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Charles Caleb Colton Quotes


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It is an easy and vulgar thing to please the mob, and not a very arduous task to astonish them; but to benefit and improve them is a work fraught with difficulty, and teeming with danger.
 

It is better to meet danger than to wait for it. He that is on a lee shore, and foresees a hurricane, stands out to sea and encounters a storm to avoid a shipwreck.
[Danger]
 

It is curious that we pay statesmen for what they say, not for what they do, and judge them from what they do, not from what they say. - Hence they have one code of maxims for professions, and another for practice, and make up their consciences as the Neapolitans do their beds, with one set of furniture for show, and another for use.
 

It is doubtful whether mankind are most indebted to those who like Bacon and Butler dig the gold from the mine of literature, or to those who, like Paley, purify it, stamp it, fix its real value, and give it currency and utility.
 

It is far more easy to acquire a fortune like a knave than to expend it like a gentleman.
[Wealth]
 

It is far more easy to pull down than to build up, and to destroy than to preserve. Revolutions have on this account been falsely supposed to be fertile of great talent; as the dregs rise to the top during a fermentation, and the lightest things are carried highest by the whirlwind.
[Revolution]
 

It is good to act as if. It is even better to grow to the point where it is no longer an act.
[Positive]
 

It is in love as in war, we are often more indebted for success to the weakness of the defence, than to the energy of the attack; for mere idleness has ruined more women than passion; vanity more than idleness, and credulity more than either.
[Love]
 

It is more easy to forgive the weak who have injured us, than the powerful whom we have injured. That conduct will be continued by our fears which commenced in our resentment. He that has gone so far as to cut the claws of the lion will not feel himself quite secure until he has also drawn his teeth.
[Forgiveness]
 

It is not every man that can afford to wear a shabby coat; and worldly wisdom dictates the propriety of dressing somewhat beyond one's means, but of living within them, for every one sees how we dress, but none see how we live unless we choose to let them.
 

It is not so difficult a task to plant new truths as to root out old errors; for there is this paradox in men, - they run after that which is new, but are prejudiced in favor of that which is old.
[Popularity]
 

It is not until we have passed through the furnace that we are made to know how much dross there is in our composition.
[Affliction]
 

It is only when the rich are sick that they fully feel the impotence of wealth.
[Wealth]
 

It is with antiquity as with ancestry, nations are proud of the one, and individuals of the other; but if they are nothing in themselves, that which is their pride ought to be their humiliation.
[Ancestry]
 

It is with disease of the mind, as with those of the body; we are half dead before we understand our disorder, and half cured when we do.
[Disease]
 

It is with nations as with individuals, those who know the least of others think the highest of themselves; for the whole family of pride and ignorance are incestuous, and mutually beget each other.
[Ignorance]
 

It was observed of the Jesuits, that they constantly inculcated a thorough contempt of worldly things in their doctrines, but eagerly grasped at them in their lives. They were wise in their generation, for they cried down worldly things, because they wanted to obtain them, and cried up spiritual things, because they wanted to dispose of them.
 

It would be most lamentable if the good things of this world were rendered either more valuable or more lasting; for, despicable as they already are, too many are found eager to purchase them, even at the price of their souls!
[World]
 

Justice to my readers compels me to admit that I write because I have nothing to do; justice to myself induces me to add that I will cease to write the moment I have nothing to say.
 

Kings and their subjects, masters and slaves, find a common level in two places - at the foot of the cross and in the grave.
[Equality]
 


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