I have since often observed, how incongruous and irrational the common temper of mankind is, especially of youth ... that they are not ashamed to sin, and yet are ashamed to repent; not ashamed of the action for which they ought justly to be esteemed fools, but are ashamed of the returning, which only can make them be esteemed wise men.
I know not what to call this, nor will I urge that it is a secret, overruling decree, that hurries us on to be the instruments of our own destruction, even though it be before us, and that we rush upon it with our eyes open.
It is never too late to be wise.
It put me upon reflecting how little repining there would be among mankind at any condition of life, if people would rather compare their condition with those that were worse, in order to be thankful, than be always comparing them with those which are better, to assist their murmurings and complaining.
These reflections made me very sensible of the goodness of Providence to me, and very thankful for my present condition, with all its hardships and misfortunes ; and this part also I cannot but recommend to the reflection of those who are apt, in their misery, to say, Is any affliction like mine? Let them consider how much worse the cases of some people are, and their case might have been, if Providence had thought fit.
Thus fear of danger is ten thousand times more terrifying than danger itself when apparent to the eyes ; and we find the burden of anxiety greater, by much, than the evil which we are anxious about : ...
All evils are to be considered with the good that is in them, and with what worse attends them.
And I add this part here, to hint to whoever shall read it, that whenever they come to a true Sense of things, they will find Deliverance from Sin a much greater Blessing than Deliverance from Affliction.
But how just it has been! And how should all men reflect, that when they compare their present conditions with others that are worse, Heaven may oblige them to make the exchange, and be convinced of their former felicity by their experience...
For sudden Joys, like Griefs, confound at first.
How mercifully can our Creator treat His creatures, even in those conditions in which they seemed to be overwhelmed in destruction! How can He sweeten the bitterest providences, and give us cause to praise Him for dungeons and prisons! What a table was here spread for me in a wilderness where I saw nothing at first but to perish for hunger!
How strange a Chequer Work of Providence is the Life of Man! and by what secret differing Springs are the Affections hurry'd about as differing Circumstances present! To Day we love what to Morrow we hate; to Day we seek what to Morrow we shun; to Day we desire what to Morrow we fear; nay even tremble at the Apprehensions of;
I could not forbear getting up to the top of a little mountain, and looking out to sea, in hopes of seeing a ship : then fancy that, at a vast distance, I spied a sail, please myself with the hopes of it, and, after looking steadily, till I was almost blind, lose it quite, and sit down and weep like a child, and thus increase my misery by my folly.
He bade me observe it, and I should always find, that the calamities of life were shared among the upper and lower part of mankind but that the middle station had the fewest disasters.
An Englishman will fairly drink as much As will maintain two families of Dutch.
The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.
Vice came in always at the door of necessity, not at the door of inclination.
Pride the first peer and president of hell.
I have often thought of it as one of the most barbarous customs in the world, considering us as a civilized and a Christian country, that we deny the advantages of learning to women.
The height of human wisdom is ... to make a calm within, under the weight of the greatest storm without.
It is better to have a lion at the head of an army of sheep, than a sheep at the head of an army of lions.
Necessity makes an honest man a knave.
As covetousness is the root of all evil, so poverty is, I believe, the worst of all snares.
Great families of yesterday we show, And lords, whose parents were the Lord knows who.
Wherever God erects a house of prayer, The Devil always builds a chapel there And 'twill be found, upon examination, The latter has the largest congregation.
Nature has left this tincture in the blood, That all men would be tyrants if they could.
All men would be tyrants if they could.
He that is rich is wise.
All the good things of the world are no further good to us than as they are of use and of all we may heap up we enjoy only as much as we can use, and no more.
The main street is the most spacious, the longest and best inhabited street in Europe... the buildings are surprising both for strength, for beauty, and for height...
All our discontents about what we want appeared to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have.
Fear of danger is ten thousand times more terrifying than danger itself.
And of all plagues with which mankind are curst, Ecclesiastic tyrannys the worst.
'Tis no sin to cheat the devil.
To-day we love what to-morrow we hate to-day we seek what to-morrow we shun to-day we desire what to-morrow we fear.
Now I saw, though too late, the folly of beginning a work before we count the cost, and before we judge rightly of our own strength to go through with it.
In the morning, looking towards the sea side, the tide being low, I saw something lie on the shore bigger than ordinary, and it looked like a cask when I came to it, I found a small barrel, and two or three pieces of the wreck of the ship, which were driven on shore by the late hurrican and looking towards the wreck itself, I thought it seemed to lie higher out of the water than it used to do.
In trouble to be troubled, Is to have your trouble doubled.
Justice is always violent to the party offending, for every man is innocent in his own eyes.
Wealth, howsoever got, in England makes lords of mechanics, gentlemen of rakes Antiquity and birth are needless here 'Tis impudence and money makes a peer.
From this amphibious, ill-born mob began That vain, ill-natured thing, an Englishman.
The best of men cannot suspend their fate: The good die early, and the bad die late.
As covetousness is the root of all evil, so poverty is the worst of all snares.
Middle age is youth without its levity, And age without decay.
More Daniel Defoe Quotations (Based on Topics)
Man - Good & Evil - Fear - Wisdom & Knowledge - Mankind - Fate & Destiny - Life - Danger & Risk - World - Necessity - Money & Wealth - Stupidity - Devils - Work & Career - Lions - Secrets - England - Justice - Present - View All Daniel Defoe Quotations
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