To know your ruling passion, examine your castles in the air.— Richard Whately
The most pioneering Richard Whately quotes that are little-known but priceless
Curiosity is as much the parent of attention, as attention is of memory.
A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor's.
It is the neglect of timely repair that makes rebuilding necessary.
Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.
To follow imperfect, uncertain, or corrupted traditions, in order to avoid erring in our own judgment, is but to exchange one danger for another.
Never argue at the dinner table, for the one who is not hungry always gets the best of the argument.
All frauds, like the wall daubed with untempered mortar .
.. always tend to the decay of what they are devised to support.
A fanatic, either, religious or political, is the subject of strong delusions.
Unless people can be kept in the dark, it is best for those who love the truth to give them the full light.
Sophistry, like poison, is at once detected and nauseated, when presented to us in a concentrated form; but a fallacy which, when stated barely in a few sentences, would not deceive a child, may deceive half the world, if diluted in a quarto volume.
Everyone wishes to have truth on his side, but not everyone wishes to be on the side of truth.
A man who gives his children habits of industry provides for them better than by giving them a fortune.
It may be said, almost without qualification, that true wisdom consists in the ready and accurate perception of analogies. Without the former quality, knowledge of the past is unobstructive: without the latter it is deceptive.
Neither human applause nor human censure is to be taken as the best of truth;
but either should set us upon testing ourselves.
Some persons resemble certain trees, such as the nut, which flowers in February and ripens its fruit in September; or the juniper and the arbutus; which take a whole year or more to perfect their fruit; and others, the cherry, which takes between two an three months.
Honesty is the best policy; but he who is governed by that maxim is not an honest man.
To be always thinking about your manners is not the way to make them good;
the very perfection of manners is not to think about yourself.
Controversy, though always an evil in itself, is sometimes a necessary evil.
Party spirit enlists a man's virtues in the cause of his vices.
In our judgment of human transactions, the law of optics is reversed, we see most dimly the objects which are close around us.
Persecution is not wrong because it is cruel; but it is cruel because it is wrong.
The tendency of party spirit has ever been to disguise and propagate and support error.
Falsehood is difficult to be maintained.
When the materials of a building are solid blocks of stone, very rude architecture will suffice; but a structure of rotten materials needs the most careful adjustment to make it stand at all.
It is a remarkable circumstance in reference to cunning persons that they are often deficient not only in comprehensive, far-sighted wisdom, but even in prudent, cautious circumspection.
Habits are formed, not at one stroke, but gradually and insensibly;
so that, unless vigilant care be employed, a great change may come over the character without our being conscious of any.
The best security against revolution is in constant correction of abuses and the introduction of needed improvements. It is the neglect of timely repair that makes rebuilding necessary.
That is suitable to a man, in point of ornamental expense, not which he can afford to have, but which he can afford to lose.
He who is not aware of his ignorance will be only misled by his knowledge.
When any person of really eminent virtue becomes the object of envy, the clamor and abuse by which he is assailed is but the sign and accompaniment of his success in doing service to the public. And if he is a truly wise man, he will take no more notice of it than the moon does of the howling of the dogs. Her only answer to them is to shine on.
Galileo probably would have escaped persecution if his discoveries could have been disproved.
Men are like sheep, of which a flock is more easily driven than a single one.
The happiest lot for a man, as far as birth is concerned, is that it should be such as to give him but little occasion to think much about it.
He only is exempt from failures who makes no efforts.
As a science, logic institutes an analysis of the process of the mind in reasoning, and investigating the principles on which argumentation is conducted; as an art, it furnishes such rules as may be derived from those principles, for guarding against erroneous deductions.
Of all hostile feelings, envy is perhaps the hardest to be subdued, because hardly any one owns it even to himself, but looks out for one pretext after another to justify his hostility.
Men first make up their minds (and the smaller the mind the sooner made up), and then seek for the reasons; and if they chance to stumble upon a good reason, of course they do not reject it. But though they are right, they are only right by chance.
The heathen mythology not only was not true, but was not even supported as true;
it not only deserved no faith, but it demanded none. The very pretension to truth, the very demand of faith, were characteristic distinctions of Christianity.
The depreciation of Christianity by indifference is a more insidious and less curable evil than infidelity itself.
There is a soul of truth in error; there is a soul of good in evil.
Geologists complain that when they want specimens of the common rocks of a country, they receive curious spars; just so, historians give us the extraordinary events and omit just what we want,--the every-day life of each particular time and country.
He that is not open to conviction is not qualified for discussion.
Woman is like the reed which bends to every breeze, but breaks not in the tempest.
All men wish to have truth on their side; but few to be on the side of truth.
It is worth noticing that those who assume an imposing demeanor and seek to pass themselves off for something beyond what they are, are not unfrequently as much underrated by some as overrated by others.
A man will never change his mind if he have no mind to change.
Vices and frailties correct each other, like acids and alkalies.
If each vicious man had but one vice, I do not know how the world could go on.
It is generally true that all that is required to make men unmindful of what they owe to God for any blessing, is, that they should receive that blessing often and regularly.
It is quite possible, and not uncommon, to read most laboriously, even so as to get by heart the words of a book, without really studying it at all,--that is, without employing the thoughts on the subject.