They are the only honest hypocrites, their life is a voluntary dream, a studied madness.
View quote | Quotes about Acting and Actors

We must overact our part in some measure, in order to produce any effect at all.
View quote | Quotes about Acting and Actors

They are, as it were, train-bearers in the pageant of life, and hold a glass up to humanity, frailer than itself. We see ourselves at second-hand in them: they show us all that we are, all that we wish to be, and all that we dread to be. What brings the resemblance nearer is, that, as they imitate us, we, in our turn, imitate them. There is no class of society whom so many persons regard with affection as actors.
View quote | Quotes about Acting and Actors

The more we do, the more we can do; the more busy we are, the more leisure we have.
View quote | Quotes about Action

You know more of a road by having traveled it than by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world.
View quote | Quotes about Action

Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity is a greater. Possession pampers the mind; privation trains and strengthens it.
View quote | Quotes about Adversity

To be happy, we must be true to nature, and carry our age along with us.
View quote | Quotes about Age and Aging

The worst old age is that of the mind.
View quote | Quotes about Age and Aging

First impressions are often the truest, as we find (not infrequently) to our cost, when we have been wheedled out of them by plausible professions or studied actions. A man's look is the work of years; it is stamped on his countenance by the events of his whole life, nay, more, by the hand of nature, and it is not to be got rid of easily.
View quote | Quotes about Appearance

Defoe says that there were a hundred thousand country fellows in his time ready to fight to the death against popery, without knowing whether popery was a man or a horse.
View quote | Quotes about Bigotry

If I have not read a book before, it is, for all intents and purposes, new to me whether it was printed yesterday or three hundred years ago.
View quote | Quotes about Books - Reading

The most sensible people to be met with in society are men of business and of the world, who argue from what they see and know, instead of spinning cobweb distinctions of what things ought to be.
View quote | Quotes about Business

There is an unseemly exposure of the mind, as well as of the body.
View quote | Quotes about Candor

We are the creatures of imagination, passion, and self-will, more than of reason or even of self-interest. Even in the common transactions and daily intercourse of life, we are governed by whim, caprice, prejudice, or accident. The falling of a teacup puts us out of temper for the day; and a quarrel that commenced about the pattern of a gown may end only with our lives.
View quote | Quotes about Caprice

A full-dressed ecclesiastic is a sort of go-cart of divinity; an ethical automaton. A clerical prig is, in general, a very dangerous as well as contemptible character. The utmost that those who thus habitually confound their opinions and sentiments with the outside coverings of their bodies can aspire to, is a negative and neutral character, like wax-work figures, where the dress is done as much to the life as the man, and where both are respectable pieces of pasteboard, or harmless compositions of fleecy hosiery.
View quote | Quotes about Churches

Comedy naturally wears itself out -- destroys the very food on which it lives; and by constantly and successfully exposing the follies and weaknesses of mankind to ridicule, in the end leaves itself nothing worth laughing at.
View quote | Quotes about Comedy and Comedians

A grave blockhead should always go about with a lively one -- they show one another off to the best advantage.
View quote | Quotes about Company

The confession of our failings is a thankless office. It savors less of sincerity or modesty than of ostentation. It seems as if we thought our weaknesses as good as other people's virtues.
View quote | Quotes about Confession

As is our confidence, so is our capacity.
View quote | Quotes about Confidence

When a thing ceases to be a subject of controversy, it ceases to be a subject of interest.
View quote | Quotes about Controversy

We are all of us, more or less, the slaves of opinion.
View quote | Quotes about Cooperation

Gallantry to women -- the sure road to their favor -- is nothing but the appearance of extreme devotion to all their wants and wishes, a delight in their satisfaction, and a confidence in yourself as being able to contribute toward it.
View quote | Quotes about Courage

We are very much what others think of us. The reception our observations meet with gives us courage to proceed, or damps our efforts.
View quote | Quotes about Courage

There is a heroism in crime as well as in virtue. Vice and infamy have their altars and their religion.
View quote | Quotes about Crime and Criminals

Without the aid of prejudice and custom, I should not be able to find my way across the room.
View quote | Quotes about Custom

Death cancels everything but truth; and strips a man of everything but genius and virtue. It is a sort of natural canonization. It makes the meanest of us sacred --it installs the poet in his immortality, and lifts him to the skies. Death is the greatest assayer of the sterling ore of talent. At his touch the dropsy particles fall off, the irritable, the personal, the gross, and mingle with the dust --the finer and more ethereal part mounts with winged spirit to watch over our latest memory, and protect our bones from insult. We consign the least worthy qualities to oblivion, and cherish the nobler and imperishable nature with double pride and fondness.
View quote | Quotes about Death and Dying

