FELTHAM, Owen Quotes
(1602-1668), English author
All earthly delights are sweeter in expectation than in enjoyment; but all spiritual pleasures more in fruition than in expectation.
A consciousness of inward knowledge gives confidence to the outward behavior, which, of all things, is the best to grace a man in his carriage.
Perfection is immutable, but for things imperfect, to change is the way to perfect them.—Constancy without knowledge cannot be always good; and in things ill, it is not virtue but an absolute vice.
We do not wisely when we vent complaint and censure.— We cry out for a little pain, when we do but smile for a great deal of contentment.
He who always waits upon God, is ready whensoever he calls.—He is a happy man who so lives that death at all times may find him at leisure to die.
God has made no one absolute.—The rich depend on the poor, as well as the poor on the rich.—The world is but a magnificent building; all the stones are gradually cemented together.—No one subsists by himself alone.
He that despairs degrades the Deity, and seems to intimate that He is insufficient, or not just to his word; in vain hath he read the Scriptures, the world, and man.
In some dispositions there is such an envious kind of pride that they cannot endure that any but themselves should be set forth for excellent; so that when they hear one justly praised, they will either seek to dismount his virtues, or, if they be like a clear light, they will stab him with a "but" of detraction.
If we considered detraction to be bred of envy, and nested only in deficient minds, we should find that the applauding of virtue would win us far more honor than seeking to disparage it.—That would show we loved what we commended, while this tells the world we grudge at what we want ourselves.
Discontent is like ink poured into water, which fills the whole fountain full of blackness. It casts a cloud over the mind, and renders it more occupied about the evil which disquiets than about the means of removing it.
Discontents are sometimes the better part of our life.—I know not which is the most useful.—Joy I may choose for pleasure; but adversities are the best for profit; and sometimes these do so far help me, that I should, without them, want much of the joy I have.
It is much safer to reconcile an enemy than to conquer him; victory may deprive him of his poison, but reconciliation of his will.
There is no detraction worse than to overpraise a man; for if his worth prove short of what report doth speak of him, his own actions are ever giving the lie to his honor.
No man can expect to find a friend without faults, nor can he propose himself to be so to another.—Every man will have something to do for his friend, and something to bear with in him.—Only the sober man can do the first; and for the latter, patience is requisite.—It is better for a man to depend on himself than to be annoyed with either a madman or a fool.
By gambling we lose both our time and treasure, two things most precious to the life of man.
Gold is the fool's curtain, which hides all his defects from the world.
This wonder we find in hope, that she is both a flatterer and a true friend.—How many would die did not hope sustain them; how many have died by hoping too much!
Irresolution is a worse vice than rashness. He that shoots best may sometimes miss the mark; but he that shoots not at all can never hit it. Irresolution loosens all the joints of a state; like an ague, it shakes not this nor that limb, but all the body is at once in a fit. The irresolute man is lifted from one place to another; so hatcheth nothing, but addles all his actions.
Laughter should dimple the cheek, not furrow the brow. A jest should be such that all shall be able to join in the laugh which it occasions; but if it bears hard upon one of the company, like the crack of a string, it makes a stop in the music.
To go to law is for two persons to kindle a fire, at their own cost, to warm others and singe themselves to cinders; and because they cannot agree as to what is truth and equity, they will both agree to unplume themselves that others may be decorated with their feathers.
Laws were made to restrain and punish the wicked; the wise and good do not need them as a guide, but only as a shield against rapine and oppression; they can live civilly and orderly, though there were no law in the world.
The greatest results in life are usually attained by simple means and the exercise of ordinary qualities. These may for the most part be summed up in these two—common sense and perseverance.
A talkative fellow may be compared to an unbraced drum, which beats a wise man out of his wits.—Loquacity is ever running, and almost incurable.
Men are like wine; not good before the lees of clownishness be settled.
The married man is like the bee that fixes his hive, augments the world, benefits the republic, and by a daily diligence, without wronging any, profits all; but he who contemns wedlock, like a wasp, wanders an offence to the world, lives upon spoil and rapine, disturbs peace, steals sweets that are none of his own, and, by robbing the hives of others, meets misery as his due reward.
Meditation is the soul's perspective glass, whereby, in her long removes, she discerneth God, as if he were nearer at hand.
The true boundary of man is moderation.—When once we pass that pale, our guardian angel quits his charge of us.
Gold is the fool's curtain, which hides all his defects from the world.
Negligence is the rust of the soul, that corrodes through all her best resolves.
Every man should study conciseness in speaking; it is a sign of ignorance not to know that long speeches, though they may please the speaker, are the torture of the hearer.
All earthly delights are sweeter in expectation than enjoyment; but all spiritual pleasures more in fruition than expectation.
Praise has different effects, according to the mind it meets with; it makes a wise man modest, but a fool more arrogant, turning his weak brain giddy.
Prevention is the best bridle.
Riches, though they may reward virtue, cannot cause it.—He is much more noble who deserves a benefit than he who bestows one.
When two friends part they should lock up one another's secrets, and interchange their keys.
Show me the man who would go to heaven alone, and I will show you one who will never be admitted there.
He who would be singular in his apparel had need have something superlative to balance that affectation.
A sentence well couched takes both the sense and the understanding.—I love not those cart-rope speeches that are longer than the memory of man can measure.
He hath a poor spirit who is not planted above petty wrongs.
A sentence well couched takes both the sense and the understanding.
The greatest results in life are usually attained by simple means and the exercise of ordinary qualities. These may for the most part be summed in these two—common sense and perseverance.
It is not fit that every man should travel; it makes a wise man better, and a fool worse.
To trust God when we have securities in our iron chest is easy, but not thankworthy; but to depend on him for what we cannot see, as it is more hard for man to do, so it is more acceptable to God.
I love the man that is modestly valiant, that stirs not till he most needs, and then to purpose.—A continued patience I commend not.
Some are so uncharitable as to think all women bad, and others are so credulous as to believe they are all good. All will grant her corporeal frame more wonderful and more beautiful than man's. And can we think God would put a worse soul into her better body?
We make ourselves more injuries than are offered to us; they many times pass for wrongs in our own thoughts, that were never meant so by the heart of him that speaketh. The apprehension of wrong hurts more than the sharpest part of the wrong done.