POPE, Alexander Quotes
(1688-1744), English poet
"To pardon those absurdities in ourselves which we condemn in others, is neither better nor worse than to be more willing to be fools ourselves than to have others so."
When we are young, we are slavishly emloyed in procuring something whereby we may live comfortably when we grow old; and when we are old, we I perceive it is too late to live as we proposed.
To be angry is to revenge the faults of others on ourselves.
Nothing is more certain than that much of the force as well as grace of arguments, as well as of instructions, depends on their conciseness.
Atheists put on a false courage in the midst of their darkness and misapprehensions, like children who when they fear to go in the dark, will sing or whistle to keep up their courage.
There should be as little merit in loving a woman for her beauty, as a man for his prosperity, both being equally subject to change.
There never was any party, faction, sect, or cabal whatsoever, in which the most ignorant were not the most violent; for a bee is not a busier animal than a blockhead.
It is with narrow souled people as with narrow necked bottles; the less they have in them, the more noise they make in pouring it out.
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
To buy books only because they were published by an eminent printer, is much as if a man should buy clothes that did not fit him, only because made by some famous tailor.
Words are like leaves, and where they most abound, much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.
Judges and senators have been bought with gold.
One who is too wise an observer of the business of others, like one who is too curious in observing the labor of bees, will often be stung for his curiosity.
The villain's censure is extorted praise.
Just as the twig is bent, the tree is inclined.
Fine sense, and exalted sense, are not half as useful as common sense.—There are forty men of wit to one man of sense.—He that will carry nothing about him but gold, will be every day at a loss for readier change.
Conceit is to nature, what paint is to beauty; it is not only needless, but it impairs what it would improve.
A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.
What conscience dictates to be done, or warns me not to do, this teach me more than hell to shun, that more than heaven pursue.
What Cicero says of war may be applied to disputing,—it should always be so managed as to remember that the only true end of it is peace.—But generally, disputants are like sportsmen—their whole delight is in the pursuit; and a disputant no more cares for the truth, than the sportsman for the hare.
The most positive men are the most credulous, since they most believe themselves, and advise most with their falsest flatterer and worst enemy,—their own self-love.
Ten censure wrong, for one that writes amiss.
Get your enemies to read your works in order to mend them; for your friend is so much your second self that he will judge too much like you.
A person who is too nice an observer of the business of the crowd, like one who is too curius in observing the labor of bees, will often be stung for his curiosity.
Those move easiest, who have learned to dance.
Who dares think one thing and another tell, my heart detests him as the gates of hell.
Save me from impious discontent at aught thy wisdom has denied or thy goodness has lent.
'Tis education forms the common mind; just as the twig is bent the tree is inclined.
Envy will merit, as its shade, pursue but, like a shadow, proves the substance true.
A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.
He who tells a lie is not sensible how great a task he undertakes; for he must invent twenty more to maintain that one.
Vice is a monster of such frightful mien as to be hated, needs but to be seen; but seen too oft, familiar with her face, we first endure, then pity, then embrace.
It is not so much the being exempt from faults, as having overcome them, that is an advantage to us; it being with the follies of the mind as with the weeds of a field, which if destroyed and consumed upon the place of their birth, enrich and improve it more than if none had ever sprung there.
There is an oblique way of reproof, which takes off the sharpness of it, and an address in flattery, which makes it agreeable, though never so gross; but of all flatterers, the most skilful is he who can do what you like, without saying anything which argues he does it for your sake.
To err is human; to forgive, divine.
A brave man thinks no one his superior who does him an injury; for he has it then in his power to make himself superior to the other by forgiving it.
Oh, blindness to the future! kindly given, that each may fill the circle marked by heaven.
Some people are commended for a giddy kind of good humor, which is no more a virtue than drunkenness.
A king may be a tool, a thing of straw; but if he serves to frighten our enemies, and secure our property, it is well enough; a scarecrow is a thing of straw, but it protects the corn.
For forms of government let fools contest.—That which is best administered is best.
When I find a great deal of gratitude in a poor man, I take it for granted there would be as much generosity if he were rich.
True friendship's laws are by this rule expressed: welcome the coming, speed the parting guest.
Fair tresses man's imperial race ensnare, and beauty draws us with a single hair.
False happiness is like false money; it passes for a time as well as the true, and serves some ordinary occasions; but when it is brought to the touch, we find the lightness and alloy, and feel the loss.
Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense, lie in three words, health, peace, and competence.
An honest man's the noblest work of God.
Honor and shame from no condition rise; act well your part, there all the honor lies.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast; man never is, but always to be blest.
An atheist is but a mad ridiculous derider of piety; but a hypocrite makes a sober jest of God and religion; he finds it easier to be upon his knees than to rise to a good action; like an impudent debtor, who goes every day to talk familiarly to his creditor, without ever paying what he owes.
There never was any party, faction, sect, or cabal whatsoever, in which the most ignorant were not the most violent; for a bee is not a busier animal than a blockhead. However, such instruments are, perhaps, necessary; for it may be with states as with clocks, which must have some dead weight hanging at them, to help and regulate the motion of the finer and more useful parts.
It is impossible that an ill-natured man can have a public spirit; for how should he love ten thousand men who has never loved one?
Some have at first for wits, then poets passed; turned critics next, and proved plain fools at last.
Raise reason over instinct as you can; in this 'tis God directs; in that 'tis man.
Honest instinct comes a volunteer, sure never to overshoot, but just to hit, while still too wide, or short of human wit.
Who taught the natives of the field and wood to shun their poison, and to choose their food,—prescient, the tides and tempests to withstand; build on the wave, or arch beneath the sand?
It is with our judgments as with our watches: no two go just alike, yet each believes his own.
