Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Francis Quarles

English Author

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

"Be wisely worldly, be not worldly wise."

"Every man’s vanity ought to be his greatest shame; and every man’s folly ought to be his greatest secret."

"Examples direct more than precepts."

"Gaze not on beauty too much, lest it blast thee; nor too long, lest it blind thee; nor too near, lest it burn thee. If thou like it, it deceives thee; if thou love it, it disturbs thee; if thou hunt after it, it destroys thee. If virtue accompany it, it is the heart’s paradise; if vice associate it, it is the soul’s purgatory. It is the wise man’s bonfire, and the fool’s furnace."

"Happy is he the place of whose affection is founded upon virtue, walled with riches, glazed with beauty, and roofed with honour."

"Hath any wronged thee? Be bravely revenged. Slight it, and the work is begun; forgive it, and it is finished. He is below himself that is not above any injury."

"If any speak ill of thee, flee home to thy own conscience, and examine thy heart: if thou be guilty, it is a just correction; if not guilty, it is a fair instruction: make use of both; so shalt thou distill honey out of gall, and out of an open enemy create a secret friend."

"If thou desire to see thy child virtuous, let him not see his father’s vices; thou canst not rebuke that in children that they behold practiced in thee; till reason be ripe, examples direct more than precepts; such as thy behavior is before they children’s faces, such commonly is theirs behind their parents backs."

"If thou seest anything in thyself which may make thee proud, look a little further and thou shalt find enough to humble thee; if thou be wise, view the peacock’s feathers with his feet, and weigh thy best parts with thy imperfections."

"If thy words be too luxuriant, confine them, lest they confide thee; he that thinks he never can speak enough may easily speak too much. A full tongue and an empty brain are seldom parted."

"If you desire to be magnanimous, undertake nothing rashly, and fear nothing thou undertakes; fear nothing but infamy; dare anything but injury; the measure of magnanimity is neither to be rash nor timorous."

"In the commission of evil, fear no man so much as thyself. Another is but one witness against thee; thou art a thousand. Another thou mayst avoid, thyself thou canst not. Wickedness is its own punishment."

"In the commission of evil, fear no man so much as thyself; another is but one witness against thee, thou art a thousand; another thou mayest avoid, thyself thou canst not. Wickedness is its own punishment."

"It is no happiness to live long, nor unhappiness to die soon; happy is he that hath lived long enough to die well."

"Knowledge descries; wisdom applies."

"Let the foundation of thy affection be virtue, then make the building as rich and as glorious as thou canst; if the foundation be beauty or wealth, and the building virtue, the foundation is too weak for the building, and it will fall: happy is he, the palace of whose affection is founded upon virtue, walled with riches, glazed with beauty, and roofed with honor."

"Neutrality is dangerous, whereby thou becomest a necessary prey to the conqueror."

"No labor is hard, no time is long, wherein the glory of eternity is the mark we level at."

"Of all vices to take heed of drunkenness; other vices are but fruits of disordered affections - this disorders, nay, banishes reason; other vices but impair the soul - this demolishes her two chief faculties, 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."

"Opinion is a bold bastard."

"Scandal breeds hatred; hatred begets division; division makes faction, and faction brings ruin."

"Temper your enjoyments with prudence, lest there be written on your heart that fearful word "satiety.""

"The Constant mind, that perseveres... never fears."

"The fountain of beauty is the heart, and every generous thought illustrates the walls of your chamber. If virtue accompanies beauty it is the heart's paradise; if vice be associate with it, it is the soul's purgatory. It is the wise man's bonfire, and the fools furnace."

"The heart is a small thing, but desireth great matters. It is not sufficient for a kite’s dinner, yet the whole world is not sufficient for it."

"The height of all philosophy is to know thyself; and the end of this knowledge is to know God. Know thyself, that thou mayest know God; and know God, that thou mayest love him and be like him. In the one thou art initiated into wisdom; and in the other perfected in it."

"The light of the understanding, humility kindleth and pride covereth."

"The road to resolution lies by doubt."

"The way to be safe is never to be secure."

"To bear adversity with an equal mind is both the sign and glory of a brave spirit."

"Virtue is nothing but an act of loving that which is to be beloved, and that a t is prudence, from whence not to be removed by constraint is fortitude; not to be allured by enticements is temperance; not to be diverted by pride is justice."

"Woudst thou multiply thy riches? diminish them wisely; or wouldst thou make thy estate entire? divide it charitably. Seeds that are scattered increase; but, hoarded up, they perish."

"Afflictions clarify the soul."

"As there is no worldly gain without some loss, so there is no worldly loss without some gain."

"Be not too rash in the breaking of an inconvenient custom; as it was gotten, so leave it by degrees."

"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."

"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 grow worse; the best means to grow better is to be the worst there."

"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 received them, they flee forward and wound the receiver."

"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 acquire thee; thy conscience will accuse thee, if not condemn thee."

"Expect, but fear not, Death: Death cannot kill, till Time (that first must seal his patent) will. Would’st thou live long? keep Time in high esteem: whom gone, if thou canst not recall, redeem."

"He is below himself that’s not above an injury."

"Heaven is never deaf but when man’s heart is dumb."

"If thou expect death as a friend, prepare to entertain it; if thou expect death as an enemy, prepare to overcome it; death has no advantage, but when it comes a stranger."

"If thou neglectest thy love to thy neighbor, in vain thou professest thy love to God; for by thy love to God the love to thy neighbor is begotten, and by the love to thy neighbor, thy love to God is nourished."

"If thou wouldst preserve a sound body, use fasting and walking; if a healthful soul, fasting and praying. Walking exercises the body; praying exercises the soul; fasting cleanses both."

"If thy words be too luxuriant, confine them, lest they confine thee. He that thinks he can never speak enough, may easily speak too much. A full tongue and an empty brain are seldom parted."

"Let the greatest part of the news thou hearest be the least part of what thou believest, lest the greater 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 excluded."

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

"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."