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Charles Caleb Colton Quotes

Liberation: The Spiritual way of not giving a f*ck

Some men of a secluded and studious life, have sent forth from their closet or their cloister, rays of intellectual light that have agitated courts, and revolutionized kingdoms; like the moon, that far removed from the ocean, and shining upon it with a serene and sober light, is the chief cause of all those ebbings and flowings which incessantly disturb that world of waters.
Charles Caleb Colton
Avarice has ruined more souls than extravagance.
Variant: Avarice has ruined more men than prodigality, and the blindest thoughtlessness of expenditure has not deslroyed so many.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
Bigotry murders religion to frighten fools with her ghost.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
Books, like friends, should be few and well chosen. Like friends, too, we should return to them again and again for, like true friends, they will never fail us - never cease to instruct - never cloy.
Charles Caleb Colton
He that has energy enough in his constitution to root out a vice, should go a little farther, and try to plant in a virtue in its place.
Variant: He that has energy enough to root out a vice should go further, and try to plant a virtue in its place.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
Many books require no thought from those who read them, and for a very simple reason; they made no such demand upon those who wrote them.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
What is earthly happiness? that phantom of which we hear so much, and see so little; whose promises are constantly given and constantly broken, but as constantly believed; that cheats us with the sound instead of the substance, and with the blossom instead of the fruit. Like Juno, she is a goddess in pursuit, but a cloud in possession.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
Men will wrangle for religion; write for it; fight for it; die for it; anything but live for it.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
We hate some persons because we do not know them; and will not know them because we hate them.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
Vice stings us even in our pleasures, but virtue consoles us even in our pains.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
When the million applaud you, seriously ask yourself what harm you have done ; when they censure you, what good!
Variant: When millions applaud you seriously ask yourself what harm you have done; and when they disapprove you, what good.
Charles Caleb Colton
(Lacon, 1820)
Those who visit foreign nations, but who associate only with their own countrymen, change their climate, but not their customs; they ... return home with travelled bodies, but untravelled minds.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
We owe almost all our knowledge not to those who have agreed but to those who have differed.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
Our wealth is often a snare to ourselves, and always a temptation to others.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
Riches may enable us to confer favours, but to confer them with propriety and grace requires a something that riches cannot give.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
To dare to live alone is the rarest courage; since there are many who had rather meet their bitterest enemy in the field, than their own hearts in their closet.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
To know the pains of power, we must go to those who have it; to know its pleasures, we must go to those who are seeking it: the pains of power are real, its pleasures imaginary.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
War is a game, in which princes seldom win, the people never.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
How small a portion of our life it is that we really enjoy. In youth we are looking forward to things that are to come ; in old age, we are looking backwards to things that are gone past; in manhood, although we appear indeed to be more occupied in things that are present, yet even that is too often absorbed in vague determinations to be vastly happy on some future day, when we have time.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
It is better to meet danger than to wait for it.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
We ask advice, but we mean approbation.
Variant: We ask of advice, but we mean approval.
Charles Caleb Colton
(Lacon, 1820)
Life is the jailer of the soul in this filthy prison, and its only deliverer is death.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
But wealth, after all, is a relative thing, since he that has little, and wants less, is richer than he that has much, wants more. True contentment depends not upon what we have, but upon what we would have; a tub was large enough for Diogenes, but a world was to little for Alexander.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
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.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
The worst thing that can be said of the most powerful, is that they can take your life; but the same thing can be said of the most weak.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
If we steal thoughts from the moderns, it will be cried down as plagiarism; if from the ancients, it will be cried up as erudition.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it is lost.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
An honest man will continue to be so though surrounded on all sides by rogues.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
He that places himself neither higher nor lower than he ought to do, exercises the truest humility.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
For one man who sincerely pities our misfortunes, there are a thousand who sincerely hate our success.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
If you cannot inspire a woman with love of you, fill her above the brim with love of herself - all that runs over will be yours.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
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 authorship.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
Many speak the truth when they say that they despise riches, but they mean the riches possessed by others.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
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.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon - Preface, 1820)
Even the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man can answer.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
When the cruel fall into the hands of the cruel, we read their fate with horror, not with pity.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
It has been observed that a dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant will see farther than the giant himself; and the moderns, standing as they do on the vantage ground of former discoveries and uniting all the fruits of the experience of their forefathers, with their own actual observation, may be admitted to enjoy a more enlarged and comprehensive view of things than the ancients themselves.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Physical courage, which despises all danger, will make a man brave in one way; and moral courage, which despises all opinion, will make a man brave in another.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Money is the most envied, but the least enjoyed. Health is the most enjoyed, but the least envied.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
There is but one pursuit in life which it is in the power of all to follow, and of all to attain. It is subject to no disappointments, since he that perseveres, makes every difficulty an advancement, and every contest a victory; and this is the pursuit of virtue.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
