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 […]

Never Have A Companion Who Casts You In The Shade

Never have a Companion who casts you in the Shade. The more he does so, the less desirable a companion he is. The more he excels in quality the more in repute: he will always play first fiddle and you second. If you get any consideration, it is only his leavings. The moon shines bright […]

Reality and Appearance

Reality and Appearance. Things pass for what they seem, not for what they are. Few see inside; many take to the outside. It is not enough to be right, if right seem false and ill. Gracian, The Art of Wordly Wisdom To search for truth is the highest of personal endeavors, but few people are […]

Make Use of Your Enemies

Make use of your Enemies. You should learn to seize things not by the blade, which cuts, but by the handle, which saves you from harm: especially is this the rule with the doings of your enemies. A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends. Their ill-will often […]

Be all Things to all Men

Be all Things to all Men –a discreet Proteus, learned with the learned, saintly with the sainted. It is the great art to gain every one’s suffrages; their goodwill gains general agreement. Notice men’s moods and adapt yourself to each, genial or serious as the case may be. Follow their lead,glossing over the changes as […]

Show Your Teeth

Know how to show your Teeth. Even hares can pull the mane of a dead lion. There is no joke about courage. Give way to the first and you must yield to the second, and so on till the last, and to gain your point at last costs as much trouble as would have gained […]

Use But Do Not Abuse Cunning

Use, but do not abuse, Cunning. One ought not to delight in it, still less to boast of it. Everything artificial should be concealed, most of all cunning, which is hated. Deceit is much in use; therefore our caution has to be redoubled, but not so as to show itself, for it arouses distrust, causes […]

A Man of Rectitude

A Man of Rectitude clings to the sect of right with such tenacity of purpose that neither the passions of the mob nor the violence of the tyrant can ever cause him to transgress the bounds of right. But who shall be such a Phoenix of equity? What a scanty following has rectitude! Many praise […]

Be Spotless

Be Spotless: the indispensable condition of perfection. Few live without some weak point, either physical or moral, which they pamper because they could easily cure it. The keenness of others often regrets to see a slight defect attaching itself to a whole assembly of elevated qualities, and yet a single cloud can hide the whole […]