English Writer, Clergyman and Collector
Charles Caleb Colton
English Writer, Clergyman and Collector
Faults of the head are punished in this world, those of the heart in another; but as most of our vices are compound, so also is their punishment.
Expect not praise without envy until you are dead. Honors bestowed on the illustrious dead have in them no admixture of envy; for the living pity the dead; and pity and envy, like oil and vinegar, assimilate not.
Emulation looks out for merits, that she may exalt herself by victory; envy spies out blemishes, that she may lower another by defeat.
Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared, for the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man can answer.
Emulation looks out for merits, that she may exalt herself by a victory; envy spies out blemishes, that she may lower another by a defeat.
Early rising not only gives us more life in the same number of years, but adds, likewise, to their number; and not only enables us to enjoy more the existence in the same time, but increases also in measure.
Doubt is the vestibule which all must pass before they can enter the temple of wisdom. When we are in doubt and puzzle out the truth by our own exertions, we have gained something that will stay by us and will serve us again. But if to avoid the trouble of the search we avail ourselves of the superior information of a friend, such knowledge will not remain with us; we have not bought, but borrowed it.
Custom is the law of one description of fools and fashion of another; but the two parties often clash; for precedent is the legislator of the first, and novelty of the last.
Death is the liberator of him whom freedom cannot release; the physician of him whom medicine cannot cure; the comforter of him whom time cannot console.
Conversation is the music of the mind, an intellectual orchestra, where all the instruments should bear a part, but where none should play together. Each of the performers should have a just appreciation of his own powers, otherwise an unskillful novice who might usurp the first fiddle, would infallibly get into a scrape. To prevent these mistakes, a good master of the band will be very particular in the assortment of the performers; if too dissimilar, there will be no harmony, if too few, there will be no variety; and, if too numerous, there will be no order, for the presumption of one prater, might silence the eloquence of a Burke, or the wit of a Sheridan, as a single kettle-drum would drown the finest solo of a Gionowich or a Jordini.
Augur said, " Give me neither poverty or riches"' and this will ever be the prayer of the wise. Our incomes should be like our shoes: if too small, they will gall and pinch us, but if too large, they will cause us to stumble and to trip. But wealth, after all, is a relative thing, since he that has little, and wants less, is richer than he that has much, but wants more.
By reading, we enjoy the dead; by conversation, the living; and by contemplation, ourselves. Reading enriches the memory, conversation polishes the wit; and contemplation improves the judgment. Of these, reading is the most important, as it furnishes both the others.
As the grand discordant harmony of the celestial bodies may be explained by the simple principles of gravity and impulse, so also in that more wonderful and complicated microcosm the heart of man, all the phenomena of morals are perhaps resolvable into one single principle, the pursuit of apparent good; for although customs universally vary, yet man in all climates and countries is essentially the same.
As no roads are so rough as those that have just been mended, so no sinners are so intolerant as those that have just turned saints.
Applause is the spur of noble minds, the end and aim of the weak ones.
Anguish of mind has driven thousands to suicide; anguish of body, none. This proves that the health of the mind is of far more consequence to our happiness than the health of the body, although both are deserving of much more attention than either receives.
Anger is practical awkwardness.
An act by which we make one friend and one enemy is a losing game; because revenge is a much stronger principle than gratitude.
Ambition makes the same mistake concerning power that avarice makes concerning wealth. She begins by accumulating power as a mean to happiness, and she finishes by continuing to accumulate it as an end.
Ambition is to the mind what the cap is to the falcon; it blinds us first and then compels us to tower, by reason of our blindness. But alas! when we are at the summit of a vain ambition, we are also at the depth of misery.
All poets pretend to write for immortality, but the whole tribe have no objection to present pay and present praise.
A man who knows the world will not only make the most of everything he does know, but of many things he does not know, and will gain more credit by his adroit mode of hiding his ignorance than the pedant by his awkward attempt to exhibit his erudition.
True friendship is like sound health, the value of it is seldom known until it be lost.