Charles Caleb Colton

Charles Caleb

English Writer, Clergyman and Collector

Author Quotes

Ignorance is a blank sheet, on which we may write; but error is a scribbled one, on which we must first erase.

If you want enemies, excel others; if you want friends, let others excel you.

If you would take your possessions into the life to come, convert them into good deeds.

If the prodigal quits life in debt to others, the miser quiets is still deeper in debt to himself.

If rich, it is easy enough to conceal our wealth; but if poor, it is not quite so easy to conceal our poverty. We shall find that it is less difficult to hide a thousand guineas than one hole in our coat.

If sensuality be our only happiness, we ought to envy the brutes; for instinct is a surer, shorter, safer guide to such happiness than reason.

I have somewhere seen it observed that we should make the same use of a book that the bees does of a flower; she steals sweets from it, but does not injure it.

If it be true that men of strong imaginations are usually dogmatists - and I am inclined to think it is so - it ought to follow that men of weak imaginations are the refers; in which case we should have some compensation for stupidity. But it unfortunately happens that no dogmatist is more obstinate or less open to conviction than a fool.

How small a portion of our life it is that we really enjoy! In youth we are looking forward to things that are to come; in old age we are looking backward to things that are gone past; in manhood, although we appear indeed to be more occupied in things that are present, yet even that is too often absorbed in vague determinations to be vastly happy on some future day when we have time.

He who studies books alone will know how things ought to be, and he who studies men will know how they are

He that will not permit his wealth to do any good to others while he is living, prevents it from doing any good to himself when he is dead; and by an egotism that is suicidal and has a double edge, cuts himself from the truest pleasure here and the highest happiness hereafter.

He that will believe only what he can fully comprehend must have a long head or a very short creed.

He that thinks himself the wisest is generally the greatest fool.

He that sympathizes in all the happiness of others, perhaps himself enjoys the safest happiness; and he that is warned by the folly of others has perhaps attained the soundest wisdom.

He that shortens the road to knowledge, lengthens life.

He that studies only men, will get the body of knowledge without the soul; and he that studies only books, the soul without the body. He that to what he sees, adds observation, and to what he reads, reflection, is on the right road to knowledge, provided that in scrutinizing the hearts of others, he neglects not his own.

He that has never known adversity, is but half acquainted with others, or with himself. Constant success shows us but one side of the world. for, as it surrounds us with friends, who will tell us only our merits, so it silences those enemies from whom alone we can learn our defects.

Gross and vulgar minds will always pay a higher respect to wealth than to talent; for wealth, although it be a far less efficient sources of power than talent, happens to be far more intelligible.

Happiness, that grand mistress of the ceremonies in the dance of life, impels us through all its mazes and meanderings, but leads none of us by the same route.

Gambling is the child of avarice, but the parent of prodigality.

Great men often obtain their ends by means beyond the grasp of vulgar intellect, and even by methods diametrically opposite to those which the multitude would pursue. But, to effect this, bespeaks as profound a knowledge of mind as that philosopher evinced of matter, who first produced ice by the agency of heat

From its very inaction, idleness ultimately becomes the most active cause of evil; as a palsy is more to be dreaded than a fever. The Turks have a proverb, which says, "That the devil tempts all other men, but the idle men tempt the devil."

For what are the triumphs of war, planned by ambition, executed by violence, and consummated by devastation? The means are the sacrifice of many, the end, the bloated aggrandizement of the few.

Friendship often ends in love, but love in friendship never.

Falsehood is never so successful as when she baits her hook with truth, and no opinions so fatally mislead us, as those that are not wholly wrong; as no watches so effectually deceive the wearer as those that are sometimes right.

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Charles Caleb
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English Writer, Clergyman and Collector