A contented mind is the greatest blessing a man can enjoy in this world.
An empty desk is a sign of a cluttered desk drawer.
He who hesitates is lost.
As addictions go, reading is among the cleanest, easiest to feed, happiest.
A man must be both stupid and uncharitable who believes there is no virtue or truth but on his own side.
A misery is not to be measured from the nature of the evil, but from the temper of the sufferer.
Books are the legacies that a great genius leaves to mankind, which are delivered down from generation to generation as presents to the posterity of those who are yet unborn.
But silence never shows itself to so great an advantage, as when it is made the reply to calumny and defamation, provided that we give no just occasion for them.
Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter. In love to our wives there is desire; to our sons, ambition, but to our daughters there is something which there are no words to express.
Cheerfulness is the best promoter of health and is as friendly to the mind as to the body.
Exercise ferments the humors, casts them into their proper channels, throws off redundancies, and helps nature in those secret distributions, without which the body cannot subsist in its vigor, nor the soul act with cheerfulness.
Everything that is new or uncommon raises a pleasure in the imagination, because it fills the soul with an agreeable surprise, gratifies its curiosity, and gives it an idea of which it was not before possessed.
If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother and hope your guardian genius.
In doing what we ought we deserve no praise.
It is only imperfection that complains of what is imperfect. The more perfect we are, the more gentle and quiet we become towards the defects of others.
Jealousy is that pain which a man feels from the apprehension that he is not equally beloved by the person whom he entirely loves.
Mirth is like a flash of lightning that breaks through a gloom of clouds and glitters for a moment.
Of all the diversions of life, there is none so proper to fill up its empty spaces as the reading of useful and entertaining authors.
Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in proper figures.
Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.
Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body. As by the one, health is preserved, strengthened, and invigorated: by the other, virtue (which is the health of the mind) is kept alive, cherished, and confirmed.
Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week.
To a man of pleasure every moment appears to be lost, which partakes not of the vivacity of amusement.
The gods in bounty work up storms about us, that give mankind occasion to exert their hidden strength and throw out into practice virtues that shun the day, and lie concealed in the smooth seasons and the calms of life.
The greatest sweetener of human life is Friendship. To raise this to the highest pitch of enjoyment, is a secret which but few discover.
The important question is not, what will yield to man a few scattered pleasures, but what will render his life happy on the whole amount.
There is nothing that makes its way more directly to the soul than beauty.
There is nothing which we receive with so much reluctance as advice.
To be an atheist requires an infinitely greater measure of faith than to receive all the great truths which atheism would deny.
True benevolence, or compassion, extends itself through the whole of existence and sympathises with the distress of every creature capable of sensation.
True happiness is of a retired nature, and an enemy to pomp and noise; it arises, in the first place, in the enjoyment of one’s self, and, in the next, from the friendship and conversation of a few select companions.
We all of us complain of the shortness of time, saith Seneca, and yet have much more than we know what to do with. Our lives, says he, are spent either in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do: we are always complaining our days are few, and acting as though there would no end of them.
What an absurd thing it is to pass over all the valuable parts of a man, and fix our attention on his infirmities.
What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to a human soul.
What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.
When I look upon the tombs of the great, every emotion of envy dies in me; when I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire goes out; when I meet with the grief of parents upon a tombstone, my heart melts with compassion; when I see the tombs of the parents themselves, I consider the vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow; when I see kings lying by those who deposed them, when I consider rival wits placed side by side, or the men that divided the world with their contests and disputes, I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little competitions, factions, and debates of mankind. When I read the several dates of the tombs, of some that died yesterday, and some six hundred years ago, I consider that great Day when we shall all of us be contemporaries, and make our appearance together.