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Charles Caleb Colton Quotes


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The mob is a monster, with the hand of Briareus, but the head of Polyphemus, strong to execute, but blind to perceive.
 

The more gross the fraud the more glibly will it go down, and the more greedily be swallowed, since folly will always find faith where impostors will find impudence.
 

The more we know of history, the less shall we esteem the subjects of it; and to despise our species is the price we must too often pay for our knowledge of it.
[History]
 

The plainest man that can convince a woman that he is really in love with her, has done more to make her in love with him than the handsomest man, if he can produce no such conviction. For the love of woman is a shoot, not a seed, and flourishes most vigorously only when ingrafted on that love which is rooted in the breast of another.
[Love]
 

The present time has one advantage over every other - it is our own.
 

The press is the foe of rhetoric, but the friend of reason.
[Press]
 

The profoundly wise do not declaim against superficial knowledge in others, so much as the profoundly ignorant; on the contrary, they would rather assist it with their advice than overwhelm it with their contempt; for they know that there was a period when even a Bacon or a Newton were superficial, and that he who has a little knowledge is far more likely to get more than he that has none.
[Knowledge]
 

The proportion of those who think is extremely small; yet every individual flatters himself that he is one of the number.
 

The public has more interest in the punishment of an injury than the one who receives it.
[Injury]
 

The reason why great men meet with so little pity or attachment in adversity, would seem to be this: the friends of a great man were made by his fortune, his enemies by himself, and revenge is a much more punctual paymaster than gratitude.
[Greatness]
 

The sceptic, in a vain attempt to be wise beyond what is permitted to man, plunges into a darkness more deplorable, and a blindness more incurable than that of the common herd, whom he despises, and would fain instruct. When he plunges into the depths of infidelity, like the miser who leaps from the shipwreck, he will find that the treasures he bears about him will only sink him the deeper in the abyss.
 

The science of legislation is like that of medicine in one respect, viz.: that it is far more easy to point out what will do harm, than what will do good.
[Law]
 

The seeds of repentance are sown in youth by pleasure, but the harvest is reaped in age by suffering.
[Pleasure]
 

The slightest sorrow for sin is sufficient if it produce amendment, and the greatest insufficient if it do not.
[Repentance]
 

The society of dead authors has this advantage over that of the living: they never flatter us to our faces, nor slander us behind our backs, nor intrude upon our privacy, nor quit their shelves until we take them down.
[Books]
 

The soundest argument will produce no more conviction in an empty head than the most superficial declamation; a feather and a guinea fall with equal velocity in a vacuum.
[Argument]
 

The study of mathematics, like the Nile, begins in minuteness but ends in magnificence.
 

The sun should not set on our anger; neither should it rise on our confidence. - We should forgive freely, but forget rarely. - I will not be revenged; this I owe to my enemy. - I will remember; this I owe to myself.
[Forgiveness]
 

The three great apostles of practical atheism that make converts without persecuting, and retain them without preaching, are health, wealth, and power.
[Atheism]
 

The true motives of our actions, like the real pipes of an organ, are usually concealed; but the gilded and hollow pretext is pompously placed in the front for show.
[Motives]
 


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