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William Hazlitt's Quotes

William Hazlitt profile photo

Born: 1970-01-01
Profession: Critic
Nation: English
Biography of William Hazlitt

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To give a reason for anything is to breed a doubt of it.

Tags: Doubt, Give, Reason

Some people break promises for the pleasure of breaking them.

Tags: Break, Pleasure, Promises

We often choose a friend as we do a mistress - for no particular excellence in themselves, but merely from some circumstance that flatters our self-love.

Tags: Friend, Often, Themselves

An honest man speaks the truth, though it may give offence; a vain man, in order that it may.

Tags: Give, May, Truth

Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity a greater.

Tags: Adversity, Great, Teacher

Do not keep on with a mockery of friendship after the substance is gone - but part, while you can part friends. Bury the carcass of friendship: it is not worth embalming.

Tags: After, Friends, Friendship

As is our confidence, so is our capacity.

Tags: Capacity, Confidence

Almost every sect of Christianity is a perversion of its essence, to accommodate it to the prejudices of the world.

Tags: Almost, Essence, Prejudices

Love turns, with a little indulgence, to indifference or disgust; hatred alone is immortal.

Tags: Alone, Hatred, Love

Rules and models destroy genius and art.

Tags: Art, Genius, Rules

There are no rules for friendship. It must be left to itself. We cannot force it any more than love.

Tags: Cannot, Friendship, Love

You know more of a road by having traveled it than by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world.

Tags: Road, Travel, Traveled

A scholar is like a book written in a dead language. It is not every one that can read in it.

Tags: Book, Dead, Read

Good temper is one of the greatest preservers of the features.

Tags: Good, Greatest, Temper

The smallest pain in our little finger gives us more concern than the destruction of millions of our fellow beings.

Tags: Concern, Fellow, Pain

Grace has been defined as the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul.

Tags: Expression, Grace, Soul

If you think you can win, you can win. Faith is necessary to victory.

Tags: Faith, Victory, Win

The soul of a journey is liberty, perfect liberty, to think, feel, do just as one pleases.

Tags: Liberty, Perfect, Soul

There is no prejudice so strong as that which arises from a fancied exemption from all prejudice.

Tags: Arises, Prejudice, Strong

Those who speak ill of the spiritual life, although they come and go by day, are like the smith's bellows: they take breath but are not alive.

Tags: Life, Speak, Spiritual

Everything is in motion. Everything flows. Everything is vibrating.

Tags: Flows, Motion, Vibrating

The art of pleasing consists in being pleased.

Tags: Art, Pleased, Pleasing

The truly proud man knows neither superiors or inferiors. The first he does not admit of - the last he does not concern himself about.

Tags: Himself, Last, Proud

There is no one thoroughly despicable. We cannot descend much lower than an idiot; and an idiot has some advantages over a wise man.

Tags: Cannot, Idiot, Wise

A grave blockhead should always go about with a lively one - they show one another off to the best advantage.

Tags: Another, Best, Off

A hair in the head is worth two in the brush.

Tags: Hair, Head, Worth
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Books let us into their souls and lay open to us the secrets of our own.

Tags: Books, Open, Secrets

Genius, like humanity, rusts for want of use.

Tags: Genius, Humanity

Grace in women has more effect than beauty.

Tags: Beauty, Grace, Women

Hope is the best possession. None are completely wretched but those who are without hope. Few are reduced so low as that.

Tags: Best, Few, Hope

I would like to spend the whole of my life traveling, if I could anywhere borrow another life to spend at home.

Tags: Another, Home, Life

If you give an audience a chance they will do half your acting for you.

Tags: Acting, Chance, Give

Man is a make-believe animal: he is never so truly himself as when he is acting a part.

Tags: Acting, Animal, Himself

No man is truly great who is great only in his lifetime. The test of greatness is the page of history.

Tags: Great, Greatness, History

No one ever approaches perfection except by stealth, and unknown to themselves.

Tags: Except, Perfection, Themselves

No truly great person ever thought themselves so.

Tags: Great, Themselves, Thought

Our friends are generally ready to do everything for us, except the very thing we wish them to do.

Tags: Friends, Ready, Wish

Reflection makes men cowards.

Tags: Makes, Men, Reflection

That which is not, shall never be; that which is, shall never cease to be. To the wise, these truths are self-evident.

Tags: Shall, Truths, Wise

The mind of man is like a clock that is always running down, and requires to be constantly wound up.

Tags: Clock, Mind, Running

The seat of knowledge is in the head; of wisdom, in the heart. We are sure to judge wrong, if we do not feel right.

Tags: Judge, Knowledge, Wisdom

The true barbarian is he who thinks everything barbarous but his own tastes and prejudices.

Tags: Prejudices, Thinks, True

Those who make their dress a principal part of themselves, will, in general, become of no more value than their dress.

Tags: Become, Themselves, Value

To be happy, we must be true to nature and carry our age along with us.

Tags: Age, Happy, Nature

To think ill of mankind and not wish ill to them, is perhaps the highest wisdom and virtue.

Tags: Virtue, Wisdom, Wish

When a thing ceases to be a subject of controversy, it ceases to be a subject of interest.

Tags: Ceases, Interest, Subject

Wit is the salt of conversation, not the food.

Tags: Brainy, Food, Wit

There are few things in which we deceive ourselves more than in the esteem we profess to entertain for our firends. It is little better than a piece of quackery. The truth is, we think of them as we please, that is, as they please or displease us.

Tags: Few, Ourselves, Truth

Dandyism is a variety of genius.

