William Hazlitt Quotes

Most popular William Hazlitt Quotes

We are not hypocrites in our sleep.


Prejudice is the child of ignorance.


The soul of conversation is sympathy.


Abuse is an indirect species of homage.


No young man believes he shall ever die.
— William Hazlitt
Silence is one great art of conversation.

conversation silence

Principle is a passion for truth and right.
— William Hazlitt
Learning is its own exceeding great reward.
— William Hazlitt


The public have neither shame nor gratitude.
— William Hazlitt


No really great man ever thought himself so.
— William Hazlitt
Literature, like nobility, runs in the blood.


Love and joy are twins, or born of each other.

joy love

Wit is the salt of conversation, not the food.

conversation wit

There are amiable vices and obnoxious virtues.

vice & virtue

Power is pleasure; and pleasure sweetens pain.


We are all more or less slaves of our opinions.
— William Hazlitt


Those who can command themselves command others.
— William Hazlitt
To be young is to be as one of the Immortal Gods.
— William Hazlitt
The garb of religion is the best cloak for power.

power religion religion and politics

We as often repent the good we have done as the ill.

apathy helping others repentance

Death is the greatest evil, because it cuts off hope.
— William Hazlitt


Confidence gives a fool the advantage over a wise man.


Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity is a greater.
— William Hazlitt


We are all of us, more or less, the slaves of opinion.


Our energy is in proportion to the resistance it meets.
— William Hazlitt


The best way to procure an insult is to submit to them.
— William Hazlitt


Nothing is more unjust or capricious than public opinion.
— William Hazlitt


The greatest offense against virtue is to speak ill of it.


To be amiable is to be satisfied with one's self and others.
— William Hazlitt
His excessive egotism, which filled all objects with himself.
— William Hazlitt


The last pleasure in life is the sense of discharging our duty.


Those who are at war with others are not at peace with themselves.
— William Hazlitt

inner peace

Wit is the rarest quality to be met with among people of education.
— William Hazlitt


Violent antipathies are always suspicious, and betray a secret affinity.

love and hate

The art of life is to know how to enjoy a little and to endure very much.
— William Hazlitt


There is a feeling of Eternity in youth, which makes us amends for everything.
— William Hazlitt
Though familiarity may not breed contempt, it takes off the edge of admiration.

admiration familiarity

Fashion is gentility running away from vulgarity and afraid of being overtaken.
— William Hazlitt


We do not see nature with our eyes, but with out understandings and our hearts.


Grace has been defined, the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul.


Man is a make-believe animal—he is never so truly himself as when he is acting a part.

mankind man the animal

The love of liberty is the love of others. The love of power is the love of ourselves.
— William Hazlitt

freedom power

The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.


Taste is nothing but an enlarged capacity for receiving pleasure from works of imagination.


We may be willing to tell a story twice but we are never willing to hear it more than once.
— William Hazlitt

human nature

The true barbarian is he who thinks everything barbarous but his own tastes and prejudices.


A scholar is like a book written in a dead language—it is not every one that can read in it.


It is well that there is no one without a fault; for he would not have a friend in the world.
— William Hazlitt


The soul of a journey is liberty, perfect liberty, to think, feel, and do just as one pleases.
— William Hazlitt
There is nothing good to be had in the country, or if there is, they will not let you have it.

rural country

It is the vice of scholars to suppose that there is no knowledge in the world but that of books.


Grace is the absence of everything that indicates pain or difficulty, hesitation or incongruity.


We are never so much disposed to quarrel with others as when we are dissatisfied with ourselves.


The rule for traveling abroad is to take our common sense with us, and leave our prejudices behind.
— William Hazlitt

prejudice Travel

No man is truly great who is great only in his lifetime. The test of greatness is the page of history.
— William Hazlitt


A strong passion for any object will ensure success, for the desire of the end will point out the means.
— William Hazlitt
You know more of a road by having traveled it than by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world.
— William Hazlitt


Men of genius do not excel in any profession because they labor in it, but they labor in it because they excel.
— William Hazlitt


Men of genius do not excel in any profession because they labour in it, but they labour in it because they excel.
— William Hazlitt


The way to get on in the world is to be neither more nor less wise, neither better nor worse than your neighbours.
— William Hazlitt


To get others to come to our way of thinking, we must go over to theirs. And it is necessary to follow in order to lead.
— William Hazlitt

leadership managing people negotiation

People do not seem to talk for the sake of expressing their opinions, but to maintain an opinion for the sake of talking.


A hypocrite despises those whom he deceives, but has no respect for himself.  He would make a dupe of himself too, if he could.

dupes hypocrisy

The least pain in our little finger gives us more concern and uneasiness than the destruction of millions of our fellow-beings.


Nothing gives such a blow to friendship as the detecting another in an untruth. It strikes at the root of our confidence ever after.


Nothing gives such a blow to friendship as the detecting another in an untruth.  It strikes at the root of our confidence ever after.


I should like to spend the whole of my life in traveling abroad, if I could anywhere borrow another life to spend afterwards at home.
— William Hazlitt


We often forget our dreams so speedily: if we cannot catch them as they are passing out at the door, we never set eyes on them again.

dreams (during sleep)

Talent is the capacity of doing anything that depends on application and industry; it is a voluntary power, while genius is involuntary.
— William Hazlitt
Envy is a littleness of soul, which cannot see beyond a certain point, and if it does not occupy the whole space, feels itself excluded.


Language, if it throws a veil over our ideas, adds a softness and refinement to them, like that which the atmosphere gives to naked objects.


People had much rather be thought to look ill than old: because it is possible to recover from sickness, but there is no recovering from age.

old age

Even in the common affairs of life, in love, friendship, and marriage, how little security have we when we trust our happiness in the hands of others!


We often choose a friend as we do a mistress, for no particular excellence in themselves, but merely from some circumstance that flatters our self-love.
— William Hazlitt


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.

crying mankind man the animal priorities

The great difficulty in philosophy is to come to every question with a mind fresh and unshackled by former theories, though strengthened by exercise and information.


The love of fame is almost another name for the love of excellence; or it is the ambition to attain the highest excellence, sanctioned by the highest authority, that of time.


Elegance is something more than ease; it is more than a freedom from awkwardness or restraint.  It implies, I conceive, a precision, a polish, a sparkling effect, spirited yet delicate.


The pleasure of hating, like a poisonous mineral, eats into the heart of religion, and turns it to rankling spleen and bigotry; It makes patriotism an excuse for carrying fire, pestilence, and famine into other lands.