i. “Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress.” (Napoleon Bonaparte)

ii. “Different races and nationalities cherish different ideals of society that stink in each other’s nostrils with an offensiveness beyond the power of any but the most monstrous private deed.” (Rebecca West)

iii. “There is little friendship in the world, and least of all between equals.” (Francis Bacon)

iv. “If the first law of friendship is that it has to be cultivated, the second law is to be indulgent when the first law has been neglected.” (Voltaire)

v. “Personalize your sympathies; depersonalize your antipathies.” (W. R. Inge)

vi. “We spend our time envying people whom we wouldn’t wish to be.” (Jean Rostand)

vii. “Each one of an affectionate couple may be willing, as we say, to die for each other, yet unwilling to utter the agreeable word at the right moment.” (George Meredith)

viii. “Women are never stronger than when they arm themselves with their weaknesses.” (Madame du Deffand)

ix. “Some women are not beautiful – they only look as though they are.” (Karl Kraus)

x. “Happiness is a how, not a what; a talent, not an object.” (Hermann Hesse)

xi. “Many things cause pain which would cause pleasure if you regarded their advantages.” (B. Gracián)

xii. “‘There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so’; and Nature has in that sense no ‘thinking’ outside man’s. He and his ethics stand alone.” (Charles Sherrington (+Shakespeare))

xiii. “The laws of conscience, which we pretend to be derived from nature, proceed from custom.” (Montaigne)

xiv. “More men become good through practice than by nature.” (Democritus)

xv. “I think it is Franklin who says that philosophers are sages in their maxims and fools in their conduct but this is an everyday fact consonant with maxims – that human nature is ever capable of improvement and never able of being made perfect.” (John Clare)

xvi. “Man is almost always as wicked as his needs require.” (Leopardi)

xvii. “Virtues and vices are of a strange nature; for the more we have, the fewer we think we have.” (anon.)

xviii. “Virtue is so praiseworthy that wicked people practise it from self-interest.” (Vauvenargues)

xix. “It is some kind of scandal not to bear with the faults of an honest man. It is not loving honesty enough to allow it distinguishing privileges.” (George Savile, first Marquess of Halifax)

xx. “Some people are thought well of in society whose only good points are the vices useful in social life.” (Rochefoucauld)


August 26, 2012 - Posted by | Quotes/aphorisms

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