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Title: Book of Wise Sayings - Selected Largely from Eastern Sources
Author: Clouston, William Alexander, 1843-1896
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                              BOOK OF

                            WISE SAYINGS



                           W. A. CLOUSTON

         _Author of “Popular Tales and Fictions,” “Literary
             Coincidences, and other Papers,” “Flowers
                   from a Persian Garden,” etc._

        “Concise sentences, like darts, fly abroad and make
         impressions, while long discourses are tedious and not

        “Many are the sayings of the wise,
         In ancient and in modern books enrolled.”—MILTON.

                   PUBLISHED BY HUTCHINSON & CO.

                       AT 34 PATERNOSTER ROW

                   PRINTED AT NIMEGUEN (HOLLAND)


                    TALBOT HOUSE, ARUNDEL STREET
                            LONDON, W.C.


                     FRANCIS THORNTON BARRETT,

                          CHIEF LIBRARIAN,
                     MITCHELL LIBRARY, GLASGOW,

                         THIS LITTLE BOOK,

                      WITH FRIENDLY GREETINGS,

                           IS INSCRIBED.


Cynics may ask, how many have profited by the innumerable proverbs
and maxims of prudence which have been current in the world time out
of mind? They will say that their only use is to repeat them after
some unhappy wight has “gone wrong.” When, for instance, a man has
played “ducks and drakes” with his money, the fact at once calls up
the proverb which declares that “wilful waste leads to woful want”;
but did not the “waster” know this well-worn saying from his early
years _downwards_? What good, then, did it do him? Again, how many
have been benefited by the saying of the ancient Greek poet, that
“evil communications corrupt good manners”?—albeit they had it
frequently before them in their school “copy-books.” Are the maxims
of morality useless, then, because they are so much disregarded?

When a man has reached middle-age he generally feels with tenfold
force the truth of those “sayings of the wise” which he learned in
his early years, and has cause to regret, as well as wonder, that he
had not all along followed their wholesome teaching. For it is to
the young, who are about to cross the threshold of active life, that
such terse convincing sentences are more especially addressed, and,
spite of the proverbial heedlessness of youth, there will be found
many who are not deaf to this kind of instruction, if their moral
environment be favourable. But, even after the spring-time of youth
is past, there are occasions when the mind is peculiarly susceptible
to the force of a pithy maxim, which may tend to the reforming of
one’s way of life. There is commonly more practical wisdom in a
striking aphorism than in a round dozen of “goody” books—that is to
say, books which are not good in the highest sense, because their
themes are overlaid with commonplace and wearisome reflections.

May we not find the “whole duty of man” condensed into a few brief
sentences, which have been expressed by thoughtful men in all ages
and in countries far apart?—such as: “Love thy neighbour as
thyself,” “Do unto others as ye would that they should do unto you.”
The chief themes of all teachers of morality are: benevolence and
beneficence; tolerance of the opinions of others; self-control; the
acquisition of knowledge—that jewel beyond price; the true uses of
wealth; the advantages of resolute, manly exertion; the dignity of
labour; the futility of worldly pleasures; the fugacity of time;
man’s individual insignificance. They are never weary of inculcating
taciturnity in preference to loquacity, and the virtues of patience
and resignation. They iterate and reiterate the fact that true
happiness is to be found only in contentment; and they administer
consolation and infuse hope by reminding us that as dark days are
followed by bright days, so times of bitter adversity are followed
by seasons of sweet prosperity; and thus, like the immortal Sir
Hudibras, when “in doleful dumps”, we may “cheer ourselves with ends
of verse, and sayings of philosophers.”

In the following small selection of aphorisms, a considerable
proportion are drawn from Eastern literature. Indian wisdom is
represented by passages from the great epics, the _Mahābhārata_ and
the _Rāmāyana_; the _Panchatantra_ and the _Hitopadesa_, two
Sanskrit versions of the famous collection of apologues known in
Europe as the Fables of Bidpaï, or Pilpay; the _Dharma-sastra_ of
Manu; Bhāravi, Māgha, Bhartrihari, and other Hindu poets. Specimens
of the mild teachings of Buddha and his more notable followers are
taken from the _Dhammapada_ (Path of Virtue) and other canonical
works; pregnant sayings of the Jewish Fathers, from the Talmud;
Moslem moral philosophy is represented by extracts from Arabic and
Persian writers (among the great poets of Persia are, Firdausī,
Sa’dī, Hāfiz, Nizāmī, Omar Khayyām, Jāmī); while the proverbial
wisdom of the Chinese and the didactic writings of the sages of
Burmah are also occasionally cited.

The ordinary reader will probably be somewhat surprised to discover
in the aphorisms of the ancient Greeks and Hindus several close
parallels to the doctrines of the Old and New Testaments, and he
will have reasoned justly if he conclude that the so-called
“heathens” could have derived their spiritual light only from the
same Source as that which inspired the Hebrew prophets and the
Christian apostles.

Among English writers of aphorisms Francis Bacon, Lord Verulam, is
pre-eminent, but none of his pithy sentences find place here,
because they are procurable in many inexpensive forms, (_e.g._,
_Counsels from my Lord Bacon_, 1892), and must be familiar to what is
termed “the average general reader.” _The Enchiridion_ of Frances
Quarles and the _Resolves_ of Owen Feltham are, however, laid under
contribution, as also Robert Chamberlain, an author who is probably
unknown to many pluming themselves on their thorough acquaintance
with English literature, some of whose aphorisms (published in 1638,
under the title of _Nocturnal Lucubrations_) I have deemed worthy of

In more modern times, with the sole exception of William Hazlitt,
our country has produced no very successful writer of aphorisms.
Colton’s _Lacon; or, Many Things in Few Words, Addressed to Those
who Think_, went through several editions soon after its first
publication in 1820; it is described by Mr. John Morley—and not
unfairly—as being “so vapid, so wordy, so futile as to have a place
among those books which dispense with parody”; it is “an awful
example to anyone who is tempted to try his hand at an aphorism.”
Mr. Morley is hardly less severe in speaking of the “Thoughts” in
_Theophrastus Such_: “the most insufferable of all deadly-lively
prosing in our sublunary world.” However this may be, assuredly
other works of the author of _Adam Bede_ will be found to furnish
many examples of admirable apothegms.

It only remains to add that, bearing in mind that a great collection
of gravities commonly proves quite as wearisome reading as a large
compilation of gaieties, or facetiæ, I have confined my selection of
“sayings of the wise” within the limits of a pocket-volume.

                                                        W. A. C.



The enemies which rise within the body, hard to be overcome—thy
evil passions—should manfully be fought: he who conquers these is
equal to the conquerors of worlds.



If passion gaineth the mastery over reason, the wise will not count
thee amongst men.



Knowledge is destroyed by associating with the base; with equals
equality is gained, and with the distinguished, distinction.



Dost thou desire that thine own heart should not suffer, redeem thou
the sufferer from the bonds of misery.



To friends and eke to foes true kindness show;
No kindly heart unkindly deeds will do;
  Harshness will alienate a bosom friend.
And kindness reconcile a deadly foe.

                                                 _Omar Khayyām._


There is no greater grief in misery than to turn our thoughts back
to happier times.[1]


    [1] Cf. Goldsmith:

          O Memory! thou fond deceiver,
            Still importunate and vain;
          To former joys recurring ever,
            And turning all the past to pain.


We in reality only know when we doubt a little. With knowledge comes



In the hour of adversity be not without hope, for crystal rain falls
from black clouds.



One common origin unites us all, but every sort of wood does not
give the perfume of the lignum aloes.



I asked an experienced elder who had profited by his knowledge of
the world, “What course should I pursue to obtain prosperity?” He
replied, “Contentment—if you are able, practise contentment.”



Every moment that a man may be in want of employment, than such I
hold him to be far better who is forced to labour for nothing.



The foolish undertake a trifling act, and soon desist, discouraged;
wise men engage in mighty works, and persevere.



Those who wish well towards their friends disdain to please them
with words which are not true.



Reason is captive in the hands of the passions, as a weak man in the
hands of an artful woman.



Like an earthen pot, a bad man is easily broken, and cannot readily
be restored to his former situation; but a virtuous man, like a vase
of gold, is broken with difficulty, and easily repaired.



The son who delights his father by his good actions; the wife who
seeks only her husband’s good; the friend who is the same in
prosperity and adversity—these three things are the reward of



Let us not overstrain our abilities, or we shall do nothing with
grace. A clown, whatever he may do, will never pass for a gentleman.

                                                  _La Fontaine._


To abstain from speaking is regarded as very difficult. It is not
possible to say much that is valuable and striking.[2]


    [2] Cf. James, III, 8.


Pagodas are, like mosques, true houses of prayer;
’Tis prayer that church bells waft upon the air;
  Kaaba and temple, rosary and cross,
All are but divers tongues of world-wide prayer.

                                                 _Omar Khayyām._


In no wise ask about the faults of others, for he who reporteth the
faults of others will report thine also.



He that holds fast the golden mean,
And lives contentedly between
  The little and the great,
Feels not the wants that pinch the poor,
Nor plagues that haunt the rich man’s door,
  Embittering all his state.



Nothing is more becoming a man than silence. It is not the preaching
but the practice which ought to be considered as the more important.
A profusion of words is sure to lead to error.



Consider, and you will find that almost all the transactions of the
time of Vespasian differed little from those of the present day. You
there find marrying and giving in marriage, educating children,
sickness, death, war, joyous holidays, traffic, agriculture,
flatterers, insolent pride, suspicions, laying of plots, longing for
the death of others, newsmongers, lovers, misers, men canvassing for
consulship—yet all these passed away, and are nowhere.

                                                  _M. Aurelius._


The friendship of the bad is like the shade of some precipitous bank
with crumbling sides, which, falling, buries him who is beneath.



His action no applause invites
Who simply good with good repays;
  He only justly merits praise
Who wrongful deeds with kind requites.[3]


    [3] Matt. V, 43, 44.


Death comes, and makes a man his prey,
  A man whose powers are yet unspent;
  Like one on gathering flowers intent,
Whose thoughts are turned another way.

Begin betimes to practise good,
  Lest fate surprise thee unawares
  Amid thy round of schemes and cares;
To-morrow’s task to-day conclude.[4]


    [4] Eccles. IX, 10; XII, 1.


Let a man’s talents or virtues be what they may, we feel
satisfaction in his society only as he is satisfied in himself. We
cannot enjoy the good qualities of a friend if he seems to be none
the better for them.



It was a false maxim of Domitian that he who would gain the people
of Rome must promise all things and perform nothing. For when a man
is known to be false in his word, instead of a column, which he
might be by keeping it, for others to rest upon, he becomes a reed,
which no man will vouchsafe to lean upon. Like a floating island,
when we come next day to seek it, it is carried from the place we
left it in, and, instead of earth to build upon, we find nothing but
inconstant and deceiving waves.



He is not dead who departs this life with high fame; dead is he,
though living, whose brow is branded with infamy.



In the height of thy prosperity expect adversity, but fear it not.
If it come not, thou art the more sweetly possessed of the happiness
thou hast, and the more strongly confirmed. If it come, thou art the
more gently dispossessed of the happiness thou hadst, and the more
firmly prepared.



A prudent man will not discover his poverty, his self-torments, the
disorders of his house, his uneasiness, or his disgrace.



Men are of three different capacities: one understands intuitively;
another understands so far as it is explained; and a third
understands neither of himself nor by explanation. The first is
excellent, the second, commendable, and the third, altogether



It is difficult to understand men, but still harder to know them



Worldly fame and pleasure are destructive to the virtue of the mind;
anxious thoughts and apprehensions are injurious to the health of
the body.



Alas, for him who is gone and hath done no good work! The trumpet of
march has sounded, and his load was not bound on.



Human experience, like the stern-lights of a ship at sea, illumines
only the path which we have passed over.



Man is an actor who plays various parts:
First comes a boy, then out a lover starts;
His garb is changed for, lo! a beggar’s rags;
Then he’s a merchant with full money-bags;
Anon, an aged sire, wrinkled and lean;
At last Death drops the curtain on the scene.[5]


    [5] Cf. Shakspeare:

          “All the world’s a stage,” etc.—_As You Like It_,
          Act II, _sc._ 7.


Through avarice a man loses his understanding, and by his thirst for
wealth he gives pain to the inhabitants of both worlds.



Men soon the faults of others learn,
  A few their virtues, too, find out;
  But is there one—I have a doubt—
Who can his own defects discern?



In learning, age and youth go for nothing; the best informed take
the precedence.



Mention not a blemish which is thy own in detraction of a neighbour.



Affairs succeed by patience, and he that is hasty falleth headlong.



A man who has learnt little grows old like an ox: his flesh grows,
but his knowledge does not grow.



Unsullied poverty is always happy, while impure wealth brings with
it many sorrows.



Both white and black acknowledge women’s sway,
  So much the better and the wiser too,
Deeming it most convenient to obey,
  Or possibly they might their folly rue.[6]


    [6] Cf. Pope:

          Would men but follow what the sex advise,
          All things would prosper, all the world grow wise.


We are never so much disposed to quarrel with others as when we are
dissatisfied with ourselves.



No one is more profoundly sad than he who laughs too much.



The heaven that rolls around cries aloud to you while it displays
its eternal beauties, and yet your eyes are fixed upon the earth



This world is a beautiful book, but of little use to him who cannot
read it.



Sorrows are like thunder-clouds: in the distance they look black,
over our heads, hardly gray.



The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected
without trials.



Health is the greatest gift, contentedness the best riches.



