Of all the gifts of the gods to the human race, philosophy is the richest, the most beautiful, the most exalted.
~ in De Legibus
Philosophy is the best medicine for the mind.
History, the evidence of time, the light of truth, the life of memory, the directress of life, the herald of antiquity, committed to immortality.
~ in De Oratore [Read more…]
A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.
Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate, now what’s going to happen to us with both a House and a Senate?
Even if you’re on the right road, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.
I don’t make jokes, I just watch the government and report the facts.
Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.
There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
Time makes more Converts than Reason.
~ in Common Sense
These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of men and women.
~ in The American Crisis
As to religion, I hold it to be the indispensable duty of all government to protect the conscientious professors thereof, and I know of no other business which government hath to do therewith.
~ in Common Sense
God is almost forgotten in the Christian religion. Everything, even the creation, is ascribed to the son of Mary.
What is it the New Testament teaches us? To believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married; and the belief of this debauchery is called faith.
~ in The Age of Reason
Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory to itself that this thing called Christianity.
~ in The Age of Reason
Moderation in temper is always a virtue, but moderation in principle is always a vice.
~ in the Rights of Man
Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.
That government is best which governs least.
The study of theology, as it stands in the Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authority; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion.
The book must of necessity be put into a bookcase. And the bookcase must be housed. And the house must be kept. And the library must be dusted, must be arranged, must be catalogued. What a vista of toil, yet not unhappy toil!
The disease of an evil conscience is beyond the practice of all the physicians of all countries in the world.
No more cunning plot was ever devised against the intelligence, the freedom, the happiness, and the virtue of mankind, than Catholicism.
Honore de Balzac is my new favorite author. Truth be told, I don’t think I have every read any of Balzac’s books. However, according to Leonard Sweet, Balzac drank more than 50 cups of coffee a day, which goes a long way to explaining Baudelaire’s description of him as “the novelist of energy and will.” Anyone who can drink almost as much coffee as me deserves my admiration.
A man may go to Heaven with half the pains which it costs him to purchase Hell.
~ in Jonathan Wild
There are a set of religions, or rather moral writings, which teach that virtue is the certain road to happiness, and vice to misery, in this world. A very wholesome and comfortable doctrine, and to which we have but one objection, namely, that it is not true.
~ in Tom Jones
The dwarf sees farther than the giant, when he has the giant’s shoulder to mount on.
~ in The Friend (1828)
Facts are not truths; they are not conclusions; they are not even premises. The truth depends on, and is only arrived at, by a legitimate deduction from all the facts which are truly material.
The man’s desire is for the woman; but the woman’s desire is rarely other than for the desire of the man.
I believe Plato and Socrates. I believe in Jesus Christ.
He who begins by loving Christianity better than truth, will proceed by loving his own sect or Church better than Christianity, and end by loving himself better than all.
~ in Moral and Religious Aphorisms
There is a Connection between Licentiousness and Liberty, that it is not easy to correct the one, without dangerously wounding the other.
History is only a confused heap of facts.
A light supper, a good night’s sleep, and a fine morning have sometimes made a hero of the same man who, by an indigestion, a restless night, and a rainy morning would have proved a coward.
The young leading the young, is like the blind leading the blind; they will both fall into the ditch.
Every man becomes, to a certain degree, what the people he generally converses with are.
Few men are of one plain, decided color; most are mixed, shaded or blended; and vary as much from different situations, as changeable silks do from different lights.
Women are much more like each other than men; they have, in truth, but two passions, vanity and love; these are their universal characteristics.
Women, especially, are to be talked to, as below men, and above children.