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There is this difference between happiness and wisdom, that he that thinks himself the happiest man, really is so; but he who thinks himself the wisest, is generally the greatest fool.
The reason why great men meet with so little pity or attachment in adversity, would seem to be this: the friends of a great man were made by his fortune, his enemies by himself, and revenge is a much more punctual paymaster than gratitude.
Anguish of mind has driven thousands to suicide; anguish of body, none. This proves that the health of the mind is of far more consequence to our happiness, than the health of the body, although both are deserving of much more attention than either of them receive.
Doubt is the vestibule which all must pass before they can enter the temple of wisdom. When we are in doubt and puzzle out the truth by our own exertions, we have gained something that will stay by us and will serve us again. But if to avoid the trouble of the search we avail ourselves of the superior information of a friend, such knowledge will not remain with us; we have not bought, but borrowed it.
Falsehood is never so successful as when she baits her hook with truth, and no opinions so fatally mislead us, as those that are not wholly wrong; as no watches so effectually deceive the wearer as those that are sometimes right.
How small a portion of our life it is that we really enjoy! In youth we are looking forward to things that are to come; in old age we are looking backward to things that are gone past; in manhood, although we appear indeed to be more occupied in things that are present, yet even that is too often absorbed in vague determinations to be vastly happy on some future day when we have time.
It is with disease of the mind, as with those of the body; we are half dead before we understand our disorder, and half cured when we do.
Love is an alliance of friendship and animalism; if the former predominates it is passion exalted and refined; if the latter, gross and sensual.
Men of strong minds and who think for themselves, should not be discouraged on finding occasionally that some of their best ideas have been anticipated by former writers; they will neither anathematize others nor despair themselves. They will rather go on discovering things before discovered, until they are rewarded with a land hitherto unknown, an empire indisputably their own, both right of conquest and of discovery.
No company is preferable to bad, because we are more apt to catch the vices of others than their virtues, as disease is far more contagious than health.
Nothing more completely baffles one who is full of trick and duplicity than straigthforward and simple integrity in another. A knave would rather quarrel with a brother knave than with a fool, but he would rather avoid a quarrel with one honest man than with both. He can combat a fool by management and address, and he can conquer a knave by temptations. But the honest man is neither to be bamboozled nor bribed.
The slightest sorrow for sin is sufficient if it produce amendment, and the greatest insufficient if it do not.
There is a diabolical trio existing in the natural man, implacable, inextinguishable, co-operative and consentaneous, pride, envy, and hate; pride that makes us fancy we deserve all the goods that others possess; envy that some should be admired while we are overlooked; and hate, because all that is bestowed on others, diminishes the sum we think due to ourselves.
There is this paradox in pride - it makes some men ridiculous, but prevents others from becoming so.
To know a man, observe how he wins his object, rather than how he loses it; for when we fail, our pride supports; when we succeed; it betrays us.
To know the pains of power, we must go to those who have it; to know its pleasures, we must go to those who are seeking it. The pains of power are real; its pleasures imaginary.
Two things, well considered, would prevent many quarrels; first to have it well ascertained whether we are not disputing about terms rather than things; and secondly, to examine whether that on which we differ in worth contending about.
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