- So different are the colours of life, as we look forward to the future, or backward to the past; and so different the opinions and sentiments which this contrariety of appearance naturally produces, that the conversation of the old and young ends generally with contempt or pity on either side.
- A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner.
- Bounty always receives part of its value from the manner in which it is bestowed.
(topic: gifts and giving)
- 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.
- Leisure and curiosity might soon make great advances in useful knowledge, were they not diverted by minute emulation and laborious trifles.
- It is so far from being natural for a man and woman to live in a state of marriage, that we find all the motives which they have for remaining in that connection, and the restraints which civilised society imposes to prevent separation, are hardly sufficient to keep them together.
- Depend upon it that if a man talks of his misfortunes there is something in them that is not disagreeable to him; for where there is nothing but pure misery there never is any recourse to the mention of it.
- Whoever thinks of going to bed before twelve o'clock is a scoundrel.
- 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.
- He who praises everybody, praises nobody.
- Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value only to its scarcity.
- A man ought to read just as inclination leads him, for what he reads as a task will do him little good.
- The vanity of being known to be trusted with a secret is generally one of the chief motives to disclose it.
- The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.
- It is dangerous for mortal beauty, or terrestrial virtue, to be examined by too strong a light. The torch of Truth shows much that we cannot, and all that we would not, see.
- What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.