Great and unexpected successes are often the cause of foolish
rushing into acts of extravagance.



Let none with scorn a suppliant meet,
  Or from the door untended spurn
A dog; an outcast kindly treat;
  And so thou shalt be blest in turn.



Choose knowledge, if thou desirest a blessing from the Universal
Provider; for the ignorant man cannot raise himself above the earth,
and it is by knowledge that thou must render thy soul praiseworthy.



Good fortune is a benefit to the wise, but a curse to the foolish.



In this thing one man is superior to another, that he is better able
to bear adversity and prosperity.



The rays of happiness, like those of light, are colourless when



There are three things which, in great quantity, are bad, and, in
little, very good: leaven, salt, and liberality.



Who aims at excellence will be above mediocrity; who aims at
mediocrity will be far short of it.



Keep thy heart afar from sorrow, and be not anxious about the
trouble which is not yet come.



If thy garments be clean and thy heart be foul, thou needest no key
to the door of hell.



We ought never to mock the wretched, for who can be sure of being
always happy?

                                                  _La Fontaine._


To those who err in judgment, not in will, anger is gentle.



Not only is the old man twice a child, but also the man who is



Wrapt up in error is the human mind,
  And human bliss is ever insecure;
Know we what fortune yet remains behind?
  Know we how long the present shall endure?



A wise man adapts himself to circumstances, as water shapes itself
to the vessel that contains it.



He who formerly was reckless and afterwards became sober brightens
up this world like the moon when freed from clouds.



When a base fellow cannot vie with another in merit he will attack
him with malicious slander.



If a man be not so happy as he desires, let this be his comfort—he
is not so wretched as he deserves.

                                               _R. Chamberlain._


In conversation humour is more than wit, easiness, more than
knowledge; few desire to learn, or to think they need it; all desire
to be pleased, or, if not, to be easy.

                                                _Sir W. Temple._


The greatest men sometimes overshoot themselves, but then their very
mistakes are so many lessons of instruction.

                                                   _Tom Browne._


We may be as good as we please, if we please to be good.



The round of a passionate man’s life is in contracting debts in his
passion which his virtue obliges him to pay. He spends his time in
outrage and acknowledgment, injury and reparation.



To reprehend well is the most necessary and the hardest part of
friendship. Who is it that does not sometimes merit a check, and yet
how few will endure one? Yet wherein can a friend more unfold his
love than in preventing dangers before their birth, or in bringing a
man to safety who is travelling on the road to ruin? I grant there
is a manner of reprehending which turns a benefit into an injury,
and then it both strengthens error and wounds the giver. When thou
chidest thy wandering friend do it secretly, in season, in love, not
in the ear of a popular convention, for oftentimes the presence of a
multitude makes a man take up an unjust defence, rather than fall
into a just shame.



I put no account on him who esteems himself just as the popular
breath may chance to raise him.



He who seeks wealth sacrifices his own pleasure, and, like him who
carries burdens for others, bears the load of anxiety.



Circumspection in calamity; mercy in greatness; good speeches in
assemblies; fortitude in adversity: these are the self-attained
perfections of great souls.



The best preacher is the heart; the best teacher is time; the best
book is the world; the best friend is God.



A woman will not throw away a garland, though soiled, which her
lover gave: not in the object lies a present’s worth, but in the
love which it was meant to mark.



Men who have not observed discipline, and have not gained treasure
in their youth, perish like old herons in a lake without fish.



As drops of bitter medicine, though minute, may have a salutary
force, so words, though few and painful, uttered seasonably, may
rouse the prostrate energies of those who meet misfortune with



There are three whose life is no life: he who lives at another’s
table; he whose wife domineers over him; and he who suffers bodily



Let thy words between two foes be such that if they were to become
friends thou shouldst not be ashamed.



An indiscreet man is more hurtful than an ill-natured one; for as
the latter will only attack his enemies, and those he wishes ill to,
the other injures indifferently both his friends and foes.



A man of quick and active wit
For drudgery is more unfit,
Compared to those of duller parts,
Than running nags are to draw carts.



All affectation is the vain and ridiculous attempt of poverty to
appear rich.



There never was, there never will be, a man who is always praised,
or a man who is always blamed.



A good man’s intellect is piercing, yet inflicts no wound; his
actions are deliberate, yet bold; his heart is warm, but never
burns; his speech is eloquent, yet ever true.



He who can feel ashamed will not readily do wrong.



A stranger who is kind is a kinsman; an unkind kinsman is a



The good to others kindness show,
  And from them no return exact;
The best and greatest men, they know,
  Thus ever nobly love to act.[7]


    [7] Cf. Luke, VI, 34, 35.


Trees loaded with fruit are bent down; the clouds when charged with
fresh rain hang down near the earth: even so good men are not
uplifted through prosperity. Such is the natural character of the



The man who neither gives in charity nor enjoys his wealth, which
every day increases, breathes, indeed, like the bellows of a smith,
but cannot be said to live.



That energy which veils itself in mildness is most effective of its



Our writings are like so many dishes, our readers, our guests, our
books, like beauty—that which one admires another rejects; so we
are approved as men’s fancies are inclined.... As apothecaries, we
make new mixtures every day, pour out of one vessel into another;
and as those old Romans robbed all cities of the world to set out
their bad-cited Rome, we skim off the cream of other men’s wits,
pick the choice flowers of their tilled gardens, to set out our own
sterile plots. We weave the same web still, twist the same rope
again and again; or, if it be a new invention, ’tis but some bauble
or toy, which idle fellows write, for as idle fellows to read.[8]


    [8] Ferriar has pointed out, in his _Illustrations of
        Sterne_, how these passages from Burton’s _Anatomy of
        Melancholy_ have been boldly plagiarised in the
        introduction to the fragment on Whiskers in _Tristram
        Shandy_: “Shall we for ever make new books as
        apothecaries make new mixtures, by only pouring out of
        one vessel into another? Are we for ever to be twisting
        and untwisting the same rope?” And Dr. Johnson, who was
        a great admirer of Burton, adopts the illustration of
        the plundering Romans in his _Rambler_, No. 143.


It is our follies that make our lives uncomfortable. Our errors of
opinion, our cowardly fear of the world’s worthless censure, and our
eagerness after unnecessary gold have hampered the way of virtue,
and made it far more difficult than, in itself, it is.



There is not half so much danger in the desperate sword of a known
foe as in the smooth insinuations of a pretended friend.

                                               _R. Chamberlain._


Nothing is so oppressive as a secret; it is difficult for ladies to
keep it long, and I know even in this matter a good number of men
who are women.

                                                  _La Fontaine._


All kinds of beauty do not inspire love: there is a kind of it which
pleases only the sight, but does not captivate the affections.



Contentment consisteth not in heaping more fuel, but in taking away
some fire.



It is difficult to personate and act a part long, for where truth is
not at the bottom Nature will always be endeavouring to return, and
will peep out and betray herself one time or other.



The truest characters of ignorance
Are vanity, pride, and arrogance;
As blind men use to bear their noses higher
Than those that have their eyes and sight entire.



It is better to be well deserving without praise than to live by the
air of undeserved commendation.

                                               _R. Chamberlain._


He travels safe and not unpleasantly who is guarded by poverty and
guided by love.

                                                _Sir P. Sidney._


Never put thyself in the way of temptation: even David could not
resist it.



Pride is a vice which pride itself inclines every man to find in
others and overlook in himself.



By six qualities may a fool be known: anger, without cause; speech,
without profit; change, without motive; inquiry, without an object;
trust in a stranger; and incapacity to discriminate between friend
and foe.



Men are not to be judged by their looks, habits, and appearances,
but by the character of their lives and conversations. ’Tis better
that a man’s own works than another man’s words should praise him.

                                            _Sir R. L’Estrange._


To exert his power in doing good is man’s most glorious task.



Those who are skilled in archery bend their bow only when they are
prepared to use it; when they do not require it they allow it to
remain unbent, for otherwise it would be unserviceable when the time
for using it arrived. So it is with man. If he were to devote
himself unceasingly to a dull round of business, without breaking
the monotony by cheerful amusements, he would fall imperceptibly
into idiotcy, or be struck with paralysis.



Blinded by self-conceit and knowing nothing,
Like elephant infatuate with passion,
I thought within myself, I all things knew;
But when by slow degrees I somewhat learnt
By aid of wise preceptors, my conceit,
Like some disease, passed off; and now I live
In the plain sense of what a fool I am.



Time is the most important thing in human life, for what is pleasure
after the departure of time? and the most consolatory, since pain,
when pain has passed, is nothing. Time is the wheel-track in which
we roll on towards eternity, conducting us to the Incomprehensible.
In its progress there is a ripening power, and it ripens us the
more, and the more powerfully, when we duly estimate it. Listen to
its voice, do not waste it, but regard it as the highest finite
good, in which all finite things are resolved.

                                                 _Von Humboldt._


All that we are is made up of our thoughts; it is founded on our
thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speak or act with
a pure thought, happiness will follow him, like a shadow that never
leaves him.



Depend not on another, rather lean
Upon thyself; trust to thine own exertions:
Subjection to another’s will gives pain;
True happiness consists in self-reliance.



If the friendship of the good be interrupted, their minds admit of
no long change; as when the stalks of a lotus are broken the
filaments within them are more visibly cemented.



Anger that has no limit causes terror, and unseasonable kindness
does away with respect. Be not so severe as to cause disgust, nor so
lenient as to make people presume.



Be patient, if thou wouldst thy ends accomplish; for like patience
is there no appliance effective of success, producing certainly
abundant fruit of actions, never damped by failure, conquering all



As rain breaks through an ill-thatched house, passion breaks through
an unreflecting mind.



Most men, even the most accomplished, are of limited faculties;
every one sets a value on certain qualities in himself and others:
these alone he is willing to favour, these alone will he have



Poverty, we may say, surrounds a man with ready-made barriers, which
if they do mournfully gall and hamper, do at least prescribe for
him, and force on him, a sort of course and goal; a safe and beaten,
though a circuitous, course. A great part of his guidance is secure
against fatal error, is withdrawn from his control. The rich, again,
has his whole life to guide, without goal or barrier, save of his
own choosing, and, tempted, is too likely to guide it ill.



By Fate full many a heart has been undone,
And many a sprightly rose made woe-begone;
  Plume thee not on thy lusty youth and strength:
Full many a bud is blasted ere its bloom.

                                                 _Omar Khayyām._


The best thing is to be respected, the next, is to be loved; it is
bad to be hated, but still worse to be despised.



To be envied is a nobler fate than to be pitied.



He only does not live in vain
Who all the means within his reach
  Employs—his wealth, his thought, his speech—
T’advance the weal of other men.



If you injure a harmless person, the evil will fall back upon you,
like light dust thrown up against the wind.



In the life of every man there are sudden transitions of feeling,
which seem almost miraculous. At once, as if some magician had
touched the heavens and the earth, the dark clouds melt into the
air, the wind falls, and serenity succeeds the storm. The causes
which produce these changes may have been long at work within us,
but the changes themselves are instantaneous, and apparently without
sufficient cause.



Man is an intellectual animal, therefore an everlasting
contradiction to himself. His senses centre in himself, his ideas
reach to the ends of the universe; so that he is torn in pieces
between the two without the possibility of its ever being otherwise.
A mere physical being or a pure spirit can alone be satisfied with



The pure in heart, who fear to sin,
The good, kindly in word and deed—
These are the beings in the world
Whose nature should be called divine.



If thou desirest that the pure in heart should praise thee, lay
aside anger; be not a man of many words; and parade not thy virtues
in the face of others.



A wise man takes a step at a time; he establishes one foot before he
takes up the other: an old place should not be forsaken recklessly.



The fish dwell in the depths of the waters, and the eagles in the
sides of heaven; the one, though high, may be reached with the
arrow, and the other, though deep, with the hook; but the heart of
man at a foot’s distance cannot be known.[9]


    [9] Cf. Proverbs, XXV, 3.


The life of man is the incessant walk of nature, wherein every
moment is a step towards death. Even our growing to perfection is a
progress to decay. Every thought we have is a sand running out of
the glass of life.



I have observed that as long as a man lives and exerts himself he
can always find food and raiment, though, it may be, not of the
choicest description.



There are no riches like the sweetness of content, nor poverty
comparable to the want of patience.

                                               _R. Chamberlain._


’Tis not for gain, for fame, from fear
  That righteous men injustice shun,
And virtuous men hold virtue dear:
An inward voice they seem to hear,
  Which tells them duty must be done.



As far and wide the vernal breeze
Sweet odours waft from blooming trees,
So, too, the grateful savour spreads
To distant lands of virtuous deeds.



In this world, however little happiness may have been our portion,
yet have we no desire to die. Whether he can speak of life as
cheerful and delicate, or as full of pain, anxiety, and sorrow,
never yet have I seen one who wished to die.



When morning silvers the dark firmament,
Why shrills the bird of dawning his lament?
  It is to show in dawn’s bright looking-glass
How of thy careless life a night is spent.

                                                 _Omar Khayyām._


Be thou generous, and gentle, and forgiving; as God hath scattered
upon thee, scatter thou upon others.



In the body restraint is good; good is restraint in speech; in
thought restraint is good: good is restraint in all things.



Men say that everyone is naturally a lover of himself, and that it
is right that it should be so. This is a mistake; for in fact the
cause of all the blunders committed by man arises from this
excessive self-love. For the lover is blinded by the object loved,
so that he passes a wrong judgment upon what is just, good, and
beautiful, thinking that he ought always to honour what belongs to
himself, in preference to truth. For he who intends to be a great
man ought to love neither himself nor his own things, but only what
is just, whether it happens to be done by himself or by another.



