William Hazlitt Quotes (345 Quotes)


    You will hear more good things on the outside of a stagecoach from London to Oxford than if you were to pass a twelve-month with the undergraduates, or heads of colleges, of that famous university.


    Even in the common affairs of life, in love, friendship, and marriage, how little security have we when we trust our happiness in the hands of others!

    If mankind had wished for what is right, they might have had it long ago.

    We pamper little grief's into great ones, And bear great ones as well as we can.


    There are few things in which we deceive ourselves more than in the esteem we profess to entertain for our firends. It is little better than a piece of quackery. The truth is, we think of them as we please, that is, as they please or displease us.

    An excess of modesty is in fact an excess of pride, and more hurtful to the individual, and less advantageous to society, than the grossest and most unblushing vanity.

    The way to secure success, is to be more anxious about obtaining than about deserving it the surest hindrance to it is to have too high a standard of refinement in our own minds, or too high an opinion of the discernment of the public.

    When I am in the country, I wish to vegetate like the country.

    Man is an individual animal with narrow faculties, but infinite desires, which he is anxious to concentrate in some one object within the grasp of his imagination, and where, if he cannot be all that he wishes himself, he may at least contemplate his own pride, vanity, and passions, displayed in their most extravagant dimensions in a being no bigger and no better than himself.

    A man must make his choice not only between virtue and vice, but between different virtues.

    We are not satisfied to be right, unless we can prove others to be quite wrong.

    Silence is one great art of conversation. He is not a fool who knows when to hold his tongue and a person may gain credit for sense, eloquence, wit, who merely says nothing to lessen the opinion which others have of these qualities in themselves.

    People are not soured by misfortune, but by the reception they meet with in it.

    If from the top of a long cold barren hill I hear the distant whistle of a thrush which seems to come up from some warm woody shelter beyond the edge of the hill, this sound coming faint over the rocks with a mingled feeling of strangeness and joy, the idea of the place about me, and the imaginary one beyond will all be combined together in such a manner in my mind as to become inseparable.


    As hypocrisy is said to be the highest compliment to virtue, the art of lying is the strongest acknowledgment of the force of truth

    The confession of our failings is a thankless office. It savours less of sincerity or modesty than of ostentation. It seems as if we thought our weaknesses as good as other people's virtues.

    If the world were good for nothing else, it is a fine subject for speculation.

    Who likes not his business, his business likes not him.

    I like a friend the better for having faults that one can talk about.


    Right, in a word, is the duty which each man owes to himself or it is that portion of the general good of which (as being principally interested) he is made the special judge, and which is put under his immediate keeping.

    No one ever approaches perfection except by stealth, and unknown to themselves.

    A nickname is the heaviest stone that the devil can throw at a man. It is a bugbear to the imagination, and, though we do not believe in it, it still haunts our apprehensions.


    Lest he should wander irretrievably from the right path, he stands still.

    Love turns, with a little indulgence, to indifference or disgust; hatred alone is immortal.

    The incognito of an inn is one of its striking privileges.



    More William Hazlitt Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Man - Life - Mind - World - Friendship - Love - Truth - Power - Education - Genius - People - Opinions - Nature - Wisdom & Knowledge - Imagination & Visualization - Sense & Perception - Passion - Vice & Virtue - Art - View All William Hazlitt Quotations

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