Reference > Quotations > C.N. Douglas, comp. > Forty Thousand Quotations > Primary Author Index
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
Wendell Phillips
  As health lies in labor, and there is no royal road to it but through toil, so there is no republican road to safety but in constant distrust.  1
  As the Greek said, “Many men know how to flatter, few men know how to praise.”  2
  Baron Grimm declared that, as a rule, it was easy for little minds to attain splendid positions, because they devoted all their ability to the one object.  3
  Brains and character rule the world. The most distinguished Frenchman of the last century said: “Men succeed less by their talents than their character.” There were scores of men a hundred years ago who had more intellect than Washington. He outlives and overrides them all by the influence of his character.  4
  Christianity is a battle, not a dream.  5
  Civil war is a momentous evil.  *  *  *  Civil war needs momentous and solemn justification.  6
  Debt is the fatal disease of republics, the first thing and the mightiest to undermine government and corrupt the people.  7
  Difference of religion breeds more quarrels than difference of politics.  8
  Do not take the yardstick of your ignorance to measure what the ancients knew, and call everything which you do not know lies. Do not call things untrue because they are marvelous, but give them a fair consideration.  9
  Education is the only interest worthy the deep, controlling anxiety of the thoughtful man.  10
  Every man meets his Waterloo at last.  11
  Every step of progress which the world has made has been from scaffold to scaffold, and from stake to stake.  12
  Example acquires tenfold authority when it speaks from the grave.  13
  Exigencies create the necessary ability to meet and to conquer them.  14
  Experience is a safe light to walk by, and he is not a rash man who expects to succeed in future from the same means which have secured it in times past.  15
  God gives manhood but one clew to success,—utter and exact justice; that he guarantees shall be always expediency.  16
  Government arrogates to itself that it alone forms men.  *  *  *  Everybody knows that government never began anything. It is the whole world that thinks and governs.  17
  Government began in tyranny and force, began in the feudalism of the soldier and bigotry of the priest; and the ideas of justice and humanity have been fighting their way, like a thunderstorm, against the organized selfishness of human nature.  18
  Government is only a necessary evil, like other go-carts and crutches. Our need of it shows exactly how far we are still children. All governing overmuch kills the self-help and energy of the governed.  19
  Governments exist to protect the rights of minorities. The loved and the rich need no protection, they have many friends and few enemies.  20
  Great political questions stir the deepest nature of one-half the nation; but they pass far above and over the heads of the other half.  21
  Health lies in labor, and there is no royal road to it but through toil.  22
  Hearts are stronger than swords.  23
  It is but the littleness of man that seeth no greatness in trifles.  24
  Let me make the newspapers, and I care not what is preached in the pulpit or what is enacted in congress.  25
  Liberty knows nothing but victories. Soldiers call Bunker Hill a defeat; but liberty dates from it though Warren lay dead on the field.  26
  On a single winged word hath hung the destiny of nations.  27
  One on God’s side is a majority.  28
  Opinionated assurance.  29
  Ours is the age of thought; hearts are stronger than swords.  30
  Peace, if possible, but justice at any rate.  31
  Physical bravery is an animal instinct; moral bravery is a much higher and truer courage.  32
  Political convulsions, like geological upheavings, usher in new epochs of the world’s progress.  33
  Popular opinion is oftenest, what Carlyle pronounced it to be, a lie!  34
  Power is ever stealing from the many to the few.  35
  Responsibility educates, and politics is but another name for God’s way of teaching the masses ethics, under the responsibility of great present interests.  36
  Revolutions are not made, they come. A revolution is as natural a growth as an oak. It comes out of the past. Its foundations are laid far back.  37
  Right is the eternal sun; the world cannot delay its coming.  38
  Sin is not taken out of man, as Eve was out of Adam, by putting him to sleep.  39
  Society,—the only field where the sexes have ever met on terms of equality, the arena where character is formed and studied, the cradle and the realm of public opinion, the crucible of ideas, the world’s university, at once a school and a theater, the spur and the crown of ambition, the tribunal which unmasks pretension and stamps real merit, the power that gives government leave to be, and outruns the lazy Church in fixing the moral sense of the eye.  40
  The best education in the world is that got by struggling to get a living.  41
  The heart is the best logician.  42
  The keener the want, the lustier the growth.  43
  The manna of popular liberty must be gathered each day, or it is rotten. The living sap of to-day outgrows the dead rind of yesterday. The hand intrusted with power becomes, either from human depravity or esprit de corps, the necessary enemy of the people. Only by continual oversight can a Democrat in office be prevented from hardening into a despot; only by unintermitted agitation can a people be kept sufficiently awake to principle not to let liberty be smothered in material prosperity.  44
  The press is the exclusive literature of the million; to them it is literature, church, and college.  45
  The Puritan did not stop to think; he recognized God in his soul, and acted.  46
  The slowest of us cannot but admit that the world moves.  47
  There is no Canaan in politics. As health lies in labor, and there is no royal road to it but through toil, so there is no republican road to safety but in constant distrust.  48
  There is no republican road to safety but in constant distrust.  49
  There is nothing stronger than human prejudice, A crazy sentimentalism, like that of Peter the Hermit, hurled half of Europe upon Asia, and changed the destinies of kingdoms.  50
  To be as good as our fathers, we must be better. Imitation is not discipleship. When some one sent a cracked plate to China to have a set made, every piece in the new set had a crack in it.  51
  To be fossilized is to be stagnant, unprogressive, dead, frozen into a solid. It is only liquid currents of thought that move men and the world.  52
  Truth is one forever absolute, but opinion is truth filtered through the moods, the blood, the disposition of the spectator.  53
  Wants awaken intellect. To gratify them disciplines intellect. The keener the want the lustier the growth.  54
  War and Niagara thunder to a music of their own.  55
  We live under a government of men and morning newspapers.  56
  We measure genius by quality, not by quantity.  57
  What gunpowder did for war, the printing-press has done for the mind; and the statesman is no longer clad in the steel of special education, but every reading man is his judge.  58
  What is defeat? Nothing but education, nothing but the first step to something better.  59
  What is fanaticism to-day is the fashionable creed to-morrow, and trite as the multiplication table a week after.  60
  What the Puritans gave the world was not thought, but action.  61
  When Marmontel was regretting the excesses of the period, Chamfort asked: “Do you think that revolutions are made with rose-water?”  62
  Whether in chains or in laurels, liberty knows nothing but victories.  63
  With us law is nothing unless close behind it stands a warm, living public opinion.  64

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