A man eminent in learning has not even a little virtue if he fears
to practise it. What precious things can be shown to a blind man
when he holds a lamp in his hand?



The first forty years of our life give the text, the next thirty
furnish the commentary upon it, which enables us rightly to
understand the true meaning and connection of the text with its
moral and its beauties.



Good actions lead to success, as good medicines to a cure: a healthy
man is joyful, and a diligent man attains learning; a just man gains
the reward of his virtue.



Purpose without power is mere weakness and deception; and power
without purpose is mere fatuity.



Suffering is the necessary consequence of sin, just as when you eat
a sour fruit a stomach complaint ensues.



Riches disclose in a man’s character the bad qualities formerly
concealed in his poverty.



Whate’er the work a man performs,
The most effective aid to its completion—
The most prolific source of true success—
Is energy, without despondency.



Humility is a virtue all preach, none practise, and yet everybody is
content to hear. The master thinks it good doctrine for his servant,
the laity for the clergy, and the clergy for the laity.



Authority intoxicates,
And makes mere sots of magistrates;
The fumes of it invade the brain,
And make men giddy, proud, and vain;
By this the fool commands the wise,
The noble with the base complies,
The sot assumes the rule of wit,
And cowards make the base submit.



No man learns to know his inmost nature by introspection, for he
rates himself sometimes too low, and often too high, by his own
measurement. Man knows himself only by comparing himself with other
men; it is life that touches his genuine worth.



Increase in goodness as long as thou art here, that, when thou
departest, in that thou mayest still be joyful. According to our
words and deeds in this life will be the remembrance of us in the



Parents’ affection is best shown by their teaching their children
industry and self-denial.



There are three things to beware of through life: when a man is
young, let him beware of his appetites; when he is middle-aged, of
his passions; and when old, of covetousness, especially.



He who has given satisfaction to the best of his time has lived for



I never yet found pride in a noble nature nor humility in an
unworthy mind.



Worldly fame is but a breath of wind, that blows now this way, now
that, and changes name as it changes sides.



True modesty and true pride are much the same thing. Both consist in
setting a just value on ourselves—neither more nor less.



Never does a man portray his own character more vividly than in his
manner of portraying another.



A foolish husband fears his wife; a prudent wife obeys her husband.



He who devises evil for another falls at last into his own pit, and
the most cunning finds himself caught by what he had prepared for
another. But virtue without guile, erect like the lofty palm, rises
with greater vigour when it is oppressed.



Laughing is peculiar to man, but all men do not laugh for the same
reason. There is the attic salt which springs from the charm in the
words, from the flash of wit, from the spirited and brilliant sally.
There is the low joke which arises from scurrility and idle conceit.



The woman who is resolved to be respected can make herself be so
even amidst an army of soldiers.



Petty ambition would seem to be a mean craving after distinction.



It is an old observation that wise men grow usually wiser as they
grow older, and fools more foolish.



Use law and physic only for necessity. They that use them otherwise
abuse themselves into weak bodies and light purses. They are good
remedies, bad businesses, and worse recreations.



In some dispositions there is such an envious kind of pride that
they cannot endure that any but themselves should be set forth as
excellent; so that when they hear one justly praised they will
either openly detract from his virtues; or, if those virtues be,
like a clear and shining light, eminent and distinguished, so that
he cannot be safely traduced by the tongue, they will then raise a
suspicion against him by a mysterious silence, as if there were
something remaining to be told which overclouded even his brightest



Every man thinks with himself, I am well, I am wise, and laughs at
others; and ’tis a general fault amongst them all, that which our
forefathers approved—diet, apparel, humours, customs, manners—we
deride and reject in our time as absurd.



Repeated sin destroys the understanding
And he whose reason is impaired repeats
His sins. The constant practising of virtue
Strengthens the mental faculties, and he
Whose judgment stronger grows acts always right.



If you wish to know how much preferable wisdom is to gold, then
observe: if you change gold you get silver for it, but your gold is
gone; but if you exchange one sort of wisdom for another, you obtain
fresh knowledge, and at the same time keep what you possessed



The man who listens not to the words of affectionate friends will
give joy in the time of distress to his enemies.



It is a proverbial expression that every man is the maker of his own
fortune, and we usually regard it as implying that every man by his
folly or wisdom prepares good or evil for himself. But we may view
it in another light, namely, that we may so accommodate ourselves to
the dispositions of Providence as to be happy in our lot, whatever
may be its privations.

                                                 _Von Humboldt._


Be very circumspect in the choice of thy company. In the society of
thy equals thou shalt enjoy more pleasure; in the society of thy
superiors thou shalt find more profit. To be the best of the company
is the way to grow worse; the best means to grow better is to be the
worst there.



Assume in adversity a countenance of prosperity, and in prosperity
moderate thy temper.



Mark this! who lives beyond his means
Forfeits respect, loses his sense;
Where’er he goes, through the seven births,
All count him knave: him women hate.

                                                _Hindu Poetess._


Be cautious in your intercourse with the great; they seldom confer
obligations on their inferiors but from interested motives. Friendly
they appear as long as it serves their turn, but they will render no
assistance in time of actual need.



Man, though he be gray-headed when he comes back, soon gets a young
wife. But a woman’s time is short within which she can expect to
obtain a husband. If she allows it to slip away, no one cares to
marry her. She sits at home, speculating on the probability of her



Hearts are like tapers, which at beauteous eyes
Kindle a flame of love that never dies;
And beauty is a flame, where hearts, like moths,
Offer themselves a burning sacrifice.

                                                 _Omar Khayyām._


When thou utterest not a word thou hast laid thy hand upon it; when
thou hast uttered it, it hath laid its hand on thee.



To the tongue which bringeth thee words without reason, the answer
that best beseemeth thee is—silence.



The man who talketh much and never acteth will not be held in
reputation by anyone.



Two sources of success are known: wisdom and effort; make them both
thine own, if thou wouldst haply rise.



The worse the ill that fate on noble souls
Inflicts, the more their firmness; and they arm
Their spirits with adamant to meet the blow.

                                                  _Hindu Drama._


Opportunities lose not, for all delay is madness;
’Mid bitter sorrow patience show, for ’tis the key of gladness.



Man is the only animal with the powers of laughter, a privilege
which was not bestowed on him for nothing. Let us then laugh while
we may, no matter how broad the laugh may be, and despite of what
the poet says about “the loud laugh that speaks the vacant mind.”
The mind should occasionally be vacant, as the land should sometimes
lie fallow, and for precisely the same reason.

                                                _Egerton Smith._


The man of affluence is not in fact more happy than the possessor of
a bare competency, unless, in addition to his wealth, the end of his
life be fortunate. We often see misery dwelling in the midst of
splendour, whilst real happiness is found in humbler stations.



Love of money is the disease which renders us most pitiful and
grovelling, and love of pleasure is that which renders us most



He who labours diligently need never despair. We can accomplish
every thing by diligence and labour.



Lost money is bewailed with deeper sighs
Than friends, or kindred, and with louder cries.



In one short verse I here express
The sum of tomes of sacred lore:
Beneficence is righteousness,
Oppression’s sin’s malignant core.



A wound inflicted by arrows heals, a wood cut down by an axe grows,
but harsh words are hateful—a wound inflicted by them does not
heal. Arrows of different sorts can be extracted from the body, but
a word-dart cannot be drawn out, for it is seated in the heart.



To address a judicious remark to a thoughtless man is a mere
threshing of chaff.



All the blessings of a household come through the wife, therefore
should her husband honour her.



Certain books seem to be written, not that we might learn from them,
but in order that we might see how much the author knows.



All that is old is not therefore necessarily excellent; all that is
new is not despicable on that account alone. Let what is really
meritorious be pronounced so by the candid judge after due
investigation; blockheads alone are influenced by the opinion of

                                                  _Hindu Drama._


One of the diseases of this age is the multitude of books. It is a
thriftless and a thankless occupation, this writing of books: a man
were better to sing in a cobbler’s shop, for his pay is a penny a
patch; but a book-writer, if he get sometimes a few commendations
from the judicious, he shall be sure to reap a thousand reproaches
from the malicious.

                                                 _Barnaby Rich._


We rather confess our moral errors, faults, and crimes than our



The angel grows up in divine knowledge, the brute, in savage
ignorance, and the son of man stands hesitating between the two.



She is a wife who is notable in her house; she is a wife who beareth
children; she is a wife whose husband is as her life; she is a wife
who is obedient to her lord. The wife is half the man; a wife is
man’s dearest friend; a wife is the source of his religion, his
worldly profit, and his love. He who hath a wife maketh offerings in
his house. Those who have wives are blest with good fortune. Wives
are friends, who, by their kind and gentle speech, soothe you in
your retirement. In your distresses they are as mothers, and they
are refreshment to those who are travellers in the rugged paths of



He that is ambitious of fame destroys it. He that increaseth not his
knowledge diminishes it. He that uses the crown of learning as an
instrument of gain will pass away.



While the slightest inconveniences of the great are magnified into
calamities, while tragedy mouths out their sufferings in all the
strains of eloquence, the miseries of the poor are entirely
disregarded; and yet some of the lower ranks of people undergo more
real hardships in one day than those of a more exalted station
suffer in their whole lives.



It is impossible for those who are engaged in low and grovelling
pursuits to entertain noble and generous sentiments. Their thoughts
must always necessarily be somewhat similar to their employments.



The interval is immense between corporeal qualifications and
sciences: the body in a moment is extinct, but knowledge endureth to
the end of time.



If thou lackest knowledge, what hast thou then acquired? Hast thou
acquired knowledge, what else dost thou want?



Be modest and simple in your deportment, and treat with indifference
whatever lies between virtue and vice. Love the human race; obey

                                              _Marcus Aurelius._


Bootless grief hurts a man’s self, but patience makes a jest of an

                                               _R. Chamberlain._


Poverty without debt is independence.



Just as the track of birds that cleave the air
Is not discovered, nor yet the path of fish
That skim the water, so the course of those
Who do good actions is not always seen.



He who has wealth has friends; he who has wealth has relations; he
who has wealth is a hero among the people; he who has wealth is even
a sage.



Like a beautiful flower, full of colour but without scent, are the
fine but fruitless words of him who does not act accordingly.



When men are doubtful of the true state of things, their wishes lead
them to believe in what is most agreeable.



Most men the good they have despise,
And blessings which they have not prize:
In winter, wish for summer’s glow,
In summer, long for winter’s snow.



The best conduct a man can adopt is that which gains him the esteem
of others without depriving him of his own.



Whoso associates with the wicked will be accused of following their
ways, though their principles may have made no impression upon him;
just as if a person were in the habit of frequenting a tavern, he
would not be supposed to go there for prayer, but to drink
intoxicating liquor.



The loss of a much-prized treasure is only half felt when we have
not regarded its tenure as secure.



The dull-hued turkey apes the gait
Of lordly peacock, richly plumed;
And thus the poetaster shows
When he would fain his verse recite.

                                                _Hindu Poetess._


Knowledge acquired by a man of low degree places him on a level with
a prince, as a small river attains the irremeable ocean; and his
fortune is then exalted.



An evil-minded man is quick to see
His neighbour’s faults, though small as mustard seed;
But when he turns his eyes towards his own,
Though large as _bilva_ fruit, he none descries.



Two persons die remorseful: he who possessed and enjoyed not, and he
who knew but did not practise.



With regard to a secret divulged and kept concealed, there is an
excellent proverb, that the one is an arrow still in our possession,
the other is an arrow sent from the bow.



The thing we want eludes our grasp,
Some other thing is given; sometimes
Our wish is gained, and gifts unsought
Are ours; these all are God’s own work.

                                                _Hindu Poetess._


If a man conquer in battle a thousand times a thousand men, and if
another conquer himself, he is the greater of conquerors.[10]


    [10] Cf. Prov. XVI, 32.


The man who is in the highest state of prosperity, and who thinks
his fortune is most secure, knows not if it will remain unchanged
till the evening.



Amongst all possessions knowledge appears pre-eminent. The wise call
it supreme riches, because it can never be lost, has no price, and
can at no time be destroyed.



The shadows of the mind are like those of the body. In the morning
of life they all lie behind us, at noon we trample them under foot,
and in the evening they stretch long, broad, and deepening before



He who is full of faith and modesty, who shrinks from sin, and is
full of learning, who is diligent, unremiss, and full of
understanding—he, being replete with these seven things, is
esteemed a wise man.



If your foot slip, you may recover your balance, but if your tongue
slip, you cannot recall your words.



A vacant mind is open to all suggestions, as the hollow mountain
returns all sounds.



Women are ever masters when they like,
And cozen with their kindness; they have spells
Superior to the wand of the magicians;
And from their lips the words of wisdom fall,
Like softest music on the listening ear.



A man cannot possess anything that is better than a good wife, or
anything that is worse than a bad one.



The wife of bad conduct—constantly pleased with quarrelling—she is
known by wise men to be cruel Old Age in the form of a wife.



I have often thought that the cause of men’s good or ill fortune
depends on whether they make their actions fit with the times. A man
having prospered by one mode of acting can never be persuaded that
it may be well for him to act differently, whence it is that a man’s
Fortune varies, because she changes her times and he does not his



By nature all men are alike, but by education very different.



Whilom, ere youth’s conceit had waned, methought
Answers to all life’s problems I had wrought;
  But now, grown old and wise, too late I see
My life is spent, and all my lore is nought.

                                                 _Omar Khayyām._


Weak men gain their object when allied with strong associates: the
brook reaches the ocean by the river’s aid.



