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Charles Caleb Colton Quotes


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The truly great consider first, how they may gain the approbation of God; and secondly, that of their own conscience; having done this, they would then willingly conciliate the good opinion of their fellowmen.
[Greatness]
 

The two most precious things this side of the grave are our reputation and our life. But it is to be lamented that the most contemptible whisper may deprive us of the one, and the weakest weapon of the other.
[Reputation]
 

The upright man, if he suffer calumny to move him, fears the tongue of man more than the eye of God.
[Calumny]
 

The victims of ennui paralyze all the grosser feelings by excess, and torpify all the finer by disuse and inactivity. Disgusted with this world and indifferent about another, they at last lay violent hands upon themselves, and assume no small credit for the sangfroid with which they meet death. But alas! such beings can scarcely be said to die, for they have never truly lived.
 

The wise man has his follies no less than the fool; but herein lies the difference - the follies of the fool are known to the world, but are hidden from himself; the follies of the wise man are known to himself, but hidden from the world.
[Folly]
 

The wisest man may be wiser today than he was yesterday, and tomorrow than he is today. Total freedom from change would imply total freedom from error; but this is the prerogative of Omniscience alone.
[Progress]
 

The young fancy that their follies are mistaken by the old for happiness; and the old fancy that their gravity is mistaken by the young for wisdom.
 

There are circumstances of peculiar difficulty and danger, where a mediocrity of talent is the most fatal quality that a man can possibly possess. Had Charles the First, and Louis the Sixteenth, been more wise or more weak, more firm or more yielding, in either case they had both of them saved their heads.
[Mediocrity]
 

There are many that despise half the world; but if there be any that despise the whole of it, it is because the other half despises them.
[World]
 

There are many things that are thorns to our hopes until we have attained them, and envenomed arrows to our hearts when we have.
 

There are some frauds so well conducted that it would be stupidity not to be deceived by them.
 

There are three difficulties in authorship: to write anything worth publishing, to find honest men to publish it, and to find sensible men to read it.
[Writers And Writing]
 

There are three modes of bearing the ills of life: by indifference, which is the most common; by philosophy, which is the most ostentatious; and by religion, which is the most effectual.
[Adversity]
 

There are too many who reverse both the principles and the practice of the apostle; they become all things to all men, not to serve others, but themselves; and they try all things only to hold fast that which is bad.
[Selfishness]
 

There are two metals, one of which is omnipotent in the cabinet, and the other in the camp, - gold and iron. He that knows how to apply them both, may indeed attain the highest station, but he must know something more to keep it.
[Gold]
 

There are two things that declare, as with a voice from heaven, that he that fills that eternal throne must be on the side of virtue, and that which he befriends must finally prosper and prevail. The first is that the bad are never completely happy and at ease, although possessed of everything that this world can bestow; and that the good are never completely miserable, although deprived of everything that this world can take away. The second is that we are so framed and constituted that the most vicious cannot but pay a secret though unwilling homage to virtue, inasmuch as the worst men cannot bring themselves thoroughly to esteem a bad man, although he may be their dearest friend, nor can they thoroughly despise a good man, although he may be their bitterest enemy.
[Virtue]
 

There are two way of establishing a reputation, one to be praised by honest people and the other to be accused by rogues. It is best, however, to secure the first one, because it will always be accompanied by the latter.
[Reputation]
 

There is a diabolical trio existing in the natural man, implacable, inextinguishable, cooperative and consentaneous, pride, envy, and hate; pride that makes us fancy we deserve all the goods that others possess; envy that some should be admired while we are overlooked; and hate, because all that is bestowed on others, diminishes the sum we think due to ourselves.
[Pride]
 

There is a paradox in pride: it makes some men ridiculous, but prevents others from becoming so.
[Pride]
 

There is but one pursuit in life which it is in the power of all to follow, and of all to attain. It is subject to no disappointments, since he that perseveres makes every difficulty an advancement, and every conquest a victory and this is the pursuit of virtue. Sincerely to aspire after virtue is to gain her; and zealously to labor after her ways is to receive them.
[Virtue]
 


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