Book of Wise Sayings - Selected Largely from Eastern Sources
by W. A. Clouston
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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 usci.

[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 generous-hearted.[24]


[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 vice.



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 affection.[25]


[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 ashamed.[26]


[26] See 406.


Men's minds are generally ingenious in palliating guilt in themselves.



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 competence.

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 enemies.

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 Bruyere.


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 calamities.



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 ornaments.



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 uproot.



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 underground.

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 men.

La Bruyere.


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 moment.

La Bruyere.


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 incensed 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 sons.



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 sympathies.



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 Khayyam.


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 Bruyere.


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 quiet.



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 Khayyam.


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 concord.



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 man.



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 Bruyere.


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 way.

La Bruyere.


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, 523.

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:

In the original, all letters a, i, u had macrons instead of accents, except for the word Chandalas, which appears as printed.

Item 54: Mahhabharata changed to Mahabharata Item 92: Mahabahrata changed to Mahabharata Item 115: Depend not an changed to Depend not on Item 306: Chandalas' changed to Chandalas' Item 434: Goldini changed to Goldoni


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