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.
 
Jeremy Collier
 
  A resemblance of humour and opinion, a fancy for the same business or diversion, is a ground of affection.
Jeremy Collier.    
  1
 
  Providence gives us notice by sensible declensions, that we may disengage from the world by degrees.
Jeremy Collier.    
  2
 
  An atheist, if you take his word for it, is a very despicable mortal. Let us describe him by his tenet, and copy him a little from his own original. He is, then, no better than a heap of organized dust, a stalking machine, a speaking head without a soul in it. His thoughts are bound by the laws of motion, his actions are all prescribed. He has no more liberty than the current of a stream or the blast of a tempest; and where there is no choice there can be no merit.
Jeremy Collier.    
  3
 
  Atheism is the result of ignorance and pride; of strong sense and feeble reasons; of good eating and ill living.  4
  It is the plague of society, the corrupter of manners, and the underminer of property.
Jeremy Collier.    
  5
 
  Reasons of things are rather to be taken by weight than tale.
Jeremy Collier.    
  6
 
  A graceful presence bespeaks acceptance, gives a force to language, and helps to convince by look and posture.
Jeremy Collier.    
  7
 
  A kind imagination makes a bold man have vigour and enterprise in his air and motion: it stamps value upon his face, and tells the people he is to go for so much.
Jeremy Collier.    
  8
 
  Books are a guide in youth, and an entertainment for age. They support us under solitude, and keep us from becoming a burden to ourselves. They help us to forget the crossness of men and things, compose our cares and our passions, and lay our disappointments asleep. When we are weary of the living we may repair to the dead, who have nothing of peevishness, pride, or design in their conversation.
Jeremy Collier.    
  9
 
  A man by tumbling his thoughts and forming them into expressions gives them a new kind of fermentation; which works them into a finer body, and makes them much clearer than they were before.
Jeremy Collier.    
  10
 
  Confidence, as opposed to modesty, and distinguished from decent assurance, proceeds from self-opinion, occasioned by ignorance and flattery.
Jeremy Collier.    
  11
 
  He that would live at ease should always put the best construction on business and conversation.
Jeremy Collier.    
  12
 
  The advantage of conversation is such that, for want of company, a man had better talk to a post than let his thoughts lie smoking and smothering.
Jeremy Collier.    
  13
 
  The more we sink into the infirmities of age, the nearer we are to immortal youth. All people are young in the other world. That state is an eternal spring, ever fresh and flourishing. Now, to pass from midnight into noon on the sudden; to be decrepit one minute and all spirit and activity the next, must be a desirable change. To call this dying is an abuse of language.
Jeremy Collier.    
  14
 
  Despair makes a despicable figure, and is descended from a mean original. It is the offspring of fear, laziness, and impatience. It argues a defect of spirit and resolution, and oftentimes of honesty too. After all, the exercise of this passion is so troublesome, that nothing but dint of evidence and demonstration should force it upon us. I would not despair unless I knew the irrevocable decree was passed, I saw my misfortune recorded in the book of fate, and signed and sealed by necessity.
Jeremy Collier.    
  15
 
 
 
  Congreve and the author of The Relapse being the principals in the dispute, I satisfy them; as for the volunteers, they will find themselves affected with the misfortune of their friends.
Jeremy Collier.    
  16
 
  Who would be at the trouble of learning, when he finds his ignorance is caressed? But when you browbeat and maul them you make them men: for though they have no natural mettle, yet if they are spurred and kicked they will mend their pace.
Jeremy Collier.    
  17
 
  Envy is an ill-natured vice, and is made up of meanness and malice. It wishes the force of goodness to be strained, and the measure of happiness abated. It laments our prosperity, and sickens at the sight of health. It oftentimes wants spirit as well as good nature.
Jeremy Collier.    
  18
 
  Envy lies between beings equal in nature, though unequal in circumstances.
Jeremy Collier.    
  19
 
  When two start into the world together, he that is thrown behind, unless his mind proves generous, will be displeased with the other.
Jeremy Collier.    
  20
 
  To see a hated person superior, and to lie under the anguish of a disadvantage, is far enough from diversion.
Jeremy Collier.    
  21
 
  He that has his own troubles and the happiness of his neighbours to disturb him has work enough.
Jeremy Collier.    
  22
 
  Envy, like a cold poison, benumbs and stupefies; and, conscious of its own impotence, folds its arms in despair.
Jeremy Collier.    
  23
 
  Ease must be impracticable to the envious: they lie under a double misfortune; common calamities and common blessings fall heavily upon them.
Jeremy Collier.    
  24
 
