Reference > Quotations > C.N. Douglas, comp. > Forty Thousand Quotations > Primary Author Index
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
  A skeptical young man one day conversing with the celebrated Dr. Parr, observed that he would believe nothing which he could not understand. “Then, young man, your creed will be the shortest of any man’s I know.”  1
  All the other passions condescend at times to accept the inexorable logic of facts; but jealousy looks facts straight in the face, ignores them utterly, and says that she knows a great deal better than they can tell her.  2
  Always say a kind word if you can, if only that it may come in, perhaps, with singular opportuneness, entering some mournful man’s darkened room, like a beautiful firefly, whose happy circumvolutions he cannot but watch, forgetting his many troubles.  3
  Always win fools first. They talk much, and what they have once uttered they will stick to; whereas there is always time, up to the last moment, to bring before a wise man arguments that may entirely change his opinion.  4
  Any one who is much talked of must be much maligned. This seems to be a harsh conclusion; but when you consider how much more given men are to depreciate than to appreciate, you will acknowledge that there is some truth in the saying.  5
  Experience is the extract of suffering.  6
  If you would understand your own age, read the works of fiction produced in it. People in disguise speak freely.  7
  Infinite toil would not enable you to sweep away a mist; but by ascending a little, you may often look over it altogether. So it is with our moral improvement: we wrestle fiercely with a vicious habit, which could have no hold upon us if we ascended into a higher moral atmosphere.  8
  It has been said with some meaning that if men would but rest in silence, they might always hear the music of the spheres.  9
  It is better in some respects to be admired by those with whom you live, than to be loved by them; and this not on account of any gratification of vanity, but because admiration is so much more tolerant than love.  10
  It is in length of patience and endurance and forbearance that so much of what is good in mankind and womankind is shown.  11
  It takes a great man to make a good listener.  12
  Many a man has a kind of a kaleidoscope, where the bits of broken glass are his own merits and fortunes; and they fall into harmonious arrangements, and delight him, often most mischievously and to his ultimate detriment; but they are a present pleasure.  13
  Most terrors are but spectral illusions. Only have the courage of the man who could walk up to his spectre seated in the chair before him, and sit down upon it; the horrid thing will not partake the chair with you.  14
  No doubt hard work is a great police agent. If everybody were worked from morning till night, and then carefully locked up, the register of crime might be greatly diminished. But what would become of human nature? Where would be the room for growth in such a system of things? It is through sorrow and mirth, plenty and need, a variety of passions, circumstances, and temptations, even through sin and misery, that men’s natures are developed.  15
  No man, or woman, was ever cured of love by discovering the falseness of his or her lover. The living together for three long, rainy days in the country has done more to dispel love than all the perfidies in love that have ever been committed.  16
  Rare almost as great poets, rarer, perhaps, than veritable saints and martyrs, are consummate men of business. A man, to be excellent in this way, requires a great knowledge of character, with that exquisite tact which feels unerringly the right moment when to act. A discreet rapidity must pervade all the movements of his thought and action. He must be singularly free from vanity, and is generally found to be an enthusiast who has the art to conceal his enthusiasm.  17
  Selfishness, when it is punished by the world, is mostly punished because it is connected with egotism.  18
  Some persons, instead of making a religion for their God, are content to make a god of their religion.  19
  The greatest luxury of riches is that they enable you to escape so much good advice. The rich are always advising the poor; but the poor seldom venture to return the compliment.  20
  The heroic example of other days is in great part the source of the courage of each generation; and men walk up composedly to the most perilous enterprises, beckoned onward by the shades of the brave that were.  21
  The living together for three long, rainy days in the country has done more to dispel love than all the perfidies in love that have ever been committed.  22
  The man at the head of the house can mar the pleasure of the household, but he cannot make it; that must rest with the woman, and it is her great privilege.  23
  The man who could withstand, with his fellow-men in single line, a change of cavalry may lose all command of himself on the occurrence of a fire in to own house, because of some homely reminiscence unknown to the observing bystander.  24
  The measure of civilization in a people is to be found in its just appreciation of the wrongfulness of war.  25
  The most common-place people become highly imaginative when they are in a passion. Whole dramas of insult, injury and wrong pass before their minds,—efforts of creative genius, for there is sometimes not a fact to go upon.  26
  The most enthusiastic man in a cause is rarely chosen as a leader.  27
  The world will tolerate many vices, but not their diminutives.  28
  The worst use that can be made of success is to boast of it.  29
  There is hardly a more common error than that of taking the man who has but one talent for a genius.  30
  To hear always, to think always, to learn always, it is thus that we live truly. He who aspires to nothing, who learns nothing, is not worthy of living.  31
  Tolerance is the only real test of civilization.  32
  We are not so easily guided by our most prominent weaknesses as by those of which we are least aware.  33
  We are pleased with one who instantly assents to our opinions, but we love a proselyte.  34
  Wisdom is seldom gained without suffering.  35
  Wise sayings often fall on barren ground; but a kind word is never thrown away.  36

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