Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

English Letter Writer, Poet and Aristocrat

"Age, when it does not harden the heart and sour the temper, naturally returns to the milky disposition of infancy. Time as the same effect upon the mind as on the face. The predominant passion, the strongest feature, becomes more conspicuous from the others retiring."

"Conscience is justice’s best minister; it threatens, promises, rewards, and punishes and keeps all under control; the busy must attend to its remonstrances, the most powerful submit to its reproof, and the angry endure its upbraidings. While conscience is our friend all is peace; but if once offended farewell the tranquil mind."

"Forgive what you can't excuse."

"Marriage is not and should not be an interminable conversation. The happy marriage allows for privileged silences."

"One can never outlive one’s vanity."

"Politeness costs nothing, and gains everything."

"Vices are often hid under the name of virtue, and the practice of them followed by the worst consequences. I have seen ladies indulge their own ill-humor by being very rude and impertinent, and think they deserve approbation by saying, “I love to speak the truth.”"

"General notions are generally wrong."

"People are never so near playing the fool as when they think themselves wise."

"True knowledge consists in knowing things, not words."

"None strive to know their proper merit but strain for wisdom, beauty, spirit And lose the praise that is their due when they've the impossible in view."

"Civility costs nothing and buys everything."

"Begin nothing without considering what the end may be."