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William Hazlitt Quotes


English writer and literary critic.
(1778 - 1830)

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A coquette is one that is never to be persuaded out of the passion she has to please, nor out of a good opinion of her own beauty. - Time and years she regards as things that wrinkle and decay only other women; forgets that age is written in the face; and that the same dress which became her when young, now only makes her look the older. - Affectation cleaves to her even in sickness and pain, and she dies in a high head and colored ribbons.
 

A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.
 

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

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

A hypocrite despises those whom he deceives, but has no respect for himself. He would make a dupe of himself too, if he could.
 

A knave thinks himself a fool all the time he is not making a fool of some other person.
 

A life of action and danger moderates the dread of death. It not only gives us fortitude to bear pain, but teaches us at every step the precarious tenure on which we hold our present being.
 

A man's reputation is not in his own keeping, but lies at the mercy of the profligacy of others. - Calumny requires no proof.
[Reputation]
 

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.
 

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

A strong passion for any object will ensure success, for the desire of the end will point out the means.
[Enthusiasm]
 

A wise traveler never despises his own country.
 

Abstract reason, unassisted by passion, is no match for power and prejudice, armed with force and cunning. The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.
 

Actors are the only honest hypocrites. Their life is a voluntary dream; and the height of their ambition is to be beside themselves. They wear the livery of other men's fortunes: their very thoughts are not their own.
[Actors]
 

Again, there is a heroism in crime as well as in virtue. Vice and infamy have also their altars and their religion.
 

All that is worth remembering in life, is the poetry of it.
 

All that men really understand is confined to a very small compass; to their daily affairs and experience; to what they have an opportunity to know; and motives to study or practise. The rest is affectation and imposture.
[Knowledge]
 

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

An accomplished coquette excites the passions of others, in proportion as she feels none herself.
 

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


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