A swan is out of place among crows, a lion among bulls, a horse
among asses, and a wise man among fools.



Whosoever does not persecute them that persecute him; whosoever
takes an offence in silence; he who does good because of love; he
who is cheerful under his sufferings—these are the friends of God,
and of them the Scripture says, “They shall shine forth like the sun
at noontide.”



It is intolerable that a silly fool, with nothing but empty birth to
boast of, should in his insolence array himself in the merits of
others, and vaunt an honour which does not belong to him.



Ask not a man who his father was but make trial of his qualities,
and then conciliate or reject him accordingly. For it is no disgrace
to new wine, if only it be sweet, as to its taste, that it was the
juice [or daughter] of sour grapes.



The sun opens the lotuses, the moon illumines the beds of
water-lilies, the cloud pours forth its water unasked: even so the
liberal of their own accord are occupied in benefiting others.



We blame equally him who is too proud to put a proper value on his
own merit and him who prizes too highly his spurious worth.



Men are so simple, and yield so much to necessity, that he who will
deceive may always find him that will lend himself to be deceived.



Obstinate silence implies either a mean opinion of ourselves, or a
contempt for our company; and it is the more provoking, as others do
not know to which of these causes to attribute it—whether humility
or pride.



If thou desire not to be poor, desire not to be too rich. He is
rich, not that possesses much, but he that covets no more; and he is
poor, not that enjoys little, but he that wants too much. The
contented mind wants nothing which it hath not; the covetous mind
wants, not only what it hath not, but likewise what it hath.



Those noble men who falsehood dread
  In wealth and glory ever grow,
  As flames with greater brightness glow
With oil in ceaseless flow when fed.

But like to flames with water drenched,
  Which, faintly flickering, die away,
  So liars day by day decay,
Till all their lustre soon is quenched.



Watch over thy expenditure, for he who through vain glory spendeth
uselessly what he hath on empty follies, will receive neither return
nor praise from anyone.



If thou art a man, speak not much about thine own manliness, for not
every champion driveth the ball to the goal.



The potter forms what he pleases with soft clay, so a man
accomplishes his works by his own act.



No man of high and generous spirit is ever willing to indulge in
flattery; the good may feel affection for others, but will not
flatter them.



An ass will with his long ears fray
The flies that tickle him away;
But man delights to have his ears
Blown maggots in by flatterers.



Books are pleasant, but if by being over-studious we impair our
health and spoil our good humour, two of the best things we have,
let us give it over. I, for my part, am one of those who think no
fruit derived from them can recompense so great a loss.



He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.



If with a stranger thou discourse, first learn,
By strictest observation, to discern
If he be wiser than thyself, if so,
Be dumb, and rather choose by him to know;
But if thyself perchance the wiser be,
Then do thou speak, that he may learn by thee.



Being continually in people’s sight, by the satiety which it
creates, diminishes the reverence felt for great characters.



There is a great difference between one who can feel ashamed before
his own soul and one who is only ashamed before his fellow men.



By rousing himself, by earnestness, by restraint and control the
wise man may make for himself an island which no flood can



The best way to make ourselves agreeable to others is by seeming to
think them so. If we appear fully sensible of their good qualities
they will not complain of the want of them in us.



To form a judgment intuitively is the privilege of few; authority
and example lead the rest of the world. They see with the eyes of
others, they hear with the ears of others. Therefore it is very easy
to think as all the world now think; but to think as all the world
will think thirty years hence is not in the power of every one.



Poesy is a beauteous damsel, chaste, honourable, discreet, witty,
retired, and who keeps herself within the limits of propriety. She
is a friend of solitude; fountains entertain her, meadows console
her, woods free her from ennui, flowers delight her; in short, she
gives pleasure and instruction to all with whom she communicates.



How can we learn to know ourselves? By reflection, never, but by our
actions. Attempt to do your duty, and you will immediately find what
is in you.



Man is supreme lord and master
Of his own ruin and disaster,
Controls his fate, but nothing less
In ordering his own happiness:
For all his care and providence
Is too feeble a defence
To render it secure and certain
Against the injuries of Fortune;
And oft, in spite of all his wit,
Is lost by one unlucky hit,
And ruined with a circumstance,
And mere punctilio of a chance.



There is nothing in this world which a resolute man, who exerts
himself, cannot attain.



Ere need be shown, some men will act,
As trees may fruit without a flower;
To some you speak with no result,
As seeds may die, and yield no grain.

                                                _Hindu Poetess._


Seven things characterise the wise man, and seven the blockhead. The
wise man speaks not before those who are his superiors, either in
age or wisdom. He interrupts not others in the midst of their
discourse. He replies not hastily. His questions are relevant to the
subject, his answers, to the purpose. In delivering his sentiments
he taketh the first in order first, the last, last. What he
understands not he says, “I understand not.” He acknowledges his
error, and is open to conviction. The reverse of all this
characterises the blockhead.



How absolute and omnipotent is the silence of the night! And yet the
stillness seems almost audible. From all the measureless depths of
air around us comes a half sound, a half whisper, as if we could
hear the crumbling and falling away of the earth and all created
things in the great miracle of nature—decay and reproduction—ever
beginning, never ending—the gradual lapse and running of the sand
in the great hour-glass of Time.



What avails your wealth, if it makes you arrogant to the poor?



All confidence is dangerous unless it is complete; there are few
circumstances in which it is not better either to hide all or to
tell all.

                                                   _La Bruyère._


It is well that there is no one without a fault, for he would not
have a friend in the world: he would seem to belong to a different



The mind alike,
Vigorous or weak, is capable of culture,
But still bears fruit according to its nature.
’Tis not the teacher’s skill that rears the scholar:
The sparkling gem gives back the glorious radiance
It drinks from other light, but the dull earth
Absorbs the blaze, and yields no gleam again.



One man envies the success in life of another, and hates him in
secret; nor is he willing to give him good advice when he is
consulted, except it be by some wonderful effort of good feeling,
and there are, alas, few such men in the world. A real friend, on
the other hand, exults in his friend’s happiness, rejoices in all
his joys, and is ready to afford him the best advice.



This body is a tent which for a space
Does the pure soul with kingly presence grace;
  When he departs, comes the tent-pitcher, Death,
Strikes it, and moves to a new halting-place.

                                                 _Omar Khayyām._


Speak but little, and that little only when thy own purposes require
it. Heaven has given thee two ears but only one tongue, which means:
listen to two things, but be not the first to propose one.



The natural hostility of beasts is laid aside when flying from
pursuers; so also when danger is impending the enmity of rivals is



He who toils with pain will eat with pleasure.



A day of fortune is like a harvest-day, we must be busy when the
corn is ripe.



The fame of good men’s actions seldom goes beyond their own doors,
but their evil deeds are carried a thousand miles’ distance.



A subtle-witted man is like an arrow, which, rending little surface,
enters deeply, but they whose minds are dull resemble stones dashing
with clumsy force, but never piercing.



It is good to tame the mind, which is difficult to hold in, and
flighty, rushing wheresoever it listeth: a tamed mind brings



The man who every sacred science knows,
Yet has not strength to keep in check the foes
That rise within him, mars his Fortune’s fame,
And brings her by his feebleness to shame.



What a rich man gives and what he consumes, that is his real worth.



He who does not think too much of himself is much more esteemed than
he imagines.



It is a kind of policy in these days to prefix a fantastical title
to a book which is to be sold; for as larks come down to a day-net,
many vain readers will tarry and stand gazing, like silly
passengers, at an antic picture in a painter’s shop that will not
look at a judicious piece.



With many readers brilliancy of style passes for affluence of
thought: they mistake buttercups in the grass for immeasurable gold
mines under the ground.



The doctrine that enters only into the ear is like the repast one
takes in a dream.



Adorn thy mind with knowledge, for knowledge maketh thy worth.



Men hail the rising sun with glee,
They love his setting glow to see,
But fail to mark that every day
In fragments bears their life away.

All Nature’s face delight to view,
As changing seasons come anew;
None sees how each revolving year
Abridges swiftly man’s career.



The good man shuns evil and follows good; he keeps secret that which
ought to be hidden; he makes his virtues manifest to all; he does
not forsake one in adversity; he gives in season: such are the marks
of a worthy friend.



No one hath come into the world for a continuance save him who
leaveth behind him a good name.[11]


    [11] Cf. 29.


Gross ignorance produces a dogmatic spirit. He who knows nothing
thinks he can teach others what he has himself just been learning.
He who knows much scarcely believes that what he is saying is
unknown to others, and consequently speaks with more hesitation.

                                                   _La Bruyère._


When you see a man elated with pride, glorying in his riches and
high descent, rising even above fortune, look out for his speedy
punishment; for he is only raised the higher that he may fall with a
heavier crash.



The ridiculous is produced by any defect that is unattended by pain,
or fatal consequences; thus, an ugly and deformed countenance does
not fail to cause laughter, if it is not occasioned by pain.



Happy the man who early learns the difference between his wishes and
his powers.



There is nothing more pitiable in the world than an irresolute man
vacillating between two feelings, who would willingly unite the two,
and who does not perceive that nothing can unite them.



Beauty in a modest woman is like fire at a distance, or like a sharp
sword: neither doth the one burn nor the other wound him that comes
not too near them.



We are more sociable and get on better with people by the heart than
the intellect.

                                                   _La Bruyère._


A good man may fall, but he falls like a ball [and rebounds]; the
ignoble man falls like a lump of clay.



Do not anxiously expect what is not yet come; do not vainly regret
what is already past.



The way to subject all things to thyself is to subject thyself to
reason; thou shalt govern many if reason govern thee. Wouldst thou
be a monarch of a little world, command thyself.



If our inward griefs were written on our brows, how many who are
envied now would be pitied. It would seem that they had their
deadliest foe in their own breast, and their whole happiness would
be reduced to mere seeming.



There are many who talk on from ignorance rather than from
knowledge, and who find the former an inexhaustible fund of



Whoever brings cheerfulness to his work, and is ever active, dashes
through the world’s labours.



Grossness is not difficult to define: it is obtrusive and
objectionable pleasantry.



Do not consider any vice as trivial, and therefore practise it; do
not consider any virtue as unimportant, and therefore neglect it.



To bad as well as good, to all,
A generous man compassion shows;
  On earth no mortal lives, he knows,
Who does not oft through weakness fall.



The good extend their loving care
  To men, however mean or vile;
E’en base Chándálas’[12] dwellings share
  Th’ impartial sunbeam’s silver smile.


    [12] Chándálas, or Pariahs, are the lowest, or of no caste.


Let a man accept with confidence valuable knowledge even from a
person of low degree, good instruction regarding duty even from a
humble man, and a jewel of a wife even from an ignoble family.



We cannot too soon convince ourselves how easily we may be dispensed
with in the world. What important personages we imagine ourselves to
be! We think that we alone are the life of the circle in which we
move; in our absence, we fancy that life, existence, breath will
come to a general pause, and, alas, the gap which we leave is
scarcely perceptible, so quickly is it filled again; nay, it is
often the place, if not of something better, at least for something
more agreeable.



The friendships formed between good and evil men differ. The
friendship of the good, at first faint like the morning light,
continually increases; the friendship of the evil at the very
beginning is like the light of midday, and dies away like the light
of evening.[13]


    [13] In many parts of the East there is practically no


A hundred long leagues is no distance for him who would quench the
thirst of covetousness; but a contented mind has no solicitude for
grasping wealth.



The noble-minded dedicate themselves to the promotion of the
happiness of others—even of those who injure them. True happiness
consists in making happy.



A benefit given to the good is like characters engraven on a stone;
a benefit given to the evil is like a line drawn on water.



The undertaking of a careless man succeeds not, though he use the
right expedients: a clever hunter, though well placed in ambush,
kills not his quarry if he falls asleep.



All love, at first, like generous wine,
Ferments and frets until ’tis fine;
But when ’tis settled on the lee,
And from th’ impurer matter free,
Becomes the richer still the older,
And proves the pleasanter the colder.



Safe in thy breast close lock up thy intents,
For he that knows thy purpose best prevents.



Frugality should ever be practised, but not excessive parsimony.



He who receives a favour must retain a recollection of it for all
time to come; but he who confers should at once forget it, if he is
not to show a sordid and ungenerous spirit. To remind a man of a
kindness conferred on him, and to talk of it, is little different
from a reproach.



Pride not thyself on thy religious works,
Give to the poor, but talk not of thy gifts:
By pride religious merit melts away,
The merit of thy alms, by ostentation.



The empty beds of rivers fill again;
Trees leafless now renew their vernal bloom;
  Returning moons their lustrous phase resume;
But man a second youth expects in vain.[14]


    [14] Cf. Job, XIV, 7.


Shall He to thee His aid refuse
Who clothes the swan in dazzling white,
  Who robes in green the parrot bright,
The peacocks decks in rainbow hues?[15]


    [15] Cf. Matt. VI, 25, 26.


A bad man is as much pleased as a good man is distressed to speak
ill of others.



Every bird has its decoy, and every man is led and misled in his own
peculiar way.



There is such a grateful tickling in the mind of man in being
commended that even when we know the praises which are bestowed on
us are not our due, we are not angry with the author’s insincerity.



Too much to lament a misery is the next way to draw on a remediless

                                               _R. Chamberlain._


There is no remembrance which time doth not obliterate, nor pain
which death doth not put an end to.



Look not mournfully into the Past. It comes not back again. Wisely
improve the Present. It is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy
Future, without fear, and with a manly heart.



Plans that are wise and prudent in themselves are rendered vain when
the execution of them is carried on negligently and with imprudence.



