i. “No really great man ever thought himself so.” (William Hazlitt)

ii. “We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.” (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

iii. “I am more afraid of deserving criticism than of receiving it.” (-ll-)

iv. “The same principle leads us to neglect a man of merit that induces us to admire a fool.” (Jean de La Bruyère)

v. “The moderation of fortunate people comes from the calm which good fortune gives to their tempers.” (Rochefoucauld)

vi. “Investigate what is, and not what pleases.” (Goethe)

vii. “No one would talk much in society, if he knew how often he misunderstands others.” (-ll-)

viii. “Nothing is more damaging to a new truth than an old error.” (-ll-)

ix. “Very often when we have found ourselves forever separated from what we had intended to achieve, we have already, on our way, found something else worth desiring.” (-ll-)

x. “It is the most foolish of all errors for young people of good intelligence to imagine that they will forfeit their originality if they acknowledge truth already acknowledged by others.” (-ll-)

xi. “If some people hadn’t felt obliged to repeat what is untrue simply because they had at one point maintained it, they would have turned into quite different people.” (-ll-)

xii. “Only in quiet waters things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.” (Hans Margolius)

xiii. “Living well is the best revenge.” (George Herbert)

xvi. “[Education] has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.” (G. M. Trevelyan)

xv. “Many who burnt heretics in the ordinary way of their business were otherwise excellent people.” (G. M. Trevelyan, “Bias in History”)

xvi. “Does a man of sense run after every silly tale of hobgoblins or fairies, and canvass particularly the evidence? I never knew anyone, that examined and deliberated about nonsense who did not believe it before the end of his enquiries.” (David Hume)

xvii. “He is happy, whose circumstances suit his temper; but he is more excellent, who can suit his temper to any circumstances.” (-ll-)

xviii. “Hear the verbal protestations of all men: Nothing so certain as their religious tenets. Examine their lives: You will scarcely think that they repose the smallest confidence in them.” (-ll-)

xix. “Men have, in general, a much greater propensity to overvalue than undervalue themselves […] custom has established it as a rule, in common societies, that men should not indulge themselves in self-praise, or even speak much of themselves; and it is only among intimate friends […] that one is allowed to do himself justice. […] He must be a very superficial thinker, who imagines that all instances of mutual deference are to be understood in earnest, and that a man would be more esteemable for being ignorant of his own merits and accomplishments. A small bias towards modesty, even in the internal sentiment, is favourably regarded, especially in young people; and a strong bias is required in the outward behaviour; but this excludes not a noble pride and spirit, which may openly display itself in its full extent, when one lies under calumny or oppression of any kind.” (-ll-, An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals)

xx. “I am convinced that, where men are the most sure and arrogant, they are commonly the most mistaken, and have there given reins to passion, without that proper deliberation and suspense, which can alone secure them from the grossest absurdities.” (-ll-)

June 29, 2013 - Posted by | quotes

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