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|Quotations by Owen Feltham|
|When a man is know to be false to his word - It was a false maxim of Domitian that he who would gain the people of Rome must promise all things and perform nothing. For when a man is known to be false in his word, instead of a column, which he might be by keeping it, for others to rest upon, he becomes a reed, which no man will vouchsafe to lean upon. Like a floating island, when we come next day to seek it, it is carried from the place we left it in, and, instead of earth to build upon, we find nothing but inconstant and deceiving waves.|
Our follies make our lives uncomfortable - It is our follies that make our lives uncomfortable. Our errors of opinion, our cowardly fear of the world's worthless censure, and our eagerness after unnecessary gold have hampered the way of virtue, and made it far more difficult than, in itself, it is.
Every moment is a step toward death - The life of man is the incessant walk of nature, wherein every moment is a step towards death. Even our growing to perfection is a progress to decay. Every thought we have is a sand running out of the glass of life.
Such an envious kind of pride - In some dispositions there is such an envious kind of pride that they cannot endure that any but themselves should be set forth as excellent; so that when they hear one justly praised they will either openly detract from his virtues; or, if those virtues be, like a clear and shining light, eminent and distinguished, so that he cannot be safely traduced by the tongue, they will then raise a suspicion against him by a mysterious silence, as if there were something remaining to be told which overclouded even his brightest glory.
Cannot find a greater wonder than memory - In all that belongs to man you cannot find a greater wonder than memory. What a treasury of all things! What a record! What a journal of all! As if provident Nature, because she would have man circumspect, had furnished him with an account-book, to carry always with him. Yet it neither burdens nor takes up room.
We magnify the wealthy man - We magnify the wealthy man, though his parts be never so poor. The poor man we despise, be he never so well qualified. Gold is the coverlet of imperfections. It is the fool's curtain, which hides all his defects from the world.
To build lastingly, lay the foundation low - He that would build lastingly must lay his foundation low. The proud man, like the early shoots of a new-felled coppice, thrusts out full of sap, green in leaves, and fresh in color, but bruises and breaks with every wind, is nipped with every little cold, and, being top-heavy, is wholly unfit for use. Whereas the humble man retains it in the root, can abide the winter's killing blast, the ruffling concussions of the wind, and can endure far more than that which appears so flourishing.
Discontent is like ink poured into water - 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 it than about the means of removing it.
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