Reference > Quotations > S. Austin Allibone, comp. > Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay
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S. Austin Allibone, comp.  Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay.  1880.
 
Owen Felltham
 
  It is proper that alms should come out of a little purse, as well as out of a great sack; but surely where there is plenty, charity is a duty, not a courtesy: it is a tribute imposed by Heaven upon us, and he is not a good subject who refuses to pay it.
Owen Felltham.    
  1
 
  He that always waits upon God is ready whensoever He calls. Neglect not to set your accounts: he is a happy man who so lives as that death at all times may find him at leisure to die.
Owen Felltham.    
  2
 
  He that despairs, degrades the Deity, and seems to intimate that He is insufficient, or not just to His word; and in vain hath read the Scriptures, the world, and man.
Owen Felltham.    
  3
 
  That man is but of the lower part of the world that is not brought up to business and affairs.
Owen Felltham.    
  4
 
  In some unlucky dispositions there is such an envious kind of pride that they cannot endure that any but themselves should be set forth for excellent: so when they hear one justly praised, they will either seek to dismount his virtues; or, if they be like a clear night, eminent, they will stab him with a but of detraction: as if there were something yet so foul as did obnubilate even his brightest glory. Thus, when their tongue cannot justly condemn him, they will leave him in suspected ill, by silence. 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 honour 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.
Owen Felltham.    
  5
 
  The noblest part of a friend is an honest boldness in the notifying of errors. He that tells me of a fault, aiming at my good, I must think him wise and faithful: wise, in spying that which I see not; faithful, in a plain admonishment, not tainted with flattery.
Owen Felltham.    
  6
 
  Comparison, more than reality, makes men happy, and can make them wretched.
Owen Felltham.    
  7
 
  Human life hath not a surer friend, nor many times a greater enemy, than hope. ’Tis the miserable man’s god, which, in the hardest gripe of calamity, never fails to yield him beams of comfort. ’Tis the presumptuous man’s devil, which leads him awhile in a smooth way, and then makes him break his neck on the sudden. Hope is to man as a bladder to a learning swimmer,—it keeps him from sinking in the bosom of the waves, and by that help he may attain the exercise; but yet it many times makes him venture beyond his height, and then, if that breaks, or a storm rises, he drowns without recovery. How many would die, did not hope sustain them! How many have died by hoping too much! This wonder we may find in hope, that she is both a flatterer and a true friend.
Owen Felltham.    
  8
 
  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.
Owen Felltham.    
  9
 
  Laws were made to restrain and punish the wicked: the wise and good do not need them as a guide, but only as a shield against rapine and oppression: they can live civilly and orderly though there were no law in the world.
Owen Felltham.    
  10
 
  To go to law is for two persons to kindle a fire at their own cost to warm others, and singe themselves to cinders; and because they cannot agree as to what is truth and equity, they will both agree to unplume themselves, that others may be decorated with their feathers.
Owen Felltham.    
  11
 
  Men are like wine; not good before the lees of clownishness be settled.
Owen Felltham.    
  12
 
  When philosophy has gone so far as she is able, she arrives at Almightiness, and in that labyrinth is lost; where not knowing the way, she goes on by guess, and cannot tell whether she is right or wrong; and like a petty river is swallowed up in the boundless ocean of Omnipotency.
Owen Felltham.    
  13
 
  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.
Owen Felltham.    
  14
 
  One thing pride has which no other vice that I know of has; it is an enemy to itself; and a proud man cannot endure to see pride in another.
Owen Felltham.    
  15
 
 
 
  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 fathom.
Owen Felltham.    
  16
 
  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 a stone laid.
Owen Felltham.    
  17
 
  Meditation is the soul’s perspective glass; whereby, in her long remove, she discerneth God as if he were nearer hand. I persuade no man to make it his whole life’s business. We have bodies as well as souls; and even this world, while we are in it, ought somewhat to be cared for. As those states are likely to flourish where execution follows sound advisements, so is man when contemplation is seconded by action.
Owen Felltham: Resolves.    
  18
 
  Should we hear a continued oration upon such a subject as the stage treats on, in such words as we hear some sermons, I am confident it would not only be far more tedious, but nauseous and contemptful.
Owen Felltham: Resolves.    
  19
 
 
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