  Is it possible to conceive that the overflowing generousness of the divine nature would create immortal beings with mean or envious principles?
Jeremy Collier.    
  25
 
  Flattery is an ensnaring quality, and leaves a very dangerous impression. It swells a man’s imagination, entertains his fancy, and drives him to a doting upon his own person.
Jeremy Collier.    
  26
 
  A man that is fit to make a friend of, must have conduct to manage the engagement, and resolution to maintain it. He must use freedom without roughness, and oblige without design. Cowardice will betray friendship, and covetousness will starve it. Folly will be nauseous, passion is apt to ruffle, and pride will fly out into contumely and neglect.
Jeremy Collier.    
  27
 
  Disparity in age seems a greater obstacle to an intimate friendship than inequality of fortune.
Jeremy Collier.    
  28
 
  A friend who relates his success talks himself into a new pleasure, and by opening his misfortunes leaves part of them behind him.
Jeremy Collier.    
  29
 
  An ambiguous expression, a little chagrin, or a start of passion, is not enough to take leave upon.
Jeremy Collier.    
  30
 
  A great man is affable in his converse, generous in his temper, and immovable in what he has maturely resolved upon; and as prosperity does not make him haughty and imperious, so neither does adversity sink him into meanness and dejection; for if ever he shows more spirit than ordinary, it is when he is ill-used and the world frowns upon him; in short, he is equally removed from the extremes of servility and pride, and scorns either to trample upon a worm or sneak to an emperor.
Jeremy Collier.    
  31
 
  Hope throws a generous contempt upon ill usage, and looks like a handsome defiance of a misfortune; as who should say, You are somewhat troublesome now, but I shall conquer you.
Jeremy Collier.    
  32
 
  Humility does not make us servile nor insensible, nor oblige us to be ridden at the pleasure of every coxcomb.
Jeremy Collier.    
  33
 
  Just thoughts and modest expectations are easily satisfied. If we don’t overrate our pretensions all will be well.
Jeremy Collier.    
  34
 
  Intemperance is a dangerous companion. It throws people off their guard; betrays them to a great many indecencies, to ruinous passions, to disadvantages in fortune; makes them discover secrets, drive foolish bargains, engage in play.
Jeremy Collier.    
  35
 
  Those who made laws had their minds above the vulgar: and yet unaccountably the public constitutions of nations vary.
Jeremy Collier.    
  36
 
  If his cure lies among the lawyers, let nothing be said against entangling property, spinning out causes, squeezing clients, and making the laws a greater grievance than those who break them.
Jeremy Collier.    
  37
 
  If sense and learning are such unsociable imperial things, he ought to keep down the growth of his reason, and curb his intellectuals.
Jeremy Collier.    
  38
 
  The advantages of life will not hold out to the length of desire; and since they are not big enough to satisfy, they should not be big enough to dissatisfy.
Jeremy Collier.    
  39
 
  Without letters a man can never be qualified for any considerable post in the camp: for courage and corporal force, unless joined with conduct, the usual effects of contemplation, are no more fit to command than a tempest.
Jeremy Collier.    
  40
 
  He is compounded of two very different ingredients, spirit and matter; but how such unallied and disproportioned substances should act upon each other, no man’s learning yet could tell him.
Jeremy Collier.    
  41
 
  Pleasures of the mind are more at command than those of the body. A man may think of a handsome performance, or of a notion that pleases him, at his leisure. This entertainment is ready with little warning or expense; a short recollection brings it upon the stage, brightens the idea, and makes it shine as much as when it was first stamped upon the memory.
Jeremy Collier.    
  42
 
  Every one has a fair turn to be as great as he pleases.
Jeremy Collier.    
  43
 
  He that would be a master must draw by the life as well as copy from originals, and join theory and experience together.
Jeremy Collier.    
  44
 
  Perpetual pushing and assurance put a difficulty out of countenance, and make a seeming impossibility give way.
Jeremy Collier.    
  45
 
  As the language of the face is universal, so ’tis very comprehensive: no laconism can reach it: ’tis the short-hand of the mind, and crowds a great deal in a little room.
Jeremy Collier.    
  46
 
  People’s opinions of themselves are legible in their countenances. Thus a kind imagination makes a bold man have vigour and enterprise in his air and motion: it stamps value and significancy upon his face.
Jeremy Collier.    
  47
 
