Baltasar Gracian

Baltasar Gracian

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (8 January 1601 – 6 December 1658), better known as Baltasar Gracián, was a Spanish Jesuit and baroque prose writer and philosopher. He was born in Belmonte, near Calatayud (Aragon). His writings were lauded by Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.

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The best skill at cards is knowing when to discard.

Friendship multiplies the good of life and divides the evil.

A man of honour should never forget what he is, because he sees what others are.

Hope has a good memory, gratitude a bad one.

Fortunate people often have very favorable beginnings and very tragic endings. What matters isn't being applauded when you arrive - for that is common - but being missed when you leave.

Fortune pays you sometimes for the intensity of her favors by the shortness of their duration. She soon tires of carrying any one long on her shoulders.

Evil report carries further than any applause.

Aspire rather to be a hero than merely appear one.

Let him that hath no power of patience retire within himself, though even there he will have to put up with himself.

Advice is sometimes transmitted more successfully through a joke than grave teaching.

At twenty a man is a peacock, at thirty a lion, at forty a camel, at fifty a serpent, at sixty a dog, at seventy an ape, at eighty a nothing at all.

Hope is a great falsifier. Let good judgment keep her in check.

A beautiful woman should break her mirror early.

Quit while you're ahead. All the best gamblers do.

Never open the door to a lesser evil for other and greater ones invariably slink in after it.

Let the first impulse pass wait for the second.

A single lie destroys a whole reputation of integrity.

Know or listen to those who know.

A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.

Always leave something to wish for, otherwise you will be miserable from your very happiness.

The things we remember best are those better forgotten.

Without courage wisdom bears no fruit.

There is none who cannot teach somebody something and there is none so excellent but he is excelled.

Don't take the wrong side of an argument just because your opponent has taken the right side.

Little said is soon amended. There is always time to add a word never to withdraw one.

Attempt easy tasks as if they were difficult and difficult as if they were easy, in the one case that confidence may not fall asleep in the other that it may not be dismayed.

The wise does at once what the fool does at last.

Don't show off every day or you'll stop surprising people. There must always be some novelty left over. The person who displays a little more of it each day keeps up expectations and no one ever discovers the limits of his talent.

Never contend with a man who has nothing to lose.

One must pass through the circumference of time before arriving at the center of opportunity.

It is good to vary in order that you may frustrate the curious especially those who envy you.

A bad manner spoils everything even reason and justice; a good one supplies everything - gilds a No, sweetens a truth, and adds a touch of beauty to old age itself.

Nature scarcely ever gives us the very best, for that we must have recourse to art.

It is a great piece of skill to know how to guide your luck even while waiting for it.

Work is the price which is paid for reputation.

To equal a predecessor one must have twice they worth.

There is always time to add a word never to withdraw one.

He that communicates his secret to another makes himself that other's slave.

Be content to act and leave the talking to others.

Those who insist on the dignity of their office show they have not deserved it.

Respect yourself if you would have others respect you.

Dreams will get you nowhere a good kick in the pants will take you a long way.

Things do not pass for what they are but for what they seem. Most things are judged by their jackets.

Never do anything when you are in a temper for you will do everything wrong.

He that has satisfied his thirst turns his back on the well.

I strive to be brief and I become obscure.

Begin with another's to end with your own.

It is better to have too much courtesy than too little provided you are not equally courteous to all for that would be injustice.

Even knowledge has to be in the fashion and where it is not it is wise to affect ignorance.

To be at ease is better than to be at business. Nothing really belongs to us but time which even he has who has nothing else.

Better mad with the rest of the world than wise alone.

Have friends. 'Tis a second existence.

True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends for life without friends is like life on a desert island... to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune, to keep him is a blessing.

To oblige persons often costs little and helps much.

Luck can be assisted. It is not all chance with the wise.

Never have a companion that casts you in the shade.

We often have to put up with most from those on whom we most depend.

The envious die not once but as oft as the envied win applause.

It is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterwards.

Great ability develops and reveals itself increasingly with every new assignment.

He that can live alone resembles the brute beast in nothing the sage in much and God in everything.

When desire dies fear is born.

True knowledge lies in knowing how to live.

Many have had their greatness made for them by their enemies.