Famous Quotes By William Hazlitt


  1. A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.
  2. A grave blockhead should always go about with a lively one - they show one another off to the best advantage.
  3. A hypocrite despises those whom he deceives, but has no respect for himself. He would make a dupe of himself too, if he could.
  4. 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.
  5. A wise traveler never despises his own country.
  6. An honest man speaks the truth, though it may give offence a vain man, in order that it may.
  7. Anyone who has passed though the regular gradations of a classical education, and is not made a fool by it, may consider himself as having had a very narrow escape.
  8. Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects, and discovering other people's weaknesses.
  9. Defoe says that there were a hundred thousand country fellows in his time ready to fight to the death against popery, without knowing whether popery was a man or a horse.
  10. Do not keep on with a mockery of friendship after the substance is gone - but part, while you can part friends. Bury the carcass of friendship: it is not worth embalming.
  11. 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!
  12. Few things tend more to alienate friendship than a want of punctuality in our engagements. I have known the breach of a promise to dine or sup to break up more than one intimacy.
  13. Grace in women has more effect than beauty.
  14. Hope is the best possession. None are completely wretched but those who are without hope. Few are reduced so low as that.
  15. I would like to spend the whole of my life traveling, if I could anywhere borrow another life to spend at home.
  16. If we wish to know the force of human genius, we should read Shakespeare. If we wish to see the insignificance of human learning, we may study his commentators.
  17. If you think you can win, you can win. Faith is necessary to victory.
  18. It is not fit that every man should travel it makes a wise man better, and a fool worse.
  19. Learning is its own exceeding great reward.
  20. Life is the art of being well deceived and in order that the deception may succeed it must be habitual and uninterrupted.
  21. Look up, laugh loud, talk big, keep the color in your cheek and the fire in your eye, adorn your person, maintain your health, your beauty and your animal spirits.
  22. Love turns, with a little indulgence, to indifference or disgust hatred alone is immortal.
  23. No man is truly great who is great only in his lifetime. The test of greatness is the page of history.
  24. People of genius do not excel in any profession because they work in it, they work in it because they excel.
  25. Poetry is all that is worth remembering in life.
  26. Poetry is the universal language which the heart holds with nature and itself. He who has a contempt for poetry, cannot have much respect for himself, or for anything else.
  27. Prosperity is a great teacher adversity a greater.
  28. Rules and models destroy genius and art.
  29. Satirists gain the applause of others through fear, not through love.
  30. The art of life is to know how to enjoy a little and to endure very much.
  31. The art of pleasing consists in being pleased.
  32. The dupe of friendship, and the fool of love have I not reason to hate and to despise myself? Indeed I do and chiefly for not having hated and despised the world enough.
  33. The humblest painter is a true scholar and the best of scholars the scholar of nature.
  34. The incentive to ambition is the love of power.
  35. The love of liberty is the love of others the love of power is the love of ourselves.
  36. The most insignificant people are the most apt to sneer at others. They are safe from reprisals. And have no hope of rising in their own self esteem but by lowering their neighbors.
  37. The perfect joys of heaven do not satisfy the cravings of nature.
  38. The seat of knowledge is in the head of wisdom, in the heart. We are sure to judge wrong, if we do not feel right.
  39. The world judge of men by their ability in their profession, and we judge of ourselves by the same test: for it is on that on which our success in life depends.
  40. 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.
  41. There are no rules for friendship. It must be left to itself. We cannot force it any more than love.
  42. There is a heroism in crime as well as in virtue. Vice and infamy have their altars and their religion.
  43. There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you.
  44. Those who are at war with others are not at peace with themselves.
  45. To be capable of steady friendship or lasting love, are the two greatest proofs, not only of goodness of heart, but of strength of mind.
  46. To be happy, we must be true to nature and carry our age along with us.
  47. To think ill of mankind and not wish ill to them, is perhaps the highest wisdom and virtue.
  48. We are very much what others think of us. The reception our observations meet with gives us courage to proceed, or damps our efforts.
  49. We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts.
  50. Wit is the salt of conversation, not the food.
  51. You know more of a road by having traveled it than by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world.
  52. Zeal will do more than knowledge.

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