Best Quotes from William Godwin

William Godwin Quotes

No man knows the value of innocence and integrity but he who has lost them.

William Godwin

He that loves reading has everything within his reach.

William Godwin

Human depravity originates in the vices of political constitution.

William Godwin

A just and a brave man acts fearlessly and with explicitness; he does not shun, but court, the scrutiny of mankind; he lives in the face of day, and the whole world confesses the clearness of his spirit and the rectitude of his conduct.

William Godwin

How are the faculties of man to be best developed and his happiness secured? The state of a king is not favorable to this, nor the state of the noble and rich men of the earth. All this is artificial life, the inventions of vanity and grasping ambition, by which we have spoiled the man of nature and of pure, simple, and undistorted impulses.

William Godwin

Government will not fail to employ education, to strengthen its hands, and perpetuate its institutions.

William Godwin

Let us not, in the eagerness of our haste to educate, forget all the ends of education.

William Godwin

Occupation – pressing occupation that will not be said nay – is a sovereign remedy for grief.

William Godwin

There can be no passion, and by consequence no love, where there is not imagination.

William Godwin

The philosophy of the wisest man that ever existed, is mainly derived from the act of introspection.

William Godwin

The philosophy of the wisest man that ever existed, is mainly derived from the act of introspection.

William Godwin

The diligent scholar is he that loves himself, and desires to have reason to applaud and love himself.

William Godwin

Above all we should not forget that government is an evil, a usurpation upon the private judgement and individual conscience of mankind.

William Godwin

Perseverance is an active principle, and cannot continue to operate but under the influence of desire.

William Godwin

Tenderness is the name for a lover’s most exquisite sensation; protection is implied in his most generous and heart-thrilling impulse.

William Godwin

When the calamity we feared is already arrived, or when the expectation of it is so certain as to shut out hope, there seems to be a principle within us by which we look with misanthropic composure on the state to which we are reduced, and the heart sullenly contracts and accommodates itself to what it most abhorred.

William Godwin

The love of independence and dislike of unjust treatment is the source of a thousand virtues.

William Godwin

Religion is among the most beautiful and most natural of all things – that religion which ‘sees God in clouds and hears Him in the wind,’ which endows every object of sense with a living soul, which finds in the system of nature whatever is holy, mysterious and venerable, and inspires the bosom with sentiments of awe and veneration.

William Godwin

Man is the only creature we know, that, when the term of his natural life is ended, leaves the memory of himself behind him.

William Godwin

Without imagination, there can be no genuine ardor in any pursuit or for any acquisition, and without imagination, there can be no genuine morality, no profound feeling of other men’s sorrow, no ardent and persevering anxiety for their interests.

William Godwin

Woe to the man who is always busy – hurried in a turmoil of engagements, from occupation to occupation, and with no seasons interposed of recollection, contemplation and repose! Such a man must inevitably be gross and vulgar, and hard and indelicate – the sort of man with whom no generous spirit would desire to hold intercourse.

William Godwin

Government, as it was forced upon mankind by their vices, so has it commonly been the creature of their ignorance and mistake.

William Godwin

The soul of man is one of those subtle and evanescent substances that, as long as they remain still, the organ of sight does not remark; it must become agitated to become visible.

William Godwin

Love conquers all difficulties, surmounts all obstacles, and effects what to any other power would be impossible.

William Godwin

Man is a being of a mixed nature; and, as there is no integrity without its flaws, so is there no man so knavish but that in some things he may be trusted.

William Godwin

There is a class of persons whose souls are essentially non-conductors to the electricity of sentiment, and whose minds seem to be filled with their own train of thinking, convictions, and purposes to the exclusion of everything else.

William Godwin

I know not how it is: there are some businesses for which dullness seems to be a qualification.

William Godwin

The four principal oral instructors to whom I feel my mind indebted for improvement were Joseph Fawcet, Thomas Holcroft, George Dyson, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

William Godwin

Sympathy is one of the principles most widely rooted in our nature: we rejoice to see ourselves reflected in another; and, perversely enough, we sometimes have a secret pleasure in seeing the sin which dwells in ourselves existing under a deformed and monstrous aspect in another.

William Godwin

The proper method for hastening the decay of error is by teaching every man to think for himself.

William Godwin

If he who employs coercion against me could mould me to his purposes by argument, no doubt he would. He pretends to punish me because his argument is strong; but he really punishes me because his argument is weak.

William Godwin

In infamy, it is wisely provided that he who stands highest in the ranks of society has the heaviest load to sustain.

William Godwin

Make men wise, and by that very operation you make them free. Civil liberty follows as a consequence of this; no usurped power can stand against the artillery of opinion.

William Godwin

Learning is the ally, not the adversary of genius… he who reads in a proper spirit, can scarcely read too much.

William Godwin

Act up to the magnitude of your destiny.

William Godwin

I know not how it is: there are some businesses for which dullness seems to be a qualification.

William Godwin

The Italian character in general is full of animation, and the natives enter into the interests and welfare of the stranger before them with a fervor that forbids all doubt of its sincerity and that is truly surprising.

William Godwin

How nations and races of men are to be so governed as may be most conducive to the improvement and happiness of all is one of the most interesting questions that can be offered to our consideration.

William Godwin

Social man regards all those by whom he is surrounded as enemies, or beings who may become such. He is ever on his guard lest his plain speaking should be willfully perverted, or should assume a meaning he never thought of, through the animosity or prejudice of the individual that hears him.

William Godwin

There is a class of persons whose souls are essentially non-conductors to the electricity of sentiment, and whose minds seem to be filled with their own train of thinking, convictions, and purposes to the exclusion of everything else.

William Godwin

But the watchful care of the parent is endless. The youth is never free from the danger of grating interference.

William Godwin

We cannot perform our tasks to the best of our power, unless we think well of our own capacity.

William Godwin

Revolution is engendered by an indignation with tyranny, yet is itself pregnant with tyranny.

William Godwin

In the two novels I have published, it was my fortune at different times, and from different persons, to hear the most unqualified censure long before it was possible for me to hear the voice of the public. But my temper was not altered, nor my courage subdued.

William Godwin

The most desirable state of mankind is that which maintains general security with the smallest encroachment upon individual independence.

William Godwin

No one can display or can cultivate a fervent zeal in the mere repetition of a form.

William Godwin

What can be more clear and sound in explanation, than the love of a parent to his child?

William Godwin

Innocence is not virtue. Virtue demands the active employment of an ardent mind in the promotion of the general good. No man can be eminently virtuous who is not accustomed to an extensive range of reflection.

William Godwin

Extraordinary circumstances often bring along with them extraordinary strength. No man knows, till the experiment, what he is capable of effecting.

William Godwin

I am now in the full maturity of my age and vigor of my mind. Persons of various descriptions have repeatedly solicited me to turn my mind to dramatical composition. It was, indeed, the first amusement of my thoughts in my school-boy cell.

William Godwin

Revolutions are the produce of passion, not of sober and tranquil reason.

William Godwin

While my mother lived, I always felt to a certain degree as if I had somebody who was my superior and who exercised a mysterious protection over me. I belonged to something – I hung to something – there is nothing that has so much reverence and religion in it as affection to parents.

William Godwin

The extent of our progress in the cultivation of knowledge is unlimited.

William Godwin