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FRANCIS QUARLES
English poet and devotional writer
(1592 - 1644)
  Displaying page 1 of 7    Next Page >> 

A fool's heart is in his tongue; but a wise man's tongue is in his heart.
      - [Tongue]

A promise is a child of the understanding and the will; the understanding begets it, the will brings it forth. He that performs delivers the mother; he that breaks it murders the child. If he be begotten in the absence of the understanding it is a bastard, but the child must be kept. If thou mistrust thy understanding, promise not; if thou hast promised, break it not: it is better to maintain a bastard than to murder a child.
      - [Promises]

Abused patience turns to fury.
      - [Anger]

Afflictions clarify the soul;
  And like hard masters, give more hard directions,
    Tutoring the non-age of uncurbed affections.
      - [Affliction]

And he repents in thorns that sleeps in beds of roses.
      - [Proverbs]

As there is no worldly gain without some loss, so there is no worldly 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 shalt find no loss great; he loses little or nothing that reserves himself.
      - [Compensation]

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; to 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 thy apparel is the evidence.
      - [Dress]

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 not too rash in the breaking of an inconvenient custom; as it was gotten, so leave it by degrees. Danger attends upon too sudden alterations; he that pulls down a bad building by the great may be ruined by the fall, but he that takes it down brick by brick may live to build a better.
      - [Custom]

Be not too slow in the breaking of a sinful custom; a quick, courageous resolution is better than a gradual deliberation; in such a combat he is the bravest soldier that lays about him without fear or wit. Wit pleads, fear disheartens; he that would kill Hydra had better strike off one neck than five heads: fell the tree, and the branches are soon cut off.
      - [Resolution]

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 very vigilant over thy child in the April of his understanding, lest the frost of May nip his blossoms. While he is a tender twig, straighten him; whilst he is a new vessel, season him; such as thou makest him, such commonly shall thou find him. Let his first lesson be obedience and his second shall be what thou wilt.
      - [Children]

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.
      - [Reproach]

Before thy undertaking of any design, weigh the glory 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 thy 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, God an enemy; blasphemy is wit, oaths are rhetoric, and secrets are proclamations.
      - [Drunkenness]

Blessedness is promised to the peacemaker, not to the conqueror.
      - [Peace]

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]

Close thine ear against him that shall open his mouth secretly against another; if thou receive not his words, they fly back and wound the reporter; if thou receive them, they flee forward and wound the receiver.
      - [Calumny]

Deliberate long before thou consecrate a friend, and when thy impartial justice concludes him worthy of thy bosom, receive him joyfully, and entertain him wisely; impart thy secrets boldly, and mingle thy thoughts with his: he is thy very self; and use him so; if thou firmly think him faithful, thou makest him so.
      - [Friends]

Demean thyself more warily in thy study than in the street. If thy public actions have a hundred witnesses, thy private have a thousand. The multitude looks but upon thy actions; thy conscience looks into them: the multitude may chance to excuse thee, if not acquit thee; thy conscience will accuse thee, if not condemn thee.
      - [Retirement]

Diogenes found more rest in his tub than Alexander on his throne.
      - [Rest]

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

Fear nothing but what thy industry may prevent; be confident of nothing but what fortune cannot defeat; it is no less folly to fear what is impossible to be avoided than to be secure when there is a possibility to be deprived.
      - [Fear]

Flatter not thyself in thy faith to God, if thou wantest charity for thy neighbor; and think not thou halt charity for thy neighbor, if thou wantest faith to God; where they are not both together, they are both wanting; they are both dead, if once divided.
      - [Charity]


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