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Quotes of the day: Christian Bovee

Published Saturday, February 21, 2015 @ 5:31 PM EST
Feb 21 2015

Christian Nestell Bovee (February 22, 1820 – January 18, 1904) was an epigrammatic New York writer who wrote two books that were widely quoted in contemporaneous compilations: Intuitions and Summaries of Thought and Thoughts, Feelings and Fancies. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A sound discretion is not so much indicated by never making a mistake as by never repeating it.

As threshing separates the wheat from the chaff, so does affliction purify virtue.

Courage enlarges, cowardice diminishes resources. In desperate straits the fears of the timid aggravate the dangers that imperil the brave.

Doubt whom you will, but never yourself.

Enthusiasm is the inspiration of everything great. Without it no man is to be feared, and with it none despised.

Example has more followers than reason. We unconsciously imitate what pleases us, and approximate to the characters we most admire.

False friends are like our shadow, keeping close to us while we walk in the sunshine, but leaving us the instant we cross into the shade.

Fame- a few words upon a tombstone, and the truth of those not to be depended on.

Genius makes its observations in short-hand; talent writes them out at length.

Good men have the fewest fears. He has but one great fear who fears to do wrong; he has a thousand who has overcome it.

In ambition, as in love, the successful can afford to be indulgent toward their rivals. The prize our own, it is graceful to recognize the merit that vainly aspired to it.

In politics, merit is rewarded by the possessor being raised, like a target, to a position to be fired at.

Living with a saint is more grueling than being one.

Loss of sincerity is loss of vital power.

At all events, the next best thing to being witty one's self, is to be able to quote another's wit.

No man is happy without a delusion of some kind. Delusions are as necessary to our happiness as realities.

Panic is a sudden desertion of us, and a going over to the enemy of our imagination.

Tears are nature's lotion for the eyes. The eyes see better for being washed by them.

The body of a sensualist is the coffin of a dead soul.

The great artist is a slave to his ideals.

The language denotes the man. A coarse or refined character finds its expression naturally in a coarse or refined phraseology.

The light in the world comes principally from two sources- the sun, and the student's lamp.

The passions are like fire, useful in a thousand ways and dangerous only in one, through their excess.

The small courtesies sweeten life; the greater ennoble it.

The worst deluded are the self-deluded.

There is great beauty in going through life without anxiety or fear. Half our fears are baseless, and the other half discreditable.

There is, indeed, no wild beast more to be dreaded than a communicative man having nothing to communicate.

They are the weakest, however strong, who have no faith in themselves or their own powers.

Tranquil pleasures last the longest; we are not fitted to bear the burden of great joys.

We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them.

We make way for the man who boldly pushes past us.

We trifle when we assign limits to our desires, since nature hath set none.

What we call conscience, in many instances, is only a wholesome fear of the constable.

When all else is lost, the future still remains.


(February 22 is also the birthday of Arthur Schopenhauer and Jules Renard.)

Categories: Christian Bovee, Quotes of the day


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