Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Owen Feltham

English Author, Author of book entitled, "Resolves, Divine, Moral and Political"

"All earthly delights are sweeter in expectation than enjoyment; abut all spiritual pleasures more in fruition than expectation."

"Contemplation is necessary to generate an object, but action must propagate it."

"Every man should study conciseness in speaking; it is a sing of ignorance not to know that long speeches, though they may please the speaker, are the torture of the hearer."

"Fear, if it be not immoderate, puts a guard about us that does watch and defend us; but credulity keeps us naked, and lays us open to all the sly assaults of ill-intending men: it was a virtue when man was in his innocence; but since his fall, it abuses those that own it."

"He that always waits upon God is ready whenever He calls. Neglect not to set your accounts even; he is a happy man who so lives as that death at all times may find him at leisure to die."

"Honesty is a warrant of far more safety than fame."

"I love the man that is modestly valiant; that stirs not till he most needs, and then to purpose. A continued patience I commend not."

"It often falls out, that the end of passion is the beginning of repentance."

"Knowledge is the treasure of the mind, but discretion is the key to it, without which it is useless. The practical part of wisdom is the best."

"No man can expect to find a friend without faults; nor can he propose himself to be so to another. Without reciprocal mildness and temperance there can be no continuance of friendship. Every man will have something to do for his friend, and something to bear with in him. The sober man only can do the first; and for the latter, patience is requisite. It is better for a man to depend on himself than to be annoyed with either a madman or a fool."

"Perfection is immutable. But for things imperfect, change is the way to perfect them. It gets the name of willfulness when it will not admit of a lawful change to the better. Therefore constancy without knowledge cannot be always good. In things ill it is not virtue, but an absolute vice."

"Pleasures can undo a man at any time, if yielded to."

"Praise has different effects, according to the mind it meets with; it makes a wise man modest, but a fool more arrogant, turning his weak brain giddy."

"Promises may get friends, but it is performance that must nurse and keep them."

"Riches, though they may reward virtues, yet they cannot cause them; he is much more noble who deserves a benefit than he who bestows one."

"Surely, if we considered detraction to be bred of envy, nested only in deficient minds, we should find that the applauding of virtue would win us far more honor than the seeking slyly to disparage it. That would show we loved what we commended, while this tells the world we grudge at what we want in ourselves."

"The greatest results in life are usually attained by simple means and the exercise of ordinary qualities. These for the most part be summed in these two - common sense and perseverance."

"There is no detraction worse than to over-praise a man, for if his worth proves short of what report doth speak of him, his own actions are ever giving the lie of his honor."

"There is no man but for his own interest hath an obligation to be honest. There may; be sometimes temptations to be otherwise; but, all cares cast up, he shall find it the greatest ease, the highest profit, the best pleasure, the most safety, and the noblest fame, to hold the horns of this altar, which in all assays, can in himself protect him."

"There is no one subsists by himself alone."

"Truth and fidelity are the pillars of the temple of the world; when these are broken,, the fabric falls, and crushes all to pieces."

"Vice is a peripatetic, always in progression."

"We pick our own sorrows out of the joys of other men, and from their sorrows likewise we derive our joys."

"Where there is plenty, charity is a duty, not a courtesy."

"Works without faith are like a fish without water, it wants the element it should live in. A building without a basis cannot stand; faith is the foundation, and every good action is as a stone laid."

"Discontent is like ink poured into water, which fills the whole fountain full of blackness. It casts over the mind, and renders it more occupied about the evil which disquiets than about the means of removing it."

"By gambling [gaming] we lose both our time and treasure, two things most precious to the life of man."

"He who always waits upon God, is ready whensoever he calls. He is a happy man who so lives that death at all times may find him at leisure to die."

"A talkative fellow may be compared to an unbraced drum, which beats a wise man out of his wits. Loquacity is ever running, and almost incurable."

"It is not fit that every man should travel; it makes a wise man better, and a fool worse."

"Meditation is the soul's perspective glass."

"Negligence is the rust of the soul, that corrodes through all her best resolves."

"Perfection is immutable. But for things imperfect, change is the way to perfect them."

"Prayer should be the key of the morning and the lock of the night."

"Zeal without humanity is like a ship without a rudder, liable to be stranded at any moment."

"The end of passion is the beginning of repentance."

"A consciousness of inward knowledge gives confidence to the outward behavior, which, of all things, is the best to grace a man in his carriage."

"A coward's fear can make a coward valiant."

"A sentence well couched takes both the sense and the understanding. - I love not those cart-rope speeches that are longer than the memory of man can measure."

"God has made no one absolute. - The rich depend on the poor, as well as the poor on the rich. - The world is but a magnificent building; all the stones are gradually cemented together. - No one subsists by himself alone."

"Gold is the fool's curtain, which hides all his defects from the world."

"He hath a poor spirit who is not planted above petty wrongs."

"He that despairs degrades the Deity, and seems to intimate that he is insufficient, or not just to his word; in vain hath he read the Scriptures, the world, and man."

"He who would be singular in his apparel had need have something superlative to balance that affectation."

"Discontents are sometimes the better part of our life. - I know not which is the most useful. - Joy I may choose for pleasure; but adversities are the best for profit; and sometimes these do so far help me, that I should, without them, want much of the joy I have."

"All men will be Peters in their bragging tongue, and most men will be Peters in their base denial; but few men will be Peters in their quick repentance."

"If we considered detraction to be bred of envy, and nested only in deficient minds, we should find that the applauding of virtue would win us far more honor than seeking to disparage it. - That would show we loved what we commended, while this tells the world we grudge at what we want ourselves."

"In some dispositions there is such an envious kind of pride that they cannot endure that any but themselves should be set forth for excellent; so that when they hear one justly praised, they will either seek to dismount his virtues, or, if they be like a clear light, they will stab him with a "but" of detraction."

"In things that may have a double sense, it is good to think the better was intended; so shall we still both keep our friends and quietness."

"Irresolution is a worse vice than rashness. He that shoots best may sometimes miss the mark; but he that shoots not at all can never hit it. Irresolution loosens all the joints of a state; like an ague, it shakes not this nor that limb, but all the body is at once in a fit. The irresolute man is lifted from one place to another; so hatcheth nothing, but addles all his actions."