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Reason is the test of ridicule, not ridicule the test of truth.


Men do not often dare to avow, even to themselves, the slow progress reason has made in their minds; but they are ready to follow it if it is presented to them in a lively and striking manner, and forces them to recognize it.


If reason justly contradicts an article, it is not of the household of faith.

-Jeremy Taylor.

We are afraid to put men to live and trade each on his own private stock of reason; because we suspect that this stock in each man is small, and that the individuals would do better to avail themselves of the general bank and capital of nations and of ages.


The soul is cured of its maladies by certain incantations; these incantations are beautiful reasons, from which temperance is generated in souls.


An idle reason lessens the weight of the good ones you gave before.


He that is but able to express
No sense at all in several languages,
Will pass for learneder than he that's known
To speak the strongest reason in his own.
-Butler. Satire upon Human Learning,
Pt. I., line 65.

What reason weaves, by Passion is undone. -Pope. Essay on Man, Ep. II., line 42.

Let our reason, and not our senses, be the rule of our conduct; for reason will teach us to think wisely, to speak prudently, and to behave worthily. -Confucius.

How can the less the greater comprehend?
Or finite reason reach infinity?

-Dryden. Religio Laici, line 39.

The language of reason, unaccompanied by kindness, will often fail of making an impression; it has no effect on the understanding, because it touches not the heart. The language of kindness, unassociated with reason, will frequently be unable to persuade; because, though it may gain upon the affections, it wants that which is necessary to convince the judgment. But let reason and kindness be united in a discourse, and seldom will even pride or prejudice find it easy to resist. -Gisborne.

He that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason
To fust in us unused.

-Shakspere. Hamlet (Hamlet), Act IV.,
Sc. IV.

What can we reason, but from what we know? -Pope. Essay on Man, Ep. I., line 18.

As good almost kill a man as kill a book. Who kills a man, kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were in the eye.

-Milton. Areopagitica.

Peace rules the day where reason rules the mind. Oriental Eclogues, Eclogue II.


All places that the eye of heaven visits
Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.
Teach thy necessity to reason thus ;
There is no virtue like necessity.

-Shakspere. Richard II. (Gaunt),
Act I., Sc. III.

What's all the noisy jargon of the schools,
But idle nonsense of laborious fools,
Who fetter reason with perplexing rules?
-Pomfret. Reason.

Though reason is not to be relied upon as universally sufficient to direct us what to do, yet it is generally to be relied upon and obeyed where it tells us what we are not to do.



Well-chosen words are like well-chosen friends;
We know not when they may return to bless,
If hasty spoken, words can make amends,

And words are merely thoughts in plainer dress.

-J. C. H.

The words of a language resemble the strings of a musical instrument, which yield only uninteresting tones when struck by an ordinary hand, but from which a skilful performer draws forth the soul of harmony, awakening and captivating the passions of the mind.

-W. B. Clulow.

By winning words to conquer willing hearts, And make persuasion do the work of fear. -Milton. Paradise Regained, Bk. I., line 222.

Win her with gifts, if she respect not words:
Dumb jewels often, in their silent kind,
More than quick words, do move a woman's


-Shakspere. Two Gentlemen of Verona (Valentine), Act III., Sc. I.

Big words do not smite like war clubs,
Boastful breath is not a bow-string,
Taunts are not so sharp as arrows,
Deeds are better things than words are,
Actions mightier than boastings.
-Longfellow. Hiawatha, IX.

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