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    Colton, Charles Caleb


A harmless hilarity and a buoyant cheerfulness are not infrequent concomitants of genius; and we are never more deceived than when we mistake gravity for greatness, solemnity for science, and pomposity for erudition.

Colton - never more deceived - wist_info quote

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, #202 (1821 ed.)
 
Added on 2-Aug-16 | Last updated 2-Aug-16
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There are two modes of establishing our reputation; to be praised by honest men, and to be abused by rogues. It is best, however, to secure the former, because it will be invariably accompanied by the latter.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, #218 (1823 ed.)
 
Added on 18-Feb-13 | Last updated 27-Feb-15
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The intoxication of anger, like that of the grape, shows us to others, but hides us from ourselves; and we injure our own cause, in the opinion of the world, when we too passionately and eagerly defend it; […] Neither will all men be disposed to view our quarrels precisely in the same light that we do; and a man’s blindness to his own defects will ever increase, in proportion as he is angry with others, or pleased with himself.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, #240 (1824 ed.)
 
Added on 28-Jun-13 | Last updated 27-Feb-15
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Posthumous charities are the very essence of selfishness, when bequeathed by those who, when alive, would part with nothing.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, #341 (1820)
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Added on 30-Jul-16 | Last updated 29-Apr-22
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When young, we trust ourselves too much, and we trust others too little when old. Rashness is the error of youth, timid caution of age.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, #363 (1820)
 
Added on 24-May-16 | Last updated 24-May-16
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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 "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, #457 (1821 ed.)
 
Added on 21-Nov-16 | Last updated 21-Nov-16
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He that will believe only what he can fully comprehend, must have a very long head, or a very short creed.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, #470 (1820 ed.)
 
Added on 27-Feb-15 | Last updated 27-Feb-15
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If a cause be good, the most violent attack of its enemies will not injure it so much as an injudicious defense of it by its friends.

Colton - injudicious defense - wist_info quote

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, #475 (1821 ed.)
 
Added on 18-May-16 | Last updated 18-May-16
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There are two modes of establishing our reputation: to be praised by honest men, and to be abused by rogues.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, 1.218 (1823)
 
Added on 10-Jul-13 | Last updated 27-Feb-15
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Doubt is the vestibule through which all must pass before they can enter into the temple of wisdom.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, 1.251 (1823)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 27-Feb-15
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He that dies a martyr proves that he is not a knave, but by no means that he is not a fool.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, 1.410 (1823)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 27-Feb-15
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Attempts at reform, when they fail, strengthen despotism; as he that struggles tightens those cords he does not succeed in breaking.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, 1.440 (1823)
 
Added on 22-Feb-13 | Last updated 27-Feb-15
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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 "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, 1.554 (1853)
 
Added on 28-Nov-12 | Last updated 27-Feb-15
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The miser has lived poor to die rich; and if the prodigal quits life in debt to others, the miser quits it, still deeper in debt to himself.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, 2.131 (1824)
 
Added on 31-Jan-12 | Last updated 27-Feb-15
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There are three difficulties in authorship: to write anything worth the publishing, to find honest men to publish it, and to get sensible men to read it.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, Preface (1820)
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Added on 14-Mar-16 | Last updated 14-Mar-16
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He that studies books alone, will know how things ought to be; and he that studies men will know how things are.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: or, Many Things in Few Words, Preface (1821 ed.)
 
Added on 19-May-16 | Last updated 19-May-16
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It is almost as difficult to make a man unlearn his errors as his knowledge. Mal-information is more hopeless than non-information; for error is always more busy than ignorance. Ignorance is a blank sheet, on which we may write; but error is a scribbled one, on which we must first erase. Ignorance is contented to stand still with her back to the truth; but error is more presumptuous, and proceeds in the same direction. Ignorance has no light, but error follows a false one. The consequence is, that error, when she retraces her footsteps, has further to go, before she can arrive at the truth, than ignorance.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 1 (1820)
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Added on 28-Sep-23 | Last updated 28-Sep-23
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Great minds had rather deserve contemporaneous applause, without obtaining it, than obtain, without deserving it; if it follow them, it is well, but they will not deviate to follow it. With inferior minds the reverse is observable; so that they can command the flattery of knaves while living, they care not for the execrations of honest men, when dead.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 6 (1820)
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Added on 10-Oct-23 | Last updated 10-Oct-23
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An upright minister asks, what recommends a man; a corrupt minister, who.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 9 (1820)
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Referring to government ministers and office-holders.
 
Added on 20-Jul-12 | Last updated 1-May-24
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Men will wrangle for religion; write for it; fight for it; die for it; anything but — live for it.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 25 (1820)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 9-Nov-23
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Times of general calamity and confusion have ever been productive of the greatest minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace, and the brightest thunderbolt is elicited from the darkest storm.

