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Charles Caleb Colton Quotes


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Opinions, like showers, are generated in high places, but they invariably descend into lower ones, and ultimately flow down to the people, as rain unto the sea.
[Opinion]
 

Oratory is the huffing and blustering spoiled child of a semi-barbarous age. - The press is the foe of rhetoric, but the friend of reason; and the art of declamation has been sinking in value from the moment that speakers were foolish enough to publish, and readers wise enough to read.
[Oratory]
 

Our admiration of fine writing will always be in proportion to its real difficulty and its apparent ease.
 

Our incomes are like our shoes; if too small, they gall and pinch us; but if too large, they cause us to stumble and to trip.
[Money]
 

Our wealth is often a snare to ourselves, and always a temptation to others.
[Wealth]
 

Pain may be said to follow pleasure, as its shadow; but the misfortune is, that the substance belongs to the shadow, and the emptiness to its cause.
[Pain]
 

Patience is the support of weakness; impatience is the ruin of strength.
[Patience]
 

Peace is the evening star of the soul, as virtue is its sun; and the two are never far apart.
[Peace]
 

Pedantiy prides herself on being wrong by rules; while common sense is contented to be right without them. The former would rather stumble in following the dead, than walk upright by the profane assistance of the living.
 

Pedantry crams our heads with learned lumber, and takes out our brains to make room for it.
[Education]
 

Perhaps that is nearly the perfection of good writing which effects that for knowledge which the lens effects for the sunbeam when it condenses its brightness in order to increase its force.
[Style]
 

Pettifoggers in law, and empirics in medicine, whether their patients lose or save their property or their lives, take care to be, in either case, equally remunerated; they profit by both horns of the dilemma, and press defeat no less than success into their service. They hold, from time immemorial, the fee simple of a vast estate, subject to no alienation, diminution, revolution, or tax - the folly and ignorance of mankind.
 

Philosophy is a bully that talks very loud, when the danger is at a distance; but the moment she is hard pressed by the enemy, she is not to be found at her post, but leaves the brunt of the battle to be borne by her humbler but steadier comrade, religion.
[Philosophy]
 

Philosophy is a goddess, whose head indeed is in heaven, but whose feet are upon earth; she attempts more than she accomplishes, and promises more than she performs.
[Philosophy]
 

Philosophy is to poetry, what old age is to youth; and the stern truths of philosophy are as fatal to the fictions of the one, as the chilling testimonies of experience are to the hopes of the other.
[Philosophy]
 

Physical courage, which despises all danger, will make a man brave in one way; and moral courage, which despises all opinion, will make a man brave in another. The former would seem most necessary for the camp; the latter for the council; but to constitute a great man, both are necessary.
[Courage]
 

Pickpockets and beggars are the best practical physiognomists, without having read a line of Lavater, who, it is notorious, mistook a philosopher for a highwayman.
 

Pleasure is to woman what the sun is to the flower; if moderately enjoyed, it beautifies, refreshes and improves; but if immoderately, it withers, deteriorates and destroys.
[Pleasure]
 

Posthumous charities are the very essence of selfishness, when bequeathed by those who, when alive, would part with nothing.
[Charity]
 

Power will intoxicate the best hearts, as wine the strongest heads. No man is wise enough, nor good enough to be trusted with unlimited power.
[Power]
 


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