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Frank J. Wilstach, comp. A Dictionary of Similes. 1916.

C. C. Colton

Abstemious at the banquet as a hermit.

That is fine benevolence, finely executed, which, like the Nile, comes from hidden sources.

Charms, as resistless as the fascinating Egyptian, for which Anthony wisely paid the bauble of the world.

Corruption is like a ball of snow, when once set a rolling, it must increase. It gives momentum to the activity of the knave, but it chills the honest man, and makes him almost weary of his calling: and all that corruption attracts, it also retains; for it is easier not to fall, than only to fall once, and not to yield a single inch, then having yielded, to regain it.

Courage is like the diamond—very brilliant; not changed by fire, capable of high polish, but except for the purpose of cutting hard bodies, useless.

Criticism is like champagne, nothing more execrable if bad, nothing more excellent if good; if meagre, muddy, vapid, and sour, both are fit only to engender colic and wind; but if rich, generous, and sparkling, they communicate a genial glow to the spirits, improve the taste, and expand the heart.

As different as our faces.

Difficult … as for a rattlesnake to stir without making a noise.

Eloquent as angels.

Empty as shade.

The enthusiast has been compared to a man walking in a fog; every thing immediately round him, or in contact with him, appears sufficiently clear and luminous; but beyond the little circle, of which he himself is the centre, all is mist, error, and confusion.

Pity and envy, like oil and vinegar, assimilate not.

Falsehood, like a drawing in perspective, will not bear to be examined in every point of view, because it is a good imitation of truth, as a perspective is of the reality, only in one.

The firmest friendships have been formed in mutual adversity, as iron is most strongly united by the fiercest flame.

Our incomes, like our shoes, if too small, will gall and pinch us, but if too large, will cause us to stumble and to trip.

Intrigues of state, like games of whist, require a partner, and in both, success is the joint effect of chance and skill; but the former differ from the latter in one particular—the knaves rule the kings.

Love, like the cold bath, is never negative, it seldom leaves us where it finds us; if once we plunge into it, it will either heighten our virtues or inflame our vices.

Great men, like great cities, have many crooked arts and dark alleys in their hearts, whereby he that knows them may save himself much time and trouble.

Great men, like comets, are eccentric in their courses, and formed to do extensive good, by modes unintelligible to vulgar minds.

The mob, like the ocean, is very seldom agitated without some cause superior and exterior to itself; but … both are capable of doing the greatest mischief after the cause which first set them in motion has ceased to act.

Necessary … as friction in mechanics.

Opinions, like showers, are generated in high places.

Power, like the diamond, dazzles the beholder, and also the wearer; it dignifies meanness; it magnifies littleness; to what is contemptible, it gives authority; to what is low, exaltation.

Pride, like the magnet, constantly points to one object,—self,—self; but, unlike the magnet, it has no attractive pole, but at all points repels.

React like the pendulum.

As reasonable as to expect that the tiger will spare the hart, to browse upon the herbage.

Russia, like the elephant, is rather unwieldy in attacking others, but most formidable in defending herself. She proposes this dilemma to all invaders—a dilemma that Napoleon discovered too late. The horns of it are short and simple, but strong. Come unto me with few, and I will overwhelm you; come to me with many, and you shall overwhelm yourselves.

The skeptic, when he plunges into the depths of infidelity, like the miser who leaps from the shipwreck, will find that the treasures which he bears about him, will only sink him deeper in the abyss.

Our thoughts, like the waters of the sea, when exhaled towards Heaven, will lose all their bitterness and saltness, and sweeten into an amiable humanity, until they descend in gentle showers of love and kindness upon our fellow-men.

Truth, like the juice of a poppy, in small quantities, calms men; in large, heats and irritates them, and is attended by fatal circulation, because men have discovered that it is far more inconvenient to adulterate the truth than to refine themselves.

Uncertain as the wind.

Uncontrollable as the wave.

Unfit … as pure gold for circulation.

Variable as color.

Violent as steam.