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


The concessions of the weak are the concessions of fear.


Fear not; for I am with thee.


Nothing is to be feared but fear.


Fear is the mother of safety.


Fear has many eyes.


Fear always springs from ignorance.


Fear is the mother of foresight.

Henry Taylor.

Fear is the tax that conscience pays to guilt.


Fear naturally quickens the flight of guilt.


Fear is the parent of cruelty.


Fear in the world first created the gods.


The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.


Of all base passions fear is most accurs’d.


No one loves the man whom he fears.


Fear is faithlessness.

George MacDonald.

Fear makes men believe the worst.

Quintus Curtius Rufus.

In time we hate that which we often fear.


To grief there is a limit; not so to fear.


In extreme danger fear feels no pity.


Fear loves the idea of danger.


Fear makes us feel our humanity.


Fear is cruel and mean.


By daring, great fears are often concealed.


Noiseless as fear in a wide wilderness.


’Tis time to fear when tyrants seem to kiss.


Fain would I climb, yet fear I to fall.

Sir Walter Raleigh.

Fear though blind is swift and strong.

Dr. Mackay.

He has but one great fear that fears to do wrong.


Fear is the proof of a degenerate mind.


Hang those that talk of fear.


Fear is not a lasting teacher of duty.


Less base the fear of death than fear of life.


Fearless as the strong-winged eagle.


Whistling to keep myself from being afraid.


  • Fear is the white lipp’d sire
  • Of subterfuge and treachery.
  • Mrs. Sigourney.

  • Desponding fear, of feeble fancies full,
  • Weak and unmanly, loosens ev’ry power.
  • Thomson.

  • There is not such a word
  • Spoke of in Scotland, as this term of fear.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Those linen cheeks of thine
  • Are counsellors to fear.
  • Shakespeare.

  • When our actions do not,
  • Our fears do make us traitors.
  • Shakespeare.

    Fear not the proud and the haughty; fear rather him who fears God.


    We Germans fear God, but nothing else in the world.

    Prince Bismarck.

    Of all faults the greatest is the excess of impious terror, dishonoring divine grace.


    Present fears are less than horrible imaginings.


    Fear is a dagger with which hypocrisy assassinates the soul.

    R. G. Ingersoll.

    Mutual fear is a principal link in the chain of mutual love.

    Thomas Paine.

    There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment.


  • The Fear of God is freedom, joy, and peace;
  • And makes all ills that vex us here to cease.
  • Waller.

    In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly.


    Fear is far more painful to cowardice than death to true courage.

    Sir Philip Sidney.

    The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear.


    It is only the fear of God that can deliver us from the fear of man.


    You are uneasy,***you never sailed with me before, I see.

    Andrew Jackson.

    We are not apt to fear for the fearless, when we are companions in their danger.

    George Eliot.

    Stared in her eyes and chalk’d her face.


    Fear invites danger; concealed cowards insult known ones.


    Speechless with wonder and half dead with fear.


    No one but a poltroon will boast that he never was afraid.

    Marshal Lannes.

    If you will fear nothing, think that all things are to be feared.


    Every one wishes that the man whom he fears would perish.


    An immense, misshapen, marvelous monster, whose eye is out.


    The absent danger greater still appears; less fears he who is near the thing he fears.


    Fear, either as a principle or a motive, is the beginning of all evil.

    Mrs. Jameson.

    Whom we fear more than love, we are not far from hating.


    The only inheritance I have received from my ancestors is a soul incapable of fear.


    When the truth cannot be clearly made out, what is false is increased through fear.

    Quintus Curtius Rufus.

    Even the bravest men are frightened by sudden terrors.


    From the moment fear begins I have ceased to fear.


  • Fear on guilt attends, and deeds of darkness;
  • The virtuous breast ne’er knows it.
  • Havard.

    Fear is implanted in us as a preservative from evil.

    Dr. Johnson.

    I rather tell thee what is to be feared than what I fear; for always I am Cæsar.


    The miser acquires, yet fears to use his gains.


    To die without fear of death is to be desired.


    Why, what should be the fear? I do not set my life at a pin’s fee; and, for my soul, what can it do to that, being a thing immortal.


    A certain degree of fear produces the same effects as rashness.

    Cardinal de Retz.

    Apprehensions are greater in proportion as things are unknown.


    He must necessarily fear many, whom many fear.


  • Or in the night, imagining some fear,
  • How easy is a bush suppos’d a bear!
  • Shakespeare.

    Nothing routs us but the villainy of our fears.


    We must expect everything and fear everything from time and from men.


    There is this paradox in fear: he is most likely to inspire it in others who has none himself!


    From a distance it is something; and nearby it is nothing.

    La Fontaine.

  • Oh! that fear
  • When the heart longs to know, what it is death to hear.
  • Croly.

