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On obstinacy

   An obstinate man does not hold opinions, but they hold him; for 
   when he is once possessed with an error it is like a devil, 
   only cast out with great difficulty.  Whatsoever he lays hold 
   of, like a drowning man, he never loses, though it do but help 
   to sink him the sooner.  His ignorance is abrupt and 
   inaccessible, impregnable both by art and nature, and will hold 
   out to the last, though it has nothing but rubbish to defend. 

   Obstinacy is will asserting itself without being able to 
   justify itself.  It is persistence without a reasonable 
   motive.  It is the tenacity of self-love substituted for that 
   of reason and conscience. 


   Obstinacy and contradiction are like a paper kite: they are 
   only kept up so long as you pull against them. 

   Obstinacy is the strength of the weak.  Firmness founded upon 
   principle, upon truth and right, order and law, duty and 
   generosity, is the obstinacy of sages. 


   Obstinacy and vehemency of opinion are the surest proofs of 


   Obstinacy and heat in argument are surest proofs of folly.  Is 
   there anything so stubborn, obstinate, disdainful, 
   contemplative, grave, or serious, as an ass?

   Obstinacy is ever most positive when most in the wrong. 

                                        Mad. Necker 

   Obstinacy and contention are common qualities, most appearing 
   in, and best becoming, a mean and illiterate soul.

   There are few, very few, who will own themselves in a mistake.

   The slighter and more inconsistent the opinions of the 
   obstinate man are, the faster he holds to them, otherwise they 
   would fall apart of themselves: for opinions that are false he 
   holds with more strictness and assurance than those that are 
   true.   He is resolved to understand no man's reason but his 
   own, because he finds no man can understand his but himself.    
   His opinions are like plants that grow upon rocks, that stick 
   fast, though they have no rooting. 


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