Reference > Quotations > C.N. Douglas, comp. > Forty Thousand Quotations > Primary Author Index
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
Jeremy Collier
  A man by tumbling his thoughts, and forming them into expressions, gives them a new fermentation, which works them into a finer body.  1
  A man that loves to be peevish and paramount, and to play the sovereign at every turn, does but blast the blessings of life, and swagger away his own enjoyments; and not to enlarge upon the folly, not to mention the injustice of such a behavior, it is always the sign of a little, unbenevolent temper. It is disease and discredit all over, and there is no more greatness in it, than in the swelling of a dropsy.  2
  As the language of the face is universal, so is it very comprehensive. No laconism can reach it. It is the short-hand of the mind, and crowds a great deal in a little room. A man may look a sentence as soon as speak a word. The strokes are small, but so masterly drawn that you may easily collect the image and proportions of what they resemble.  3
  Atheism is the result of ignorance and pride, of strong sense and feeble reasons, of good eating and ill living.  4
  Avoid all affectation and singularity. What is according to nature is best, and what is contrary to it is always distasteful. Nothing is graceful that is not our own.  5
  Books are a guide in youth, and an entertainment for age. They support us under solitude, and keep us from becoming a burden to ourselves. They help us to forget the crossness of men and things, compose our cares and our passions, and lay our disappointments asleep. When we are weary of the living, we may repair to the dead, who have nothing of peevishness, pride or design in their conversation.  6
  By reading a man does, as it were, antedate his life, and make himself contemporary with the ages past; and this way of running up beyond one’s nativity is better than Plato’s pre-existence.  7
  Confidence, as opposed to modesty and distinguished from decent assurance, proceeds from self-opinion, and is occasioned by ignorance and flattery.  8
  Conscience and covetousness are never to be reconciled; like fire and water they always destroy each other, according to the predominancy of the element.  9
  Dangerous principles impose upon our understanding, emasculate our spirits, and spoil our temper.  10
  Dependence goes somewhat against the grain of a generous mind; and it is no wonder that it should do so, considering the unreasonable advantage which is often taken of the inequality of fortune.  11
  Emulation is a handsome passion; it is enterprising, but just withal. It keeps a man within the terms of honor, and makes the contest for glory just and generous. He strives to excel, but it is by raising himself, not by depressing others.  12
  Envy is an ill-natured vice, and is made up of meanness and malice. It wishes the force of goodness to be strained, and the measure of happiness abated. It laments over prosperity, and sickens at the sight of health. It oftentimes wants spirit as well as good nature.  13
  Envy is of all others the most ungratifying and disconsolate passion. There is power for ambition, pleasure for luxury, and pelf even for covetousness; but envy gets no reward but vexation.  14
  Envy lies between two beings equal in nature, though unequal in circumstances.  15
  Envy, like a cold prison, benumbs and stupefies; and, conscious of its own impotence, folds its arms in despair.  16
  Every one has a fair turn to be as great as he pleases.  17
  Flattery is an ensnaring quality, and leaves a very dangerous impression. It swells a man’s imagination, entertains his vanity, and drives him to a doting upon his own person.  18
  Fortitude implies a firmness and strength of mind that enables us to do and suffer as we ought. It rises upon an opposition, and, like a river, swells the higher for having its course stopped.  19
  Goodness is generous and diffusive; it is largeness of mind, and sweetness of temper,—balsam in the blood, and justice sublimated to a richer spirit.  20
  He is compounded of two very different ingredients, spirit and matter; but how such unallied and disproportioned substances should act upon each other, no man’s learning yet could tell him.  21
  He that would be a master must draw from the life as well as copy from originals, and join theory and experience together.  22
  He that would relish success to a good purpose should keep his passions cool, and his expectations low; and then it is possible that his fortune might exceed his fancy; for an advantage always rises by surprise, and is almost always doubled by being unlooked for.  23
  Heroes are a mischievous race.  24
  Hope is a vigorous principle; it is furnished with light and heat to advise and execute; it sets the head and heart to work, and animates a man to do his utmost. And thus, by perpetually pushing and assurance, it puts a difficulty out of countenance, and makes a seeming impossibility give way.  25
  How are such an infinite number of things placed with such order in the memory, notwithstanding the tumult, marches, and counter-marches of the animal spirits?  26
  I would not despair unless I knew the irrevocable decree was passed; saw my misfortune recorded in the book of fate, and signed and sealed by necessity.  27
