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SUPERSTITION
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[ Also see Alchemy Apparitions Belief Credulity Curses Delusion Fairies Fear Gods Ignorance Mermaids Miracles Religion Skepticism Terror Theology Witches Wonder Worship ]

In superstition wise men follow fools.
      - Francis Bacon

Superstition, without a veil, is a deformed thing; for, as it addeth deformity to an ape to be so like a man, so the similitude of superstition to religion makes it the more deformed; and as wholesome meat corrupteth to little worms, so good forms and orders corrupt into a number of petty observances.
      - Francis Bacon

The general root of superstition is that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss; and commit to memory the one, and forget and over the other.
      - Francis Bacon

The master of superstition is the people, and in all superstition wise men follow fools, and arguments are fitted to practice in a reversed order.
      - Francis Bacon

Reason shapes the future, but superstition infects the present.
      - Iain M. Banks

These terrors are not to be charged upon religion; they proceed either from the want of religion or from superstitious mistakes about it.
      - Richard Bentley

Superstition is but the fear of belief.
      - Lady Marguerite Blessington, Countess of Blessington

You will not think it unnatural that those who have an object depending, which strongly engages their hopes and fears, should be somewhat inclining to superstition.
      - Edmund Burke

Foul Superstition! howsoe'er disguised,
  Idol, saint, virgin, prophet, crescent, cross,
    For whatsoever symbol thou art prized,
      Thou sacerdotal gain, but general loss!
        Who from true worship's gold can separate thy dross?
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Childe Harold (canto II, st. 44)

Superstition! that horrid incubus which dwelt in darkness, shunning the light, with all its racks, and poison chalices, and foul sleeping draughts, is passing away without return. Religion cannot pass away. The burning of a little straw may hide the stars of the sky; but the stars are there and will reappear.
      - Thomas Carlyle

England, a fortune-telling host,
  As num'rous as the stars could boast;
    Matrons, who toss the cup, and see
      The grounds of fate in grounds of tea.
      - Charles Churchill

Superstition is a senseless fear of God; religion, the pious worship of God.
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short)

Religion is not removed by removing superstition.
  [Sp., Superstitione tollenda religio non tollitur.]
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short),
        De Divinatone (II, 72)

Death approaches, which is always impending like the stone over Tantalus: then comes superstition with which he who is imbued can never have peace of mind.
  [Lat., Accedit etiam mors, quae quasi saxum Tantalo semper impendit: tum superstitio, qua qui est imbutus quietus esse numquam potest.]
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short),
        De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum (I)

There is in superstition a senseless fear of God; religion consists in the pious worship of Him.
  [Lat., Superstitio, in qua inest inanis timor
    Dei; religio, quae dei pio cultu continetur.]
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short),
        De Natura Deorum (I, 42)

Heart-chilling superstition! thou canst glaze even Pity's eye with her own frozen tear.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Hold each strange tale devoutly true.
      - William Collins

Superstition is a quality that seems indigenous to the ocean.
      - James Fenimore Cooper

My right eye itches, some good luck is near.
      - John Dryden,
        Paraphrase of Amaryllis--Third Idyllium of Theocritus
         (l. 86)

Superstitions are, for the most part, but the shadows of great truths.
      - Tryon Edwards

A peasant can no more help believing in a traditional superstition than a horse can help trembling when be sees a camel.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross)

Superstition renders a man a fool, and scepticism makes him mad.
      - Henry Fielding

Alas! you know the cause too well;
  The salt is spilt, to me it fell.
    Then to contribute to my loss,
      My knife and fork were laid across;
        On Friday, too! the day I dread;
          Would I were safe at home, in bed!
            Last night (I vow to Heaven 'tis true)
              Bounce from the fire a coffin flew.
                Next post some fatal news shall tell:
                  God send my Cornish friends be well!
      - John Gay, Fables (pt. I, fable 37)

Superstition is part of the poetry of life.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Superstition is the poesy of practical life; hence, a poet is none the worse for being superstitious.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


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