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Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius.
– Edward Gibbon
The laws of probability, so true in general, so fallacious in particular.
Hope, the best comfort of our imperfect condition.
The winds and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.
I understand by this passion the union of desire, friendship, and tenderness, which is inflamed by a single female, which prefers her to the rest of her sex, and which seeks her possession as the supreme or the sole happiness of our being.
My early and invincible love of reading I would not exchange for all the riches of India.
The pathetic almost always consists in the detail of little events.
Fanaticism obliterates the feelings of humanity.
Our work is the presentation of our capabilities.
My English text is chaste, and all licentious passages are left in the decent obscurity of a learned language.
The style of an author should be the image of his mind, but the choice and command of language is the fruit of exercise.
Their poverty secured their freedom, since our desires and our possessions are the strongest fetters of despotism.
The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful.
We improve ourselves by victories over ourselves. There must be contest, and we must win.
The courage of a soldier is found to be the cheapest and most common quality of human nature.
Revenge is profitable, gratitude is expensive.
I am indeed rich, since my income is superior to my expenses, and my expense is equal to my wishes.
History is little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.
History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.
Of the various forms of government which have prevailed in the world, an hereditary monarchy seems to present the fairest scope for ridicule.
I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.
I was never less alone than when by myself.
The end comes when we no longer talk with ourselves. It is the end of genuine thinking and the beginning of the final loneliness.
Unprovided with original learning, unformed in the habits of thinking, unskilled in the arts of composition, I resolved to write a book.
But the power of instruction is seldom of much efficacy, except in those happy dispositions where it is almost superfluous.
Beauty is an outward gift which is seldom despised, except by those to whom it has been refused.