Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Wise

"Wise men weigh the advantages of any course of action against its drawbacks, and move not an inch until they can see what the result of their action will be; but while they are deep in thought, the men with self-confidence ‘come and see and conquer.’" - Ahad HaAm, pen name, born Asher Zvi Hirsch Ginsberg

"A wise man will always be contented with his condition, and will live rather according to his precepts of virtue, than according to the customs of his country." - Antisthenes NULL

"The heart of fools is in their mouth, but the mouth of the wise is in their heart." - Apocrypha NULL

"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." - Isaac Barrow

"In seeking wisdom thou art wise; in imagining that thou hast attained it thou art a fool." -

"The wise man carries his possessions within him." - Bias NULL

"Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise." -

"Oppression maketh a wise man mad." -

"If a fool would persist in his folly he would become wise." - William Blake

"He who is virtuous is wise; and he who is wise is good; and he who is good is happy." - Boethius, fully Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius NULL

"Silence is the understanding of fools, and one of the virtues of the wise." -

"You should have education enough so that you won't have to look up to people; and then more education so that you will be wise enough not to look down on people." - M. L. Boren

"Piety and selfless deeds elevate the inhabitants of this earth to exalted spiritual estates... self-serving acts reduce them to the realms beneath, of sorrow and pain, rebirths among birds and vermin, or out of the wombs of pigs and beasts of the wild, or among trees. Action is a function of character, which in turn is controlled by custom. This is the whole substance of the secret. This knowledge is the ferry across the ocean of hell to beatitude. For all the animate and inanimate objects in this world... are transitory, like dream. The gods on high, the mute trees and stones, are but apparitions in the fantasy. Good and evil attaching to a person are perishable as bubbles. In the cycles of time they alternate. The wise are attached to neither." - Brahma-Vaivarta Purana NULL

"Nothing is as dangerous as an ignorant friend; a wise enemy is to be preferred." - Jean de La Bruyère

"Let no man think lightly of good, saying in his heart, it will not benefit me. Even by the falling of water-drops a water-pot is filled; the wise man becomes full of good, even if he gather it little by little." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"The wise man learns to meet the changing circumstances of life with an equitable spirit, being neither elated by success nor depressed by failure. Thus one realizes the truth of non-duality." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"Life is short - while we speak it flies; enjoy, then, the present, and forget the future; such is the moral of ancient poetry, a graceful and a wise moral - indulged beneath a southern sky, and all deserving the phrase applied to it, “The philosophy of the garden.”" -

"You who are so wise must know that different nations have different conceptions of things. You will not therefore take it amiss if our ideas of the white man’s kind of education happens not to be the same as yours. We have had some experience with it. Several of our young people were brought up in your colleges. They were instructed in all your sciences; but, when they came back to us, they were bad runners, ignorant of every means of living in the woods, unable to bear either cold or hunger. They didn’t know how to build a cabin, take a deer, or kill an enemy. They spoke our language imperfectly. They were therefore unfit to be hunters, warriors, or counselors; they were good for nothing. We are, however, not less obliged for your kind offer, though we decline accepting it. To show our gratefulness, if the gentlemen of Virginia shall send us a dozen of their sons, we will take great care with their education, instruct them in all we know, and make men of them." - Canassatego Treaty of Lancaster NULL

"Aversion from reproof is not wise. It is a mark of a little mind. A great man can afford to lose; a little, insignificant fellow is afraid of being snuffed out." - Richard Cecil

"The gratification of wealth is not found in mere possession or in lavish expenditure, but in its wise application. " - Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

"Whoever undertakes a long Journey, if he be wise, makes it his Business to find out an agreeable Companion. How cautious then should He be, who is to take a Journey for Life, whose Fellow-Traveler must not part with him but at the Grave; his Companion at Bed and Board and Sharer of all the Pleasures and Fatigues of his Journey; as the Wife must be to the Husband! She is no such Sort of Ware, that a Man can be rid of when he pleases: When once that’s purchas’d, no Exchange, no Sale, no Alienation can be made: She is an inseparable Accident to Man: Marriage is a Noose, which, fasten’d about the Neck, runs the closer, and fits more uneasy by our struggling to get loose: ‘Tis a Gordian Knot which none can unty, and being twisted with our Thread of Life, nothing but the Schyth of Death can cut it." - Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

"Calumny is like the wasp which worries you, and which it is not best to try to get rid of unless you are sure of slaying it; for other wise it returns to the charge more furious than ever." -

"Men are never very wise and select in the exercise of a new power." - William Ellery Channing

"The wise person possesses humility. He knows that his small island of knowledge is surrounded by a vast sea of the unknown." - Harold C. Chase, Jr.

