Reference > Quotations > C.N. Douglas, comp. > Forty Thousand Quotations > Primary Author Index
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
  A friend whom you have been gaining during your whole life, you ought not to be displeased with in a moment. A stone is many years becoming a ruby; take care that you do not destroy it in an instant against another stone.  1
  A handsome woman is a jewel; a good woman is a treasure.  2
  A little, and a little, collected together become a great deal; the heap in the barn consists of single grains, and drop and drop from an inundation.  3
  A man of virtue, judgment, and prudence speaks not until there is silence.  4
  A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.  5
  A wise man in the company of those who are ignorant has been compared by the sages to a beautiful girl in the company of blind men.  6
  Any enemy to whom you show kindness becomes your friend, excepting lust, the indulgence of which increases its enmity.  7
  Avoid that which an enemy tells you to do; for if you follow his advice, you will smite your knees with the hand of sorrow. If he shows you a road straight as an arrow, turn from it and go the other way.  8
  Be generous, and pleasant-tempered, and forgiving; even as God scatters favors over thee, do thou scatter over the people.  9
  Be not in the desire of thine own ease.  10
  But for the cravings of the belly not a bird would have fallen into the snare; nay, nay, the fowler would not have spread his net. The belly is chains to the hands and fetters to the feet. He who is a slave to his belly seldom worships God.  11
  Capacity without education is deplorable, and education without capacity is thrown away.  12
  Fear not the proud and the haughty; fear rather him who fears God.  13
  Forgiveness is commendable, but apply not ointment to the wound of an oppressor.  14
  God gives sleep to the bad, in order that the good may be undisturbed.  15
  God preserve us! If men knew what is done in secret, no one would be free from the interference of others.  16
  Great God, have pity on the wicked, for thou didst everything for the good, when thou madest them good!  17
  He who learns and makes no use of his learning, is a beast of burden, with a load of books. Comprehendeth the ass whether he carries on his back a library or a bundle of fagots?  18
  He who learns the rules of wisdom, without conforming to them in his life, is like a man who labored in his fields, but did not sow.  19
  He who, when he hath the power, doeth not good, when he loses the means will suffer distress. There is not a more unfortunate wretch than the oppressor; for in the day of adversity nobody is his friend.  20
  Hunger is a cloud out of which falls a rain of eloquence and knowledge; when the belly is empty, the body becomes spirit; when it is full, the spirit becomes body.  21
  I fear God, and nest to God I chiefly fear him who fears Him not.  22
  I have often found a small stream at its fountain-head, that, when followed up, carried away the camel with his load.  23
  If thou art of elephant-strength or of lion-claw, still peace is, in my opinion, better than strife.  24
  If thou art wise, incline to truth; for truth, not the semblance, remains in its place.  25
  If wisdom was to cease throughout the world, no one would suspect himself of ignorance.  26
  Improve time in the present; for opportunity is precious, and time is a sword.  27
  Inflict not on an enemy every injury in your power, for he may afterwards become your friend.  28
  It is better to break off a thousand friendships, than to endure the sight of a single enemy.  29
  It is safer to be silent than to reveal one’s secret to any one, and telling him not to mention it.  30
  Liberty is of more value than any gifts; and to receive gifts is to lose it. Be assured that men most commonly seek to oblige thee only that they may engage thee to serve them.  31
  Man is, beyond dispute, the most excellent of created beings, and the vilest animal is a dog; but the sages agree that a grateful dog is better than an ungrateful man.  32
  No one ever sowed the grain of generosity who gathered not up the harvest of the desire of his heart.  33
  O Contentment, make me rich! for without thee there is no wealth.  34
  Obedience insures greatness, whilst disobedience leads to a repulse. Whosoever possesseth the qualities of righteousness placeth his head on the threshold of obedience.  35
  Obedience is not truly performed by the body of him whose heart is dissatisfied. The shell without a kernel is not fit for store.  36
  Oppose kindness to perverseness. The heavy sword will not cut soft silk; by using sweet words and gentleness you may lead an elephant with a hair.  37
  Poverty snatches the reins out of the hand of piety.  38
  Publish not men’s secret faults, for by disgracing them you make yourself of no repute.  39
  Religion is only in the service of the people; it is not in the rosary and the prayer-carpet.  40
  Riches are for the comfort of life, and not life for the accumulation of riches. I asked a holy wise man, “Who is fortunate and who is unfortunate?” He replied: “He was fortunate who ate and sowed, and he was unfortunate who died without having enjoyed.”  41
  Shut the door of that house of pleasure which you hear resounding with the loud voice of a woman.  42
  Stones and sticks are thrown only at fruit-bearing trees.  43
  Take care how you listen to the voice of the flatterer, who, in return for his little stock, expects to derive from you considerable advantage. If one day you do not comply with his wishes, he imputes to you two hundred defects instead of perfections.  44
  Take care what you say before a wall, as you cannot tell who may be behind it.  45
  That knave preserves the pearl in his purse who considers all people purse-cuts.  46
  That which is not allotted the hand cannot reach, and what is allotted will find you wherever you may be.  47
  The bad fortune of the good turns their faces up to heaven; and the good fortune of the bad bows their heads down to the earth.  48
  The beloved of the Almighty are the rich who have the humility of the poor, and the poor who have the magnanimity of the rich.  49
  The bird alighteth not on the spread net when it beholds another bird in the snare. Take warning by the misfortunes of others, that others may not take example from you.  50
  The covetous man explores the whole world in pursuit of a subsistence, and fate is close at his heels.  51
  The heart is like a musical instrument of many strings, all the chords of which require putting in harmony.  52
  The rose and the thorn, sorrow and gladness, are linked together.  53
  The sea does not contain all the pearls, the earth does not enclose all the treasures, and the flint-stone does not inclose all the diamonds, since the head of man encloses wisdom.  54
  The true disciple should aim to live for the gospel, rather than to die for it.  55
  The wise main tells not what he knows. It is not prudent to sport with one’s head by revealing the king’s secrets.  56
  They ask Lucman, the fabulist, From whom did you learn manners? He answered: From the unmannerly.  57
  To tell a falsehood is like the cut of a sabre; for though the wound may heal, the scar of it will remain.  58
  To use the hands in making quicklime into mortar is better than to cross them on the breast in attendance on a prince.  59
  Virtue is in the mind, not in the appearance.  60
  Virtue pardons the wicked, as the sandal-tree perfumes the axe which strikes it.  61
  When a man appreciates only eating and sleeping, what excellence has he over the reptiles?  62
  When a mean wretch cannot vie with another in virtue, out of his wickedness he begins to slander. The abject envious wretch will slander the virtuous man when absent, but when brought face to face his loquacious tongue becomes dumb.  63
  When the ruler is obedient to God, God is his protector and friend.  64
  When thou seest thine enemy in trouble, curl not thy whiskers in contempt; for in every bone there is marrow, and within every jacket there is a man.  65
  When you see discord amongst the troops of your enemy, be of good courage; but if they are united, then be upon your guard. When you see contention amongst your enemies, go and sit at ease with your friends; but when you see them of one mind, string your bow, and place stones upon the ramparts.  66
  Whenever you argue with another wiser than yourself, in order that others may admire your wisdom, they will discover your ignorance. When one imagines a discourse better than yourself, although you may be fully informed, yet do not start objections.  67
  Where the hand of tyranny is long we do not see the lips of men open with laughter.  68
  Wherever the tree of beneficence takes root, it sends forth branches beyond the sky!  69
  Whosoever formeth an intimacy with the enemies of his friends, does so to injure the latter. O wise man! wash your hands of that friend who associates with your enemies.  70

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