Aphorisms And Epigrams
On every formal visit a child ought to be of the party, by way of provision for discourse.
At least in Byblow Bottom when we talked, it was on subjects relevant to our life . . . But here in Bath, conversation was, it seemed, an end in itself. Materials for it were collected like kindling wood, but then used in an artificial and prodigal manner, merely to generate a flame. But to what end? Simply to make a sound, to fill a silence, to pass a period of time. Time which, it seemed to me, could in a thousand ways have been more profitably spent.
Women don't want to sit around listening to guys talk about themselves. Women like to have conversations about real things, like feelings— namely, theirs.
The Duc de Rochefoucault, I believe, said truly, that "many would be cowards if they dared."
Death and Revenge
And as the Italian proverb says, 'Revenge is the dish which people of taste prefer to eat cold.'
Depend upon it, Sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.
It is so difficult to make a neat job of killing people with whom one is not on friendly terms.
I believe that half the miseries of the world arise from foolish mysteries—from the want of courage to speak the truth.
Genius does what it must; talent does what it can.
Happiness Theory 1: Life as an Adventure
The secret of realizing the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment of existence is: to live dangerously! Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius! Send your ships out into uncharted seas! Live in conflict with your equals and with yourselves! Be robbers and ravagers as long as you cannot be rulers and owners, you men of knowledge! The time will soon be past when you could be content to live concealed in the woods like timid deer!
Life engenders life, energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.
Life, in both its knowing and its doing, has become today a "free fall," so to say, into the next minute, into the future. So that, whereas, formerly, those not wishing to hazard the adventure of an individual life could rest within the pale of a comfortably guaranteed social order, today all the walls have burst. It is not left to us to chooseto hazard the adventure of an unprecedented life: adventure is upon us, like a tidal wave.
Happiness Theory 2: Money
A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.
Happiness Theory 3: Ignorance
"And in general," said Lady Anne Percival, "does Mr Vincent wish to confine our sex to the bliss of ignorance?"
"If it be bliss," said Mr Vincent, "what reason would they have for complaint?"
"If," said Belinda; "but that is a question you have not yet decided."
"And how can we decide it?" said Mr Vincent. "The taste and feelings of individuals must be the arbiters of their happiness."
"You leave reason quite out of the question, then," said Mr Percival, "and refer the whole to taste and feeling? So that if the most ignorant person in the world assert that he is happier than you are, you are bound to believe him."
"Why should not I?" said Mr. Vincent.
"Because," said Mr. Percival, "though he can judge of his own pleasures, he cannot judge of yours; his are common to both, but yours are unknown to him."
Happiness Theory 4: Benevolence
How wisely has Providence made the benevolent and generous passions the most pleasurable!
No, Sir; a man would never undertake great things, could he be amused with small.
God is in the details.
There is nothing, Sir, too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.
Misfortunes and Obstacles
Happy is he who leaves obstacles to the less fortunate.
He who knows the camel knows the worst.
Admiration of those beauties of the inanimate world, which modern poetry so largely and so eloquently describes, is not, even in the best of us, one of the original instincts of our nature. As children, we none of us possess it. No uninstructed man or woman possesses it. Those whose lives are exclusively passed amidst the everchanging wonders of sea and land are also those whoare most universally insensible to every aspect of Nature not directly associated with the human interest of their callin
Not Knowing and Not Believing
Philosopher, n. One who loves wisdom but whose love is usually unrequited.
Atheist, n. One who does not believe in God but is still holier than thou.
Schopenhauer was a degenerate, unthinking, unknowing, nonsense scribbling philosopher, whose understanding consisted solely of empty, verbal trash.
Fortunately for the credit of my philosophy, there is no immediate danger of its being put to the test.
One learns in life to keep silent and draw one's own confusions.
Perceptions and Attitudes
Remember that discontent is the beginning of intent.
Never judge the future by the perceptions of the present.
Resemblances are the shadows of differences.
The Solitary Hero
In this world of guns and knives, wherever Tang Lung may go to, he will always travel on his own.
Tolerance is easy enough if you exclude from it everyone you despise.
When a Little Knowledge is Helpful
"Do you want a map?"
"Oh! I know this country well."
"You? When were you here before?"
"I was brought up here."
"It is worth something, you see, to have been brought up somewhere."
Anatomy has its uses, even in a midnight scuffle.
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