  Power is that glorious attribute of God Almighty which furnishes the rest of His perfections. ’Tis His omnipotence that makes His wisdom and goodness effectual, and succeed to the length of His will. Thus, His decrees are immutable, and His counsels stand; this secures His prerogative, and guards the sovereignty of His being; ’twas His power which made His ideas fruitful, and struck the world out of His thought. ’Twas this which answered the model of the creation, gave birth to time and nature, and brought them forth at His first call: thus, He spake the word, and they were made; He commanded, and they were created. ’Tis the divine power which is the basis of all things; which continues the vigour of the second causes, and keeps the sun and moon in repair. This holds everything constant to appointment, and true to the first plan: thus the revolutions of the seasons, the support of animals, the perpetuity of species, is carried on and maintained. Without this, things would soon riot, and ramble out of distinction; the succours of life would be cut off, and nature drop into decay. Omniscience and goodness without a correspondent power would be strangely short of satisfaction: to know everything without being able to supply defects and remedy disorders, must prove an unpleasant speculation; to see so many noble schemes languish in the mind and prove abortive, to see the most consummate wisdom, the most generous temper, fettered and disarmed, must be a grievance: but when omnipotence comes into the notion, the grandeur is perfect and the pleasure entire.
Jeremy Collier.    
  48
 
  How fast does obscurity, flatness, and impertinency flow in upon our meditations! ’Tis a difficult thing to talk to the purpose, and to put life and perspicuity into our discourses.
Jeremy Collier.    
  49
 
  Pride is so unsociable a vice, and does all things with so ill a grace, that there is no closing with it. A proud man will be sure to challenge more than belongs to him. You must expect him stiff in his conversation, fulsome in commending himself, and bitter in his reproofs.
Jeremy Collier.    
  50
 
  There is art in pride: a man might as soon learn a trade. Those who were not brought up to it seldom prove their craftsmaster.
Jeremy Collier.    
  51
 
  Dangerous principles impose upon our understandings, emasculate our spirits, and spoil our temper.
Jeremy Collier.    
  52
 
  By reading a man does (as it were) antedate his life, and make himself contemporary with the ages past; and this way of running up beyond one’s nativity is better than Plato’s pre-existence.
Jeremy Collier.    
  53
 
  A man may as well expect to grow stronger by always eating as wiser by always reading. Too much overcharges nature, and turns more into disease than nourishment.
Jeremy Collier.    
  54
 
  There are few things reason can discover with so much certainty and ease as its own insufficiency.
Jeremy Collier.    
  55
 
  Remorse of conscience is like an old wound; a man is under no condition to fight under such circumstances. The pain abates his vigour, and takes up too much of his attention.
Jeremy Collier.    
  56
 
  Self-pride is the common friend of our humanity, and, like the bell of our church, is resorted to on all occasions: it ministers alike to our festivals or our fasts, our merriment or our mourning, our weal or our woe.
Jeremy Collier.    
  57
 
  He that would relish success to purpose should keep his passion cool, and his expectation low.
Jeremy Collier.    
  58
 
  Self-preservation, the long acquaintance of soul and body, the untried condition of a separation, are sufficient reasons not to turn our backs upon life out of an humour.
Jeremy Collier.    
  59
 
  It is a difficult task to talk to the purpose, and to put life and perspicuity into our discourses.
Jeremy Collier.    
  60
 
  A man by tumbling his thoughts, and forming them into expressions, gives them a new fermentation, which works them into a finer body.
Jeremy Collier.    
  61
 
  We must not let go manifest truths because we cannot answer all questions about them.
Jeremy Collier.    
  62
 
  When words are restrained by common usage to a particular sense, to run up to etymology, and construe them by dictionary, is wretchedly ridiculous.
Jeremy Collier.    
  63
 
  To the young if you give any tolerable quarter, you indulge them in your idleness, and ruin them.
Jeremy Collier.    
  64
 
  What can be more honourable than to have courage enough to execute the commands of reason and conscience; to maintain the dignity of our nature, and the station assigned us; to be proof against poverty, pain, and death itself; I mean so far as not to do anything that is scandalous or sinful to avoid them: to stand adversity under all shapes with decency and resolution! To do this, is to be great above title and fortune. This argues the soul of a heavenly extraction, and is worthy the offspring of the Deity.
Jeremy Collier: Essays: On Fortitude.    
  65
 
  He that would live at ease should always put the best construction on business and conversation.
Jeremy Collier: On the Spleen.    
  66
 
  How are such an infinite number of things placed with such order in the memory, notwithstanding the tumult, marches, and countermarches of the animal spirits?
Jeremy Collier: On Thought.    
  67
 
 
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