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[ Also see Boldness Bravery Caution Challenge Courage Cowards Despair Dueling Fear Fortitude Panic Soldiers Valor War Weakness ]

He who despairs over an event is a coward, but he who holds hopes for the human condition is a fool.
      - Albert Camus

The reign of terror to which France submitted has been more justly termed "the reign of cowardice." One knows not which most to execrate,--the nation that could submit to suffer such atrocities, or that low and bloodthirsty demagogue that could inflict them. France, in succumbing to such a wretch as Robespierre, exhibited, not her patience, but her pusillanimity.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.
      - Confucius

To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage.
      - Confucius, Analects (bk. II, ch. XXIV)

Grac'd with a sword, and worthier of a fan.
      - William Cowper, Task (bk. I, l. 771)

That all men would be cowards if they dare,
  Some men we know have courage to declare.
      - George Crabbe, Tale I--The Dumb Orators
         (l. 11)

This republic was not established by cowards; and cowards will not preserve it.
      - Elmer Davis

Cowardice, the dread of what will happen.
      - Epictetus

Cowards do not count in battle; they are there but not in it.
      - Euripides

To be afraid is the miserable condition of a coward. To do wrong, or omit to do right from fear, is to superadd delinquency to cowardice.
      - David Dudley Field

Cowardice is not synonymous with prudence. It often happens that the better part of discretion is valor.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

Cowardice, as distinguished from panic, is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination.
      - Ernest Hemingway

He was just a coward and that was the worst luck any many could have.
      - Ernest Hemingway

A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit.
      - Thomas Jefferson

Cowardice encroaches fast upon such as spend their lives in company of persons higher than themselves.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

When desp'rate ills demand a speedy cure,
  Distrust is cowardice, and prudence folly.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature"),
        Irene (act IV, sc. 1)

To keep silent when we should protest, makes cowards of men.
      - Abraham Lincoln

A team is where a boy can prove his courage on his own. A gang is where a coward goes to hide.
      - Mickey Mantle

  That kills himself to avoid misery, fears it,
    And, at the best, shows but a bastard valour.
      This life's a fort committed to my trust,
        Which I must not yield up, till it be forced:
          Nor will I. He's not valiant that dares die,
            But he that boldly bears calamity.
      - Philip Massinger, Maid of Honour
         (act IV, sc. 3)

All enchantments die; only cowards die with them.
      - Charles Morgan

That man is not truly brave who is afraid either to seem to be, or to be, when it suits him, a coward.
      - Edgar Allan Poe

If cowardice were not so completely a coward as to be unable to look steadily upon the effects of courage, he would find that there is no refuge so sure as dauntless valor.
      - Jane Porter

Better it were not to live than to live a coward.
      - Sir Walter Raleigh (1),
        Instruction to His Son (sec. iv)

He has no more backbone than a chocolate eclair.
      - Theodore Roosevelt

What is in reality cowardice and faithlessness, we call charity, and consider it the part of benevolence sometimes to forgive men's evil practice for the sake of their accurate faith, and sometimes to forgive their confessed heresy for the sake of their admirable practice.
      - John Ruskin

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