Colton - brightest thunderbolt - wist_info quote

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 28 (1820)
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Added on 10-Mar-16 | Last updated 29-Nov-23
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The sun should not set upon our anger, neither should he rise upon our confidence. We should freely forgive, but forget rarely. I will not be revenged, and I owe to my enemy; but I will remember, and this I owe to myself.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 35 (1820)
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Added on 5-Jun-24 | Last updated 5-Jun-24
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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 every thing to fear.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 37 (1820)
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Added on 20-Dec-23 | Last updated 20-Dec-23
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None are so fond of secrets as those who do not mean to keep them; such persons covet secrets as a spendthrift covets money, for the purpose of circulation.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 40 (1820)
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Added on 4-Jan-24 | Last updated 4-Jan-24
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Pedantry prides herself on being wrong by rules; while common sense is contented to be right, without them.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 48 (1820)
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Added on 11-Jan-24 | Last updated 11-Jan-24
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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 away 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 can not say that we shall carry nothing with us when we die, neither that we shall go naked out of the world.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 52 (1820)
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Added on 11-May-15 | Last updated 7-Dec-23
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It was observed of Elizabeth that she was weak herself, but chose wise counsellors; to which it was replied, that to choose wise counsellors was, in a prince, the highest wisdom.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 57 (1820)
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Added on 8-May-13 | Last updated 12-Dec-23
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An elegant writer has observed, that wit may do very well for a mistress, but that he should prefer reason for a wife. He that deserts the latter, and gives himself up entirely to the guidance of the former, will certainly fall into many pitfalls and quagmires, like him, who walks by flashes of lightning, rather than by the steady beams of the sun.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 71 (1820)
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Added on 17-Jan-24 | Last updated 17-Jan-24
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Ambition makes the same mistake concerning power, that avarice makes concerning wealth; she begins by accumulating power, as a mean to happiness, and she finishes by continuing to accumulate it, as an end.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 148 (1820)
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Added on 28-Apr-14 | Last updated 31-Jan-24
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When the million applaud you, seriously ask yourself what harm you have done; when they censure you, what good!

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 183 (1820)
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Added on 4-Aug-14 | Last updated 11-Jun-24
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Imitation is the sincerest of flattery.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 217 (1820)
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This reference predates by several decades the (attributed) Oscar Wilde, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness" (1880s) though a variety of thematically similar quotations came about in the interim. By the 1850s "form" had been soundly fit into the common phrase.

More discussion here: Quote Origin: Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery That Mediocrity Can Pay To Greatness – Quote Investigator®.
 
Added on 26-Mar-24 | Last updated 26-Mar-24
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This is the tax a man must pay to his virtues, — they hold up a torch to his vices, and render those frailties notorious in him which would have passed without observation in another.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 237 (1820)
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Added on 24-Aug-23 | Last updated 24-Aug-23
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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 "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 265 (1820)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 27-Jul-23
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Deliberate with caution, but act with decision; and yield with graciousness, or oppose with firmness.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 284 (1820)
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Added on 4-May-15 | Last updated 27-Feb-24
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It is always safe to learn, even from our enemies, seldom safe to venture to instruct, even our friends.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 286 (1820)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 9-Apr-24
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Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared, for the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man can answer.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 322 (1820)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 24-Apr-24
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Applause is the spur of noble minds, the end and aim of weak ones.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 424 (1820)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 7-May-24
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It is only when the rich are sick that they fully feel the impotence of wealth.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 538 (1820)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 10-Aug-23
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We should have a glorious conflagration if all who cannot put fire into their works would only consent to put their works into the fire.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, Preface (1820)
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Added on 8-Jul-14 | Last updated 14-Sep-23
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If we can advance any propositions that are both true and new, these are indisputably our own, by right of discovery; and if we can repeat what is old more briefly and brightly than others, this also becomes our own, by right of conquest.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, Preface (1820)
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Added on 31-Aug-23 | Last updated 31-Aug-23
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Pedantry crams our heads with learned lumber, and takes out our brains to make room for it.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 2, § 20 (1822)
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Added on 16-Apr-24 | Last updated 16-Apr-24
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Life often presents us with a choice of evils, rather than of goods.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 2, § 102 (1822)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 30-Aug-23
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Death is like thunder in two particulars; we are alarmed at the sound of it; and it is formidable only from that which preceded it.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 2, § 110 (1822)
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Added on 25-Jul-23 | Last updated 25-Jul-23
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Pride either finds a desert, or makes one; submission cannot tame its ferocity, nor satiety fill its voracity, and it requires very costly food — Its keeper’s happiness.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 2, § 237 (1822)
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Added on 17-Aug-23 | Last updated 17-Aug-23
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Evils in the journey of life are like the hills which alarm travelers on their road. Both appear great at a distance, but when we approach them we find they are far less insurmountable than we had conceived.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 2, § 241 (1822)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 3-Aug-23
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Bed is a bundle of paradoxes; we go to it with reluctance, yet we quit it with regret; and we make up our minds every night to leave it early, but we make up our bodies every morning to keep it late.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 2, § 262 (1822)
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Added on 28-Nov-14 | Last updated 2-Nov-23
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Pedantry prides herself on being wrong by rules; while common sense is contented to be right without them.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon, #48 (1825)
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Added on 11-Feb-22 | Last updated 11-Feb-22
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Power multiplies flatterers, and flatterers multiply our delusions by hiding us from ourselves.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon, 2.25 (1824)
 
Added on 9-Jul-12 | Last updated 29-Jun-12
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Corruption is like a ball of snow, when once set rolling it must increase.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon, 2.6 (1824)
 
Added on 4-May-09 | Last updated 4-May-09
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There are three difficulties in authorship;– to write any thing worth the publishing — to find honest men to publish it — and to get sensible men to read it.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon, Preface (1821 ed.)
 
Added on 24-Jun-14 | Last updated 4-Aug-14
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Did universal charity prevail, earth would be a heaven, and hell a fable.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon, Vol. 1, # 160 (1820)
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Added on 22-Apr-22 | Last updated 1-Jun-22
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When you have nothing to say, say nothing; a weak defense strengthens your opponent, and silence is less injurious than a bad reply.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon, vol. 1, #183 (1820)
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-Apr-14
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The intoxication of anger, like that of the grape, shows us to others, but hides us from ourselves; and we injure our own cause, in the opinion of the world, when we too passionately and eagerly defend it.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon, Vol. 1, #240 (1820)
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Added on 18-Jan-19 | Last updated 18-Jan-19
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