True courage is cool and calm. The bravest of men have the least of a brutal, bullying insolence, and in the very time of danger are found the most serene and free.— Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury
The most astounding Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury quotes to discover and learn by heart
To love the public, to study universal good, and to promote the interest of the whole world, as far as lies within our power, is the height of goodness, and makes that temper which we call divine.
The heart is never neutral.
The one and only formative power given to man Is thought.
By his thinking he not only makes character, but body and affairs, for as he thinketh within himself, so is he. Prejudice is a mist, which in our journey through the world often dims the brightest and obscures the best of all the good and glorious objects that meet us on our way.
The face of Truth is not less fair and beautiful for all the counterfeit visors which have been put upon her.
Remember that there is nothing in God but what is godlike;
and that He is either not at all, or truly and perfectly good.
Pedantry and bigotry are millstones, able to sink the best book which carries the least part of their dead weight. The temper of the pedagogue suits not with the age; and the world, however it may be taught, will not be tutored.
Through certain humors or passions, and from temper merely, a man may be completely miserable, let his outward circumstances be ever so fortunate.
We may have an excellent ear for music, without being able to perform in any kind; we may judge well of poetry, without being poets, or possessing the least of a poetic vein; but we can have no tolerable notion of goodness without being tolerably good.
If we are told a man is religious we still ask what are his morals? But if we hear at first that he has honest morals, and is a man of natural justice and good temper, we seldom think of the other question, whether he be religious and devout.
Never did any soul do good but it came readier to do the same again, with more enjoyment. Never was love or gratitude or bounty practiced but with increasing joy, which made the practicer still more in love with the fair act.
It is the same with understanding as with eyes;
to a certain size and make, just so much light is necessary, and no more. Whatever is beyond brings darkness and confusion.
Temper, if ungoverned, governs the whole man.
It is the hardest thing in the world to be a good thinker without being a good self examiner.
Gravity is of the very essence of imposture;
it does not only mistake other things, but is apt perpetually almost to mistake itself.
It is the saying of an ancient sage that humor was the only test of gravity, and gravity of humor.
They who are great talkers in company have never been any talkers by themselves, nor used to private discussions of our home regimen.
I would be virtuous for my own sake, though nobody were to know it;
as I would be clean for my own sake, though nobody were to see me.
Truth is the most powerful thing in the world, since even fiction itself must be governed by it, and can only please by its resemblance. The appearance of reality is necessary to make any passion agreeably represented, and to be able to move others we must be moved ourselves, or at least seem to be so, upon some probable grounds.
Wit is its own remedy. Liberty and commerce bring it to its true standard. The only danger is the laying an embargo. The same thing happens here as in the case of trade: impositions and restrictions reduce it to a low ebb; nothing is so advantageous to it as a free port.
Tis the strumpet's plague To beguile many, and be beguiled by one.
The most natural beauty in the world is honesty and moral truth.
For all beauty is truth. True features make the beauty of the face; true proportions, the beauty of architecture; true measures, the beauty of harmony and music.
As many as are the difficulties which Virtue has to encounter in this world, her force is yet superior.
It is necessary a writing critic should understand how to write.
And though every writer is not bound to show himself in the capacity of critic, every writing critic is bound to show himself capable of being a writer; for if he be apparently impotent in this latter kind, he is to be denied all title or character in the other.
It is not wit merely, but temper, which must form the well-bred man.
In the same manner it is not a head merely, but a heart and resolution, which must complete the real philosopher.
The most natural beauty in the world is honesty and moral truth. For all beauty is truth.
No one was ever the better for advice: in general, what we called giving advice was properly taking an occasion to show our own wisdom at another's expense; and to receive advice was little better than tamely to another the occasion of raising himself a character from our defects.
A right mind and generous affection hath more beauty and charms than all other symmetries in the world besides; and a grain of honesty and native worth is of more value than all the adventitious ornaments, estates, or preferments; for the sake of which some of the better sort so oft turn knaves.
Nothing is more ridiculous than ridicule.
The passion of fear (as a modern philosopher informs me) determines the spirits of the muscles of the knees, which are instantly ready to perform their motion, by taking up the legs with incomparable celerity, in order to remove the body out of harm's way.
True features make the beauty of a face, and true proportions the beauty of architecture.
The greatest of fools is he who imposes on himself, and in his greatest concern thinks certainly he knows that which he has least studied, and of which he is most profoundly ignorant.
Men of sense are really all of one religion. But men of sense never tell what it is.
When men are easy in themselves, they let others remain so.
Nothing affects the heart like that which is purely from itself, and of its own nature; such as the beauty of sentiments, the grace of actions, the turn of characters, and the proportions and features of a human mind.
In nature, all is managed for the best with perfect frugality and just reserve, profuse to none, but bountiful to all; never employing on one thing more than enough, but with exact economy retrenching the superfluous, and adding force to what is principal in everything.