Whenever you commend, add your reasons for doing so; it is this which distinguishes the approbation of a man of sense from the flattery of sycophants and admiration of fools.— Richard Steele
The most revealing Richard Steele quotes that are easy to memorize and remember
Fire and swords are slow engines of destruction, compared to the tongue of a Gossip.
There is no Pleasure like that of receiving Praise from the Praiseworthy
A lie is troublesome, and sets a man's invention upon the rack, and one trick needs a great many more to make it good.
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
Violins are the lively, forward, importunate wits, that distinguish themselves by the flourishes of imagination, sharpness of repartee, glances of satire, and bear away the upper part in every consort.
Zeal for the public good is the characteristic of a man of honor and a gentleman, and must take the place of pleasures, profits and all other private gratifications.
A fool is in himself the object of pity, until he is flattered.
I love to consider an Infidel, whether distinguished by the title of deist, atheist, or free-thinker.
It is a secret known but to few, yet of no small use in the conduct of life, that when you fall into a man's conversation, the first thing you should consider is, whether he has a greater inclination to hear you, or that you should hear him.
It is a very melancholy reflection that men are usually so weak that it is absolutely necessary for them to know sorrow and pain to be in their right senses.
It is to beoted that when any part of this paper appears dull there is a design in it.
A healthy old fellow, who is not a fool, is the happiest creature living.
Nothing is more silly than the pleasure some people take in "speaking their minds." A man of this make will say a rude thing for the mere pleasure of saying it, when an opposite behavior, full as innocent, might have preserved his friend, or made his fortune.
The married state, with and without the affection suitable to it, is the completest image of heaven and hell we are capable of receiving in this life.
Since we cannot promise our selves constant health, let us endeavour at such temper as may be our best support in the decay of it.
A Woman is naturally more helpless than the other Sex;
and a Man of Honour and Sense should have this in his View in all Manner of Commerce with her.
No woman is capable of being beautiful who is not incapable of being false.
There are so few who can grow old with a good grace.
Pride destroys all symmetry and grace, and affectation is a more terrible enemy to fine faces than the small-pox.
A Daughter: The companion, the friend, and the confidant of her mother, and the object of a pleasure something like the love between the angels to her father.
I look upon it as a Point of Morality, to be obliged by those who endeavour to oblige me.
Of all the affections which attend human life, the love of glory is the most ardent.
One common calamity makes men extremely affect each other, though they differ in every other particular
Vanity makes people ridiculous, pride odious, and ambition terrible.
Modesty never rages, never murmurs, never pouts;
when it is ill-treated, it pines, it beseeches, it languishes.
People spend their lives in the service of their passions instead of employing their passions in the service of their lives.
Reading is to the mind what exercising is to the body.
I was going home two hours ago, but was met by Mr.
Griffith, who has kept me ever since. . . . I will come within a pint of wine.
When a man is not disposed to hear music, there is not a more disagreeable sound in harmony than that of the violin.
A little in drink, but at all times your faithful husband.
Nothing can atone for the lack of modesty; without which beauty is ungraceful and wit detestable.
Praise from an enemy is the most pleasing of all commendations.
It may be remarked in general, that the laugh of men of wit is for the most part but a feint, constrained kind of half-laugh, as such persons are never without some diffidence about them; but that of fools is the most honest, natural, open laugh in the world.
A modest person seldom fails to gain the goodwill of those he converses with, because nobody envies a man who does not appear to be pleased with himself.
A man advanced in years that thinks fit to look back on his former life, and calls that only life which was passed with satisfaction and enjoyment, excluding all parts which were not pleasant to him, will find himself very young, if not in infancy.
How few there are who are furnished with abilities sufficient to recommend their actions to the admiration of the world, and distinguish themselves from the rest of mankind.
Whoever would be wise should read the Proverbs; whoever would be holy should read the Psalms.
The praise of an ignorant man is only good-will, and you should receive his kindness as he is a good neighbor in society, and not as a good judge of your actions in point of fame and reputation.
The man is mechanically turned, and made for getting.
. . . It was verily prettily said that we may learn the little value of fortune by the persons on whom Heaven is pleased to bestow it.
I love to consider an Infidel, whether distinguished by the title of deist, atheist, or free-thinker, by three different lights, in his solitude, his afflictions, and his last moments.... [In these situations such people show themselves] in solitude, incapable or rapture or elevation, ... in distress, [with] a halter or a pistol the only refuge [they] can fly to, ... [and liable to conversion] at the approach of death.
The person, whom you favored with a loan, if he be a good man, will think himself in your debt after he has paid you.
That man never grows old who keeps a child in his heart
When a man has no design but to speak plain truth, he may say a great deal in a very narrow compass.
It is an endless and frivolous Pursuit to act by any other Rule than the Care of satisfying our own Minds in what we do
It is a wonderful thing that so many, and they not reckoned absurd, shall entertain those with whom they converse by giving them the history of their pains and aches and imagine such narrations their quota of conversation.
Since our persons are not of our own making, when they are such as appear defective or uncomely, it is, methinks, an honest and laudable fortitude to dare to be ugly.
The survivorship of a worthy man in his son is a pleasure scarce inferior to the hopes of the continuance of his own life.
Simplicity of all things is the hardest to be copy.
Though very troublesome to others, anger is most so to him that has it.
A favor well bestowed is almost as great an honor to him who confers it as to him who receives it.