In the sphere of thought, absurdity and perversity remain the masters of the world, and their dominion is suspended only for brief periods.
The brain may be regarded as a kind of parasite of the organism, a pensioner, as it were, who dwells with the body.
Rascals are always sociable, more’s the pity! and the chief sign that a man has any nobility in his character is the little pleasure he takes in others’ company.
Nature shows that with the growth of intelligence comes increased capacity for pain, and it is only with the highest degree of intelligence that suffering reaches its supreme point.
To find out your real opinion of someone, judge the impression you have when you first see a letter from them.
With people of limited ability modesty is merely honesty. But with those who possess great talent it is hypocrisy.
For an author to write as he speaks is just as reprehensible as the opposite fault, to speak as he writes; for this gives a pedantic effect to what he says, and at the same time makes him hardly intelligible.
As the biggest library if it is in disorder is not as useful as a small but well-arranged one, so you may accumulate a vast amount of knowledge but it will be of far less value than a much smaller amount if you have not thought it over for yourself.
Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they shall think.
Patriotism, when it wants to make itself felt in the domain of learning, is a dirty fellow who should be thrown out of doors.
There is no absurdity so palpable but that it may be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to inculcate it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnity.
The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively, not by the false appearance things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice.
Money is human happiness in the abstract; he, then, who is no longer capable of enjoying human happiness in the concrete devotes himself utterly to money.
Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in: but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents.
National character is only another name for the particular form which the littleness, perversity and baseness of mankind take in every country. Every nation mocks at other nations, and all are right.
Newspapers are the second hand of history. This hand, however, is usually not only of inferior metal to the other hands, it also seldom works properly.
The wise have always said the same things, and fools, who are the majority have always done just the opposite.
Sleep is the interest we have to pay on the capital which is called in at death; and the higher the rate of interest and the more regularly it is paid, the further the date of redemption is postponed.
If you want to know your true opinion of someone, watch the effect produced in you by the first sight of a letter from him.