Our repugnance to death increases in proportion to our consciousness of having lived in vain.
View quote | Quotes about Death and Dying

Life is the art of being well deceived.
View quote | Quotes about Deception

Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects, and discovering the weaknesses of others.
View quote | Quotes about Deception

Reflection makes men cowards.
View quote | Quotes about Deliberation

A strong passion for any object will ensure success, for the desire of the end will point out the means.
View quote | Quotes about Desire

It is hard for any one to be an honest politician who is not born and bred a Dissenter.
View quote | Quotes about Dissent

Those who make their dress a principal part of themselves will, in general, become of no more value than their dress.
View quote | Quotes about Dress

Anyone who has passed through the regular gradations of a classical education, and is not made a fool by it, may consider himself as having had a very narrow escape.
View quote | Quotes about Education

He talked on for ever; and you wished him to talk on for ever.
View quote | Quotes about Eloquence

Envy among other ingredients has a mixture of the love of justice in it. We are more angry at undeserved than at deserved good-fortune.
View quote | Quotes about Envy

One shining quality lends a luster to another, or hides some glaring defect.
View quote | Quotes about Excellence

The best part of our lives we pass in counting on what is to come.
View quote | Quotes about Expectation

General principles are not the less true or important because from their nature they elude immediate observation; they are like the air, which is not the less necessary because we neither see nor feel it.
View quote | Quotes about Facts

If you think you can win, you can win. Faith is necessary to victory.
View quote | Quotes about Faith

There are names written in her immortal scroll at which Fame blushes!
View quote | Quotes about Fame

The love of fame is almost another name for the love of excellence; or it is the ambition to attain the highest excellence, sanctioned by the highest authority, that of time.
View quote | Quotes about Fame

Fame is the inheritance not of the dead, but of the living. It is we who look back with lofty pride to the great names of antiquity.
View quote | Quotes about Fame

Though familiarity may not breed contempt, it takes off the edge of admiration.
View quote | Quotes about Familiarity

It is well that there is no one without a fault; for he would not have a friend in the world.
View quote | Quotes about Faults

The person whose doors I enter with most pleasure, and quit with most regret, never did me the smallest favor.
View quote | Quotes about Favors

Our friends are generally ready to do everything for us, except the very thing we wish them to do.
View quote | Quotes about Favors

I like a friend the better for having faults that one can talk about.
View quote | Quotes about Friends and Friendship

Old friendships are like meats served up repeatedly, cold, comfortless, and distasteful. The stomach turns against them.
View quote | Quotes about Friends and Friendship

The most violent friendships soonest wear themselves out.
View quote | Quotes about Friends and Friendship

There are few things in which we deceive ourselves more than in the esteem we profess to entertain for our friends. It is little better than a piece of quackery. The truth is, we think of them as we please --that is, as they please or displease us.
View quote | Quotes about Friends and Friendship

There are no rules for friendship. It must be left to itself. We cannot force it any more than love.
View quote | Quotes about Friends and Friendship

There are persons who cannot make friends. Who are they? Those who cannot be friends. It is not the want of understanding or good nature, of entertaining or useful qualities, that you complain of: on the contrary, they have probably many points of attraction; but they have one that neutralizes all these --they care nothing about you, and are neither the better nor worse for what you think of them. They manifest no joy at your approach; and when you leave them, it is with a feeling that they can do just as well without you. This is not sullenness, nor indifference, nor absence of mind; but they are intent solely on their own thoughts, and you are merely one of the subjects they exercise them upon. They live in society as in a solitude.
View quote | Quotes about Friends and Friendship

The definition of genius is that it acts unconsciously; and those who have produced immortal works, have done so without knowing how or why. The greatest power operates unseen.
View quote | Quotes about Genius

If goodness were only a theory, it were a pity it should be lost to the world. There are a number of things, the idea of which is a clear gain to the mind. Let people, for instance, rail at friendship, genius, freedom, as long as they will --the very names of these despised qualities are better than anything else that could be substituted for them, and embalm even the most envenomed satire against them.
View quote | Quotes about Goodness

Grace has been defined as the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul.
View quote | Quotes about Grace

Grace in women has more effect than beauty.
View quote | Quotes about Grace

Grace is the absence of everything that indicates pain or difficulty, hesitation or incongruity.
View quote | Quotes about Grace

The public have neither shame or gratitude.
View quote | Quotes about Gratitude

No man is truly great who is great only in his lifetime. The test of greatness is the page of history.
View quote | Quotes about Greatness