"In the eyes of a wise person, illusory honor is very cheap. Wisdom enables a person to live a life of light and elevation, enabling him to leave pettiness behind." - Chazon Ish, named Rabbi Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz

"There is no greater joy for a wise man than the joy of improving his character traits." - Chazon Ish, named Rabbi Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz

"As character to be used for eternity must be formed in time and in good time, so good habits to be used for happiness in this life must be formed early; and then they will be a treasure to be desired in the house of the wise, and an oil of life in their dwellings." - George Barrell Cheever

"The wise man loves to believe nothing; the simple man to believe all things. The latter is credulous to others, the former to himself." - W. G. Cole

"You read of but one wise man; and all that he knew was - that he knew nothing." - William Congreve

"I do not mean to expose my ideas to ingenious ridicule by maintaining that everything happens to every man for the best; but I will contend, that he who makes the best use of it, fulfills the part of a wise and good man." -

"If you try to subdue your selfish motives - anger and so forth - and develop more kindness and compassion for others, ultimately you yourself will benefit more than you would otherwise. So sometimes I say that the wise selfish person should practice this way. Foolish selfish people are always thinking of themselves, and the result is negative. Wise selfish people think of others, help others as much as they can, and the result is that they too receive benefit." -

"What I am thinking and doing day by day is resistlessly shaping my future - a future in which there is no expiation except through my own better conduct. No one can save me. No one can live my life for me. If I am wise I shall begin today to build my own truer and better world from within." - Horatio W. Dresser

"It is a wise man’s good sense to be slow to anger, and his glory to pass over a transgression." - Dubner Magid, name for Rabbi Jacob ben wolf Krantz

"The honor-seeker does not study wisdom to become wiser. Rather his goal is to show off how wise he is. This is an attribute of a fool." - Dubner Magid, name for Rabbi Jacob ben wolf Krantz

"He is one of the noblest conquerors who carries on a successful warfare against his own appetites and passions, and has them under wise and full control." - Tyron Edwards

"Quiet and sincere sympathy is often the most welcome and efficient consolation to the afflicted. Said a wise man to one in deep sorrow, "I did not come to comfort you; God only can do that; but I did come to say how deeply and tenderly I feel for you in your affliction."" - Tyron Edwards

"Enough sufficeth for the wise." - Euripedes NULL

"Everything that depends on necessity is its slave in wise men's eyes." - Euripedes NULL

"It is wise even in adversity to listen to reason." - Euripedes NULL

"Silence is an answer to a wise man." - Euripedes NULL

"The man who knows when not to act is wise. To my mind, bravery is forethought." - Euripedes NULL

"Wise men take occasion by the hand." - Euripedes NULL

"Praise has different effects, according to the mind it meets with; it makes a wise man modest, but a fool more arrogant, turning his weak brain giddy." - Owen Feltham

"As a great part of the uneasiness of matrimony arises from mere trifles, it would be wise in every young married man to enter into an agreement with his wife, that in all disputes of this kind the party who was most convinced they were right should always surrender the victory. By which means both would be more forward to give up the cause." - Henry Fielding

"Who is wise? He that learns from everyone." - Benjamin Franklin

"To comprehend a man's life, it is necessary to know not merely what he does, but also what he purposely leaves undone. There is a limit to the work that can be got out of a human body or a human brain, and he is a wise man who wastes no energy on pursuits for which he is not fitted; and he is still wiser who, from among the things that he can do well, chooses and resolutely follows the best." - William Ewart Gladstone

"Who would succeed in the world should be wise in the use of his pronouns. Utter the You twenty times, where you once utter the I." - John Hay, fully John Milton Hay