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[ Also see Adaptation Conformity Culture Etiquette Fashion Habit Innovation Manners Precedent Society Tradition ]

There is nothing more nearly permanent in human life than a well-established custom.
      - Joseph Anderson

Custom is second nature.
  [Lat., Consuetudo est secunda natura.]
      - Saint Aurelius Augustine (Augustine of Hippo)

Custom is the principle magistrate of man's life.
      - Francis Bacon

Experience is the mother of custom.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

There is no tyrant like custom, and no freedom where its edicts are not resisted.
      - Christian Nestell Bovee

Custom reconciles us to everything.
      - Edmund Burke

Custom doth make dotards of us all.
      - Thomas Carlyle

We do everything by custom, even believe by it; our very axioms, let us boast of free-thinking as we may, are oftenest simply such beliefs as we have never heard questioned.
      - Thomas Carlyle

An ancient custom obtains force of nature.
  [Lat., Vetus consuetudo naturae vim obtinet.]
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short),
        De Inventione

Custom is the law of one description of fools, and fashion of another; but the two parties often clash--for precedent is the legislator of the first, and novelty of the last. Custom, therefore, looks to things that are past, and fashion to things that are present.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

When all moves equally (says Pascal), nothing seems to move as in a vessel under sail; and when all run by common consent into vice, none appear to do so. He that stops first, views as from a fixed point the horrible extravagance that transports the rest.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

To follow foolish precedents, and wink
  With both our eyes is easier than to think.
      - William Cowper

Such dupes are men to custom, and so prone
  To rev'rence what is ancient, and can plead
    A course of long observance for its use,
      That even servitude, the worst of ills,
        Because deliver'd down from sire to son,
          Is kept and guarded as a sacred thing!
      - William Cowper, Task (bk. V, l. 298)

The slaves of custom and established mode,
  With pack-horse constancy we keep the road
    Crooked or straight, through quags or thorny dells,
      True to the jingling of our leader's bells.
      - William Cowper, Tirocinium (l. 251)

Man yields to custom, as he bows to fate,
  In all things ruled--mind, body, and estate,
    In pain, in sickness, we for cure apply
      To them we know not, and we know not why.
      - George Crabbe,
        Tale III--The Gentleman Farmer (l. 86)

Custom, though never so ancient, without truth, is but an old error.
      - Saint Cyprian (Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus)

The customs and fashions of men change like leaves on the bough, some of which go and others come.
      - Dante ("Dante Alighieri"), Paradiso
         (XXVI, 137)

Customs may not be as wise as laws, but they are always more popular.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

Only that he may conform
  To (Tyrant) customs.
      - Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas,
        Divine Weekes and Workes--Second Week--Third Day
         (pt. II)

The custom and fashion of to-day will be the awkwardness and outrage of to-morrow. So arbitrary are these transient laws.
      - Alexandre Dumas pere

Custom may lead a man into many errors; but it justifies none.
      - Henry Fielding

The ancients tell us what is best; but we must learn of the moderns what is fittest.
      - Benjamin Franklin

Custom forms us all; our thoughts, our morals, our most fixed belief, are consequences of our place of birth.
      - Aaron Hill

Custom is the great leveller. It corrects the inequality of fortune by lessening equally the pleasures of the prince and the pains of the peasant.
      - Henry Home, Lord Kames

Custom meets us at the cradle and leaves us only at the tomb.
      - Robert Green Ingersoll

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