8 January 1601|
Belmonte, Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain
|Died||6 December 1658
Tarazona, Aragon, Spain
|Power, politics, strategy, moral philosophy|
Dreams will get you nowhere, a good kick in the pants will take you a long way.
A man of honour should never forget what he is because he sees what others are.
Advice is sometimes transmitted more successfully through a joke than grave teaching.
To be at ease is better than to be at business. Nothing really belongs to us but time, which even he has who has nothing else.
Fortunate people often have very favorable beginnings and very tragic endings. What matters isn't being applauded when you arrive – for that is common – but being missed when you leave.
One must pass through the circumference of time before arriving at the center of opportunity.
A bad manner spoils everything, even reason and justice; a good one supplies everything, gilds a No, sweetens a truth, and adds a touch of beauty to old age itself.
Don't show off every day, or you'll stop surprising people. There must always be some novelty left over. The person who displays a little more of it each day keeps up expectations, and no one ever discovers the limits of his talent.
Always leave something to wish for; otherwise you will be miserable from your very happiness.
Attempt easy tasks as if they were difficult, and difficult as if they were easy; in the one case that confidence may not fall asleep, in the other that it may not be dismayed.
Don't take the wrong side of an argument just because your opponent has taken the right side.
Let him that hath no power of patience retire within himself, though even there he will have to put up with himself.
Fortune pays you sometimes for the intensity of her favors by the shortness of their duration. She soon tires of carrying any one long on her shoulders.
Even knowledge has to be in the fashion, and where it is not, it is wise to affect ignorance.
It is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterwards.
He that communicates his secret to another makes himself that other's slave.
It is good to vary in order that you may frustrate the curious, especially those who envy you.
True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island… to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing.
Nature scarcely ever gives us the very best; for that we must have recourse to art.
It is a great piece of skill to know how to guide your luck even while waiting for it.
Never open the door to a lesser evil, for other and greater ones invariably slink in after it.
It is better to have too much courtesy than too little, provided you are not equally courteous to all, for that would be injustice.
Great ability develops and reveals itself increasingly with every new assignment.
There is none who cannot teach somebody something, and there is none so excellent but he is excelled.
He that can live alone resembles the brute beast in nothing, the sage in much, and God in everything.
Never do anything when you are in a temper, for you will do everything wrong.
Those who insist on the dignity of their office show they have not deserved it.
Things do not pass for what they are, but for what they seem. Most things are judged by their jackets.
Little said is soon amended. There is always time to add a word, never to withdraw one.
At twenty a man is a peacock, at thirty a lion, at forty a camel, at fifty a serpent, at sixty a dog, at seventy an ape, at eighty a nothing at all.