Both as to high and low indifferently, men are prepossessed, charmed, fascinated by success; successful crimes are praised very much like virtue itself, and good fortune is not far from occupying the place of the whole cycle of virtues. It must be an atrocious act, a base and hateful deed, which success would not be able to justify.
When we have run through all forms of government, without partiality to that we were born under, we are at a loss with which to side; they are all a compound of good and evil. It is therefore most reasonable and safe to value that of our own country above all others, and to submit to it.
A man may have intelligence enough to excel in a particular thing and lecture on it, and yet not have sense enough to know he ought to be silent on some other subject of which he has but a slight knowledge; if such an illustrious man ventures beyond the bounds of his capacity, he loses his way and talks like a fool.
We meet With few utterly dull and stupid souls: the sublime and transcendent are still fewer; the generality of mankind stand between these two extremes: the interval is filled with multitudes of ordinary geniuses, but all very useful, and the ornaments and supports of the commonwealth.