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The courage that grows from constitution very often forsakes a man when he has occasion for it; and when it is only a kind of instinct in the soul, it breaks out on all occasions, without judgment or discretion.
- Joseph Addison
But look for ruin when a coward wins;
For fear and cruelty are ever twins.
To die, and thus avoid poverty or love, or anything painful, is not the part of a brave man, but rather of a coward; for it is cowardice to avoid trouble, and the suicide does not undergo death because it is honorable, but in order to avoid evil.
Dangers are light, if they seem light; and more dangers have deceived men than forced them.
- Francis Bacon
When the passengers gallop by as if fear made them speedy, the cur follows them with an open mouth; let them walk by in confidant neglect, and the dog will not stir at all; it is a weakness that every creature takes advantage of.
- J. Beaumont
For cowards the road of desertion should be left open. They will carry over to the enemy nothing but their fears.
- Christian Nestell Bovee
The coward wretch whose hand and heart
Can bear to torture aught below,
Is ever first to quail and start
From slightest pain or equal foe.
- Eliza Cook
The coward never on himself relies,
But to an equal for assistance flies.
- George Crabbe,
Tale III-The Gentleman Farmer (l. 84)
A coward is the kindest animal;
'Tis the most forgiving creature in a fight.
- John Dryden
Cowards falter, but danger is often overcome by those who nobly dare.
- Elizabeth I
A coward's fear can make a coward valiant.
- Owen Felltham (Feltham)
Mankind are dastardly when they meet with opposition.
- Benjamin Franklin
Cowards are cruel, but the brave
Love mercy, and delight to save.
- John Gay, Fables (pt. I, fable 1)
The coward only threatens when he is safe.
[Ger., Der Fiege droht nur, wo er sicher ist.]
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Torquato Tasso
(II, 3, 207)
He who fights and runs away
May live to fight another day.
But he who is in battle slain,
Can never rise to fight again.
- Oliver Goldsmith
He who fears to venture as far as his heart urges and his reason permits, is a coward; he who ventures further than he intended to go, is a slave.
- Heinrich Heine
Lie not, neither to thyself, nor man, nor God. Let mouth and heart be one; beat and speak together, and make both felt in action. It is for cowards to lie.
- George Herbert
It is a law of nature that fainthearted men should be the fruit of luxurious countries, for we never find that the same soil produces delicacies and heroes.
- Herodotus ("Father of History")
All mankind is one of these two cowards--either to wish to die when he should live, or live when be should die.
- Sir Robert Howard
It is the coward who fawns upon those above him. It is the coward that is insolent whenever he dares be so.
- Junius (pseudonym, possibly of Sir Philip Francis)
Strange that cowards cannot see that their greatest safety lies in dauntless courage.
- Johann Kaspar Lavater (John Caspar Lavater)
Fear is the virtue of slaves; but the heart that loveth is willing.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Fear is my vassal, when I frown he flies;
A hundred times in life a coward dies.
- John Marston
Even cowards can endure hardship; only the brave can endure suspense.
- Mignon McLaughlin
Men lie, who lack courage to tell truth--the cowards!
- Joaquin Miller (pseudonym of Cincinnatus Hiner Miller),
Ina (sc. 3)
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