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Happy the man when he has not the defects of his qualities.
– Isaac D’Israeli
It is a wretched taste to be gratified with mediocrity when the excellent lies before us.
The wise make proverbs, and fools repeat them.
After all, it is style alone by which posterity will judge of a great work, for an author can have nothing truly his own but his style.
Fortune has rarely condescended to be the companion of genius.
Those who do not read criticism will rarely merit to be criticised.
The Self-Educated are marked by stubborn peculiarities.
Quotations, like much better things, has its abuses.
The defects of great men are the consolation of the dunces.
The most noble criticism is that in which the critic is not the antagonist so much as the rival of the author.
Many men of genius must arise before a particular man of genius can appear.
To think, and to feel, constitute the two grand divisions of men of genius – the men of reasoning and the men of imagination.
The delight of opening a new pursuit, or a new course of reading, imparts the vivacity and novelty of youth even to old age.
Certain it is that their power increased always in an exact proportion to the weakness of the Caliphate, and, without doubt, in some of the most distracted periods of the Arabian rule, the Hebrew Princes rose into some degree of local and temporary importance.
The act of contemplation then creates the thing created.
Time the great destroyer of other men’s happiness, only enlarges the patrimony of literature to its possessor.
The wisdom of the wise, and the experience of ages, may be preserved by quotation.
All is extremely genteel; and there is almost as much repose as in the golden saloons of the contiguous palaces. At any rate, if there be as much vice, there is as little crime.
Literature is an avenue to glory, ever open for those ingenious men who are deprived of honours or of wealth.
Enthusiasm is that secret and harmonious spirit which hovers over the production of genius.
Their chief residence was Bagdad, where they remained until the eleventh century, an age fatal in Oriental history, from the disasters of which the Princes of the Captivity were not exempt.
The golden hour of invention must terminate like other hours, and when the man of genius returns to the cares, the duties, the vexations, and the amusements of life, his companions behold him as one of themselves – the creature of habits and infirmities.