It is astonishing how much more anxious people are to lengthen life than to improve it.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
The present time has one advantage over every other - it is our own.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
It is always safe to learn, even from our enemies; seldom safe to venture to instruct, even our friends.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
In life we shall find many men that are great, and some that are good, but very few men that are both great and good.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Religion has treated knowledge sometimes as an enemy, sometimes as a hostage; often as a captive, and more often as a child: but knowledge has become of age; and religion must either renounce her acquaintance, or introduce her as a companion and respect her as a friend.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
It is best, if possible, to deceive no one; for he that... begins by deceiving others, will end... by deceiving himself.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Men spend their lives in anticipations, - in determining to be vastly happy at some period when they have time. But the present time has one advantage over every other - it is our own. Past opportunities are gone, future have not come. We may lay in a stock of pleasures, as we would lay in a stock of wine; but if we defer the tasting of them too long, we shall find that both are soured by age.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Love is an alliance of friendship and of lust; if the former predominate, it is a passion exalted and refined, but if the latter, gross and sensual.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Falsehood is often rocked by truth, but she soon outgrows her cradle and discards her nurse.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Some read to think, these are rare; some to write, these are common; and some read to talk, and these form the great majority.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Where true religion has prevented one crime, false religions have afforded a pretext for a thousand.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
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.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Time is the most undefinable yet paradoxical of things; the past is gone, the future is not come, and the present becomes the past, even while we attempt to define it, and like the flash of the lightning, at once exists and expires.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
We often pretend to fear what we really despise, and more often despise what we really fear.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Nothing more completely baffles one who is full of trick and duplicity himself, than straight forward and simple integrity in another.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
When you have nothing to say, say nothing ; a weak defence strengthens your opponent, and silence is less injurious than a bad reply.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Corruption is like a ball of snow, when once set a rolling it must increase.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Modesty is the richest ornament of a woman... the want of it is her greatest deformity.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Love is a volcano, the crater of which no wise man will approach too nearly, lest... he should be swallowed up.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Much may be done in those little shreds and patches of time which every day produces, and which most men throw away.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Happiness, that grand mistress of the ceremonies in the dance of life, impels us through all its mazes and meanderings, but leads none of us by the same route.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Those that are the loudest in their threats, are the weakest in the execution of them.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
A diamond, incarcerated in its subterraneous prison, rough and unpolished, differs not from a common stone.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Dreams ought to produce no conviction whatever on philosophical minds. If we consider how many dreams are dreamt every night, and how many events occur every day, we shall no longer wonder at those accidental coincidences, which ignorance mistakes for verifications.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
There are truths which some men despise because they have not examined, and which they will not examine because they despise.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Men are more readily contented with no intellectual light than with a little; and wherever they have been taught to acquire some knowledge in order to please others, they have most generally gone on to acquire more, to please themselves.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
The study of mathematics, like the Nile, begins in minuteness but ends in magnificence.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Power will intoxicate the best hearts, as wine the strongest heads.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
In the whole course of our observation there is not so misrepresented and abused a personage as death. Some have styled him the king of terrors, when he might with less impropriety have been termed the terror of kings; others have dreaded him as an evil without end, although it was in their own power to make him the end of all evil. He has been vilified as the cause of anguish, consternation, and despair; but these, alas, are things that appertain not unto death, but unto life. How strange a paradox is this, we love the distemper and loathe the remedy, preferring the fiercest buffetings of the hurricane to the tranquility of the harbour.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
The greatest friend of Truth is time, her greatest enemy is Prejudice.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Time... advances like the slowest tide, but retreats like the swiftest torrent.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
It is sufficiently humiliating to our nature to reflect that our knowledge is but as the rivulet, our ignorance as the sea. On points of the highest interest, the moment we quit the light of revelation we shall find that Platonism itself is intimately connected with Pyrrhonism, and the deepest inquiry with the darkest doubt.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon - Preface, 1820)
There are three modes of bearing the ills of life, by indifference, by philosophy, and by religion.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Times of great calamity and confusion have been productive for the greatest minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace. The brightest thunder-bolt is elicited from the darkest storm.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Our incomes are like our shoes, if to small, they will gall and pinch us, but, if too large, they will cause us to stumble, and to trip.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Oppression cannot prosper where none will submit to be enslaved.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Envy, if surrounded on all sides by the brightness of another's prosperity, like the scorpion confined within a circle of fire, will sting itself to death.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
There are some frauds so well conducted that it would be stupidity not to be deceived by them.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Tyrants have not yet discovered any chains that can fetter the mind.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
