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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.
[Passion]
 

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.
[Anger]
 

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.
[Compensation]
 

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.
[Aspiration]
 

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.
[Loquacity]
 

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.
[Popularity]
 

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.
[Praise]
 

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.
[Associates]
 

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.
[Reproof]
 

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.
[Enterprise]
 

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.
[Drunkenness]
 

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.
[Anger]
 

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.
[Calumny]
 

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

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

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


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