Quintilian Quotes

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We must form our minds by reading deep rather than wide.
Forbidden pleasures alone are loved immoderately; when lawful, they do not excite desire.
Quintilian

Those who wish to appear wise among fools, among the wise seem foolish.
Our minds are like our stomaches; they are whetted by the change of their food, and variety supplies both with fresh appetite.
Quintilian
He who speaks evil only differs from his who does evil in that he lacks opportunity.
Quintilian
It is fitting that a liar should be a man of good memory.
To swear, except when necessary, is becoming to an honorable man.
Men, even when alone, lighten their labors by song, however rude it may be.
Quintilian
Though ambition itself be a vice, yet it is often times the cause of virtues.
Quintilian
A laugh, if purchased at the expense of propriety, costs too much.
In almost everything, experience is more valuable than precept.
The gifts of nature are infinite in their variety, and mind differs from mind almost as much as body from body.
Quintilian
The pretended admission of a fault on our part creates an excellent impression.
Quintilian
When defeat is inevitable, it is wisest to yield.
Those who wish to appear wise among fools, among the wise seem foolish.
Where evil habits are once settled, they are more easily broken than mended.
Quintilian
God, that all-powerful Creator of nature and architect of the world, has impressed man with no character so proper to distinguish him from other animals, as by the faculty of speech.
Quintilian
Vain hopes are like certain dreams of those who wake.
The mind is exercised by the variety and multiplicity of the subject matter, while the character is moulded by the contemplation of virtue and vice.
Quintilian
Without natural gifts technical rules are useless.
For the mind is all the easier to teach before it is set.
A liar should have a good memory.
Though ambition in itself is a vice, yet it is often the parent of virtues.
Quintilian
That which prematurely arrives at perfection soon perishes.
While we are examining into everything we sometimes find truth where we least expected it.
Quintilian
It is worth while too to warn the teacher that undue severity in correcting faults is liable at times to discourage a boy's mind from effort.
Quintilian
As regards parents, I should like to see them as highly educated as possible, and I do not restrict this remark to fathers alone.
Quintilian
We excuse our sloth under the pretext of difficulty.
It is much easier to try one's hand at many things than to concentrate one's powers on one thing.
Quintilian
It seldom happens that a premature shoot of genius ever arrives at maturity.
Quintilian
For it would have been better that man should have been born dumb, nay, void of all reason, rather than that he should employ the gifts of Providence to the destruction of his neighbor.
Quintilian
Verse satire indeed is entirely our own.
Nothing is more dangerous to men than a sudden change of fortune.
The prosperous can not easily form a right idea of misery.
Nature herself has never attempted to effect great changes rapidly.
It is the nurse that the child first hears, and her words that he will first attempt to imitate.
Quintilian
Fear of the future is worse than one's present fortune.
Whilst we deliberate how to begin a thing, it grows too late to begin it.
When we cannot hope to win, it is an advantage to yield.
A laugh costs too much when bought at the expense of virtue.
Everything that has a beginning comes to an end.
Consequently the student who is devoid of talent will derive no more profit from this work than barren soil from a treatise on agriculture.
Quintilian
While we are making up our minds as to when we shall begin, the opportunity is lost.
Quintilian
To my mind the boy who gives least promise is one in whom the critical faculty develops in advance of the imagination.
Quintilian
The perfection of art is to conceal art.