"I often accuse my finest acquaintances of an immense frivolity; for, while there are manners and compliments we do not meet, we donot teach one another the lessons of honesty and sincerity that the brutes do, or of steadiness and solidity that the rocks do. The fault is commonly mutual; however, for we do not habitually demand any more of each other."
"It is the vice, but not the excellence of manners, that they are continually being deserted by the character; they are cast- off clothes or shells, claiming the respect which belonged to the living creature."
"My father was a gentleman of many virtues,--but he had a strong spice of that in his temper which might, or might not, add to thenumber.--'Tis known by the name of perseverance in a good cause,--and of obstinacy in a bad one."
"There are a thousand unnoticed openings ... which let a penetrating eye at once into a man's soul; and I maintain ... that a man of sense does not lay down his hat in coming into a room,--or take it up in going out of it, but something escapes, which discovers him."
"Every man casts a shadow; not his body only, but his imperfectly mingled spirit. This is his grief. Let him turn which way he will, it falls opposite to the sun; short at noon, long at eve. Did you never see it?"
"In our daily intercourse with men, our nobler faculties are dormant and suffered to rust. None will pay us the compliment to expect nobleness from us. Though we have gold to give, they demand only copper."
"A true politeness does not result from any hasty and artificial polishing, it is true, but grows naturally in characters of the right grain and quality, through a long fronting of men and events, and rubbing on good and bad fortune."
"The more supple vagabond, too, is sure to appear on the least rumor of such a gathering, and the next day to disappear, and go into his hole like the seventeen-year locust, in an ever-shabby coat, though finer than the farmer's best, yet never dressed.... He especially is the creature of the occasion. He empties both his pockets and his character into the stream, and swims in such a day. He dearly loves the social slush. There is no reserve of soberness in him."