General principles are not the less true or important because, from their nature they elude immediate observation; they are like the air, which is not the less necessary because we neither see nor feel it, or like that secret influence which binds the world together and holds the planets in their orbits.

The Eloquence of the British Senate (1808)

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More from William Hazlitt

No man is truly great who is great only in his lifetime. The test of greatness is the page of history.

Table Talk: Essays On Men And Manners (1821-1822)

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.

Table Talk: Essays On Men And Manners (1821-1822)

Great thoughts reduced to practice become great acts.

Table Talk: Essays On Men And Manners (1821-1822)

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be.

Lectures on the English Comic Writers (1819)

The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.

Political Essays (1819)