Every man stamps his value on himself. The price we challenge for
ourselves is given us. Man is made great or little by his own will.



Hath any wronged thee, be bravely revenged. Slight it, and the
work’s begun; forgive it, and ’tis finished. He is below himself
that is not above an injury.



As gold is tried by the furnace, and the baser metal shown, so the
hollow-hearted friend is known by adversity.



The rose does not bloom without thorns. True, but would that the
thorns did not outlive the rose.



Truth from the mouth of an honest man and severity from a
good-natured man have a double effect.



Most virgins marry, just as nuns
The same thing the same way renounce;
Before they’ve wit to understand
The bold attempt, they take in hand;
Or, having stayed and lost their tides,
Are out of season grown for brides.



The fountain of content must spring up in the mind, and he who has
so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing
anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless
efforts, and multiply the griefs which he purposes to remove.



In all things, to serve from the lowest station upwards is
necessary. To restrict yourself to a trade is best. For the narrow
mind, whatever he attempts is still a trade; for the higher, an art;
and the highest in doing one thing does all, or, to speak less
paradoxically, in the one thing which he does rightly he sees the
likeness of all that is done rightly.



Misanthropy ariseth from a man trusting another without having
sufficient knowledge of his character, and, thinking him to be
truthful, sincere, and honourable, finds a little afterwards that he
is wicked, faithless, and then he meets with another of the same
character. When a man experiences this often, and more particularly
from those whom he considered his most dear and best friends, at
last, having frequently made a slip, he hates the whole world, and
thinks that there is nothing sound at all in any of them.



Pleasure, most often delusive, may be born of delusion. Pleasure,
herself a sorceress, may pitch her tents on enchanted ground. But
happiness (or, to use a more accurate and comprehensive term, solid
well-being) can be built on virtue alone, and must of necessity have
truth for its foundation.



Entangled in a hundred worldly snares,
Self-seeking men, by ignorance deluded,
Strive by unrighteous means to pile up riches.
Then, in their self-complacency, they say,
“This acquisition I have made to-day,
That will I gain to-morrow, so much pelf
Is hoarded up already, so much more
Remains that I have yet to treasure up.
This enemy I have destroyed, him also,
And others in their turn, I will despatch.
I am a lord; I will enjoy myself;
I’m wealthy, noble, strong, successful, happy;
I’m absolutely perfect; no one else
In all the world can be compared to me.
Now will I offer up a sacrifice,
Give gifts with lavish hand, and be triumphant.”
Such men, befooled by endless vain conceits,
Caught in the meshes of the world’s illusion,
Immersed in sensuality, descend
Down to the foulest hell of unclean spirits.[16]


    [16] Cf. Luke, XII, 17-20; see also 291.


There needs no other charm, nor conjuror,
To raise infernal spirits up, but Fear,
That makes men pull their horns in, like a snail,
That’s both a prisoner to itself and jail;
Draws more fantastic shapes than in the grains
Of knotted wood, in some men’s crazy brains,
When all the cocks they think they are, and bulls,
Are only in the insides of their skulls.



He that rectifies a crooked stick bends it the contrary way, so must
he that would reform a vice learn to affect its mere contrary, and
in time he shall see the springing blossoms of a happy restoration.

                                               _R. Chamberlain._


The more weakness the more falsehood; strength goes straight: every
cannon ball that has in it hollows and holes goes crooked.



Learning dissipates many doubts, and causes things otherwise
invisible to be seen, and is the eye of everyone who is not
absolutely blind.



Very distasteful is excessive fame
  To the sour palate of the envious mind,
Who hears with grief his neighbours good by name,
  And hates the fortune that he ne’er shall find.



A more glorious victory cannot be gained over another man than this,
that when the injury began on his part the kindness should begin on



Time, which gnaws and diminishes all things else, augments and
increases benefits, because a noble action of liberality done to a
man of reason doth grow continually by his generously thinking of it
and remembering it.



Were all thy fond endeavours vain
  To chase away the sufferer’s smart,
Still hover near, lest absence pain
              His lonely heart.

For friendship’s tones have kindlier power
  Than odorous fruit, or nectared bowl,
To soothe, in sorrow’s languid hour,
              The sinking soul.



The faults of others are easily perceived, but those of oneself are
difficult to perceive; a man winnows his neighbour’s faults like
chaff, but his own fault he hides as a cheat hides the false dice
from the gamester.



Education and morals will be found almost the whole that goes to
make a good man.



Toil and pleasure, in their natures opposite, are yet linked
together in a kind of necessary connection.



Enjoy thou the prosperity of others,
Although thyself unprosperous; noble men
Take pleasure in their neighbours’ happiness.



Neither live with a bad man nor be at enmity with him; even as if
you take hold of glowing charcoal it will burn you, if you take hold
of cold charcoal it will soil you.



In the sandal-tree are serpents, in the water lotus flowers, but
crocodiles also; even virtues are marred by the vicious—in all
enjoyments there is something which impairs our happiness.



There is no pleasure of life sprouting like a tree from one root but
there is some pain joined to it; and again nature brings good out of



The manner of giving shows the character of the giver more than the
gift itself. There is a princely manner of giving and accepting.



Perfect ignorance is quiet, perfect knowledge is quiet; not so the
transition from the former to the latter.



Superstition is the religion of feeble minds; and they must be
tolerated in an admixture of it in some trifling or enthusiastic
shape or other; else you will deprive weak minds of a resource found
necessary to the strongest.



Fair words without good deeds to a man in misery are like a saddle
of gold clapped upon a galled horse.



There is a rabble among the gentry as well as the commonalty; a sort
of plebeian heads whose fancy moves with the same wheel as these
men—in the same level with mechanics, though their fortunes do
sometimes gild their infirmities and their purses compound for their

                                            _Sir Thomas Browne._


It is a common remark that men talk most who think least; just as
frogs cease their quacking when a light is brought to the



Our time is like our money; when we change a guinea the shillings
escape as things of small account; when we break a day by idleness
in the morning, the rest of the hours lose their importance in our

                                             _Sir Walter Scott._


Vociferation and calmness of character seldom meet in the same



Wit and wisdom differ. Wit is upon the sudden turn, wisdom is in
bringing about ends.



Real and solid happiness springs from moderation.



In all the world there is no vice
Less prone t’excess than avarice;
It neither cares for food nor clothing:
Nature’s content with little, that with nothing.



Beside the streamlet seated, mark how life glides on:
That sign, how swift each moment goes, to me’s enough.
Behold this world’s delights, and view its various pains:
If not to you, the joy it shows to me’s enough.



The lake no longer water holds—
Off fly the fowls, the lilies stay:
If friends are friends when wealth is gone,
The lily’s constancy they share.

                                                _Hindu Poetess._


Let us be well persuaded that everyone of us possesses happiness in
proportion to his virtue and wisdom, and according as he acts in
obedience to their suggestion.



All property which comes to hand by means of violence, or infamy, or
baseness, however large it may be, is tainted and unblest. On the
other hand, whatever is obtained by honest profit, small though it
be, brings a blessing with it.[17]


    [17] See 44.


We should know mankind better if we were not so anxious to resemble
one another.



Root out the love of self, as you might the autumn lotus with your



Whoever has the seed of virtue and honour implanted in his breast
will drop a sympathising tear on the woes of his neighbour.



Do naught to others which, if done to thee, would cause thee pain:
this is the sum of duty.[18]


    [18] Cf. Matt. VII, 12.


A bad man, though raised to honour, always returns to his natural
course, as a dog’s tail, though warmed by the fire and rubbed with
oil, retains its form.[19]


    [19] Cf. Arab proverb: “A dog’s tail never can be made


The man who cannot blush, and who has no feelings of fear, has
reached the acme of impudence.



It is the usual consolation of the envious, if they cannot maintain
their superiority, to represent those by whom they are surpassed as
inferior to some one else.



Such as the chain of causes we call Fate, such is the chain of
wishes: one links on to another; the whole man is bound in the chain
of wishing for ever.



I do remember stopping by the way,
To watch a potter thumping his wet clay;
  And with its all-obliterated tongue
It murmured, “Gently, brother, gently, pray!”

                                                 _Omar Khayyām._


If you only knew the evils which others suffer, you would willingly
submit to those which you now bear.



Children form a bond of union than which the human heart finds none
more enduring.



The sweetest pleasures soonest cloy,
And its best flavour temperance gives to joy.



To our own sorrows serious heed we give,
But for another’s we soon cease to grieve.



Can anything be more absurd than that the nearer we are to our
journey’s end, we should lay in the more provision for it?



Set about whatever you intend to do; the beginning is half the



All smatterers are more brisk and pert
Than those who understand an art;
As little sparkles shine more bright
Than glowing coals that gave them light.



No prince, how great soever, begets his predecessors, and the
noblest rivers are not navigable to the fountain.

                                                   _A. Marvell._


The guilty man may escape, but he cannot be sure of doing so.



In everything you will find annoyances, but you ought to consider
whether the advantages do not predominate.



Dreams in general take their rise from those incidents which have
most occupied the thoughts during the day.



Sleeping, we image what awake we wish;
Dogs dream of bones, and fishermen of fish.[20]


    [20] Cf. Arab proverb: “The dream of the cat is always about


A man who does not endeavour to _seem_ more than he is will
generally be thought nothing of. We habitually make such large
deductions for pretence and imposture that no real merit will stand
against them. It is necessary to set off our good qualities with a
certain air of plausibility and self-importance, as some attention
to fashion is necessary.



There is nothing more beautiful than cheerfulness in an old face,
and among country people it is always a sign of a well-regulated



From things which have been obtained after having been long desired
men almost never derive the pleasure and delight which they had



Seest thou good days? Prepare for evil times. No summer but hath its
winter. He never reaped comfort in adversity that sowed not in



Every man knows his own but not others’ defects and miseries; and
’tis the nature of all men still to reflect upon themselves their
own misfortunes, not to examine or consider other men’s, not to
confer themselves with others; to recount their own miseries but not
their good gifts, fortunes, benefits which they have, to ruminate on
their adversity, but not once to think on their prosperity, not what
they have but what they want.



Some people, you would think, are made up of nothing but title and
genealogy; the stamp of dignity defaces in them the very character
of humanity, and transports them to such a degree of haughtiness
that they reckon it below them to exercise good nature or good



He alone is poor who does not possess knowledge.



It is not enough to know; we must apply what we know. It is not
enough to will; we must also act.



Words of blame from those who are hostile to a great man cannot
injure him. The moon is not hurt when barked at by a dog.



The value of three things is justly appreciated by all classes of
men: youth, by the old; health, by the diseased; and wealth, by the

                                                 _Omar Khayyām._


As one might nurse a tiny flame,
The able and far-seeing man,
E’en with the smallest capital,
Can raise himself to wealth.



By a husband wealth is accumulated; by a wife is its preservation.



It is very hard for the mind to disengage itself from a subject on
which it has been long employed. The thoughts will be rising of
themselves from time to time, though we have given them no
encouragement, as the tossings and fluctuations of the sea continue
several hours after the winds are laid.



Hypocrisy will serve as well
To propagate a church as zeal;
As persecution and promotion
Do equally advance devotion:
So round white stones will serve, they say,
As well as eggs, to make hens lay.



Man differs from other animals particularly in this, that he is
imitative, and acquires his rudiments of knowledge in this way;
besides, the delight in imitation is universal.



The hooting fowler seldom takes much game. When a man has a project
in his mind, digested and fixed by consideration, it is wise to keep
it secret till the time that his designs arrive at their despatch
and perfection. He is unwise who brags much either of what he will
do or what he shall have, for if what he speaks of fall not out
accordingly, instead of applause, a mock and scorn will follow him.



What is the most profitable? Fellowship with the good. What is the
worst thing in the world? The society of evil men. What is the
greatest loss? Failure in one’s duty. Where is the greatest peace?
In truth and righteousness. Who is the hero? The man who subdues his
senses. Who is the best beloved? The faithful wife. What is wealth?
Knowledge. What is the most perfect happiness? Staying at home.



If a man says that it is right to give every one his due, and
therefore thinks within his own mind that injury is due from a just
man to his enemies but kindness to his friends, he was not wise who
said so, for he spoke not the truth, for in no case has it appeared
to be just to injure any one.[21]


    [21] Cf. Matt. V, 43, 44.


Faith is like love, it cannot be forced. Therefore it is a dangerous
operation if an attempt be made to introduce or bind it by state
regulations; for, as the attempt to force love begets hatred, so
also to compel religious belief produces rank unbelief.



We are like vessels tossed on the bosom of the deep; our passions
are the winds that sweep us impetuously forward; each pleasure is a
rock; the whole life is a wide ocean. Reason is the pilot to guide
us, but often allows itself to be led astray by the storms of pride.



Empty is the house of a childless man; as empty is the mind of a
bachelor; empty are all quarters of the world to an ignorant man;
but poverty is total emptiness.



The wicked have no stability, for they do not remain in consistency
with themselves; they continue friends only for a short time,
rejoicing in each other’s wickedness.



It is the natural disposition of all men to listen with pleasure to
abuse and slander of their neighbour, and to hear with impatience
those who utter praises of themselves.



A man ought not to return evil for evil, as many think, since at no
time ought we to do an injury to our neighbour.[22]


    [22] Cf. Rom. XII, 19; 1 Thess. V, 15.


In all that belongs to man you cannot find a greater wonder than
memory. What a treasury of all things! What a record! What a journal
of all! As if provident Nature, because she would have man
circumspect, had furnished him with an account-book, to carry always
with him. Yet it neither burthens nor takes up room.