Look up, laugh loud, talk big, keep the color in your cheek and the fire in your eye, adorn your person, maintain your health, your beauty and your animal spirits.
View quote | Quotes about Happiness

We can scarcely hate anyone that we know.
View quote | Quotes about Hatred

Hope is the best possession. None are completely wretched but those who are without hope. Few are reduced so low as that.
View quote | Quotes about Hope

The only vice which cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy. The repentance of a hypocrite is itself hypocrisy.
View quote | Quotes about Hypocrisy

A hypocrite despises those whom he deceives, but has no respect for himself. He would make a dupe of himself too, if he could.
View quote | Quotes about Hypocrisy

There are many who talk on from ignorance rather than from knowledge, and who find the former an inexhaustible fund of conversation.
View quote | Quotes about Ignorance

Lest he should wander irretrievably from the right path, he stands still.
View quote | Quotes about Inertia

The are of will-making chiefly consists in baffling the importunity of expectation.
View quote | Quotes about Inheritance

An honest man speaks the truth, though it may give offence; a vain man, in order that it may.
View quote | Quotes about Injury

The best way to procure insults is to submit to them.
View quote | Quotes about Insults

There is nothing more likely to drive a man mad, than the being unable to get rid of the idea of the distinction between right and wrong, and an obstinate, constitutional preference of the true to the agreeable.
View quote | Quotes about Integrity

Man is a make-believe animal -- he is never so truly himself as when he is acting a part.
View quote | Quotes about Integrity

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they might of been.
View quote | Quotes about Laughter

Those who can command themselves command others.
View quote | Quotes about Leaders and Leadership

Learning is, in too many cases, but a foil to common sense; a substitute for true knowledge. Books are less often made use of as spectacles to look at nature with, than as blinds to keep out its strong light and shifting scenery from weak eyes and indolent dispositions. The learned are mere literary drudges.
View quote | Quotes about Learning

The busier we are the more leisure we have.
View quote | Quotes about Leisure

The slaves of power mind the cause they have to serve, because their own interest is concerned; but the friends of liberty always sacrifice their cause, which is only the cause of humanity, to their own spleen, vanity, and self-opinion.
View quote | Quotes about Liberty

The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves. We cannot force love.
View quote | Quotes about Love

I do not think that what is called Love at first sight is so great an absurdity as it is sometimes imagined to be. We generally make up our minds beforehand to the sort of person we should like, grave or gay, black, brown, or fair; with golden tresses or raven locks; -- and when we meet with a complete example of the qualities we admire, the bargain is soon struck.
View quote | Quotes about Love At First Sight

Belief is with them mechanical, voluntary: they believe what they are paid for -- they swear to that which turns to account. Do you suppose, that after years spent in this manner, they have any feeling left answering to the difference between truth and falsehood?
View quote | Quotes about Media

To be remembered after we are dead, is but poor recompense for being treated with contempt while we are living.
View quote | Quotes about Memory

The mind of man is like a clock that is always running down, and requires to be constantly wound up.
View quote | Quotes about Mind

Modesty is the lowest of the virtues, and is a real confession of the deficiency it indicates. He who undervalues himself is justly undervalued by others.
View quote | Quotes about Modesty

No truly great person ever thought themselves so.
View quote | Quotes about Modesty

Every man, in his own opinion, forms an exception to the ordinary rules of morality.
View quote | Quotes about Morality

A nickname is the heaviest stone that the devil can throw at a man. It is a bugbear to the imagination, and, though we do not believe in it, it still haunts our apprehensions.
View quote | Quotes about Nicknames

Nothing is more unjust or capricious than public opinion.
View quote | Quotes about Opinions

The smallest pain in our little finger gives us more concern than the destruction of millions of our fellow beings.
View quote | Quotes about Pain

If mankind had wished for what is right, they might have had it long ago.
View quote | Quotes about Peace

No one ever approaches perfection except by stealth, and unknown to themselves.
View quote | Quotes about Perfection

We never do anything well till we cease to think about the manner of doing it.
View quote | Quotes about Performance

The art of pleasing consists in being pleased.
View quote | Quotes about Persuasion

The essence of poetry is will and passion.
View quote | Quotes about Poetry and Poets

Poetry is the universal language which the heart holds with nature and itself. He who has a contempt for poetry, cannot have much respect for himself, or for anything else.
View quote | Quotes about Poetry and Poets

The poetical impression of any object is that uneasy, exquisite sense of beauty or power that cannot be contained within itself; that is impatient of all limit; that (as flame bends to flame) strives to link itself to some other image of kindred beauty or grandeur; to enshrine itself, as it were, in the highest forms of fancy, and to relieve the aching sense of pleasure by expressing it in the boldest manner.
View quote | Quotes about Poetry and Poets

