Daniel Defoe

Daniel Defoe
Daniel Defoe
  • Born: September 13, 1660
  • Died: April 24, 1731
  • Nationality: English
  • Profession: Writer, Journalist

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Daniel Defoe, born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer and spy. He is most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe, which is second only to the Bible in its number of translations. He has been seen as one of the earliest proponents of the English novel, and helped to popularise the form in Britain with others such as Aphra Behn and Samuel Richardson. Defoe wrote many political tracts and often was in trouble with the authorities, including a spell in prison. Intellectuals and political leaders paid attention to his fresh ideas and sometimes consulted with him.

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… vice came in always at the door of necessity, not at the door of inclination. Legislating & Legislative Process
All men would be tyrants if they could. Human Nature
And of all plagues with which mankind are cursed, Ecclesiastic tyranny's the worst. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
As certain as death and taxes. Taxes
As covetousness is the root of all evil, so poverty is, I believe, the worst of all snares. Poverty
As to the wealth of the nation, that undoubtedly lies chiefly among the trading part of the people Business, Commerce & Finance
But 'tis pity the Press should come into a Party-strife: This is like two Parties going to War, and one depriving the other of all their Powder and Shot. Ammunition stands always Neuter, or rather, Jack a both Sides, every body has it, and then they get the Victory who have most Courage to use it, and Conduct to manage it. Media, Journalism & The Press
Fear of danger is ten thousand times more terrifying than danger itself. Terrorism
I have often thought of it as one of the most barbarous customs in the world, considering us as a civilized and a Christian country, that we deny the advantages of learning to women. We reproach the sex every day with folly and impertinence; while I am confident, had they the advantages of education equal to us, they would be guilty of less than ourselves. Discrimination & Prejudice
I saw, though too late, the folly of beginning a work before we count the cost, and before we judge rightly of our own strength to go through with it. Management & Managing Government
Of all the plagues with which mankind are curst, Ecclesiastic tyranny's the worst. Religion & God
Poverty fills armies, mans navies. Poverty
The Dutch must be understood as they really are—the middle persons in trade, the factors and brokers of Europe. They buy and sell again, take in to send out, and the greatest part of their vast commerce consists in being supplied from all parts of the world, that they may supply all parts again. Foreign Trade
The greatness of the British nation is not owing to war and conquests, to enlarging its dominions by the sword, or subjecting the people of other countries to our power; but it is allowing to trade, to the increase of our commerce at home, and the extending it abroad. Foreign Trade
The spinning work is performed by the poor people who live in villages and scattered houses. The clothiers, who generally live in the towns, send out the wool weekly to the spinners. At the same time, the clothiers' servants and horses bring back the yarn that they the spinners have spun and finished. Business, Commerce & Finance
The very nature of the marriage contract was…nothing but giving up liberty, estate, authority, and everything to man, and the woman was indeed a mere woman ever after – that is to say, a slave. Minorities & Women ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
There are a hundred thousand country fellows in his time ready to fight to the death against popery, without knowing whether popery was a man or a horse. Discrimination & Prejudice
Those who are not hard-hearted enough to murder themselves leave it to others, to parish nurses who leave the babies to starve. History ;Families, Children & Parenting ;Poverty
'tis enough to make Laws to punish Crimes when they are committed, and not to put it in the power of any single Man, on pretence of preventing Offences to commit worse. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
'Tis very strange Men should be so fond of being thought wickeder than they are. Human Nature
To Cure the ill Use of Liberty, with a Deprivation of Liberty, is like cutting off the Leg to cure the Gout in the Toe Freedom & Liberty
To-day we love what to-morrow we hate; to-day we seek what to-morrow we shun; to-day we desire what to-morrow we fear. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
Trade is so far here from being inconsistent with a gentleman, that, in short, trade in England makes gentlemen ; for, after a generation or two, the tradesmen's children, or at least their grandchildren, come to be as good gentlemen, statesmen, parliament-men, privy-councilors, judges, bishops, and noblemen, as those of the highest birth, and the most ancient families Business, Commerce & Finance
Trade is so far here from being inconsistent with a gentleman, that, in short, trade in England makes gentlemen; for, after a generation or two, the tradesmen's children, or at least their grandchildren, come to be as good;, gentlemen, statesmen, parliament-men, privy-councilors, judges, bishops, and noblemen, as those of the highest birth, and the most ancient families. Business, Commerce & Finance
We are the greatest trading country in the world because we have the greatest exportation of the growth and product of our land and of the manufacture and labor of our people; and the greatest importation and consumption of the growth, product, and manufactures of other countries from abroad, of any nation in the world. Foreign Trade
Wherever God erects a house of prayer, The Devil always builds a chapel there; And 'twill be found, upon examination, The latter has the largest congregation. Religion & God
All our discontents about what we want appeared to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have.
An Englishman will fairly drink as much As will maintain two families of Dutch.
As covetousness is the root of all evil, so poverty is the worst of all snares.
He that is rich is wise.
In trouble to be troubled, Is to have your trouble doubled.
It is better to have a lion at the head of an army of sheep, than a sheep at the head of an army of lions. Leaders & Leadership
Justice is always violent to the party offending, for every man is innocent in his own eyes.
Nature has left this tincture in the blood, That all men would be tyrants if they could. Nature
Necessity makes an honest man a knave.
Pride the first peer and president of hell.
The best of men cannot suspend their fate: The good die early, and the bad die late.
The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.
'Tis no sin to cheat the devil.
Vice came in always at the door of necessity, not at the door of inclination.

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