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Quotations From WILLIAM HAZLITT

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  • 1.
    The English (it must be owned) are rather a foul-mouthed nation.
    William Hazlitt (1778-1830), British essayist. "On Criticism," Table Talk (1821-1822).
  • 2.
    There is an unseemly exposure of the mind, as well as of the body.
    William Hazlitt (1778-1830), British essayist. "On Disagreeable People," Sketches and Essays (1839). The philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon had expressed a similar idea in his essay "Of Simulation and Dissimulation": "Nakedness is uncomely, as well in mind as in body."
  • 3.
    He talked on for ever; and you wished him to talk on for ever.
    William Hazlitt (1778-1830), British essayist. Lectures on the English Poets, "On the Living Poets," (1818). Coleridge was the first poet Hazlitt had ever known, and produced an unforgettable effect on him: "His thoughts did not seem to come with labour and effort; but as if borne on gusts of genius, and as if the wings of his imagination lifted him off from his feet.... His mind was clothed with wings; and raised on them, he lifted philosophy to heaven."
  • 4.
    Humour is the making others act or talk absurdly and unconsciously; wit is the pointing out and ridiculing that absurdity consciously, and with more or less ill-nature.
    William Hazlitt (1778-1830), British essayist. "On Dryden and Pope," Lectures on the English Poets (1818).

    Read more quotations about / on: nature
  • 5.
    It is hard for any one to be an honest politician who is not born and bred a Dissenter.
    William Hazlitt (1778-1830), British essayist. repr. In Political Essays (1819). "On Court Influence," Yellow Dwarf (Jan. 3-10, 1818).
  • 6.
    He indeed cloys with sweetness; he obscures with splendour; he fatigues with gaiety. We are stifled on beds of roses.
    William Hazlitt (1778-1830), British essayist. "Mr. T. Moore—Mr. Leigh Hunt," The Spirit of the Age (1825). Of poet Thomas Moore.
  • 7.
    Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be.
    William Hazlitt (1778-1830), British essayist. "Lecture 1," Lectures on the English Comic Writers (1819). This passage was copied and inserted in the notebooks of Adlai Stevenson.

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  • 8.
    Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be.
    William Hazlitt (1778-1830), British essayist. Lectures on the English Comic Writers, Lecture 1 (1819). This passage was copied and inserted in the notebooks of Adlai Stevenson.

    Read more quotations about / on: animal
  • 9.
    Wit is the salt of conversation, not the food.
    William Hazlitt (1778-1830), British essayist. Lectures on the English Comic Writers, "On Wit and Humour," (1819).

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  • 10.
    Painting gives the object itself; poetry what it implies. Painting embodies what a thing contains in itself; poetry suggests what exists out of it, in any manner connected with it.
    William Hazlitt (1778-1830), British essayist. "On Poetry in General," Lectures on the English Poets (1818).

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