It is harder to avoid censure than to gain applause, for this may be done by one great or wise action in an age; but to escape censure a man must pass his whole life without saying or doing one ill or foolish thing.
Human happiness seems to consist in three ingredients; action, pleasure, and indolence. And though these ingredients ought to be mixed in different proportions, according to the disposition of the person, yet no one ingredient can be entirely wanting without destroying in some measure the relish of the whole composition.
Among well-bred people a mutual deference is affected, contempt for others is disguised; authority concealed; attention given to each in his turn; and an easy stream of conversation maintained without vehemence, without interruption, without eagerness for victory, and without any airs of superiority.
Topics: Manners, Conversation
It is certain that a serious attention to the sciences and liberal arts softens and humanizes the temper, and cherishes those fine emotions in which true virtue and honor consist. It very rarely happens that a man of taste and learning is not, at least, an honest man, whatever frailties may attend him.
A man’s time, when well husbanded, is like a cultivated field, of which a few acres produces more of what is useful to life, than extensive provinces, even of the richest soil, when overrun with weeds and brambles.
A man’s genius is always, in the beginning of life, as much unknown to himself as to others; and it is only after frequent trials, attended with success, that he dares think himself equal to those undertakings in which those who have succeeded have fixed the admiration of mankind.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Immanuel Kant Prussian German Philosopher
- Thomas Reid Scottish Philosopher
- John Stuart Mill English Philosopher, Economist
- Bertrand A. Russell British Philosopher, Mathematician
- Adam Smith Scottish Philosopher
- John Locke English Philosopher
- James Mill Scottish Philosopher
- R. G. Collingwood British Historian, Philosopher
- Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz German Philosopher, Mathematician
- Francis Bacon English Philosopher