Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Censure

"All censure of a man’s self is oblique praise." - James Boswell

"We communicate happiness to others not often by great acts of devotion and self-sacrifice, but by the absence of fault-finding and censure, by being ready to sympathize with their notions and feelings, instead of forcing them to sympathize with ours." - William Newton Clarke

"The censure of those that are opposed to us is the nicest commendation that can be given us." - Charles de Saint-Évremond, fully Charles Marguetel de Saint-Denis, seigneur de Évremond

"Affectation proceeds from one of these two causes - vanity or hypocrisy; for as vanity puts us on affecting false characters, in order to purchase applause; so hypocrisy sets us on an endeavor to avoid censure, by concealing our vices under an appearance of their opposite virtues." - Henry Fielding

"We should not be too hasty in bestowing either our praise or censure on mankind, since we shall often find such a mixture of good and evil in the same character, that it may require a very accurate judgment and a very elaborate inquiry to determine on which side the balance turns." - Henry Fielding

"Correction does much, but encouragement does more. Encouragement after censure is as the sun after a shower." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"All censure of a man's self is oblique praise." -

"It is salutary to train oneself to be no more affected by censure than by praise." -

"Neither human applause nor human censure is to be taken as the test of truth; but either should set us upon testing ourselves." - Richard Whately

"He is the greater friend whose censure heals than he whose flattery anoints the head." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"Most of our censure of others is only oblique praise of self, uttered to show the wisdom and superiority of the speaker. It has all the invidiousness of self-praise, and all the ill-desert of falsehood." - Tyron Edwards

"It is harder to avoid censure than to gain applause; for this may be done by one great or wise action in an age. But to escape censure a man must pass his whole life without saying or doing one ill or foolish thing." - David Hume

"All censure of a man's self is oblique praise. It is in order to show how much he can spare. It has all the invidiousness of self-praise, and all the reproach of falsehood." -

"It is easy for a man who sits idle at home, and has nobody to please but himself, to ridicule or censure the common practices of mankind." -

"The death of censure is the death of genius." - William Gilmore Simms

"Every violent reform deserves censure, for it quite fails to remedy evil while men remain what they are, and also because wisdom needs no violence." -

"All our distinctions are accidental; beauty and deformity, though personal qualities, are neither entitled to praise nor censure; yet it is so happens that they color our opinion of those qualities to which mankind have attached responsibility." - Johann Georg Ritter von Zimmermann

"No man can justly censure or condemn another, because indeed no man truly knows another… No man can judge another, because no man knows himself." -

"Censure is often useful, praise often deceitful." - Winston Churchill, fully Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill

"He who unreservedly accepts whatever God may give him in this world – humiliation, trouble, and trial from within or from without – has made a great step towards self-victory; he will not dread praise or censure, he will not be sensitive; or if he finds himself wincing, he will deal so cavalierly with his sensitiveness that it will soon die away. Such full resignation and unfeigned acquiescence is true liberty, and hence arises perfect simplicity." -

"If there should be any [persons], who though ignorant in Mathematics, yet pretending a skill in those Learnings, should dare, upon the authority of some place of Scripture wrested to their purpose, to condemn and censure my Hypothesis, I value them not, but shall slight their inconsiderate judgment." - Nicholas Copernicus

"If we regulate our conduct according to our own convictions, we may safely disregard the praise or censure of others." - Blaise Pascal

"It has been shrewdly said that when men abuse us, we should suspect ourselves, and when they praise us, them. It is a rare instance of virtue to despise censure which we do not deserve, and still more rare to despise praise, which we do. But that integrity that lives only on opinion would starve without it." - Charles Caleb Colton

"Censure is often useful, praise often deceitful." - Charles Churchill

"The readiest and surest way to get rid of censure, is to correct ourselves." - Demosthenes NULL

"Few persons have sufficient wisdom to prefer censure which is useful to them to praise which deceives them." - François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt

"It is folly for an eminent man to think of escaping censure, and a weakness to be affected with it. All the illustrious persons of antiquity, and indeed of every age in the world, have passed through this fiery persecution." - Joseph Addison

"Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of the rest or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance... Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change the world that yields most painfully to change." - Robert Kennedy, fully Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy

"Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is one essential vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change." - Robert Kennedy, fully Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy

"Slander, in the strict meaning of the term, comes under the head of lying; but it is a kind of lying which, like its antithesis flattery, ought to be set apart for special censure." - Washington Gladden

"Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice; take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. Hamlet Prince of Denmark (Polonius at I, iii)" -

"Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment." -

"Give thy thoughts no tongue, nor any unproportioned thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar... Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice. Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment... This above all: To thine own self be true; and it must follow, as the night the day. Thou canst not then be false to any man. Hamlet Prince of Denmark (Polonius at I, iii)" -

"No might nor greatness in mortality can censure ‘scape; back-wounding calumny the whitest virtue strikes. What king so strong can tie the gall up in the slanderous tongue?" -

"Every violent reform deserves censure, for it quite fails to remedy evil while men remain what they are, and also because wisdom needs no violence." -

"Religious discord has lost her sting; the cumbrous weapons of theological warfare are antiquated: the field of politics supplies the alchymists of our times with materials of more fatal explosion, and the butchers of mankind no longer travel to another world for instruments of cruelty and destruction. Our age is too enlightened to contend upon topics, which concern only the interests of eternity; and men who hold in proper contempt all controversies about trifles, except such as inflame their own passions, have made it a common-place censure against your ancestors, that their zeal was enkindled by subjects of trivial importance; and that however aggrieved by the intolerance of others, they were alike intolerant themselves." - John Quincy Adams

"If you should escape the censure of others, hope not to escape your own." -

"There is nothing more difficult, than to please all People, not more easie and common than to censure Books that come abroad in the World. All Books, without exception, that see the light, run the common Risk of both these inconveniences, though they may be sheltered under the most sublime Protection, what will become of this little Book then, which hath no Patronage? The Subject whereof being mystical, and not well-seasoned; carries along with it the common censure, and will seem insipid? Kind Reader, if you understand it not, be not therefore apt to censure the same. The Natural Man may hear and read these Spiritual Matters, but he can never comprehend them." - Miguel de Molinos

"In a drama of the highest order there is little food for censure or hatred; it teaches rather self-knowledge and self-respect." - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"Mankind censure injustice fearing that they may be the victims of it, and not because they shrink from committing it." - Plato NULL

"Those that are at peace in their own consciences will be peaceable towards others. A busy, contentious, quarrelsome disposition, argues that it never felt peace from God, and though many men think it commendable to censure the infirmities of others, yet it argues their own weakness; for it is a sign of strength, where we see in men anything good, to bear with their weakness." - Richard Sibbes (or Sibbs)

"The censure of frequent and long parentheses has led writers into the preposterous expedient of leaving out the marks by which they are indicated. It is no cure to a lame man to take away his crutches." - Richard Whately

"All censure of a man's self is oblique praise. It is in order to show how much he can spare." - Robertson Davies

"Only the grave will cure the hunchback." - Russian Proverbs

"I know that there may be several men who have charged the American Federation of Labor . . . to be against what they are pleased to call industrial unionism or the one big union, and I would venture to say that when they . . . consider this proposition outside of our union [Cigar Makers International Union] then they are industrialists; but when there is a proposal to open our doors and go into the highways and byways and organize these men and women against whom literally we are closing our doors, it is opposed." - Samuel Gompers

"All envy is proportionate to desire; we are uneasy at the attainments of another, according as we think our own happiness would be advanced by the addition of that which he withhold from us; and therefore whatever depresses immoderate wishes, will, at the same time, set the heart free from the corrosion of envy, and exempt us from that vice which is, above most others, tormenting to ourselves, hateful to the world, and productive of mean artifices and sordid projects." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"Disappointment, when it involves neither shame nor loss, is as good as success; for it supplies as many images to the mind, and as many topics to the tongue." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"It is foolish to make experiments upon the constancy of a friend, as upon the chastity of a wife." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"There is what I call the American idea. I so name it, because it seems to me to lie at the basis of all our truly original, distinctive, and American institutions. It is itself a complex idea, composed of three subordinate and more simple ideas, namely: The idea that all men have unalienable rights; that in respect thereof, all men are created equal; and that government is to be established and sustained for the purpose of giving every man an opportunity for the enjoyment and development of all these unalienable rights. This idea demands, as the proximate organization thereof, a democracy, that is, a government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people; of course, a government after the principles of eternal justice, the unchanging law of God; for shortness' sake, I will call it the idea of Freedom." - Theodore Parker

"One of our defects as a nation is a tendency to use what have been called weasel words. When a weasel sucks eggs the meat is sucked out of the egg. If you use a weasel word after another there is nothing left of the other." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt