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HABIT
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[ Also see Custom Fashion Innovation Manners Tradition ]

Ill habits gather by unseen degrees,
  As brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas.
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Metamorphoses
         (bk. XV, l. 155), (Dryden's translation)

Habit had made the custom.
  [Lat., Morem fecerat usus.]
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Metamorphoses
         (II, 345)

A large part of Christian virtue consists in right habits.
      - William Paley, Archdeacon of Saragossa

Habit is a second nature which prevents us from knowing the first, of which it has neither the cruelties nor the enchantments.
      - Marcel Proust

The fixity of a habit is generally in direct proportion to its absurdity.
      - Marcel Proust

Where evil habits are once settled, they are more easily broken than mended.
  [Lat., Frangas enim, citius quam corrigas quae in pravum induerunt.]
      - Quintilian (Marcus Fabius Quintilianus),
        De Institutione Oratoria (I, 3, 3)

Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.
      - Charles Reade

Habit is stronger than nature.
  [Lat., Consuetudo natura potentior est.]
      - Quintus Curtius Rufus (Curtis Rufus Quintus),
        De Rebus Gestis Alexandri Magni
         (V, 5, 21)

I have often found a small stream at its fountain-head, that, when followed up, carried away the camel with his load.
      - Moslih Eddin (Muslih-un-Din) Saadi (Sadi)

To things which you bear with impatience you should accustom yourself, and, by habit you will bear them well.
      - Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)

How use doth breed a habit in a man!
  This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods,
    I better brook than flourishing peopled towns.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Two Gentlemen of Verona
         (Valentine at V, iv)

Habits are like the wrinkles on a man's brow; if you will smooth out the one, I will smooth out the other.
      - Henry Wheeler Shaw (used pseudonyms Josh Billings and Uncle Esek)

It is easy to assume a habit; but when you try to cast it off, it will take skin and all.
      - Henry Wheeler Shaw (used pseudonyms Josh Billings and Uncle Esek)

Habits, though in their commencement like the filmy line of the spider, trembling at every breeze, may in the end prove as links of tempered steel, binding a deathless being to eternal felicity or woe.
      - Lydia Huntley Sigourney

Habits, soft and pliant at first, are like some coral stones, which are easily cut when first quarried, but soon become hard as adamant.
      - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

The fox changes his skin but not his habits.
  [Lat., Vulpem pilum mutare, non mores.]
      - Caius Tranquillus Suetonius, Vespasianus
         (16)

It must be conceded that, after affection, habit has its peculiar value. It is a little stream which flows softly, but freshens everything along its course.
      - Madame Anne Sophie Swetchine (Soimonoff)

The power of habit is very strong.
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus)

Powerful indeed is the empire of habit.
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

Habits are the daughters of action; but they nurse their mothers, and give birth to daughters after her image, more lovely and prosperous.
      - Jeremy Taylor

Like flakes of snow that fall unperceived upon the earth, the seemingly unimportant events of life succeed one another. As the snow gathers together, so are our habits formed. No single flake that is added to the pile produces a sensible change; no single action creates, however it may exhibit, a man's character.
      - Jeremy Taylor

To be perpetually longing and impatiently desirous of anything, so that a man cannot abstain from it, is to lose a man's liberty, and to become a servant of meat and drink, or smoke.
      - Jeremy Taylor

I perceive that the things that we do are silly; but what can one do? According to men's habits and dispositions, so one must yield to them.
  [Lat., Inepta haec esse, nos quae facimus sentio;
    Verum quid facias? ut homo est, ita morem geras.]
      - Terence (Publius Terentius Afer), Adephi
         (III, 3, 76)

How many unjust and wicked things are done from mere habit.
  [Lat., Quam multa injusta ac prava fiunt moribus!]
      - Terence (Publius Terentius Afer),
        Heauton timoroumenos (IV, 7, 11)

Habit is ten times nature.
      - Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley


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