He who will not freely and sadly confess that he is _much_ a fool is
_all_ a fool.



The man with hoary head is not revered as aged by the gods, but only
he who has true knowledge; he, though young, is old.



No fathers and mothers think their own children ugly, and this
self-deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the



In thy apparel avoid singularity, profuseness, and gaudiness. Be not
too early in the fashion, nor too late. Decency is half way between
affectation and neglect. The body is the shell of the soul, apparel
is the husk of that shell; the husk often tells you what the kernel



We have more faith in a well-written romance while we are reading it
than in common history. The vividness of the representations in the
one case more than counterbalances the mere knowledge of the truth
of facts in the other.



It is easy to lose important opportunities, and difficult to regain
them; therefore when they present themselves it is the more
necessary to make every effort to retain them.



Among wonderful things is a sore-eyed man who is an oculist.



Gold gives the appearance of beauty even to ugliness; but everything
becomes frightful with poverty.



When the scale of sensuality bears down that of reason, the baseness
of our nature conducts us to most preposterous conclusions.

                                               _R. Chamberlain._


Idleness is a great enemy to mankind. There is no friend like
energy, for, if you cultivate that, it will never fail.



The greatest difficulties lie where we are not looking for them.



We must oblige everybody as much as we can; we have often need of
assistance from those inferior to ourselves.

                                                  _La Fontaine._


We magnify the wealthy man, though his parts be never so poor. The
poor man we despise, be he never so well qualified. Gold is the
coverlet of imperfections. It is the fool’s curtain, which hides all
his defects from the world.



There is nothing more operative than sedulity and diligence. A man
would wonder at the mighty things which have been done by degrees
and gentle augmentations. Diligence and moderation are the best
steps whereby to climb to any excellence, nay, it is rare that there
is any other other way.



In sooth, it is a shame to choose rather to be still borrowing in
all places, from everybody, than to work and win.



Behaviour is a mirror in which every one shows his image.



There is nothing more daring than ignorance.



It is not easy to stop the fire when the water is at a distance;
friends at hand are better than relations afar off.



The lustre of a virtuous character cannot be defaced, nor can the
vices of a vicious man ever become lucid. A jewel preserves its
lustre, though trodden in the mud, but a brass pot, though placed
upon the head, is brass still.



Noble birth is an accident of fortune, noble actions characterise
the great.



Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought.



When anyone is modest, not after praise, but after censure, then he
is really so.



Experience has always shown, and reason shows, that affairs which
depend on many seldom succeed.



Give not thy tongue too great a liberty, lest it take thee prisoner.
A word unspoken is like thy sword in thy scabbard; if vented, the
sword is in another’s hand.[23] If thou desire to be held wise, be
so wise as to hold thy tongue.


    [23] Cf. 221; also Metastasio:

           Voce dal fuggita
             Poi richiamar non vale;
             Non si trattien lo strale
             Quando dall’ arco uscì.

           [The word that once escapes the tongue cannot be
           recalled; the arrow cannot be detained which has once
           sped from the bow.]


The old lose one of the greatest privileges of man, for they are no
longer judged by their contemporaries.



When the man of a naturally good propensity has much wealth it
injures his advancement in wisdom; when a worthless man has much
wealth it increases his faults.



In youth a man is deluded by other ideas than those which delude him
in middle life, and again in his decay he embraces other ideas.



To consider, Is this man of our own or an alien? is a mark of
little-minded persons; but the whole earth is of kin to the


    [24] Cf. Luke, X, 29, ff.


Skill in advising others is easily attained by men; but to practise
righteousness themselves is what only a few can succeed in doing.



Hast thou not perfect excellence, ’tis best
  To keep thy tongue in silence, for ’tis this
Which shames a man; as lightness does attest
  The nut is empty, nor of value is.



Understand a man by his deeds and words; the impressions of others
lead to false judgment.



A man of feeble character resembles a reed that bends with every
gust of wind.



There is no fire like passion; there is no shark like hatred; there
is no snare like folly; there is no torrent like greed.



Commit a sin twice, and it will not seem to thee a sin.



Liberality attended with mild language; learning without pride;
valour united with mercy; wealth accompanied with a generous
contempt of it—these four qualities are with difficulty acquired.



Inquire about your neighbour before you build, and about your
companions before you travel.



Though you may yourself abound in treasure, teach your son some
handicraft; for a heavy purse of gold and silver may run to waste,
but the purse of the artisan’s industry can never get empty.



It is an observation no less just than common that there is no
stronger test of a man’s real character than power and authority,
exciting, as they do, every passion, and discovering every latent



Rather skin a carcass for pay in the public streets than be idly
dependent on charity.



Knowledge produces mildness of speech; mildness of speech, a good
character; a good character, wealth; wealth, if virtuous actions
attend it, happiness.



O how wonderful is the human voice! It is indeed the organ of the
soul. The intellect of man sits enshrined visibly upon his forehead
and in his eye; and the heart of man is written upon his
countenance. But the soul reveals itself in the voice only, as God
revealed himself to the prophet in the still small voice, and in a
voice from the Burning Bush. The soul of man is audible, not
visible. A sound alone betrays the flowing of the eternal fountain
invisible to man.



Every gift, though small, is in reality great, if it be given with


    [25] See also 80.


Good words, good deeds, and beautiful expressions
A wise man ever culls from every quarter,
E’en as a gleaner gathers ears of corn.



In poverty and other misfortunes of life men think friends to be
their only refuge. The young they keep out of mischief, to the old
they are a comfort and aid in their weakness, and those in the prime
of life they incite to noble deeds.



Heed not the flatterer’s fulsome talk,
  He from thee hopes some trifle to obtain;
Thou wilt, shouldst thou his wishes baulk,
  Ten hundred times as much of censure gain.



By the fall of water-drops the pot is filled: such is the increase
of riches, of knowledge, and of virtue.



We deliberate about the parcels of life, but not about life itself,
and so we arrive all unawares at its different epochs, and have the
trouble of beginning all again. And so finally it is that we do not
walk as men confidently towards death, but let death come suddenly
upon us.



It is no very good symptom, either of nations or individuals, that
they deal much in vaticination. Happy men are full of the present,
for its bounty suffices them; and wise men also, for its duties
engage them. Our grand business undoubtedly is not to see what lies
dimly at a distance, but to do what clearly lies at hand.



Law does not put the least restraint
Upon our freedom, but maintain’st;
Or, if it does, ’tis for our good,
To give us freer latitude:
For wholesome laws preserve us free,
By stinting of our liberty.



It is only necessary to grow old in order to become more indulgent.
I see no fault committed that I have not been myself inclined to.



Even a blockhead may respect inspire,
So long as he is suitably attired;
A fool may gain esteem among the wise,
So long as he has sense to hold his tongue.



A wise man should never resolve upon anything, at least, never let
the world know his resolution, for if he cannot reach that he is


    [26] See 406.


Men’s minds are generally ingenious in palliating guilt in



Prosperity is acquired by exertion, and there is no fruit for him
who doth not exert himself: the fawns go not into the mouth of a
sleeping lion.



Wickedness, by whomsoever committed, is odious, but most of all in
men of learning; for learning is the weapon with which Satan is
combated, and when a man is made captive with arms in his hand his
shame is more excessive.



He that will give himself to all manner of ways to get money may be
rich; so he that lets fly all he knows or thinks may by chance be
satirically witty. Honesty sometimes keeps a man from growing rich,
and civility from being witty.



Men are not rich or poor according to what they possess but to what
they desire. The only rich man is he that with content enjoys a

                                               _R. Chamberlain._


Poverty is not dishonourable in itself, but only when it arises from
idleness, intemperance, extravagance, and folly.



Do nothing rashly; want of circumspection is the chief cause of
failure and disaster. Fortune, wise lover of the wise, selects him
for her lord who ere he acts reflects.



First think, and if thy thoughts approve thy will,
Then speak, and after, what thou speak’st fulfil.



It cannot but be injurious to the human mind never to be called into
effort: the habit of receiving pleasure without any exertion of
thought, by the mere excitement of curiosity, and sensibility, may
be justly ranked among the worst effects of habitual novel-reading.



Patience is the chiefest fruit of study; a man that strives to make
himself different from other men by much reading gains this chiefest
good, that in all fortunes he hath something to entertain and
comfort himself withal.



Friendship throws a greater lustre on prosperity, while it lightens
adversity by sharing in its griefs and troubles.



There is nothing more becoming a wise man than to make choice of
friends, for by them thou shalt be judged what thou art. Let them
therefore be wise and virtuous, and none of those that follow thee
for gain; but make election rather of thy betters than thy
inferiors; shunning always such as are poor and needy, for if thou
givest twenty gifts and refuse to do the like but once, all that
thou hast done will be lost, and such men will become thy mortal

                                   _Sir W. Raleigh, to his Son._


Learning is like Scanderbeg’s sword, either good or bad according to
him who hath it: an excellent weapon, if well used; otherwise, like
a sharp razor in the hand of a child.

                                               _R. Chamberlain._


The greater part of mankind employ their first years to make their
last miserable.

                                                   _La Bruyère._


I hate the miser, whose unsocial breast
Locks from the world his useless stores.
Wealth by the bounteous only is enjoyed,
Whose treasures, in diffusive good employed,
The rich return of fame and friends procure,
And ’gainst a sad reverse a safe retreat secure.



Wisdom alone is the true and unalloyed coin for which we ought to
exchange all things, for this and with this everything is bought and
sold—fortitude, temperance, and justice; in a word, true virtue
subsists with wisdom.



If thou intendest to do a good act, do it quickly, and then thou
wilt excite gratitude; a favour if it be slow in being conferred
causes ingratitude.



’Tis those who reverence the old
That are the men versed in the Faith;
Worthy of praise while in this life,
And happy in the life to come.



Low-minded men are occupied solely with their own affairs, but
noble-minded men take special interest in the affairs of others. The
submarine fire drinks up the ocean, to fill its insatiable interior;
the rain-cloud, that it may relieve the drought of the earth, burnt
up by the hot season.



Those men are wise who do not desire the unattainable, who do not
love to mourn over what is lost, and are not overwhelmed by



Let him take heart who does advance, even in the smallest degree.



A truly great man never puts away the simplicity of a child.[27]


    [27] Cf. Pope, in his Epitaph on the poet Gay:

           Of manners gentle, of affections mild;
           In wit a man, simplicity, a child.


If thou desirest ease in this life, keep thy secrets undisclosed,
like the modest rosebud. Take warning from that lovely flower,
which, by expanding its hitherto hidden beauties when in full bloom,
gives its leaves and its happiness to the winds.



A husband is the chief ornament of a wife, though she have no other
ornament; but, though adorned, without a husband she has no



He who has more learning than goodness is like a tree with many
branches and few roots, which the first wind throws down; whilst he
whose works are greater than his knowledge is like a tree with many
roots and fewer branches, which all the winds of heaven cannot



He that would build lastingly must lay his foundation low. The proud
man, like the early shoots of a new-felled coppice, thrusts out full
of sap, green in leaves, and fresh in colour, but bruises and breaks
with every wind, is nipped with every little cold, and, being
top-heavy, is wholly unfit for use. Whereas the humble man retains
it in the root, can abide the winter’s killing blast, the ruffling
concussions of the wind, and can endure far more than that which
appears so flourishing.



The man who has not anything to boast of but his illustrious
ancestors is like a potato—the only good belonging to him is

                                           _Sir Thos. Overbury._


When men will not be reasoned out of a vanity, they must be
ridiculed out of it.



Women are ever in extremes, they are either better or worse than

                                                   _La Bruyère._


An absent friend gives us friendly company when we are well assured
of his happiness.



The man of worth is really great without being proud; the mean man
is proud without being really great.



Liberality consists less in giving much than in giving at the right

                                                   _La Bruyère._


Outward perfection without inward goodness sets but the blacker dye
on the mind’s deformity.

                                               _R. Chamberlain._


As a solid rock is not shaken by the wind, so wise men falter not
amidst blame or praise.



Of what avail is the praise or censure of the vulgar, who make a
useless noise like a senseless crow in a forest?



Hark! here the sound of lute so sweet,
And there the voice of wailing loud;
Here scholars grave in conclave meet,
There howls the brawling drunken crowd;
Here, charming maidens full of glee,
There, tottering, withered dames we see.
Such light! Such shade! I cannot tell,
If here we live in heaven or hell.



The every-day cares and duties which men call drudgery are the
weights and counterpoises of the clock of Time, giving its pendulum
a true vibration, and its hands a regular motion; and when they
cease to hang upon the wheels, the pendulum no longer sways, the
hands no longer move, the clock stands still.



A man of little learning deems that little a great deal; a frog,
never having seen the ocean, considers its well a great sea.



Trust not thy secret to a confidant, for he too will have his
associates and friends; and it will spread abroad through the whole
city, and men will call thee weak-headed.



Labour like a man, and be ready in doing kindnesses. He is a
good-for-nothing fellow who eateth by the toil of another’s hand.


    [28] See also 429, 453.


Let every man sweep the snow from before his own doors, and not busy
himself about the frost on his neighbour’s tiles.



With knowledge, say, what other wealth
Can vie, which neither thieves by stealth
Can take, nor kinsmen make their prey,
Which, lavished, never wastes away.



Women’s wealth is beauty, learning, that of men.



Prosperity attends the lion-hearted man who exerts himself, while we
say, destiny will ensure it. Laying aside destiny, show manly
fortitude by thy own strength: if thou endeavour, and thy endeavours
fail of success, what crime is there in failing?



