William Hazlitt Quotes
434 Sourced Quotes
That humanity and sincerity which dispose men to resist injustice and tyranny render them unfit to cope with the cunning and power of those who are opposed to them. The friends of liberty trust to the professions of others because they are themselves sincere, and endeavour to secure the public good with the least possible hurt to its enemies, who have no regard to anything but their own unprincipled ends, and stick at nothing to accomplish them.
Scholars, like princes, may learn something by being incognito. Yet we see those who cannot go into a bookseller's shop, or bear to be five minutes in a stage-coach, without letting you know who they are. They carry their reputation about with them as the snail does its shell, and sit under its canopy, like the lady in the lobster. I cannot understand this at all. What is the use of a man's always revolving round his own little circle? He must, one should think, be tired of it himself, as well as tire other people.
Thought depends on the habitual exercise of the speculative faculties; action, on the determination of the will. The one assigns reasons for things, the other puts causes into act. … Such is the effeminacy of the speculative and philosophical temperament, compared with the promptness and vigour of the practical! … Reasoners in general are undecided, wavering, and sceptical, or yield at last to the weakest motive as most congenial to their feeble habit of soul.