For them it’s out-of-date and outmoded to perform miracles; teaching the people is too like hard work, interpreting the holy scriptures is for schoolmen and praying is a waste of time; to shed tears is weak and womanish, to be needy is degrading; to suffer defeat is a disgrace and hardly fitting for one who scarcely permits the greatest of kings to kiss the toes of his sacred feet; and finally, death is an unattractive prospect, and dying on a cross would be an ignominious end.
Apothegms are in history, the same as pearls in the sand, or gold in the mine.
What is popularly called fame is nothing but an empty name and a legacy from paganism.
No one respects a talent that is concealed.
Whether a party can have much success without a woman present I must ask others to decide, but one thing is certain, no party is any fun unless seasoned with folly.
Great eagerness in the pursuit of wealth, pleasure, or honor, cannot exist without sin.
The nearer people approach old age the closer they return to a semblance of childhood, until the time comes for them to depart this life, again like children, neither tired of living nor aware of death.
Human affairs are so obscure and various that nothing can be clearly known.
The fox has many tricks. The hedgehog has but one. But that is the best of all.
What difference is there, do you think, between those in Plato’s cave who can only marvel at the shadows and images of various objects, provided they are content and don’t know what they miss, and the philosopher who has emerged from the cave and sees the real things?
It is useless to gather virtues without humility, for the spirit of the Lord delighteth to dwell in the hearts of the humble.
Nature, more of a stepmother than a mother in several ways, has sown a seed of evil in the hearts of mortals, especially in the more thoughtful men, which makes them dissatisfied with their own lot and envious of another s.
Great abundance of riches cannot be gathered and kept by any man without sin.
I doubt if a single individual could be found from the whole of mankind free from some form of insanity. The only difference is one of degree. A man who sees a gourd and takes it for his wife is called insane because this happens to very few people.
Amongst the learned the lawyers claim first place, the most self-satisfied class of people, as they roll their rock of Sisyphus and string together six hundred laws in the same breath, no matter whether relevant or not, piling up opinion on opinion and gloss on gloss to make their profession seem the most difficult of all. Anything which causes trouble has special merit in their eyes.
Topics: Lawyers, Law
Prevention is better than cure.
Everyone knows that by far the happiest and universally enjoyable age of man is the first. What is there about babies which makes us hug and kiss and fondle them, so that even an enemy would give them help at that age?
Topics: Babies, Children, Family
Heaven grant that the burden you carry may have as easy an exit as it had an entrance.
Ask a wise man to dinner and he’ll upset everyone by his gloomy silence or tiresome questions. Invite him to a dance and you’ll have a camel prancing about. Haul him off to a public entertainment and his face will be enough to spoil the people’s entertainment.
Topics: Intellectuals, Intelligence
Experience is the common school-house of fools and ill men.—Men of wit and honesty are otherwise instructed.
Jupiter, not wanting man’s life to be wholly gloomy and grim, has bestowed far more passion than reason—you could reckon the ration as twenty-four to one. Moreover, he confined reason to a cramped corner of the head and left all the rest of the body to the passions.
If you look at history you’ll find that no state has been so plagued by its rulers as when power has fallen into the hands of some dabbler in philosophy or literary addict.
Topics: Books, Literature
He does good to himself who does good to his friend.
There is nothing I congratulate myself on more heartily than on never having joined a sect.
This type of man who is devoted to the study of wisdom is always most unlucky in everything, and particularly when it comes to procreating children; I imagine this is because Nature wants to ensure that the evils of wisdom shall not spread further throughout mankind.
Everybody hates a prodigy, detests an old head on young shoulders.
Picture the prince, such as most of them are today: a man ignorant of the law, well-nigh an enemy to his people’s advantage, while intent on his personal convenience, a dedicated voluptuary, a hater of learning, freedom and truth, without a thought for the interests of his country, and measuring everything in terms of his own profit and desires.
Topics: Kings, Queens, Royalty
Nothing is so foolish, they say, as for a man to stand for office and woo the crowd to win its vote, buy its support with presents, court the applause of all those fools and feel self-satisfied when they cry their approval, and then in his hour of triumph to be carried round like an effigy for the public to stare at, and end up cast in bronze to stand in the market place.
As Plato entertained some friends in a room where there was a couch richly ornamented, Diogenes came in very dirty, as usual, and getting upon the couch, and trampling on it, said, “I trample upon the pride of Plato.” Plato mildly answered, “But with greater pride, Diogenes!”
You’ll see certain Pythagorean whose belief in communism of property goes to such lengths that they pick up anything lying about unguarded, and make off with it without a qualm of conscience as if it had come to them by law.
Topics: Communism, Socialism
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Corrie Ten Boom Dutch Jewish Humanist
- Henri Nouwen Dutch Catholic Priest
- Thomas Aquinas Italian Catholic Priest
- Baruch Spinoza Dutch Philosopher
- Pope John Paul II Polish Catholic Religious Leader
- Blaise Pascal French Philosopher, Scientist
- Aldous Huxley English Humanist
- Etty Hillesum Jewish Diarist
- Vincent van Gogh Dutch Painter
- John Henry Newman British Theologian, Poet