Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he isn't. A sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.
This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel.
When a Frenchman reads of the garden of Eden, I do not doubt but he concludes it was something approaching to that of Versailles, with clipped hedges, berceaus, and trellis work.
By deafness one gains in one respect more than one loses; one misses more nonsense than sense.
It was easier to conquer it than to know what to do with it.
We often repent of our first thoughts, and scarce ever of our second.
The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well.
I do not admire politicians; but when they are excellent in their way, one cannot help allowing them their due.
Oh that I were seated as high as my ambition, I'd place my naked foot on the necks of monarchs.
Nine-tenths of the people were created so you would want to be with the other tenth.
Men are sent into the world with bills of credit, and seldom draw to their full extent.
I avoid talking before the youth of the age as I would dancing before them: for if one's tongue don't move in the steps of the day, and thinks to please by its old graces, it is only an object of ridicule.
It was said of old Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, that she never puts dots over her I s, to save ink.
The wisest prophets make sure of the event first.
In all science, error precedes the truth, and it is better it should go first than last.
Alexander at the head of the world never tasted the true pleasure that boys of his own age have enjoyed at the head of a school.
Virtue knows to a farthing what it has lost by not having been vice.
I never found even in my juvenile hours that it was necessary to go a thousand miles in search of themes for moralizing.
The Methodists love your big sinners, as proper subjects to work upon.
Justice is rather the activity of truth, than a virtue in itself. Truth tells us what is due to others, and justice renders that due. Injustice is acting a lie.
How well Shakespeare knew how to improve and exalt little circumstances, when he borrowed them from circumstantial or vulgar historians.
Plot, rules, nor even poetry, are not half so great beauties in tragedy or comedy as a just imitation of nature, of character, of the passions and their operations in diversified situations.
Poetry is a beautiful way of spoiling prose, and the laborious art of exchanging plain sense for harmony.
He would be a very absurd legislator who should pretend to set bounds to his country's welfare, lest it should perish by knowing no bounds.