A Whig is properly what is called a Trimmer -- that is, a coward to both sides of the question, who dare not be a knave nor an honest man, but is a sort of whiffing, shuffling, cunning, silly, contemptible, unmeaning negation of the two.
View quote | Quotes about Politicians and Politics

If a person has no delicacy, he has you in his power.
View quote | Quotes about Power

Prejudice is the child of ignorance.
View quote | Quotes about Prejudice

The most learned are often the most narrow minded.
View quote | Quotes about Prejudice

There is no prejudice so strong as that which arises from a fancied exemption from all prejudice.
View quote | Quotes about Prejudice

No wise man can have a contempt for the prejudices of others; and he should even stand in a certain awe of his own, as if they were aged parents and monitors. They may in the end prove wiser than he.
View quote | Quotes about Prejudice

Some persons make promises for the pleasure of breaking them.
View quote | Quotes about Promises

There is not a more mean, stupid, dastardly, pitiless, selfish, spiteful, envious, ungrateful animal than the Public. It is the greatest of cowards, for it is afraid of itself.
View quote | Quotes about Public

Few things tend more to alienate friendship than a want of punctuality in our engagements. I have known the breach of a promise to dine or sup to break up more than one intimacy.
View quote | Quotes about Punctuality

To give a reason for anything is to breed a doubt of it.
View quote | Quotes about Reason

We grow tired of everything but turning others into ridicule, and congratulating ourselves on their defects.
View quote | Quotes about Ridicule

Satirists gain the applause of others through fear, not through love.
View quote | Quotes about Sarcasm

A scholar is like a book written in a dead language. It is not every one that can read in it.
View quote | Quotes about Scholars and Scholarship

I hate to be near the sea, and to hear it roaring and raging like a wild beast in its den. It puts me in mind of the everlasting efforts of the human mind, struggling to be free, and ending just where it began.
View quote | Quotes about Sea

The most silent people are generally those who think most highly of themselves.
View quote | Quotes about self-esteem

We can bear to be deprived of everything but our self-conceit.
View quote | Quotes about Self-image

Every one in a crowd has the power to throw dirt; none out of ten have the inclination.
View quote | Quotes about Slander

We are not hypocrites in our sleep.
View quote | Quotes about Sleep

We talk little when we do not talk about ourselves.
View quote | Quotes about Speakers and Speaking

If the world were good for nothing else, it is a fine subject for speculation.
View quote | Quotes about Speculation

There is no one thoroughly despicable. We cannot descend much lower than an idiot; and an idiot has some advantages over a wise man.
View quote | Quotes about Stupidity

Mankind are an incorrigible race. Give them but bugbears and idols -- it is all that they ask; the distinctions of right and wrong, of truth and falsehood, of good and evil, are worse than indifferent to them.
View quote | Quotes about Superstition

We find many things to which the prohibition of them constitutes the only temptation.
View quote | Quotes about Taboos

Taste is nothing but an enlarged capacity for receiving pleasure from works of imagination.
View quote | Quotes about Taste

Good temper is one of the greatest preservers of the features.
View quote | Quotes about Temper

Good temper is an estate for life.
View quote | Quotes about Temper

Great thoughts reduced to practice become great acts.
View quote | Quotes about Thoughts and Thinking

I would like to spend my whole life traveling, if I could borrow another life to spend at home.
View quote | Quotes about Travel and Tourism

There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you.
View quote | Quotes about Tyranny

The thing is plain. All that men really understand, is confined to a very small compass; to their daily affairs and experience; to what they have an opportunity to know, and motives to study or practice. The rest is affectation and imposture.
View quote | Quotes about Understanding

The least pain in our little finger gives us more concern and uneasiness than the destruction of millions of our fellow-beings.
View quote | Quotes about Value

To a superior race of being the pretensions of mankind to extraordinary sanctity and virtue must seem... ridiculous.
View quote | Quotes about Virtue

People of genius do not excel in any profession because they work in it, they work in it because they excel.
View quote | Quotes about Vocation

The player envies only the player, the poet envies only the poet.
View quote | Quotes about Vocation

The world judge of men by their ability in their profession, and we judge of ourselves by the same test: for it is on that on which our success in life depends.
View quote | Quotes about Vocation

Those who are at war with others are not at peace with themselves.
View quote | Quotes about War

Wit is the salt of conversation, not the food.
View quote | Quotes about Wit

The characteristic of Chaucer is intensity: of Spencer, remoteness: of Milton elevation and of Shakespeare everything.
View quote | Quotes about Writers and Writing

Hazlitt, William

No biography at present.

133 quotations