Perhaps the excellence of aphorisms consists not so much in the expression of some rare or abstruse sentiment, as in the comprehension of some obvious and useful truth in a few words. We frequently fall into error and folly, not because the true principles of action are not known, but because, for a time, they […]
The excellence of aphorisms consists not so much in the expression of some rare or abstruse sentiment, as in the comprehension of some useful truth in few words.
An aphorism is never exactly true. It is either a half-truth or a truth and a half.
Aphorisms are salted, not sugared, almonds at Reason’s feast.
Aphorisms are essentially an aristocratic genre of writing. The aphorist does not argue or explain, he asserts; and implicit in his assertion is a conviction that he is wiser or more intelligent than his readers. For this reason the aphorist who adopts a folksy style with “democratic” diction and grammar is a cowardly and insufferable […]
This delivering of knowledge in distinct and disjointed aphorisms doth leave the wit of man more free to turn and toss, and to make use of that which is so delivered to more several purposes and applications.
An aphorism is true where it has fixed the impression of a genuine experience.
The hunter for aphorisms on human nature has to fish in muddy water; and he is even condemned to find much of his own mind.
The great writers of aphorisms read as if they had all known each other well.
The aphorism is cultivated only by those who have known fear in the midst of words, that fear of collapsing with all the words.