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A man ought not to return evil for evil, as many think, since at no time ought we to do an injury to our neighbour.*
Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.
Justice will only exist where those not affected by injustice are filled with the same amount of indignation as those offended.
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses.
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.
Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is god, just, and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but never less, dazzaling, passionate, and eternal form.
Man...is a tame or civilized animal never the less, he requires proper instruction and a fortunate nature, and then of all animals he becomes the most divine and most civilized but if he be insufficiently or ill- educated he is the most savage of earthly creatures.
Just as it would be madness to settle on medical treatment for the body of a person by taking an opinion poll of the neighbors, so it is irrational to prescribe for the body politic by polling the opinions of the people at large.
Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, and life to everything.
Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul, on which they mightily fasten imparting grace.
Nothing can be more absurd than the practice that prevails in our country of men and women not following the same pursuits with all their strengths and with one mind, for thus, the state instead of being whole is reduced to half.
Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.
All men are by nature equal, made all of the same earth by one Workman; and however we deceive ourselves, as dear unto God is the poor peasant as the mighty prince.
All things will be produced in superior quantity and quality, and with greater ease, when each man works at a single occupation, in accordance with his natural gifts, and at the right moment, without meddling with anything else.
For this invention of yours will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn it, by causing them to neglect their memory, inasmuch as, from their confidence in writing, they will recollect by the external aid of foreign symbols, and not by the internal use of their own faculties. Your discovery, therefore, is a medicine not for memory, but for recollection-for recalling to, not for keeping in mind.
He who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden.
He who is of calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden.
I exhort you also to take part in the great combat, which is the combat of life, and greater than every other earthly combat.
If a man says that it is right to give every one his due, and therefore thinks within his own mind that injury is due from a just man to his enemies but kindness to his friends, he was not wise who said so, for he spoke not the truth, for in no case has it appeared to be just to injure any one.*
Ignorance of all things is an evil neither terrible nor excessive, nor yet the greatest of all; but great cleverness and much learning, if they be accompanied by a bad training, are a much greater misfortune.
Laws are partly formed for the sake of good men, in order to instruct them how they may live on friendly terms with one another, and partly for the sake of those who refuse to be instructed, whose spirit cannot be subdued, or softened, or hindered from plunging into evil.
Man...is a tame or civilized animal; never the less, he requires proper instruction and a fortunate nature, and then of all animals he becomes the most divine and most civilized; but if he be insufficiently or ill- educated he is the most savage of earthly creatures.
Mankind censure injustice fearing that they may be the victims of it, and not because they shrink from committing it.
Men say that everyone is naturally a lover of himself, and that it is right that it should be so. This is a mistake; for in fact the cause of all the blunders committed by man arises from this excessive self-love. For the lover is blinded by the object loved, so that he passes a wrong judgment upon what is just, good, and beautiful, thinking that he ought always to honour what belongs to himself, in preference to truth. For he who intends to be a great man ought to love neither himself nor his own things, but only what is just, whether it happens to be done by himself or by another.
Misanthropy ariseth from a man trusting another without having sufficient knowledge of his character, and, thinking him to be truthful, sincere, and honourable, finds a little afterwards that he is wicked, faithless, and then he meets with another of the same character. When a man experiences this often, and more particularly from those whom he considered his most dear and best friends, at last, having frequently made a slip, he hates the whole world, and thinks that there is nothing sound at all in any of them.
No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to persevere to the end in their nature and education.
Philosophy is an elegant thing, if anyone modestly meddles with it; but if they are conversant with it more than is becoming, it corrupts them.
Remember how in that communion only, beholding beauty with the eye of the mind, he will be enabled to bring forth, not images of beauty, but realities (for he has hold not of an image but of a reality), and bringing forth and nourishing true virtue to become the friend of God and be immortal, if mortal man may.N.B. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. See also Napoleon Bonaparte.
Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught in falsehood's school. And the one man who dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and fool.
The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our ways - I to die, and you to live. Which is better God only knows.
The learning and knowledge that we have, is, at the most, but little compared with that of which we are ignorant.
The partisan, when he is engaged in a dispute, cares nothing about the rights of the question, but is anxious only to convince his hearers of his own assertions.
The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness...This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs when he first appears he is a protector.
The true lover of learning then must his earliest youth, as far as in him lies, desire all truth. . .He whose desires are drawn toward knowledge in every form will be absorbed in the pleasures of the soul, and will hardly feel bodily pleasures- -I mean, if he be a true philosopher and not a sham one. . .Then how can he who has the magnificence of mind and is the spectator of all times and all existence, think much of human life He cannot. Or can such a one account death fearful No indeed.
There are few people so stubborn in their atheism who when danger is pressing in will not acknowledge the divine power.
There are three arts which are concerned with all things one which uses, another which makes, and a third which imitates them.
To the rulers of the state then, if to any, it belongs of right to use falsehood, to deceive either enemies or their own citizens, for the good of the state: and no one else may meddle with this privilege.
Too much attention to health is a hindrance to learning, to invention, and to studies of any kind, for we are always feeling suspicious shootings and swimmings in our heads, and we are prone to blame studies from them.
We can forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
Wealth is the parent of luxury and indolence, and poverty of meanness and viciousness, and both of discontent.
When there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income.
Wisdom alone is the true and unalloyed coin for which we ought to exchange all things, for this and with this everything is bought and sold?fortitude, temperance, and justice; in a word, true virtue subsists with wisdom.