For my own part, I would rather be in company with a dead man than with an absent one; for if the dead man gives me no pleasure, at least he shows me no contempt; whereas the absent one, silently indeed, but very plainly, tells me that he does not think me worth his attention.
Be wiser than other people, if you can; but do not tell them so.
Most maxim-mongers have preferred the prettiness to the justness of a thought, and the turn to the truth; but I have refused myself to everything that my own experience did not justify and confirm.
Whoever is in a hurry shows that the thing he is about is too big for him.
Frequent and loud laughter is the characteristic of folly and ill manners.
I look upon indolence as a sort of suicide; for the man is effectually destroyed, though the appetites of the brute may survive.
In matters of religion and matrimony I never give any advice; because I will not have anybody's torments in this world or the next laid to my charge.
Speak of the moderns without contempt, and of the ancients without idolatry.
It is commonly said that ridicule is the best test of truth; for that it will not stick where it is not just. I deny it. A truth learned in a certain light, and attacked in certain words, by men of wit and humor, may, and often doth, become ridiculous, at least so far, that the truth is only remembered and repeated for the sake of the ridicule.
I knew a gentleman who was so good a manager of his time that he would not even lose that small portion of it which the calls of nature obliged him to pass in the necessary-house; but gradually went through all the Latin poets in those moments.
Observe it, the vulgar often laugh, but never smile, whereas well-bred people often smile, and seldom or never laugh. A witty thing never excited laughter, it pleases only the mind and never distorts the countenance.
Learning is acquired by reading books, but the much more necessary learning, the knowledge of the world, is only to be acquired by reading men, and studying all the various facets of them.
Let them show me a cottage where there are not the same vices of which they accuse the courts.
Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till to-morrow what you can do to-day.