William Hazlitt


English Writer, Literary and Art Critic, Social Commentator, Philosopher and Author

Author Quotes

We are not hypocrites in our sleep. The curb is taken off from our passions, and our imagination wanders at will. When awake, we check these rising thoughts, and fancy we have them not. In dreams, when we are off guard, they return securely and unbidden.

Prejudice is the child of ignorance.

Though familiarity may not breed contempt, it takes off the edge of admiration; and the shining points of character are not those we chiefly wish to dwell upon.

Those are ever the most ready to do justice to others, who feel that the world has done them justice.

The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.

The two great springs of life, Hope and Fear.

The humblest painter is a true scholar, and the best of scholars – the scholar of nature.

The least pain in our little finger gives more concern and uneasiness than the destruction of millions of our fellow beings.

The great difficulty in philosophy is to come to every question with a mind fresh and unshackled by former theories, though strengthened by exercise and information.

The Human Race is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for they are the only animal that is struck by the difference between what things are and what they might have been.

The art of life is to know how to enjoy a little and to endure much.

The best kind of conversation is that which may be called thinking aloud.

Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity a greater.

Religion either makes men wise and virtuous, or it makes them set up false pretences to both.

Learning is its own exceeding great reward.

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be.

Confidence gives a fool the advantage over a wise man.

Hope is the best possession. None are completely wretched but those who are without hope, and few are reduced so low.

Zeal will do more than knowledge.

Words are the only things that last forever.

Wit is the salt of conversation, not the food.

Wonder at the first sign of works of art may be the effect of ignorance and novelty; but real admiration and permanent delight in them are the growth of taste and knowledge.

Whenever we pretend, on all occasions, a mighty contempt for any thing, it is a pretty clear sign that we feel ourselves very nearly on a level with it.

Wit is the rarest quality to be met with among people of education, and the most common among the uneducated.

What passes in the world for talent or dexterity or enterprise is often only a want of moral principle. We may succeed where others fail, not from greater share of invention, but from not being nice in the choice of expedients.

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English Writer, Literary and Art Critic, Social Commentator, Philosopher and Author