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Francis Quarles Quotes

An English churchman.
(1634 - 1716)

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A fool's heart is in his tongue; but a wise man's tongue is in his heart.

All passions are good or bad, according to their objects: where the object is absolutely good, there the greatest passion is too little; where absolutely evil, there the least passion is too much; where indifferent, there a little is enough.

And he repents in thorns that sleeps in beds of roses.

Anger may repast with thee for an hour, but not repose for a night; the continuance of anger is hatred, the continuance of hatred turns malice.

As there is no worldly gain without some loss, so there is no worldiy loss without some gain. - If thou hast lost thy wealth, thou hast lost some trouble with it. - If thou art degraded from thy honor, thou art likewise freed from the stroke of envy. - If sickness hath blurred thy beauty, it hath delivered thee from pride. - Set the allowance against the loss and thou shaft find no loss great. - He loses little or nothing who reserves himself.

Be always displeased with what thou art if thou desire to attain to what thou art not, for where thou hast pleased thyself, there thou abidest.

Be always less willing to speak than to hear; what thou hearest, thou receivest; what thou speakest thou givest. - It is more glorious to give, but more profitable to receive.

Be as far from desiring the popular love as fearful to deserve the popular hate; ruin dwells in both; the one will hug thee to death; the other will crush thee to destruction: to escape the first, be not ambitious; avoid the second, be not seditious.

Be neither too early in the fashion, nor too long out of it, nor too precisely in it. - What custom hath civilized is become decent; till then, ridiculous. - Where the eye is the jury, thine apparel is the evidence.

Be not too great a niggard in the commendations of him that professes thy own quality; if he deserve thy praise, thou hast discovered thy judgment; if not, thy modesty; honor either returns or reflects to the giver.

Be very circumspect in the choice of thy company. In the society of thine equals thou shalt enjoy more pleasure; in the society of thy superiors thou shalt find more profit. To be the best in the company is the way to grow worse; the best means to grow better is to be the worst there.

Be wisely worldly, but not worldly wise.

Before thou reprehend another, take heed thou art not culpable in what thou goest about to reprehend. He that cleanses a blot with blotted fingers makes a greater blur.

Before undertaking any design weigh the story of thy action with the danger of the attempt. - If the glory outweigh the danger it is cowardice to neglect it; if the danger exceed the glory, it is rashness to attempt it; if the balances stand poised, let thine own genius cast them.

Beware of drunkenness, lest all good men beware of thee. - Where drunkenness reigns, there reason is an exile, virtue a stranger, and God an enemy; blasphemy is wit, oaths are rhetoric, and secrets are proclamations.

Beware of him that is slow to anger; for when it is long coming, it is the stronger when it comes, and the longer kept. Abused patience turns to fury.

Close thine ear against him that opens his mouth against another. - If thou receive not his words, they fly back and wound him. - If thou receive them, they flee forward and wound thee.

Death expecteth thee everywhere; be wise, therefore, and expect death everywhere.

Every man's vanity ought to be his greatest shame, and every man's folly ought to be his greatest secret.

Faith evermore looks upward and describes objects remote; but reason can discover things only near - sees nothing that's above her.

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