Quotes by Charles Caleb Colton

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Charles Caleb Colton (1780 - 1832), was an English cleric, writer and collector, well known for his eccentricities.

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No man is wise enough, or good enough to be trusted with unlimited power.

Of all the marvelous works of God, perhaps the one angels view with the most supreme astonishment, is a proud man.
He that is good, will infallibly become better, and he that is bad, will as certainly become worse; for vice, virtue and time are three things that never stand still.
Men are born with two eyes, but with one tongue, in order that they should see twice as much as they say.
There is nothing more imprudent than excessive prudence.
The two most precious things this side of the grave are our reputation and our life. But it is to be lamented that the most contemptible whisper may deprive us of the one, and the weakest weapon of the other.
Many speak the truth when they say that they despise riches, but they mean the riches possessed by other men.
Secrecy is the soul of all great designs.
They that are loudest in their threats are the weakest in the execution of them. It is probable that he who is killed by lightning hears no noise; but the thunder-clap which follows, and which most alarms the ignorant, is the surest proof of their safety.
To know a man, observe how he wins his object, rather than how he loses it; for when we fail, our pride supports; when we succeed; it betrays us.
When we fail our pride supports us and when we succeed, it betrays us.
Law and equity are two things which God has joined, but which man has put asunder.
Where we cannot invent, we may at least improve.
Levity is often less foolish and gravity less wise than each of them appears.
Money is the most envied, but the least enjoyed. Health is the most enjoyed, but the least envied.
Happiness, that grand mistress of the ceremonies in the dance of life, impels us through all its mazes and meandering, but leads none of us by the same route
None are so fond of secrets as those who do not mean to keep them.
The drafts which true genius draws upon posterity, although they may not always be honored so soon as they are due, are sure to be paid with compound interest in the end.
Tyrants have not yet discovered any chains that can fetter the mind.
There are some frauds so well conducted that it would be stupidity not to be deceived by them.
We often pretend to fear what we really despise, and more often despise what we really fear.
Of present fame think little, and of future less; the praises that we receive after we are buried, like the flowers that are strewed over our grave, may be gratifying to the living, but they are nothing to the dead.
The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace, and the brightest thunderbolt is elicited from the darkest storm.
Commerce flourishes by circumstances, precarious, transitory, contingent, almost as the winds and waves that bring it to our shores.
It is with disease of the mind, as with those of the body; we are half dead before we understand our disorder, and half cured when we do.
When the frustration of my helplessness seemed greatest, I discovered God's grace was more than sufficient. And after my imprisonment, I could look back and see how God used my powerlessness for His purpose. What He has chosen for my most significant witness was not my triumphs or victories, but my defeat.
My lowest days as a Christian [and There Were Low Ones--Seven Months Worth Of Them In Prison, To Be Exact] have been more fulfilling and rewarding than all the days of glory in the White House.
Death is the liberator of him whom freedom cannot release, the physician of him whom medicine cannot cure, and the comforter of him whom time cannot console.
It is better to meet danger than to wait for it. He that is on a lee shore, and foresees a hurricane, stands out to sea and encounters a storm to avoid a shipwreck.
Reply to wit with gravity, and to gravity with wit.
Repartee is perfect when it effects its purpose with a double edge. It is the highest order of wit, as it indicates the coolest yet quickest exercise of genius, at a moment when the passions are roused.
When millions applaud you seriously ask yourself what harm you have done; and when they disapprove you, what good.
Did universal charity prevail, earth would be a heaven, and hell a fable.
Posthumous charities are the very essence of selfishness, when bequeathed by those who. when alive, would not have contributed.
Bigotry murders religion to frighten fools with her ghost.
In all societies, it is advisable to associate if possible with the highest; not that the highest are always the best, but because, if disgusted there, we can descend at any time; but if we begin with the lowest, to ascend is impossible.
It is the briefest yet wisest maxim which tells us to meddle not.
Applause is the spur of noble minds, the end and aim of weak ones.
Ambition makes the same mistake concerning power that avarice makes concerning wealth. She begins by accumulating power as a means to happiness, and she finishes by continuing to accumulate it as an end.
The excess of our youth are checks written against our age and they are payable with interest thirty years later.
We ask advice but we mean approbation.
It is only when the rich are sick that they fully feel the impotence of wealth.
Wealth after all is a relative thing since he that has little and wants less is richer than he that has much and wants more.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
To write what is worth publishing, to find honest people to publish it, and get sensible people to read it, are the three great difficulties in being an author.
The society of dead authors has this advantage over that of the living: they never flatter us to our faces, nor slander us behind our backs, nor intrude upon our privacy, nor quit their shelves until we take them down.
Justice to my readers compels me to admit that I write because I have nothing to do; justice to myself induces me to add that I will cease to write the moment I have nothing to say.