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Charles Caleb Colton Quotes


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There is more jealousy between rival wits than rival beauties, for vanity has no sex. But in both cases there must be pretensions, or there will be no jealousy.
[Vanity]
 

There is nothing more imprudent than excessive prudence.
[Prudence]
 

There is this difference between happiness and wisdom: he that thinks himself the happiest man, really is so; but he that thinks himself the wisest, is generally the greatest fool.
[Happiness]
 

There is this difference between the two temporal blessings - health and money; money is the most envied, but the least enjoyed; health is the most enjoyed, but the least envied; and this superiority of the latter is still more obvious when we reflect that the poorest man would not part with health for money, but that the richest would gladly part with all his money for health.
[Health]
 

There is this good in real evils, - they deliver us, while they last, from the petty despotism of all that were imaginary.
 

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

They that are loudest in their threats are the weakest in the execution of them. - It is probable that he who is killed by lightning hears no noise; but the thunder-clap which follows, and which most alarms the ignorant, is the surest proof of their safety.
 

They who worship gold in a world so corrupt as this, have at least one thing to plead in defence of their idolatry - the power of their idol. - This idol can boast of two peculiarities; it is worshipped in all climates, without a single temple, and by all classes, without a single hypocrite.
[Gold]
 

Those that are the loudest in their threats are the weakest in the execution of them.
 

Those who have finished by making all others think with them, have usually been those who began by daring to think for themselves.
[Thought]
 

Those who visit foreign nations, but associate only with their own country-men, change their climate, but not their customs. They see new meridians, but the same men; and with heads as empty as their pockets, return home with traveled bodies, but untravelled minds.
[Bodies]
 

Though reason is progressive, instinct is stationary. Five thousand years have added no improvement to the hive of the bee, or the house of the beaver.
 

Time is the most undefinable yet paradoxical of things; the past is gone, the future has not come, and the present becomes the past even while we attempt to define it, and, like the flash of the lightning, at once exists and expires.
[Time]
 

Time, the cradle of hope, but the grave of ambition, is the stern corrector of fools, but the salutary counsellor of the wise, bringing all they dread to the one, and all they desire to the other; it warns us with a voice that even the sagest discredit too long, and the silliest believe too late. Wisdom walks before it, opportunity with it, and repentance behind it; he that has made it his friend will have little to fear from his enemies, but he that has made it his enemy will have little to hope from his friends.
[Time]
 

Times of general calamity and confusion have ever been productive of the greatest minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace, and the brightest thunderbolt is elicited from the darkest storms.
[Greatness]
 

To be a mere verbal critic is what no man of genius would be if he could; but to be a critic of true taste and feeling, is what no man without genius could be if he would.
[Critics]
 

To be happy is of far less consequence to the worshippers of fashion than to appear so; even pleasure itself they sacrifice to parade, and enjoyment to ostentation.
[Fashion]
 

To be obliged to beg our daily happiness from others bespeaks a more lamentable poverty than that of him who begs his daily bread.
[Happiness]
 

To commit the execution of a purpose to one who disapproves of the plan of it is to employ but one-third of the man; his heart and his head are against you, you have commanded only his hands.
[Will]
 

To cure us of our immoderate love of gain, we should seriously consider how many goods, there are that money will not purchase, and these the best; and how many evils there are that money will not remedy, and these the worst.
[Miser]
 


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