Quotes by William M. Thackeray

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It is best to love wisely, no doubt: but to love foolishly is better than not to be able to love at all.

Next to excellence, comes the appreciation of it.
The world is a looking glass and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face.
I would rather make my name than inherit it.
To endure is greater than to dare; to tire out hostile fortune; to be daunted by no difficulty; to keep heart when all have lost it; to go through intrigue spotless; to forego even ambition when the end is gained -- who can say this is not greatness?
People who do not know how to laugh are always pompous and self-conceited.
Tis strange what a man may do, and a woman yet think him an angel.
Let a man who has to make his fortune in life remember this maxim: Attacking is the only secret. Dare and the world yields, or if it beats you sometimes, dare it again and you will succeed.
People hate as they love, unreasonably.
Tis not the dying for a faith that's so hard... 'Tis the living up to it that's difficult.
It's not dying for faith that's so hard, it's living up to it.
Except for the young or very happy, I can't say I am sorry for anyone who dies.
We who have lived before railways were made belong to another world. It was only yesterday, but what a gulf between now and then! Then was the old world. Stage-coaches, more or less swift, riding-horses, pack-horses, highwaymen, knights in armor, Norman invaders, Roman legions, Druids, Ancient Britons painted blue, and so forth -- all these belong to the old period. But your railroad starts the new era, and we of a certain age belong to the new time and the old one. We who lived before railways, and survive out of the ancient world, are like Father Noah and his family out of the Ark.
It is to the middle-class we must look for the safety of England.
Whenever he met a great man he groveled before him, and my-lorded him as only a free-born Briton can do.
Certain it is that scandal is good brisk talk, whereas praise of one's neighbor is by no means lively hearing. An acquaintance grilled, scored, devilled, and served with mustard and cayenne pepper excites the appetite; whereas a slice of cold friend with currant jelly is but a sickly, unrelishing meat.
Next to the young, I suppose the very old are the most selfish.
I never know whether to pity or congratulate a man on coming to his senses.
Do not be in a hurry to succeed. What would you have to live for afterwards? Better make the horizon your goal; it will always be ahead of you.
A good laugh is sunshine in the house.
Kindnesses are easily forgotten; but injuries! -- what worthy man does not keep those in mind?
There is no good in living in a society where you are merely the equal of everybody else. The true pleasure of life is to live with your inferiors.
Good humor is one of the best articles of dress one can wear in society.
Those who forgets their friends to follow those of a higher status are truly snobs.
When you look at me, when you think of me, I am in paradise.
Despair is perfectly compatible with a good dinner, I promise you.
Come children, let us shut up the box and the puppets, for our play is played out.
If a man character is to be abused there's nobody like a relative to do the business.
What money is better bestowed than that of a schoolboy's tip? How the kindness is recalled by the recipient in after days! It blesses him that gives and him that takes.
If a secret history of books could be written, and the author's private thoughts and meanings noted down alongside of his story, how many insipid volumes would become interesting, and dull tales excite the reader!
If, in looking at the lives of princes, courtiers, men of rank and fashion, we must perforce depict them as idle, profligate, and criminal, we must make allowances for the rich men's failings, and recollect that we, too, were very likely indolent and voluptuous, had we no motive for work, a mortal's natural taste for pleasure, and the daily temptation of a large income. What could a great peer, with a great castle and park, and a great fortune, do but be splendid and idle?
The two most engaging powers of a good author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new.

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