He who studies books alone will know how things ought to be, and he who studies men will know how they are.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon - Preface, 1820)
It is a mistake, that a lust for power is the mark of a great mind; for even the weakest have been captivated by it; and for minds of the highest order, it has no charms.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Liberty will not descend to a people, a people must raise themselves to liberty; it is a blessing that must be earned before it can be enjoyed.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
He that gives a portion of his time and talent to the investigation of mathematical truth, will come to all other questions with a decided advantage over his opponents.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Love, like the cold bath, is never negative, it seldom leaves us where it finds us; if once we plunge into it, it will either heighten our virtues, or inflame our vices.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
There is this difference between happiness and wisdom: he that thinks himself the happiest man, really is so; but he that thinks himself the wisest, is generally the greatest fool.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Those who have earned a fortune are usually more careful of it than those who have inherited one.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
He that knows himself, knows others; and he that is ignorant of himself, could not write a very profound lecture on other men's heads.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
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.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
That writer who aspires to immortality, should imitate the sculptor, if he would make the labours of the pen as durable as those of the chisel. Like the sculptor, he should arrive at ultimate perfection, not by what he adds, but by what he takes away.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Were the life of man prolonged, he would become such a proficient in villany, that it would be necessary again to drown or to burn the world. Earth would become an hell, for future rewards, when put off to a great distance, would cease to encourage, and future punishment to alarm.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
We make a goddess of Fortune ... and place her in the highest heaven. But it is not fortune that is exalted and powerful, but we ourselves that are abject and weak.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
He that thinks himself the happiest man, really is so.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
He that thinks himself the wisest, is generally the greatest fool.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
The highest knowledge can be nothing more than the shortest and clearest road to truth; all the rest is pretension, not performance, mere verbiage and grandiloquence, from which we can learn nothing.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
The only things in which we can be said to have any property are our actions. Our thoughts may be bad, yet produce no poison, they may be good, yet produce no fruit. Our riches may be taken from us by misfortune, our reputation by malice, our spirits by calamity, our health by disease, our friends by death. But our actions must follow us beyond the grave; with respect to them alone, we cannot say that we shall carry nothing with us when we die, neither that we shall go naked out of the world. Our actions must clothe us with an immortality, loathsome or glorious; these are the only title-deeds of which we cannot be disinherited; they will have their full weight in the balance of eternity, when every thing else is as nothing; and their value will be confirmed and established by those two sure and sateless destroyers of all other things - Time and Death.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon - Preface, 1820)
What we lend, we shall most probably lose.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Knowledge is twofold and consists not only in an affirmation of what is true, but in the negation of what is false.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
In the pursuit of knowledge, follow it wherever it is to be found; like fern, it is the produce of all climates, and like coin, its circulation is not restricted to any particular class.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
There are only two things in which the false professors of all religions have agreed; to persecute all other sects, and to plunder their own.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
A society composed of none but the wicked could not exist; it contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction, and without a flood, would be swept away from the earth by the deluge of its own iniquity.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
A high degree of intellectual refinement in the female is the surest pledge society can have for the improvement of the male.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Ambition is to the mind what the cap is to the falcon; it blinds us first, and then compels us to tower, by reason of our blindness. But alas, when we are at the summit of a vain ambition, we are also at the depth of real misery. We are placed where time cannot improve, but must impair us; where chance and change cannot befriend, but may betray us; in short, by attaining all we wish, and gaining all we want, we have only reached a pinnacle where we have nothing to hope, but everything to fear.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
It is far more easy to pull down, than to build up, and to destroy, than to preserve.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
To know a man, observe how he wins his object, rather than how he loses it; for, when we fail, our pride supports us, when we succeed, it betrays us.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Happiness is that single and glorious thing which is the very light and sun of the whole animated universe; and where she is not, it were better that nothing should be. Without her, wisdom is but a shadow, and virtue a name; she is their sovereign mistress; for her alone they labour, and by her they will be paid; to enjoy her, and to communicate her, is the object of their efforts, and the consummation of their toil.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
The wise man has his follies, no less than the fool; but it has been said that herein lies the difference - the follies of the fool are known to the world, but hidden from himself; the follies of the wise are known to himself, but hidden from the world.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
A man who knows the world will not only make the most of everything he does know, but of many things he does not know, and will gain more credit by his adroit mode of hiding his ignorance than the pedant by his awkward attempt to exhibit his erudition.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Be very slow to believe that you are wiser than all others; it is a fatal but common error.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
When dunces call us fools, without proving us to be so, our best retort is to prove them to be fools, without condescending to call them so.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Of present fame think little, and of future less. The praises that we receive after we are buried, like the posies that are strewn over our graves, may be gratifying to the living, but they are nothing to the dead; the dead are gone, either to a place where they hear them not, or where, if they do, they will despise them.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Commerce flourishes by circumstances, precarious, transitory, contingent, almost as the winds and waves that bring it to our shores.
Variant: Commerce flourishes by circumstances, precarious, contingent, transitory, almost as liable to change, as the winds and waves that waft it to our shores.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
We are all travelling to one destination, happiness; but none are going by the same road.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Friendship often ends in love; but love in friendship - never.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Contemporaries appreciate the man rather than the merit, posterity will regard the merit rather than the man.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Men are born with two eyes, but with one tongue, in order that they should see twice as much as they say ; but, from their conduct, one would suppose that theywere born with two tongues and one eye, for those talk the most who have observed the least.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Did universal charity prevail, earth would be an heaven, and hell a fable.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
No company is far preferable to bad, because we are more apt to catch the vices of others than their virtues, as disease is far more contagious than health.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Love is an alchemist that can transmute poison into food.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
There are two things cheap and common enough when separated, but as costly in value, as irresistible in power, when combined,—truth and novelty. Their union is like that of steam and of fire, which nothing can overcome. Truth and novelty, when united, must overthrow the whole superincumbent pressure of error and of prejudice, whatever be its weight; and the effects will be proportionate to the resistance. But the moral earthquake, unlike the natural, while it convulses the nations, reforms them too.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon - Preface, 1820)
Pride, like the magnet, constantly points to one object, self; but unlike the magnet, it has no attractive pole, but at all points repels.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
The firmest friendships have been formed in mutual adversity, as iron is most strongly united by the fiercest flame.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Mathematicians have sought knowledge in figures, Philosophers in systems, Logicians in subtleties, and Metaphysicians in sounds. It is not in any nor in all of these. He that studies only men, will get the body of knowledge without the soul, and he that studies only books, the soul without the body.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
Evils in the journey of life are like the hills which alarm travellers upon their road; they both appear great at a distance, but when we approach them we find that they are far less insurmountable than we had conceived.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon 1820)
He that has never known adversity, is but half acquainted with others, or with himself. Constant success shows us but one side of the world. For, as it surrounds us with friends, who will tell us only our merits, so it silences those enemies from whom alone we can learn our defects.
Variant: Constant success shows us but one side of the world; adversity brings out the reverse of the picture.
Charles Caleb Colton
(Lacon, 1820)
Doubt is the vestibule through which all must pass before they can enter into the temple of wisdom.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
When we are in doubt, and puzzle out the truth by our own exertions, we have gained a something that will stay by us, and which will serve us again.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
Knowledge indeed is as necessary as light, and in this coming age most fairly promises to be as common as water, and as free as air. But as it has been wisely ordained that light should have no colour, water no taste, and air no odour, so knowledge also should be equally pure, and without admixture. If it comes to us through the medium of prejudice, it will be discoloured; through the channels of custom, it will be adulterated; through the gothic walls of the college, or of the cloister, it will smell of the lamp.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon - Preface, 1820)
A youth without fire is followed by an old age without experience.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
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.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
He that knows himself, knows others.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)
Alas! What is man? Whether he be deprived of that light which is from on high, of whether he discard it, a frail and trembling creature; standing on time, that bleak and narrow isthmus between two eternities, he sees nothing but impenetrable darkness on the one hand, and doubt, distrust, and conjecture, still more perplexing, on the other. Most gladly would he take an observation, as to whence he has come, or whither he is going; alas, he has not the means: his telescope is too dim, his compass too wavering, his plummet too short.
Charles Caleb Colton (Lacon, 1820)


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Charles Caleb Colton Biography

Born: 1780
Died: 1832

Charles Caleb Colton was an English cleric and writer. He is among other things known for his eccentricities. In the 20th century and to this day he is widely recognized for his quotations.

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