Every single Act either weakeneth or improveth our Credit with other Men ; and as an habit of being just to our Word will confirm, so an habit of too freely dispensing with it must necessarily destroy it.
The Anatomy of an Equivalent : from The Complete Works of George Savile, First Marquess of Halifax (1912), ed. Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh, Clarendon Press p. 123.
The Lady's New Year's Gift: or Advice to a Daughter (1688)
A Husband without Faults is a dangerous Observer.
In your Clothes avoid too much Gaudy ; do not value your self upon an Imbroidered Gown ; and remember, that a reasonable Word, or an obliging Look, will gain you more respect, than all your fine Trappings.
Remember that Children and Fools want every thing because they want Wit to distinguish: and therefore there is no stronger Evidence of a Crazy Understanding, than the making too large a Catalogue of things necessary, when in truth there are so very few things that have a right to be placed in it.
A Princely Mind will undo a private Family.
Love is a Passion that hath Friends in the Garrison.
The Triumph of Wit is to make your good Nature subdue your Censure; to be quick in seeing Faults, and slow in exposing them. You are to consider, that the invisible thing called a Good Name, is made up of the Breath of Numbers that speak well of you; so that if by a disobliging Word you silence the meanest, the Gale will be less strong which is to bear up your Esteem.
The sight of a drunkard is a better sermon against that vice than the best that was ever preached on that subject.
The People are never so perfectly backed, but that they will kick and fling if not stroked at seasonable times.
A Prince who will not undergo the Difficulty of Understanding, must undergo the Danger of Trusting.
Nothing is less forgiven than setting Patterns Men have no mind to follow.
Princes (their Rewards of Servants).
Men are so unwilling to displease a Prince, that it is as dangerous to inform him right, as to serve him wrong.
Princes (their Rewards of Servants).
Most Mens' Anger about Religion is as if two Men should quarrel for a Lady they neither of them care for.
When the People contend for their Liberty, they seldom get any thing by their Victory but new Masters.
Of Prerogative, Power and Liberty.
Laws are generally not understood by three sorts of persons, viz. by those who make them, by those who execute them, and by those who suffer, if they break them.
If the Laws could speak for themselves, they would complain of the Lawyers in the first Place.
The best Party is but a kind of Conspiracy against the rest of the Nation. They put every body else out of their Protection. Like the Jews to the Gentiles, all others are the Offscowrings of the World.
Men are not hang'd for stealing Horses, but that Horses may not be stolen.
Malice is of a low Stature, but it hath very long Arms.
Of Malice and Envy.
The best way to suppose what may come, is to remember what is past.
Miscellaneous Thoughts and Reflections.
Anger is never without an Argument, but seldom with a good one.
There is Reason to think the most celebrated Philosophers would have been Bunglers at Business ; but the Reason is because they despised it.
Popularity is a Crime from the Moment it is sought ; it is only a Virtue where Men have it whether they will or no.
No Man is so much a Fool as not to have Wit enough sometimes to be a Knave ; nor any so cunning a Knave, as not to have the Weakness sometimes to play the Fool.
In this Age, when it is said of a Man, He knows how to live , it may be imply’d he is not very honest.
It is Ill-manners to silence a Fool, and Cruelty to let him go on.
Most men make little other use of their Speech than to give evidence against their own Understanding.
Hope is generally a wrong Guide, though it is very good Company by the way. It brusheth through Hedge and Ditch till it cometh to a great Leap, and there it is apt to fall and break its Bones.
Malice is of a low Stature, but it hath very long Arms. It often reacheth into the next World, Death itself is not a Bar to it.
Malice, like Lust, when it is at the Height, doth not know Shame.
The vanity of teaching often tempteth a Man to forget he is a Blockhead.
The first mistake belonging to business is the going into it.
Men make it such a point of honour to be fit for business that they forget to examine whether business is fit for a man.
It is not a reproach but a compliment to learning, to say, that great scholars are less fit for business; since the truth is, business is so much a lower thing than learning, that a man used to the last cannot easily bring his stomach down to the first.
If Men considered how many Things there are that Riches cannot buy, they would not be so fond of them.
They who are of opinion that Money will do every thing, may very well be suspected to do every thing for Money.
Money hath too great a Preference given to it by States, as well as by particular Men.
A Little Learning misleadeth, and a great deal often stupifieth the Understanding.
When by habit a man cometh to have a bargaining soul, its wings are cut, so that it can never soar. It bindeth reason an apprentice to gain, and instead of a director, maketh it a drudge.