    The direct foe of courage is the fear itself, not the object of it; and the man who can overcome his own terror is a hero, and more.

    George MacDonald.

    The wounded limb shrinks from the slightest touch; and a slight shadow alarms the nervous.


  • To fear the foe, since fear oppresseth strength,
  • Gives in your weakness strength unto your foe.
  • Shakespeare.

    The dove, O hawk, that has once been wounded by thy talons, is frightened by the least movement of a wing.


    There is a courageous wisdom; there is also a false, reptile prudence, the result not of caution, but of fear.


    Fear is that passion which hath the greatest power over us, and by which God and His laws take the surest hold of us.


    Nothing so demoralizes the forces of the soul as fear. Only as we realize the presence of the Lord does fear give place to faith.

    Sarah Smiley.

    What can that man fear who takes care to please a Being that is able to crush all his adversaries?


    We often pretend to fear what we really despise, and more often to despise what we really fear.


    I feel my sinews slackened with the fright, and a cold sweat trills down all over my limbs, as if I were dissolving into water.


    Fearfulness, contrary to all other vices, maketh a man think the better of another, the worse of himself.

    Sir P. Sidney.

    Fear sometimes adds wings to the heels, and sometimes nails them to the ground, and fetters them from moving.


    In how large a proportion of creatures is existence composed of one ruling passion, the most agonizing of all sensations—fear.


    There is great beauty in going through life fearlessly. Half our fears are baseless, the other half discreditable.


    Good men have the fewest fears. He has but one great fear who fears to do wrong; he has a thousand who has overcome it.


  • And being thus frighted swears a prayer or two,
  • And sleeps again.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Imagination frames events unknown,
  • In wild, fantastic shapes of hideous ruin,
  • And what it fears creates.
  • Hannah More.

    We must be afraid of neither poverty nor exile nor imprisonment; of fear itself only should we be afraid.


    Nothing is so rash as fear; and the counsels of pusillanimity very rarely put off, whilst they are always sure to aggravate, the evils from which they would fly.


    The thing in the world I am most afraid of is fear, and with good reason; that passion alone, in the trouble of it, exceeding all other.


    Fear hath the common fault of a justice of peace, and is apt to conclude hastily from every slight circumstance, without examining the evidence on both sides.


  • O, fear not in a world like this,
  • And thou shalt know ere long,—
  • Know how sublime a thing it is
  • To suffer and be strong.
  • Longfellow.

    Shun fear, it is the ague of the soul! a passion man created for himself—for sure that cramp of nature could not dwell in the warm realms of glory.

    Aaron Hill.

    There is nothing so ingenious as fear; it is even more ingenious than hatred, especially when its concern is with the preservation of money.

    Bayle St. John.

  • The fear o’ hell’s the hangman’s whip
  • To haud the wretch in order;
  • But where ye feel your honor grip,
  • Let that aye be your border.
  • Burns.

    A man should always allow his fears to rise to their highest possible pitch, and, then some consolation or other will suddenly fall, like a warm rain-drop, upon his heart.


    Many never think on God but in extremity of fear; and then, perplexity not suffering them to be idle, they think and do as it were in a frenzy.


    We are ashamed of our fear; for we know that a righteous man would not suspect danger nor incur any. Wherever a man feels fear, there is an avenger.


    All fear is in itself painful, and, when it conduces not to safety, is painful without use. Every consideration, therefore, by which groundless terrors may be removed adds something to human happiness.


    Fear guides more to their duty than gratitude; for one man who is virtuous from the love of virtue, from the obligation he thinks he lies under to the Giver of all, there are ten thousand who are good only from their apprehension of punishment.


  • Must I consume my life—this little life,
  • In guarding against all may make it less?
  • It is not worth so much!—it were to die
  • Before my hour, to live in dread of death.
  • Byron.

  • What are fears but voices airy?
  • Whispering harm where harm is not,
  • And deluding the unwary
  • Till the fatal bolt is shot!
  • Wordsworth.

    The dreadful fear of hell is to be driven out, which disturbs the life of man and renders it miserable, overcasting all things with the blackness of darkness, and leaving no pure, unalloyed pleasure.


    In every mind where there is a strong tendency to fear there is a strong capacity to hate. Those who dwell in fear dwell next door to hate; and I think it is the cowardice of women which makes them such intense haters.

    Mrs. Jameson.

    God planted fear in the soul as truly as He planted hope or courage. Fear is a kind of bell, or gong, which rings the mind into quick life and avoidance upon the approach of danger. It is the soul’s signal for rallying.


    Fear nothing but what thy industry may prevent; be confident of nothing but what fortune cannot defeat; it is no less folly to fear what is impossible to be avoided than to be secure when there is a possibility to be deprived.


    In morals, what begins in fear usually ends in wickedness; in religion, what begins in fear usually ends in fanaticism. Fear, either as a principle or a motive, is the beginning of all evil.

