Historians desiring to write the actions of men, ought to set down the simple truth, and not say anything for love or hatred; also to choose such an opportunity for writing as it may be lawful to think what they will, and write what they think, which is a rare happiness of the time.
Bestow thy youth so that thou mayst have comfort to remember it, when it hath forsaken thee, and not sigh and grieve at the account thereof. Whilst thou art young thou wilt think it will never have an end; but behold, the longest day hath his evening, and thou shalt enjoy it but once; it never turns again; use it therefore as the spring-time, which soon departeth, and wherein thou oughtest to plant and sow all provisions for a long and happy life.
Topics: Youth, Life
If any friend desire thee to be his surety, give him a part of what thou hast to spare; if he press thee further, he is not thy friend at all, for friendship rather chooseth harm to itself than offereth it.
Let thy servants be such as thou mayest command, and entertain none about thee but those to whom thou givest wages; for those that will serve thee without thy hire will cost thee treble as much as they that know thy fare.
For whosoever commands the sea commands the trade; whosoever commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world, and consequently the world itself.
All, or the greatest part of men that have aspired to riches or power, have attained thereunto either by force or fraud, and what they have by craft or cruelty gained, to cover the foulness of their fact, they call purchase, as a name more honest. Howsoever, he that for want of will or wit useth not those means, must rest in servitude and poverty.
Men endure the losses that befall them by mere casualty with more patience than the damages they sustain by injustice.
I wish I loved the Human Race; I wish I loved its silly face; I wish I liked the way it walks; I wish I liked the way it talks; And when I’m introduced to one I wish I thought What Jolly Fun!
Flatterers are the worst kind of traitors for they will strengthen thy imperfections, encourage thee in all evils, correct thee in nothing, but so shadow and paint all thy vices and follies as thou shalt never, by their will, discern good from evil, or vice from virtue.
Be advised what thou dost discourse of, and what thou maintainest whether touching religion, state, or vanity; for if thou err in the first, thou shalt be accounted profane; if in the second, dangerous; if in the third, indiscreet and foolish.
There is nothing more becoming any 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 enemies.
All histories do show, and wise politicians do hold it necessary that, for the well-governing of every Commonweal, it behoveth man to presuppose that all men are evil, and will declare themselves so to be when occasion is offered.
Divines do rightly infer from the sixth commandment, that scandalizing one’s neighbor with false and malicious reports, whereby I vex his spirit, and consequently impair his healthy is a degree of murder.
Remember, that if thou marry for beauty, thou bindest thyself all thy life for that which perchance will neither last nor please thee one year; and when thou hast it, it will be to thee of no price at all; for the desire dieth when it is attained, and the affection perisheth when it is satisfied.
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