C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Society is built upon trust.


Self-trust is the essence of heroism.


Security is mortal’s chiefest enemy.


Be not confident and affirmative.

Jeremy Taylor.

For they can conquer who believe they can.


Trust not him that hath once broken faith.


Confidence is nowhere safe.


Confidence is a plant of slow growth in an aged bosom.

William Pitt.

He knows little who will tell his wife all he knows.

Thomas Fuller.

He who has lost confidence can lose nothing more.


Thou know’st how fearless is my trust in thee.

Miss L. E. Landon.

He is safe who admits no one to his confidence.

La Rochefoucauld.

Confidence imparts a wonderful inspiration to its possessor.


  • Be as just and gracious unto me,
  • As I am confident and kind to thee.
  • Shakespeare.

  • He that wold not when he might,
  • He shall not when he wold-a.
  • Percy.

  • Your wisdom is consum’d in confidence.
  • Do not go forth to-day.
  • Shakespeare.

    Fields are won by those who believe in the winning.

    T. W. Higginson.

    Wise men have but few confidants, and cunning ones none.

    H. W. Shaw.

    He who believes in nobody knows that he himself is not to be trusted.


    Confidence in another man’s virtue is no slight evidence of a man’s own.


    Confidence in conversation has a greater share than wit.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    It is almost always to save telling a great deal that women tell a little to their husbands.


    Surely modesty never hurt any cause; and the confidence of man seems to me to be much like the wrath of man.


    Trust him little who praises all, him less who censures all, and him least who is indifferent about all.


    A noble heart, like the sun, showeth its greatest confidence in its lowest estate.

    Sir P. Sidney.

    Trust him with little who, without proofs, trusts you with everything, or, when he has proved you, with nothing.


    Confidence is that feeling by which the mind embarks in great and honorable courses with a sure hope and trust in itself.


    Confidence, as opposed to modesty and distinguished from decent assurance, proceeds from self-opinion, and is occasioned by ignorance and flattery.

    Jeremy Collier.

    He who does not respect confidence, will never find happiness in his path. The belief in virtue vanishes from his heart, the source of nobler actions becomes extinct in him.


    Whatever distrust we may have of the sincerity of those who converse with us, we always believe they will tell us more truth than they do to others.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    The hearing ear is always found close to the speaking tongue; and no genius can long or often utter anything which is not invited and gladly entertained by men around him.


    We may have the confidence of another without possessing his heart. If his heart be ours, there is no need of revelation or of confidence,—all is open to us.

    Du Cœur.

    To reveal imprudently the spot where we are most sensitive and vulnerable is to invite a blow. The demigod Achilles admitted no one to his confidence.

    Madame Swetchine.

    There is something captivating in spirit and intrepidity, to which we often yield as to a resistless power; nor can he reasonably expect the confidence of others who too apparently distrusts himself.


    It is unjust and absurd of persons advancing in years, to expect of the young that confidence should come all and only on their side; the human heart, at whatever age, opens only to the heart that opens in return.

    Miss Edgeworth.

    I see before me the statue of a celebrated minister, who said that confidence was a plant of slow growth. But I believe, however gradual may be the growth of confidence, that of credit requires still more time to arrive at maturity.

    Benj. Disraeli.

    Where there is any good disposition, confidence begets faithfulness; but distrust, if it do not produce treachery, never fails to destroy every inclination to evince fidelity. Most people disdain to clear themselves from the accusations of mere suspicion.

    Jane Porter.

    Most frequently we make confidants from vanity, a love of talking, a wish to win the confidence of others, and to make an exchange of secrets.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    Never put much confidence in such as put no confidence in others. A man prone to suspect evil is mostly looking in his neighbor for what he sees in himself. As to the pure all things are pure, even so to the impure all things are impure.


    Confidence always pleases those who receive it. It is a tribute we pay to their merit, a deposit we commit to their trust, a pledge that gives them a claim upon us, a kind of dependence to which we voluntarily submit.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    All confidence which is not absolute and entire is dangerous; there are few occasions but where a man ought either to say all or conceal all; for how little soever you have revealed of your secret to a friend, you have already said too much if you think it not safe to make him privy to all particulars.

    J. Beaumont.

  • Confidence is conqueror of men; victorious both over them and in them;
  • The iron will of one stout heart shall make a thousand quail:
  • A feeble dwarf, dauntlessly resolved, will turn the tide of battle,
  • And rally to a nobler strife the giants that had fled.
  • Tupper.

    There is a kind of greatness which does not depend upon fortune; it is a certain manner that distinguishes us, and which seems to destine us for great things; it is the value we insensibly set upon ourselves; it is by this quality that we gain the deference of other men, and it is this which commonly raises us more above them, than birth, rank, or even merit itself.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    Let not the quietness of any man’s temper, much less the confidence he has in thy honesty and goodness, tempt thee to contrive any mischief against him; for the more securely he relies on thy virtue, and the less mistrust he has of any harm from thee, the greater wickedness will it be to entertain even the thought of doing him an injury.

    Bishop Patrick.

    People have generally three epochs in their confidence in man. In the first they believe him to be everything that is good, and they are lavish with their friendship and confidence. In the next, they have had experience, has smitten down their confidence, and they then have to be careful not to mistrust every one, and to put the worst construction upon everything. Later in life, they learn that the greater number of men have much more good in them than bad, and that even when there is cause to blame, there is more reason to pity than condemn; and then a spirit of confidence again awakens within them.

    Fredrika Bremer.

    When young, we trust ourselves too much, and we trust others too little when old. Rashness is the error of youth, timid caution of age. Manhood is the isthmus between the two extremes; the ripe and fertile season of action, when alone we can hope to find the head to contrive, united with the hand to execute.