Thomas Chandler Haliburton

Canadian-British politician, judge, and author (1796-1865)

Thomas Chandler Haliburton (December 17, 1796August 27, 1865) was one of the first major Canadian authors. He was also a judge and, for a short period of years, a member of the Canadian Parliament.

Circumstances alter cases.

Quotes edit

  • Always judge your fellow passengers to be the opposite of what they strive to appear to be.
    For instance, a military man is not quarrelsome, for no man doubts his courage; but a snob is.
    A clergyman is not over strait- laced, for his piety is not questioned; but a cheat is.
    A lawyer is not apt to be argumentative; but an actor is.
    A woman that is all smiles and graces is a vixen at heart : snakes fascinate.
    A stranger that is obsequious and over-civil without apparent cause is treacherous: cats that purr are apt to bite and scratch.
    Pride is one thing, assumption is another; the latter must always get the cold shoulder, for whoever shews it is no gentleman: men never affect to be what they are, but what they are not. The only man who really is what he appears to be is — a gentleman.
    • Maxims of an Old Stager.
  • I want you to see Peel, Stanley, Graham, Sheil, Russell, Macaulay, Old Joe, and soon. They are all upper-crust here.
    • Sam Slick in England (1835), Ch. XXIV; “Sam Slick” first appeared in a weekly paper of Nova Scotia, 1835. Comparable to: "Those families, you know, are our upper-crust,—not upper ten thousand", Cooper: The Ways of the Hour, chap. vi. (1850); "At present there is no distinction among the upper ten thousand of the city" N. P. Willis, Necessity for a Promenade Drive.
  • We reckon hours and minutes to be dollars and cents.
    • The Clockmaker (1836); comparable to "Remember that time is money" in "Advice to a Young Tradesman" (1748) by Benjamin Franklin
  • We can do without any article of luxury we have never had; but when once obtained, it is not in human natur’ to surrender it voluntarily.
    • The Clockmaker (1836).
  • Circumstances alter cases.
    • The Old Judge, Or Life in a Colony (1849), Ch. XV.
  • Commodore Marlin: My friend, I ask you a plain civil question; will you give me a plain, civil answer?
Sam Slick: Thinks to myself, Commodore, the question is civil enough, but you ain't civil, and your manner ain't civil.
  • Nicknames stick to people, and the most ridiculous are the most adhesive.
    • Wise-saws : or, Sam Slick in Search of a Wife (1856), p. 179.
  • Punctuality [...] is the soul of business.
    • Sam Slick's Wise Saws and Modern Instances, Hurst and Blackett, 1859, p. 31.
  • Everything has altered its dimensions, except the world we live in. The more we know of that, the smaller it seems. Time and distance have been abridged, remote countries have become accessible, and the antipodes are upon visiting terms. There is a reunion of the human race; and the family resemblance now that we begin to think alike, dress alike, and live alike, is very striking. The South Sea Islanders, and the inhabitants of China, import their fashions from Paris, and their fabrics from Manchester, while Rome and London supply missionaries to the ‘ends of the earth,’ to bring its inhabitants into ‘one fold, under one Shepherd.’ Who shall write a book of travels now? Livingstone has exhausted the subject. What field is there left for a future Munchausen? The far West and the far East have shaken hands and pirouetted together, and it is a matter of indifference whether you go to the moors in Scotland to shoot grouse, to South America to ride an alligator, or to Indian jungles to shoot tigers-there are the same facilities for reaching all, and steam will take you to either with the equal ease and rapidity. We have already talked with New York; and as soon as our speaking-trumpet is mended shall converse again. ‘To waft a sigh from Indus to the pole,’ is no longer a poetic phrase, but a plain matter of fact of daily occurrence. Men breakfast at home, and go fifty miles to their counting-houses, and when their work is done, return to dinner. They don’t go from London to the seaside, by way of change, once a year; but they live on the coast, and go to the city daily. The grand tour of our forefathers consisted in visiting the principle cities of Europe. It was a great effort, occupied a vast deal of time, cost a large sum of money, and was oftener attended with danger than advantage. It comprised what was then called, the world: whoever had performed it was said to have ‘seen the world,’ and all that it contained. The Grand Tour now means a voyage round the globe, and he who has not made it has seen nothing.
    • The Season-Ticket, An Evening at Cork 1860 p. 1-2.

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