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Francis Quarles Quotes


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Let the greatest part of the news thou nearest be the least part of what thou believest; lest the greatest part of what thou believest be the least part of what is true. Where lies are easily admitted, the father of lies will not easily be kept out.
[Gossip]
 

Let the ground of all religious actions be obedience; examine not why it is commanded, but observe it because it is commanded. True obedience neither procrastinates nor questions.
[Obedience]
 

Let the words of a virgin, though in a good cause, and to as good purpose, be neither violent, many, nor first, nor last. - It is less shame for her to be lost in a blushing silence, than to be found in a bold eloquence.
 

Luxury is an enticing pleasure, a bastard mirth, which hath honey in her mouth, gall in her heart, and a sting in her tail.
 

Make philosophy thy journey, theology thy journey's end: philosophy is a pleasant way, but dangerous to him that either tires or retires; in this journey it is safe neither to loiter nor to rest, till thou hast attained thy journey's end; he that sits down a philosopher rises up an atheist.
[Philosophy]
 

Make thy recreation servant to thy business, lest thou become a slave to thy recreation.
 

Make use of time if thou lovest eternity; yesterday cannot be recalled; tomorrow cannot be assured; only today is thine, which if thou procrastinate, thou losest; and which lost is lost forever. One today is worth two tomorrows.
[Time]
 

Meditation is the life of the soul; action is the soul of meditation; honor is the reward of action: so meditate, that thou mayest do; so do, that thou mayest purchase honor; for which purchase, give God the glory.
[Meditation]
 

Mercy turns her back to the unmerciful.
[Mercy]
 

My mind's my kingdom.
 

Necessity of action takes away the fear of the act, and makes bold resolution the favorite of fortune.
[Necessity]
 

No cross no crown.
 

Of all vices take heed of drunkenness. Other vices are but the fruits of disordered affections; this disorders, nay banishes reason. - Other vices but impair the soul; this demolishes her two chief acuities, the understanding and the will. Other vices make their own way; this makes way for all vices. - He that is a drunkard is qualified for all vice.
[Drunkenness]
 

Pleasures bring effeminacy, and effeminacy foreruns ruin; such conquests, without blood or sweat, do sufficiently revenge themselves upon their intemperate conquerors.
[Excess]
 

Praise no man too liberally before his face, nor censure him too lavishly behind his back: the one savors of flattery; the other of malice; and both are reprehensible; the true way to advance another's virtue is to follow it; and the pest means to cry down another's vice is to decline it.
[Praise]
 

Pride is the ape of charity, in show not much unlike, but somewhat fuller of action. They are two parallels, never but asunder; charity feeds the poor, so does pride; charity builds an hospital, so does pride. In this they differ: charity gives her glory to God; pride takes her glory from man.
[Pride]
 

Prize not thyself by what thou hast, but by what thou art; he that values a jewel by its golden frame, or a book by its silver clasps, or a man by his vast estate, errs.
 

Proportion thy charity to the strength of thine estate, lest God in anger proportion thine estate to the weakness of thy charity.
 

Put off thy cares with thy clothes; so shall thy rest strengthen thy labor, and so thy labor sweeten thy rest.
[Sleep]
 

Rather do what is nothing to the purpose than be idle, that the devil may find thee doing. - The bird that sits is easily shot when the fliers escape the fowler. - Idleness is the Dead Sea that swallows all the virtues, and is the self-made sepulcher of a living man.
[Idleness]
 


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