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Charles Caleb Colton Quotes

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Men are born with two eyes, but only one tongue, in order that they should see twice as much as they say.

Men may have the gifts both of talent and of wit, but unless they have also prudence and judgment to dictate when, where, and the how those gifts are to be exerted, the possessors of them will conquer only where nothing is to be gained, and be defeated where everything is to be lost; they will be outdone by men of less brilliant, but more convertible qualifications, and whose strength, in one point, is not counterbalanced by any disproportion in another.

Men of strong minds and who think for themselves, should not be discouraged on finding occasionally that some of their best ideas have been anticipated by former writers; they will neither anathematize others nor despair themselves. They will rather go on discovering things before discovered, until they are rewarded with a land hitherto unknown, an empire indisputably their own, both by right of conquest and of discovery.

Men pursue riches under the idea that their possession will set them at ease and above the world. But the law of association often makes those who begin by loving gold as a servant, finish by becoming its slaves; and independence without wealth is at least as common as wealth without independence.

Men spend their lives in anticipation, in determining to be vastly happy at some period when they have time. But the present time has one advantage over every other-it is our own.... We may lay in a stock of pleasures, as we would lay in a stock of wine; but if we defer the tasting of them too long, we shall find that both are soured by age.

Men will wrangle for religion, write for it, fight for it, die for it, anything but live for it.

Men's arguments often prove nothing but their wishes.

Men, by associating in large masses, as in camps and cities, improve their talents but impair their virtues; and strengthen their minds, but weaken their morals; thus a retrocession in the one, is too often the price they pay for a refinement of the other.

Mental pleasures never cloy; unlike those of the body, they are increased by repetition, approved by reflection, and strengthened by enjoyment.

Metaphysicians have been learning their lesson for the last four thousand years; and it is now high time that they should begin to teach us something: Can any of the tribe inform us why all the operations of the mind are carried on with undiminished strength and activity in dreams, except the judgment, which alone is suspended and dormant?

Milton neither aspired to present fame, nor even expected it. - His high ambition was (to use his own words), "To leave something so written, to after ages, that they should not willingly let it die." - And Cato finally observed, he would much rather posterity should ask why no statues were erected to him, than why they were.

Moderation is the inseparable companion of wisdom, but with it genius has not even a nodding acquaintance.

Most females will forgive a liberty, rather than a slight; and if any woman were to hang a man for stealing her picture, although it were set in gold, it would be a new case in law; but if he carried off the setting, and left the portrait, I would not answer for his safety.

Most of our misfortunes are more supportable than the comments of our friends upon them.

Most plagiarists, like the drone, have not the taste to select, the industry to acquire, nor the skill to improve, but impudently pilfer the honey ready prepared, from the hive.

Much may be done in those little shreds and patches of time, which every day produces, and which most men throw away, but which nevertheless will make at the end of it no small deduction from the life of man.
[One Day]

Murmur at nothing: if our ills are irreparable, it is ungrateful; if remediless, it is vain. A Christian builds his fortitude on a better foundation than stoicism; he is pleased with everything that happens, because he knows it could not happen unless it had first pleased God and that which pleases Him must be the best.

Mystery is not profoundness.

Mystery magnifies danger, as a fog the sun; the hand that warned Belshazzar derived its horrifying influence from the want of a body.

Neutrality is no favorite with Providence, for we are so formed that it is scarcely possible for us to stand neuter in our hearts, although we may deem it prudent to appear so in our actions.

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