Wear your learning like a watch and do not pull it out merely to show you have it. If you are asked for the time, tell it; but do not proclaim it hourly unasked.
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- Never seem wiser, nor more learned, than the people you are with. Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not merely pull it out and strike it; merely to show that you have one.
- One should always think of what one is about: when one is learning, one should not think of play: and when one is at play, one should not think of one’s learning.
- Vice, in its true light, is so deformed, that it shocks us at first sight; and would hardly ever seduce us, if it did not at first wear the mask of some virtue.
- Let them show me a cottage where there are not the same vices of which they accuse the courts.
- For my own part, I would rather be in company with a dead man than with an absent one; for if the dead man gives me no pleasure, at least he shows me no contempt; whereas the absent one, silently indeed, but very plainly, tells me that he does not think me worth his attention.
- It is commonly said that ridicule is the best test of truth; for that it will not stick where it is not just. I deny it. A truth learned in a certain light, and attacked in certain words, by men of wit and humor, may, and often doth, become ridiculous, at least so far, that the truth is only remembered and repeated for the sake of the ridicule.