Spare not, nor spend too much, be this thy care,
Spare but to spend, and only spend to spare.
Who spends too much may want, and so complain;
But he spends best that spares to spend again.



Everything that is acknowledges the blessing of existence. Shalt not
thou, by a similar acknowledgment, be happy? If thou pay due
attention to sounds, thou shalt hear the praise of the Creator
celebrated by the whole creation.



The attribute most noble of the hand
Is readiness in giving; of the head,
Bending before a teacher; of the mouth,
Veracious speaking; of a victor’s arms,
Undaunted valour; of the inner heart,
Pureness the most unsullied; of the ears,
Delight in hearing and receiving truth—These
are adornments of high-minded men,
Better than all the majesty of Empire.



The mere reality of life would be inconceivably poor without the
charm of fancy, which brings in its bosom as many vain fears as idle
hopes, but lends much oftener to the illusions it calls up a gay
flattering hue than one which inspires terror.

                                                 _Von Humboldt._


Stupidity has its sublime as well as genius, and he who carries that
quality to absurdity has reached it, which is always a source of
pleasure to sensible people.



It is curious to note the old sea-margins of human thought. Each
subsiding century reveals some new mystery; we build where monsters
used to hide themselves.



Women never reason and therefore they are, comparatively, seldom
wrong. They judge instinctively of what falls under their immediate
observation or experience, and do not trouble themselves about
remote or doubtful consequences. If they make no profound
discoveries, they do not involve themselves in gross absurdities. It
is only by the help of reason and logical inference, according to
Hobbes, that “man becomes excellently wise or excellently foolish.”



Reprove not in their wrath incensèd men,
Good counsel comes clean out of season then;
But when his fury is appeased and past,
He will conceive his fault and mend at last:
When he is cool and calm, then utter it;
No man gives physic in the midst o’ th’ fit.



It is not flesh and blood, it is the heart, that makes fathers and



Discontent is like ink poured into water, which fills the whole
fountain full of blackness. It casts a cloud over the mind, and
renders it more occupied about the evil which disquiets it than
about the means of removing it.



We are accustomed to see men deride what they do not understand, and
snarl at the good and beautiful because it lies beyond their



A just and reasonable modesty does not only recommend eloquence, but
sets off every talent which a man can be possessed of. It heightens
all the virtues which it accompanies; like the shades of paintings,
it raises and rounds every figure, and makes the colours more
beautiful, though not so glowing as they would be without it.



Happy the man who lives at home, making it his business to regulate
his desires.

                                                  _La Fontaine._


It is true that men are no fit judges of themselves, because
commonly they are partial to their own cause; yet it is as true that
he who will dispose himself to judge indifferently of himself can do
it better than any body else, because a man can see farther into his
own mind and heart than any one else can.



Envy is a vice that would pose a man to tell what it should be liked
for. Other vices we assume for that we falsely suppose they bring us
either pleasure, profit, or honour. But in envy who is it can find
any of these? Instead of pleasure, we vex and gall ourselves. Like
cankered brass, it only eats itself, nay, discolours and renders it
noisome. When some one told Agis that those of his neighbour’s
family did envy him, “Why, then,” says he, “they have a double
vexation—one, with their own evil, the other, at my prosperity.”



The most silent people are generally those who think most highly of
themselves. They fancy themselves superior to every one else, and,
not being sure of making good their secret pretensions, decline
entering the lists altogether. Thus they “lay the flattering unction
to their souls” that they could have said better things than others,
or that the conversation was beneath them.



It is commonly a dangerous thing for a man to have more sense than
his neighbours. Socrates paid for his superiority with his life; and
if Aristotle saved his skin, accused as he was of heresy by the
chief priest Eurymedon, it was because he took to his heels in time.



Flattery may be considered as a mode of companionship, degrading but
profitable to him who flatters.



Rich presents, though profusely given, Are not so dear to righteous
Heaven As gifts by honest gains supplied, Though small, which faith
hath sanctified.



To-day is thine to spend, but not to-morrow;
Counting on morrows breedeth bankrupt sorrow:
  O squander not this breath that Heaven hath lent thee;
Make not too sure another breath to borrow.

                                                 _Omar Khayyām._


Leave not the business of to-day to be done to-morrow; for who
knoweth what may be thy condition to-morrow? The rose-garden, which
to-day is full of flowers, when to-morrow thou wouldst pluck a rose,
may not afford thee one.



Virtue beameth from a generous spirit as light from the moon, or as
brilliancy from Jupiter.



The worth of a horse is known by its speed, the value of oxen by
their carrying power, the worth of a cow by its milk-giving
capacity, and that of a wise man by his speech.



Men of genius are often dull and inert in society, as the blazing
meteor when it descends to earth is only a stone.



If a man die young he hath left us at dinner; it is bed-time with a
man of three score and ten; and he that lives a hundred years hath
walked a mile after supper. This life is but one day of three meals,
or one meal of three courses—childhood, youth, and old age. To sup
well is to live well, and that’s the way to sleep well.



There is nothing keeps longer than a middling fortune, and nothing
melts away sooner than a great one. Poverty treads upon the heels of
great and unexpected riches.

                                                   _La Bruyère._


Society is a more level surface than we imagine. Wise men or
absolute fools are hard to be met with, as there are few giants or
dwarfs. The heaviest charge we can bring against the general texture
of society is that it is commonplace. Our fancied superiority to
others is in some one thing which we think most of because we excel
in it, or have paid most attention to it; whilst we overlook their
superiority to us in something else which they set equal and
exclusive store by.



It is resignation and contentment that are best calculated to lead
us safely through life. Whoever has not sufficient power to endure
privations, and even suffering, can never feel that he is
armour-proof against painful emotions; nay, he must attribute to
himself, or at least to the morbid sensitiveness of his nature,
every disagreeable feeling he may suffer.

                                                 _Von Humboldt._


Petrarch observes, that we change language, habits, laws, customs,
manners, but not vices, not diseases, not the symptoms of folly and
madness—they are still the same. And as a river, we see, keeps the
like name and place, but not water, and yet ever runs, our times and
persons alter, vices are the same, and ever be. Look how
nightingales sang of old, cocks crowed, kine lowed, sheep bleated,
sparrows chirped, dogs barked, so they do still: we keep our madness
still, play the fool still; we are of the same humours and
inclinations as our predecessors were; you shall find us all alike,
much as one, we and our sons, and so shall our posterity continue to
the last.



The mother of the useful arts is necessity, that of the fine arts is
luxury; for father the former have intellect, the latter, genius,
which itself is a kind of luxury.



The fool who knows his foolishness is wise so far, at least; but a
fool who thinks himself wise, he is called a fool indeed.



He who mixes with unclean things becomes unclean himself; he whose
associations are pure becomes purer each day.



Heaven’s gate is narrow and minute,[29]
It cannot be perceived by foolish men,
Blinded by vain illusions of the world.
E’en the clear-sighted, who discern the way
And seek to enter, find the portal barred
And hard to be unlocked. Its massive bolts
Are pride and passion, avarice and lust.


    [29] Cf. Matt. VII, 14.


Eschew that friend, if thou art wise, who consorts with thy enemies.



Who can tell
Men’s hearts? The purest comprehend
Such contradictions, and can blend
The force to bear, the power to feel,
The tender bud, the tempered steel.

                                                  _Hindu Drama._


Whosoever hath not knowledge, and benevolence, and piety knoweth
nothing of reality, and dwelleth only in semblance.



If thou shouldst find thy friend in the wrong reprove him secretly,
but in the presence of company praise him.



Modesty is attended with profit, arrogance brings on destruction.



The greatest hatred, like the greatest virtue and the worst dogs, is



Is a preface exquisitely written? No literary morsel is more
delicious. Is the author inveterately dull? It is a kind of
preparatory information, which may be very useful. It argues a
deficiency of taste to turn over an elaborate preface unread: for it
is the attar of the author’s roses, every drop distilled at an
immense cost. It is the reason of the reasoning, and the folly of
the foolish.

                                              _Isaac D’Israeli._


Vulgar prejudices are those which arise out of accident, ignorance,
or authority; natural prejudices are those which arise out of the
constitution of the human mind itself.



Lament not Fortune’s mutability,
And seize her fickle favours ere they flee;
  If others never mourned departed bliss,
How should a turn of Fortune come to thee?

                                                 _Omar Khayyām._


Harsh reproof is like a violent storm, soon washed down the channel;
but friendly admonitions, like a small shower, pierce deep, and
bring forth better reformation.

                                               _R. Chamberlain._


There are braying men in the world as well as braying asses; for
what’s loud and senseless talking, huffing, and swearing any other
than a more fashionable way of braying?



All wit and fancy, like a diamond,
The more exact and curious ’tis ground,
Is forced for every carat to abate
As much of value as it wants in weight.



Listen, if you would learn; be silent, if you would be safe.



All such distinctions as tend to set the orders of the state at a
distance from each other are equally subversive of liberty and



No man is the wiser for his learning. It may administer matter to
work in, or objects to work upon, but wit and wisdom are born with a



Those who are guided by reason are generally successful in their
plans; those who are rash and precipitate seldom enjoy the favour of
the gods.



Whosoever lends a greedy ear to a slanderous report is either
himself of a radically bad disposition or a mere child in sense.



A foolish man in wealth and authority is like a weak-timbered house
with a too-ponderous roof.

                                               _R. Chamberlain._


A lively blockhead in company is a public benefit. Silence or
dulness by the side of folly looks like wisdom.



Eminent positions make eminent men greater and little men less.

                                                   _La Bruyère._


Scratch yourself with your own nails; always do your own business,
and when you intend asking for a service, go to a person who can
appreciate your merit.



The beauty of some women has days and seasons, depending upon
accidents which diminish or increase it; nay, the very passions of
the mind naturally improve or impair it, and very often utterly
destroy it.



No joy in nature is so sublimely affecting as the joy of a mother at
the good fortune of a child.



Want and sorrow are the gifts which folly earns for itself.



In character, in manners, in style, in all things, the supreme
excellence is simplicity.



Those who cause dissensions in order to injure other people are
preparing pitfalls for their own ruin.



Such deeds as thou with fear and grief
Wouldst, on a sick-bed laid, recall,
In youth and health eschew them all,
Remembering life is frail and brief.



A man should not keep company with one whose character, family, and
abode are unknown.



Sit not down to the table before thy stomach is empty, and rise
before thou hast filled it.



If thou be rich, strive to command thy money, lest it command thee.



In all companies there are more fools than wise men, and the greater
part always gets the better of the wiser.



Talents are best nurtured in solitude; character is best formed in
the stormy billows of the world.



No one ought to despond in adverse circumstances, for they may turn
out to be the cause of good to us.[30]


    [30] Cf. Job V, 17; Heb. XII, 6.


The constant man loses not his virtue in misfortune. A torch may
point towards the ground, but its flame will still point upwards.



A man should never despise himself, for brilliant success never
attends on the man who is contemned by himself.



It is the character of a simpleton to be a bore. A man of sense sees
at once whether he is welcome or tiresome; he knows to withdraw the
moment that precedes that in which he would be in the least in the

                                                   _La Bruyère._


The man of first rate excellence is virtuous in spite of
instruction; he of the middle class is so after instruction; the
lowest order of men are vicious in spite of instruction.



Not to attend at the door of the wealthy, and not to use the voice
of petition—these constitute the best life of a man.



What a man can do and suffer is unknown to himself till some
occasion presents itself which draws out the hidden power. Just as
one sees not in the water of an unruffled pond the fury and roar
with which it can dash down a steep rock without injury to itself,
or how high it is capable of rising; or as little as one can suspect
the latent heat in ice-cold water.



Comprehensive talkers are apt to be tiresome when we are not athirst
for information; but, to be quite fair, we must admit that superior
reticence is a good deal due to lack of matter. Speech is often
barren, but silence also does not necessarily brood over a full
nest. Your still fowl, blinking at you without remark, may all the
while be sitting on one addled nest-egg; and, when it takes to
cackling, will have nothing to announce but that addled delusion.

                                                 _George Eliot._


The sage who engages in controversy with ignorant people must not
expect to be treated with honour; and if a fool should overpower a
philosopher by his loquacity it is not to be wondered at, for a
common stone will break a jewel.



Success is like a lovely woman, wooed by many men, but folded in the
arms of him alone who, free from over-zeal, firmly persists and
calmly perseveres.



A feverish display of over-zeal,
At the first outset, is an obstacle
To all success; water, however cold,
Will penetrate the ground by slow degrees.



Treat no one with disdain; with patience bear
Reviling language; with an angry man
Be never angry; blessings give for curses.[31]


    [31] Cf. Matt. V, II, 44.


E’en as a traveller, meeting with the shade
Of some o’erhanging tree, awhile reposes,
Then leaves its shelter to pursue his way,
So men meet friends, then part with them for ever.



Single is every living creature born,
Single he passes to another world,
Single he eats the fruit of evil deeds,
Single, the fruit of good; and when he leaves
His body, like a log or heap of clay,
Upon the ground, his kinsmen walk away:
Virtue alone stays by him at the tomb,
And bears him through the dreary, trackless gloom.



Abilities, 17.

Absent friend, 496.

Abuse of the great, 398.

Actions to be avoided, 570.

Actor, man an, 37.

Admonition, friendly, 553.

Advance step by step, 131.

Adversity, 8, 30, 57, 78, 175, 184, 185, 330, 366, 393, 477,
        576, 577.

Advice, 82, 172, 193, 443.

Affectation, 87.

Age should be indulgent, 464.

Age, reverence for, 484.

