope is itself a species of happiness, and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords: but, like all other pleasures immoderately enjoyed, the excesses of hope must be expiated by pain; and expectations improperly indulged must end in disappointment.''
''I have always considered it as treason against the great republic of human nature, to make any man's virtues the means of deceiving him.''
''Wine makes a man better pleased with himself. I do not say that it makes him more pleasing to others.... This is one of the disadvantages of wine, it makes a man mistake words for thoughts.''
''It was his peculiar happiness that he scarcely ever found a stranger whom he did not leave a friend; but it must likewise be added, that he had not often a friend long without obliging him to become a stranger.''
''Norway, too, has noble prospects; and Lapland is remarkable for prodigious noble wild prospects. But, Sir, let me tell you, the noblest prospect which a Scotchman ever sees is the high road that leads him to England!''
''There are few ways in which a man can be more innocently employed than in getting money.''
''Courage is a quality so necessary for maintaining virtue, that it is always respected, even when it is associated with vice.''
''I am always sorry when any language is lost, because languages are the pedigree of nations.''
''Virtue is too often merely local.''
''Subordination tends greatly to human happiness. Were we all upon an equality, we should have no other enjoyment than mere animal pleasure.''
''The highest panegyric, therefore, that private virtue can receive, is the praise of servants.''
''That life protracted is protracted woe.''
''What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.''
''Wine gives a man nothing. It neither gives him knowledge nor wit; it only animates a man, and enables him to bring out what a dread of the company has repressed. It only puts in motion what had been locked up in frost.''
''There is nothing, Sir, too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.''
''The vanity of being known to be trusted with a secret is generally one of the chief motives to disclose it.''
''If he does really think that there is no distinction between virtue and vice, why, Sir, when he leaves our houses let us count our spoons.''
''Man is not weak; knowledge is more than equivalent to force.''
''Nobody can write the life of a man but those who have eat and drunk and lived in social intercourse with him.''
''Hunger is never delicate; they who are seldom gorged to the full with praise may be safely fed with gross compliments, for the appetite must be satisfied before it is disgusted.''
''The triumph of hope over experience.''
''As the Spanish proverb says, "He who would bring home the wealth of the Indies, must carry the wealth of the Indies with him." So it is in travelling; a man must carry knowledge with him, if he would bring home knowledge.''
''A man ought to read just as his inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good.''
''Classical quotation is the parole of literary men all over the world.''
''To be idle and to be poor have always been reproaches, and therefore every man endeavours with his utmost care to hide his poverty from others, and his idleness from himself.''
''Nothing is more hopeless than a scheme of merriment.''
''Players, Sir! I look on them as no better than creatures set upon tables and joint stools to make faces and produce laughter, like dancing dogs.''
''If you were to read Richardson for the story, your impatience would be so much fretted that you would hang yourself. But you must read him for the sentiment.''
''Their learning is like bread in a besieged town: every man gets a little, but no man gets a full meal.''
''Disappointment, when it involves neither shame nor loss, is as good as success; for it supplies as many images to the mind, and as many topics to the tongue.''
''I would not give half a guinea to live under one form of government rather than another. It is of no moment to the happiness of an individual.''
''Parents and children seldom act in concert: each child endeavours to appropriate the esteem or fondness of the parents, and the parents, with yet less temptation, betray each other to their children.''
''It is very strange, and very melancholy, that the paucity of human pleasures should persuade us ever to call hunting one of them.''
''Questioning is not the mode of the conversation among gentlemen.''
''We love to overlook the boundaries which we do not wish to pass.''
''Mrs. Montagu has dropped me. Now, Sir, there are people whom one should like very well to drop, but would not wish to be dropped by.''
''It seems not more reasonable to leave the right of printing unrestrained, because writers may be afterwards censured, than it would be to sleep with doors unbolted, because by our laws we can hang a thief.''
''Difficult do you call it, Sir? I wish it were impossible.''
''Sir John, Sir, is a very unclubbable man.''
''If a madman were to come into this room with a stick in his hand, no doubt we should pity the state of his mind; but our primary consideration would be to take care of ourselves. We should knock him down first, and pity him afterwards.''
''Sorrow is a kind of rust of the soul, which every new idea contributes in its passage to scour away. It is the putrefaction of stagnant life, and is remedied by exercise and motion.''
''A woman preaching is like a dog's walking on his hinder legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.''
''I have protracted my work till most of those whom I wished to please have sunk into the grave, and success and miscarriage are empty sounds: I therefore dismiss it with frigid tranquillity, having little to fear or hope from censure or from praise.''
''If you are idle, be not solitary; if you are solitary, be not idle.''
''Self-love is often rather arrogant than blind; it does not hide our faults from ourselves, but persuades us that they escape the notice of others.''
''The greatest part of a writer's time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.''
''In all pointed sentences, some degree of accuracy must be sacrificed to conciseness.''
''No man is by nature the property of another. The defendant is, therefore, by nature free.''
''So far is it from being true that men are naturally equal, that no two people can be half an hour together, but one shall acquire an evident superiority over the other.''
''A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner.''
''The true art of memory is the art of attention.''
''He who praises everybody, praises nobody.''
''Sir, he was dull in company, dull in his closet, dull everywhere. He was dull in a new way, and that made many people think him great.''
''Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.''
''Worth seeing? Yes; but not worth going to see.''
''Lawyers know life practically. A bookish man should always have them to converse with.''
''This merriment of parsons is mighty offensive.''
''That observation which is called knowledge of the world will be found much more frequently to make men cunning than good.''
''The world will never be long without some good reason to hate the unhappy; their real faults are immediately detected, and if those are not sufficient to sink them into infamy, an additional weight of calumny will be superadded.''
''Sir, there is more knowledge in a letter of Richardson's, than in all Tom Jones.''
''Any of us would kill a cow, rather than not have beef.''
''Resolve not to be poor: whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable, and others extremely difficult.''
''There is no wisdom in useless and hopeless sorrow, but there is something in it so like virtue, that he who is wholly without it cannot be loved.''
''Fly fishing may be a very pleasant amusement; but angling or float fishing I can only compare to a stick and a string, with a worm at one end and a fool at the other.''
''Ah! Sir, a boy's being flogged is not so severe as a man's having the hiss of the world against him.''
''Sir, a man may be so much of everything, that he is nothing of anything.''
''The return of my birthday, if I remember it, fills me with thoughts which it seems to be the general care of humanity to escape.''
''Resolve not to be poor: whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable, and others extremely difficult.''
''Avarice is generally the last passion of those lives of which the first part has been squandered in pleasure, and the second devoted to ambition. He that sinks under the fatigue of getting wealth, lulls his age with the milder business of saving it.''
''Now ... that you are going to marry, do not expect more from life, than life will afford."''
''A mere literary man is a dull man; a man who is solely a man of business is a selfish man; but when literature and commerce are united, they make a respectable man.''
''Every quotation contributes something to the stability or enlargement of the language.''
''No government power can be abused long. Mankind will not bear it.... There is a remedy in human nature against tyranny, that will keep us safe under every form of government.''
''I will be conquered; I will not capitulate.''
''Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.''
''Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.''
''A man is in general better pleased when he has a good dinner upon his table, than when his wife talks Greek.''
''Treating your adversary with respect is giving him an advantage to which he is not entitled.''
''There is, indeed, nothing that so much seduces reason from vigilance, as the thought of passing life with an amiable woman.''
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