Courage enlarges, cowardice diminishes resources. In desperate straits the fears of the timid aggravate the dangers that imperil the brave. For cowards the road of desertion should be left open. They will carry over to the enemy nothing but their fears. The poltroon, like the scabbard, is an encumbrance when once the sword is drawn.
The mean of true valor lies between the extremes of cowardice and rashness.
Optimism and self-pity are the positive and negative poles of modern cowardice.
Probably the most distinctive characteristic of the successful politician is selective cowardice.
He that will do anything for his pleasure, must engage himself to suffer all the pains annexed to it; and these pains, are the natural punishments of those actions, which are the beginning of more harm than good. And hereby it comes to pass that intemperance is naturally punished with diseases; rashness with mischances; injustice with the violence of enemies: Pride, with ruin; cowardice, with oppression; negligent government of princes, with rebellion; and rebellion, with slaughter.
In every mind where there is a strong tendency to fear there is a strong capacity to hate. Those who dwell in fear dwell next door to hate; and I think it is the cowardice of women which makes them such intense haters.
Exert your talents and distinguish yourself, and don’t think of retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire. I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drives into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl. Let him come out as I do, and bark.
Habitual cowardice usurps the soul.
A man who protects and hoards his life may lose it anyhow. Perhaps to protect it is to lose it in the most real sense of the word, for cowardice means spiritual death.
Compromise does not mean cowardice... Let us never negotiate out of fear; but let us never fear to negotiate.
Dishonesty, cowardice and duplicity are never impulsive.
Moaning over what cannot be helped is a confession of futility and fear, of emotional stagnation - in fact, of selfishness and cowardice. The best way to "snap out of it" is to stop thinking about yourself, and start thinking about other people. You can lighten your own load by doing something for someone else. By the simple device of doing an outward, unselfish act today, you can make the past recede. The present and future will again take on their true challenge and perspective.
Cowardice is the mother of cruelty.
The greatest of almsgivers is cowardice.
No one ever became immortal through cowardice.
There are several good protections against temptations, but the surest is cowardice.
The lie of fear is the refuge of cowardice, and the lie of fraud, the device of the cheat. The inequalities of men and the lust of acquisition are a constant premium of lying.
At the bottom of a good deal of bravery that appears in the world there lurks a miserable cowardice. Men will face powder and steel because they cannot face public opinion.
It is this unquiet self-love that renders us so sensitive. The sick man, who sleeps ill, thinks the night long. We exaggerate, from cowardice, all the evils which we encounter; they are great, but our sensibility increases them. The true way to bear them is to yield ourselves up with confidence to God.
Fear has its use, but cowardice has none. I may not put my finger into the jaws of a snake, but the very sight of the snake need not strike terror into me.