Wide World of Quotes > James Fenimore Cooper Quotes

James Fenimore Cooper
American writer

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Few men exhibit greater diversity, or, if we may so express it, greater antithesis of character than the native warrior of North America. In war, he is daring, boastful, cunning, ruthless, self-denying, and self-devoted; in peace, just, generous, hospitable, revengeful, superstitious, modest, and commonly chaste.
-- The Last of the Mohicans (1826)

History, like love, is apt to surround her heroes with an atmosphere of imaginary brightness.
-- The Last of the Mohicans (1826)

I have lived to see two things in my old age, that never did I expect to behold. An Englishman afraid to support a friend, and a Frenchman too honest to profit by his advantage.
-- The Last of the Mohicans (1826)

Slavery is no more sinful, by the Christian code, than it is sinful to wear a whole coat, while another is in tatters, to eat a better meal than a neighbor, or otherwise to enjoy ease and plenty, while our fellow creatures are suffering and in want.
-- The American Democrat (1838), "On Slavery"

Candor is a proof of both a just frame of mind, and of a good tone of breeding. It is a quality that belongs, equally to the honest man and to the gentleman : to the first, as doing to others as we would ourselves be done by; to the last, as indispensable to the liberality of the character.

By candor we are not to understand trifling and uncalled for expositions of truth; but a sentiment that proves a conviction of the necessity of speaking truth, when speaking at all; a contempt for all designing evasions of our real opinions; and a deep conviction that he who deceives by necessary implication, deceives willfully.

In all the general concerns, the publick has a right to be treated with candor. Without this manly and truly republican quality, republican because no power exists in the country to intimidate any from its exhibition, the institutions are converted into a stupendous fraud.
-- The American Democrat (1838), Ch. 23 : "On Candor"

The demagogue is usually sly, a detractor of others, a professor of humility and disinterestedness, a great stickler for equality as respects all above him, a man who acts in corners, and avoids open and manly expositions of his course, calls blackguards gentlemen, and gentlemen folks, appeals to passions and prejudices rather than to reason, and is in all respects, a man of intrigue and deception, of sly cunning and management.
-- The American Democrat (1838), "On Demagogues"

Hurry was one of those theorists who believed in the inferiority of all the human race who was not white. His notions on the subject were not very clear, nor were his definitions at all well settled; but his opinions were nonetheless dogmatical or fierce.
-- The Deerslayer: Or the First War Path (1841)

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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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