The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
The greatest mistake is trying to be more agreeable than you can be.
An ambassador is not simply an agent; he is also a spectacle.
An element of exaggeration clings to the popular judgment: great vices are made greater, great virtues greater also; interesting incidents are made more interesting, softer legends more soft.
No great work has ever been produced except after a long interval of still and musing meditation.
A family on the throne is an interesting idea. It brings down the pride of sovereignty to the level of petty life.
Life is a compromise of what your ego wants to do, what experience tells you to do, and what your nerves let you do.
A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
Poverty is an anomaly to rich people; it is very difficult to make out why people who want dinner do not ring the bell.
A Parliament is nothing less than a big meeting of more or less idle people.
The best reason why Monarchy is a strong government is, that it is an intelligible government. The mass of mankind understand it, and they hardly anywhere in the world understand any other.
No real English gentleman, in his secret soul, was ever sorry for the death of a political economist.
An influential member of parliament has not only to pay much money to become such, and to give time and labour, he has also to sacrifice his mind too - at least all the characteristics part of it that which is original and most his own.
All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality - the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape.
An inability to stay quiet is one of the conspicuous failings of mankind.
The cure for admiring the House of Lords is to go and look at it.
The being without an opinion is so painful to human nature that most people will leap to a hasty opinion rather than undergo it.
Dullness in matters of government is a good sign, and not a bad one - in particular, dullness in parliamentary government is a test of its excellence, an indication of its success.
One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.
Conquest is the missionary of valor, and the hard impact of military virtues beats meanness out of the world.
It is often said that men are ruled by their imaginations; but it would be truer to say they are governed by the weakness of their imaginations.
A slight daily unconscious luxury is hardly ever wanting to the dwellers in civilization; like the gentle air of a genial climate, it is a perpetual minute enjoyment.
A severe though not unfriendly critic of our institutions said that the cure for admiring the House of Lords was to go and look at it.
A constitutional statesman is in general a man of common opinions and uncommon abilities.
A schoolmaster should have an atmosphere of awe, and walk wonderingly, as if he was amazed at being himself.
A man's mother is his misfortune, but his wife is his fault.
Progress would not have been the rarity it is if the early food had not been the late poison.
You may talk of the tyranny of Nero and Tiberius; but the real tyranny is the tyranny of your next-door neighbor.
Public opinion is a permeating influence, and it exacts obedience to itself; it requires us to drink other men's thoughts, to speak other men's words, to follow other men's habits.
The best history is but like the art of Rembrandt; it casts a vivid light on certain selected causes, on those which were best and greatest; it leaves all the rest in shadow and unseen.
So long as there are earnest believers in the world, they will always wish to punish opinions, even if their judgment tells them it is unwise and their conscience that it is wrong.
Woman absent is woman dead.
Honor sinks where commerce long prevails.
The reason why so few good books are written is that so few people who can write know anything.
We must not let daylight in upon the magic.
In every particular state of the world, those nations which are strongest tend to prevail over the others; and in certain marked peculiarities the strongest tend to be the best.
The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
Writers like teeth are divided into incisors and grinders.
It is good to be without vices, but it is not good to be without temptations.
The reason that there are so few good books written is that so few people who write know anything.
The habit of common and continuous speech is a symptom of mental deficiency.
Nothing is more unpleasant than a virtuous person with a mean mind.
Writers, like teeth, are divided into incisors and grinders.
So long as war is the main business of nations, temporary despotism - despotism during the campaign - is indispensable.
The whole history of civilization is strewn with creeds and institutions which were invaluable at first, and deadly afterwards.
Men who do not make advances to women are apt to become victims to women who make advances to them.
We see but one aspect of our neighbor, as we see but one side of the moon; in either case there is also a dark half, which is unknown to us. We all come down to dinner, but each has a room to himself.
Life is a school of probability.
The real essence of work is concentrated energy.
What impresses men is not mind, but the result of mind.
The greatest please in life is doing what people say you cannot do.