"There is no kind of false Wit which has been so recommended by the Practice of all Ages, as that which consists in a Jingle of Words, and is comprehended under the general Name of Punning. It is indeed impossible to kill a Weed, which the Soil has a natural Disposition to produce. The seeds of Punning are in the Minds of all Men, and tho' they may be subdued by Reason, Reflection, and good Sense, they will be very apt to shoot up in the greatest Genius, that is not broken and cultivated by the Rules of Art. Imitation is natural to us, and when it does not raise the Mind to Poetry, Painting, Musick, or other more noble Arts, it often breaks out in Punns and Quibbles."
The utmost extent of man's knowledge, is to know that he knows nothing.
With regard to donations always expect the most from prudent people, who keep their own accounts.
Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week.
I will indulge my sorrows, and give way
To all the pangs and fury of despair.
What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to an human soul.
Thus I live in the World, rather as a Spectator of Mankind, than as one of the Species.
Nothing is capable of being well set to music that is not nonsense.
Tis not in mortals to command success,
But we'll do more, Sempronius, we'll deserve it.
"We are always doing," says he, "something for posterity, but I would fain see posterity do something for us."
There is not so variable a thing in nature as a lady's head-dress.