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Sydney Smith Quotes

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Sydney Smith
June 3, 1771 - February 22, 1845
Nationality: English
Category: Clergyman
Subcategory: English Clergyman

Among the smaller duties of life I hardly know any one more important than that of not praising where praise is not due.


What would life be without arithmetic, but a scene of horrors?


I look upon Switzerland as an inferior sort of Scotland.


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.


What you don't know would make a great book.


Have the courage to be ignorant of a great number of things, in order to avoid the calamity of being ignorant of everything.


I have, alas, only one illusion left, and that is the Archbishop of Canterbury.


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.


A comfortable house is a great source of happiness. It ranks immediately after health and a good conscience.


Never talk for half a minute without pausing and giving others a chance to join in.


To do anything in this world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in, and scramble through as well as we can.


Let the Dean and Canons lay their heads together and the thing will be done.


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.


No man can ever end with being superior who will not begin with being inferior.


Do not try to push your way through to the front ranks of your profession; do not run after distinctions and rewards; but do your utmost to find an entry into the world of beauty.


What a pity it is that we have no amusements in England but vice and religion!


Madam, I have been looking for a person who disliked gravy all my life; let us swear eternal friendship.


In composing, as a general rule, run your pen through every other word you have written; you have no idea what vigor it will give your style.


As the French say, there are three sexes - men, women, and clergymen.


Solitude cherishes great virtues and destroys little ones.


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