    Mrs. Jameson.

    They who cannot be induced to fear for love will never be enforced to love for fear. Love opens the heart, fear shuts it; that encourages, this compels; and victory meets encouragement, but flees compulsion.


    Timidity is a disease of the mind, obstinate and fatal; for a man once persuaded that any impediment is insuperable has given it, with respect to himself, that strength and weight which it had not before.

    Dr. Johnson.

  • Things done well,
  • And with a care, exempt themselves from fear;
  • Things done without example, in their issue
  • Are to be feared.
  • Shakespeare.

  • The wretch that fears to drown, will break through flames;
  • Or, in his dread of flames, will plunge in waves.
  • When eagles are in view, the screaming doves
  • Will cower beneath the feet of man for safety.
  • Cibber.

    Were a man’s sorrows and disquietudes summed up at the end of his life, it would generally be found that he had suffered more from the apprehension of such evils as never happened to him than from those evils which had really befallen him.


    Many men affect to despise fear, and in preaching resent any appeal to it; but not to fear when there is occasion is as great a weakness as to fear unduly without reason. God implanted fear in the soul as truly as He implanted hope or courage.


    Man begins life helpless. The babe is in paroxysms of fear the moment its nurse leaves it alone, and it comes so slowly to any power of self-protection that mothers say the salvation of the life and health of a young child is a perpetual miracle.


    Fear is implanted in us as a preservative from evil; but its duty, like that of other passions, is not to overbear reason, but to assist it; nor should it be suffered to tyrannize in the imagination, to raise phantoms of horror, or to beset life with supernumerary distresses.


    Fear accomplishes much in love. The husband of the Middle Ages was loved by his wife for his very severity. The bride of William the Conqueror, having been beaten by him, recognized him by this token for her lord and husband.


  • Thou shalt be punish’d for thus frighting me.
  • For I am sick and capable of fears;
  • Oppress’d with wrongs, and therefore full of fears;
  • A widow, husbandless, subject to fears;
  • A woman, naturally born to fears;
  • And though thou now confess, thou did’st but jest,
  • With my vex’d spirits I cannot take a truce,
  • But they will quake and tremble all this day.
  • Shakespeare.

    Fear never was a friend to the love of God or man, to duty or conscience, truth, probity, or honor. It therefore can never make a good subject, a good citizen, or a good soldier, and, least of all, a good Christian; except the devils, who believe and tremble, are to be accounted good Christians.

    Henry Brooke.

    The passion of fear (as a modern philosopher informs me) determines the spirits of the muscles of the knees, which are instantly ready to perform their motion, by taking up the legs with incomparable celerity, in order to remove the body out of harm’s way.


  • The weakness we lament, ourselves create.
  • Instructed from our infant years to court,
  • With counterfeited fears, the aid of man,
  • We learn to shudder at the rustling breeze,
  • Start at the light, and tremble in the dark,
  • Till affectation, rip’ning to belief
  • And folly, frighted at our own chimeras,
  • Habitual cowardice usurps the soul.
  • Johnson.

    I saw a delicate flower had grown up two feet high, between the horses’ path and the wheel-track. An inch more to the right or left had sealed its fate, or an inch higher; and yet it lived to flourish as much as if it had a thousand acres of untrodden space around it, and never knew the danger it incurred. It did not borrow trouble, nor invite an evil fate by apprehending it.


    Such as are in immediate fear of losing their estates, of banishment, or of slavery, live in perpetual anguish, and lose all appetite and repose; such as are actually poor slaves and exiles oftentimes live as merrily as men in a better condition; and so many people who, impatient of the perpetual alarms of fear, have hanged and drowned themselves give us sufficiently to understand that it is more importunate and insupportable than death itself.


  • I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
  • Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
  • Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
  • Thy knotted and combined locks to part
  • And each particular hair to stand on end,
  • Like quills upon the fretful porpentine.
  • Shakespeare.

    There is a virtuous fear which is the effect of faith; and there is a vicious fear, which is the product of doubt. The former leads to hope, as relying on God, in wham we believe; the latter inclines to despair, as not relying on God, in whom we do not believe. Persons of the one character fear to lose God; persons of the other character fear to find Him.


  • When the sun sets, shadows that show’d at noon
  • But small, appear most long and terrible:
  • So when we think fate hovers o’er our heads,
  • Our apprehensions shoot beyond all bounds;
  • Owls, ravens, crickets, seem the watch of death:
  • Nature’s worst vermin scare her godlike sons.
  • Echoes, the very leaving of a voice,
  • Grow babbling ghosts, and call us to our graves.
  • Each mole-hill thought swells to a huge Olympus,
  • While we, fantastic dreamers, heave and puff,
  • And sweat with an imagination’s weight.
  • Lee.