Opinion is like a pendulum and obeys the same law. If it goes past the centre of gravity on one side, it must go a like distance on the other; and it is only after a certain time that it finds the true point at which it an remain at rest.
New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.
Most people think everybody feels about them much more violently than they actually do — they think other people’s opinions of them swing through great arcs of approval or disapproval.
It is therefore worthwhile, to search out the bounds between opinion and knowledge, and examine by what measures, in things whereof we have no certain knowledge, we ought to regulate our assent, and moderate our persuasions.
It is particularly incumbent on those who never change their opinion, to be secure of judging properly at first.
It is not the struggle of opinions that has made history so turbulent; but the struggle of belief in opinions.
If you want to find out your real opinion of anyone, observe the impression made upon you by the first sight of a letter from him.
I have lived a great deal among grown-ups. I have seen them intimately, close at hand. And that hasn’t much improved my opinion of them.[translation by Katherine Woods]