Maxims and Moral Reflections

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Page 49 - As Rochefoucault his maxims drew From nature, I believe them true : They argue no corrupted mind In him ; the fault is in mankind. This maxim more than all the rest Is thought too base for human breast: " In all distresses of our friends We first consult our private ends ; While nature, kindly bent to ease us, Points out some circumstance to please us.
Page 136 - No flattery is either too high or too low for them. They will greedily swallow the highest, and gratefully accept of the lowest; and you may safely flatter any woman from her understanding down to the exquisite taste of her fan.
Page 4 - The height of ability consists in a thorough knowledge of the real value of things and of the genius of the age we live in...
Page 13 - ... from one to whom we think ourselves equal greater benefits than there is hope to requite disposeth to counterfeit love, but really secret hatred; and puts a man into the estate of...
Page 33 - Were we to take as much pains to be what we ought, as we do to disguise what we are, we might appear like ourselves, without being at the trouble of any disguise at all.
Page 132 - Walpole (who was certainly an able man) was little open to flattery upon that head, for he was in no doubt himself about it ; but his prevailing weakness was to be thought to have a polite and happy turn to gallantry, of which he had undoubtedly less than any man living : it was his favourite and frequent subject of conversation, which proved to those who had any penetration that it was his prevailing weakness. And they applied to it with success.
Page 80 - Love, all agreeable as he is, pleases yet more by the manner in which he shows himself. A man of sense may love like a madman, but never like a fool. Why have we memory sufficient to retain the minutest circumstances that have happened to us ; and yet not enough to remember how often we have related them to the same person ? It is a sign of an extraordinary merit, when those who most envy it are forced to praise it. Merit has its season, as well as fruit. Censorious as the world is, it oftener does...
Page 11 - Few things are impracticable in themselves ; and it is for want of application, rather than of means, that men fail of success.
Page 35 - There is as much eloquence in the tone of voice, in the eyes, and in the air of a speaker, as in his choice of words.
Page 36 - Your trade is to speak well both in public and in private. The manner of your speaking is full as important as the matter, as more people have ears to be tickled, than understandings to judge.

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