Agreeableness, 258, 296.

Alms-giving, pride in, 318.

Ambition, petty, 165.

Amusements necessary, 111.

Ancestry, boast of, 239, 240, 385, 395, 493.

Angel, brute, man, 199.

Anger, 117, 119, 130.

Angry man, 518, 587.

Annoyances, 387.

Anxiety, needless, 298.

Apparel, 418.

Arrogance, 267.

Arts, mothers of the, 540.

Associates to be avoided, 571.

Associates, wicked, 215.

Associations, 542.

Attributes of hand, head, etc., 513.

Authority, 151, 452, 561.

Avarice, 38, 310, 364, 382, 481.

Bad men, 15, 351.

Beauty, 100, 179, 295, 565.

Beginning, etc., 383.

Behaviour, 430.

Beloved, best, 406.

Beneficence, 4, 5, 191, 485.

Benefits, 312, 345.

“Bless those that curse you,” 587.

Blockhead in fine clothes, 465.

Blockhead, lively, 562.

Boastfulness, 248.

Bodily and mental qualities, 204.

Body, the soul’s tent, 272.

Books, 96, 195, 196, 197, 252, 283, 550.

Bores, 579.

Borrowing, 429.

Braying men, 554.

Business, do your own, 564.

Calmness, 361.

Capacities of men, 32.

Caution in changing, 131.

Character, portraying, 160.

Character, test of men, 109.

Charity, 94.

Cheerfulness, 302, 391.

Children, 379.

Circumstances, 67.

Clever men, 86.

Companions, 450.

Conduct, best, 214.

Confidence, 268.

Consolation, 346.

Constancy of friends, 366.

Contemporaries’ approval, 156.

Contentment, 10, 52, 101, 135, 334, 471, 538.

Contrasts in life, 502.

Controversy with ignorant men, 584.

Conversation, 71.

Daily cares and duties, 503.

Dangers reconcile foes, 274.

Death, 26, 138, 461.

Deception, 243.

Deeds and words, 445.

Delusions, 441.

Deportment, 206.

Derision of superiority, 521.

Designs, 315, 405, 466.

Difficulties, 425.

Diligence, 189, 428.

Discontent, 222, 520.

Distinctions, invidious, 557.

“Do unto others,” etc., 372.

Doctrine entering the ear only, 285.

Dog’s tail, 373.

Doubt, 7.

Dreams, 388, 389.

Dull minds, 278.

Ears and tongue, 273.

Eat moderately, 572.

Education and morals, 348.

Eminence, 563.

Employment, want of, 11.

Empty things, 410.

Endurance, 582.

Energy, 95, 149.

Enjoyments, alloyed, 352, 353.

Envy, 124, 168, 271, 343, 375, 525.

Equality of men, 234.

Errors in judgment, 64.

Evil men reformed, 68.

Evil not to be returned, 413.

Evil plotters, 162, 569.

Evil speaking, 321.

Excellence and mediocrity, 60.

Exertion, 134, 263, 468, 510.

Expenditure, 176, 247, 511.

Experience, 36.

Faculties of men limited, 120.

Faith not to be forced, 408.

Falsehood, 341.

Fame of good and evil deeds, 277.

Fame, worldly, 34, 158.

Familiarity with the great, 255.

Fancy, charm of, 514.

Fashions, old, despised, 169.

Fate and wishes, 376.

Fate and youth, 122.

Fathers and sons, 519.

Faults, 20, 39, 41, 198, 219, 269, 347.

Favours, conferring, 317.

Fear, 339.

Feeble characters, 446.

Feeling, sudden transitions of, 127.

Flattery, 13, 250, 251, 323, 459, 528.

Foes and friends, 84.

Foibles, men’s, 322.

Follies, 97.

Folly’s reward, 567.

Fools, 108, 166, 181, 265, 415, 465, 541, 561, 574.

Forgiveness, 329, 344.

Fortune, 56, 173, 233, 249, 262, 276, 536, 552.

Friends, 16, 98, 174, 432, 458, 478, 496, 544, 547, 588.

Friendship, 24, 116, 309, 330, 346, 477.

Frugality, 316.

Generosity, 140.

Genius dull in society, 534.

Gifts, 80, 456, 529.

Giving, manner of, 354, 483.

God, the best friend, 79.

Gold beautifies, 422, 427.

Golden mean, 21.

Good, doing, 110, 136, 137, 145, 209.

Good for evil, 25, 311.

Good and bad men falling, 297.

Good man, 15, 288.

Good man’s intellect, 89.

Good name, 29, 289.

Goodness, 73, 153, 238.

Good son, 16.

Good wife, 16.

Good words, 457.

Good work undone, 35.

Gratitude, 317.

Great men, intercourse with, 177.

Great souls, qualities of, 78.

Greed, 447.

Grief, useless, 207, 324.

Griefs, secret, 300, 378, 394.

Grossness, 303.

Guilty men, 386.

Handicraft, 451.

Happiness, 58, 66, 70, 187, 253, 262, 311, 337, 363, 367, 406,

Harsh words, 192.

Hatred, 123, 447, 549.

Health, 52.

Heart, 62, 79, 129, 132, 545.

Hearts and beauty, 179.

Heaven’s gate, 543.

Hero, 406.

Hoary head, 416.

Home, 253, 406, 523.

Humility, 150, 157.

Husband, 161, 401, 490.

Hypocrisy, 403.

Idleness, 424.

Ignorance, 103, 198, 199, 290, 301, 355, 431.

Imitativeness, 404.

Impudence, 374.

Increase, by degrees, 460.

Independence, 581.

Indiscreet men, 85.

Inherent badness, 373.

Injury rebounds, 126.

Injury unjustifiable, 407, 413.

Insignificance, man’s individual, 308.

Instruction, 580.

Irresolution, 294.

Judge things by their merit, 196.

Judgments, how formed, 259.

Kindness, 4, 5, 54, 92, 129, 305, 306, 311, 344.

Kinsmen and strangers, 91.

Knowledge, 3, 7, 43, 55, 201, 205, 218, 225, 286, 307, 355,
        396, 397, 416, 454, 508, 546.

Labour, 275, 429, 453, 506.

Laughter, 47, 163, 186.

Law, 463.

Law and physic, 167.

Learning, 40, 43, 143, 342, 449, 479, 491, 504, 509.

Liars, 246.

Liberality, 93, 94, 140, 241, 449, 498.

Life, 23, 83, 125, 133, 144, 235, 287, 326, 365, 461, 502,
        535, 539.

Loquacity, 182, 301, 359, 583.

Loss, greatest, 406.

Losses half felt, 216.

Love, 314.

Low-minded men, 485.

Man, an actor, 37.

Man an intellectual animal, 128.

Mankind, knowledge of, 369.

“Many cooks,” etc., 437.

Marriage, 333.

Mean, the golden, 21.

Mediocrity and excellence, 60.

Memory, 414.

Men, difficult to know, 33.

Men like ships, 409.

Mental faculties, limited, 120.

Mental offspring, 417.

Mental and bodily qualifications, 204.

Merit, innate, 433.

Merit, true and false, 242.

Merit without praise, 104.

Middling fortune, 536.

Mind, 115, 226, 229, 270, 279.

Misanthropy, 336.

Miser, 481.

Misery, 357.

Mistakes, 72.

Modesty, 159, 282, 436, 522, 548.

Money, 188, 190, 368, 573.

Mothers’ greatest joy, 566.

Morning, lesson of the, 139.

Nature praises the Creator, 512.

Neighbour, every man one’s, 442.

Neighbours and companions, 450.

Night, silence of, 266.

Noble birth, 434.

Noble-minded men, 485.

Novel-reading, 475.

Obliging others, 426.

Old age, 439, 484.

Old and new things, 196.

Old man, 65.

Opportunities, 185, 420.

Oppression, 191.

Origin, one common, 9.

Outward perfection, 499.

Parents’ affection, 154.

Parsimony, 316.

Passionate man, 74.

Passions, 1, 2, 119, 280, 447.

Past, present and future, 326.

Patience, 42, 118, 135, 185, 207, 476.

Peace, greatest, 406.

Personal troubles, 31.

Personation, 102.

Physic and law, 167.

“Physician, heal thyself,” 421.

Pity, 124.

Place, things out of, 237.

Plagiarism, 96.

Plans, miscarried, 327.

Pleasure, 337.

Pleasure and pain, 353.

Pleasure in others’ welfare, 350.

Poesy, 260.

Poetaster, 217.

Potter and clay, 377.

Popular opinion, 76.

Poverty, 44, 105, 121, 208, 245, 410, 422, 472.

Praise and censure, 88, 104, 500, 501.

Praise, how to merit, 130.

Prayer, universal, 19.

Prefaces to books, 550.

Prejudices, 551.

Premature actions, 264.

Premature death, 122.

Present affairs, 462.

Present good despised, 213.

Presents, 80, 456, 529.

Pretence, 102.

Pride, 107, 157, 159, 291, 338, 492, 497.

Pride in religious works, 318.

Profitable thing, 406.

Progress, 487.

Projects, 315, 405, 466.

Promises, broken, 28.

Prosperity, 10, 30, 56, 93, 175, 224, 350, 393, 477.

Providence, 320.

Purpose without power, 146.

Pursuits, 203.

Rabble among gentry, 358.

Rashness, 473, 559.

Reality, 546.

Reason, 14, 299, 559.

Reckless life reformed, 68.

Regrets, useless, 298, 486.

Remorse, 220.

Reprehension, 75.

Reproof, harsh, 553.

Resignation, 538.

Resolution, 12, 263.

Respect, hatred, pity, 123.

Restraint, 141.

Reticence, 18, 586.

Reviling to be borne, 587.

Riches, 148, 187, 210, 281, 400, 401, 470, 471, 536.

Ridiculous, cause of the, 292.

Righteousness, 443.

Romances, 419.

Salvation, 257.

Sea-margins of thought, 516.

Secrets, 99, 221, 288, 489, 505.

Seeming to be more than one is, 390.

Self-conceit, 112.

Self-conquest, 223.

Self-contemning, 578.

Self-control, 280.

Self-depreciation, 282.

Self-dissatisfaction, 46.

Self-judging, 524.

Self-knowledge, 152, 261.

Self-love, 142, 370.

Self-palliation, 467.

Self-praises, 412.

Self-reliance, 115.

Self-seeking men, 338.

Self-valuation, 328.

Sensuality, 423.

Serve from lowest station upwards, 335.

Shadows of the mind, 226.

Shame, 90, 256, 374.

Silence, 22, 180, 244, 254, 438, 444, 465, 474, 556.

Simpletons, bores, 579.

Simplicity, 435, 488, 568.

Sin, repeated, 170, 448.

Single are we born, etc., 589.

Slander, 69, 412, 560.

Smatterers, 384.

Society, 27, 258, 537.

Son, good, 16.

Sorrows, 6, 50, 61, 185, 381.

Sparing and spending, 511.

Speech, 180, 254, 438, 474.

Strangers and kinsmen, 91.

Stupidity, 515.

Style in writing, 284.

Subtle and dull minds, 278.

Subtle-witted men, 278.

Success, 149, 183, 578, 583.

Successes, unexpected, 53.

Suffering, 147.

Superiority, 57, 527.

Superstition, 356.

Sweep your own doorstep, 507.

Sympathy, 371.

Taciturnity, 244, 526, 583.

Talents and character, 576.

Talkativeness, 182, 301, 359, 583.

Temperance, 380.

Temptation, 106.

Things good and bad, 59.

Things long desired, 392.

Things to be guarded against, 155.

Things universally valued, 399.

Think before speaking, 474.

Thorns and roses, 331.

Thought, 114, 402, 516.

Time, 79, 113, 325, 360.

Titles of books, 283.

To-day and to-morrow, 530, 531.

Toil and pleasure, 349.

Tongue and ears, 273.

Trials, 51.

Troubles, 202.

Truth, lovers of, 246.

Truth and severity, 332.

Undertakings of the careless, 313.

Universe, lessons of the, 48.

Vacant mind, 229.

Valour, 449.

Vanity, cure of, 494.

Vaticination, 462.

Vices, 304, 340.

Vicissitudes, 584.

Virtue, 532, 589.

Vociferation, 361.

Voice, the human, 455.

Weak and strong men, 236.

Wealth, 77, 115, 148, 187, 210, 267, 400, 440, 449.

Wicked associates, 215.

Wicked, unstable, 411.

Wickedness, odious in the learned, 469.

Wife, 16, 161, 194, 200, 231, 232, 401, 406.

Wisdom, 171, 482, 584.

Wise men, 131, 227, 265, 533, 584.

Wish, father to the thought, 212.

Wishes, vain, 486.

Wishes and powers, 293.

Wit and fancy, 555.

Wit and wisdom, 362, 558.

Woman, 45, 164, 178, 230, 495, 509, 517.

Words cannot be recalled, 228.

Words, harsh, 192.

Words without deeds, 211.

World, a beautiful book, 49.

Worldly fame and pleasure, 34, 158.

Worst thing, 406.

Wretched not to be mocked, 63.

Writings, like dishes, books, like beauty, 96.

Years, early, misspent, 480.

Youth, negligence in, 81.

Youth returns not, 319.

Zeal, excessive, 586.

Transcriber’s Notes:

  Item  54: Mahhābhārata _changed to_ Mahābhārata
  Item  92: Mahābāhrata _changed to_ Mahābhārata
  Item 115: Depend not an _changed to_ Depend not on
  Item 306: Chandalas’ _changed to_ Chándálas’
  Item 434: Goldini _changed to_ Goldoni

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