Tags: Genius, Variety

Fame is the inheritance not of the dead, but of the living. It is we who look back with lofty pride to the great names of antiquity.

Tags: Great, Living, Pride

Gracefulness has been defined to be the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul.

Tags: Expression, Harmony, Soul

Great thoughts reduced to practice become great acts.

Tags: Become, Great, Thoughts

He who undervalues himself is justly undervalued by others.

Tags: Himself, Justly, Others

I like a friend the better for having faults that one can talk about.

Tags: Faults, Friend, Talk

If I have not read a book before, it is, for all intents and purposes, new to me whether it was printed yesterday or three hundred years ago.

Tags: Book, Read, Three

If the world were good for nothing else, it is a fine subject for speculation.

Tags: Else, Fine, Good

It is better to be able neither to read nor write than to be able to do nothing else.

Tags: Able, Else, Write

It is hard for any one to be an honest politician who is not born and bred a Dissenter.

Tags: Born, Hard, Honest

Learning is its own exceeding great reward.

Tags: Great, Learning, Reward

No young man ever thinks he shall die.

Tags: Die, Shall, Young

Old friendships are like meats served up repeatedly, cold, comfortless, and distasteful. The stomach turns against them.

Tags: Against, Cold, Old

One shining quality lends a lustre to another, or hides some glaring defect.

Tags: Another, Quality, Shining

People of genius do not excel in any profession because they work in it, they work in it because they excel.

Tags: Genius, Profession, Work

Satirists gain the applause of others through fear, not through love.

Tags: Fear, Love, Others

Some one is generally sure to be the sufferer by a joke.

Tags: Generally, Joke, Sure

The busier we are the more leisure we have.

Tags: Busier, Leisure

The English (it must be owned) are rather a foul-mouthed nation.

Tags: English, Nation, Rather

The humblest painter is a true scholar; and the best of scholars the scholar of nature.

Tags: Best, Nature, True

The incentive to ambition is the love of power.

Tags: Ambition, Love, Power

The least pain in our little finger gives us more concern and uneasiness than the destruction of millions of our fellow-beings.

Tags: Concern, Millions, Pain

The more we do, the more we can do.

Tags: Learned, Minded, Often

The perfect joys of heaven do not satisfy the cravings of nature.

Tags: Heaven, Nature, Perfect

The person whose doors I enter with most pleasure, and quit with most regret, never did me the smallest favor.

Tags: Pleasure, Quit, Regret

The player envies only the player, the poet envies only the poet.

Tags: Envies, Player, Poet

The public have neither shame or gratitude.

Tags: Gratitude, Neither, Public

The way to get on in the world is to be neither more nor less wise, neither better nor worse than your neighbours.

Tags: Less, Nor, Wise

There is a heroism in crime as well as in virtue. Vice and infamy have their altars and their religion.

Tags: Crime, Religion, Virtue

There is nothing good to be had in the country, or if there is, they will not let you have it.

Tags: Country, Good

Those who can command themselves command others.

Tags: Command, Others, Themselves

Though familiarity may not breed contempt, it takes off the edge of admiration.

Tags: May, Off, Though

To a superior race of being the pretensions of mankind to extraordinary sanctity and virtue must seem... ridiculous.

Tags: Race, Ridiculous, Seem

To be remembered after we are dead, is but poor recompense for being treated with contempt while we are living.

Tags: After, Living, Poor

To get others to come into our ways of thinking, we must go over to theirs; and it is necessary to follow, in order to lead.

Tags: Order, Others, Thinking

We are not hypocrites in our sleep.

Tags: Hypocrites, Sleep

We are very much what others think of us. The reception our observations meet with gives us courage to proceed, or damps our efforts.

Tags: Courage, Meet, Others

We can bear to be deprived of everything but our self-conceit.

Tags: Bear, Deprived

We can scarcely hate anyone that we know.

Tags: Anyone, Hate

We find many things to which the prohibition of them constitutes the only temptation.

Tags: Temptation

We must be doing something to be happy.

Tags: Happy

We never do anything well till we cease to think about the manner of doing it.

Tags: Cease, Manner, Till

Without the aid of prejudice and custom, I should not be able to find my way across the room.

Tags: Able, Prejudice, Room

Zeal will do more than knowledge.

Tags: Knowledge, Zeal

If we wish to know the force of human genius, we should read Shakespeare. If we wish to see the insignificance of human learning, we may study his commentators.

Tags: Human, Learning, May

Few things tend more to alienate friendship than a want of punctuality in our engagements. I have known the breach of a promise to dine or sup to break up more than one intimacy.

Tags: Few, Friendship, Known

The dupe of friendship, and the fool of love; have I not reason to hate and to despise myself? Indeed I do; and chiefly for not having hated and despised the world enough.

Tags: Friendship, Hate, Love

Poetry is the universal language which the heart holds with nature and itself. He who has a contempt for poetry, cannot have much respect for himself, or for anything else.

Tags: Nature, Poetry, Respect

The world judge of men by their ability in their profession, and we judge of ourselves by the same test: for it is on that on which our success in life depends.

Tags: Life, Men, Success

A nickname is the heaviest stone that the devil can throw at a man. It is a bugbear to the imagination, and, though we do not believe in it, it still haunts our apprehensions.

Tags: Devil, Though, Throw

Anyone who has passed though the regular gradations of a classical education, and is not made a fool by it, may consider himself as having had a very narrow escape.

Tags: Education, Fool, May

Defoe says that there were a hundred thousand country fellows in his time ready to fight to the death against popery, without knowing whether popery was a man or a horse.

Tags: Death, Fight, Time
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