Corruption is like a ball of snow, when once set a rolling, it must increase. It gives momentum to the activity of the knave, but it chills the honest man, and makes him almost weary of his calling: and all that corruption attracts, it also retains; for it is easier not to fall, than only to fall once, and not to yield a single inch, then having yielded, to regain it.
Criticism is like champagne, nothing more execrable if bad, nothing more excellent if good; if meagre, muddy, vapid, and sour, both are fit only to engender colic and wind; but if rich, generous, and sparkling, they communicate a genial glow to the spirits, improve the taste, and expand the heart.
The enthusiast has been compared to a man walking in a fog; every thing immediately round him, or in contact with him, appears sufficiently clear and luminous; but beyond the little circle, of which he himself is the centre, all is mist, error, and confusion.
Intrigues of state, like games of whist, require a partner, and in both, success is the joint effect of chance and skill; but the former differ from the latter in one particularthe knaves rule the kings.
The mob, like the ocean, is very seldom agitated without some cause superior and exterior to itself; but both are capable of doing the greatest mischief after the cause which first set them in motion has ceased to act.
Russia, like the elephant, is rather unwieldy in attacking others, but most formidable in defending herself. She proposes this dilemma to all invadersa dilemma that Napoleon discovered too late. The horns of it are short and simple, but strong. Come unto me with few, and I will overwhelm you; come to me with many, and you shall overwhelm yourselves.
Our thoughts, like the waters of the sea, when exhaled towards Heaven, will lose all their bitterness and saltness, and sweeten into an amiable humanity, until they descend in gentle showers of love and kindness upon our fellow-men.
Truth, like the juice of a poppy, in small quantities, calms men; in large, heats and irritates them, and is attended by fatal circulation, because men have discovered that it is far more inconvenient to adulterate the truth than to refine themselves.