Fine sense and exalted sense are not half as useful as common sense. There are forty men of wit for one man of sense. And he that will carry nothing about him but gold will be every day at a loss for readier change.
Sydney Smith playfully says that common sense was invented by Socrates, that philosopher having been one of its most conspicuous exemplars in conducting the contest of practical sagacity against stupid prejudice and illusory beliefs.
Common sense is science exactly so far as it fulfils the ideal of common sense; that is, sees facts as they are, or at any rate without the distortion of prejudice, and reasons from them in accordance with the dictates of sound judgment.
To act with common sense, according to the moment, is the best wisdom I know; and the best philosophy, to do ones duties, take the world as it comes, submit respectfully to ones lot, bless the goodness that has given us so much happiness with it, whatever it is, and despise affectation.
In most old communities there is a common sense even in sensuality. Vice itself gets gradually digested into a system, is amenable to certain laws of conventional propriety and honor, has for its object simply the gratification of its appetites, and frowns with quite a conservative air on all new inventions, all untried experiments in iniquity.
Common sense punishes all departures from her, by forcing those who rebel into a desperate war with all facts and experience, and into a still more terrible civil war with each other and with themselves.