Make use of Absence

Make use of Absence to make yourself more esteemed or valued. If the accustomed presence diminishes fame, absence augments it. One that is regarded as a lion in his absence may be laughed at when present as the ridiculous result of the parturition of the mountains. Talents get soiled by use, for it is easier […]

Silken Words, Sugared Manners

Silken Words, sugared Manners. Arrows pierce the body, insults the soul. Sweet pastry perfumes the breath. It is a great art in life to know how to sell wind. Most things are paid for in words, and by them you can remove impossibilities. Thus we deal in air, and a royal breath can produce courage […]

Make use of Folly

Make use of Folly. The wisest play this card at times, and there are times when the greatest wisdom lies in seeming not to be wise. You need not be unwise, but merely affect unwisdom. To be wise with fools and foolish with the wise were of little use. Speak to each in his own […]

Be not Eccentric

Be not Eccentric, neither from affectation nor carelessness. Many have some remarkable and individual quality leading to eccentric actions. These are more defects than excellent differences. And just as some are known for some special ugliness, so these for something repellant in their outward behaviour. Such eccentricities simply serve as trademarks through their atrocious singularity: […]

If you cannot clothe Yourself in Lionskin use Foxpelt

If you cannot clothe Yourself in Lionskin use Foxpelt. To follow the times is to lead them. He that gets what he wants never loses his reputation. Cleverness when force will not do. One way or another, the king’s highway of valour or the bypath of cunning. Skill has effected more than force, and astuteness […]

Know how to play the Card of Contempt

Know how to play the Card of Contempt. It is a shrewd way of getting things you want, by affecting to depreciate them: generally they are not to be had when sought for, but fall into one’s hands when one is not looking for them. As all mundane things are but shadows of the things […]

Do not carry Fools on your Back

Do not carry Fools on your Back. He that does not know a fool when he sees him is one himself: still more he that knows him but will not keep clear of him. They are dangerous company and ruinous confidants. Even though their own caution and others’ care keeps them in bounds for a […]

Utilise Another’s Wants

Utilise Another’s Wants. The greater his wants the greater the turn of the screw. Philosophers say privation is non-existent, statesmen say it is all-embracing, and they are right. Many make ladders to attain their ends out of wants of others. They make use of the opportunity and tantalise the appetite by pointing out the difficulty […]

Throw Straws in the Air

Throw Straws in the Air, to find how things will be received, especially those whose reception or success is doubtful. One can thus be assured ofits turning out well, and an opportunity is afforded for going on in earnest or withdrawing entirely. By trying men’s intentions in this way, the wise man knows on what […]

Select Your Friends

Select your Friends. Only after passing the matriculation of experience and the examination of fortune will they be graduates not alone in affection but in discernment. Though this is the most important thing in life, it is the one least cared for. Intelligence brings friends to some, chance to most. Yet a man is judged […]