At present we can only reason of the divine justice from what we know of justice in man. When we are in other scenes we may have truer and nobler ideas of it; but while in this life we can only speak from the volume that is laid open before us.
Learning is like mercury, one of the most powerful and excellent things in the world in skillful hands; in unskillful, the most mischievous.
A little learning is a dangerous thing! drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring; there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again.
He who tells a lie is not sensible how great a task he undertakes; for he must be forced to invent twenty more to maintain one.
Who dares think one thing, and another tell, my soul detests him as the gates of hell.
The vanity of human life is like a rivulet, constantly passing away, and yet constantly coming on.
The proper study of mankind is man.
An honest man is the noblest work of God.
Men dream in courtship, but in wedlock wake.
Lulled in the countless chambers of the brain, our thoughts are linked by many a hidden chain; awake but one, and lo, what myriads rise!
Teach me to feel another's woe, to hide the fault I see; that mercy I to others show, that mercy show to me.
Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.
Strength of mind is exercise, not rest.
The best way to prove the clearness of our mind, is by showing its faults; as when a stream discovers the dirt at the bottom, it convinces us of the transparency and purity of the water.
I never knew a man who could not bear the misfortunes of another perfectly like a Christian.
Music resembles poetry; in each are numerous graces which no methods teach, and which a master hand alone can reach.
Looks through nature up to nature's God.
It is with narrow-souled people as with narrow-necked bottles; the less they have in them, the more noise they make in pouring it out.
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown; thus unlamented let me die; steal from the world, and not a stone tell where I lie.
At every trifle scorn to take offence; that always shows great pride, or little sense.
Order is heaven's first law.
To pardon those absurdities in ourselves which we cannot suffer in others, is neither better nor worse than to be more willing to be fools ourselves than to have others so.
Party is the madness of many, for the gain of a few.
The ruling passion, be it what it will, the ruling passion, conquers reason still.
With loads of learned lumber in his head.
Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see, thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor ever shall be.
A wise physician, skilled our ills to heal, is more than armies to the public weal.
Truth shines the brighter clad in verse.
Jarring interests of themselves create the according music of a well-mixed state.
The most positive men are the most credulous, since they most believe themselves, and advise most with their falsest flatterer and worst enemy, their own self-love.
The villain's 'censure is extorted praise.
Damn with faint praise.
His praise is lost who waits till all commend.
All looks yellow to the jaundiced eye.
Of all the causes which conspire to blind man's erring judgment, and mislead the mind, what the weak head with strongest bias rules, is pride—that never failing vice of fools.
In pride, unreasoning pride, our error lies; all quit their sphere, and rush into the skies; pride still is aiming at the blest abodes; men would be angels; angels would be gods.
Who finds not Providence all good and wise, alike in what it gives and what denies?
All nature is but art, unknown to thee; all chance, direction which thou canst net see; all discord, harmony not understood; all partial evil, universal good.
In this commonplace world every one is said to be romantic who either admires a fine thing or does one.
The flying rumors gathered as they rolled, and all who told it added something new, and all who heard it made enlargement too; in every ear it spreads, on every tongue it grew.
Curst be the verse how well so'er it flow, that tends to make one worthy man my foe, gives virtue scandal, innocence a fear, or from the soft-eyed virgin steals a tear.
Praise undeserved is scandal in disguise.
One self-approving hour whole years outweighs of stupid starers, and of loud huzzas.
It is very natural for a young friend and a young lover to think the persons they love have nothing to do but to please them.
I would tear out my own heart if it had no better disposition than to love only myself, and laugh at all my neighbors.
Trust not yourself, but your defects to know, make use of every friend and every foe.
One self-approving hour whole years outweigh.
Good sense, which only is the gift of Heaven, and though no science, fairly worth the seven.
Honor and shame from no condition rise; act well your part—there all the honor lies.
Sickness is a sort of early old age; it teaches us a diffidence in our earthly state.
There is a majesty in simplicity which is far above the quaintness of wit.
Whatever makes man a slave takes half his worth away.
Eternal smiles his emptiness betray, as shallow streams run dimpling all the way.
The sound must seem an echo to the sense.
Statesman, yet friend to truth! of soul sincere, in action faithful, and in honor clear, who broke no promise, served no private end, who gain'd no title, and who lost no friend; ennobled by himself, by all approved, praised, wept, and honored.
There is no study that is not capable of delighting us after a little application to it.
Talk what you will of taste, you will find two of a face as soon as two of a mind.
Every man has just as much vanity as he wants understanding.
The general cry is against ingratitude, but the complaint is misplaced, it should be against vanity; none but direct villains are capable of wilful ingratitude; but almost everybody is capable of thinking he hath done more than another deserves, while the other thinks he hath received less than he deserves.
It is vanity which makes the rake at twenty, the worldly man at forty, and the retired man at sixty. We are apt to think that best in general for which we find ourselves best fitted in particular.
Order in variety we see; though all things differ, all agree.
As to the general design of providence, the two extremes of vice may serve to keep up the balance of things. When we speak against one capital vice, we ought to speak against its opposite; the middle betwixt both is the point for virtue.
Vice is a monster of so frightful mien as to be hated needs but to be seen; yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, we first endure, then pity, then embrace.
But when to mischief mortals bend their will, how soon they find fit instruments of ill!
To endeavor to work upon the vulgar with fine sense is like attempting to hew blocks with a razor.
To whom can riches give repute, or trust, content, or pleasure, but the good and just?
Welcome the coming, speed the going guest.
What is it to be wise?—'Tis but to know how little can be known—to see all others' faults and feel our own.
Words are like leaves; and where they most abound, much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.
A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying in other words that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.
For virtue's self may too much zeal be had; the worst of madness is a saint run mad.