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Charles Caleb Colton Quotes


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Some men of a secluded and studious life have sent forth from their closet or cloister rays of intellectual light that have agitated courts and revolutionized kingdoms; like the moon which, though far removed from the ocean and shining upon it with a serene and sober light, is the chief cause of all those ebbings and flowings which incessantly disturb that restless world of waters.
[Intelligence]
 

Some men possess means that are great, but fritter them away in the execution of conceptions that are little; others, who can form great conceptions, attempt to carry them into execution with little means. These two descriptions of men might succeed if united, but kept asunder, both fail. It is a rare thing to find a combination of great means and of great conceptions in one mind.
[Means]
 

Some read to think, these are rare; some to write, these are common; some to talk, and these are the great majority. - The first page of an author frequently suffices all the purposes of this latter class, of whom it has been said, they treat books, as some do lords, inform themselves of their titles, and then boast of an intimate acquaintance.
[Reading]
 

Some there are who profess to despise all flattery, but even these are, nevertheless, to be flattered, by being told that they do despise it.
[Flattery]
 

Speaking generally, no man appears great to his contemporaries, for the same reason that no man is great to his servants - both know too much of him.
[Greatness]
 

Subtlety will sometimes give safety, no less than strength; and minuteness has sometimes escaped, where magnitude would have been crushed. The little animal that kills the boa is formidable chiefly from its insignificance, which is incompressible by the folds of its antagonist.
[Subtlety]
 

Subtract from the great man all that he owes to opportunity, all that he owes to chance, and all that he has gained by the wisdom of his friends and the folly of his enemies, and the giant will often be seen to be a pigmy.
[Greatness]
 

Success seems to be that which forms the distinction between confidence and conceit.
[Success]
 

Suicide sometimes proceeds from cowardice, but not always; for cowardice sometimes prevents it; since as many live because they are afraid to die, as die because they are afraid to live.
[Suicide]
 

That alliance may be said to have a double tie, where the minds are united as well as the body, and the union will have all its strength, when both the links are in perfection together.
[Marriage]
 

That cowardice is incorrigible which the love of power cannot overcome.
[Courage]
 

That extremes beget extremes, is an apothegm built on the most profound observation of the human mind.
 

That smiling daughter of the storm.
 

That which we acquire with most difficulty we retain the longest; as those who have earned a fortune are commonly more careful of it than those by whom it may have been inherited.
 

That writer does the most who gives his reader the most knowledge and takes from him the least time.
 

The bed is a bundle of paradoxes: we go to it with reluctance, yet we quit it with regret; we make up our minds every night to leave it early, but we make up our bodies every morning to keep it late.
[Bed]
 

The benevolent have the advantage of the envious, even in this present life; for the envious man is tormented not only by all the ill that befalls himself, but by all the good that happens to another; whereas the benevolent man is the better prepared to bear his own calamities unruffled, from the complacency and serenity he has secured from contemplating the prosperity of all around him.
[Envy]
 

The consequences of things are not always proportionate to the apparent magnitude of those events that have produced them. Thus the American Revolution, from which little was expected, produced much; but the French Revolution, from which much was expected, produced little.
 

The drafts which true genius draws upon posterity, although they may not always be honored so soon as they are due, are sure to be paid with compound interest in the end.
[Genius]
 

The Due de Chartres used to say, that no man could less value character than himself, and yet he would gladly give twenty thousand pounds for a good character, because, he could, at once, make double that sum by it.
[Character]
 


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