Quotes by: William Godwin
I never did, and I never will, thank any man for altering any one word of my compositions without my privity.
Every man has a certain sphere of discretion which he has a right to expect shall not be infringed by his neighbours. This right flows from the very nature of man.
My thoughts will be taken up with the future or the past, with what is to come or what has been. Of the present there is necessarily no image.
What are gold and jewels and precious utensils? Mere dross and dirt. The human face and the human heart, reciprocations of kindness and love, and all the nameless sympathies of our nature - these are the only objects worth being attached to.
We cannot perform our tasks to the best of our power, unless we think well of our own capacity.
England has been called, with great felicity of conception, 'the land of liberty and good sense.' We have preserved many of the advantages of a free people, which the nations of the Continent have long since lost.
When we look on the roses and gaiety of youth, the mournful idea of mortality is altogether alien to our thoughts. We have heard of it as a speculation and a tale, but nothing but experience can bring it home to us.
The cause of justice is the cause of humanity. Its advocates should overflow with universal good will. We should love this cause, for it conduces to the general happiness of mankind.
We have, all of us, our duties. Every action of our lives, and every word that we utter, will either conduce to or detract from the discharge of our duty.
In the graver and more sentimental communication of man and man, the head still bears the superior sway; in the unreserved intimacies of man and woman, the heart is ever uppermost. Feeling is the main thing, and judgment passes for little.
Love conquers all difficulties, surmounts all obstacles, and effects what to any other power would be impossible.
The world is all alike. Those that seem better than their neighbours are only more artful. They mean the same thing, though they take a different road.
It is of no consequence whether a man of genius have learned either art or science before twenty-five: all that is necessary, or even desirable, is that his powers should be unfolded, his emulation roused, and his habits conducted into a right channel.
Learning is the ally, not the adversary of genius... he who reads in a proper spirit, can scarcely read too much.
The philosophy of the wisest man that ever existed, is mainly derived from the act of introspection.
No man knows the value of innocence and integrity but he who has lost them.