William Hazlitt Quotes

William Hazlitt, 1778 – 1830

Born: 10 April 1778, Maidstone, Kent, England
Died: 18 September 1830, Soho, London, England

William Hazlitt was the son of a Unitarian minister who supported the American Revolution. The family spent five years at Philadelphia and Boston, but returned to England in 1788. Hazlitt trained for the ministry but turned to writing, particularly encouraged by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He reported on Parliament, was probably the first serious English art critic, reviewed the theatre, wrote scholarly books about literature, and crafted many well-regarded essays.

William Hazlitt quotes:

Actors are the only honest hypocrites.
    William Hazlitt

An honest man speaks the truth, though it may give offence; a vain man, in order that it may.
    William Hazlitt

As is our confidence, so is our capacity.
    William Hazlitt

Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects, and discovering the weaknesses of others.
    William Hazlitt

Every man, in his own opinion, forms an exception to the ordinary rules of morality.
    William Hazlitt

First impressions are often the truest, as we find (not infrequently) to our cost, when we have been wheedled out of them by plausible professions or studied actions. A man’s look is the work of years; it is stamped on his countenance by the events of his whole life, nay, more, by the hand of nature, and it is not to be got rid of easily.
    William Hazlitt

Give me the clear blue sky above my head, and the green turf beneath my feet, a winding road before me, and a three hours’ march to dinner – and then to thinking! It is hard if I cannot start some game on these lone heaths.
    William Hazlitt

Good temper is one of the greatest preservers of the features.
    William Hazlitt

Great thoughts reduced to practice become great acts.
    William Hazlitt

Hope is the best possession. None are completely wretched but those who are without hope, and few are reduced so low as that.
    William Hazlitt

I like a friend the better for having faults that one can talk about.
    William Hazlitt

If a person has no delicacy, he has you in his power.
    William Hazlitt

If I have not read a book before, it is, for all intents and purposes, new to me whether it was printed yesterday or three hundred years ago.
    William Hazlitt

If mankind had wished for what is right, they might have had it long ago.
    William Hazlitt

If we wish to know the force of human genius we should read Shakespeare. If we wish to see the insignificance of human learning we may study his commentators.
    William Hazlitt

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