The world is a scene of changes; to be constant in nature were inconstancy.
Hope—fortune’s cheating lottery, where for one prize, a hundred blanks there be.
The woman that has not touched the heart of a man, before he leads her to the altar, has scarcely a chance to charm it when possession and security turn their powerful arms against her.
To be a husbandman, is but a retreat from the city; to be a philosopher, from the world; or rather a retreat from the world as it is man’s, into the world as it is God’s.
The first three men in the world were a gardener, a ploughman, and a grazier; and if any object that the second of these was a murderer, I desire him to consider that as soon as he was so, he quitted our profession, and turned builder.
Man is to man all kinds of beasts; a fawning dog, a roaring lion, a thieving fox, a robbing wolf, a dissembling crocodile, a treacherous decoy, and a rapacious vulture.
And I myself a Catholic will be,
So far at least, great saint, to pray to thee.
Hail, Bard triumphant! and some care bestow
On us, the Poets militant below.
I never had any other desire so strong, and so like to covetousness, as that one which I have had always, that I might be master at last of a small house and a large Garden.
Much of our ignorance is of ourselves. Our eyes are full of dust. Prejudice blinds us.
Life is an incurable Disease.
Acquaintance I would have, but when’t depends not on the number, but the choice of friends.
Money was made not to command our will, but all our lawful pleasures to fulfill; shame and woe to us, if we our wealth obey—the horse doth with the horseman run away.
The present is an eternal now.
Topics: The Present
Solitude can be used well by very few people. They who do must have a knowledge of the world to see the foolishness of it, and enough virtue to despise all the vanity.
Topics: Foolishness, Solitude
The present is all the ready money Fate can give.
Topics: The Present
The liberty of a people consists in being governed by laws which they have made themselves, under whatsoever form it be of government. The liberty of a private man, in being master of his own time and actions, as far as may consist with the laws of God and of his country.
Topics: Liberty, Laws
Of all ills that one endures, hope is a cheap and universal cure.
God the first garden made, and Cain the first city.
We may talk as we please of lilies, and lions rampant, and spread eagles in fields of d’or or d’argent, but if heraldry were guided by reason, a plough in the field arable would be the most noble and ancient arms.
Hope—of all ills that men endure, the only cheap and universal cure; the captive’s freedom, and the sick man s health, the lover’s victory, and the beggar’s wealth.
Topics: Hope, Aspirations
There is no saying shocks me so much as that which I hear very often, “that a man does not know how to pass his time.” It would have been but ill-spoken by Methusaleh in the nine hun-dred and sixty-ninth year of his life.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- John Dryden English Poet
- Geoffrey Chaucer English Poet
- John Milton English Poet
- John Webster English Dramatist
- William Cowper English Anglican Poet
- Edmund Spenser English Poet
- John Gay English Poet, Dramatist
- Robert Browning English Poet
- Andrew Marvell English Metaphysical Poet
- Bernard Mandeville British Writer