Quotes by Sydney Smith

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To love and be loved is the great happiness of existence.

Life is to be fortified by many friendships. To love and to be loved is the greatest happiness of existence.
Never try to reason the prejudice out of a man. It was not reasoned into him, and cannot be reasoned out.
Solitude cherishes great virtues and destroys little ones.
The greatest of all mistakes is to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can.
Have the courage to be ignorant of a great number of things, in order to avoid the calamity of being ignorant of everything.
It resembles a pair of shears, so joined that they cannot be separated, often moving in opposite directions, yet always punishing anyone who comes between them.
It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can do only a little. Do what you can.
Live always in the best company when you read.
No furniture is so charming as books.
All this class of pleasures inspires me with the same nausea as I feel at the sight of rich plum-cake or sweetmeats; I prefer the driest bread of common life.
Manners are like the shadows of virtues, they are the momentary display of those qualities which our fellow creatures love and respect.
Married couples resemble a pair of scissors, often moving in opposite directions, yet punishing anyone who gets in between them.
What would life be without arithmetic, but a scene of horrors?
Bishop Berkeley destroyed this world in one volume octavo; and nothing remained, after his time, but mind; which experienced a similar fate from the hand of Mr. Hume in 1737.
Poverty is no disgrace to a man, but it is confoundedly inconvenient.
No man can ever end with being superior who will not begin with being inferior.
Among the smaller duties of life I hardly know any one more important than that of not praising where praise is not due.
The object of preaching is to constantly remind mankind of what they keep forgetting; not to supply the intellect, but to fortify the feebleness of human resolutions.
A nation grown free in a single day is a child born with the limbs and the vigor of a man, who would take a drawn sword for his rattle, and set the house in a blaze that he might chuckle over the splendor.
Whatever you are from nature, keep to it; never desert your own line of talent. Be what nature intended you for, and you will succeed; be anything else, and you will be ten thousand times worse than nothing.
His enemies might have said before that he talked rather too much; but now he has occasional flashes of silence, that make his conversation perfectly delightful.
He had occasional flashes of silence that made his conversation perfectly delightful.
Correspondences are like small clothes before the invention of suspenders; it is impossible to keep them up.
A comfortable house is a great source of happiness. It ranks immediately after health and a good conscience.
Great men hallow a whole people, and lift up all who live in their time.
Avoid shame but do not seek glory --nothing so expensive as glory.
It is always right that a man should be able to render a reason for the faith that is within him.
Oh, don't tell me of facts -- I never believe facts: you know Canning said nothing was so fallacious as facts, except figures.
I never read a book before reviewing it; it prejudices a man so.
A great deal of talent is lost in the world for want of courage.
Find fault when you must find fault in private, and if possible sometime after the offense, rather than at the time.
Never talk for half a minute without pausing and giving others a chance to join in.
Madam, I have been looking for a person who disliked gravy all my life; let us swear eternal friendship.
How can a bishop marry? How can he flirt? The most he can say is I will see you in the vestry after service.
I have, alas, only one illusion left, and that is the Archbishop of Canterbury.
It is a bore, I admit, to be past seventy, for you are left for execution, and are daily expecting the death-warrant; but it is not anything very capital we quit. We are, at the close of life, only hurried away from stomach-aches, pains in the joints, from sleepless nights and unamusing days, from weakness, ugliness, and nervous tremors; but we shall all meet again in another planet, cured of all our defects.
It is safest to be moderately base -- to be flexible in shame, and to be always ready for what is generous, good and just, when anything is to be gained by virtue.
Heat, ma am! It was so dreadful here that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones.
A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage. Every day sends to their graves obscure men whose timidity prevented them from making a first effort.
Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.
The writer does the most good who gives his reader the most knowledge and takes from him the least time.
For Gods sake, do not drag me into another war! I am worn down, and worn out, with crusading and defending Europe, and protecting mankind; I must think a little of myself.