Maxims and moral reflections

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A. Donaldson, 1783 - Literary Criticism - 140 pages
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Page 133 - Remember, therefore, most carefully to conceal your contempt, however just, wherever you would not make an implacable enemy. Men are much more unwilling to have their weaknesses and their imperfections known, than their crimes ; and, if you hint to a man that you think him silly, ignorant, or even...
Page 2 - 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 59 - ... twas a taught trick to gain credit of the world for more fenfe and knowledge than a man was worth ; and that, with all its pretenCons, — it was no better, but often worfe than what a French wit had long ago denned it, viz.
Page 59 - Gravity is a mysterious carriage of the body invented to cover the defects of the mind.
Page 82 - 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 13 - Few things are impracticable in themselves ; and it is for want of application, rather than of means, that men fail of success.
Page 37 - 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 69 - ... bounds of duty ; whilst virtue seems to run away with the honor. In jealousy there is less love than self-love. Jealousy is the greatest of evils, and the least pitied by those who occasion it. A readiness to believe ill without examination is the effect of pride and laziness. We are willing to find people guilty, and unwilling to be at the trouble of examining into the accusation. Weakness often gets the better of those ills which reason could not. Women in love more easily forgive great indiscretions...
Page 15 - ... he would willingly be esteemed ; so that we may say, the world is composed of nothing but appearances. We like better to see those on whom we confer benefits, than those from whom we receive them. Everybody takes pleasure in returning small obligations; many go so far as to acknowledge moderate ones ; but there is hardly any one who does not repay great obligations with ingratitude. A man often imagines he acts, when he is acted upon ; and while his mind aims at one thing, his heart insensibly...

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