Reference > Quotations > C.N. Douglas, comp. > Forty Thousand Quotations > Primary Author Index
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
  A body may as well lay too little as too much stress upon a dream; but the less he heed them the better.  1
  A plodding diligence brings us sooner to our journey’s end than a fluttering way of advancing by starts.  2
  A universal applause is seldom less than two thirds of a scandal.  3
  All duties are matter of conscience, with this restriction that a superior obligation suspends the force of an inferior one.  4
  Avarice is insatiable, and is always pushing on for more.  5
  By one delay after another they spin out their whole lives, till there’s no more future left for them.  6
  Figure-flingers and star-gazers pretend to foretell the fortunes of kingdoms, and have no foresight in what concerns themselves.  7
  He that contemns a shrew to the degree of not descending to words with her does worse than beat her.  8
  He that upon a true principle lives, without any disquiet of thought, may be said to be happy.  9
  He that would live clear of envy must lay his finger on his mouth, and keep his hand out of the ink-pot.  10
  Humor is the offspring of man; it comes forth like Minerva, fully armed from the brain.  11
  If we should cease to be generous and charitable because another is sordid and ungrateful, it would be much in the power of vice to extinguish Christian virtues.  12
  Imperfections would not be half so much taken notice of, if vanity did not make proclamation of them.  13
  Ingratitude is abhorred by God and man.  14
  Intemperate wits will spare neither friend nor foe, and make themselves the common enemies of mankind.  15
  It is a way of calling a man a fool when no attention is given to what he says.  16
  It is one of the vexatious mortifications of a studious man to have his thoughts disordered by a tedious visit.  17
  It is the fancy, not the reason of things, that makes us so uneasy. It is not the place, nor the condition, but the mind alone, that can make anybody happy or miserable.  18
  It may serve as a comfort to us in all our calamities and afflictions that he that loses anything and gets wisdom by it is a gainer by the loss.  19
  Lord Melbourne was so accustomed to garnish his conversation in this way that Sydney Smith once said to him, “We will take it for granted that everybody is damned, and now proceed with the subject.”  20
  Men are not to be judged by their looks, habits, and appearances: but by the character of their lives and conversations, and by their works.  21
  Men indulge those opinions and practices that favor their pretensions.  22
  Men talk as if they believed in God, but they live as if they thought there was none; their vows and promises are no more than words, of course.  23
  Money does all things,—for it gives and it takes away; it makes honest men and knaves, fools and philosophers; and so forward, mutatis mutandis, to the end of the chapter.  24
  Much tongue and much judgment seldom go together.  25
  Nothing is so fierce but love will soften; nothing so sharp-sighted in other matters but it will throw a mist before its eyes.  26
  Partiality in a parent is unlucky; for fondlings are in danger to be made fools.  27
  Passions, as fire and water, are good servants, but bad masters, and subminister to the best and worst purposes.  28
  Pretences go a great way with men that take fair words and magisterial looks for current payment.  29
  Riches are gotten with pain, kept with care, and lost with grief. The cares of riches lie heavier upon a good man than the inconveniences of an honest poverty.  30
  So long as we stand in need of a benefit, there is nothing dearer to us; nor anything cheaper when we have received it.  31
  Some natures are so sour and ungrateful that they are never to be obliged.  32
  Some people are all quality; you would think they are made up of nothing but title and genealogy. The stamp of dignity defaces in them the very character of humanity and transports them to such a degree of haughtiness that they reckon it below themselves to exercise either good nature or good manners.  33
  Some read books only with a view to find fault, while others read only to be taught; the former are like venomous spiders, extracting a poisonous quality, where the latter like the bees, sip out a sweet and profitable juice.  34
  The blessings of fortune are the lowest; the next are the bodily advantages of strength and health; but the superlative blessings, in fine, are those of the mind.  35
  The common people do not judge of vice or virtue by morality or immorality, so much as by the stamp that is set upon it by men of figure.  36
  The fairest blossoms of pleasantry thrive best where the sun is not strong enough to scorch, nor the soil rank enough to corrupt.  37
  The greatest of all injustice is that which goes under the name of law; and of all sorts of tyranny the forcing the letter of the law against the equity is the most insupportable.  38
  The just season of doing things must be nicked, and all accidents improved.  39
  The lowest boor may laugh on being tickled, but a man must have intelligence to be amused by wit.  40
  The most insupportable of tyrants exclaim against the exercise of arbitrary power.  41
  The very soul of the slothful does effectually but lie drowsing in his body, and the whole man is totally given up to his senses.  42
  There are braying men in the world as well as braying asses; for what is loud and senseless talking and swearing any other than braying?  43
  There is no contending with necessity, and we should be very tender how we censure those that submit to it. It is one thing to be at liberty to do what we will, and another thing to be tied up to do what we must.  44
  There is no creature so contemptible but by resolution may gain his point.  45
  There is no opposing brutal force to the stratagems of human reason.  46
  There is not one grain in the universe, either too much or too little, nothing to be added, nothing to be spared; nor so much as any one particle of it, that mankind may not be either the better or the worse for, according as it is applied.  47
  ’Tis not necessity, but opinion, that makes men miserable; and when we come to be fancy-sick, there’s no cure.  48
  To be longing for this thing to-day and for that thing to-morrow; to change likings for loathings, and to stand wishing and hankering at a venture—how is it possible for any man to be at rest in this fluctuant, wandering humor and opinion?  49
  Tutors should behave reverently before their pupils.  50
  Unruly ambition is deaf, not only to the advice of friends, but to the counsels and monitions of reason itself.  51
  We mistake the gratuitous blessings of heaven for the fruits of our own industry.  52
  We spend our days in deliberating, and we end them without coming to any resolve.  53
  What man in his right senses, that has wherewithal to live free, would make himself a slave for superfluities? What does that man want who has enough? Or what is he the better for abundance that can never be satisfied.  54
  What signifies the sound of words in prayer without the affection of the heart, and a sedulous application of the proper means that may naturally lead us to such an end?  55
  When men will not be reasoned out of a vanity, they must be ridiculed out of it.  56
  Wickedness may prosper for a while.  57

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