The wise men of old have sent most of their morality down to the stream of time in the light skiff of apothegm or epigram; and the proverbs of nations, which embody the common sense of nations, have the brisk concussion of the most sparkling wit.
A wise man will always be contented with his condition, and will live rather according to the precepts of virtue, than according to the customs of his country.
Be wise enough to be silent.
A wise man never wants a weapon.
Fortunately wise is he who gains wisdom from another's mishap.
None are too wise to be mistaken, but few are so wisely just as to acknowledge and correct their mistakes, and especially the mistakes of prejudice.
The mouth of a wise man is in his heart; the heart of a fool is in his mouth.
The ignorant man marvels at the exceptional; the wise man marvels at the common; the greatest wonder of all is the regularity of nature.
Man is wise and constantly in quest of more wisdom; but the ultimate wisdom, which deals with beginnings, remains locked in a seed. There it lies, the simplest fact of the universe and at the same time the one which calls forth faith rather than reason.
A wise man neither lets himself be governed, nor seeks to govern others; he wishes that reason should govern alone and always.
If it be true that a man is rich who wants nothing, a wise man is a very rich man.
Much has been said of the wisdom of old age. Old age is wise, I grant, for itself, but not wise for the community. It is wise in declining new enterprises, for it has not the power nor the time to execute them; wise in shrinking from difficulty, for it has not the strength to overcome it; wise in avoiding danger, for it lacks the faculty of ready and swift action, by which dangers are parried and converted into advantages. But this is not wisdom for mankind at large, by whom new enterprises must be undertaken, dangers met, and difficulties surmounted.
A wise man will desire no more than he may get justly, use soberly, distribute cheerfully, and leave contentedly.
If the government should be taught that the highest wisdom of a state is a wise and masterly inactivity, an invaluable blessing will be conferred.
Most of the troubles of humanity are imaginary and should be laughed out of court. It is folly to cross a bridge until you come to it, or to bid the Devil good-morning until you meet him - perfect folly. All is well until the stroke falls, and even then, nine times out of ten, it is not so bad as anticipated. A wise man is the confirmed optimist.
The fool inherits, but the wise must get.
The thing to do when you're impatient is to turn to your left and ask advice from your death. It is always on our left, as at arms length. An immense amount of pettiness is dropped if your death makes a gesture to you, or if you have the feeling that your companion is there watching you. How can anyone feel so important when we know that death is stalking us? Death is the only wise advise that we have. When we feel that everything is gong wrong, turn to your death and ask if that is so. Your death will tell you that you're wrong. That nothing really matters outside its touch. Ask death's advice and drop the cursed pettiness that belongs to men that live their lives as if death will never tap them... It doesn't matter what the decision is. Nothing could be more or less serious than anything else. In a world where death is the hunter there are no small or big decisions. There are only decisions we make in the face of our inevitable death.
A wise man looks upon men as he does on horses; all their comparisons of title, wealth, and place, he consider but as harness.
'Tis the part of a wise man to keep himself for tomorrow, and not venture all his eggs in one basket.
The best books for a man are not always those which the wise recommend, but often those which meet the peculiar wants, the natural thirst of his mind, and therefore awaken interest and rivet thought.