To know the pains of power, we must go to those who have it; to know its pleasures, we must go to those who seek it: the pains of power are real, its pleasures imaginary.

It is an easy and vulgar thing to please the mob, and no very arduous task to astonish them.

In religion as in politics it so happens that we have less charity for those who believe half our creed, than for those who deny the whole of it.

The society of dead authors has this advantage over that of the living: they never flatter us to our faces, nor slander us behind our backs, nor intrude upon our privacy, nor quit their shelves until we take them down.

In life we shall find many men that are great, and some that are good, but very few men that are both great and good.

We often pretend to fear what we really despise, and more often despise what we really fear.

The firmest of friendships have been formed in mutual adversity, as iron is most strongly united by the fiercest flame.

Patience is the support of weakness; impatience the ruin of strength.

Death is the liberator of him whom freedom cannot release, the physician of him whom medicine cannot cure, and the comforter of him whom time cannot console.

If you cannot inspire a woman with love of you, fill her above the brim with love of herself; all that runs over will be yours.

Those that are the loudest in their threats are the weakest in their actions.

There are two way of establishing a reputation, one to be praised by honest people and the other to be accused by rogues. It is best, however, to secure the first one, because it will always be accompanied by the latter.

There are some frauds so well conducted that it would be stupidity not to be deceived by them.

They see new meridians, but the same men; and with heads as empty as their pockets, return home with traveled bodies, but untraveled minds.

Physical courage, which despises all danger, will make a man brave in one way; and moral courage, which despises all opinion, will make a man brave in another.

Power will intoxicate the best hearts, as wine the strongest heads. No man is wise enough, nor good enough to be trusted with unlimited power.

No company is preferable to bad. We are more apt to catch the vices of others than virtues, as disease is far more contagious than health.

Our admiration of fine writing will always be in proportion to its real difficulty and its apparent ease.

Tyrants have not yet discovered any chains that can fetter the mind.

There is this difference between happiness and wisdom: he that thinks himself the happiest man, really is so; but he that thinks himself the wisest, is generally the greatest fool.

Books, like friends, should be few and well chosen. Like friends, too, we should return to them again and again for, like true friends, they will never fail us - never cease to instruct - never cloy.

It is better to meet danger than to wait for it. He that is on a lee shore, and foresees a hurricane, stands out to sea and encounters a storm to avoid a shipwreck.

Doubt is the vestibule through which all must pass before they can enter into the temple of wisdom.

The greatest friend of truth is time, her greatest enemy is prejudice, and her constant companion is humility.

None are so fond of secrets as those who do not mean to keep them.

It is always safe to learn, even from our enemies; seldom safe to venture to instruct, even our friends.

Man is an embodied paradox, a bundle of contradictions.

He that knows himself, knows others; and he that is ignorant of himself, could not write a very profound lecture on other men's heads.

Nothing more completely baffles one who is full of trick and duplicity, than straightforward and simple integrity in another.

Knowledge is two-fold, and consists not only in an affirmation of what is true, but in the negation of that which is false.

The study of mathematics, like the Nile, begins in minuteness but ends in magnificence.

True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it is lost.

He that places himself neither higher nor lower than he ought to do exercises the truest humility.

The drafts which true genius draws upon posterity, although they may not always be honored so soon as they are due, are sure to be paid with compound interest in the end.

There is nothing more imprudent than excessive prudence.

The mistakes of the fool are known to the world, but not to himself. The mistakes of the wise man are known to himself, but not to the world.

Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared, for the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man can answer.

Many speak the truth when they say that they despise riches, but they mean the riches possessed by others.

Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty; it is a blessing that must be earned before it can be enjoyed.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Our income are like our shoes; if too small, they gall and pinch us; but if too large, they cause us to stumble and trip.

Mystery is not profoundness.

Bigotry murders religion to frighten fools with her ghost.

The excess of our youth are checks written against our age and they are payable with interest thirty years later.

Nothing so completely baffles one who is full of trick and duplicity himself, than straightforward and simple integrity in another.

Constant success shows us but one side of the world; adversity brings out the reverse of the picture.

Ladies of Fashion starve their happiness to feed their vanity, and their love to feed their pride.

The present time has one advantage over every other – it is our own.

All adverse and depressing influences can be overcome, not by fighting, by rising above them.