  Idleness is an inlet to disorder, and makes way for licentiousness. People that have nothing to do are quickly tired of their own company.  28
  Intemperance is a dangerous companion. It throws many people off their guard, betrays them to a great many indecencies, to ruinous passions, to disadvantages in fortune; makes them discover secrets, drive foolish bargains, engage in play, and often to stagger from the tavern to the stews.  29
  It is a difficult task to talk to the purpose, and to put life and perspicuity into our discourse.  30
  It were well if there were fewer heroes; for I scarcely ever heard of any, excepting Hercules, but did more mischief than good. These overgrown mortals commonly use their will with their right hand, and their reason with their left.  31
  Not that the moderns are born with more wit than their predecessors, but, finding the world better furnished at their coming into it, they have more leisure for new thoughts, more light to direct them, and more hints to work upon.  32
  Of all sorts of flattery, that which comes from a solemn character and stands before a sermon is the worst-complexioned. Such commendation is a satire upon the author, makes the text look mercenary, and disables the discourse from doing service.  33
  Passing too eagerly upon a provocation loses the guard and lays opens the body; calmness and leisure and deliberation do the business much better.  34
  Perpetual pushing and assurance put a difficulty out of countenance, and make a seeming impossibility give way.  35
  Prudence is a necessary ingredient in all the virtues, without which they degenerate into folly and excess.  36
  Remorse of conscience is like an old wound; a man is in no condition to fight under such circumstances. The pain abates his vigor and takes up too much of his attention.  37
  Rhetoric is nothing but reason well dressed and argument put in order.  38
  Self-conceit is a weighty quality, and will sometimes bring down the scale when there is nothing else in it. It magnifies a fault beyond proportion, and swells every omission into an outrage.  39
  Sloth is an inlet to disorder, and makes way for licentiousness. People that have nothing to do are quickly tired of their own company.  40
  Temperance keeps the senses clear and unembarrassed, and makes them seize the object with more keenness and satisfaction. It appears with life in the face, and decorum in the person; it gives you the command of your head, secures your health, and preserves you in a condition for business.  41
  The end of pleasure is to support the offices of life, to relieve the fatigues of business, to reward a regular action, and to encourage the continuance.  42
  The more we sink into the infirmities of age, the nearer we are to immortal youth. All people are young in the other world. That state is an eternal spring, ever fresh and flourishing. Now, to pass from midnight into noon on the sudden, to be decrepit one minute and all spirit and activity the next, must be a desirable change. To call this dying is an abuse of language.  43
  There are few things reason can discover with so much certainty and ease as its own insufficiency.  44
  Those who despise fame seldom deserve it. We are apt to undervalue the purchase we cannot reach, to conceal our poverty the better. It is a spark which kindles upon the best fuel, and burns brightest in the bravest breast.  45
  Thoughts take up no room. When they are right, they afford a portable pleasure, which one may travel with, without any trouble or encumbrance.  46
  To believe a business impossible is the way to make it so. How many feasible projects have miscarried through despondency, and been strangled in their birth by a cowardly imagination.  47
  True courage is the result of reasoning. A brave mind is always impregnable. Resolution lies more in the head than in the veins, and a just sense of honor and of infamy, of duty and of religion, will carry us farther than all the force of mechanism.  48
  Truth is the band of union and the basis of human happiness. Without this virtue there is no reliance upon language, no confidence in friendship, no security in promises and oaths.  49
  Vanity is a strong temptation to lying; it makes people magnify their merit, over flourish their family, and tell strange stories of their interest and acquaintance.  50
  We must not let go manifest truths because we cannot answer all questions about them.  51
  What can be more honorable than to have courage enough to execute the commands of reason and conscience,—to maintain the dignity of our nature, and the station assigned us?  52
  What sun is there within us that shoots his rays with so sudden a vigor? To see the soul flash in the face at this rate one would think would convert an atheist. By the way, we may observe that smiles are much more becoming than frowns. This seems a natural encouragement to good-humor; as much as to say, if people have a mind to be handsome, they must not be peevish and untoward.  53
  Without discretion, people may be overlaid with unreasonable affection, and choked with too much nourishment.  54
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors